the pull out method?

If there is semen in pre-ejaculation than isn’t the pull out method still geared towards life?

Not if the purpose is to avoid conception. It is about the intent.

I always think people look at these issues like they want instructions about everything. I think you need to come to terms with the philosophy of the Church with regard to sexual intercourse in order to form your opinion about matters like this (properly termed withdrawal I think). You might find this a useful place to start:

The church’s teaching is that we should never render sex sterile…well iff there is semen in pre-ejaculatory fluids than how is the withdrawal method rendering sex sterile? I read in a good catholic book that for sex to be unitive and procreative there has to be at-least partial vaginal intercourse and partial semination…

How many time has the church condemned things and than later on accepted it?

If there’s still a good possibility of conception, what’s the point of doing it?


The Church does not rule something immoral unless it IS immoral. Certain things that have changed over the centuries (priestly celibacy, language for the Mass, meat on Fridays) are disciplines that do not fall under the category of morality.

If, in your example, a couple employed that “technique” with the intent of contracepting or of using the sex act as something other than what it is meant to be, then the act is immoral. If, on the other hand, an error occurs that caused a climax to occur outside of its normal place, there is no intent to change the nature of the sex act and thus there is no sin.


Agreed. It reminds me of my days teaching in a Catholic school, when we’d go over the uniform and behavior codes. There were constant questions from some kids asking “What about this?” “What about that?” “What if I wear such-and-such?” and so on.

We always told them to stop trying to figure out what you can get away with and think about the reason behind the rules.


If there’s still a good possibility of conception, what’s the point of doing it?


Becasue it lessens the possibilty. I’m not trying to figure out “what i can get away with” I’m trying to figure out if pre-ejaculatory fluids are an acceptable form of partial semenation. I still wouldn’t use this method during my fertile time if i was trying to not get pregnant but it seems it might be beneficial to use during the pre-ovulatory phase to try and lessen the possibilty of pregnancy even further.

Not exactly. Church teaching is that each act of intercourse must be ordered per se to procreation and unity of the spouses.

This is not correct.

For intercourse to be properly ordered, ordered per se to procreation, it must be a completed act of vaginal intercourse. This means the man must ejaculate inside the woman.

When it is a doctrinal matter of faith or morals, never.

I’m thinking it is wrong, but I’d ask a priest. No fun for the guy though.

No. This is the sin of Onan and has been condemned by the Church since the beginning. It is a grave sin against the sixth commandment.

The book i read had an (name removed by moderator)rimature and said there needs to be AT LEAST partial vaginal intercourse and partial semenation ( inside the wifes vagina ofcourse).

Making your husband do that doesn’t sound very unitive to me. Even if he agrees initially, I’m sure he’d rather not comply when push comes to shove (pardon the pun :o). I agree with the poster who talked about the intent of the action.

What is a mortal sin and what is not - that is not for me to decide.

It does not appear to be unitive, and as such I doubt it is psychologically healthy for your relationship. Likewise I highly suspect there is is bio-chemical things going on that are important even when pregnancy does not happen - the unitive aspect might be bio-chemical as well as psychological.

From Humanae Vitae (14):

Similarly excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation—whether as an end or as a means.

The act you ask about is an action, at the moment of intercourse, specifically intended to prevent procreation.

From Casti Connubii (55):

  1. Small wonder, therefore, if Holy Writ bears witness that the Divine Majesty regards with greatest detestation this horrible crime and at times has punished it with death. As St. Augustine notes, “Intercourse even with one’s legitimate wife is unlawful and wicked where the conception of the offspring is prevented. Onan, the son of Juda, did this and the Lord killed him for it.”

In Casti Connubii, Pius XI quotes Augustine specifically on the sin of Onan-- withdrawing before ejaculation.

Casti Connubii (56):

any use whatsoever of matrimony exercised in such a way that the act is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of nature, and those who indulge in such are branded with the guilt of a grave sin.

This has been an interesting thread to read and I may say the OP has provided a creative proposition-it would fit well in Midrash.

What really caught my attention though has been the arguments in response. It would seem that most of them would also invalidate the use of NFP.

It is quite clear that the “intent” of folks using NFP is to avoid pregnancy. In the case of NFP it has been said that in spite of this intent, being open to the possibiobility of life, even if the probability of it occurring has been reduced, make NFP acceptable for a Catholic.

If “openness to life” instead of intent is acceptable, even in the case of reduced probability of procreation, then it would appear that withdrawal following the release of pre-ejaculate would have as strong a claim to validity as NFP. Much like the use of a punctured prophylatic for sample collection is also justified on this basis.

Likewise the two quotes above would seem to contradict the “just openness to life is acceptable” argument and insist that intercourse carry with it the intent to procreate-this would also appear to invalidate the use of NFP given the lack of intent to procreate.

I’m curious as to other arguments that could be used to validate NFP without also inadvertantly validating the withdrawal method mentioned above.

If the Church’s teaching regarding contraception were based on “openness to life” or “probability of procreation” you would indeed have a point.

But neither of those things are the basis of, or the content of, Church teaching. Many people do express these ideas when trying to explain Church teaching, but it’s not Church teaching.

Church teaching is that each act of intercourse must be ordered *per se *to procreation. This means that the act of intercourse must be ordered by its nature to procreation, not by its result.

Those who use natural family planning as information leading them to make choices about wehther to engage in or abstain from intercourse in no way alter an act of intercourse. If they choose to engage in intercourse, it is by its nature ordered to procreation-- complete, vaginal intercourse. If they choose to abstain, there is no intercourse.

No, not the intent to procreate. The act must be ordered to procreation by its nature. A completed act of vaginal intercourse unaltered by any action of the couple is per se ordered to procreation.

OK, that position would be consistent regarding NFP and not justifying withdrawal, but it would also appear to invalidate sample collection using a punctured prophylactic since there is a “hindrance”. Is that a fair understanding of the teaching?

Punctured condoms do not hinder the completion of the act nor ejaculate from reaching its intended destination.

I’m not sure where you are getting “hindrance” as a criteria? Or how a perforated condom hinders the act being ordered per se to procreation?

Its all about intent of the action.