what is the Catholic definition of sodomy? if a married man and woman practice artificial birth control, can it be said they are practicing sodomy?

Maybe fornication is the better term for that instance. I think sodomy has to do more with more detailed actions than just plain “relations.”


It would not be fornication because the example refers to a married couple, bolding in jefitzgerald’s quote above mine, bolded for clarification.

Depending on the circumstances, the couple would be committing mortal sin, IF they are aware that it is mortally sinful to use artificial birth control and still choose to use it anyway. Though I understand it is unnatural and thus see your thought process, I do not think the use of artificial birth control could be defined as sodomy.

Even if they are married and having relations I would still call it fornication if they are using birth control for the reason that they are not having relations in a procreative means they are essentially having relations for enjoyment not for the essential purpose of “co-creation” with God.

Actually, in his “Theology of the Body”, Blessed John Paul II called it ‘adultery’, not ‘fornication’. :wink:

Curiously, “sodomy” is not mentioned or defined as a sin in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Yet the Old Testament city of Sodom was destroyed because of the common practice of sodomy (traditionally defined as oral or anal sex between members of the same sex or members of the opposite sex).

Adultery is a subset of fornication in many understandings. Fornication being any illicit sex, adultery being illicit sex in violation of marriage vows.

Sodomy, in Catholicism, is defined as any sexual act not specifically oriented toward the creation of life, namely, oral sex, anal sex, Onanism, and the like. Sodomy is traditionally held to be one of the four sins that “cry out to God for vengeance.”

The use of artificial birth control, as I understand it, does not fall under the category of sodomy, though it is a mortal sin.

Two thoughts:

First, that’s not the way that the CCC classifies it.

Second, in this case, it’s not “illicit sex,” since it’s between spouses. However, JPII considered it adultery because it was not unitive… :wink:

Unspecified sexual immortality is one of a handful of reasons enumerated in the Bible for reasons it was destroyed.

Sodomy is inherently sterile sex acts, using artificial birth control to make it a sterile sexual act could easily be construed as attempted sodomy

The sexual immorality of Sodom is very specific. Read the story again. :wink:

Hmm, let us see, Bible says sex with angels is bad (nephilim) and rape is also bad so raping angels is really bad.

God was planning on obliterating the city before the angels visited, the visit proved just how thoroughly corrupt the city was.

[quote=Ezechiel 16]49 Behold this was the iniquity of Sodom thy sister, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance, and the idleness of her, and of her daughters: and they did not put forth their hand to the needy, and to the poor.

50 And they were lifted up, and committed abominations before me: and I took them away as thou hast seen.

Actually it doesn’t even say sexual immorality just “abominations”. Nothing there indicates inherently sterile sexual acts as a reason, let alone the primary reason it was destroyed. Oh, if you read Ezechiel 16 you’ll see that it is said Jerusalem is worse, also it goes on and on about fornication, prostitution, adultery, but not gay sex. Instead I see Pride, gluttony, greed and sloth.

Your argument is sloppy, D+ at best.

And neither your arguments merit more than D+.

From the Catholic Answers tract on homosexuality:

Throughout history, Jewish and Christian scholars have recognized that one of the chief sins involved in God’s destruction of Sodom was its people’s homosexual behavior. But today, certain homosexual activists promote the idea that the sin of Sodom was merely a lack of hospitality. Although inhospitality is a sin, it is clearly the homosexual behavior of the Sodomites that is singled out for special criticism in the account of their city’s destruction. We must look to Scripture’s own interpretation of the sin of Sodom.

Jude 7 records that Sodom and Gomorrah “acted immorally and indulged in unnatural lust.” Ezekiel says that Sodom committed “abominable things” (Ezek. 16:50), which could refer to homosexual and heterosexual acts of sin. Lot even offered his two virgin daughters in place of his guests, but the men of Sodom rejected the offer, preferring homosexual sex over heterosexual sex (Gen. 19:8–9). Ezekiel does allude to a lack of hospitality in saying that Sodom “did not aid the poor and needy” (Ezek. 16:49). So homosexual acts and a lack of hospitality both contributed to the destruction of Sodom, with the former being the far greater sin, the “abominable thing” that set off God’s wrath.

But the Sodom incident is not the only time the Old Testament deals with homosexuality. An explicit condemnation is found in the book of Leviticus: “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. . . . If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them” (Lev. 18:22, 20:13).

Isn’t the bold part wrong?

**CCC **
1857 For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: "Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent."131

Nowhere does it say they have to know something is mortally sinful in order for a person to commit a mortal sin. They simply have to know that it is a grave matter.

The story in itself isn’t clear at all about what it is, indeed gay sex really isn’t the first thing that comes to mind unless of course you were taught that.

I’d like to point out that Jude 7 reads

7 As Sodom and Gomorrha, and the neighbouring cities, in like manner, having given themselves to fornication, and going after other flesh, were made an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire.

Which is hardly clear that it is just gay sex given fornication≠gay sex.

Honestly, I find that tract incredibly weak as it beats up a strawman. Jude 7 mentions fornication in addition to “other flesh” and Ezekiel mention pride, gluttony, greed and sloth in addition to unspecified “committed abominations”.

When it says “inhospitality” it gives the impression of bad host whereas gay Christians tend to point out that the “inhospitality” included torturing and raping guests which is “slightly” more than being a bad host.

Quoting the story about Sodom doesn’t help us save souls which is what I care about.

Every book in the Bible is dedicated to helping us save souls. Why not the story of Sodom as well? :confused:

You are a Catholic. Do you believe that?

I think you are correct. Thank you for the correction and more precise language.

Quoting Genesis, Romans, Leviticus, etc. is rather ineffective if you want them to actually listen. If you care more about “scoring points” than the salvation of souls then go ahead. The vast majority of gay people have heard it already and most more hear it more times than they care to count. Most have either been hurt or have friends that have been hurt by religious people in the name of God. What is needed is love and compassion so they understand we actually care about them as people, then we have suitable ground for discourse.

I’m really not certain what the distinction is that you are making here. What’s the difference, in your mind, between knowledge of grave matter and knowledge of mortal sin?

In any case, just look a bit further in the CCC. Paragraph 1859 states: “Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God’s law.”

‘Knowledge’, then, refers to “the sinful character of the act.” Therefore, it would seem reasonable to claim that we’re not necessarily talking about knowledge of ‘grave matter’ or of ‘mortal sin’, but rather, simply that the act is sinful. :shrug:

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