Making love the Catholic way

By Tom Quiner

The Catholic view on contraception can be perplexing to the layman.

The secular world certainly doesn’t understand it. But even evangelical and fundamentalist Christians, who agree with Church teachings on sanctity of life and marriage, can’t grasp Catholicism’s apparent animus toward artificial birth control.

A Quiner’s Diner reader expressed the issue well:

“Sometimes, though, it seems the Catholic religion takes an odd stance (on 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.”

I asked Dr. Matt Halbach, Director of the St. Joseph Educational Center in West Des Moines, IA, if he could clarify Church teaching on the subject:

“Interesting topic.

All that I would add to it is that while to many the Church appears to be attempting to control sexual behavior through its teaching against contraception, in reality it is only trying to preserve the sacredness of the sexual act, which is supposed to be uniting and fruitful.

By identifying contraception as a barrier to authentic couple intimacy, the Church is only trying to help people experience sex in its most fulfilling and meaningful (natural) form: the way God intended it to be.

And what is this way? Four words: free (uninhibited), total, faithful, fruitful love-making. In other words, no barriers. No fear. The two are free to embrace the totality of each other and face their future with a trusting confidence in each other and God.

Now, doing away with contraception is the first step to uninhibited intimacy.

What truly frees people to be themselves, to not feel like they have to protect themselves from each other or a potential child is . . . wait for it . . . marriage!

Who would have thought?

Marriage is the institution God has given us so that we can have the freedom to love (and make love) without fear. Now, of course, married couples do need to be responsible about their family planning, which is why the Church recommends various forms of NFP (Natural Family Planning).”


  1. Shawn Pavlik on February 19, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    Thanks for the explanations, Tom. Catholicism sometimes seems like a whole new religion to me. I taught at a Catholic school for a year, and whenever I had to take my classes to mass, I was always uncomfortable, because the priest would say something, and the people respond with words or gestures that were unusual to me. In addition, even though I was a practicing Christian, I was not allowed to take Communion. (I think you or your wife already explained this practice, so you do not need to explain again.) I have also found the concept of “Purgatory” to be odd. Christ has redeemed me from all sins, past, present, and future. My brother is a bit of a Pentacostal, and believes one must truly repent to be absolved of sin, and Catholics take it a step further, and require penitence, i.e. say 5 Our Fathers, and 10 Hail Mary’s and light 15 candles…or whatever. What does the Catholic Church say about suicide, then? Is it an unforgivable sin, since one obviously cannot repent or provide penitence. I ask because a little over a year ago, my sister, after a long life of battling depression, took her own life. Her pastor assured us that she was a practicing Christian, and had been born again, so it is my belief that she is in Heaven right now. I also question, “When do we go to heaven?” Is it immediate? Or do we wait until the 2nd coming, when the trumpet shall sound, and all who have come before us are raised to heaven? (1st Corinthians 15:52) So little questions, so little time. Sorry this post was so long….

    In the end, I always remember that Catholics and Protestants have more in common than our differences. We serve a great and powerful God, one with unending love and grace, without which we would all of us be lost.

    God Bless,


    • quinersdiner on February 19, 2015 at 4:29 pm

      I put up a new post on suicide. So sorry about your sister.