Marriage Question.

I keep reading that two Catholics that wish to be married must be open to children, so what about these scenarios?

  1. Two Catholics, neither have been married before but the woman has had a hysterectomy, can they marry?

  2. Two Catholics, neither have been married before but they are older and the woman is post-menopausal, can they marry?

  3. Two Catholics, neither have been married before but the man has had both testicles removed due to testicular cancer.

Would the first people in each scenario have to remain single forever and the second person in each scenario have to find love elsewhere or could these marriages happen?


Assuming that all these people are capable of having sexual intercourse, then I’m failing to see what would prevent any of these marriages?? Infertility or sterility are not impediments to marriage…


  1. YES they can marry.

  2. YES they can marry.

  3. YES they can marry if the man’s operation has not rendered him permanently impotent. If it has then they cannot marry.

As the other poster said infertility/sterility is not an impediment to marriage whereas impotence is an impediment.

Impotentence is a problem. Sterility is not. Having lost both testicles renders the man only sterile, not impotent. In fact given the option in the second link above, impotence is seldom if ever a problem any more.

Moreover, a castrated man can still achieve an erection. He can even ejaculate and climax as well. These functions are regulated by the prostate and cowper’s glands, separate from the testes.

Please excuse somewhat explicit language. However the topic cannot IMO be address in a more delicate manner given the context and the question.


Deacon Jeff,

So then a man can obtain a prosthesis for the sole purpose of procreation and that is a acceptable to the Church is what I am understanding. Thus this meets Church requirements for a valid marriage?

Is this correct?



At least that is what our tribunal says.

All good but if a man had his (main procreative organ) blown off in an explosion, he can never marry?

If a man would never be able to consummate a marriage then he would not be allowed to marry.

Correct. An inability to consummate a marriage prevents a valid marriage (per Canon Law):

Can. 1084 §1 Antecedent and perpetual impotence to have sexual intercourse, whether on the part of the man or on that of the woman, whether absolute or relative, by its very nature invalidates marriage.

The meaning of consummation is explained in Canon Law:

Can. 1061 §1. A valid marriage between the baptized is called ratum tantum if it has not been consummated; it is called ratum et consummatum if the spouses have performed between themselves in a human fashion a conjugal act which is suitable in itself for the procreation of offspring, to which marriage is ordered by its nature and by which the spouses become one flesh.

Sterility does not prevent consummation, but impotence does.

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