The Christian churches of the world follow the same basic beliefs that is Christianity but they have their own specific catechisms. By that I mean each denomination – the Catholics, Lutherans, United, etc. – has their own catechisms that make up the bases of their faith. The catechism is meant as a means to guide the churches followers in every aspect of their lives.
It is not surprising that the Catholic church has some very specific views on sex and procreation.
According to the Catholic catechism, the physical act of sexual intercourse is only acceptable between married persons of the opposite sex (married to each other) and only for the purposes of procreation or as an expression of love.
Understandably, chastity is expected of both the man and the woman until the marriage has taken place. Chasity is considered necessary to allow the persons involved to build a firm friendship without the distraction of lust. I am left to wonder where this leave the widow?
The Catholic churches views on procreation are even more complicated.
The Catholic catechism states that it should be the married couples mission to create children. The catechism allows for natural birth control through abstinence but is absolutely against any means used to make procreation impossible. In fact it goes so far as to call any means of artificial birth control – intrinsically evil.
Interestingly, the catechism then states that the State has a responsibility for its citizens well being. Therefore the State can intervene when it comes to population growth by limiting children within families. Hmmm – I think that is contradictory to the marriage mission.
Children are considered a gift. To this end the Church encourages research to help reduce sterility and urges childless couples to seek out help. However, the use of artificial insemination or fertilization, either from donors or the couple themselves, is morally unacceptable. Any means that disassociates the sexual act from procreation is considered reprehensible.
A bit further on in the Catholic catechism, sterile couples are encouraged to adopt abandoned children. I would think that by adopting a child that is not conceived and born naturally of the married couple they would be going against the acceptable procreation rules of the church.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a firm believer in the necessity of catechisms for each denomination but perhaps many of the ‘rules’ need to be taken less literally. Maybe the Church needs to go so far as to modernize the catechisms. After all, what was acceptable interpretations (for the health and safety of the people) of the bible two thousand years ago may have changed.
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