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Dear Father Angelo,

on July 6, 2017, I sent you an email entitled: Request for help. I do not know how much time you need to reply, therefore I check my email box every now and then, or I visit the website . Neither do I know whether your reply will be private or public. As I have not received any reply yet, I wonder whether you have received my request or not, therefore I have decided to send it again, as a faithful copy of the previous one. 

Awaiting your reply, I warmly greet you.


Dear Father Angelo,

I am 77 years old, I have been married for around 47 years, I have two grown-up children and two grandchildren. My wife and I have a very good relationship in every respect, both in family and in sexual life. We are both practicing Catholics and we do our best to put into practice the teachings of Christ and of His Church. For quite some time I have been having a problem. Even though I have the hormonal stimulus and I still desire my wife sexually, I do not have an erection that allows me to penetrate anymore. Sometimes while I try to do so, I ejaculate outside of the vagina, but inside of my bladder, as my vasa deferentia were both divided during my prostate surgery. Am I in a state of sin? I have tried to resist several times, but after many efforts I end up committing a solitary sin. Invariably I repent and I go to confession so as to reconcile with God. Therefore, I ask you again: do I commit a sin if I try, although unsuccessfully, to have marital intercourses with my wife? Thank you in advance for your reply. At the moment I am, I presume, in a state of grace. I greet you and I ask you to pray for me. I will pray for you too, pleading with the Good Lord to grant you all the graces that you need for a fruitful apostolate. God bless you.

Yours in Jesus and Mary,


The priest’s reply

Dear T.,

  1. I have been answering the emails I received in January, but this time I will make an exception for you. I will come straight to the point.
  2. If, while you try to have an intercourse with your wife, ejaculation occurs before, this does not depend on you. It is a bump in the road, it is undesired and therefore not imputable. 
  3. Analogously, the fact that ejaculation does not occur externally, but rather internally, is not up to you. There is sin when one wants to alter God’s design for sexuality and human love. 
  4. In this regard, the teaching of Pope Pius XI in the encyclical Casti Connubii is clear: “the Catholic Church, to whom God has entrusted the defense of the integrity and purity of morals, standing erect in the midst of the moral ruin which surrounds her, in order that she may preserve the chastity of the nuptial union from being defiled by this foul stain, raises her voice in token of her divine ambassadorship and through Our mouth proclaims anew: any use whatsoever of matrimony exercised in such a way that the act is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of nature, and those who indulge in such are branded with the guilt of a grave sin” (CC, 56). 
  5. Now, your incapability to ejaculate externally is not deliberate, therefore you do not commit any grave sin. 
  6. On the other hand, committing a solitary sin is a clear alteration of God’s design for sexuality and human love. If that happened, being a grave sin, you must go to confession, as you already do. This is the only way to find rest for your soul. 
  7. If you try to have an intercourse with your wife and such an attempt is unsuccessful, you do not sin. As far as you are concerned, you do what you can. But you will sin if, seeing that you do not succeed in having an intercourse, you deliberately conclude with a solitary sin. 

Thank you for your fervent prayer for me. 

I am glad to reciprocate and I bless you.

Father Angelo.