Catholic convert while dating a married man
Our two previously-cited authors disagree with this sentiment.Grisez poses the quandary thus: People with a legalistic mentality sometimes suppose there is an easy out for Catholic couples who accept the Church's teaching on contraception, yet want no more children and do not wish to abstain during the fertile period: let one spouse be sterilized and that spouse (or both) confess the sin; then the couple can engage in intercourse whenever they please without worrying about pregnancy or feeling guilty about contraception.Thus, the intention of choosing sterilization is contraceptive, and the sterilizing act is at best a bad means to a good ulterior end.Moreover, because sterilization involved bodily mutilation and is usually irreversible, it is, other things being equal, more seriously wrong than other methods of contraception.1 One here recalls the unfortunate circumstance of our era in which methods that actually kill an already conceived and developing child are cavalierly dismissed as "just another kind of birth control." Certainly, abortifacient means are more sinful than any contraception, including sterilization, because the former extinguishes a life now begun, while the latter prevents a life from being started.The trouble with this supposed solution is that a sin is not simply a technical violation which can be repaired by going to confession.
A Catholic couple in which one or both intentionally chose sterilization, so the argument goes, merely confess the sin of sterilization to the priest in the context of the Sacrament of Penance.The supernatural rewards of the Sacrament of Penance and of the consequent eating and drinking of the Body and Blood of the Risen Lord Jesus Christ are vast and unlimited; they cannot be denied or circumscribed.The Sacraments, when received in the state of grace (that is, when one is free of mortal sin), conform one more closely to the Messiah and to His chaste Mother, Blessed Mary Ever-Virgin.Consequently, unless those who have tried to solve their problems by means of sterilization are truly contrite--"I wish I had not done that, and if I had it to do over, I would never make that choice"--confession is fruitless for them.3 Kippley frames the problem in this manner: How can a person be sorry for the sin whose fruits he enjoys?Imagine the man who thinks, "I enjoy having sex whenever I feel like it without having to be concerned about possible preg- nancy. How can such spouses be sorry for their sins of sterilization?
However, imagine a married couple who have done something permanent in order to prevent conception.