Bringing you the "Good News" of Jesus Christ and His Church While PROMOTING CATHOLIC Apologetic Support groups loyal to the Holy Father and Church's magisterium
Home About
AskACatholic.com
What's New? Resources The Church Family Life Mass and
Adoration
Ask A Catholic
Knowledge base
AskACatholic Disclaimer
Search the
AskACatholic Database
Donate and
Support our work
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
New Questions
Cool Catholic Videos
About Saints
Disciplines and Practices
Purgatory and Indulgences
About the Holy Mass
About Mary
Searching and Confused
Homosexual Issues
Life and Family
back
No Salvation Outside the Church
Sacred Scripture
non-Catholic Cults
Justification and Salvation
The Pope and Papacy
The Sacraments
Relationships and Marriage situations
Specific people, organizations and events
Doctrine and Teachings
Specific Practices
Church Internals
Church History

Theresa TryingToBeFaithful wrote:

Hi, guys —

Last night, a friend posted an interesting topic on Face book regarding contraception. I decided to read it, just to affirm what I knew and that's when the questions starting popping up.

I have been married for 15 years to a wonderful man and we have one child. We decided from the very beginning to use NFP Natural Family Planning and have devoutly stuck to this decision since we got married. We do not use any artificial forms of contraception in any way, shape, or form.

That being said, my question is:

  • It is against the Catholic Church to still be romantic with my husband to the point of climax but not have intercourse?

During those times of the month when I am most fertile, we abstain from sexual intercourse but still enjoy being with one another and have intercourse only when I am in my safe zone.

  • Is this a mortal sin?
  • Is it a sin to have this pleasure with my husband, which comes from not having intercourse, but from other sexual (let's be clear — non-deviant!) acts?

Thank you very much for your help!

Theresa

  { Is it morally OK to be romantic and copulate with my husband if I am in my NFP safe zone? }

Paul replied:

Dear Theresa,

Unfortunately you may need to be a little more clear on what these sexual but non-deviant acts are.

Here is one moral principle for spouses to begin with: Ejaculation of the male must occur in the woman's reproductive tract, i.e. the vagina. None other is permitted by the natural law. If your activity leads to his arousal then you must be open to having recourse to sexual intercourse, if it comes to that.

If the goal is to intentionally sexually arouse you without intercourse most theologians would also cite this as unethical. All intentional sexual arousal must be within the context of ending in intercourse. In addition, you must question the prudence of this, since he may easily become aroused by stimulating you.

Having said that, the many pleasures of physical affection may be practiced without intercourse, which is different than intentional sexual stimulation.

Paul

Mike replied:

Hi Theresa,

First, let me applaud you and your husband for going the NFP way and your devout adherence to it.

While the Church and I agree with the first paragraph of Paul’s reply, I would advise his theologians to take a chill pill.

Copulating between a husband and wife serves two purposes:

  1. for babies, and
  2. for bonding between a husband and wife

You guys are doing it the right way and you are to be applauded for that. In my view, when we start micro managing sexual behavior beyond that first paragraph, we go a bit too far. We are human and, unlike our Blessed Mother, are not immaculate : )

You said:
During those times of the month when I am most fertile, we abstain from sexual intercourse but still enjoy being with one another and have intercourse only when I am in my safe zone.

  • Is this a mortal sin?

No, it is not as long as you are open to children, which is one of the foundational pillars of NFP.

You said:

  • Is it a sin to have this pleasure with my husband, which comes from not having intercourse, but from other sexual (let's be clear — non-deviant!) acts?

Probably not, but bring the specific issue up with your Confessor and, if he is faithful to the Church, go with his counsel. That’s what he’s there for.

I hope this helps,

Mike

Theresa replied:

Thanks, Mike!

I'm feeling much better about things a week later. My husband and I have always been open to children and at 42 those chances are getting slimmer and slimmer. NFP is our method of choice and being 42 makes it harder to read the signs of my body as I once did years ago.

I spoke with a priest who told me that to pleasure your spouse without it leading to intercourse is a form of masturbation. I never knew that! I always thought masturbation was a solitary act. It sounds like you take a more chill pill approach : )

Thank you again for your reply! I think this all boils down to me trusting in God that He will lead us in the right direction if we truly submit ourselves to His Will.

God bless,

Theresa

Mike replied:

Hi Theresa,

Your priest is correct. I guess the main point I was trying to get across was as long as you're trying to do your best to:

  • Have an informed Catholic conscience, and
  • Follow the Church’s teachings the best you can

You’re OK.

The only time we will not struggle with purity issues are when we are 6 feet under the ground.
That said, if you fall short, just stop by for a Confession on Saturdays as I do.

Mike

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
© 2012 Panoramic Sites
The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.