It’s small wonder people get confused though. I grew up in a very Catholic family. In fact, I think my parents were a little un-worldly and didn’t even contemplate that I might be hearing things about sex from the age of 10 or 11.
By 12, I thought I knew it all. I knew what to do and I also knew all about oral sex! I had absolutely no idea it was wrong outside marriage…because nobody ever thought to tell me!
By 16, I knew it was ‘officially wrong’ but that ‘realistically’ everyone was at it!!! (or rather, some people were bragging about it and the media liked to pretend everyone was at it!)
By 18, I knew that sexual intercourse was not permitted outside marriage. My understanding was that it was morally woring to risk creating a new life outside the stability of marriage and that this was the Church’s way of protecting the concept of family life and moral certainty.
Fortunatley (thank you, strict parents) I had already made a choice to wait until marriage, but discovering all sexual contact outside marriage was wrong was a pretty huge shock to me - because I only realised in my mid-30s :eek: I guess I just didn’t have the kind of parents who discussed things in such detail (they refered to sex as ‘intercourse’ and that meant penetrative sex)
This is in spite of attending Mass every Sunday and striving to lead a good Catholic life. If you don’t know something is a sin - you don’t know. If you make the effort to ask, because someone has suggested it might be, you ought to be treated with sensitivity and compassion - not a stern moral lecture.
There are a few areas of my fait that I worry about, question and find difficult to accept, but I would still call myself a Catholic.