Does the Catholic Church really hate sex?

By Tom Quiner


The Catholic Church believes that sexual intimacy should be reserved for marriage between one man and one woman.

Even more, the Church teaches that artificial contraception is a grave sin, but that natural family planning is a healthy, loving alternative.

These Church teachings lead many to conclude that the Church just doesn’t like sex, that the function (procreation) trumps the feeling (sexual ecstasy).

The Catholic bishop in El Paso, Texas, Mark Seitz, nicely puts things in perspective:

“This is not in any way to say that sexual expression is not intended by God to be enjoyed. But it is to realize that the greatest joy comes in the act of self-giving, not in self-seeking.”

His comments are timely in light of the hit movie, “50 Shades of Grey”, which glamorizes sex that is all about self-taking at the expense of another who is more victim than lover.


  1. Shawn Pavlik on February 17, 2015 at 9:37 am

    The Catholic CHURCH is opposed to contraception, but if you ask most Catholics, they use one form or another. I don’t think there is anything non-Christian about using a condom or a diaphragm.

    • quinersdiner on February 17, 2015 at 10:00 am

      Every single religion is against sin in some form or another. Every single one has adherents that commit them. Catholicism isn’t a democracy. The Truth isn’t determined by a popular vote. It is determined by the Holy Spirit. If every single Catholic practiced contraception, that would not change the Church’s timeless teaching. In fairness, Shawn, as a former Protestant, I used to believe as you. As I have studied the Church’s teachings on Creation, it began to make more and more sense. I very much appreciate and respect your views. This is a subject I may take up again to try to flesh out why the Church believes the way it does. In the meantime, keep reading this blog. Your comments are always appreciated.

      • Shawn Pavlik on February 17, 2015 at 1:01 pm

        Good points, Tom, and I wasn’t meaning to smear Catholics with my comments. Sometimes, though, it seems the Catholic religion takes an odd stance (contraception) that doesn’t seem to have a biblical reason. I am sure you could point to a passage here or there that may support your argument, but I have personally never seen one. I think if a man and his wife want to make love without the likelihood of creating a child, that they should be able to do so without condemnation from the church. My wife and I decided we were going to have 2 children. At the time, I think it was the right decision, because we were not making a ton of money. Now we make a good living and I wish we had more children, but I am still happy with the ones I have. And choosing not to have more allowed my wife to finish college and allowed us to make a good living. We may foster, or even adopt. I think there are many children in America who could use a good home.

  2. oarubio on February 17, 2015 at 10:36 am

    Because some have forgotten the dual purpose of sex (unifying AND openness to life), we have seen non-Catholic Christian churches rationalize the use of contraception starting in 1930 and still others even believe that marriage may be redefined by us humans! Amazing.

    • quinersdiner on February 17, 2015 at 10:39 am


    • Shawn Pavlik on February 17, 2015 at 1:10 pm

      Not all people want 10 kids. If you use the “rhythm method” or other forms of “Catholic Birth Control”, it is not that effective, and the result could be an unwanted pregnancy. I googled it, and hhs makes the claim that up to 25% of those who are using natural family planning get pregnant. That is an extremely high failure rate, compared to condoms, which are typically considered effective 98% of the time or so. I would think this would be a more acceptable form of birth control than abortion.

      • quinersdiner on February 17, 2015 at 4:15 pm

        Do you trust HHS data? The the ‘rhythm method’ has been replaced by natural family planning methods that are highly effective. Read more about them in past QD posts:

      • oarubio on February 17, 2015 at 4:27 pm

        To call it a “failure” rate is indicative of our wanting to control the number of children we have similar to deciding how many pets we think we can afford. 🙂

        Many couples use Natural Family Planning (far more scientific than the older “rhythm” methods) to actually have children, not to prevent them. It works in both scenarios. By doing so, we acknowledge that we are not the sole determinants of our destiny.

        God does have a plan for us or Jesus would not have said that the Father even takes care of the birds in the field, and therefore, would do even more for us.

        He wants us to use the technology our God-given brains have developed to improve the lives of our fellow humans. However, we cross the line when we attempt 100% control over human procreation using a similar “obvious wisdom” which prompted Peter to declare that nothing should happen to Jesus. He meant well as many promoters of contraception are.

        Having children is different from breeding horses or raising cattle. With children, it is a unique situation in that we are cooperating with God in the process of bringing beings with eternal souls into the world. Relying solely on our earthly wisdom to decide how many children are to be born pushes God out of the equation by seeing things only as man sees them.

        • quinersdiner on February 17, 2015 at 4:32 pm

          Eloquently stated, Tony. I just re-ran a post on the subject of NFP for our Protestant friend, Shawn. I totally get Shawn’s line of questioning. If you have a minute, read the post I put up and let me know if you have anything else to add. What you said above was excellent.

          • oarubio on February 17, 2015 at 4:53 pm

            Thanks, I read your latest post just after I had posted my comment. You did a great job of explaining the wonderful resources our loving God has given us!

  3. Jeane on February 17, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    This is an excellent post. Little known fact, modern approaches to NFP are 99% effective in postponing pregnancy. They also help many achieve pregnancy due to the increased knowledge of her body that a woman gains using NFP. Also, widely effective in divorce-proofing marriage. Who would have guessed that God had a better plan all along. I’m thankful that I met some wonderful NFP-wise people early in my marriage. Eternally, thankful. God bless you, Tom.

    • quinersdiner on February 17, 2015 at 5:08 pm

      Thanks for your usual rich insights, Jeane. Really appreciate them.