The Sacrament of Marriage


#1

I recently got engaged to a woman I love beyond measure. She found out a long time before we met that the lining of her euterus is too thin to support a baby and she can never get pregnant. Does this mean that she and are forbidden from making love or even consummating our marriage? I always believed the Church’s teaching to be that the sole purpose of sex was to bring children into the world and any other use is considered a perversion. Can someone please shed some light on the subject for me? Thanks :slight_smile:

~Jim


#2

Welcome to the boards Jim!

It was not done intentionally by either one of you to prevent birth, so I would say that you are fine - just always be open to life (God works in mysterious ways after all), I have heard plenty of people who had issues and were supposedly unable to have babies, yet got pregnant none the less.


#3

Have faith. Nothing is impossible with God. He may yet bless your future marriage with a child.


#4

The reason you have sex is to renew the covenant you have made with your spouse. This is one aspect of the two becoming one. The life that may or may not result from this is God’s grace.

When you say her Euteren walls are too thin, does that mean she can’t become pregnant, or she can’t remain pregnant, due to the danger of her walls tearing?

Good luck and God Bless,

NotWorthy


#5

You could always do missionary work that way. :wink:

**1654 **Spouses to whom God has not granted children can nevertheless have a conjugal life full of meaning, in both human and Christian terms. Their marriage can radiate a fruitfulness of charity, of hospitality, and of sacrifice.


#6

[quote=Hero Of Time]I recently got engaged to a woman I love beyond measure. She found out a long time before we met that the lining of her euterus is too thin to support a baby and she can never get pregnant. Does this mean that she and are forbidden from making love or even consummating our marriage? I always believed the Church’s teaching to be that the sole purpose of sex was to bring children into the world and any other use is considered a perversion. Can someone please shed some light on the subject for me? Thanks :slight_smile:

~Jim
[/quote]

Your understanding is incorrect. Feel free to consummate your marriage! :wink:
It is only when sex is engaged in and the possibility of reproduction is willfully sought to be eliminated that it becomes a sin. This is a paraphrase from one of the papal encyclicals: Humanae Vitae?

Any activity, either during or in anticipation of the conjugal act, which seeks,as an end or a means, to eliminate the possibility of reproduction is sinful.

You are not engaging in an activity to eliminate the possibility of reproduction - just the cards you were dealt- and therefore are not in violation with respect to SEEKING to avoid the possibility of reproduction. You should, however, always be open to the possibility (you never know no matter what the docs say) of life: if you are not, that would be sinful.


#7

As the parent of an adopted child, pray for God to open your heart to the wonderful gift and vocation of being adoptive parents. There are unique challenges and issues to adoption, but it is a wonderful experience.

It is trully a calling, and it will bring you incredible joy!


#8

[quote=Hero Of Time]I recently got engaged to a woman I love beyond measure. She found out a long time before we met that the lining of her euterus is too thin to support a baby and she can never get pregnant. Does this mean that she and are forbidden from making love or even consummating our marriage? I always believed the Church’s teaching to be that the sole purpose of sex was to bring children into the world and any other use is considered a perversion. Can someone please shed some light on the subject for me? Thanks :)~Jim
[/quote]

Jim,

May I suggest, as the other posters have done, that you broaden the way you think about the matter? You are going to be entering marriage, which is a partnership of the whole of life abundantly blessed by Christ. It is ordered toward the good of the spouses as well as the procreation and education of children according to Catholic doctrine. Both of these goods are part of marriage, but when the second is not available to a couple, the first remains true and holy. (And having been adopted myself, I’'m fond of people who are able to do so.)

Chapter 48 of Gaudium et spes, the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World may be helpful in understanding these points, if you’re inclined to process thoughts by reading.

The rich interpersonal sharing of intimacy in marriage also serves to communicate love between the spouses. That is recognized as a legitimate and holy aspect of married love.

By all means if you’re the reading type, get a copy of Humanae Vitae, or read it on the internet. John Paul II did some wonderful reflection on the Theology of the Body.

But I would encourage you to speak with a priest, deacon or ecclesiastical lay minster about your concern, so that you may set aside any confusion, and approach marriage without qualms or worry.

God bless,


#9

Neither you nor your future spouse will be judged for something that you did not do. God has a plan for all of us - just remain open to life and embrace it.

Shannin


#10

Jim,

Personally, I’d go with the never say ‘never’ when it comes to God. Enter in the the marriage with the proper mindset, remain open to God’s Divine Plan for you two and enjoy.

But your question raises a couple of other points which have been hypothesized on these boards before so I would be interested in seeing how your ‘real’ situation gets answered now by those same posters, compared to their responses based on hypothetical situations.

Two things come to mind:

  1. If by ‘can’t ever get pregnant’ your fiance is saying it would be dangerous for her to do so, but it’s possible she’d conceive -though every conception would end in miscarriage, then I would suppose your responsibilities to each other and the sacrament you are entering into would call for the diligient practice of NFP throughout your marriage, always remaining open to the possibility that God could bless you with a child - and only He knows if it would be carried to full term - but you’d trust in Him to guide you through.

  2. If by ‘can’t ever get pregnant’ your fiance is saying it’s biologically and physically impossible for her to conceive (barren) then I’m wondering if you’d be permitted to marry her at all. Not to send any alarms your way, but there have been other posts mentioned where it has been said the church’s position on a knowing impotent male seeking marriage would not be allowed…neither would it be allowed if he were permanently disabled from the waist down (including reproductive facilities). So that got me wondering about my cousin, who at 19 had to have a full hysterectomy. She’s now in her 30s, never married, as that was her understanding of Catholic teaching and she’s very devout. While your fiance has her reproductive organs, unlike my cousin, but her organs don’t work definitively, then I wonder how her situation would differ from my cousin’s.

What’s interesting here, is had your fiance not known of this condition of hers, and you married, only to find out after the marriage that she had this condition - it wouldn’t even be an issue. Your marriage would be considered valid and you’d still be allowed to have relations, etc. But since she does know, then does that change this situation for you with regard to marrying her in the first place???

One thing is certain, however, you cannot use artificial birth control during the marriage.

I would be most interested to read what others have to say about your situation. Oh, and I’m with Cameron on seeking the advice of your priest on this one rather than relying on anything we have to say…to be certain.


#11

Based on what I’ve heard it would seem that the problem is that this woman’s uterus would not be able to sustain a fertilized embryo. But I don’t pretend to be an expert on such matters.

In any case, impotence has two meanings. One is the inability to have sexual relations. A secondary meaning, usually used more about men than women, is a lack of fertility. The Church is concerned about the first meaning. (Fertility is usually a matter of degree anyways unless the sexual organs have been removed.) As long as the couple are able to have sexual relations they may validly be married assuming no other obstacle(s).

Now if getting pregnant and suffering continuous miscarriages is going to indanger this woman’s life or cause the couple great mental anguish then I would say it would be prudent to use NFP to limit the possible number of pregnancies but as others have said, things change and she may yet be able to conceive and carry a child to term.


#12

[quote=Dan-Man916]As the parent of an adopted child, pray for God to open your heart to the wonderful gift and vocation of being adoptive parents. There are unique challenges and issues to adoption, but it is a wonderful experience.

It is trully a calling, and it will bring you incredible joy!
[/quote]

Oh we fully intend to adopt. I am adopted as well. I shudder to think what my birth mother’s options were. But my question was mainly about the (if I may be so blunt) sex-is-for-procreation-only rule that I was always taught growing up. And does that mean that if my wife (or soon-to-be) is unable to have children, does that mean that we are to be denied that pleasure. But I feel the question has been answered (and quite informatively I might add) by all. I thank all of you, and mods, please feel free to close this thread at your leisure. :slight_smile:


#13

[quote=cameron_lansing]Jim,
Chapter 48 of Gaudium et spes, the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World may be helpful in understanding these points, if you’re inclined to process thoughts by reading.
[/quote]

LOL Yes I am indeed inclined to process thoughts by reading. I have such a short attention span that reading gives me the opportunity to really understand what I’m being “told” as I can go back and re-read a line several times if I need to. So I thank you. :slight_smile:


#14

Jim:

Check out Naked Without Shame of Christopher West on CD or cassettes. It is the pope’s explaination of the Theology of the Body. There are no words to describe the beauty and the depth of this gift.

It has expanded my understanding of the marital sacrament by a hundred fold. I know you will love it.

in Christ.


#15

Jim,
Take it from me…I wasn’t supposed to be able to have kids according to my dr. 4 kids later, I think either I experienced a miracle or my Dr was full of you know what. In either case, sexual relations with a wife is not perverted or bad if no children result. Marital relations are recognized for 2 purposes; for reproductive reasons and to fulfil the covenant you make when you receive Holy Matrimony. Don’t worry…with God all things ARE possible, just look at me…


#16

[quote=Hero Of Time]I recently got engaged to a woman I love beyond measure. She found out a long time before we met that the lining of her euterus is too thin to support a baby and she can never get pregnant. Does this mean that she and are forbidden from making love or even consummating our marriage? I always believed the Church’s teaching to be that the sole purpose of sex was to bring children into the world and any other use is considered a perversion. Can someone please shed some light on the subject for me? Thanks :slight_smile:

~Jim
[/quote]

As I understand it, the Church would have you sign a form acknowledging that you understand fully, that your future wife can’t have children. The point of this being, you couldn’t use this condition later down the road to try and annull the marriage.

After you’re married, marital relations are not forbidden.


#17

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