Passionate Kissing Before Marriage


Hi everyone,
I have seen throughout the past two years that I have been very Catholic that making out before marriage is a mortal sin. But a week ago, I talked to a couple of priests locally and around the world and they either said it wasn’t or it isn’t a mortal sin depending on the situation. I would just like to look for guidance on this and look for the definitive answer.


Listen to the priests who know you well. They are much more capable of giving you advice than even the most expert of internet posters.


Plus much of that depends on the people involved, their disposition and their intent of their actions.
That’s something you have to discern for yourself.


I don’t think there is a “definitive answer” because kissing in and of itself is not sinful, so then you have to look at the circumstances surrounding it. Just as drinking wine is not in and of itself sinful, but under certain circumstances it could be.

First you have to ask yourself what your intent is. Are you kissing to show affection, or is it possible that you’re just using your partner as an object for your pleasure without regard to their feelings. Is it possible to make out without arousing other desires? These are all very personal questions.


I would see no ambiguity here.
Passionate kissing is a gateway to sex rather than a display of affection.
It is a sexual act in itself. It places unnecessary strain on the self restraint of both. You wouldn’t dream of kissing parent, sibling etc that way.


Passionate kissing before marriage is a mortal sin and to say it isn’t has been infallibly defined as a heresy. I forget which Pope but he called anyone who taught otherwise anathema.

So those priests are wrong. Pray for them!


Passion is not inherently a sin, and if you truly love someone and are expressing that love through a passionate kiss it is absolutely NOT a sin. This is getting a little ridiculous here that some would feel that way.


Hope resides in desire. Generally, its object is God since it is a theological virtue. (cf. CCC 1812) “Hope is the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness…” (CCC 1817)

“There are three things necessary for the attainment of eternal life: 1) the pardon of our sins, 2) the victory over temptations, and the crown of all graces - 3) a holy death. These three things are accordingly the [particular] objects of our hope.” (St. Alphonsus Liguori, The School of Christian Perfection, ch. 2 Hope)

Any desire that is not directed to perfection is a desire for vainty. And perfection is the term that denotes the particular objects of our hope. In consideration of vanities the Church (Pope Benedict XIV) finds this saying praiseworthy and once indulgenced:

“Let the Holy Cross be my light / Let not the dragon be my guide
Step back Satan / Never tempt me with vain things
What you offer me is evil / You drink the poison yourself.”


It is like playing chicken with your bodies. How smart is it to get your engines revved up when you are unmarried? Save it for marriage. You have a lifetime to make out with your spouse.


The point of making out is to arouse. If not a mortal sin it’s definitely a near occasion of sin.


You should preface that this is your opinion and not any authoratative teaching. It’s not ridiculous at all to say that certain expressions of affection are meant for marriage only.


I very much doubt that a dogma has been defined addressing the specific question of passionate kissing!


Yet it is sinful to deliberately “cross the line” even as a married couple unless you fully intend to consummate the act…which will often not be an option for practicing Catholics if NFP is in the picture. If passionate kissing is always wrong for unmarried couples, then by the same logic it would always be wrong for married couples except as a specific act of foreplay.
That’s not my position… just saying.


My opinion:

Kissing itself isn’t a sin, it’s what occurs as a result of the kissing which can be problematic. If kissing causes an onset of lust which you can’t snap out of, well, that’s a problem from a Catholic morality standpoint. If kissing leads you to either masturbate or have sex before marriage, this is also a problem from a Catholic morality standpoint.

And really, that’s true for anything with your significant other, not just kissing. If hugging your girlfriend is generating a lustful response from you that stays for awhile, then you probably need to stop hugging. If hugging is leading you to other immoral actions, then put the brakes on it. There’s a Scriptural precedent for this; if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off (metaphorically, I’m certain).

I mean, it’s great that you’re attracted to someone, and I wouldn’t say a brief moment of lust is a mortal sin. But dwelling on it, seeking it out, and feeding it? That’s not a good idea if you wish to subscribe to a life of Catholic morality.

Also, consider; there’s some lines you cannot cross back from once you move past them. or at least it’s very difficult to do so. Consider this when deliberating on which actions are appropriate.


why wouldn’t you believe a couple of priests on the issue, but you are willing to consider a definitive answer on an internet forum ?


It is my opinion that it’s completely ridiculous to call passionate kissing before marriage a sin of any kind. Just think logically of true sins like Murder, Rape, Armed Robbery and imagine those perpetrators side by side in the underworld next to 22 year old Jimmy, engaged to his fiancee and would passionately kiss her.


Edward, you are male, you can say yes or no to the level of intimacy in the kissing with your girlfriend.

How do I put this delicately…if your kissing leads to desire for a further level of intimacy, dial it back.

If you or your girlfriend are uncomfortable with that, Dial it back.

Is marriage on the cards for you two yet?


Because it’s never bad to get people’s own opinions on something such as an issue as this. However, it seems to me that this is a completely torn conversation. In my opinion I think it’s preposterous to wait until your married. These days it’s when you’re 26-30. That’s pretty late in your life. Although I do believe there is something to it, if you stop before anything worse happens such as sex it isn’t bad. But my entirety of being a hardcore Catholic I’ve thought it was bad. Hence I came here. I felt there were many educated people on here who could sway me back to what I thought, as I am stubborn. Now I’m just flat out confused😂


No. I’m 16 so I wouldn’t be thinking that far. But thank you for your concern.


No worries. It’s a great question to ask. As we grow and mature, it becomes quite challenging to live in both the secular world while following Jesus.

It’s part of spiritual maturity we all experience. And it can be easy at times and very difficult at other times.
It’s refreshing to read teenagers asking these type of questions and living their faith.


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