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Dear Father Angelo,

I greet you and admire you for the always satisfactory answers that I find on the site. My name is Manuel.

I would have this question to ask you… I state that I have been following the church for a year now, I have repented and I am looking for God within me; until a year ago I believed in God but I was running in the wrong direction. I can say that now I feel pretty good because thanks to him I am making new acquaintances and I am finding a lot of stability, as I did not think possible before. I thought I had sinned so badly that I no longer deserved his forgiveness…

Luckily I got through that period and my life has changed.

Here is the question I would like to ask: I have been engaged for a few months and I have premarital sex with my girlfriend… I would like you to tell me how serious this sin can be.

Let me first state that every time she invites me to have intercourse I always try to avoid it and she replies that I have little desire for her and maybe she doesn’t like me… Of course I would not be against it, if only it were along the path I have followed in faith so far.

Simply put, I try to create as few intercourse as possible. Sometimes I stiffen and try to divert her attention and sometimes I satisfy her and we spend the night together.

I also spoke to her about my faith but on the one hand I am afraid of breaking the promises I am making to the Lord or rather of disobeying him, on the other I’m afraid she might get strange ideas about me.

From the other opinions I heard I have been told that sexual intercourse is legitimate as long as there is a feeling…. but I would like a perhaps clearer answer from you.

A second question would then be to know if I can take communion anyway because it is very important to me.

Thanks in advance and have a nice day!


Dear Manuel,

1. Before moving on to the answer to the questions you asked me, I would like to underline the great event that took place in your life: having found God within the Church.

And having found Him, you feel more stability in your life. In a word you feel better and you are quite happy.

2. You have expressed yourself with simplicity, but you have said very important things that everyone can understand.

By finding God you have found stability because you have found the truth about yourself.

Only the One who made you can tell you the whole truth about yourself, about the meaning of your life, about the goal to be achieved.

You did not find it in just any religion, but in the Church, that is, in the Gospel, in Jesus Christ, who is God made man.

3. Even if the words holiness and sanctification do not appear in your email, you have understood well that God’s plan for us is the one indicated by Jesus: “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48).

With reference to this goal that transcends us, you perceive that there is something wrong with those actions that are commonly called sin, such as premarital intercourse.

4. In the Church you have found God.

Not simply the God who is in heaven, but He who follows you step by step with a love infinitely greater than that of all the mothers of this world put together.

You have found God who forgives you, who lifts you up, who does not tire of you, who does not slap you, but who wants to fill you with Himself.

You found Him in the sacraments and mainly in the Eucharist and in Confession.

5. Before you lived at the mercy of events without knowing where you were going, never going beyond immediate pleasure. But you always remained insecure, poor, like a beggar, living from day to day.

You are now in God’s hands.

Indeed you are hand in hand with God.

In that hand you found security, stability, serenity, like being at home, safe.

Thank you for this testimony.

6. Now I come to the specific questions you asked me.

First of all, you tell me that you are having premarital intercourse and you ask me if this is a sin.

Well, with premarital sexual intercourse there is not just any conjunction, but joining through the procreative powers.

Why joining together by means of the procreative powers, thwarting them in their finality?

Those acts always remain potentially procreative, even when it comes to safe sex, as they say today.

From this point of view there is already an enormous irresponsibility.

7. You understand well that in those acts there is something greater than what you two think and you also understand that through contraception those acts are impoverished because their intrinsic procreative capacity is frustrated.

You both instinctively understand that those acts have a true meaning only within marriage.

They are the proper acts of the spouses.

They are the acts of those who have totally given themselves to the other, with whom they became one.

The spouses with those acts give themselves in totality, including the ability to arouse life.

8. John Paul II said that “the total physical self-giving would be a lie if it were not the sign and fruit of a total personal self-giving, in which the whole person, including the temporal dimension, is present: if the person were to withhold something or reserve the possibility of deciding otherwise in the future, by this very fact he or she would not be giving totally.” (Familiaris consortio, 11).

9. You might ask me: but what does premarital intercourse have to do with the journey towards the Lord?

They have a lot to do with it, for three reasons.

First, because in that moment it is as if you were taking your hand away from God’s to become your own arbiter. It is as if you were saying to God: I decide the ways of sanctification.

It is as if you were saying to God: I do not belong to you at this moment, I belong only to me. The body is mine and I do what I want with it.

10. The second reason, and it is extremely precious, is that only in true love can we draw close to God.

But, despite what is commonly thought, premarital sexual relations are not true love, because in them one does not give totally oneself nor does put oneself in the line; they end up in that lust that spoils the relationship with God and extinguishes it. So that little by little one no longer feels anything for God.

There may still be religious practice, but the fervor is extinguished.

For this St. Peter says: ” Beloved, I urge you as aliens and sojourners to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against the soul” (1 Pt 2:11).

11. The third reason lies in the fact that sexuality is not just any component of our life, but touches its intimate core.

The disorder implemented in this area is negatively redundant, as by concentric circles, in many other areas of our life.

Since it touches the intimate core of the person, a disorder is introduced into the depths of oneself: the relationship with God, with oneself and with others is altered.

Instead of self-giving, of losing oneself, of self-immolation, self-satisfaction is introduced, passed off as love, but which is true love in name only.

12. On the gravity of this disorder I report to you what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says: “Fornication is carnal union between an unmarried man and an unmarried woman. It is gravely contrary to the dignity of persons and of human sexuality which is naturally ordered to the good of spouses and the generation and education of children. Moreover, it is a grave scandal when there is corruption of the young” (CCC 2353).

Premarital intercourse is just that: the carnal union between an unmarried man and an unmarried woman.

13. You tell me that according to some opinions you’ve heard, premarital intercourse is legitimate as long as there are feelings.

No, this is wrong.

Not only because it would be the person (with all his concupiscence) who ultimately decides what is good and what is evil, but also because the feeling must be true (that is, according to God’s indications), pure and holy.

The Magisterium of the Church in the Declaration Persona humana, speaking explicitly of premarital intercourse, affirmed that it is “contrary to Christian doctrine, which states that every genital act must be within the framework of marriage” (PH 7).

It also said that “sexual union therefore is only legitimate if a definitive community of life has been established between the man and the woman” (PH 7).

And it reminds that while “through marriage, in fact, the love of married people is taken up into that love which Christ irrevocably has for the Church (cf. Eph 5: 25-32) … dissolute sexual union defiles the temple of the Holy Spirit which the Christian has become” (PH 7).

In itself, therefore, it is a grave sin and before receiving Holy Communion it is necessary to purify oneself through sacramental Confession.

14. I therefore urge you to walk in the ways of God.

Your love will have everything to gain, because it will become purer and therefore stronger, more faithful and holier.

Only a holier love sanctifies you and unites you more and more to God.

I accompany you by remembering you in prayer and I bless you.

Father Angelo