Mixed Marriages

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I have a Catholic friend who is married to a protestant. His protestant wife will not have sex with him unless he wears a condom. Does he commit a mortal sin by having sex with her ?
good question, remember the 3 things necessary to commit a mortal sin… 1. it must be of grave nature (this could be debated), 2. the person committing the act must be aware of the gravity of the sin, and 3. the person free commits the sin with free will and understand…

If I really felt it was grave in nature and mortal if committed… then i would say there are worse things then no sex… other questions germain to the person are, were her feelings made known to him prior to marriage (possible annulments grounds)? I think time spent with his parish priest would be best here…

This is a complex situation, and charity for the non-catholic is important here as is your responsibility to God and his church and no less “your wedding vows” if given by the catholic church…

good luck and God’s love be your… 👍
Intimacy is an important part of a healthy marriage. If the Protestant spouse knows how the Catholic spouse feels about the issue, then the sin is not on the Catholic spouse (as it is not his will to commit a sin), nor does he have to live a life of abstinance.

This advice (although not infallibly spoken) comes from a priest in whom I have full confidence, and who has a reputation as a holy and orthodox priest.
I have friends and relatives in mixed marriage situations. The Protestants do not see anything wrong with contraception. So they are the one’s who practice it, themselves. Therefore if there is a “sin” involved, it is theirs. Why does this wife force her husband to use it? There are certainly many more birth control options open to her than to a man.

A more interesting question would be “Does the Catholic spouse commit a sin when his/her non catholic partner use birth control?”
P. Mark Petro:
I have a Catholic friend who is married to a protestant. His protestant wife will not have sex with him unless he wears a condom. Does he commit a mortal sin by having sex with her ?
If he contracepts, yes he does sin mortally. (provided he knows its sinful which apparently he does based on the context of your post).

If she contracepts then he does not commit a mortal sin-- so long as he does nothing to contracept and periodically tries to talk to her about it and promote discontinuing contraception.
Mary's Lamb:
Why does this wife force her husband to use it? There are certainly many more birth control options open to her than to a man.
Actually, if I read the Church documents correctly, it makes a moral difference if she is using the contraception and he merely cooperates, versus the husband actually using the contraception.

  1. Holy Church knows well that not infrequently one of the parties is sinned against rather than sinning, when for a grave cause he or she reluctantly allows the perversion of the right order. In such a case, there is no sin, provided that, mindful of the law of charity, he or she does not neglect to seek to dissuade and to deter the partner from sin. Nor are those considered as acting against nature who in the married state use their right in the proper manner although on account of natural reasons either of time or of certain defects, new life cannot be brought forth. For in matrimony as well as in the use of the matrimonial rights there are also secondary ends, such as mutual aid, the cultivating of mutual love, and the quieting of concupiscence which husband and wife are not forbidden to consider so long as they are subordinated to the primary end and so long as the intrinsic nature of the act is preserved.
In other words, if your spouse insists on using contraception, and you try unsuccessfully to dissuade them, you can still experience marital relations without sin.

  1. Special difficulties are presented by cases of cooperation in the sin of a spouse who voluntarily renders the unitive act infecund. In the first place, it is necessary to distinguish cooperation in the proper sense, from violence or unjust imposition on the part of one of the spouses, which the other spouse in fact cannot resist.46, 561).] This cooperation can be licit when the three following conditions are jointly met:
    1. *]when the action of the cooperating spouse is not already illicit in itself;47
      *]when proportionally grave reasons exist for cooperating in the sin of the other spouse;
      *]when one is seeking to help the other spouse to desist from such conduct (patiently, with prayer, charity and dialogue; although not necessarily in that moment, nor on every single occasion).

    1. Furthermore, it is necessary to carefully evaluate the question of cooperation in evil when recourse is made to means which can have an abortifacient effect.48
Marital sex is supposed to have two purposes, one being procreation, and two being bonding. Any time you separate one from the other, it is a mortal sin. This is why artificial contraception is a mortal sin. It takes God’s will out of the equation. Humanae Vitae, it says that:

“Similarly excluded (condemned) is every action which, either in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible”

As stated before, three conditions must be met for a mortal sin to happen:
  1. Grave matter
  2. Full knowledge of the gravity of the matter
  3. Full consent
We know that artificial contraception is of Grave matter. Your friend should know the gravity of the matter. This takes care of the first two requirements. Now, unless your friend’s wife FORCES him to have contraceptive sex with her, he also fulfills the third requirement for a mortal sin. Artificial contraception is of grave matter, he knows that contraception is of grave matter, and he still freely chooses to have sex with her knowing that they will be using an artificial contraceptive.

In my opinion, YES, he is commiting a mortal sin. I would advise him and his wife to look into NFP.
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