Vasectomy: Okay for Catholic Husbands?

[Note: Please also check out an update to this article, a Q&A]

A few summers ago, our family was invited to a backyard barbecue. We had just moved back to our hometown from Chicagoland, and used the social occasion as an opportunity to get reacquainted with some old friends from high school.

One couple — who my wife and I knew from high school — came with their young children, and we also recognized them as members of our Catholic parish.

You know how it often is with barbecues: the “guy group” congregates together — this time we stood around the backyard with our beers — while “the wives” were inside chatting in the living room. Not all the men at the barbecue were Catholic; there were a few nominals, and me, and some men from other Christian traditions.

As we were comparing notes (how many kids, how old, our occupations, sports, etc.), the father of this family announced — as sort of a non sequitur — that he recently underwent a vasectomy.

There were some highly uncomfortable pauses in the conversation that followed, although “vasectomy guy” seemed really enthused about the whole thing. I found his sharing this personal information to casual acquaintances sort of peculiar, and his apparent happiness over rendering himself sterile rather incredible.

I resisted the bait (“I just got fixed!” –> “Oh, were you broken?”) because I couldn’t imagine a snide comment from me helping anything. We all just stood there (I did my best not to wince) — ostensibly trying to come up with something (diplomatic) to say. 

vasectomymemeI felt sort of scandalized by the whole thing, but I remained silent because (a) the deed was already done, (b) my opinion wasn’t asked, and (c) this fellow already seemed aware that getting a vasectomy isn’t okay according to Church teachings (he as much as said he knew what the Church would say, and it did not matter to him). What could I add, besides judgment and belaboring an already uncomfortable topic not entirely appropriate for a barbecue where children were running around?

Whenever I see vasectomy guy’s family at church (mom and kids regularly attend, but apart from Easter or Christmas, he never attends), I try to say a prayer that next Sunday he might attend too, and I’m reminded of the encounter at the barbecue and the casualness with which he approached sex with his wife (he said some things), his attitudes toward fatherhood, and his lack of faithfulness to Church teachings. It’s not a pleasant reminder of the type of rebuilding that is necessary in Catholic families and culture if we are to avoid getting caught in the current of the new age.

The Church teaches that it is reasonable for married couples to try to regulate births; in fact, the Catechism says that it is one of the “aspects of responsible fatherhood and motherhood.” (CCC 2299). However, a “legitimate intention” to regulate births does not “…justify recourse to morally unacceptable means (for example, direct sterilization or contraception).” (Id.).

The Church also warns that artificial contraception carries a number of unintended (but nonetheless actual) effects, including that a husband “…may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.” (Humanae vitae, Para. 17). In the context of tubal ligation or vasectomy, the nature of the artificial contraception is no longer transitory — you can’t simply stop taking a pill and have your normal fertility restored — which potentially amplifies the gravity of the situation.

Unlike artificial contraception, sterilization is a much more permanent and intentional action. It pushes the “not right now” of artificial contraception over the line into “not ever” or “not ever again”. What becomes of sex between husband and wife after deciding to undergo sterilization because of a preference to have no (or no additional) children?

The Church teaches that in marriage “the physical intimacy of the spouses becomes a sign and pledge of spiritual communion.” (CCC 2360). Sex between husband and wife “is not something simply biological, but concerns the innermost being of the human person as such.” (CCC 2361). It fosters “self-giving” and “…enriches the spouses in joy and gratitude.” (CCC 2362). Husband and wife “…accept what the Creator has intended for them.” (Id.). To take an action which closes off our natural fertility is to not accept, but rather reject the Creator’s intention.

Thus, the Church teaches that sex “…achieves the twofold end of marriage: the good of the spouses themselves and the transmission of life. These two meanings or values of marriage cannot be separated without altering the couple’s spiritual life and compromising the goods of marriage and the future of the family.” (CCC 2363). In other words, husband and wife are called to accept in one another who and what they are, and to accept (with gratitude!) the state of their fertility as an immense gift of God, and not a burden to be carried or laid down at some point.

Certain medical procedures (like hysterectomy or the removal of ovaries or testicles) have the effect of rendering one infertile, but so long as they are not undertaken to achieve infertility, they are not contrary to Church teaching, because the purpose of the treatment is to preserve health or life (both the means and ends of any medical procedure must not violate the moral law).

However, when couples decide to become infertile so that they no longer need worry about becoming pregnant, they replace something that “concerns the innermost being of the human person” and fosters “self-giving” with a purely physical action premised upon making one another “mere instruments for the satisfaction” of desire.

In the context of human relationships, marriage is special: in sacramental marriage, the love of husband and wife is intended to reflect the love of Christ for His bride the Church. Such love carries a natural capacity to transmit life while at the same time it involves offering the totality of self to the beloved. In sterilization we remove both of these aspects, neutering not just sex, but the love found in marriage itself.

So Catholic husbands, love your wives!

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61 thoughts on “Vasectomy: Okay for Catholic Husbands?

  1. Thank you for the example that you reflect to the world. Liz, Mac, Sean, and I wish your entire family a deeply spiritual and nourishing Lenten season! 🙂

    Deacon Pat

  2. Pingback: “I got fixed.” “Were you broken?” | on the way pnw

  3. Don’t forget that those who want to plan/space births can use Natural Family Planning to do so. It is NOT the Rhythm Method, which relied on calendars. It is based entirely on science and is as effective as the pill. It also can be used to help numerous infertility or gynecological problems, including frequent miscarriage. It has a much higher success rate than IVF because if finds and cures a woman’s problems, not just masks them. There are several methods to choose from to suit the couple’s needs. For more info go to http://www.iusenfp.com/.

      • Harry, I don’t understand why you think I am trying to play with language. Can you please explain? When a married couple, for serious reasons, sees fit to space their children, is not NFP the normal and accepted Catholic way to go about it? This is what I meant by the “norm”. Not that it is the norm for married couples to space their kids, but that for those who do need to, the norm would be NFP. Does this make sense?

      • Lidia, to be clear, here is your original statement:

        “NFP is the norm for spacing children, but must never be used as a means of permanently avoiding pregnancy.”

        My issue with the above is as follows:

        NFP is NEVER the “norm” it is the “exception.”

        Now, I understand what you are trying to say in your most recent post which clarifies your earlier one. Please correct me if I misrepresent your statement. You are trying to say that if a couple has to have recourse to NFP, there is a proper way to do it and this way must be followed.

        In this way, you (arguably) used the word “norm” similar to “rules” or “procedure.” I get that, and yes, it made sense.

        However, the difficulty lies in how speaking of the “rules”/”procedure” of an exception as a “norm” easily lends itself to misunderstanding.

        I hope I have made clearer my point. Please know that I have nothing against you, I just wanted to make sure there was clarity in the discussion.

      • NFP is the norm for spacing children, but must never be used as a means of permanently avoiding pregnancy.

      • Lidia, I mean no disrespect, but you are trying to play with language and you walk a fine-line.

        NFP is considered by the Church to be the exception in marital affairs, not the norm in said affairs.

        Marcy K. said “those who want” to use NFP. This is incorrect to say. It is more appropriate to say “those who need” recourse to NFP.

        Marcy’s troublesome phrasing–without qualification–led to my question.

  4. I once called Catholic Answers or The Doctor is In on this. As a faithful “no birth control of any kind” Catholic, I posed the following question: “If a Catholic couple be purposely “fixed”, then are they committing mortal sin each and every time they have intercourse?” The only logical answer to this is “YES”. The host had to agree.

    I posed this to a friend who lead Catholic retreats, who likewise had been fixed. He subsequently had his vasectomy reversed, and they have been blessed with another child since..

  5. “If a Catholic couple be purposely “fixed”, then are they committing mortal sin each and every time they have intercourse?” The only logical answer to this is “YES”. The host had to agree.
    Well this is laughable, if he goes to confession and is forgiven and does penance he does no wrong since he has been forgiven. Some guys do this as their non Catholic wives have said they are going to get an abortion if she gets pregnant again. Must be nice to live a trouble free life and judge others.

    • “Some guys do this as their non Catholic wives have said they are going to get an abortion if she gets pregnant again. ”
      That would still not be a valid reason to get a vasectomy. The sin is the separation of procreation from the sexual embrace. The thing to do would be for the couple to abstain.

      • I guess the point that was trying to be made is that we are all imperfect and make mistakes such as reasons to get a vasectomy, that is why we have been given the Sacrament of Reconciliation. A person being tied to a mortal sin every time he and his wife “bed” despite going to confession is wrong. We must be very careful judging others and placing limits on our Lord’s MERCY.
        In Diary entry 1487, Jesus encouraged Faustina by saying to her: “Tell me about everything, be sincere in dealing with Me, reveal all the wounds of your heart. I will heal them …” So Faustina always approached the confessional with childlike trust, knowing that her Savior was always there to welcome her and heal her (cf. entry 377).

        Perhaps the most remarkable teaching that our Lord gave to St. Faustina about this sacrament is found in Diary entry 1448. Jesus said to her:
        Write, speak of My mercy. Tell souls where they are to look for solace, that is, in the Tribunal of Mercy [the Sacrament of Reconciliation]. There the greatest miracles take place [and] are incessantly repeated. To avail oneself of this miracle, it is not necessary to go on a great pilgrimage, or to carry out some external ceremony; it suffices to come with faith to the feet of My representative and to reveal to Him one’s misery, and the miracle of Divine Mercy will be fully demonstrated. Were souls like a decaying corpse so that from a human standpoint there would be no [hope of] restoration and everything would already be lost, it is not so with God. The miracle of Divine Mercy restores that soul in full.

        Read again those last two sentences spoken by our Lord. Do you remember how the Catechism told us that a good confession brings about a true “spiritual resurrection” within us — Easter morning for the soul? Well, that is precisely what Jesus taught St. Faustina: Even if our hearts are as dead from sin as a lifeless corpse, still, the miraculous power of Divine Mercy that flows through this sacrament can restore that soul completely, to new life, and fresh hope.

        The graces of healing that flow from this sacrament are truly amazing. In Diary entry 1602, Jesus said to St. Faustina that confession is a personal, life-giving encounter with Jesus Himself:
        Daughter, when you go to confession, to this fountain of My mercy, the Blood and Water which came forth from My Heart always flows down upon your soul and ennobles it. Every time you go to confession, immerse yourself entirely in My mercy, with great trust, so that I may pour the bounty of My grace upon your soul. When you approach the confessional, know this, that I Myself am waiting there for you. I am only hidden by the priest, but I myself act in your soul. Here the misery of the soul meets the God of mercy. Tell souls that from this fount of mercy souls draw graces solely with the vessel of trust. If their trust is great, there is no limit to My generosity. The torrents of grace inundate humble souls.

        These words sound so much like an echo of our Savior in the gospels, when He said:
        Come to Me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. … If any one thirst, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the scripture has said, “Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water” (Mt 11:28; Jn 7:38)

  6. Priests… Please preach with love against the culture of sexual selfishness. Catholic fathers… Sell the boat, Harley, corvette… Have another kid! Catholic mothers… Your blessings are multiplied for all you do in love for your children. Couples… Renew your marital vows often, remember the words you vowed and live out the meaning! Christian marriage ain’t easy, sure… But it is worth it!

  7. You state: ” — not for legitimate reasons of health or life —” Does the Catholic Church really teach this, that there are times where it is legitimate to sterilize oneself. I was not aware of this teaching. Could you point me to some church document where this is stated?

    • I’ll look. I was thinking not about ligation or vasectomy, but cases where a woman has need of a hysterectomy for one reason or another, or ovarian or testicular cancer, etc.

      • Thank you for your reply…I didn’t think of those scenarios, but that would make sense. By the way, thank you for speaking out on such a common topic. I can’t tell you how many perfect strangers have told me they’ve been fixed.

    • No, the church does not teach that tubal ligation or vasectomy can ever be done legitimately. I hope the author will edit that comment in the article. If an ovary, uterus or testicle has to be taken to battle cancer, that is an entirely different thing. Even if such operation renders you sterile, that was not the intent of the surgery and the Catholic is not guilty of contraception.

  8. What if your wife had her tubed tied, but now you realize ot was wrong? Is intercourse still a mortal din after confession?

    Thank you,

      • “The person to ask is your priest”. Well, priests are people, and you will get ten different responses from ten different priests.

    • If one goes to confession to confess sterilisation, they are forgiven and so it would not be wrong to have sexual relations with one’s spouse. If you are sincerely sorry that is (the condition for forgiveness). Interestingly, the Church doesn’t require that the sterilisation be reversed, although if it is possible it would be a sign of the person’s true sorrow. But the Church does not set this as a condition.

      • My research says differently. The male needs a dispensation from the church regarding a vasectomy or reverses the procedure (if the payment of same does not cause financial burden).

  9. I think there is no easy answer for this situation. What if the couple agreed upon the “v” before they were very strong in their faith? What if when they did grow stronger they deeply regreted doing so? What if the woman was no longer in the productive years? Would there be a need for reversal? What if is not affordable for the couple as it is very expensive, and they are trying to educate their child/children through the cost of Catholic education? As far as being intimate as a couple, they would have many, many mortal sins upon their souls. It is a good thing to confess, but what if the guilt led one to believe it is so terrible that they are not forgiven? Like I said, there is no easy answer.

  10. OK. Here is another one: What is the difference between intercourse between a married “faithful Catholic” couple that has been permanently “purposefully” fixed for the expressed purpose of preventing conception, and a homosexual male couple? Neither is life producing? Both love each other? Go to confession and it is OK? Well, only until you do it again.

    Until we stop making excuses for ourselves, we will never convert anyone, nor do we have a leg to stand on against gay “marriage”. We tell the gay couple to stop and sever their physical relationship. Yet, we excuse the “fixed on purpose” Catholic married couple? Come on and get real!

    • A Priest once shared what I thought was a very practical penance for people who confessed having a vasectomy or ligation. His first request was for the couple to fervently and honestly, in prayer, determine if they could have the procedure reversed. When that wasn’t possible (because of serious health or money issues), his next request was that the couple abstain for several days every month, during what would have been the wife’s fertitle period. In that way the couple would be giving up their free reign of sexual intimacy that they gained with their sterilization.

      • I was Catholic at the time I had ‘the operation.” It was advised by her doctor that she getting pregnant would not be a good idea. We shortly thereafter ‘the operation’ adopted our son. My mind is clear.

    • Choice. We make wrong decisions, free will, and go to confession, you want people to get operations to reverse this? The example is poor, Maybe you should look deep inside yourself and examine why HIS MERCY is greater than HIS justice, troubles you.
      Divine Mercy: The feast is intended to highlight divine mercy as God’s greatest attribute, the crowning work” of all his works. As such, it should form a Catholic’s spiritual attitudes and behaviors.
      In the case of the Feast of Divine Mercy, our Lord promises that ” . . . {W}however approaches the Fount of Life on this day will be granted complete remission of sins and punishment” (Diary, # 300). “On this day, the very depths of my tender mercy are open. I pour a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of my mercy. The soul that will go to confession, and receive Holy Communion, shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment . … Let no soul fear to draw near to me, even though its sins be as scarlet” (Diary, # 699).

      • Thank you!
        I find the judging on this page so very disturbing. I’m all for discussion but some people commenting look like the Pharisees pointing bony fingers!

  11. I’m finding this column very interesting for many reasons. The first is that I am Catholic, but my husband is agnostic and has had a vasectomy. I had asked him to re-consider it, but it was to no avail. The second is that his mother, my mother-in-law, has an intense dislike for me and would love to see us separate. She has manipulated the entire family against me and has even tried to manipulate my chidlren and my husband, her son, against me. I will not go into details. I believe given some of the details that I have, she is into witchcraft.

    So, according to the logic, positioned here, I should not be in a sexual relationship with him because of this. So what would be the greater evil – to deny him a sexual relationship and thereby end the marriage, making his mother very happy and destroying my childrens’ relationship with him? Or remaining in the marriage and seeing divorce as the greater evil? There are a ton of similar scenarios playing out at the moment, like this, with different people. It is not as black and white as we could make it. True, I could have thought about these things many years ago when I married, but did not. I guess, I naively thought that love would save the day, so to speak. So, now, despite the fact that we have three chidlren and I would love to have more, we cannot. Therefore, I have to leave this entirely up to God and see what plays out. I pray the Rosary daily and have done so for the terrible situation that exists within his family. Perhaps there is something greater to happen here given this scenario. I don’t really know.

    But, my point is that we have to be careful about judging others. We really don’t know what is at play here.

    • Excellent! I am in somewhat the same position. Our fourth child had cerebral palsy with developmental and intellectual delays. I had to quit work to take care of him. This led to severe financial difficulties (no, we did not have Harleys, nice cars, etc). My husband ended up having extramarital affairs due to me not using contraceptives…he did NOT want another baby. By the grace of God we are still married, but would a divorce have been better? Would that have led my children away from the Faith? They absolutely adore their father, and a divorce would split the family and more than likely their Faith apart. Which is the better scenario? I went to one priest, and he told me to separate (my husband wanted to divorce instead due to finances), and the other priest said to pray and fast. I chose the pray and fast route, and am left with an intact family with very devout teens. I think there is so much judgment back and forth, and we really need to learn how to not judge so much before we know the others’ stories. It is SO EASY to say this or that, but due to the times we live in, and how much harder it is to live the Faith fully, as a couple and family, I think more prayer is in order rather than judgments. I would much rather bring my four children to the Catholic Church, than abandon them without a father and a Faith. I know I am not explaining everything fully, but I believe those who read this understand my point.

  12. Couples should not use NFP to avoid fertilization/children as it is dangerous to the development of the human embryo/baby if fertilization occurs despite the immoral attempt to prevent it. This should be common sense because by trying to prevent fertilization (pre and post-ovulatory), when the egg is fertilized, it happens outside the normal hormonal window for producing a healthy vibrant human embryo/baby — the egg may have aged and the hormonal system of the women is going to be out of sync for preparing the uterus/womb for the newly conceived human embryo. The 1930 encyclical Casti Connubii addresses these issues in that it states it is a grave sin for couples to impede the normal formation/development of life through the conjugal act and offers the healthy alternative of Virtuous Continence (abstinence for married couples) in times of necessity.

    • This comment is so incorrect I don’t know where to start. An egg lives for around 12 hours. It is viable for all of those hours. No matter whether it is fertilised by ‘new sperm’ at ANY time during those 12 hours or if the sperm has been around for up to 6 days before (sperm can live that long if there is fertile mucus in the woman) the egg is viable and the womb (in an otherwise healthy woman) is naturally ready to support an embryo. The intention of the couple have no bearing on the biology of conception!

      And for the record, St John Paul II in his Theology of the Body teaches that parents have a LEGITIMATE RIGHT to choose the spacing and the number of children they have, and can legitimately avoid having children (so long as they use morally legitimate means such as abstinence/NFP). For grave reasons such as health, financial, emotional/psychological concerns, one can avoid having any children or stop after any number of children. I do not mean here “if I have another child I won’t afford a boat and therefore will be emotionally scarred” type of reasons, it is a conscious, prayerful weighing up of reasons, specific to their situation.

  13. I don’t know what to think here. I’ve read both sides of this issue for over 10 years. I had a tubal ligation after the second of our children was born. I was not Catholic and my mother had just died of breast cancer at the age of 46. My H was a cradle-badly catechized-Catholic and by training and temperament, fairly quiet on the subject. I was going to do what I had to do because I was terrified about having more children when we couldn’t afford the two we already had. I didn’t know about Faith. At all. Subsequently, I became Catholic, one assumes by the grace of God … and then found out I’d committed a mortal sin….although the requirements for a true mortal sin weren’t there in terms of full knowledge and understanding and I wasn’t even a Catholic or well catechized Christian at the time.

    Do I regret it? More than anything in the world. Has it affected my life, my H’s life and our children’s lives. Yes. It’s probably ruined our lives, all of our lives (children, grandparents, cousins, other relatives) to not have more children in the family … to make walking hypocrites of my H and myself…Years ago I looked into a reversal and cost aside, learned that my doctor had fully cauterized both fallopian tubes virtually beyond repair. Even if some other doctor could manage to stitch them back together, the chances of ectopic pregnancy which would end the life of a baby and threaten my life as well (this was when our kids where in early childhood) was very, very high. The interesting thing is that tubal ligation was, and I assume is, heavily recommended by the nursing staff at the hospitals. It was the conversation among young mothers. It also was PAID FOR IN FULL by our insurance plan at the time. These factors added to great fears about money and taking care of the babies already here …plus the cultural message being forced on us since childhood about the “perfect” nuclear family, one boy, one girl …. it adds up.

    If I knew then what I know now, I never would have done it. But now that it’s done and I’m supposed to believe I’ve been forgiven … in Confession … but to make it right I have to further deny my H marital rights due to my bad choice? And put him at risk of committing another mortal sin?

    It would be really helpful if priests had some training in this area … for pastoral care of their parishioners. I’m not the only one here. There are Catholics, there are converts ..

    • Thank you for sharing this. I did think the comment by someone who shared what a confessor recommended was helpful, but that doesn’t make not following the same recommendation a mortal sin. If you went to confession, did your penance and received absolution, then you are okay!

    • Lisa, you definitely are sorry for your sin, you went to Confession and you are forgiven. Period. You looked into reversal and it will not happen. You do not need to deny your husband marital intimacy and you do not need to carry around any more guilt. You have been absolved. Now you need to forgive yourself and ask God for peace. If you are not at peace that only plays into the hands of the evil one. He is the one who wants you to second-guess yourself and continue to beat yourself up about this. To save your marriage you need to accept God’s forgiveness and go about rebuilding your relationship with God and your husband. If Pope Francis were here speaking with you, what do you think he would say? What would Christ say to you? They would both say to be at peace. You have done what you can do and now you need to move on.

    • You have been to confession, given a penance and are absolved of your sin. You don’t HAVE to do anything else. But there is Catholic teaching about reparation for sin, also that we won’t get out of purgatory until we’ve paid “the last farthing” and also offering ourselves in sacrifices to the Lord.
      You can’t undo what you did, but as a couple (both you and yur husband must agree) you can ask yourselves “is there some kind of active prayer or fast we can do, something related to this particular sin? An offering to the Lord to use in any way he chooses? Ask yourselves how you would have handled things now that you know what you know about contraception? Would you have possibly tried to space your children by charting your ovulation and abstaining from intimacy for those 72 hours (3 days)? Is this a small fast that you as a couple could offer monthly in reparation for all those who contracept?
      Just some food for thought.

    • Despite the sterilisation, you and your husband still have bodily rights over one another, to deny this would damage your marriage and not help anything. (If you both agreed to abstain for the purposes of offering chastity that would be one thing, but isn’t usually advised nor recommended, it is rarely asked by God and for very few) But your vocation is marriage, and as such intercourse cannot be denied to the other without serious reason (eg. Significant sickness, and not mere headaches!) moreover denying your spouse could lead into sin. Fr Chad Ripperger has some great talks on marriage and sexual morality on http://www.sensustraditionis.org which might answer this better? God bless you, your marriage and family.

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  15. How many angels can dance on the head of a pin. First of all, it is sin to reveal another’s sin and it is self righteousness to post another’s sin, even without the name, and feign scandal – you are really scandalized in today’s world? Don’t you all see that you are taking the splinter our of your brother’s eye. Do not judge means do not judge. Maybe is is a way to gossip about others and and compare ourselves to others to feel holy. Jesus didn’t criticize people just leaders who used his temple and teaching for their own gain.

    “Has nobody condemned you…. Neither do I condemn you”

    Pray, do penance and offer your scandal as a gift. Offer the pain of being quiet as a gift too. You will help fix the world by offering this to Jesus so he can change the world.

  16. Something men (and their wives) might want to consider before such an action. Physical pain and life-long health considerations are much more urgent motivations for some. Nature bats last. You don’t hear about these around the barbeque: http://www.dontfixit.org

  17. Again…..Whomever approaches the Fount of Life on this day will be granted complete remission of sins and punishment” (Diary, # 300)

    We make wrong decisions, free will, and go to confession, you want people to get operations to reverse this? The example is poor, Maybe you should look deep inside yourself and examine why HIS MERCY is greater than HIS justice, troubles you.
    Divine Mercy: The feast is intended to highlight divine mercy as God’s greatest attribute, the crowning work” of all his works. As such, it should form a Catholic’s spiritual attitudes and behaviors.
    In the case of the Feast of Divine Mercy, our Lord promises that ” . . . Whomever approaches the Fount of Life on this day will be granted complete remission of sins and punishment” (Diary, # 300). “On this day, the very depths of my tender mercy are open. I pour a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of my mercy. The soul that will go to confession, and receive Holy Communion, shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment . … Let no soul fear to draw near to me, even though its sins be as scarlet” (Diary, # 699).

  18. Better to have a vasectomy and be responsible instead of having children who will be unwanted. Yes, children are a gift of god, but we need to stop telling god this and god that and live with common sense. If all those illigitimate births were prevented in the USA, then the USA would be 5 times more powerful as a country. I dont let god this and god that to dictate to me. Simple fact and experiment: if you throw a million dollars up towards the clouds and say: “god, please take how much you want and let the rest fall down back to the ground”, -none of that money will be stuck to the clouds. So in essence, it is our common sense that keeps us going.

  19. A couple can still get the woman pregnant after a vasectomy so how is a vasectomy not being open to life?! IT IS NO DIFFERENT than wedding a 70 year old catholic woman who PROBABLY can’t conceive (except that her body is probably much cuter :P) Please stop with all of this vasectomy hate. If you think God’s statement to be fruitful and multiply was a commandment then that is YOUR OPINION. But can’t others be free to believe it was merely a suggestion? Isn’t God capable of saying a suggestion without prefacing it as such? Besides if God prefaced it as a suggestion wouldn’t it sound just like a threat, like “I suggest you do this or that” (with an OR ELSE implied) But he never even gave us an “or else”. Or else what? Where does it say that in the Bible? ( please include book, chapter, and verse ) God’s just inviting us to procreate and feel comfortable doing it within the bounds of marriage, in my opinion. Shouldn’t I be free to have one? Or should ONLY YOU be free to have one?

    • You’re mistaking the effect of an action (i.e., the possibility, however remote, that pregnancy is possible after vasectomy or for a 70-year-old woman) with its intention. If I intend to rob a bank, and I get as far with my bag of money as the curb before I’m placed in handcuffs, I’m still guilty of robbery even if I didn’t get away. It is the intention to render oneself infertile that concerns openness to life.

      Anyone is free to believe anything. In fact, the ability (free will) comes directly from God. You can believe that God’s commandment was merely a suggestion, but you’d be wrong. As for chapter and verse, oh, I don’t know, maybe actually read….. Genesis, chapter 2. But it’s not really my job to prove it to you. But as the Catechism says, the truth is written on every human heart (rather than every human opinion).

    • I think you mean “A man can still get his wife pregnant after a vasectomy.”

      We are Catholic here, Andrew, and believe in monogamous marriages….

  20. Just to clarify, I mean her fetus, Jesus got his Y chromosome from someplace, so I mean is that not what would really be labelled insemination or even more appropriately even rape? ( Mary did not get to choose what Jesus was to look like the way a normal married mother would )

    • The INCARNATION was a SUPERNATURAL event. Jesus is both God and Man. Mary said, “Let it be done unto me according to thy Word.” God did not IMPOSE Himself on Mary, He gave her a totally free choice, just as He gives every person, and she is “blessed among women” because she freely and totally said “Yes.”

  21. You leave out when the wife or partner are the one requiring the man to do it. I have not met one man who made this decision on their own but was coerced into doing it by the woman and thus sacrificing themselves to them. I relate your attack on the man’s manliness after a vasectomy to an inappropriate sidewalk counselor at an abortion clinic questioning the womanhood of a woman coerced into abortion. In my case and every man I have spoken too, a partner had required this of the man, then after it was done usually went on to have children with someone else, leaving us with a sense of loss. You should know what you are talking about before you write an article attacking an entire group of people affected by this much like women affected by abortion. “Correction without charity is ‘a slap in the face'” Pope Francis

    • Joseph Jordan: take a look at the follow up (qmbarque.com/2014/04/30/vasectomy-and-the-catholic-church-search-engine-qa/):

      “Bottom line answer: Be a man. Educate yourself and take responsibility. A wife who wants a husband to get a vasetomy is essentially saying, “For whatever reason, I don’t trust God (or you) in this matter.” She either doesn’t realize (or doesn’t care about) what comes from intentionally removing the life-giving potential of marriage and how it will harm the relationship of husband and wife. She thinks life would be better without more of her offspring walking around. Ask God to help you be what she needs so she can feel safe to trust that His will be done.”

      A man who lets himself be sterilized “because she made me” needs charitable correction: Sir, be a man!

  22. Pingback: We Missed World Vasectomy Day? Oh well, Maybe Next Year….. | Quartermaster of the Barque

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