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Lanston Pinto wrote:

Hi, guys —

My friend had sex using contraceptives. Now I know that when a person commits an abortion in order to be reconciled with the Church, [he/she] has to:

  • go a bishop for Confession
  • name the unborn child, and
  • assign a saint for that child, etc.

All this is because abortion is murder.

  • Would the same be true about using contraceptives seeing the Church considers both abortion as well as the use of contraceptives as murder?

The problem is many people are against abortion but, at the same time, they think that using contraceptives is all right. My friend has had sex maybe 3-4 times.

  • If this person wishes to repent, what does the Church require her to do?


  { Should they go to a bishop for using contraceptives as they would for having an abortion? }

Paul replied:

Dear Lanston,

A few things to clarify .....

  1. Assisting in any formal way with an abortion is an excommunicable offense that would normally require a bishop's forgiveness, if the person knew of this prescriptive law.
  2. Some diocesan bishops have officially delegated this absolution to parish priests.
    One should call their diocese to find out if this is the case their own diocese.
  3. Contraception, although the matter of mortal sin, does not carry with it an automatic excommunication like abortion does.
  4. There are some oral contraceptive that are abortifacients (they cause an abortion), like the common birth control and the IUD, for example. If one knows this and uses them anyway, that too may fall under #a above.
  5. Naming the unborn child as well as assigning an angel to them is not a requirement.

It seems from what you stated that your friend, if repentant, should simply receive the wonderful Sacrament of Confession by a priest.


Lanston replied:

Hi Paul,

I will definitely tell this to my friend.

Thank you so much.


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