[quote="mommamaree, post:12, topic:311718"]
See, this is one of my questions.
How do I found out if something is sinful or not, if the very nature of the thing in question is explicit?
Here at CAF, people's opinions are shared at the same time as statements from moral theology textbooks (like the kind priests use to give counsel in confession). If the textbook quote says one thing, but posters say that the theologian (Jone, I think) was wrong, and that certain intimate actions during the course of the marital act are morally repugnant and sinful, how do I properly form my conscience?
I cannot do a Google search. (That would turn up some dangerous links)
I cannot talk to another Catholic.
I cannot find a book that clears up the confusion I have (he says things are permissable, she says things are evil)
I am terrified to ask a priest about these matters, because the questions would need to be explicit.
So what in the world can I do?
I have some other serious concerns, too. Questions about anger and pride and lust. My RCIA journey seemed so short and I had no instruction on these kinds of things. Looking back I think my First Confession might have been full of things that did not need to be confessed, because I became hyper-paranoid about sin.
In this area, and for specific information about intimate and Marital relations I would go First to the Catechism. If that did not answer my question directly I would consider looking to
"The Theology of the Body".
teh summary by Chris West that is often quoted in this forum is a good guide to the "Theology of the Body", but it is one lay man's interpretation of a much greater work.
There are many other texts with similar titles also based on the same work by the Holy Father.
The original is a series of lectures given by the late Blessed Pope J.P.II (The Great). He was Pope at the time he gave these lectures, and he gave them in his capacity as the Bishop of Rome. They are about as authoritative a source as one can get without having an ex-cathedral pronouncement on an issue. (I.e. they're not considered infallible, but I would think only an infallible statement by the Magisterium or a subsequent Pope could rule them incorrect).
If He says this / she says that includes books on the Theology of the Body, I would advise you to go straight to the original source.
These are the General Audiences given on Wednesdays by His Holiness from 5 Sept. 1979 until 28 November 1984.
Here's links on EWTN
And here's the index on the Vatican Website (includes other audiences)
In marital intimacy: I believe the general guidline is:
Sodomy is forbidden in the Bible - in many places in both old and new testament.
Other than that Sexual relations must be
Open to Life
Based on mutual Self Giving Love
This means that most forms of intimacy are fine provided you "finish in the right way" (or at least intend to... you cant commit mortal sin by accident)
In particular, it is right and good for a husband to ensure that his wife is able to properly enjoy marital relations, and recieve satisfication from the encounters. It is not an act of Love for a man to habitually "Get himself off" with no thought for his wife's pleasure, which is an integral part of the Gift of Sex.
Of course that works both ways.... but it's a far easier sin for the man to commit than the woman.
When theologans differ in their opinion, and the church has not ruled definitively on an issue, then it *is* an area where your own conscience is a deciding factor on the morality of the issue-: Providing you have a reasonably educated conscience.
For most people a degree in moral theology, or an equivalent amount of study into the subject is far beyond the necessary criteria for "Reasonably Educated"
Don't beat yourself up on these issues.! Love God first of all. (Then Love your Husband, as you have Sworn to Before God. Then Love your Children as their Mother.) Then Love your Neighbour as Yourself.
If you put this as your leading criteria, you will not go far wrong. All the rest of defined morality are guidelines on how to fulfill the First and Second commandment from this list of 2!