Marital Sex

If I understand correctly, a Catholic man who is unable to have intercourse with his wife because of impotence, can no longer have sex with his wife because he will commit a mortal sin if he ejaculates outside her body. Protestants, on the other hand, have no such rule, I have read. They are permitted to do whatever they want in the marital bed, as long as it is reasonable and both spouses agree, because there is nothing in the Bible that says otherwise. So my question is: why are the requirements for Salvation not the same for all Christians? If you happened to be born Protestant you do not have this restriction, but if you are Catholic you do?

Just for clarification, when you say impotent, do you mean to say he is naturally unable to produce fertile sperm? If so, there is nothing wrong with him have sexual relations with his wife.

Also, regarding the difference between Catholic and Protestant beliefs, that is an answer that is better sought outside of this specific question.

There are several factors and will inevitably relate to the Protestant belief of Sola Scriptura.

There are plenty of excellent references that go into this topic in greater depth.

Instagram: @archangelarcher
Facebook: Carlos Chi’Rho

When I say “impotent” I mean unable to maintain an erection adequate for penetration.

You may not have a restriction from your particular protestant church against masturbation (what you have described) , but that doesn’t mean you are not morally bound not to masturbate.
The requirements for salvation are the same for ALL people…be incorporated into the Body of Christ (Baptism is the only known way) and remain there.
Just because someone says it’s okay to commit a sin doesn’t make it okay. A protestant may be less culpable for the sin because he didn’t know it was a sin (theoretically speaking), but that doesn’t excuse the sin, nor does it make it okay.

Is he infertile or impotent? Infertility would mean he can have sexual intercourse but cannot father a child. Impotence would mean he cannot have sexual relations fertile or not. At any rate, ejaculation outside his wife’s body, i.e. masturbation is prohibited.

All sexual relations must be ordered toward both unity and procreation. The man you refer to cannot replace intercourse with some other act. If he is ejacuoating, then he isn’t impotent, so perhaps you can give an example of what you mean by impotent.

Regarding God’s law on sex and marriage, these commandments are universal. Many non Catholics have been seduced by Satan’s lies into believing things that offend God don’t really offend him, that they are not sins. Do not be fooled, they are.

No, medically ejaculation can take place in a setting where the member is not firm enough to achieve penetration.

And if some Protestant Christian communities allow for abortion - does that mean that abortion is ok?

No it means that they are seriously misinformed (or even that they have been deceived by the surrounding society or have deceived themselves).

All are to live chastity. If some Christians are misinformed about what that means that is that is their misinformation.

Such does not change the reality of what chastity (marital chastity) is and what is gravely sinful in itself as an act contrary to that chastity and marriage itself.

Try a careful reading of Genesis 38: 9-10.

The Church does not see any absolute need for revelation/Scripture to teach about sexual ethics. Everything the Church teaches can be deduced from a solid consideration of the natural law.

Requirements for salvation are the same in all areas for all people for all time. Somebody is right somebody is wrong.

Thank you for the input.

If the issue cannot be corrected medically to minimally allow for vaginal intercourse, then the couple is called to continence at that point until/unless the situation can be corrected.

And, this is a universal call to holiness, not one merely for Catholics.

While I do not claim to be a theologian, I find this to be disturbing. Of course, the ideal is for the man to finish inside the woman. However, if this is not possible due to a physical limitation, some other form of unitive lovemaking should be OK. It depends on the intent. Where is the heart? If the intent is to deliberately subvert the procreative aspect, then certainly that would be problematic. But if the couple, given normal physiology, would consent to finishing inside the woman, then certainly there is no problem here.

To think otherwise encourages scrupulosity and prevents expressions of physical love between spouses. I guess I don’t see God quite as legalistically as others…

Maybe it isn’t that you see God as less legalistic but rather you are not oriented in the holy way of looking at sex and marriage. And who could blame you in our current society!?

I don’t quarrel with the teaching but I believe that Jesus is more concerned with the spirit of the law rather than the letter of the law. No one’s arguing the legitimacy of the law. But, exactly how merciful is it to expect complete adherence without respect to the suffering of God’s people. Read Mt 12:1-8. The apostles were hungry. That was enough to suspend the “law”.

Feel free to make your point but please refrain from telling me how I am “oriented”. You don’t know.

Such is not the same kind of “law”

There can be absolutely exception here (if one is referring to seeking climax when one is unable to have marital relations) One may not murder others …or commit sins such as against chastity - for such are gravely wrong and can never be done for any reason.

Contrary to the letter and the spirit of the law regarding such.

There is no exemption from such.

Jesus was quite serious about such matters - noting that even looking with lust - one already commits adultery…

One thing that people seem to be misunderstanding these days is the idea that God has a legal side and a mercy side. They both are perfect and above what our minds deem “fair, merciful, just or good”
We probably have different views of mercy and justice and law, but juist to be clear you are not saying that you think Jesus would instruct what you are suggesting? Only that he would forgive the sin of a REPENTANT person who fell in weakness right?

or are the protestants the merciful here?

What I am saying is that the culpability of the sin is mitigated by the physical limitation. If the couple intend to do what the Church teaches but cannot finish due to an inability to penetrate; that is very different than two people who are determined to subvert the procreative aspect of the act by withdrawing, for example.

In Mt 12, Jesus rejects the notion that the apostles sinned by violating the Sabbath laws. There was a more compelling rationale, they were hungry.

The Protestants may indeed be more merciful, but it should be understood that they don’t really establish any standard regarding this case. Catholic moral teaching, on the other hand is quite clear. Best to sort this out with a priest or spiritual director who may apply a more pastoral solution.

Such is a different matter that the question of the thread.

I think your point gets lost in the subject of the thread and it may look like a way to excuse or ignore the law. The law that is good and holy…

The original post asked about the distinction between a Catholic understanding of the marital embrace versus a Protestant understanding. The point I am trying to raise is that, based on the example posed, the Catholic understanding is not as rigid as you make it out to be. That is important if we are to provide a suitable answer to question.

As I see it, the purpose behind the law is to respect and preserve the procreative aspect of the act. But, when it is impossible to accomplish that, a pastoral solution may be in order. Catholics have an obligation to attend Mass on all Sundays. But, when satisfying that obligation is not possible or another obligation precludes it, a pastoral solution suggests that it is not mortally sinful. A mother, who needs to care for small children may be exempted from the obligation to attend Mass on a particular Sunday. No one is suggesting that the law of needing to observe the Lord’s Day is ignored or excused away. Simply that these laws must exist within the framework of serving God’s people. When we carry it to a legalistic extreme, we place unfair and unrealistic burdens on people.

I will say, that I am not qualified to make the distinction in any particular case. I simply mean to point out that pastoral solutions do exist that would minimize the spiritual impact of not following the letter of the law.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.