What to do if I disagree that something is a mortal sin?


I am currently in the inquiry session of RCIA. I was baptized Catholic and raised Protestant and feel I have always had a close relationship with God. A Catholic friend of mine began debating with me on some of the differences between the Catholic and Protestant churches. When I began my research to refute his points, I actually found myself understanding the Catholic Church, and I feel very drawn to become Catholic.

Now before you read any further please note that this thread should NOT become a debate about birthcontrol.

Anyway, I am on birth control pills for medical reasons as perscribed by my doctor, and I disagree that birth control is a mortal sin. (I understand that it is not a sin if I’m not having sex) However, I think it is ridiculous that when I am married I would have to be celibate in my marriage if I am to continue with birth control.

I also disagree that IVF is a mortal sin, and if I ever found out I could not have kids I probably would go through with IVF.

I have researched the Catholic teachings and philosophies behind these teachings long and hard and I just can’t come to agree with the church on these issues.

However, where my problem really lies is with my inelligibility to take communion if I were doing these things.

I don’t want to be part of a church where I can’t recieve communion. And I am aware that many Catholics use birth control and still recieve communion, but I think it would be disrespectful to recieve it if the church doesn’t want me to.

I do know that one of the criteria for something to be cosidered mortal sin is that the person must know it is a mortal sin.

So would it not be a mortal sin for me then since I don’t know that it is a sin?
Or is it enough that I know that church considers it a mortal sin?


Often there are things that need such conversion.

Pray and study etc

…as Paul and Pope Benedict note we need a “renewal of ones mind”.


Also note that regarding Contraception for non- contraceptive reasons (such as other female issues) – there can be various things that come into play (such as the potential abortive effect…). I will note though that one ought to contact the Paul VI institute regarding other treatments (we are not allowed to give medical advice or the like…but often there are better treatments for such anyhow…)


I am not Catholic, but I see some issues here. I don’t think (please correct me if I am wrong) that the Catholic Church teaches that the use of birth control pills for other than contraceptive purposes requires sexual abstinence in marriage. As long as the purpose of prescribing the pills is for some other valid medical purpose, you are free to have conjugal relations.

I don’t think that the Catholic Church ever “requires” abstinence in a valid marriage for any purpose (again I wish to be corrected if I am wrong).


The hardline truth is that you don’t need to agree with the Church; you just need to know what the Church teaches. But it is not the disagreeing that is sinful. It is putting your disagreement into action.

So in other words, even if you think the Church’s teachings on birth control and IVF are absurd, you are unlikely to be sinning if you don’t use them and don’t encourage others to do so.

That said, taking medications that are most commonly used for birth control to treat other conditions is not sinful, even if you are married. However you would be wise to look into the root causes of your condition because there are usually better treatments which don’t result in preventing ovulation (or implantation in the case of break-through ovulation.) But that’s a different topic for discussion.


A very good reading from Pope Benedict XVI

(keep reading after the first paragraph --then to the end–though the first paragraph is also very important but simply off subject)



Bookcat has given you some excellent advice. For a Catholic medical perspective about your condition. why not seek out a Catholic OB/GYN and present your case to him? You might also discuss the matter with a priest. I would suggest that you talk with the Chaplain of a Catholic Hospital, or find a Jesuit Priest. Either one would have a greater expertise on the subject than your average Parish Priest.


A very good reading from Pope Benedict XVI

(keep reading after the first paragraph --then to the end–though the first paragraph is also very important but simply off subject)



I believe taking birth control for medical reasons and not to prevent pregnancy is allowed by the Church. However, you could be able to find a different type of medicine for your medical problem. If you want to have a child you would need to. I could not say if you would be committing mortal sin by using birth control to prevent a pregnancy, but I for myself would be very afraid to say to myself that I don’t believe what the Church teaches so I’ll do what I want. Part of what Jesus wants from us is obedience. What better way to show our love, trust, and appreciation for Jesus than by obeying something that may be hard for us to understand.


I am correcting you. I believe you are wrong. If you absolutely must take birth control (and there is no other option out there for you) than I believe you must abstain. But, as another poster has mentioned this is hardly ever the case. Usually the doctor doesn’t know of any better treatment and always resorts to birth control. Doctors will give birth control to girls for acne. How is this necessary??? :confused:


If you found out that the Church teaching says it’s a mortal sin, then you do know it’s a mortal sin. You happen to disagree. Disagreeing doesn’t change the fact. So yes, it is enough that you know that the Church considers it a mortal sin.

At some point down the road when you are married and have to face this decision, hopefully you would have been taking full advantage of the graces of confession and communion, growing in faith and love for Christ, and are willing to open your heart to changing. If you never marry, this will never be an issue. :wink:

Are you brave enough to ask the Holy Spirit to renew your mind to come along with the teachings of the Church?

If there are some home schooling families in your parish, I would suggest you invite yourself over and spend some time with them.


Been there, done that…still doing it! I was hemorraging for a couple years before I asked my priest the same questions. I chose to use an IUD Mirena which releases the hormone progesterone to reduce fibroids and stop my bleeding. I talked with my husband first, we chose to obey the church and stay celebate as we knew that the IUD releasing progesterone causes the uterus to be unable for a concieved child to adhere and feed, thus causing an abortion. I used that IUD for 5 years and had to remove it. I now take Depo Prevera shots, thus the same reaction. It causes the fibroids to stay small to prevent bleeding, but also causes the uterus to become thin and not allowing a fetus to feed.

I know if I convieve a child it will abort, so I obey and stay celebate. It is not easy! I know what will happen and if I don’t obey, I will be commiting a mortal sin.

I am a convert of 7 years, I took a vow when I joined the church to believe all that the church believes and to obey her teachings.

Following Jesus is not always easy, but it will be worth it!


Doctors will give birth control to girls for acne.**

I did not know this and learned about it when I went to Walgreens to pick up a prescription for my daughter. :eek:

Sure enough it was prescribed by a dermatologist. But that didn’t last long.


Thank you for posting.


Yes - wow, Beth! I am floored by your conviction and resolve. Thank you for sharing :hug3:


You have to believe everything the Church teaches. Not believing is actually a mortal sin. Disagreeing is only OK, if disagreeing means not understanding.
But if disagreeing means that you think the Church is wrong => mortal sin.


but i do think the church is wrong. So then what? Should I not join? Is it better to not join at all then to disagree with a few things? There have been many times in the past where the church has been wrong.

I have no intentions of going around and convincing people to agree with me or anything like that. Can I not be Catholic and quietly disagree?

I have prayed about this daily, I have tried to proove myself wrong, but I’ve seen no changes.


I believe that this is correct. When I converted we were asked individually something to the effect, “Do you believe all of the truths that the Holy Catholic Church teaches”? We were counseled before hand to not answer the question affimatively if we did not truly believe, and told to put off our initiation into the faith until we could honestly answer in the affirmative.



Correction: There have been individuals within the Church who have made the wrong decisions. The Church Herself has never been wrong in matters of morality. Never. The Pope when he speaks ex cathedra, is infallible.

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