The far from closed dilemmas of Humanae Vitae, between legitimate theological speculations and internet judges specializing in everything, including the more delicate parts of Catholic morality in sexual matters

- The Theological Pages -



[…] In this style it was written Humanae Vitae, in an attempt to explain “why not …"But at the same time because" no longer no as before …"So why" a little yes and a little no …”, or better to say: sexuality is aimed at the gift of life, but you can join, as long as you are not closed to the gift of life. Artificial methods of birth control are prohibited, however there are natural non-artificial methods that can be used by those who join without being closed to life but at the same time controlling births and preventing pregnancy.



Ariel S. Levi Gualdo



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In my latest article [see WHO] I also spoke about the subject of contraception with reference to the encyclical of the Holy Pontiff Paul VI Humanae Vitae [see text, WHO]. There was already a provocative element in the title, but far from senseless, directed at "those depressed and depressing Catholics who lock morals inside a condom and who consider sex as the center of the whole mystery of evil".

This topic I was able to dissect it in my book And Satan came triune [see, WHO] in which, already ten years ago, I analyzed and wrote:

“After having long fired on sex as if it were the sin of sins, today we are suffering the blow of recoil and for works and omissions, we priests, we may appear to be the least suited to speaking credibly about sexual morality […]»

Why my provocative joke addressed to those "depressed and depressed Catholics who lock morals in a condom"? Soon said: because, however paradoxical it may appear, to insist with a rigor at times to the limits of the inhuman, they are not bishops and priests, accustomed for the most part to having to do with concrete human material, but certain lay Catholics who today, on social media, they have found a portentous and at times even dangerous outlet for their frustrations. In fact, practice the virtue of charity, love of neighbor and mercy, for some it is so òstic that they prefer to rage on those sins that all go from the belt to go down, while we shepherds in the care of souls, confessors and spiritual directors, scholars and theologians, we know very well that the worst sins of all go from the belt to rise. First of all pride, who is the driving mother of all deadly sins, to follow up with others below. And yet, this kind of people I have renamed keyboard theologians and almost always characterized by scarce knowledge of the foundations of Catholic doctrine, they do not hesitate to pass over all the other deadly sins with extreme ease, nor do they care to know - perhaps because it touches them to the core? ―, which in principle, a miser, an envious and a slothful, they can do much more harm to others than a lustful. And it often happens that even the miser is the one, the envious and the slothful, stand up as a flogger of the vices of others by taking it out on the only element that he considered sin: sex.

I once severely scolded a hard and pure Catholic, of those all family and tradition, who threw lightning and bolts against the sins linked to the Sixth Commandment, stating in hateful tones: «You priests and your Bergoglio no longer defend morals and the family, because you have abandoned non-negotiable rights and are now slaves to the world ". I reminded him that he, as a building contractor, did work illegally, underpaid, several workers from Northern Africa, without contributions and insurance coverage for accidents at work. It turned purple and screamed at me: "This has nothing to do with family and morals!». I answered screaming more than him: "This has something to do with it, because not paying the right wages to the worker, for Catholic morality and the social doctrine of the Church it is a sin that cries out for vengeance in the sight of God, while a condom or sexual intercourse consumed before marriage, it does not constitute a sin of such gravity ". The next day I went to the local Labor Office and personally introduced myself, directly with my face, is intende, a report against him, specifying to the office managers: «The thing is particularly serious for me, is that this exploiter has even the audacity to declare himself a true Catholic. But these are matters that certainly do not concern you, in any case I trust you because I hope, for this particular subject, an exemplary sanction ". Appresso, I made sure he knew that I had made the report, with this result: the defender of morality and of the family against the laxity of the Supreme Pontiff and of the priests, he made threats to me that would make a mafioso accused of extortion turn pale.

Excluding the internet keyboard experts, specialize in whatever, including the most delicate pages of Catholic morality related to human sexuality, I must say that it was instead a pleasure to speak with various readers who have sent very relevant comments, which you can find below that previous article, speaking and speaking with good reason and with full knowledge of the facts. This means that not only can we discuss, but that's always good to do, as well as useful for the many readers who follow us on our magazine.

What several commentators have written it is correct and just in itself both on the doctrinal and ecclesiological level. For my part, I first specified that for the Holy Pontiff Paul VI, this encyclical, fu “terrible”, because he was perfectly aware that he was going against the majority of the episcopate, of the clergy and theologians who hoped for a measured and well-calibrated opening to some form of contraception. Many of them then gave it to such an extent that, when this encyclical came out, they reacted somewhat badly. What if they reacted badly, Paul VI, in the face of history, if he did not do badly, however, he was very weak in terms of pastoral governance, because reasonably, at the exit of Dutch Catechism, he should have dismissed all the bishops of that country with a stroke of the pen and then proceeded with new appointments. Instead Paul VI wept and suffered, he suffered and cried, while the whole of northern Europe marched towards the neo-Protestant drift. It is easy to say that Paul VI showed in several situations even a scarce spirit of aequitas, for example when he found himself before the Dutch case and the case of Bishop Marcel Lefebvre, both deserving of firm and severe reminders. Instead, on the Dutch case Paul VI wept and suffered, he suffered and cried, while on the Lefebvre case he proceeded with an ax. And this denotes, in the specific cases reported, lack of prudence and balance, as immediately pointed out by those who raised serious questions since the opening of his beatification process.

Having said that I am forced to clarify again what I have already made clear in my recent book The sect Neocatechumenal [see, WHO] where in the face of doctrinal criticism addressed to this movement and its initiators, it happened that, with crass ignorance, those directly involved reiterated that Paul VI and John Paul II, under the pontificates of which they had grown up, both have been canonized. Having said this, they accused me of being "against the Church and against the two Popes today both saints". It is therefore necessary to reiterate today what I already clarified at the time, at that juncture different but in some respects similar: to raise a pontiff to the honors of the altars, it does not mean dogmatizing his every act, gesture or administrative provision that took place under his pontificate, such as the recognition of this movement, finally occurred with a concise and aseptic purely administrative act not signed even by the Supreme Pontiff and without any reference to his Augusta Person, but by the President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. Having said that I clarify that the Saints, in their life, like all human beings are born with the stain of original sin, they were neither free from sin nor free from error. And their mistakes made, they do not invalidate the heroism of their virtues, starting with Peter who denied Christ three times by lying and cursing [cf. Mt 26, 69-75] and, first in the lead of all, with the entire apostolic college he abandoned Christ and fled [cf. Mt 26, 56].

Incidentally and in order to clarify: the postulation of the cause of beatification of Paul VI was initially entrusted to the General Postulation of the Society of Jesus, directed by two Jesuits of the old school who had this Pontiff, not just a very direct acquaintance, because they were also his collaborators in various delicate situations. First of all, the two specialists, raised questions collected in nine very specific points, clarifying that, if they hadn't been escaped before, there were no necessary requirements to carry out a process. And so it happened that, with a coup orchestrated by Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, the process was removed from the General Postulation of the Society of Jesus and entrusted to others. And with this I have partly said everything, despite having neither the desire nor the intention to go further.

The theological commission in charge of studying the drafts of Humanae Vitae, he clearly told Paul VI that there were no elements to be able to resort to a pronouncement of the solemn infallible magisterium, while there are reasons for publishing this encyclical, because especially on the subject of contraception, bishops and priests, theologians but above all faithful, they have long been asking for an answer. Then they expressed to Paul VI that with that encyclical, the speech would be closed permanently, but that on the theological and moral level the debates would remain open over time, not least because of the very rapid progress of science itself. And, as I explained in the previous article, debate on truth not definite but definitive, it's possible. What is not possible - as I have made clear -, is to question them, or worse, reject them. And if a confessor did this, a spiritual director or a theologian, it would be particularly serious, indeed I would say of unprecedented gravity.

Debating in the areas in which it is legitimate to debate, the question that is mainly raised is the following: say no to contraception because in it there would implicitly be a closure to life, it is by no means clear speech but rather a very slippery ground, especially if at the same time sexual relations between spouses in periods of infertility are declared lawful or with the use of those which in the common lexicon are called “natural methods” the, completely improperly: “natural contraception”.

This is in fact the innovative element which escapes many who are unfamiliar with this document: the lawfulness of sexual relations between the spouses even if not aimed at procreation, provided they are not closed to the gift of life.

However, it is precisely in this form of openness that some scholars have always tended to read a contradiction in terms, arguing that the text of Humanae Vitae, beyond his wise and prophetic doctrine, on certain issues it is not as clear as it would like to be. For instance: to n. 10 he speaks of "responsible parenthood" and in n. 11 recognizes that a life does not necessarily have to result from any sexual relationship and that sexual relations between spouses:

«[…] they do not cease to be legitimate though, for reasons never dependent on the will of the spouses, are expected infertile, because they remain ordered to express and consolidate their union. Indeed, as experience attests, not from every conjugal encounter a new life follows ".

then we continue to specify:

"God has wisely disposed of laws and natural rhythms of fecundity that already in themselves distance the succession of births. But, calling men to observe the rules of natural law, interpreted by his constant doctrine, the Church teaches that any: matrimonial act must remain open to the transmission of life ".

Simply put: all this is equivalent to saying that spouses can unite in the sexual act which does not necessarily lead to generating a new life as long as they respect the laws of nature and are not closed to the gift of life. Therefore it is legitimate to resort to various "natural methods" for birth control, such as the Knaus method and the Billings method, thanks to which it is possible to have moments of conjugal intimacy without resorting to artificial contraception.

Morally, however, a question should be asked not exactly irrelevant: not a few Catholic spouses use artificial methods of contraception, not because they are closed to life, indeed quite the opposite! But because they would not be in a position to welcome, at least on the spot, a second or third child, because they just wouldn't have the means to keep it. In addition to not being closed to life, they pray and hope to be in the condition someday, of children, to have another or two others, something that they ask of God as a real grace. Now follows the completely different case of other Catholic couples than, having planned to have only one child and never again, while being able to easily afford to generate two or three more and be able to keep them without problem, they carry out their satisfactory sexual activity, in a condition of total closure to life, using the natural methods allowed, therefore feeling perfectly at peace with their Christian consciences because they do not use artificial contraceptives.

Faced with these two different cases, anything but imaginative but very real, anyone speculating in the field of theological sciences or Catholic morality, you can ask yourself some serious questions, or it is forbidden to do so?

In fact, not a few theologians have raised this question, among them too: what difference there is between an artificial method, the so-called contraceptives, and the so-called natural methods? Why in any case, both allow you to have sexual intercourse avoiding a pregnancy and therefore to be able “plan your life”, with the only difference that, in the first case, this happens with an artificial method, in the second case, this happens with a natural method allowed by the Church. Said in other words: the much vaunted and recommended Knaus and Billings methods can be used in exactly the same spirit with which a condom or birth control pill is used, to give oneself to pure sex as an end in itself, with the only difference that in this second case the "contraception" is based on an artificial and not natural method.

Gentlemen, allow me a question: it is not by chance, instead of worrying that evil comes from the heart of man, we are led to think that evil is all that is enclosed only in a latex condom? Because Christ God, he answers this precise question:

«[…] What comes out of man, this contaminates man. From the inside in fact, that is, from the hearts of men, bad intentions come out: fornications, theft, murders, adultery, cupidigie, evil, hoax, impudicizia, envy, slander, haughtiness, stoltezza. All these bad things come out from within and contaminate man " [MC 7, 21-22].

exposure contained in n. 10 and 11, where the legitimacy of moments of intimacy between spouses not aimed at procreation is recognized, provided they are not closed to the gift of life and do not resort to artificial methods, follows n. 12 that speaks of “two inseparable aspects between union and procreation”, exposing the following:

“Such a doctrine, repeatedly exposed by the Magisterium of the Church, it is founded on the inseparable connection, that God willed and that man cannot break on his own initiative, between the two meanings of the conjugal act: the unitive meaning and the procreative meaning. Indeed, for its intimate structure, the marital act, while it unites the spouses with deep bond, it makes them suitable for the generation of new lives, according to laws inscribed in the very being of man and woman. Safeguarding both of these essential aspects, unitivo e procreativo, the conjugal act fully preserves the sense of mutual and true love and its order to the highest vocation of man to paternity. We think that the men of our time are particularly able to grasp how much this doctrine is permissible to human reason ".

In this style it was written Humanae Vitae, in an attempt to explain “why not …"But at the same time because" no longer no as before …"So why" a little yes and a little no …”, or better to say: sexuality is aimed at the gift of life, but you can join, as long as you are not closed to the gift of life. Artificial methods of birth control are prohibited, however there are natural non-artificial methods that can be used by those who join without being closed to life but at the same time controlling births and preventing pregnancy.

Question: on Humanae Vitae this was written, or I am the one who misunderstood it? Because if I got it wrong, then in that case, in the same way that I have launched into certain speculations, I will publicly state that I have misunderstood the text, so i will explain to who previously read me, the nature of some of my interpretative errors due to my human inability to understand the Humanae Vitae.

Faced with this clear text, but clear up to a certain point, theologians and specialists in Catholic morality, they shouldn't argue, without questioning the discipline in any way? Why Is That, if so, in that case we should be questioned: what was the use of the great council of councils, Vatican II, perhaps to definitively close the theological speculations in the field of philosophy, of biblical sciences, the dogmatic, the sacramentary, the social doctrine of the Church and so on to follow?

In conclusion I add: this encyclical is totally affected, like all those of Paul VI, of the language and style of the Second Vatican Council, on whose language structure is sometimes smoky and not particularly clear, I have often had the opportunity to discuss, like many of my other brothers [among my latest exhibitions on this subject, I refer to this one Lectio in video, WHO].

The Vatican, as I have been repeating for years, has chosen a new language, which in my opinion is very influenced by the style of decadent German romanticism. Almost fearing the previous direct and decisive language based on logic, scholasticism and classical metaphysics. This language leaves many interpretations and discussions open, sometimes it can even create disorientation, as evidenced by the fact that, for decades, bishops from various parts of the world have consulted the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith asking for information on the not particularly clear expressions of various documents; and when these "many" have finally ceased to ask for opinions, it was just because, each of them, he decided to do more or less what he wanted and as he pleased. This is contrary to the previous documents of the Councils and the Magisterium, in which we tried first of all to avoid in any way that lack of clarity that could have led precisely to different interpretations and above all to discussions on doctrines and disciplines given in definitive form.

The pinnacle of this style was touched upon in the post-synodal apostolic exhortation love joy in which, a very delicate and quite complex topic on a strictly theological level and certainly not merely disciplinary, such is that of the eventual admission of the divorced and remarried to Holy Eucharistic Communion, it was "hidden", moreover in a very ambiguous and unclear way, in a noticina at bottom of page. All, note well: in a text that in the official edition of the Vatican Publishing House consists of 194 pages. Question: in Church history, he had never seen himself dealt with, or rather, hiding such an extraordinarily delicate theme, in a footnote, moreover, in a text so long that between one sociologism and another it speaks of everything, including pages and pages devoted to the most trivial and irrelevant things (!?)

I point out with no possibility of easy denial that if we take a canon of the Council of Trent and read it, his precision and clarity are so great and such that not even an illiterate, may not understand the meaning; if we take a document from the Second Vatican Council instead, we will find that behind it, often, rivers and rivers of pages have been written that interpret and clarify its meaning, or the so-called "spirit", while many still wonder what certain texts really mean.

The all-rounders specialized in any and the internet judges with the dangerous hobby of Catholic theology and morality, not administering confessions and not carrying out the delicate ministry of spiritual directors, perhaps they have never encountered concrete cases, anything but "borderline cases", for example of this kind:

1) young woman, with an irregular menstrual cycle since adolescence, that after the first birth occurred with serious risk, she could not and should not have a second pregnancy because that would seriously endanger her mother's life, to save which the only one “solution” it would have been abortion;

2) a man suffering from infected sperm for herpes genital not curable;

3) HIV-positive woman due to a transfusion of infected blood in the hospital after surgery;

4) woman with severe schizophrenia, treated and kept under control, with the family precedent of both the schizophrenic mother and grandmother, before which the specialists established that it was an obvious family defect and that the schizophrenia gene was transmitted in that family from women to women and not from women to men, so much so that the two spouses adopted two children, despite being both fruitful and anything but sterile;

5) woman unable to carry on pregnancy with three miscarriages behind her and complications after the third miscarriage;

6) more women in very particular family situations, married to men who, beyond the kindness and love nurtured towards his wife, they showed little maturity and balance and that for them particular situations of total dependence on the mother or their highly invasive families, they would not have been able to manage a child and avoid forms of abuse that would have literally destroyed the life of the pregnant mother together with that family unit;

7) etc. …

The all-rounders specialized in any and the internet judges, being faced with cases of this kind, or others with whom I found myself in contact by carrying out the ministry of confessor and spiritual director, they would promptly resolve everything by telling those affected by certain problems: "Simple, you have to live as a brother and sister!». Because this, obviously, it is the purpose of marriage: that the spouses live as a brother and sister, to the delight of all-rounders and internet judges specializing in whatever.

In conclusion, I cannot fail to point out that if we go to investigate behind certain ruthless and merciless keyboard judges, bloggers champions of the true Catholic tradition and so on, ready to attack priests first of all with accusations of heretical moral laxity and other equally serious accusations, we will discover behind them an army of divorcees, of cohabitants, of parents who have daughters who already returned home at sixteen on Saturday evening at three in the morning and who jumped from one sexual relationship to another without the possibility of being controlled and tamed, to follow with parents who have cohabiting children out of wedlock and forward again whoever has more. Maybe that's what makes them stiff and merciless on keyboards, from which they do not hesitate to step straight into the bedrooms of others. Or do you think it is reasonable that a famous and well-known blogger, with two divorces behind him and living with a young divorced woman, can afford to publicly throw thunder and lightning against bishops and priests who in his opinion do not defend the sacred non-negotiable values ​​of the family?

Here is the difference between a good shepherd in the care of souls and merciless keyboard judges with the dangerous hobby of Catholic theology and morality; how strict they are, always and on time, on the skin of others:

"They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men's shoulders, but they don't want to move them even with a finger» [Mt 23, 4].


the Island of Patmos, 10 August 2020





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38 thoughts on "The far from closed dilemmas of Humanae Vitae, between legitimate theological speculations and internet judges specializing in everything, including the more delicate parts of Catholic morality in sexual matters

  1. Congratulations!
    Thirty years ago, I expressed similar things when speaking with seminarians, when I taught in our diocesan seminary, closed for years now ( we currently have 2 seminarians), and I did so by strictly adhering to the discipline of Humane Vitae.
    The bishop called me and told me face to face that he thought exactly like me, and having said this he begged me not to face certain speeches anymore, because they were very sensitive issues e “dangerous” to be dealt with under that pontificate.
    I finished the teaching year and the following year I no longer taught in the seminary, the bishop gave me another appointment in the diocesan sphere, in addition to the ministry of pastor that I already carried out.
    As I began to perform other assignments, to Assist, during what you have defined “the carnival of religions”, shamans, animists, Buddhist atheists etc.. etc .. they celebrated strange rites inside the churches of the city of San Francesco in the shadow of the SS. Sacramento.
    I said face to face to the bishop “we'll end up drowning in a condom”, and face to face the bishop answered me “I agree with you”.
    Meanwhile, an unspecified one was touring around Italy “prior” which from discourse to discourse undermined the foundations of the truths of the Catholic faith, and even in this the bishop agreed with me, to the point of inviting him to speak to his clergy.
    My bishop later became a cardinal.
    In 2014 I heard from some “deep throats” that 2002 I was reported as “presbyter with an episcopal profile”. When for a nearby diocese my name was proposed for the trio of candidates, was excluded because I was defined “lacking in formation in sexual morality and not in line with the magisterium of the pontificate”.
    If I had also been chosen as a bishop, and in particular for that diocese, I would have immediately refused to accept.
    In 2016 a group of my confreres proposed me to the new bishop as vicar general, other confreres told the bishop that I was not “in line with the aperturist pastoral teaching of Amoris Laetitia”. And’ a vicar was chosen who at breakfast, lunch and dinner speaks only of immigrants and of “Church output”.
    I Got 72 years and I hope to be online, when God wills, after deserved purgatory, with heaven.

    Know that you have all my esteem and my priestly affection, needless to say that you will never become bishop or cardinal either, you know very well, you don't need to tell you.

    Letter Signed

    1. It is well known that in the church there is and always has been a certain sexual phobia. And it is precisely this sexophobia, in my opinion, which led to the excesses of the sexual revolution. By absurdity, the more you forbid, condemnations etc., the more you make that thing desirable in the eyes of men.
      Like a little’ says St. Paul when he speaks of the discourse of the knowledge of the law and of sin. A’ an obsession that has no equal with any other sin, when it is clear that a sexuality “not ordered” it is often an expression of something else, perhaps of attitudes and / or sins of avarice, selfishness, naked, idolatry etc.. with this obsession the church has played a large part of the Christians, of young people, who see in priests only repressed old men who stand there and simply say that sex is bad.
      Now maybe a little’ less, but hearing the testimony of some confessions’ years ago, it was terrifying how priests fixed themselves only on that point and often inquired with inappropriate and embarrassing questions, times only to feed their itches. Sexuality is a complex thing. Often in it yes “hide” mental defects and various kinds of pathologies, who go there to “vent”. Thinking of reducing everything to “this is done, this is not done” it really makes little sense.

      1. True, I know people who have strayed from the church,late years 50, early 1960s, because in confession from kids who confessed to episodes of masturbation, they were questioned and intimidated,police station style….

    2. Caro father Ariel, under the pontificate of Giovanni Paolo II,sexual morality was almost relegated to the Casti connubi of Pius XI, Benedict XVI, despite being on the line of its predecessor, at least he said that in the case of prostitution the condom was the lesser evil,with Bergoglio also the shepherds (Priests), they loosened the stiffness,on sexual morality,but still today the Humanae vitae, it is used by conservatives as a club, forgetting or ignoring,as Father Ariel said,that not all spouses have identical needs, some for health reasons, age,etc.. they cannot follow the H.V.. verbatim, unfortunately, while the church has a strong suit with ecumenism, we are on contraception, seventy years ago '…
      … even if I don't know her personally, I respect her for her integrity!!!

  2. … and to those who, when you object to the “you have to live as a brother and sister”, they tell you that Saint Joseph was a very chaste husband, you have to replicate: “True! But to convince Saint Joseph that that was the right thing to do, it took the direct intervention of an angel of the Lord, and not the advice a lot per kilo of anyone.

    1. “Thus was Jesus Christ begotten: his mother Mary, She is betrothed to Joseph, before they moved in together, she found herself pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, for he was a just man and did not want to accuse her publicly, he thought of repudiating her in secret " [Mt 1, 18-24].

      … and the most chaste spouse referred to by "those who give advice a little per kilo", as the Holy Gospels tell, he had many problems, before receiving the divine illumination which he then received. So much so that "he thought of repudiating her in secret", thus avoiding that the Blessed Virgin could end up stoned.
      If the Most Blessed Patriarch Joseph had not been enlightened, the most chaste spouse would have acted exactly as the Holy Gospels tell us: repudiating Mary in secret.

      I commend you on your wisdom.

    2. I believe that the Most Blessed Patriarch Joseph,
      precisely because He is a Just Man,
      if the Wisdom of the Most High had not chosen his family to give human flesh to the Savior,
      would have honored,
      “knowing her” at the time established by the Jewish marriage customs of the time,
      his wedding with the Ever-Virgin Mary.

    3. S. Joseph did not yet have the sanctifying grace that Jesus Christ obtained for us and that every Christian obtains with Baptism and which subsequently strengthens with the other sacraments, so starting from a disadvantaged condition it was “very good” . Furthermore, the weight given to the appearance of an angel depends on the faith one has, as has already been written : “…If they don't listen to Moses and the Prophets, even if one were to rise from the dead they will be persuaded” (Luke in the parable of the rich Dives).

  3. Thank you Father Ariel for these clarifications.
    I must admit that I still cannot understand why the so-called methods “natural” are allowed, while those “artificial” No. I too have met people who use the methods “natural” – and they also offer them to others – , without valid reasons, feeling at peace with conscience only because they are allowed methods.
    Wouldn't it be better to just ban abortion methods and insist on right intention in the decision to unite and avoid pregnancy.?
    If you could make a few more comments about it, I would be grateful.

  4. Padre Ariel, excuse me I ask you a question that has been bothering me for a long time, but if a man and a woman of 40/45 years get married, maybe that woman by age, salute, or previous pregnancies, can't risk getting pregnant, without worsening health, these spouses are obliged to have at least one child? Equally if not, their marriage without generating, leaves the sacrament null?
    Or even without children after a certain age the marriage remains valid?
    I can't find a solution to this question.
    Thanks, for any answer.

    1. Caro Michele,

      the impossibility of having children does not in any way invalidate the marriage.
      One of the main purposes of marriage is undoubtedly procreation, but if for reasons of age or health this cannot happen, the validity of the marriage is in no way affected.
      Otherwise, I myself would have lent myself to the celebration of a marriage originally spoiled by nullity, when I received the consent of two spouses who celebrated their wedding at the respective age of 68 and 72 year old.

      To clarify your doubt, just take and read the marriage rite itself, during which the priest must proceed to the “public questioning” before the two exchange consent. The questions addressed are as follows:

      N. and N.,
      you have come to celebrate the wedding
      without any constraint, in full freedom and aware
      the meaning of your decision?

      You are willing, following the way of marriage,
      to love and honor each other for a lifetime?

      You are willing to welcome with love
      the children that God will want to give you
      and to educate them according to the law of Christ and his Church?

      The ritual provides that this third question concerns the children, in some cases it may be omitted, for example when the spouses are advanced in age.

      I also take this opportunity to tell you that it is not true, that the ancient Mosaic Law, understood as the Law revealed by God, foresaw the repudiation of his sterile wife. If anything, it is true that the authors of the ancient rabbinic law often made God reveal what God never revealed.
      That it was possible to divorce his wife, this was expected, but in this regard Christ God clarifies his opposition to repudiation without pain of equivocation by affirming:

      «Then some Pharisees came to him to test him and they asked him: “It is lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason?”». And he answered: “Did you not read that the Creator from the beginning created them male and female and said: For this reason, the man will leave his father and mother and unite with his wife and the two will be one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined, man do not separate it”. They objected to him: “Because then Moses ordered to give her a certificate of divorce and send her away?”. Jesus answered them: “For the hardness of your heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but at first it was not so. Therefore I tell you: Anyone who divorces his wife, except in the case of concubinage, and marries another commits adultery”».

      And if sterility were a reason for repudiation, in such a case it should be the wives who divorce their husbands – which according to ancient Jewish law they could not do at all – because science amply demonstrates that infertility cases, for a percentage of 7 on 10, they depend on the man and not on the woman.

      Another matter are the pacts stipulated between the spouses before the wedding, conditioning the same not to have children, why such agreements, in principle, make the marriage flawed at the origin and therefore null.
      For this to materialize, it is necessary that one of the two parties impose on the other, as a condition for marriage, the commitment not to have children and that she accepts. Or that both of them, as mutually agreed, marry with the intention of never having children.

      Years ago, learning that two of my acquaintances were about to get married in church, in order to please the respective mothers who wanted the “traditional parade”, I talked to them asking if they always had the intention of not having children. They reiterated what they had told me several times in the past: that they absolutely did not intend to have children and that, if not, if one of the two had wanted them instead, they wouldn't get married.
      Obviously I informed all of that superficialone of the pastor of that church inviting him to refuse to accept consent for two reasons: first, because the two were not authentic believers, second because they had bargained never to have children. He obviously turned a deaf ear, as some priests usually do with those of their brothers considered gods “rigid quarrels”. In fondo, i matrimoni, for certain parishes, they are the only profitable market that allows income…

      … a few years after the marriage went into crisis, the two separated very badly and, in addition to civil divorce, they wanted their marriage union to be “railing” also from the Church, both of which could not care less, however, it was their question of principle.
      The ecclesiastical courts are very cautious when they find themselves with people who ask for a sentence of nullity, citing as a reason for having conditioned the marriage to not having children. The witnesses they brought were not in fact taken as credible, also because they contradicted each other and began to say “I think…”, “and, maybe they said so but I don't remember well…”; and when the witnesses begin to contradict themselves, the judges of the ecclesiastical tribunal are always very cautious.
      The groom finally had enlightenment, remembering the conversations I had with me and the invitation I addressed to both of them not to get married in church, if those were their intentions.
      Specifically, the sentence of nullity, it was given on the basis of my testimony which was considered highly truthful and therefore reliable. Obviously, I did not fail to ask the judges if they intended to impose some sanction on a long-time pastor who, although informed and prayed to by me, equally accepted the consent.
      The marriage, was declared void, as regards the actions of that parish priest and the question I addressed to the judges of the ecclesiastical court, in three years, I'm always here waiting for an answer, also because, while in, he became vicar general of that diocese and has amply compensated for some of his doctrinal and pastoral gaps by dedicating himself full time to migrants.

      1. Caro father,thank you for your reply and it is explained very well, however, the example of elderly spouses gave me , it is logical that they cannot have children because a woman as she knows goes through menopause after a certain age,but in case the woman has 45 years is still fertile but no longer physically ready to have children,in this case these spouses commit the sin of avoiding pregnancy?? …forgive me if I still disturb you,and thanks for any reply!

  5. Natural methods are never contraceptives because they cannot make the act infertile. On the moral level, and then, it is one thing to refrain from a good deed, another is to distort it, svilendolo, or even desecrate it. Most important thing, natural methods favor unity, not only and not so much for the effects of the conjugal act in infertile periods, as for the love that spouses derive from respecting their biological rhythms. In fact, continence is at least as essential to marriage as the conjugal act. It is the same love that is expressed in a different form, alternately, with pulsations that follow the rhythms that the Creator has inscribed in marriage, his image. Neglecting continence not only violates marital chastity, but it cancels at least half of the conjugal love that a marriage can radiate, with risk, paradoxically, to even put his unity at risk (as, unfortunately, daily experience amply demonstrates).

    This is the teaching of Humanae Vitae that the Church should rediscover: revive marital chastity as a value, and not as a renunciation. Let it not happen that it becomes a rogue of moral theology, or that a person physiologically normal and without particular material or psychological constraints, should envy those who are the bearer of some pathology or victim of objective impediments, because his spiritual director is exempted from observing in whole or in part the prohibition of contraceptive methods, thus being able to enjoy, he yes, of a finally satisfying sex life. It would take us back to paganism.

    I think it is appropriate to point out that, in defending the substantial unity of the conjugal act (unitivo e procreativo), not two equivalent purposes attainable individually, Humanae Vitae does not limit itself to condemning some illicit practices, but, whole, the whole modern contraceptive mentality, that is, against acceptance (to receive). It is about that spiritual attitude that invalidates even the sacrament of marriage if contracted in the perspective of a total closure to life, regardless of how one intends to pursue that evil purpose.

    However, due to the unfortunate choice of ambiguous language cleared by the Second Vatican Council, the Humanae Vitae appears in contradiction when, on one side, condemns the contraceptive mentality, other, use the expression "method" (that is, a technique for the pursuit of an end) to indicate what has always been known as a virtue, continence (a linguistic trap, perhaps used by the study commission, to put all the herbs in the single bundle of modernist technicalism).

    The resulting subliminal message (certainly not wanted by Paul VI) is that some methods would be good as they are "natural", others less so because they are artificial, totally inconsistent argument.

    In hindsight, we can say that, also wanting to keep the term "methods", perhaps it would have been more accurate and effective to qualify them, rather than natural, metodi “connaturali”, to oppose those others, not as artificial, but as not connatural to redeemed man.

    1. Not out of a polemical spirit, but I want to ask one thing, obviously on behalf of a friend: but if this friend's wife, in deference to nature, she had no particular sexual desire in her infertile period and should force herself to do so, even with physiological effects (or better, the absence of such) very specific, how the natural method would favor ” the unit, not only and not so much for the effects of the conjugal act in infertile periods, as for the love that spouses derive from respecting their biological rhythms”. Because in this way it seems to bring the question back to an area in which the woman has to sacrifice herself unless there is a relationship aimed at generating life.
      I certainly see it too materially and sensuously, but I can't help but ask.

      1. And’ wrong to equate human sexuality with animal sexuality. Human sexual desire is characterized by a very strong psychological component, definitely prevalent over the hormonal one. Anyhow, I don't understand why she necessarily wants to see in marital chastity a sacrifice for the woman and not, If anything, for man; the fertile period of the woman is of 4-5 days, a week to want to take margins too, whereby, with its premises, the one who sacrifices himself the most is man who chooses natural methods, do not you think?
        But it, as I tried to explain in my previous post, according to HV, for a Christian conscience (that is humanly) format, the so-called “waiver” it is actually a gift of love like the sexual act. It ', like that, a marital relationship, that is, of intimate union in the love of Christ. (It goes without saying that a Christianly formed conscience will know how to properly and adequately evaluate all “but if…” that the various circumstances of life may present, while a conscience neither formed nor humanly, nor in Christianity can it only come to call every surrogate or aberration love).

  6. Dear Stefano, I do not discuss the general meaning of his intervention, that I share.
    About natural methods, may I be allowed to propose this personal reflection: no one denies that their intrinsic meaning is not equivalent to that of a contraceptive in the proper sense.
    However, their systematic use by spouses, as a substitute for contraception, it is not exempt from subjective responsibility, by virtue of the fact that, in practice, ultimately one ends up denying one of the essential natural purposes of marriage, namely the procreative one, proceeding from the underground claim to be the ultimate referees, in place of Providence, on actual children to be given to the world.
    With this further difference, but: while condom users, to varying degrees, they are aware that they are breaking with Christian moral teaching, how many instead pride themselves on the continuous use of natural methods, sub specie contraception, they are not warned that they are in sin anyway,on the contrary: maybe they feel like saints…

    1. Dear Giuseppe, to be aware of breaking with Christian moral teaching, one must first know it and accept it as true divine teaching, therefore also wanting to practice it in one's life. This implies two things: to) that the Church remains faithful to its true teaching, and, b) that the faithful are formed and grow in perfection in this teaching; if not, the two cases you contemplate will always occur, that is, the hypocritical abuse of natural law and the use of contraception in the naive conviction not to violate Christian morality.

  7. Thanks for the many very well argued food for thought.
    I didn't like the final closure as keyboard theologians might be blameless in which case…
    Good day

    1. Be perfect as your Father who is in Heaven is perfect is valid for everyone, including headboard theologians, of course.

  8. And’ It is true that natural methods can be used with a contraceptive mentality, but it is also true that St. John Paul II, being aware of it, said in a speech of his 1984 as follows: "The use of infertile periods in married life can become a source of abuse, if the spouses thus try to avoid procreation without just reason by lowering it below the morally just level of births in their family. This right level must be established taking into account not only the good of one's family, as well as the state of health and possibilities of the spouses themselves, but also of the good of the society to which they belong, of the Church and even of all humanity. "Now it is evident that the level of procreation, at least in Italy and Europe it is below the right level,therefore the problem is denatality not excessive births.

  9. And’ Paul VI himself to explain the difference between contraception and natural methods in Humanae Vitae: “These acts… don't cease to be legitimate though, for reasons beyond the control of the spouses, are expected infertile, because they remain ordered to express and consolidate their union. Indeed, as experience attests, not every conjugal encounter is followed by a new life. God has wisely laid down natural laws and rhythms of fertility that already in themselves distance the succession of births " (HV 11)”.

    It is not that the Church is against sexual pleasure or is sexophobic,the point is that many Catholic couples too,they experience sexuality only from the point of view of pleasure because we live in an age in which we are obsessed with sex,from pleasure,from hedonism and even sex is experienced in a hedonistic way, excluding,a priori, in fact, free sex is practiced,but there is a frightening denatality,especially in Italy.

    1. … and she who talks about the sexuality of others, its how she lives? How many children has she brought into the world?

  10. Dear Don Ariel while sharing his stigmatization of those who judge others and condemn them,you should never judge anyone,But I want to remember,as you know very well that the encyclical Humanae Vitae affirms at n.11: “any matrimonial act must remain open to the transmission of life ”and that“ any action which, or in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, If you propose, as an end or as a means, to prevent the procreation of children ". I also remember the Vademecum for confessors of the Pontifical Council for the Family, we read that: “the Church has always taught the intrinsic malice of contraception, ie, of every marital act intentionally infecondo”. This teaching is to be held as definitive doctrine and irreformable. Contraception is gravely opposed to marital chastity, it is contrary to the good of the transmission of life and the reciprocal self-giving of the spouses wounds true love and denies the sovereign role of God in the transmission of human life ". It is therefore not a trifle.

    1. … as proof that you comment without having read what I wrote, therefore I inform you that what you have mentioned, from n. 11 of Humanae Vitae to the directive given by the Holy See to confessors, it is all quoted and faithfully reported in my article.

      However, I am sure that what he has enunciated is wise, he will always apply it first of all to himself, because this has always been the best Christian witness, more than reminding me that I am celibate and chaste what are the directives that I know best and from before you, seen and considered that I exercise the ministry of confessor, not her.

  11. Dear Don Ariel, I too am chaste and celibate, although he is neither a priest nor has the authority to confess, not being a priest,but that certainly does not mean that I can express my opinion. I certainly do not allow myself to judge anyone, much less his work in confession, I would beware of it, but I happened to hear advice, given in confession in pairs of my acquaintance,I have aroused a certain perplexity in me.Some priests recommend contraception by allowing it, as a lesser evil, notwithstanding that mercy is always the best medicine and that each case is history in itself,I certainly cannot hide my perplexities. I certainly do not want to say that this is his work,even if it were, it would only concern her,his conscience,however, he knows better than I what G.P.II said about contraception, that is:"The spouses attribute to themselves a power that belongs only to God: the power to ultimately decide the coming into existence of a human person. They attribute the qualification of not being the co-operators of God's creative power, but the ultimate custodians of the source of human life. From this perspective, contraception is objectively to be judged so profoundly illicit that it can never, for no reason, be justified”.Obviously this is the objective criterion,then we must take into account the subjective situation, as she says, but she also knows better than I what Veritatis Splendor says (67) and Familiaris Consortio. Sin remains a sin and certainly cannot be justified as a lesser evil,even HV says so.

    1. Dear Andrea,

      as you see sometimes, a delicate and pedagogical provocation, it can bring forth intelligent answers like yours, edifying for the reader and therefore important for these columns of ours.

      You will surely give me notice of the fact that in my writings on Humanae Vitae I have explained far and wide that we must clearly distinguish between:

      to) the disciplines and directives given by the Holy Church with duty and obligation of observance by the faithful;
      b) the theological disputes based on so-called academic hypotheses.

      In the first case – I explained – a confessor or spiritual director who taught doctrines or moral disciplines contrary to the teachings of the Church "would commit something terribly serious".
      In the second case, on the other hand, speculating in theological field or advancing hypotheses or studying hypotheses, it is not only lawful but desirable, always moving in full respect of the teachings of the Church.

      For centuries, before the dogma of the Immaculate Conception was proclaimed, the various theological schools even exchanged accusations of heresy among each other “conceptionists” and “anti-conceptionists”, arguing the reasons opposed to the others. Then the Blessed Pontiff Pius IX defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception and at that point, in the face of a truth of faith dogmatically defined, all discussion has ceased.

      Let me give an example, you quote the Holy Pontiff John Paul II who states so definitive:

      «From this perspective, contraception is objectively to be judged so profoundly illicit that it can never be, for no reason, be justified "

      Of the theologians, always in the context of the hypotheses, they could hypothesize exceptional cases in which not only contraception could be justified but even desirable?
      Yes, if we talk about definitive doctrines it's possible to do it, but only on the level of pure and hypothetical academic speculation, certainly without transforming their hypotheses of study into doctrines or elements of lawfulness, indeed quite the opposite: always reaffirming the doctrine of the Church, his respect and clarifying that theirs is only a speculation and a dispute on the academic level. What cannot be discussed or advanced academic hypotheses, it's defining truths, that is, the dogmas of faith.

      I realize that, although certain things you try to explain well, many do not intend to understand them. Obviously that's not the case with him, which indeed I thank for your comment.

      1. If we take the opinions of some theologians,much like speculation,this can also be accepted, but always as an exercise in academic discussion, not putting it on the same level as teaching the Magisterium. All the baptized,they must be enlightened only by the Magisterium of the Church,because only it is authentic and comes from the Lord.Jesus promised particular assistance of the Holy Spirit.John Paul II affirmed that what is taught by the Church on contraception does not belong to a matter freely disputable among theologians.”example of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception I do not entirely agree with ,indeed,until the definitive promulgation,discussions were legitimate,violent debates too.But when the Church promulgated the dogma these discussions were over.In the case of contraception,the teaching of the Church is irreformable and will not be subject to change. Today many couples resort to contraception,because it is the easiest way,but she teaches me,which is not the best way. Those who live in chastity know how easy it is to fall and act against this virtue,after each fall we resort to God's mercy. The problem arises when the exception becomes the rule and sin becomes the rule,while virtue is the exception or rather it is recommended, as a solution.

        1. “In the case of contraception,the teaching of the Church is irreformable and will not be subject to change "

          In my article that you are commenting on, I gave the example of numerous unreformable disciplines given at the time, complete with anathema sit if they had been touched and even of canons sanctioned by ecumenical councils that have been reformed, even in the delicate sphere of the discipline of the sacraments, that if it allows it is more important than a contraceptive.

          1. But I think we have to stick to the fact, not to hypotheses. I believe it would be better to always stay with your feet firmly planted in the present while remaining in humble abandonment and obedience to the Church?Only in this way can we be sure that we are in the right; we cannot rely on what we think will happen in the future. Perhaps the Church will be able to change its opinion,personally I don't believe in it,given the non-positive nature of contraception ,but the present is what we know. She teaches me, than some types of contraceptives,like the contraceptive pills,spirali etc, have a mildly abortive action.Just read the pharmaceutical leaflet to realize it.Obviously not all contraceptives are like this, but mostly contraceptives act in an abortive way even if indirectly and this makes them even more suspicious.The Church has decided in a definitive and irreformable way on this issue,therefore I believe that the tracks on which we must stay are those ... St. Paul VI in HV # 25 wisely says:”What if sin still got hold of them,let them not be discouraged but resort with humble perseverance to God's mercy…”. but sin cannot become the norm. I know couples with two children,with her husband often away from home for work, who were allowed contraception, given the forced abstinence due to the distance of the spouse.So contraception is the norm in the life of this young couple. All this leaves me perplexed and I wonder what sense absolution has if there is no desire not to repeat the sin?I'm…

          2. It is no coincidence that I have reiterated in my last two articles what I have been explaining and repeating for years: the Humanae Vitae of the Holy Pontiff Paul VI "it is a far-sighted and prophetic text"

  12. Sorry (and I'm serious) after the last papal utterances I ask: but the search for the G-spot is a diabolical act or due search for divine pleasure, at the same time, he kamasutra , as it is widely illustrated outside Hindu temples forming significant yantra , it is mystical erotica or the pursuit of jouissance up to itself?
    Because at this point it seems to me that Berglgio cleared the tantras through customs and therefore admitted a search for God through pleasure.
    Which would be quite a revolution
    On the topic, at this point, my ideas are a little confused.

  13. Mr. Andrea, if you have understood everything, please enlighten me or enlighten us on the subject of marital relations.
    I stayed at the Leopard and surroundings “!I'm not doing it for my own sake, but to please God” or at most Gandolfini .
    Now since I am old and dilapidated and of the illusion of divine seccual happiness ” I don't care” on the subject I have only cognitive itches of an intellectual nature

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