Wednesday, July 11, 2012

This just in - literally - I found it in comment moderation: "On sodomitic foreplay"...

So gross!

"Whether a man sins mortally by beginning intercourse in the posterior receptacle (the anus)..."

Saint Alphonsus Ligouri, proclaimed Doctor of the Church in 1871, was the founder of the Redemptorists and one of the church's greatest moral theologians. Professor Smith summarizes his views on the issue in question in the following italicized quote: For instance, in the 1912 edition of Theologia Moralis, Editio Nova by St. Alphonsus Liguori (written in 1748), we read this question: "Whether a man sins mortally by beginning intercourse in the posterior receptacle (the anus), so as to consummate it afterwards in the appropriate receptacle (the vagina)?" The answer given to that question is: "[Various theologians] deny it is a mortal sin as long as there is no danger of pollution [ejaculation outside of the vagina] because all other touches (as they say), even if sexual, are not gravely illicit among spouses. But it is more generally and truly affirmed [to be a mortal sin] by [various theologians], because coitus itself of this kind (even if without insemination) is true sodomy, although not consummated, just as copulation in the natural vessel of another woman is true fornication, even if insemination does not take place."[1] Liguori supports the view of those who argue that anal penetration as foreplay is a mortal sin.  ( In his Encyclica Studiorum Ducem,

Pope Pius XI presents St. Thomas Aquinas as the church's preeminent theologian. In paragraph 20 of the encyclical the Pope states: " He also composed a substantial moral theology, capable of directing all human acts in accordance with the supernatural last end of man. And as he is, as We have said, the perfect theologian, so he gives infallible rules and precepts of life...." (see    

Father Harrison, in the quote which follows, shows how Aquinas saw this sin of sodomitic foreplay as a serious moral violation. Because he explains the matter so well, I quote at length from his article at marital+foreplay. - Comment made to my post on the same subject here.

Talk about an adulterous generation!

From the same source, this good news:

Fortunately (in my opinion), a few contemporary Catholic authors are now explicitly endorsing the teaching that Aquinas expresses in veiled, oblique language in the Summa. For instance, Fr. Thomas G. Morrow has stopped holding his breath waiting for the magisterium to speak on this issue. Instead, he has boldly 'taken the plunge' and published an article expressing what millions of devout and chaste married Catholics have undoubtedly intuited over the centuries without ever talking about it (Cf. "Rethinking Marital Foreplay", Homiletic & Pastoral Review, May 2010, pp. 58-63). According to Fr. Morrow, oral and anal foreplay partially simulate unnatural mortals sins, are therefore acts of lust that treat one's spouse as a pleasure object rather than as a person, and consequently do not measure up to true standards of conjugal love and respect for human dignity. Thus, he concludes, such acts "should be considered illicit, in (or out of) marriage" (p. 63).
Bravo! I find these considerations, together with the teaching of St. Thomas and my years of confessional experience, strongly persuasive. The total data available to me up till now ground a more probable opinion against that sort of foreplay, even though I can't prove I'm right by citing a magisterial document condemning it. And as a probabiliorist, I will continue to tell Catholics who ask my opinion that those practices are mortal sins against purity and should definitely not be carried out. - Father David Watt, STL (Gregorian), PhD (Cambridge)


  1. Terry ... what a gem

  2. thomas tucker5:09 PM

    Uh, okay.
    Who would have ever thought to ask?

  3. Please don't take me there! Polite people shouldn't even consider such topics!

  4. Thomas and BAMK - My apologies. Believe it or not these things are discussed by facilitators/interpreters of JPII's Theology of the Body.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Great post. I remember as Terry notes part of the TOB followers saying such acts flowed implicitly not explicitly from a paragraph in TOB. Perhaps that is why Rome says nothing. The Pius XI quote on Aquinas being infallible in morals is odd. Aquinas believed in executing heretics and believed in the slavery of a child born to a slave mother....the first is now erroneous in light of Vatican II on coercion of religion and the second is now erroneous in light of Vatican II and " Splendor of the Truth" sect. 80. On sex Aquinas and Augustine were both incorrect on it's being venial sin to ask for the marriage debt without willing children explicitly...their view was nullified when the Church accepted the use of the infertile periods in mid 19th century after Pouchet scientifically explained them in 1845. Here you'll see Aquinas following Augustine into this rigorist mistake 700 years after Augustine made it:

    Augustine:  " The Good of Marriage" sect6
    " but to pay the due of marriage is no crime, but to demand it beyond the necessity of begetting is a venial fault."

    Aquinas: Summa T., Supplement...question 49 art 5 “I answer that”: 
      “Consequently there are only two ways in which married persons can come together without any sin at all, namely in order to have offspring, and in order to pay the debt, otherwise it is always at least a venial sin."

    Both men saw paying the marriage debt as totally innocent but asking for the debt as venial if children unwilled. But deliberate venial sin of a repeat nature is dispositive toward mortal sin...according to Aquinas himself who cites the OT..." he that contemneth little things will fall little by little."
    Therefore both men held a rigorist error on asking for the debt. Pius XI spoke too effusively about Aquinas....herein but also in terms of slavery and executing heretics. But Aquinas is a must read even in light of that.

  7. Anonymous2:06 PM

    Terry, thank you for this post. It's an unpleasant topic, but one that needs to be addressed bc of the promulgation of errors from the TOB crowd- which I have read with dismay.

  8. Who needs cable TV when I have Abbey Roads!

    Seriously though, good post.

    1. It's creepy and sad at the same time, isn't it.

  9. Chris in Maryland11:37 PM

    What Fr. Morrow conveys is wholesome and coherent, in comparison to the flimsy "popularizations" of TOB, which don't ring true.

  10. This topic is discussed at length in my book The Catholic Marriage Bed. There are magisterial documents condemning such acts, but they are not well known.


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