St. Alphonsus Doctor of the Church said that oral stimulation (not oral sex where it does not lead up to procreative sex) is morally wrong


**Can anyone shed light on this argument that because Pope Gregory XVI decreed that the opinions of St. Alphonsus can be safely taught than it is immoral for oral stimulation to take place within the marital act .

Here is what I read about the decree made that is is safe to teach any opinion of St. Alphonsus.

“No ecclesiastical writer has ever received more direct, positive and formal approbation than that accorded by the Holy See to the moral writings of this Doctor of the Church. While still alive, four Popes expressed their admiration of his prudent doctrine. (…) In 1831, Pope Gregory XVI enhanced this approbation when he decreed that professors of theology could safely teach any opinion of St. Alphonsus, and that confessors, without weighting reasons, could safely follow him – simply on the fact that St. Alphonsus said so.

Here is St. Alphonsus opionion on oral stimulation:**

1: On Matrimony, Book VI, n. 491-492

St. Alphonsus considers a question on marital sexual acts:

Latin: An autem sit semper mortale, si vir immittat pudenda in os uxoris?
Translation: “Or whether it is always [a] mortal [sin], if the husband were to insert [his] penis into the mouth of [his] wife?”

Some theologians of that time period (1700’s) claimed that it would be moral, only if there was no danger that the husband would climax (“danger of pollution”). But then the Saint rejects their answer and gives an answer he asserts to be the truth:

Latin: Sed verius affirmant … tum quia in hoc actu ob calorem oris adest proxiumum periculum pollutionis, tum quia haec per se videtur nova species luxuriae contra naturam (dicta ab aliquibus irrumatio)
Translation: “But the truth is in the affirmative [citing several authors] … not only because, in this act, on account of the warmth of the mouth, there is proximate danger of pollution, but also because this [act] is considered [to be], in itself, an abnormal type of pleasure against nature (as has been said of any type of shameful sex).”

So why are their so many different teachings on this subject if this opinion was decreed safe to teach.


Saints, Doctors of the Church, hold varying opinions. As long as those opinions do not contradict the teaching of the Magisterium and established doctrine, they were free to write of such opinions. Not everything that came from their lips is infallible doctrine.


Yes but Pope Gregory XVI decreed that the opinions of St. Alphonsus can be safely taught. Im trying to understands what a decree by the pope means.


“Safely taught” does not mean infallible doctrine. It means that what St Alphonsus taught does not present a danger to your soul.


This is the first time I hear this from St. Alphonsus. If this is so and against the Church’s teachings then it needs to be CLEARLY stated and made known. I’m sure this affects many married couples.


The good Pope was not speaking “ex Cathedra”, so he was expressing a learned opinion. It does not bind the faithful to believe it.


Thank You. This is starting to make sense. My follow up question is what is the difference between “Ex Cathedra” and decrees ? Thanks for your help


That is how I feel so I cant understand why some priests teach it and others dont


It’s a moral question to consider.

I’d avoid it to be safe.


I comprehend the importance of such matters–but, as I have stated since the beginning of my membership on CAF–I’m always uneasy when people discuss the details of “sexual congress” on a site that can be openly frequented by children.

And by children, I mean anyone the same age as my 19 year old daughter or younger. :wink:


Short explanation of Ex Cathedra

Good article about the level of authority for various documents:


One single Saint, even if he is a Doctor, is not the Consensus of the Magisterium.

The Church teaches the consensus of all the Saints interpreted through her Maternal lens. Opinions of individuals, no matter how learned or holy, can be discarded or ignored if they contradict the Magisterium.

In this case they do. A married couple giving each other oral sex as a form of foreplay is a beautiful thing - I would go so far as to even say it’s a holy act. So long as the sexual activity ends with ejaculation into the vagina, it’s permitted.


Ewww :nauseated_face: Suffice to say, I’m not in favor of that kind of stuff and wouldn’t do it. Also Males and Females should read up on the exponential increase of HPV induced Oral Cancer.


It couldn’t possibly be that the Church, an organization managed and administrated by humans on earth, perhaps developed a bit in wisdom and understanding in the centuries since this originally came up, or perhaps that this is the opinion of one individual Saint and not a general Church teaching, now could it?


St. John Paul II made huge headway in terms of our understanding of sexual morality with this Theology of the Body… that being said, you’ll find a long history of saints and Fathers throughout Church history who express a fairly dim view of sex even within marriage. Its a part of our tradition, right or wrong, that we have to deal with when looking at their writings. Sex as a “dirty” but necessary act, for the sole purpose of reproduction, was a fairly popular position for many Catholics for many centuries.
I wouldn’t go so far as to label any act of foreplay as “holy”. Arguably the marital embrace as a whole consummates the sacrament of matrimony and thus could be seen as a holy act, but I would be weary of breaking out the individual moments of that act and declaring them “holy”…


From a practical standpoint, it’s easy to see why. A great deal, perhaps the majority, perhaps even the vast majority, of sexual temptation and desire in society leads to no good. It would be much easier if we could each just flip an “off” switch and set it aside except for conceiving children in the marital relationship. I am also sure many of the saints writing about these things, who were mostly men, had struggled themselves with temptation, and if it was something they had to spend a lot of energy resisting, then yes, to them it was the very devil.


@twf that’s what I meant to convey. Not that oral sex in and of itself is holy, but rather that when it’s a part of the whole marital embrace itself it becomes holy as part of the holy act of a married couple strengthening their bond, showing love for each other, becoming one with each other, and possibly bringing new life into the world.


In HPV-free married couples?


Assuming they’re totally Virgin and never been exposed to anything transmissible. I still feel it’s overly carnal and perhaps demeaning. It’s certainly nothing I would do or expect :neutral_face:


Some believe The Tree of Good and Evil concerned human procreation. God was testing man’s ability to resist temptation through pride and curiosity. The serpent essentially said “Don’t wait for the talk” “Do what you want and decide what you want “. Our parents didn’t have faith in God. It’s been postulated that in time God would have revealed this knowledge to us. However, we said “We’ll figure it out ourselves!” Certainly, much evil is done and much suffering is incurred because we cannot control ourselves. Ideally, I believe we were meant to mate once or twice a year. That would have allowed the population to grow more gradually. It’s definitely something to ponder :thinking:

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