The Catholic Church's position on sex and the family

Marriages should last until death and abortion is not permitted. What else does the Catholic Church teach on sex, marriage and the family?

On homosexuality: According to the Catholic Church, a family includes a man and a woman. The Church does not recognize same-sex partnerships and calls on homosexuals to live a life of chastity. However, the final report of the 2015 Synod on the Family says homosexuals should be treated with respect.

On marriage: Marriage is a sacrament and cannot be dissolved "... till death do us part." Only after the death of one partner is the other allowed to remarry. While divorce is not possible in the Church, a Church court can annul a marriage under certain circumstances. The bishops intend to be more open regarding the remarriage of divorcees in the future, judging each case on an individual basis.

On sex: Sex before marriage is considered a sin. However, many Catholics acknowledge that real life might differ from Church teaching. Catholics are not allowed to use artificial contraceptives, such as condoms or the pill.

On abortion: The Catholic Church rejects abortion in principle. However, it allows for medical interventions to protect the mother's life which might lead to the death of the unborn child as a "side effect."

Last update: Fri, 08/04/2016 - 14:19
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