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The Confused Couple wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Is it a sin to engage in coitus interruptus with your spouse?

I've always thought it is, but the priest I confessed to said it depends.

The reason my wife and I do, is because we already have three kids and can't support another one at this time. We use the rhythm method too, but there are times outside the infertile days when we can't help it.

We do this in love, of course and I think we grow closer because of it but there's still this guilt I feel when it happens because of what I've been taught.

When we search our heart of hearts, we feel it's OK but we also aren't sure because Catholics are taught that we should listen to all of what the Church teaches.

We would appreciate your thoughts on this!

Confused

  { Is engaging in coitus interruptus with your spouse a sin if we can't support another child? }

Eric replied:

Dear Confused,

No, this is not permissible; it is exactly the same thing Onan did in Genesis 38:3-10, for which God struck him dead.

I rather recommend Natural Family Planning which is very effective. Note that this is not the same as the rhythm method; it is much more effective and precise.

For information consult the Couple to Couple League International. It still requires periodic abstinence, but learning to sustain those periods of abstinence can be very healthy to your relationship.

Eric

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