Questions on Marriage and Sex

  1. Are condoms acceptable if they will be used for sex with the married partner?
  2. Is it okay for a Christian to support legal gay marriage by the state? (not sacramental marriage by Church)
  3. Is it okay to have sex (without contraceptive) with one’s partner without any intention of procreation? What if either of the two is infertile/barren?
  4. Is it immoral for a woman to go for an abortion if she was raped in the first place?
  5. Is it okay for an abused partner to go for a divorce?
  6. Speaking of divorce… is legal divorce by the state okay? (while the couple still acknowledges that they’re still married in God’s eyes)
  7. How do we know that remarriage is okay after the death of the spouse?
  8. Should prostitution be allowed, because even the Biblical era even had harlots like Delilah?
  9. Should age difference be considered when applying for a marriage?
  10. Is forced marriage moral/immoral?

Good questions, unfortunately the only one that I can answer with certainty is number one. It is never okay for Catholics to use condomns (even in marraige) because it prevents life. If you want to have sex and not get pregnant, there is a thing called natural family planning where you track your period and find out when you would be most fertile

  1. No.

  2. Probably not, though that’s a little complicated IMO.

  3. Yes.

  4. Yes, but plan B may be used in certain circumstances.

  5. Yes, if legally necessary to escape the abuse.

  6. Probably not.

  7. Can’t think of any reason why it wouldn’t be. Can you?

  8. No. Just because it happened doesn’t mean it is right.

  9. At some point? Yeah. Sure. I mean, 50 year old vs. 5 year old? Kinda obvious what the problem is with that. 30 vs. 20, 40 vs.20? Shades of gray. The rules aren’t gray (e.g., both parties should be of age to offer consent, fully aware of what they are committing to), but the application is not crystal clear of course.

  10. Generally, immoral.

Let’s try these:

  1. No. Cf. Paul VI, Humanae Vitae.
  2. No. Cf. CDF Declaration on the problem of homosexuality, 31/10/1986
  3. Yes, and yes. Whether you will it or not, a sexual act is open to procreation, though the intent of the person in this case is questionable. Similarly, in infertility, there is no willful attempt to suppress conception (it’s a natural impediment), so the act is lawful.
  4. Yes. Abortion is always a grave sin. Cf. Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes; Paul IV, Humanae Vitae; Pius XI, Casti Connubii
  5. Yes. A separation is permitted in these cases, though the marriage is still valid and undissolved.
  6. Yes and no. A “quickie” or “no-fault” divorce, or a divorce simply to remarry / fornicate, would be immoral. But in the case of a grave evil, separation can be permitted.
  7. From the words of St. Paul - a woman is bound as long as her husband lives, but is free once he is dead. The marriage vows are “till death do us part.”
  8. No. The depiction of evil in a historical book does not equate to its approval or legitimacy. We do not have child sacrifices either.
  9. Perhaps, on prudential grounds, but that’s not official teaching. Psychological and physical maturity, and instruction in Catholic teaching on marriage, are paramount rather than actual age. That said, the age of consent is fairly low in Canon law (16 or 18, feel free to correct me.)
    10 Immoral. Consent in marriage must be free. A coerced marriage is invalid and can be annulled.

This is my opinion based on my knowledge and understanding of my faith and current developments:
#1) My understanding is that condoms are only permissible to stop the spread of disease as said by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI (in a statement by Pope Benedict XVI made in 2010, he said that using condoms to prevent the spread of HIV) since this is not know if that is your reason, i would say maybe.

#2)Iffy grey area and I’m gonna air on the side of caution and since Marriage in and of itself is Man and Women and so that we don’t get into semantics argument, I’m gonna say, no.

#3)This one I have no idea so I’m gonna say, pass

#4) Yes it is always immoral, The Church teaches that human life is created and begins at the moment of conception; it is viewed as the termination of an unborn life, and therefore, it’s always wrong, sinful, and immoral, the circumstances by which that life was conceived are considered irrelevant. She can always put the baby up for adoption if she does not wish to raise the child.

#5) Yes, Canon law clearly states “A spouse who occasions grave danger of soul or body to the other or to the children, or otherwise makes the common life unduly difficult, provides the other spouse with a reason to leave, either by a decree of the local ordinary [e.g., bishop] or, if there is danger in delay, even on his or her own authority. (CIC 1153)”

#6) This is where we get into semantics, I wanna say yes and no, because if either of you start having feelings for someone else then in essence either/both of you are committing adultery, so again air on the side of caution and go with no.

#7) Yes its ok, it’s in the very vows you take:
Priest: (Name), do you take (name) for your lawful wife/husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do you part?

#8) No, there were murders in the biblical era should they be allowed to?

#9) As long as its two consenting parties and the law doesn’t prohibit the union (incest and such) I don’t see why it would.

#10) IMHO it is immoral, but then let he who is without sin cast the first stone i suppose.

  1. Our LORD Himself said that marriage was a matter of this life only. It does not hold beyond death.

ICXC NIKA

Both cases are OK.

Although it would be wrong to block the procreative potential of the act, there is no need to intend procreation every time. Also, infertility is not a moral issue.

ICXC NIKA

Excellent questions, I will do my best to answer them in the order asked with any suportive information that comes to mind at this early hour.

  1. No, the Vatican’s stance on all forms of contraceptioni, including condoms have been firmly against them since their institution. The very BASIC explanation for this is that God gave us the gift of sexuality for the purpose of precreation within sacramemtal marriage. Sexual intercourse without the possibility of a child or with direct actions taken to prevent pregnancy is immoral.

  2. No, legal marriage is only considered by Catholics as it relates to Sacramental marriage which is almost ALWAYS legal. You can support a subject legally and oppose it spiritually as no distinction is possible when it comes to belief. Gay marriage is simply put- not possible. The institution of marriage predates our Church (thousands of years) and has always been by the command of God between a man and woman. Those are the only candidates for a valid marriage. During the Grammies this past year several dozen gay couples ATTEMPTED marriage under the officiate Queen Latifa I believe…not sure on that…however to use that as a well known example, they are legally married in that state but they are not married in reality as such a marriage is not possible. Therefore to support a state allowing such a thing would be immoral.

  3. I believe I answered the first part of this question already however you mention the case of one or both spouses being infertile- can they still have sexual inercourse. The black and white answer is that if they are both aware that there is no possibility of ever bearing a child then no they should not be having sex. However there are ways to address these instances on a case by case basis and usually involve an experienced priest- which I am not.

4.Abortion due to rape, negative prognosis of the baby, incest, serious deformity are all still abortion and still murder. It is extremely unnatural for any mother to intentionally take the life of her child regardless of how that child was placed in her womb. It would still be very immoral and a grave sin.

  1. The simple answer is yes but there are a great many conditions. What the battered spouse would be looking for ultimately is an annulmemt, which is a ruling by the Church tribunal stating that there is sufficient evidence that there was never a valid marriage to begin with. However a pre-requisite for applications for annulment is…you guessed it, legal divorce. My advice to a battered spouse would be to legally separate and contact a priest for further guidance.

  2. Divorce without an annulment is no sin. So long as the remainder of their lives are celibate and chaste. It is divorce without annulment AND subsequent remarriage that is to live in a state of mortal sin. This will separate the offender from the Body of Christ.

  3. Traditional vows clearly state “Until death do us part” that is to say that marriage is temporary and upon the death of a spouse the other spouse is free to remarry should he/she choose.

  4. Absolutely not! There were murderers, sodomites, drunkards and alduterers around in biblical times as well however these are all immoral and sinful practices not to be encouraged, I could easily ask if you should stab our Lord and Savior in the side with a lance since a biblical figure did.

  5. Officially no. Nothing in our Catechism states that age is a determining factor so long as they are the age of reason or higher in determiningthe validity of a sacraental marriage. However I feel it is important to note that the tribunal takes the age that the spouses were upon attempting marriage when considering an annulment. Now this is to say that a pair of sixteen year olds with parental consent for example COULD legally and sacramentally marry. However should they later realize they were not ready the Tribunal could use their age to support or deny that reasoning. Therefore PERSONALLY I feel that a twenty someyhing year old should not reuest the hand of say a sixteen year old or even an eighteen year old due to lack of maturity. But that is my own opinion. I am 21. If I WERE to marry it would be a woman of the age of 20 or perhaps even older than myself.

  6. Forced or coerced marriage is not marriage at all. It would never be ruled sacramentally valid by a court of canon law nor would it be in the eyes of God or the “spouses”.

Is it okay to have sex with one’s [spouse] without any intention of procreation? What if either of the two is infertile/barren?

We must be open to life. We do not have to have the intention to conceive before each marital act.

Married couples can have relations even if they believe themselves to be infertile, e.g… after menopause or hysterectomy. As noted, marriage partners must be open to life but that is not the only purpose of the marital act.

No, that is not what Pope Benedict said. Even if your spouse has a disease that can be transmitted by having sex, condoms are forbidden. Either refrain from having sex or take the risk.

The comment the Pope Emeritus made 4 years ago was misinterpreted, misreported by many. There is a good article here to explain what he said and meant.

Reminder: Forum rules ask us to stick to ONE topic/question per thread. This one has an unmanageable number of unrelated topics and should be reposted as separate questions.

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