Need advice on awkward question


Maybe I'm being scrupulous or beating myself over this a bit, but I'm discerning a call to religious life and I have somewhat of a medical question. I've read that some orders (especially cloistered ones) run you through lots of medical tests, so I don't want to try and join one only to find out I'm ineligible do to some strange technicality. This is where the awkward question comes in...

I was born with something of a "female impotency" (for the lack of a better term - I was never told what the condition was called, either), but I'll leave it at that without going into detail. In other words, I was born without organs needed in marraige. I know this is an impedement to marriage...

In religious life, there's the vows of poverty, chasity and obedience. To me, and this is where I might be beating myself, chasity would be fine if my condition were "normal", but being "impotent", it kind of seems like cheating to take the vow, since I'd be abstaining from something I don't have. So, am I just beating myself, or is there some little know "technicality"?


It's not 'cheating'. It's a medical condition and not your fault. Chastity is more than just abstaining from penetrative sex, it's about purity of thought as well as action and you can be unchaste without having penetrative sex.

Though I cannot know whether you are called to religious life, be careful that you are not just using it as a fallback because of your condition. You could still lead a married life, with someone who is understanding. I heard of a similar story where the woman underwent a surgical procedure so even though she could not conceive children she could still have marital relations.


I would think that as long as it is evident to yourself, the community and the testing psychologist that your condition has nothing to do with your decision to enter religious life there is no problem. It would be like a woman who experienced sexual abuse chosing to enter religious life, as long as that negative experience is not the reason for the decision, there is no problem.

One of the many tests that you have to go through is a very in-depth psychological test so they will discover whether or not you are trying to "default/escape" to religious life.

Prayers for you,


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