Friday, July 10, 2009

Why do Catholics hate sex?

What? We do?

Many non-Catholics get the impression that the Catholic Church hates sex. Why else would so many rules and regulations be placed on it? They figure we must hate everything that’s fun and enjoyable so we’ve made it impossible to have sexual intimacy with any element of pleasure. Why else are Catholics opposed to contraception, pre-marital sex, homosexuality, sodomy, and the list goes on?

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Catholics have a lot of rules about the Eucharist. You may not receive it if you are in the state of mortal sin. It may not touch the floor, and if it does, a special process must be followed to clean any spilled Precious Blood. Precious Blood may not be poured down a regular drain. And on and on. Do we, therefore, hate the Eucharist because we have so many rules and regs around its reception? Of course not!

We have rules because it’s such a profound and powerful sacrament! We want to harness that power for our benefit, not our destruction. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11 that “Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord”. Wow, he’s not screwing around, and neither does the Church.

The Catholic Church treats sexual intimacy the same way. We don’t hate it. We are in awe of it’s majesty. We don’t want it brought down to the level of mere pleasure. It’s not just something people do like sleeping or breathing. Sexual intimacy is a participation in the very mystery of God. It is one of the most holy things that a human being is capable of doing.

If you’re Catholic, imagine playing Frisbee with a consecrated host; and you have a fair analogy of how the Church views misplaced sexual activity. We protect what we hold sacred; we don’t play games with them.


Anonymous said...

augustine and I believe Jerome or another early chuch father did state that marrige is evil,a lesser state.

Dan said...

Anon, even if your unsourced claim is true what difference does it make? The Catholic Church plainly teaches marriage is sacred and a sacrament (meaning God gives us grace through it).

That's a far cry from calling it "evil".

Anonymous said...

point is ,the catholic church has not always taught the same things for two thousand years,as many claim..Teaching and attitudes and practice in the area of marriage ,sex, celibacy HAS CHANGED.Indeed .virginity was esteemed higher than marriage for centuries,in the catholic church,hence some of the early church fathers statements .For sure ,celibacy ,as a fixed practice for priests is NOT apostolic, but man made ,and is strongly warned against in the bible.I agree with you ,marriage is beautiful,even for priests though.

Dan said...

Clerical celibacy certainly has changed over time. Sometimes it was allowed and other times not. It has, however always been held up as an ideal.

Virginity is held in high esteem in today’s Church as well. We have blessings for consecrated virgins who aren’t even nuns or monks! St. Paul was a consecrated virgin (more on that below); how can you imply that marriage is good for everyone?

You say celibacy is warned against in the Bible. You must be referring to 1 Tim 4:3, but if you’d do your homework you’d find that St. Paul is writing this against the Gnostics who taught that flesh was evil so it couldn’t be eaten and marriage was completely disallowed. He is not speaking against celibacy.

St. Paul writes in 1 Cor 7:8 “Now to the unmarried and to widows, I say: it is a good thing for them to remain as they are, AS I DO” (emphasis mine). So are you saying St. Paul is wrong for not being married? Should he have found a spouse since celibacy isn’t good enough for you?

If you’d like to argue with an apostle’s lifestyle choices; be my guest. Just don’t expect anyone to take you seriously.

Anonymous said...

Dan ,Never implied "marriage is good for all". I said "marriage is beautiful", implying for priests also. I disagree that celibacy is the "ideal", as you say. This is unbiblical. Marriage is a gift, as is celibacy. But to say one is better than the other is shaky ground.. We do not know if Paul was ever married. We do know when he wrote Corinthians he was not. We do know many of the apostles were married. So, it is the catholic church that is unbiblically dogmatic in telling ALL priests not to marry. This is not "apostolic" .You are the one resting only in one apostle, avoiding the others. I am considering ALL the apostles, and for this you say I can not be taken "seriously"........ Yes gnosticism had false beliefs,which led to silly doctrines. But the fruit is to be considered in your doctrines also, for they are very similar, where to be spiritual, celibacy is best. I believe this stems from false spirituality ,whether it be a gnostic, buddhist, catholic or protestant. Indeed, the Corinthians falsely held this and began divorcing each other to be celibate and single, "for God's service". Paul found this to be hypocrisy and said ,stay single or stay married, stay in your "station". He mentions celibacy as Paul speaking and NOT the Lord.... Again, please do not put words in my mouth. There is celibacy, a gift for SOME. There is marriage ,a gift for some. Most apostles were married. Most first, second and third centuries had married deacons, bishops and elders (there were not called priests).