In modern times we are in, birth control as a form of contraception which is against the teaching of the Catholic Church is becoming a common practice for couples. Unaware or not, the use of contraceptives is prevalent. The governments of numerous countries promote them as part of their so-called “Health Care”. It is now being normalized. In this blog post, we will discuss one of the questions people ask relating to birth control and Catholicism, can Catholics use condoms?
Before we answer the question, let’s discuss first what the Catholic Church has to say about contraception in general.
The Church has been firm on its stand on contraception. Its teachings are rooted in the Natural Law, Scripture, Tradition, and actual human experience. That marital act is unitive and procreative, which contraception dismisses.
Let’s take a closer look by quoting straight from the Catechism.
2399 The regulation of births represents one of the aspects of responsible fatherhood and motherhood. Legitimate intentions on the part of the spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means (for example, direct sterilization or contraception).
Clearly, the Catechism is against contraception.
A condom is made of a thin pouch or sheath that prevents pregnancy by stopping the sperm meet the egg. This is widely used as this can be availed over the counter.
Now, to answer the question.
Can Catholics use Condoms?
No, Catholics are not allowed to use condoms while in sexual interaction. As this is a form of contraception, it is not acceptable in the Catholic Church for it separates the unitive and procreative dimensions of marital act.
Using condoms as a means to avoid pregnancy is actually a sin as this is against the teaching of the Church. That said, is it mortal or venial?
Just a quick recap, the Catholic Church categorizes sin depending on its gravity.
It could be mortal or venial.
These are the conditions for a sin to be mortal.
- It must involve grave matter
- Committed with full knowledge
- Committed with deliberate consent
Let’s use using a condom as a contraceptive as an example.
If one had used a condom, aware that it would prevent the creation of new life and that it is a sin but still committed it, then there is a mortal sin.
To further elaborate.
First, using contraception is a grave matter for it blocks the natural power to generate life. The Church has been pro-life since as it opposes other means to end it such as abortion and euthanasia.
Next, that person committed it with full knowledge. It means there was an awareness that it is a sin.
Lastly, committed it with full consent. Despite the fact that there was a knowledge that it was sinful, it was still intentionally committed.
Note that all conditions must exist. If a sin lacks one of the conditions, it will then fall as venial.
However, since it is of grave matter, confessing it is advisable before receiving Communion.
Note that the reception of the Eucharist in the state of mortal sin is another mortal sin.
How to confess using condoms as a sin?
To confess, you just have to tell the priest that you used contraceptives.
You can also mention to him the times or how long have you been practicing this sin.
The priest will then give you counsel, ask you for penance, and finally absolve you.
To know more about confessing other lustful sins, here’s a guide.
If it is your first time in confession, you can check this Confession Guide.
The world is way different back then than now. Lustful acts are becoming widely committed. Not just adults but even youth engage in them. Pornography, masturbation, and fornication to name some are normally practiced nowadays. These could result in repercussions such as pregnancy in the case of premarital sex. To avoid it, contraceptive such as condom is used. Although there are mixed stances on using condoms within the Catholic community, the Church is firm that it is wrong. By practicing chastity, one could totally avoid using it.
The Catholic Church is a proponent of life. Thus, contraception such as condoms which prevents a life is not acceptable and is considered a sin. As Catholics, we should value and protect life no matter what.
May you choose life, always.