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Winston Li wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Is the purpose of sex procreation?
  • If so, does that explain why homosexual acts are sinful?

Maybe I have a misconception by seeing these pictures, which I've since removed, in which homosexual matrimony can be held in a church.


  { Is the purpose of sex procreation and if so, does this explain why homosexual acts are sinful? }

Eric replied:

Hi, Winston —

You said:

  • Is the purpose of sex procreation?
  • If so, does that explain why homosexual acts are sinful?

It's not the only purpose but it is an essential purpose.

Marital union has two purposes:

  1. unitive, and
  2. procreative

The unitive purpose is to unite the two spouses in spousal love, to make them one flesh as Scripture puts it. The procreative purpose is to be open to life.

You said:
Maybe I have a misconception by seeing these pictures, which I've since removed, in which homosexual matrimony can be held in a church.

So-called homosexual matrimony occurs in several non-Catholic churches but it is not allowed in the Catholic Church. It is possible that a renegade priest somewhere has pretended to conduct one but this would be extremely illicit on his part. Let me comment on the photos:

  1. This photo is simply a photo of a wedding; there is no indication it is a Catholic wedding.
  2. The minister is not dressed as a Catholic priest.
  3. Arlington Street Church is not the name of a Catholic church, and we don't have women priests.
  4. There is no wedding here, simply someone dressed as a priest showing support for
    gay rights. He could be Episcopalian; their priests sometimes dress the same as ours.
    I think Lutheran ministers also dress this way.


Mike replied:

Hi, Winston —

The questions you have sent us are very basic questions.

  • Do you have access to a Catechism of the Catholic Church?
  • Can you read and understand English?

Speaking for myself, I think if you studied the basics you would understand the balance and common sense of the Church.

You said:

  • Is the purpose of sex procreation?

Look at the way Our Lord physically created a man and physically created a woman.

I think the answer is obvious.

  • Why?

Because a man's body compliments a woman's body. < So the answer is Yes! >

The people in the pictures you sent do not understand the difference between:

being in a life-long commitment where the other spouse is appreciated


being in a relationship, just because you like the way your partner makes you feel.

The Catechism tells us: 2351 Lust is disordered desire for or inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes.

No homosexual marriage would ever be held in a Catholic Church unless it has broken from Rome.

Here is the section of the Catechism on the fecundity (the ability to produce an abundance of offspring) of marriage. It will explain the purpose of sex.

The fecundity of marriage

2366 Fecundity is a gift, an end of marriage, for conjugal love naturally tends to be fruitful. A child does not come from outside as something added on to the mutual love of the spouses, but springs from the very heart of that mutual giving, as its fruit and fulfillment. So the Church, which is "on the side of life," (Familiaris Consortio 30) teaches that "it is necessary that each and every marriage act remain ordered per se to the procreation of human life." (Humanae Vitae 11) "This particular doctrine, expounded on numerous occasions by the Magisterium, is based on the inseparable connection, established by God, which man on his own initiative may not break, between the unitive significance and the procreative significance which are both inherent to the marriage act." (Humanae Vitae 12; cf. Pius XI, encyclical, Casti Connubii)

2367 Called to give life, spouses share in the creative power and fatherhood of God. (cf. Ephesians 3:14; Matthew 23:9) "Married couples should regard it as their proper mission to transmit human life and to educate their children; they should realize that they are thereby cooperating with the love of God the Creator and are, in a certain sense, its interpreters. They will fulfill this duty with a sense of human and Christian responsibility." (Vatican II, Gaudium et spes 50 § 2)

2368 A particular aspect of this responsibility concerns the regulation of procreation. For just reasons, spouses may wish to space the births of their children. It is their duty to make certain that their desire is not motivated by selfishness but is in conformity with the generosity appropriate to responsible parenthood. Moreover, they should conform their behavior to the objective criteria of morality:

When it is a question of harmonizing married love with the responsible transmission of life, the morality of the behavior does not depend on sincere intention and evaluation of motives alone; but it must be determined by objective criteria, criteria drawn from the nature of the person and his acts, criteria that respect the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love; this is possible only if the virtue of married chastity is practiced with sincerity of heart. (Vatican II, Gaudium et spes 51 § 3)

2369 "By safeguarding both these essential aspects, the unitive and the procreative, the conjugal act preserves in its fullness the sense of true mutual love and its orientation toward man's exalted vocation to parenthood." (cf. Humanae Vitae 12)

2370 Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality. (Humanae Vitae 16) These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom. In contrast, "every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible" is intrinsically evil: (Humanae Vitae 14)

Thus the innate language that expresses the total reciprocal self-giving of husband and wife is overlaid, through contraception, by an objectively contradictory language, namely, that of not giving oneself totally to the other. This leads not only to a positive refusal to be open to life but also to a falsification of the inner truth of conjugal love, which is called upon to give itself in personal totality. . . . The difference, both anthropological and moral, between contraception and recourse to the rhythm of the cycle . . . involves in the final analysis two irreconcilable concepts of the human person and of human sexuality. (Familiaris Consortio 32)

2371 "Let all be convinced that human life and the duty of transmitting it are not limited by the horizons of this life only: their true evaluation and full significance can be understood only in reference to man's eternal destiny." (Vatican II, Gaudium et spes 51 § 4)

2372 The state has a responsibility for its citizens' well-being. In this capacity it is legitimate for it to intervene to orient the demography of the population. This can be done by means of objective and respectful information, but certainly not by authoritarian, coercive measures. The state may not legitimately usurp the initiative of spouses, who have the primary responsibility for the procreation and education of their children. (cf. Humanae Vitae 23; Populorum Progressio 37) In this area, it is not authorized to employ means contrary to the moral law.

Hope this helps,


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