Rape Within Marriage?


#1

Is rape within marriage okay? I'm thinking it's not, but does anyone have any quotes from Church Fathers or something on the matter? The older the quote the better in this case.


#2

Short answer: no, marital rape is not okay; it is immoral. If your spouse isn't "in the mood," you can't force him or her.

As for Church Fathers, will Tobit do?

And after they had supped, they brought in the young man to her. And Tobias remembering the angel's word, took out of his bag part of the liver, and laid it upon burning coals. Then the angel Raphael took the devil, and bound him in the desert of upper Egypt. Then Tobias exhorted the virgin, and said to her: Sara, arise, and let us pray to God today, and tomorrow, and the next day: because for these three nights we are joined to God: and when the third night is over, we will be in our own wedlock. For we are the children of saints, and we must not be joined together like heathens that know not God.

So they both arose, and prayed earnestly both together that health might be given them, And Tobias said: Lord God of our father, may the heavens and the earth, and the sea, and the fountains, and the rivers, and all thy creatures that are in them, bless thee. Thou madest Adam of the slime of the earth, and gavest him Eve for a helper. And now, Lord, thou knowest, that not for fleshly lust do I take my sister to wife, but only for the love of posterity, in which thy name may be blessed for ever and ever. Sara also said: Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us, and let us grow old both together in health.

Tobit 8:1-10 (note that "sister" was used in a general sense, not literally; Tobit and Sara were not siblings).

The Didache condemns rape in Chapter 5, but it doesn't actually specify that it includes marital rape. But the same sentence also condemns adultery, lust, and fornication, so I'd have to say that "marital rape" is necessarily included in "rape".


#3

I'm shocked that anyone could even ask this question. Of course it's wrong!!! My gosh. Catholics are not monsters.

~Liza


#4

1 Corinthians 7:3-6

3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

Based on this many would say calling it "rape" is wrong since in a marriage a husband has given his conjugal rights to his wife and a wife has given her conjugal rights to her husband.

Instead many would say it should be called "spousal sexual abuse" or something to that end and would actually consider it an even greater sin than rape, since the sacred trust that a husband and wife have in marriage has been breached. The last person on Earth you should have to worry about harming you should be your husband or wife.


#5

[quote="UnusVeritas, post:1, topic:277979"]
Is rape within marriage okay? I'm thinking it's not, but does anyone have any quotes from Church Fathers or something on the matter? The older the quote the better in this case.

[/quote]

How about this quote from Jesus himself, quoting "The Law"..."you shall love your neighbor as yourself." Even if one discounts the idea of the spouses being of "one flesh"...Love your neighbor as yourself, and Do unto others as you would have them do unto you kicks in.

How does rape qualify as something that any God fearing person wants done to them? Therefore, if I do not wish to be raped...I may not rape....in any circumstance...

Peace
James


#6

[quote="Nate13, post:4, topic:277979"]
1 Corinthians 7:3-6

Based on this many would say calling it "rape" is wrong since in a marriage a husband has given his conjugal rights to his wife and a wife has given her conjugal rights to her husband.

Instead many would say it should be called "spousal sexual abuse" or something to that end and would actually consider it an even greater sin than rape, since the sacred trust that a husband and wife have in marriage has been breached. The last person on Earth you should have to worry about harming you should be your husband or wife.

[/quote]

While I agree with you that it includes the violition of that trust, rape is rape and I strongly believe that marital rape is the correct term. The term you suggest would just dilute the sin/crime.


#7

About 1 Cor 7, it can't be read to allow rape (intercourse without consent) because even while the wife's body belongs to the husband, the husband's body belongs to the wife such that neither may demand unilaterally of the other without sinning.

Nate is right, though, it would not only be marital rape but also sexual abuse because of the relationship and the mutual ownership of one another's well-being. Such an act would be a deep offense against charity and against the spousal committment to one another's care.


#8

[quote="lizaanne, post:3, topic:277979"]
I'm shocked that anyone could even ask this question. Of course it's wrong!!! My gosh. Catholics are not monsters.

~Liza

[/quote]

Agreed, but I think this question might be being posed as part of a class assignment or some such given the OP asked for older sources "in this case".

I might be wrong, but that's the vibe I'm getting.

[quote="Nate13, post:4, topic:277979"]
1 Corinthians 7:3-6

Based on this many would say calling it "rape" is wrong since in a marriage a husband has given his conjugal rights to his wife and a wife has given her conjugal rights to her husband.

Instead many would say it should be called "spousal sexual abuse" or something to that end and would actually consider it an even greater sin than rape, since the sacred trust that a husband and wife have in marriage has been breached. The last person on Earth you should have to worry about harming you should be your husband or wife.

[/quote]

Agreed. Just because spouses give each other right to sexual access doesn't mean either person has the right to take it.

Luna


#9

[quote="JRKH, post:5, topic:277979"]
How about this quote from Jesus himself, quoting "The Law"..."you shall love your neighbor as yourself." Even if one discounts the idea of the spouses being of "one flesh"...Love your neighbor as yourself, and Do unto others as you would have them do unto you kicks in.

How does rape qualify as something that any God fearing person wants done to them? Therefore, if I do not wish to be raped...I may not rape....in any circumstance...

Peace
James

[/quote]

:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:


#10

NO, NO, NO, NO, NO.

Oh, and - no.

Please tell us you are doing an assignment…

Doesn’t unitive include consent?


#11

[quote="severus68, post:6, topic:277979"]

While I agree with you that it includes the violition of that trust,** rape is rape and I strongly believe that marital rape is the correct term. The term you suggest would just dilute the sin/crime.**
[/quote]


Yes -- I agree. It is unjust to the victim/wife -- to downplay the gravity of the atrocious violation. Rape is rape.

Here is an article -- concerning the work of a priest -- Fr. Paul Staes. He is endorsing the criminalization of "marital rape" -- for the protection of women in Singapore.

catholicnews.sg/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3114:marital-rape-g&catid=172:online-letters&Itemid=113


#12

[quote="Nate13, post:4, topic:277979"]
1 Corinthians 7:3-6

Based on this many would say calling it "rape" is wrong since in a marriage a husband has given his conjugal rights to his wife and a wife has given her conjugal rights to her husband.

Instead many would say it should be called "spousal sexual abuse" or something to that end and would actually consider it an even greater sin than rape, since the sacred trust that a husband and wife have in marriage has been breached. The last person on Earth you should have to worry about harming you should be your husband or wife.

[/quote]

:thumbsup:

And the use of other terms for such violence in marriage is not a downgrading of the sin but a can be argued to be taking it up in seriousness.

In a similar way --we call in moral theology the sin of two unmarried persons "fornication" where as we would not call a husband having sexual relations with a woman who is not his wife "fornication". Rather we use the worse reference "adultery". For he can no longer commit the sin of "fornication" for he is now married. His evil is much worse --it is an evil that involves injustice too to his wife --it is not fornication it is adultery.


#13

[quote="Bookcat, post:12, topic:277979"]
:thumbsup:

And the use of other terms for such violence in marriage is not a downgrading of the sin but a can be argued to be taking it up in seriousness.

In a similar way --we call in moral theology the sin of two unmarried persons "fornication" where as we would not call a husband having sexual relations with a woman who is not his wife "fornication". Rather we use the worse reference "adultery". For he can no longer commit the sin of "fornication" for he is now married. His evil is much worse --it is an evil that involves injustice too to his wife --it is not fornication it is adultery.

[/quote]


Forcing sex on a spouse ---IS Rape.


#14

[quote="Walking_Home, post:13, topic:277979"]

Forcing sex on a spouse ---IS Rape.

[/quote]

Rape - Forcing someone to have sex without their consent.

The reason that term cannot be so readily applied within marriage technically is because of what was quoted above. In marriage spouses have exchanged conjugal rights (1 Cor 7:3). In other words they have given assent to give their bodies freely to each other as long as they are married. Thus what you have is a bond of trust based in love.

What is being breached when a husband forces himself on his wife or a wife forces herself on her husband is what is found in 1 Cor 7:4:

4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.

If a husband is forcing himself on his wife he is not yielding his body to his wife. He is breaking the trust and love inherent to his marriage and going against the vows he said on his wedding day. You might go as far as saying he is breaking the covenant of his marriage.

For the purposes of secular law, it is rape. There is no reason to distinguish a difference there as the punishment should be the same either way.


#15

Consent may be considered the default position in marriage. That's why it's perfectly OK for me to "harrass" my wife and make advances on her even if she's not in the mood, and to touch her in ways completely inappropriate outside of this default consent.

However, consent may be withdrawn. Keep in mind that the Church even provides explicit examples of when it is acceptable to withhold sex from a spouse (eg unfaithfulness). So consent may be the default position, but not the perpetual position. Once consent is withdrawn, I believe that forced sex is then properly called rape. Rape is the appropriate legal term in most developed countries now, even with regard to married couples. There is no reason to call it something different, and no official advice from the Church to do so.


#16

Rape is never okay. However, I do not think you should be holding back sex from your spouse for no reason. Obviously if there is a reason, that's one thing, but just saying no to say no is not right. When you get married you are giving yourself to that other person. Sex is necessary in a healthy marriage. If you are going to get married, then expect yourself to participate in sex with your spouse. But I guess if the couple both want to stop having sex, that's their business, but you shouldn't keep it from your partner for no reason.


#17

The wife did not consent to being forced into sex. That is certainly not Christian marriage vows are about. So it is rape as well as breaking a sppecial trust.

So since civil/secular law should not make any distinction, it would be rape in criminal law as you yourself agree.


#18

[quote="PumpkinSeed, post:16, topic:277979"]
Rape is never okay. However, I do not think you should be holding back sex from your spouse for no reason. Obviously if there is a reason, that's one thing, but just saying no to say no is not right. When you get married you are giving yourself to that other person. Sex is necessary in a healthy marriage. If you are going to get married, then expect yourself to participate in sex with your spouse. But I guess if the couple both want to stop having sex, that's their business, but you shouldn't keep it from your partner for no reason.

[/quote]

That is not really the issue being discussed. However, whether or not a wife is 'unreasonably' refusing sex, it is rape if the husband forces her.


#19

According to the true common sense, I mean without ideologie (philosophical approaches) and without heresies (religious approaches), within a marriage the concept of rape is a criminal qualification and a moral qualification that has to be recognized by the society (justice, police, other religions, political system). It is an element of the degree of the civilisation.

This behavior is very very wrong, unfair, uncharitable, awful..... It is a scandalous action. The rape destroys the victim spouse, the marriage, the children, the family, the friends, all the society.

In the couple, rape is going against the natural and sacremental contract: it is a natural crime and a behavior against the sacrement ( Sacrilege).

Actually, it is a scandalous action, it is monstruous.

I know in the past, some society, some religions, some laws didn't give a criminal qualification. Why??? Machism, Sexism, Masculinism, Clanism, false notion of egality between wife and husband, wrong point of view on conjugal act.... behind there is Satan, the Evil.

See The Catechism of catholic Church


#20

[quote="underacloud, post:15, topic:277979"]
Consent may be considered the default position in marriage. That's why it's perfectly OK for me to "harass" my wife and make advances on her even if she's not in the mood, and to touch her in ways completely inappropriate outside of this default consent.

[/quote]

On the whole I disagree with this because, as written I believe if gives a false impression of what is appropriate.
I DO agree that in marriage "consent" should be considered the "default position. This is because each partner should feel comfortable in making advances and that those advances will be received with Love.
But the above only applies as an initial assumption. It does not extend to "harassment" even if your partner is not "in the mood". The minute it is apparent that there is some problem, another "default position" MUST kick in.

The default position that is always in play - -
That is to Love your spouse as yourself.

Then, instead of making sexual advances, you back off, you talk, you console, you hold her without sexual expectation etc.

If you do this, then you may well find that she is more easily and more often "in the mood" because she will find you to be the "sexiest man in the world".

However, consent may be withdrawn. Keep in mind that the Church even provides explicit examples of when it is acceptable to withhold sex from a spouse (eg unfaithfulness). So consent may be the default position, but not the perpetual position. Once consent is withdrawn, I believe that forced sex is then properly called rape. Rape is the appropriate legal term in most developed countries now, even with regard to married couples. There is no reason to call it something different, and no official advice from the Church to do so.

I agree entirely with what you say here. We seem to differ somewhat in what might constitute the withdrawal of consent.

Peace
James


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