I was baptized and confirmed five years ago in an RCIA program. Since then, my wife and I had two children. Without any research on the Church position, I had a vasectomy. I have no excuses and, quite frankly, no regrets. I am a hardworking, faithful husband, father, and Christian, and just can’t comprehend why God would condemn me for this. Should I leave the Church?
Leaving the Catholic Church would only compound the problem, not solve it; so, no, I don’t recommend that you leave.
Think back to the reasons you decided to become Catholic, to why you decided to accept the Church’s authority in your life in the first place. It should have been because you recognized that Jesus Christ is God, that he founded the Catholic Church, and that in order to be his follower you needed to join and obey the Church that he founded for your salvation. Any lesser reason may have been complementary to that, but was insufficient in and of itself.
Now that you are Catholic, it becomes a matter of self-honesty and honor to recognize that you accepted certain obligations along with baptism and confirmation. Among them is the obligation to obey the Church’s doctrinal and moral precepts. The Church offers these doctrinal and moral precepts simply and solely because they are true. In the case of moral precepts, they are offered because they conform to the dignity and right order of human life.
Think of a car’s owner’s manual and the instructions it gives for keeping your car in good running order. The instruction to maintain the fluid levels is not given to interfere with your right to run your car as you see fit; it is given because, if the car is not well-lubricated, it’s going to break down and stop running. Analogously, moral precepts given by the Church are intended to help human beings live well-ordered lives, both spiritually and bodily. You have the free will to ignore these precepts, but you do so at your own spiritual and bodily peril.
In a very real sense, God does not condemn us for refusing to obey him through his Church; we freely choose to condemn ourselves. Hell is not God’s vengeful punishment on the defiant but rather the natural consequences of our own free choice to cut ourselves off from him, the source of our life and of every good that we have been given.
Not only do vasectomies close off the married couple to new life while still allowing them to indulge in the marital relations intended to transmit new life – thus also cutting themselves off from each other through mutual selfishness – but vasectomies have also proven dangerous to a man’s physical health. For more information on this from a secular perspective, click here.
Having had a vasectomy, the Church does not require you to reverse it. All that would be required is repentance and sacramental confession. Should you become interested in vasectomy reversal, more information can be found from One More Soul.
Finally, please keep in mind that the goal of the Christian life is not niceness but holiness. Holiness for a Catholic consists of faithfully following God through the Catholic Church. Being a good husband, father, and citizen may flow from obeying God through his Church, but it is not a replacement for it.