Can you receive Communion if you use birth control?

Can you receive Communion if you use birth control?

You are probably here to know if it is okay to receive Communion after using birth control or maybe just curious, regardless, you are in the right place! In this blog post, we will deep dive into one of the most frequently asked questions Catholics ask, can you receive Communion if you use birth control?


To start, let’s check what the Catechism of the Catholic Church has to say about birth control.

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).

The Catechism is clear about using it. Contraception is unacceptable. It is immoral.

2370 Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality. These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom. In contrast, “every action which, whether 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” is intrinsically evil.

That said, the Church supports Natural Family Planning for it respects God’s intended design for marital love.

Scriptural Reference

Moving on, we will tackle the biblical basis of the prohibition of birth control.

“Then Judah said to Onan, “Have intercourse with your brother’s wife, in fulfillment of your duty as brother-in-law, and thus preserve your brother’s line.

Onan, however, knew that the offspring would not be his; so whenever he had intercourse with his brother’s wife, he wasted his seed on the ground, to avoid giving offspring to his brother.

What he did greatly offended the Lord, and the Lord took his life too.”

Genesis 38:8-10

This birth control known as coitus interruptus or the withdrawal method is explicitly mentioned in the above bible passages. It is against the natural law and therefore is a crime which was punishable by death back then.

Using Birth Control is a Sin

As mentioned above, using birth control is immoral and thus a sin.

But is it a mortal or venial sin?

Just a brief 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 birth control as an example.

If one had used a contraceptive, aware that it is a sin but still committed it, then there is a mortal sin.

To elaborate.

First, using a contraceptive is a grave matter

Next, that person committed it in full knowledge. Meaning there was an awareness that it is a sin.

Lastly, committed it with full consent. Despite the fact that there was an awareness that it was sinful, it was still deliberately committed.

Note that all conditions must exist. If a sin lacks one of these conditions, it will then fall as venial. However, although venial sins need not be confessed, it is still advisable especially when the matter is grave.


With the above discussion, let’s now answer the question.

Can you receive Communion if you use birth control?

It depends. If you are aware that it is a sin, then you are committing a mortal sin therefore, you must first confess it before receiving Communion. On the other hand, if you are not aware that it is a sin, it is venial. However, since it is a grave matter, confessing it is encouraged.

Note that the reception of the Eucharist in the state of mortal sin is another mortal sin.


To confess, you just have to tell the priest that you used or are using birth control.

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 lustful sins, here’s a guide.

If it is your first time in confession, you can check this Confession Guide.


Using birth control goes against the Church’s teaching of the natural order of procreation. Life is sacred. Every life has a value. It is a gift from God. It is not for us to decide whether to bring it to this world. As Catholics, we should be inquisitive in sensitive issues like this because it affects us not only physically, mentally, and emotionally, but also impacts our spirituality.

Condoms, pills, implants, and other contraceptives although readily available and easily accessible nowadays do not mean they are morally right. Catholics should never use any of these for these bring the soul in peril.

May we all live holy lives.

Loving Mother, pray for us.

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