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Kris W. wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am in a serious relationship with a guy my age. Just kissing him normally turns me on.

Anyway to make a long story short, we had sex. I am a Catholic, and I think I know what the Church would say: "don't have sex outside of marriage".

I know that God knows about it, since He knows all, but I told Him anyway. I said I didn't want to lie to Him but that I didn't know if I could commit to not doing it again, cause I really want too!

I know about not having sex, as in adultery, but neither of us are with anyone else and have not been married before either.

  • Aside from the "kid" and STDs what do the Biblical scriptures say, about having sex before being married?

Thanks.

Kris

  { What do the Holy Scriptures say about having sex before being married? }

Mike replied:

Dear Kris,

Thanks for the question.

Bear with me while I make a few comments on your question before answering.

I do find it appalling that you refer to the fruit of the conjugal embrace between a man and woman as "the kid". Despite what our cultures says, a child is not a commodity as you are implying, but is brought into this life for a specific purpose and made in the image and likeness of God Himself.

As my colleague Paul said in a similar posting:

Cohabitating with this man would be living in sin, and the Church's authority to authentically interpret the word of God and natural law is an authority given to Her by Christ:

"Whoever hears you hears me." (Luke 10:16)

Marriage is a life-time commitment, just as Jesus' life and death on the Cross for us was a
life-time commitment. This is why Jesus sanctified (blessed) Marriage as a sacrament at the wedding feast in Cana. The specifics of how it was to be implemented have been passed down to us by Oral Tradition. Marriage does have many trails, but too often, married couples take the numerous joys for granted, rather than openingly sharing them with their children and local community and T.V. news stations.

When lived out according to Catholic Christian principles, marriage can bring many, many joys into ones life as reflected in pictures and photos, digital or otherwise, of:

  • school graduations
  • new born children
  • First Communions
  • the numerous weird or humorous events that happen among various family members.
  • etc.

Now to your question:

From the Holy Scriptures:

Jesus from the Gospels.

Marriage and Divorce Matthew 19:1-6

1 Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these sayings, that He departed from Galilee and came to the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. 2 And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them there. 3 The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” 4 And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,' 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? 6 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

Marriage and Divorce - Mark 10:1-8

1 Then He arose from there and came to the region of Judea by the other side of the Jordan. And multitudes gathered to Him again, and as He was accustomed, He taught them again. 2 The Pharisees came and asked Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” testing Him. 3 And He answered and said to them, “What did Moses command you?” 4 They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to dismiss her.” 5 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. 6 But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.' 7 ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, 8 and the two shall become one flesh'; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

From the Old Testament.

Genesis 2:23-24

23 And Adam said:

“This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

From St. Paul.

St. Paul addresses all vocations in 1 Corinthians 7

Because the Church came before the Bible which was canonized in 382 A.D., you should focus on the Oral Traditions of the Church as well. Along with the Scriptures, they make up the two streams of Revelation, one written and the other unwritten but still very important. The Oral Tradition includes everything which has been passed down to us from the twelve Apostles to the Catholic Church today.

These postings may help; I strongly recommend you read them. My colleagues may have some additional advice.

If you are interested, here is what the Catechism says on your issue.

Offenses against the dignity of marriage

2387 The predicament of a man who, desiring to convert to the Gospel, is obliged to repudiate one or more wives with whom he has shared years of conjugal life, is understandable. However polygamy is not in accord with the moral law." [Conjugal] communion is radically contradicted by polygamy; this, in fact, directly negates the plan of God which was revealed from the beginning, because it is contrary to the equal personal dignity of men and women who in matrimony give themselves with a love that is total and therefore unique and exclusive."
The Christian who has previously lived in polygamy has a grave duty in justice to honor the obligations contracted in regard to his former wives and his children.

2388 Incest designates intimate relations between relatives or in-laws within a degree that prohibits marriage between them. St. Paul stigmatizes this especially grave offense: "It is actually reported that there is immorality among you . . . for a man is living with his father's wife. . . . In the name of the Lord Jesus . . . you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh. . . . " Incest corrupts family relationships and marks a regression toward animality.

2389 Connected to incest is any sexual abuse perpetrated by adults on children or adolescents entrusted to their care. The offense is compounded by the scandalous harm done to the physical and moral integrity of the young, who will remain scarred by it all their lives; and the violation of responsibility for their upbringing.

2390 In a so-called free union, a man and a woman refuse to give juridical and public form to a liaison involving sexual intimacy.

The expression "free union" is fallacious: what can "union" mean when the partners make no commitment to one another, each exhibiting a lack of trust in the other, in himself, or in the future?

The expression covers a number of different situations: concubinage, rejection of marriage as such, or inability to make long-term commitments. All these situations offend against the dignity of marriage; they destroy the very idea of the family; they weaken the sense of fidelity. They are contrary to the moral law. The sexual act must take place exclusively within marriage. Outside of marriage it always constitutes a grave sin and excludes one from sacramental communion.

2391 Some today claim a "right to a trial marriage" where there is an intention of getting married later. However firm the purpose of those who engage in premature sexual relations may be, "the fact is that such liaisons can scarcely ensure mutual sincerity and fidelity in a relationship between a man and a woman, nor, especially, can they protect it from inconstancy of desires or whim." Carnal union is morally legitimate only when a definitive community of life between a man and woman has been established. Human love does not tolerate "trial marriages." It demands a total and definitive gift of persons to one another.

IN BRIEF

2392 "Love is the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being" (FC 11).

2393 By creating the human being man and woman, God gives personal dignity equally to the one and the other. Each of them, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity.

2394 Christ is the model of chastity. Every baptized person is called to lead a chaste life, each according to his particular state of life.

2395 Chastity means the integration of sexuality within the person. It includes an apprenticeship in self-mastery.

2396 Among the sins gravely contrary to chastity are masturbation, fornication, pornography, and homosexual practices.

2397 The covenant which spouses have freely entered into entails faithful love. It imposes on them the obligation to keep their marriage indissoluble.

2398 Fecundity is a good, a gift and an end of marriage. By giving life, spouses participate in God's fatherhood.

2399 The regulation of births represents one of the aspects of responsible fatherhood and motherhood. Legitimate intentions on the part of the spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means (for example, direct sterilization or contraception).

2400 Adultery, divorce, polygamy, and free union are grave offenses against the dignity of marriage.

Hope this helps,

Mike

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