Marriage, divorce, annulment, unchastity, illicit relations


I read the following in this rock magizine

Some apologists argue that the exception clause cited above (Matt. 19:9) exemplifies annulments. If “unchastity” refers to illicit relations between the spouses themselves, then divorce is not only acceptable but preferable. But such divorce would not end a marriage, for a true marriage could not have existed in the first place under such circumstances.

I understand the better part of it, but I don’t understand what is meant by “illicit relations between the spouses themselves”.

Whadaya think?


Illicit relations would be those prohibited by divine law.

For example, in Roman civil law brothers and sisters could marry each other, as could all sorts of other degrees of relation and affinity.

This type of marriage would be invalid as it contravenes God’s Law.


Wow, that never even entered my mind.


Yes, a common opinion of commentators is that Matthew’s exception refers to marriages that would have been invalid to begin with.


Thanks folks,

Now I need to follow up with the stupidest question ever.

Would it be sinful for a man to penetrate his wife if he has no intention of completing the marital act?

And yes, I do realize that this probably has never happened in the whole history of humanity.


Um, actually, it did occur; it is called the sin of Onan.

And ths sin was not in the penetration, but in the withdrawl. He intentionally avoided conception.


Yes, it would.


You took the words right out of my mouth.

For the OP, a good general rule of thumb: don’t start anything you’re not going to finish. There are all sorts of questions about what exactly is licit in the “run-up” between a husband and a wife, but if the act is not completed anything sexual is always illicit.


I need to clarify the question, since some are presuming the question was about completeing the act outside.

I mean would it be a sin to penetrate if there was no intention to complete the act inside or outside.

Like I said, it’s a stupid question, but what’s the answer?


Some of you whippersnappers may not know that “finishing” is not always possible.


Your question was:

Would it be sinful for a man to penetrate his wife **if he has no intention of completing **the marital act?

The answer to that question is yes.

No one here stated that it was sinful if you start the act **intending **to finish and then are **unable **to finish.




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