I know a vasectomy is a sin.

Before I received greater understanding of the church and knowledge and understanding of Catholic teaching, I had a vasectomy to keep from having further children for financial reasons.

Now I know the evils of my action and constantly worry about the effects this has had on my salvation even after going to confession.

I want to have surgeory to correct it but have been told it is quite expensive.

So, should I be celebate since I cannot have kids with my wife until I can afford to reverse my vasectomy?

*Also I would not mind seeing this thread stray from my question if it is to help someone else so long as I can get some response here.

God Bless


So long as you have confessed this sin (vasectomy) you will not be required to correct it and you do not need to be celibate. I have seen this answer on other threads–sorry I don’t have the time to link–I am sure others will agree and post references. If all else fails, try “Ask an Apologist”. God bless.

After our 5th child my wife wanted a vasectomy and was advised by the Dr to go through with the op. When I was asked I cryed and didn’t want this to happen. However because my wife was a very bad bleeder I thought that this might help her. So I agreed on the grounds I have mentioned I thought that it would allow my wife to spend more time with Jesus if she were in less pain.

The result was such that my wife came to me and told me that Jesus had rebuked her for having it and she told me that I also would be rebuked. I asked her why she was rebuked and she said it was because she only wanted the op so that we could have better sex.!!!
I couldn’t believe it and told her why I aloud the op and I was never rebuked.

So the answer, Jesus judges on the heart and if it is towards His. Remember David who God said had a heart like His own.

God bless


Confession is all that is required. Reversal is not required by the Church. There is no requirement to abstain from relations with your wife.

Be at peace. You have confessed your sin and received absolution.

First, your sin has been absolved. It’s gone. Christ has erased it from existence. Second, from what you describe you didn’t have full knowledge of your action; so you may not have even been in a state of mortal sin, though the action was very grave.

Regret the action, but don’t punish yourself. God loves you. He has forgiven you. Help other men understand why this act is not good. Continue to give yourself completely to your wife without any guilt or reservations. Focus on the children you were blessed with. And if you ever have the financial means for more kids…look at all the kids needing adoption. Maybe the good that can come from your vasectomy is that you’re now available to help an orphan in need of a good father and mother. Pray about that.

God works in mysterious ways. I had the vasectomy done three years ago, knowing that it was against the Church beliefs. My wife completed RCIA (she was a Catholic by baptism only). Her strong faith has helped strengthen my faith, and I understand why the procedure is against the views of the Catholic Church and God. I confessed my sin but still feel uncomfortable with it.

Just a few hours ago, we both attended an adoption meeting and plan on adopting. I feel that this was God’s calling to us to comfort us and to understand that I am forgiven.

He works in mysterious ways…

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i mirror your exact question, but for tubal ligation?

Brother He sure does and how lovely on the mountain is the feet of Him who brings good news (that sets us free) Amen.

God bless

Interesting conversation.
I just found out yesterday that my dad (a cradle Catholic) had a vasectomy many years ago. My impression is that he does not know the grave action or the need to go to confession. I have been unsuccessful so far as to convincing him of the advantages of going to confession (just in general). He has not gone in many years.
Perhaps this is the Lord’s nudge in response to my prayers about this issue.
My plan is to call a Priest.
Then explain to my dad that it is a grave sin, and that I encourage him to go to confession before he receives Holy Eucharist again.
My feeling are awkwardness.
Considering he is my authority figure on earth, and still provides for me financially as I get through school. He is a wonderful Father!
Please pray for me!
“God Love You”

I had a vasectomy last Friday (May 15, 2009) after doing a lot of research on the medical safety of the procedure and after consulting many friends who love the Lord. I’m in the medical field and my close friend, a physician and Catholic, also talked to me about it recently. He had the procedure several years ago and is apparently quite at peace with it. I also consulted other Catholic men and a Protestant minister who also had the procedure performed, and they too were happy with their procedure.

It’s strange, though. I don’t feel the same anymore. I’ve tried very hard to reconcile my decision: that it was for my wife and me (she really didn’t want more children, but I did, so I submitted in part to her wishes), that it would allow us to focus on our two beautiful children, that I am now 45 years old, and that it was just a simple procedure. Rationalization, I now know.

Even though she had been on birth control pills for 11 of our 13 years of marriage, there was the possibility of reversibility; i.e., she could stop at anytime and we could get pregnant. Now, though, I’ve closed the book on that. I’ve made the decision to take something out of me that wasn’t broken. And I’m finding myself thinking of the child that I’ll never have now, instead of focusing on the blessings given to me through the gift of the children I DO have.

Even though I’ve been given scripture quotes supporting both sides of the argument, I can’t help but feel different, as though I killed a part of my life.

I am profoundly sorry for what I’ve done and have actually thought about getting it reversed asap, but I don’t know if I’m acting irrationally or not. Even if I do get it reversed, my wife will not agree to becoming pregnant again. So, I’m stuck. Sorry and stuck.

The first question I’m trying to answer is, “Is it truly a sin?” I know the Church teaches that any kind of contraception, other than NFP, is intentionally trying to prevent a life from forming and is, therefore, a sin. My independent thought, however, is that NFP must too be a sin, as its primary objective is the prevention of pregnancy. Reversibility aside, it too seeks to prevent a new life.

However, my heart is obviously troubled by my decision and I feel great pain (spiritual) at the moment, so now I need to determine if my thoughts are actually my conscience informing me to ask for forgiveness and repent, OR are being planted by the enemy and his desire to see me separated from God.

More than anything, I pray for peace about my action.

Thank you very much for reading my story and for your advice.

Seek a priest and go to confession. It is a sin. I struggle with this all the time, even though I know the Lord has forgiven me. I, too, have thought about reversal, but it is very costly.
Talk to a priest and seek the Divine Mercy of Lord.

God bless.

Natural Family Planning is natural (hence the name) and leaves the possibility of pregnancy open. It does not alter the sex act or frustrate one of its ultimate purposes (the other being union of husband and wife); the infertile condition was created by God.

Vasectomy’s a different kettle of fish.

Exactomundo. There is nothing in the act using NFP that goes against life. Vasectomy, ABC, are all acts against conception. Intercourse after vasectomy isn’t, though, because the act of having a vasectomy is what’s sinful, not the sex thereafter.

Please don’t consider the following to be an attempt to rationalize by me. My response is simply to address your statement that includes the phrase, “There is nothing in the act…” Sin is far more than actions. Thoughts and intentions can be every bit as sinful as any act. Scripture is replete with references to sin of the heart, mind, and body. Jesus our Lord taught us that if we even look at another woman with lust in our hearts, we have committed the sin of adultery. If we even look at a brother in anger, we’ve committed murder. So, to say that there is nothing in the act of NFP that goes against life is not accurate.

NFP has as its INTENT the very same thing that structurally and functionally is accomplished by vasectomy and birth control pills, respectively. NFP is man’s attempt to “guess” at when the right moment for egg release and sperm availability will be reached, then avoid a certain behavior to prevent it. ** It is man’s way of avoiding what God has put into the natural order of things and what He has ordained to occur when Man and Wife come together.**

The Church cannot on the one hand say that, among the virtues of NFP, is its extremely high success rate when practiced as recommended (i.e., it is very successful at preventing pregnancy), then on the other hand say that because it isn’t 100% successful, and by attaching the descriptor “Natural” in the FP moniker, that somehow it isn’t sinful.

Again, I am not saying that I am right. I have sinned and I am seeking forgiveness by confessing my sin to God and seeking His amazing Grace. I am saying, however, that NFP must be likewise sinful because it has its intent the very same thing that will result by my actions: the artificial manipulation of God’s natural order to accomplish Man’s objectives.

I do think that what makes this sin seem so painful is that it is so obviously an act. What it has reminded me of, however, is that the sin of the heart, the sin within each of us that cannot be seen or known by others, is every bit as deadly to the spirit of a person, every bit as dirty and painful. Perhaps at least I will remember this and really try to address my thoughts, my intentions, when I decide to act in the future.

Very sad, confused, and frustrated.

I just wanted to address this part. NFP is also called “periodic abstinence.” It is because it is not forbidden NOT to have sex. Yes, one ought not to deny one’s spouse, but if both spouses are on the same page about the babies, then it shouldn’t matter anyway.

You see, sex = babies. That is fine. If you do not want babies, you do not have sex.

If you don’t mind the babies coming, then you do have sex.

That is why NPF is morally acceptable. You are not interfering with the sexual act; you are simply NOT having sex.

I see things another way than the others that have posted so far. It seems to me that you would be obliged to have the reversal procedure, unless it was physically or financially impossible to do so. When you steal from someone, even though you confess the sin, you are obliged to repay what you have taken. When you calumniate against someone, you are to clear their good name. Confession in these cases is normally not the only thing needed, you are also to make good with that person or situation. Likewise, if one were to voluntarily elect to have a procedure done that would render them sterile, they would be obliged to correct that if it is possible. Part of making a proper confession is a firm purpose of amendment, and if one were to refuse to have the reversal done, do they really want to amend their lives?

You will not be required to remain continent (celibacy means you will not get married) until getting the reversal done as long as you have a firm intention to get the reversal done as soon as possible, such as when you save up the funds for the procedure.

If I am wrong, please point me to an authoritative document with the correct answer.

But through NFP you ARE interfering with the sexual act (actually, the results of the sexual act). You are intentionally attempting to time sexual relations relative to the timing of ovulation. You are saying, “OK, this week we can because you shouldn’t be ovulating, but next week we can’t because you will be ovulating.” That is a striking attempt to avoid the opportunity for life to develop.

NFP is a relatively recent phenomenon in the life of the Church. Prior to our better understanding of human reproduction, NFP was not practiced per se. In fact, Jewish law approached sexual relations between man and wife from a negative perspective: you shouldn’t have sex during or for 7 days after menstruation. After that period of time and after a ritual bath, man and wife were permitted to have sex. Well, it is precisely that period of time when pregnancy is most likely to occur. I.e., in the time of Christ, the law was designed to promote pregnancy, not prevent it, as what happens in NFP.

And, even if you would be “OK” with a resultant pregnancy, all who practice NFP must have the moral honesty of saying that the underlying motivation is to prevent pregnancy. In order to have a cogent argument, we have to admit that. NFP has as its ultimate objective the timing of human behavior to prevent what would have otherwise occurred but for our manipulation of the natural order of things.

Thank you to both Jack and Christian Gump for sharing your stories. People treat sterilization like it’s no big deal. It is. Deep down, we know that. It severs something incredibly personal. The mere descriptions of the procedure causes most men to draw their legs together and guard their private parts in a protective fashion.

Here’s a link I wanted to post for the original poster. The organization is called “One More Soul” and it helps with sterilization reversals. Reversal is NOT neccesary, as others have told you here. But if it is something you want to or feel called to pursue, reveral may be an option.

Thank you so much for your reply. Could you point me to some Scriptural references for this atonement?

Does anyone know how to change my Screen Name? I don’t want my last name up there.
The discussion you are having is severely important, and I am stuggling with issues with a family member right now.