contraception in mixed Catholic/non-Catholic marriage

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Andres Ortiz 11 years, 3 months ago.

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    Hello everyone, my username is Simes, and I’m new to the board and pleased to have found my way here <img src=” title=”Smile” /> . I thought I’d kick off with a toughie: if the non-Catholic in a marriage does not share the Catholic position on contraception, and the issue is becoming a source of contention, should the Catholic in good conscience refrain from intimate relations?


    Andres Ortiz

    HI Simes ! Welcome to the About Catholics Forum! <img src=” title=”Very Happy” />

    I don’t think that the question can be answered with a concrete yes or no. I think it would depend on a few things.

    First, if the couple has conflicting opinions about contraception, but both of them have agreed to not use contraception in their own marriage, then I don’t suppose either of them would have to abstain.

    On the other hand, if one spouse would like to use contraception, and the other (the Catholic spouse) does not it probably would be a different situation. First, this type of situtation must be handled prayerfully.

    If the non-Catholic spouse wants the Catholic to take part in using a condom/pill/etc, then I think there is a larger problem than just the issue of contraception (if the non-Catholic is aware that contraception is against the Catholic Church’s teachings). If this was the case, the non-Catholic spouse would be asking the Catholic to go against what his or her church teaches, which is in a way not respecting the beliefs of one’s spouse.

    To use an analogy, a spouse would not ask to take a second honeymoon in Hawaii if he or she knew his or her spouse was deathly afraid of flying. In the same way, a loving spouse would not want to put pressure the other into going against his or her religion. Since married sexual relations without contraception is probably not against the non-Catholic’s religion (I am not aware of any religions that say married couples must use contraception) by not using contraception neither side is violating a religion’s teachings.

    Should the Catholic refrain from relations? If his or her spouse will not have intercourse without using contraception, the violated respect of the Catholic should be dealt with first. I was taught even in secular junior high, that if a person does not respect my wishes regarding sexual intercouse, I am not truly loved even as a human being. Marriage means that we love the other person fully and the act of sex consummates the marriage vows. If full love and respect for the other is not present, it is not meaningful/possible to renew the marriage covenant to Love and Honor.

    Again, both spouses should pray individually AND together about it, and possibly go to a local priest for guidance if more help is needed.


    Andres Ortiz

    Hi simes, welcome to About Catholics! <img src=” title=”Smile” />

    Stephanie, that was great insight into this question. I never would have approached it from that point of view. <img src=” title=”Cool” />

    Back to simes…you are right – that sure is a toughie. I’ll agree with Steph (Berrycat) that there is no concrete answer.

    In one respect I would say that is the non-Catholic was the one using the contraceptive then it’s on their conscience and he or she will have to take it up with God in the end so continue to have sex. But if it is the non-Catholic wanting the Catholic to use contraception then it falls back to what Steph was saying about love and respect.

    This is a great question! <img src=” title=”Smile” />


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