Mortal or venial sin?


#1

Hi, just a quick question. Could someone, please, point me to an official Vatican document which would state that use of condoms is a mortal sin? I have tried using google, but all it does it refers me to personal opinions of catholics or exaggerated stories of news media. Why condom specifically: I see it as less harmful then other methods. I can easily see why taking after-pills is a mortal sin.
I have found CCC 2370, but would like to see more.


#2

As far as I know, condoms are a form of artificial contraception. They interfere with both the unitive and procreative aspects of the marital union. Here is a great article from EWTN that you might be interested in reading in its entirety...

ewtn.com/library/marriage/cclbc.txt

From the article:

Does the Church teach that the unnatural or artificial means of birth
control are immoral and blameworthy? Yes. In Humanae Vitae, the
first-named form of illicit or unnatural method of birth control is
abortion (n. 14).[3]

Then, "equally to be excluded, as the teaching authority of the Church has
frequently declared, is direct sterilization, whether perpetual or
temporary whether of the man or woman" (Humanae Vitae, 14). This condemns
tubal ligations, vasectomies, and the Pill.

"Similarly excluded is every action which, either in anticipation of the
conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its
natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render
procreation impossible" (Humanae Vitae, 14). Such unnatural forms include
the Pill, the intrauterine device, foams, diaphragms, condoms, withdrawal,
mutual or solitary masturbation and sodomistic practices.

Bolded emphasis mine.

I hope that helped


#3

[quote="Kasirpatiesiba, post:1, topic:207692"]
Hi, just a quick question. Could someone, please, point me to an official Vatican document which would state that use of condoms is a mortal sin? I have tried using google, but all it does it refers me to personal opinions of catholics or exaggerated stories of news media. Why condom specifically: I see it as less harmful then other methods. I can easily see why taking after-pills is a mortal sin.
I have found CCC 2370, but would like to see more.

[/quote]

You may want to read this encyclical - FAMILIARIS CONSORTIO, which is the basis for the CCC 2370 paragraph...
Specifically, see #32 on that encyclical...

Regarding whether or not it's venial/mortal... I'm not certain whether this is addressed. But on some level it depends on the understanding of the sinner. Those who truly understand that it is indeed a sin, and THEN CHOOSE to act on that sin, are more culpable than those who do not fully understand.


#4

My mum always told me to use a condom. A woman who has an IUD or is using a pill is on contraception 24/7. But a condom user only uses a condom for about 4 or 5 minutes. It is taught in Catholic school that barrier methods are better than quite a lot of other methods of contraception. Some people would argue that sperm isn’t sacred as over 35 million sperm are produced and wasted in every sexual act. Natural Family Planners however are anti-condom use in the Church.


#5

[quote="Kasirpatiesiba, post:1, topic:207692"]
Hi, just a quick question. Could someone, please, point me to an official Vatican document which would state that use of condoms is a mortal sin? I have tried using google, but all it does it refers me to personal opinions of catholics or exaggerated stories of news media. Why condom specifically: I see it as less harmful then other methods. I can easily see why taking after-pills is a mortal sin.
I have found CCC 2370, but would like to see more.

[/quote]

Condoms are not, to my knowledge, singled out; they are grouped with all contraceptive methods. The encyclical CASTI CONNUBII by Pope Pius XI states that the use of any contraceptive method is gravely sinful. The pertinent quote is paragraph 56:

  1. Since, therefore, openly departing from the uninterrupted Christian tradition some recently have judged it possible solemnly to declare another doctrine regarding this question, the Catholic Church, to whom God has entrusted the defense of the integrity and purity of morals, standing erect in the midst of the moral ruin which surrounds her, in order that she may preserve the chastity of the nuptial union from being defiled by this foul stain, raises her voice in token of her divine ambassadorship and through Our mouth proclaims anew: any use whatsoever of matrimony exercised in such a way that the act is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of nature, and those who indulge in such are branded with the guilt of a grave sin.

#6

[quote="budgie2, post:4, topic:207692"]
It is taught in Catholic school that barrier methods are better than quite a lot of other methods of contraception.

[/quote]

Budgie, which Catholic schools teach this? Catholic teaching is that all forms of contraception are intrinsically evil. If you know of a Catholic school disseminating information that contradicts the clear, firm teaching of Catholic Church, you ought to report them to your Archdiocese. Your mum is not the authority on Catholic morality.

To the OP, the catechism is very clear:

[quote=]2370 Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality.157 These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom. In contrast, "every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible" is intrinsically evil
[/quote]

In order for a particular sin to be mortal, three conditions must be met:

1) The sin has to be grave or serious.
2) The person committing the sin must freely choose to do so.
3) The person must know that the sin offends God.

When all three conditions are met, the sin is mortal. If any of the conditions are lacking, it is venial. Using a condom is intrinsically evil, as we've seen above, so it meets the first criterion. Whether or not someone who uses a condom is culpable of mortal sin, however, would depend on whether they were freely choosing to use the condom and whether they understood that doing so is offensive to God.


#7

Thank you for the answers!
It does sound like it could be mortal. Grave sin is usually used as a synonym for mortal sin. Still, let us see if it is declared any clearer.
When reading the last paragraph, a thought came to me. A sexual act can be frustrated in different ways: by finishing outside the v****, by finishing in a contraceptive device like condom etc. Can it not be frustrated by deliberately finishing in circumstances that exclude procreation? By timing the intercourse only when there is no chance of procreation happening.
just trying to understand the whole thing.


#8

[quote="nodito, post:6, topic:207692"]
Budgie, which Catholic schools teach this? Catholic teaching is that all forms of contraception are intrinsically evil. If you know of a Catholic school disseminating information that contradicts the clear, firm teaching of Catholic Church, you ought to report them to your Archdiocese. Your mum is not the authority on Catholic morality.

To the OP, the catechism is very clear:

In order for a particular sin to be mortal, three conditions must be met:

1) The sin has to be grave or serious.
2) The person committing the sin must freely choose to do so.
3) The person must know that the sin offends God.

When all three conditions are met, the sin is mortal. If any of the conditions are lacking, it is venial. Using a condom is intrinsically evil, as we've seen above, so it meets the first criterion. Whether or not someone who uses a condom is culpable of mortal sin, however, would depend on whether they were freely choosing to use the condom and whether they understood that doing so is offensive to God.

[/quote]

Thanks,
I will only say there is no harm saying that condom is better than other forms, as long as it is also said that they are all bad.
Also worth mentioning that contraception is only intrinsically evil if used in marriage, at least that is what Church seems to be teaching. a small detail but important.


#9

[quote="Kasirpatiesiba, post:8, topic:207692"]
I will only say there is no harm saying that condom is better than other forms, as long as it is also said that they are all bad.

[/quote]

If you said something like what you propose above you would be (a) wrong and (b) seriously misrepresenting Church teaching, which is itself sinful.

Saying that condoms are "better" than other forms of contracpetion is analogous to saying that shooting someone is a "better" way to murder someone that stabbing them.

Contraception is all equal in the eyes of God-- every single method is an abomination.

[quote="Kasirpatiesiba, post:8, topic:207692"]

Also worth mentioning that contraception is only intrinsically evil if used in marriage, at least that is what Church seems to be teaching. a small detail but important.

[/quote]

No. That is not what the Church teaches.

What part of *intrinsic * is unclear to you? Intrinsic means in-and-of itself, a property of the thing itself, within the thing itself.

Contraception is evil in-and-of-itself. This means there aren't **any **circumstances when it is not evil.

Contraception is marriage is evil. Contraception used outside of marriage is evil.

Additionally, such a person would be committing a second mortal sin-- that of either fornication or adultery.

Therefore, such a person who uses contraception outside marriage would need to confess TWO mortal sins to be reconciled to the Church.


#10

1ke,
the reason why I stressed the marriage is as follows. If a nun who is in conditions where she can expect to be raped, she can ask for a permission to use contraception. it may seem to you that I am pulling your leg, but my example is taken from real life.
there are circumstances where it can be allowed. I might be wrong but i think it also applies to a situation where sex is being demanded by a drunken and violent husband (rape again). As there is no love in such an act, there does not need to be fertility either. I am not 100% sure about this last, would need to check where I learned about it. Please, do not dismiss my words here, but check them first with someone who is learned in moral theology.

Again I have to stress, after-pills or similar can not be allowed.

I wish I knew how God perceived the whole thing :)! some brave statements form you here


#11

Humanae Vitae...Pope Paul VI

vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae_en.html

Unlawful Birth Control Methods

*14. Therefore We base Our words on the first principles of a human and Christian doctrine of marriage when We are obliged once more to declare that the direct interruption of the generative process already begun and, above all, all direct abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as lawful means of regulating the number of children. (14) Equally to be condemned, as the magisterium of the Church has affirmed on many occasions, is direct sterilization, whether of the man or of the woman, whether permanent or temporary. (15)

Similarly excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation—whether as an end or as a means. (16)

*Neither is it valid to argue, as a justification for sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive, that a lesser evil is to be preferred to a greater one, or that such intercourse would merge with procreative acts of past and future to form a single entity, and so be qualified by exactly the same moral goodness as these. **Though it is true that sometimes it is lawful to tolerate a lesser moral evil in order to avoid a greater evil or in order to promote a greater good," it is never lawful, even for the gravest reasons, to do evil that good may come of it (18)—in other words, to intend directly something which of its very nature contradicts the moral order, and which must therefore be judged unworthy of man, even though the intention is to protect or promote the welfare of an individual, of a family or of society in general. Consequently, it is a serious error to think that a whole married life of otherwise normal relations can justify sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive and so intrinsically wrong.


#12

Thank you, defenderoftruth, I liked your quote!


#13

[quote="Kasirpatiesiba, post:10, topic:207692"]

the reason why I stressed the marriage is as follows. If a nun who is in conditions where she can expect to be raped, she can ask for a permission to use contraception. it may seem to you that I am pulling your leg, but my example is taken from real life.

[/quote]

This so-called Vatican permission is a myth. No such "permission" from the Vatican exists.

The concept of using "the Pill" as a preemptive defense against rape is an opinion *of a *theologian, **not **a Vatican doctrinal statement.

[quote="Kasirpatiesiba, post:10, topic:207692"]
there are circumstances where it can be allowed.

[/quote]

This is not a true statement. Contraception is intrisincally evil.

[quote="Kasirpatiesiba, post:10, topic:207692"]
I might be wrong but i think it also applies to a situation where sex is being demanded by a drunken and violent husband (rape again).

[/quote]

You are most definitely wrong on this.

[quote="Kasirpatiesiba, post:10, topic:207692"]
As there is no love in such an act, there does not need to be fertility either. I am not 100% sure about this last, would need to check where I learned about it. Please, do not dismiss my words here, but check them first with someone who is learned in moral theology.

[/quote]

I am not taking your word for it. I am taking Humanae Vitae and the Catechism's:

Similarly excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation—whether as an end or as a means.

[quote="Kasirpatiesiba, post:10, topic:207692"]
I wish I knew how God perceived the whole thing :)! some brave statements form you here

[/quote]

God has already told us. Contraception is intrinsically evil and a sin against the Sixth Commandment. One need look no further.


#14

1ke, on your response to

Originally Posted by Kasirpatiesiba

there are circumstances where it can be allowed.

This is not a true statement. Contraception is intrisincally evil.

While if it is used for contraception this is true. However, remember that the pill may be used for medical purposes where it is the best option.


#15

to 1ke,

If you read the documents carefully you will notice that they always (tell me if I am wrong) mention marriage as the context. You, however, go outside this context and declare that this law applies to all situations. As of yet you have not convinced me of the truth of your statement. It seems that you are so convinced that you do not want to find out the truth. You might be right, of course, but I have the feeling you are not.
Of course, there is no official doctrine of Vatican about the things I said. Unfortunately, there are many areas where the doctrine has not been clearly formulated yet. It all takes time and lots of work of theologians. Commandments that we have received a very general, Church needs time to find out their application in particular circumstances.


#16

A lot here rests on definitions of the key terms. it is somewhat similar to the issue of abortion. Abortion can not be allowed in any circumstances. However, the pregnant woman has the right to receive a lifesaving treatment even if that causes indirect harm to the embryo. A less knowledgeable person would say that such treatment can cause abort and is thus wrong. In truth though, it would not be an abort, because there was no such intent and the harm was not done to the embryo in order to save the woman (if it was it would have been an abort).
This might not be a perfect example - if anyone has doubts go and check the teaching of the Church or ask me and I will find more precise info :)


#17

[quote="Redratfish, post:14, topic:207692"]

However, remember that the pill may be used for medical purposes where it is the best option.

[/quote]

Taking a hormone dose is not *contraception *if used to treat a legitimate medical condition. It is *contraception *if it is used to purposely sterilize the sexual union.

I reiterate: *contraception *is intrinsically evil.


#18

By your definition npf should not be allowed. It is purposely against procestion


#19

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