Pope Pius XII Question

I am reading Father Joe: The Man Who Saved My Soul by Tony Hendra. This was given to me by a protestant friend who said he enjoyed it. Near the beginning of the book, Tony is talking about a married couple. The husband felt that intercourse was to be as void of pleasure as possible because that was more noble. The husband cited PPXII, paraphrasing that taking pleasure in intercourse, while not a sin, was a weakness.

I would really love to find where (and if) PPXII actually said that. I want to understand the context which that statement was made.

I suspect that the guy I got this book from looks at Catholics as hard-core, fun hating papists. This could be a great opportunity to really offer some clarifications.

I have no idea where that quote came from. It seems unlikely to me, since Pope Pius taught exactly the opposite in one of his most famous addresses:

The same Creator, Who in His bounty and wisdom willed to make use of the work of man and woman, by uniting them in matrimony, for the preservation and propagation of the human race, has also decreed that in this function the parties should experience pleasure and happiness of body and spirit. Husband and wife, therefore, by seeking and enjoying this pleasure do no wrong whatever. They accept what the Creator has destined for them.

Still, here too, the husband and wife ought to know how to keep within the bounds of moderation. As in eating and drinking, they ought not to give themselves over completely to the promptings of their senses, so neither ought they to subject themselves unrestrainedly to their sensual appetite. This, therefore, is the rule to be followed: the use of the natural, generative instinct and function is lawful in the married state only, and in the service of the purposes for which marriage exists.

The seriousness and holiness of the Christian moral law does not permit the unrestrained satisfying of the sexual instinct, nor such seeking merely for pleasure and enjoyment. It does not allow rational man to let himself be so dominated either by the substance or the circumstances of the act.

–Pius XII, Allocution to Midwives, October 29, 1951

So, this chap from the book you mentioned was doing what we on the internet like to call a “sex fail.”

Very nice!

I thought that smelled like a misinterpretation…

Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.