Sterilization while fallen away


#1

How does the RCC deal with a fallen away Catholic that wishes to return to the church but had a tubal ligation in the meantime? I’ve been away for 18 years and I’m past the age limit for tubal reversal but not yet menopausal. I am the mother of four children and had two additional pregnancies that ended in miscarriage so my husband and I were committed to childbearing for many years, until my OB suggested I get a tubal ligation.

Can I confess this sin and reach a state of grace so that I can take communion again some day?


#2

It’s easy!

Repent of your sins, believe in Christ, and receive the Sacrament of Reconcilation.

Welcome back!


#3

If you have a reliable physicians opinion (backed up by what other Doctors say) in regards to being past the age limit for a reversal…now…are they saying you are past the age for a SUCCESSFUL reversal or past the age of this procedure being dangerous to your life?

If its just their opinion that at your age it just may not “take” and your health wouldnt be in jeopardy…you may wanna talk with your priest,as to at least going that full mile to try the procedure thus knowing full well that you have now done all you can…the Church welcomes back ANYONE with simple confession!

God Bless.


#4

I have not approached a doctor for a recommendation personally. The information I’ve gathered in general recommends a maximum age of 37 and I am a few years beyond that. It is not something I would consider having done apart from being a requirement of the church because I am not in optimum health for surgery (obesity) and I have minor children depending on me.

Does the church weigh the risks of surgery for older women who have had a fruitful marriage against the issue of contraception?


#5

And thank you both for the warm welcome and encouragement! It’s tough to ask these questions.


#6

I had a vasectomy which I later regreted. I am the father of three wonderful daughters and really don’t have an overwhelming desire for more children. My regrets came out of different things. Anyway, I did get on track with the church and confessed my sin, and felt a whole lot better about it. In regards to a reversal. First of all, it would require another surgery, much more invasive than the first. It would cost a whole lot more since it it wouldn’t be covered by my health insurance. And lastly, there is no guarantee of a reversal working. The church does not require someone to get a reversal. They understand all of the things I have pointed out. These things are similar to things that you would have to deal with as well. I would suggest going to confession. Nothing more would be required of you.


#7

Of course they take everything into consideration! I highly doubt once you sit down and talk with a priest…and explain your situation…even letting him know about the risk of surgery and your age due to a current weight problem…is gonna keep you away any longer by suggesting you lose weight and have surgery BEFORE he HAPPILY welcomes you back with Confession!

Pray to the Holy Spirit before going to the Priest…and ask the spirit to give you the Grace of a Good Confession AND to recieve a Holy understanding Priest when you go to Confess!

Do these two things and you have ALL BASES covered. :wink:

God Bless!


#8

Question…If she doesn’t need her tubal reversed is she still contracepting in the eyes of the church since she is still of childbearing age? Or is it different now that her intent has changed?


#9

As long as there is repentence thru Confession and options to reverse the procedure have been weighed and/or attempted…the Church does not forbid sexual relations whether a man or woman is NOT able to be open to children because of past medical procedures… I think there are some people here who have personaly dealt with this issue…

To forbid them to have sex would be like forbidding a woman who had a hysterectomy for medical reasons, or 70, 80 or 90 year old couples from engaging in sex because they are past the ability to concieve…and are only doing it to share in each others love.


#10

I really like reading all of your responses. There are so many of us in this situation, some by choice, some not. My husband had a vasectomy without my knowledge. He felt four children was enough and did not want to make me feel guilty or sinful. He knew/knows my strong beliefs in the Church and Her teachings yet he is not Catholic and does not (obviously) agree with these ideas. This is probably a topic for another post but thought it might help to let you know that you are not alone. I talked to my priest and went to confession. He said that confession was all I needed to do. Along with my given pennance At this point I think guilt is the bigger sin because I just can’t get over the guilt I carry for my part in the whole thing. Any way, I was advised that confession is all that is necessary and that you may carry on relations with your spouse. I still pray a lot about this and don’t always feel “forgiven” but at the same time I know I am and that this sin was absolved (spelling??).
Pray, Pray, Pray! Our Mother Mary can be of special help with these issues.


#11

I am definitely in the same situation here. In fact it is causing some difficulty in my marraige right now. While I was away from the RCC I agreed to my husband getting a vasectomy. Now that I’m back I have confessed to having agreed to this procedure. I confessed it because of realizing just how serious the act is, although I’m not sure I had even committed a sin since I did not know that it was considered a mortal sin in the first place. I think I lead the priest to think I knew it was a sin because I confessed it, but in all honesty I did not know there were mortal vs. venial sins and that using birth control was a mortal sin. While away from the RCC I did understand that the Church did not condone this behavior, but truly did not understand the seriousness of it. I’m not so sure I’m held accountable for committing a sin since there was so much confusion at the time about what to believe. I did not feel I had to follow what the RCC believes and did not think the new church I was attending had much to say about it.

Any way, after my confession my priest told me that I need to confess having relations with my husband each time we are together. My husband will not consider a reversal.

My question is this. It seems that the Church does not require everyone who has been through this to confess each time they have relations. Does my situation seem to warrant a need for a continual confession even if I truly in my heart did not know I committed what the Church has deemed a mortal sin? This is putting an awful lot of stress on me since I may not be able some weeks to make it to confession. I am having difficulty knowing I will be guilty of a grave sin until I recieve absolution on Saturday afternoon. Please help. I’m feeling desparate since this is affecting my marraige.

KGM


#12

I do not believe confession after every marital encounter is necessary. It seems to be overkill and leading to scrupulosity. If you have expressed repentance for it and expressed that you would not choose vasectomy now because of it being morally wrong then accept forgiveness and move on. Seek another confessor, confess it one final time and don’t let it be a problem in your marriage ever again.
Now if you feel you need to be doing something in reparation. You should learn NFP and use that as a guideline to manage your marital encounters. I recommend the Billings Method. That way your actions are in line with the church teaching about avoiding fertility.


#13

While I was a “cafeteria Catholic” and pregnant with my son (15 years ago), I became deathly ill and was told to never get pregnant again. Without a single thought as to the gravity of my decision, I had a tubal ligation.

I returned to the fullness of the Church a few years ago and confessed having the tubal. After a lot of discussion my priest said he did not think I should have a reversal (I was 40), and he absolved me of this grave sin. I do not need to confess after every marital act.

I have heard that some priests counsel couples who have gone through sterilization to use NFP as if they were still able to bear children.

The biggest thing is, go to confession. God is loving and forgiving.

Merciful and gracious is the LORD, slow to anger, abounding in kindness. (Psalms 103:8)

'thann


#14

Maybe some of you can help me with this question. One of the reasons you can base an annulment on, is that one of the parties witheld children from the marriage. Therefore can a man with a vasectomy, or a woman with a tubal ever enter into a valid marriage in the Catholic church?


#15

Here’s an interesting tale:

I had 3 children under the age of 3 (had twins first), and was terrified of having more…I was exhausted! My doc kept suggesting sterilization, so since my dh was not Catholic, he had a vasectomy. (Wish the priests would have said something about this in the pulpit.) Funny thing…within months of his vas., because of dh’s work, we began moving…at least every 12-18 months. Plus, my last child rarely slept thru the night for the first 5 years. Then, one sickness or another set in. There was absolutely no time or energy for “marital relations”. Then, you just get used to it. In other words, we’ve been abstaining for 8 years now.

Although I attended Cath. school for 12 years and our family never missed mass, I never really knew my faith. (Catechism? What’s that?) Just recently though, I’ve come to understand the evil of the vasectomy. Also, how can I truly be “Pro-Life” if I, myself, am not open to life because another child would be inconvenient. Even so, I kept my thoughts to myself, never talked to my husb. about it.

Now here’s the truly astonishing part…just last week, totally out of the blue, my dh said something at the dinner table about all the orphaned children of the tsunami, that they may be eligible for adoption next year. Why would he say something like that unless he was ***ALSO ** * thinking of growing our family? How could two people who barely talk to each other come to same off-the-wall, out-of-the-blue conclusion at the same time?

Well, we finally had a nice, long talk, he’s open to a reversal, we’re both terrified at the prospect of having another child at 42 years old, but I know now that we need to leave that up to God. Am I nuts? :eek: :confused: :smiley:


#16

there is no moral requirement to attempt surgical reversal of the procedure, just confess it with your other sins, great time for a general confession, express your contrition and do the penance suggested, you are absolved, end of story. yes, you live with the results but you already know that, and know the mid-life regrets that come when we know we can’t have more children, you pray and get through it, and discern what God is asking you for at this time in your life, and in your marriage. Don’t let well-meaning people lay a burden on you that is not imposed by God or his Church.


#17

[quote=babette_1]Maybe some of you can help me with this question. One of the reasons you can base an annulment on, is that one of the parties witheld children from the marriage. Therefore can a man with a vasectomy, or a woman with a tubal ever enter into a valid marriage in the Catholic church?
[/quote]

if they confess and are contrite, and are absolved, and otherwise able to consent to a valid marriage, and have informed their partner the answer is yes. Being sterile is not a barrier to a valid marriage if the disposition is otherwise open to children (who may still be sent from God by miraculous means, or by adoption or other means). On the other hand, both parties must be capable of performing the marriage act or they cannot enter into marriage.


#18

This is a good example of why I wish I would have had the foundation of strong faith growing up. I was not brought up in any church. I didn’t always make the correct choices. Now with I deeply regret some of my past actions. I only pray that God forgives me and his now happy in the knowledge I have found my way home to Him.


#19

Well, we finally had a nice, long talk, he’s open to a reversal, we’re both terrified at the prospect of having another child at 42 years old, but I know now that we need to leave that up to God. Am I nuts? :eek: :confused: :smiley:

No you are not nut’s, I had a vasectomy after our 3rd child ( I was an secular unbeliever at the time) then several years after my conversion I had it reversed. It had been 10 years since my sterilization and the doctor said I would more than likely stay sterile. After the reversal I was tested and the results were as the doctor predicted. We prayed novena’s to St. Jude and trusted that the Lord would bless us if we remained faithful. We concieved 2 years later and since then we’ve had 5 more! were up to 11 now, we’re both in our mid 40’s and trying like crazy to make it 12! :smiley: There aren’t any words to explain how much I regret that terrrible choice I made 23 years ago, but I am so grateful to the Lord for calling me in out of the darkness and giving me the grace to trust in him and have that choice undone. There were no gaurantees, no insurance or fears about what if it works? Children are God’s greatest blessing, when I die I want there to be 100 of my decendants praying for me God knows I need it! My advice is trust the Lord his plan for you is better than anything you’ll come up with!


#20

[quote=mommy]This is a good example of why I wish I would have had the foundation of strong faith growing up. I was not brought up in any church. I didn’t always make the correct choices. Now with I deeply regret some of my past actions. I only pray that God forgives me and his now happy in the knowledge I have found my way home to Him.
[/quote]

along with many of my generation (early boomer) who grew up CAtholic, but came of age at the height of the sexual revolution, and upheavel and disarray of moral teaching by many “pastors” in the church, I am now feeling a lot of anger toward priests and others - in pre-Cana classes, parenting & family classes, college courses etc.–who lied to us and made it sound like conscience meant doing exactly what you want without suffering the consequences. Those priests and others who lied to young couples about the reality of contraception and the damage it does to marriage and family have a real burden of guilt, at least equal to that we carry for listening to that propaganda.


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