RCIA Sponsor question on Vasectomy


I am the sponsor of a man (39) who has three children (one just born) and he is currently in RCIA. I found out through my wife who is good friends with his wife he is planning on getting a vasectomy. I understand the churches stance on this but how do I address the issue without offending him. I practice NFP and will address it when the topic comes up but I think he is reluctant to bring the topic up because his mind is pretty much made up or so I understand. I am afraid it may be to late to already. I also do not want to “scare him him off” because the RCIA program is a bit week in our parish. Any recommendations on this.

I have all the mp3 from Dr. Janet Smith. Humana Vieta (spl), the CCC and a good understanding of NFP. I feel obligated as his sponsor to make certain he understands the gravity of this and what the Church teaches, or am I stepping out of my lane and getting into the Priest’s business of providing counsel.


As his sponsor you are the first line of defense in his formation. You should give him the information, offer to answer any further questions,offer to help him learn NFP strategies, refer him to a good priest if he needs and offer to pray for/with him. He needs to know the gravity of this choice. Unfortunately it is your job to possibly offend. Any number of Catholic beliefs are offensive to those who do not believe or practice.

Is the wife Catholic?


Well, if he’s in RCIA then he is contemplating joining the church. And, if he is doing so then he needs to fully understand what that means and that what he is contemplating is wrong.

He may not know it’s wrong, but then again he may know and think since he’s not Catholic “yet” he can get “away” with doing it. That is not true. If he knows it is against Catholic teaching, he is only fooling himself-- not God.

I also suggest you get some materials from www.omsoul.com to give him. You can get Janet Smith’s CD, some brochures on NFP and why contraception is wrong, and some specifically on vasectomy.

And, from a secular POV, there is always dontfixit.org that you can direct him to.


You might want to look into purchasing for yourself and perhaps for him Christopher West’s Good News About Sex and Marriage. I be there are a few other things he is not aware about the marital relationship that differ between Protestantism and Catholicism.


Ok, thanks for all the good responses; however, I found out today that he got the V a couple weeks ago. He is still going to RCIA an his wife is also Catholic. He understood the V was wrong but chose to do it anyway…what should I do? inform him he needs to take it to confession obviously and that it is not only a catholic sin but sinfull for anybody. Any other recommendations?

Honestly I have also heard of this type of approach before and find it a bit theologically bankrupt…ie…“I know its wrong but I will confess it later and do it anyway”. Is the person actually sorry for committing the sin or sorry that it is a sin…? (I suppose that is for him and God) I hope I find the right words to express to him. I worry that he may have taken this to the priest before hand and proper guidance may not have been given to keep him from doing this.



Scaring him off is not an issue. He has a decision to make. The Catholic teaching on this is very clear. Doing this is gravely immoral. You as his sponsor should discuss this with him show him the catechism passages and reasons. He must then make the decision to either go through with this or become Catholic. Going through with this clearly states that he is not ready to become Catholic and live a moral Catholic life. This time of the Scrutinies is a perfect time for him to reflect on this and make his decision.

I just read your last post:

If he were in the RCIA process at a parish where I was the director, on the team, his Sponsor or the pastor. Then he would not be received into the Church without additional catechesis and consideration. He has clearly shown that he is not ready to live out the Catholic Faith.


Just for your own sake, you have to be clear with him about all of this, and if he doesn’t seem like he’s willing to follow Catholic teaching, especially with something as serious as voluntary sterilization, you yourself would be lying if you testified before the Church and declared that he is ready to receive the Catholic faith. If he isn’t ready or isn’t willing, you have to make that known.

Maybe try to understand why he went through with the V - hopefully it wasn’t a sheer cop out. There could be lingering issues that you are unaware of. Perhaps you would be able to help him.

Best of luck,


Lets take the worst case, He has not repented…fact is he is already Baptised so Easter will be him receiving communion. If I do not believe he is willing to accept all the church teaches then how will I be able to stand behind him as a witness and vouch for his acceptance into the Church during Easter…especially if the Priest says he is ready? Do I follow the priest or my conscience (which could possibly not be properly/fully formed). I remember when I was going through RCIA, there was still some “issues” I had with every doctrine of the Church but was willing to accept them as truth and say the Creed with honesty. I only later came to a full understanding of the Church and its truth. Even as a young (poorly catechized) Catholic I was considering getting a V but only by the guidance of the Holy Spirit I cancelled my appointment the day prior…and now have a beautiful daughter to thank God for. If my sponsor held me to the level of scrutiny I am holding him to he would have likely not been able to stand behind me either…and that could have possibly turned me away from the truth.

When he asked me to be his sponsor I didn’t realize this would be such a journey of faith for me, thanks be to God he asked me!


But that is one of the serious functions of a Sponsor. To be able to see in their actions what the Candidate or Catechumen cannot see for themselves. The time and place to bring this out is not standing at the foot of the altar at the Easter Vigil! It is now before the Rite of Election or Continuing Conversion. Bring this up with the pastor.


I agree.


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.