Marriage and Sex, Part 3. “Guilt”

widpicRudd’s second argument for the Catholic Church’s “flawed, incomplete, and destructive” understanding of Marriage is titled, “Guilt”. Rudd continues:

1. Guilt:

Rather than sex being a wonderful communion between husband and wife to fulfill the sexual desire, The [sic] Roman Catholic view, if anyone actually listened to it, would make married partners feel guilty and dirty for having sex, for the sole purpose of a “good romp in the hay”.

There is not a lot of material here—not much to respond to. I have found that Fundamentalists normally enjoy using the words “guilt” and “dirty” within their shared stereotypes of Catholics. I encourage my Protestant readers to actually “listen” to Catholics, and find out if Catholic theology describes sex as a “wonderful communion between husband and wife” or not—if Catholics believe, in any way, that “guilt” or “dirty” are words representative of the Catholic view. What the Catholic Church “says” to those who “listen” is nothing like how Fundamentalism portrays her; what she says is beautiful, is clear, and is precisely Christian. In fact, her interpretation of the Scriptures is presented in The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), and it is available for anyone who cares to “listen” to what the Catholic Church teaches.

Catholicism recognizes that Marriage is not about “a good romp in the hay”, but as a sacrament, is a grace that restores communion between man and wife into its God-intended state (cf. CCC #1605). “As a break with God, the first sin had for its first consequence the rupture of the original communion between man and woman” (CCC #1607). Their communion became disordered. What was first mutual love and attraction between man and wife—of mankind—turned into a relationship of domination and lust. Marriage, as a sacrament, re-orders our communion to where there is no lust to conquer. Marriage is a gift from God; “Without His help man and woman cannot achieve the union of their lives for which God created them ‘in the beginning’” (CCC #1608).

Our merciful God has not forsaken us, and even in our sin, He offers us the means of overcoming our “self-absorption, egoism, pursuit of one’s own pleasure” and helps us “open oneself to the other, to mutual aid and to self-giving” (CCC #1609). Marriage is grace. It helps us be who we were intended to be; not creatures that must manage a disordered sex drive, but new creations with restored dignity. The Catholic Church expresses her understanding of Marriage in the following way:

The sacrament of Matrimony signifies the union of Christ and the Church. It gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved His Church; the grace of the sacrament thus perfects the human love of the spouses, strengthens their indissoluble unity, and sanctifies them on the way to eternal life (CCC #1661).

 

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