Dear Father Angelo,
I am writing to you as I have doubts about sexual relations with my wife.
We have been happily married for about 46 years, even if our life was, at times, a little “contentious” with moments even difficult, at other times. After the heavy quarrel, I also thought about separating, but then everything was settled, and we’re still here married, with twin grandchildren, my daughter’s, who are our joy.
I come to the point:
As you can understand, my wife is in menopause, and therefore, our sexual relations are devoted to mutual satisfaction, obviously not being able to procreate anymore. Sometimes, during our relationships, we love each other with the whole body, other times we don’t, but only with the intimate relationship. We have used interrupted coitus in the past and have confessed to this type of relationship.
For some time now, while confessing and talking about relations with my wife, the priest tells me literally: the priest must remain outside the bedroom of the two spouses. So, I wonder: should our relationships be confessed? Are they a mortal sin, and therefore, to be confessed? Can you tell me how to behave? Does God’s Mercy absolve us?
I thank you in advance and greet you cordially.
Reply from the priest
1. Interrupted coitus is certainly a sin because it alters God’s plan for human love and sexuality.
And as such it must be confessed.
2. But now, the problem of procreation for you and your wife is no longer there and then, if the relationships between you two are carried out according to God (i.e. excluding any action that is manifestly contrary to his plan of sanctification), there is no need to confess anything.
3. At the most, in some cases, there could be an excess of lust, and then, in this case, there could be a venial sin.
4. In your case, intimate relationships serve to revive unity, understanding and mutual dedication.
5. If, on the other hand, it is a question of real disorders, then purification through confession is necessary.
Perhaps, this is the reason why you ask me if God’s Mercy absolves you.
6. As for the affirmation of the priest who allegedly said that “the priest must remain out of the bedroom of the couple” distinctions must be made.
Because the sanctification of the people goes through the emotional life, also.
I would like to say: it goes through the affective life in a particular way because the perfection of the Christian life is found in charity, that is, in God’s own way of loving.
For this reason the Christian spouses, according to their own way, try to make their mutual affection ever more pure and holy.
To think that the sanctification goes through all the other paths except this one (as that priest would perhaps imply) is simply outside the logic of the Gospel.
I wish you well, I remind you to the Lord and I bless you.