Marital relations after sterilization?


#1

Does the Catholic Church have some sort of rule that, if a person has been sterilized (for example due to past ignorance and sin of which they later repented), then they cannot ever initiate or request sex with their spouse, and that only the non-sterile spouse can initiate/request sex? I heard this talked about on the recent Catholic Answers Live radio show on sterilization, but I couldn't tell whether they were saying that's a general rule that applies to all couples where one spouse is sterilized, or whether they were using it as an example of a spiritual discipline that may be useful in some such cases.

I understand the need to avoid situations where one spouse feels used by the other, and I'm very much in favor of procreation and adoption, but I didn't entirely understand what the guest on the radio show was getting at.

Also, if this is a general rule that applies to all such couples, does a similar rule exist in Orthodox Churches or Eastern Catholic rites?


#2

[quote="Alex111, post:1, topic:216207"]
Does the Catholic Church have some sort of rule that, if a person has been sterilized (for example due to past ignorance and sin of which they later repented), then they cannot ever initiate or request sex with their spouse, and that only the non-sterile spouse can initiate/request sex?

[/quote]

No. It doesn't.

[quote="Alex111, post:1, topic:216207"]
I heard this talked about on the recent Catholic Answers Live radio show on sterilization, but I couldn't tell whether they were saying that's a general rule that applies to all couples where one spouse is sterilized, or whether they were using it as an example of a spiritual discipline that may be useful in some such cases.

[/quote]

I do not know the context, but they were not making a statement of Catholic Church doctrine. There is no such requirement.


#3

Some of the callers to the show that day were married Catholics who had been sterilized, or their spouse had been sterilized, and then come to realize that it was wrong. The guest host (a Bishop) said the thing about not initiating marital relations, but I couldn't tell if he was asserting that as general Church doctrine, or just suggesting it for individual cases. I'm glad to hear it's not the former; I could see it being a useful spiritual discipline in some cases, but imposing it generally would seem a bit much.


#4

Once the person has gone to confession and been absolved it, as with other sins, is like it never happened from God's standpoint. Thus the spouse is free, and encouraged, to continue renewing their marriage covenant as often as they and their spouse wish!

There is no mandate on reversal and withholding marital relations would be detrimental to a sacrificial marriage.

Joe

PS - There are a number of "Ask an Apologist" questions like this, feel free to do a search and get the information from them as well.


#5

Ok. Here's another question in the subject..... if spouse has been sterilized (no chance of children) then is the requirement of finishing the marital act "inside" still a requirement even though pregnancy could not happen?

Paul


#6

[quote="Paul2274, post:5, topic:216207"]
Ok. Here's another question in the subject..... if spouse has been sterilized (no chance of children) then is the requirement of finishing the marital act "inside" still a requirement even though pregnancy could not happen?

Paul

[/quote]

Yes because marital relations are unitive as well as procreative. Thus couples who cannot have children (such as couples who marry over the age of childbearing) still live and act in every way as a married couple. The only thing that is required is the ability to perform the conjugal act.


#7

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