Skip to content

Catholics, John Kerry, Viagra, and Sin

By Matt Abbott

I don't know about you, but I'm sick and tired of seeing ads for Viagra (and its "brother" medicines) everywhere you look. You can't get away from it, really. It's on the television, in the sports stadiums, and in tons of "spam" e-mails. There's even a Viagra clock. And the latest "devil" ad campaign for Viagra - showing supposedly sex-hungry men growing devil's horns - is nothing short of appalling.

Then there's the upcoming election. The Iraq war. Forged documents. Debates. John Kerry. Catholics. Abortion. Sin.

Which brings me to my rhetorical moral question of the day: Which of these is sinful - A) a Catholic voting for pro-abortion John Kerry or B) a Catholic married man using Viagra? Well, if you're a liberal "Catholic," there is no such thing as sin, save for voting Republican. If, however, you're a faithful Catholic, then choice A could very well be sinful - not to mention unthinkable - but not so with choice B.

Here's why. Voting for a pro-abortion candidate because of his or her support of abortion "rights" would, according to assenting Catholic theologians, constitute a mortal sin. Voting for a pro-abortion candidate because he or she is "right" on other issues might not be sinful per se, but it certainly would be an utterly foolish act. And no true pro-lifer is going to do such a thing.

Now we arrive at the Viagra question. This is something many Catholics, even faithful ones, seemingly haven't talked a lot about. Not that I blame them. It is, after all, a personal matter. Yet, the morality of such a very popular medication should be addressed.

Thankfully, syndicated columnist Grace MacKinnon ( recently decided to do just that.

A reader asked her the following question: "Dear Grace, I know that the Catholic Church prohibits artificial birth control because it 'goes against nature.' What is the Church's position on Viagra? I think it goes against nature just as much as artificial birth control does."

MacKinnon's response:

"The Church has not condemned the use of Viagra, but your question is interesting and occasions an opportunity to make an important distinction. Artificial contraception, as you must know, is the intentional prevention of conception or impregnation through the use of various devices, agents, drugs, sexual practices, or surgical procedures before, during, or after a voluntary act of intercourse. Viagra, on the other hand, is a drug that helps males to overcome a pathological condition preventing them from engaging in the conjugal act with their spouses. Destroying or denying a good (conception) is quite different from enhancing or strengthening a good (as by use of Viagra).

"Is it wrong for a married man to be assisted by medical treatment to have sexual relations with his wife? Surely it cannot be. Scripture tells us that God, out of His infinite and powerful love, created man and woman for each other. He then said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it' (Gn 1: 28). God had a beautiful plan for marriage. And in order that they would be able to fulfill that plan, God created them with a natural desire for each other. This desire is good and noble when it is satisfied in the way that the Creator intended. Sex is a sacred and holy gift from God to a husband and wife because this is one of the means by which they can fulfill the two purposes and meanings of marriage -- to be unitive and procreative. Let us not make the mistake, though, of placing all of the focus on sex. Sexual performance is not the end-all in marriage and really has little to do with the spiritual aspect of marriage.

"Use of drugs such as Viagra to help overcome pathological conditions can certainly not be immoral. The difference between use of such drugs and artificial contraceptives is that contraceptives do not help overcome a pathological condition. Being fertile is not a pathology. There is quite a difference. Viagra does not go against nature -- it assists nature. Artificial contraception does not assist nature -- it goes against nature.

"I assumed, of course, that you were referring to married men in your question. If, however, you were asking about all men using Viagra, then that would change the answer. The Catholic Church has always taught consistently that sexual intercourse 'must take place exclusively within marriage. Outside of marriage it always constitutes grave sin and excludes one from sacramental Communion' (CCC #2390).

"You can see, therefore, that because we believe firmly that sex outside of marriage is immoral, then the use of Viagra -- a drug specifically used to assist males to be able to have sexual intercourse -- would most naturally be condemned as immoral if used by single men. This teaching by the Church regarding no sex outside of marriage is often not a popular one and creates a tremendous challenge for many single persons today, but the reality is that it is a beautiful teaching, for it comes from God, and therefore we know that it comes from His loving heart and is, thus, for our ultimate good and true happiness."

I agree. But get rid of the ad campaigns, will ya?!

And please don't vote for John Kerry - especially if you're Catholic. Viagra user or not.


Matt Abbott
Matt Abbott - Author,



Catholic, Abbott, politics, Viagra, abortion

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718

A Recession Antidote
Randy Hain

Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
Jerom Paul

A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell

My Dad
JoMarie Grinkiewicz

Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell

Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Catholic Online

Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Catholic Online

Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
Catholic Online

State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Catholic Online

Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
Catholic Online

2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Catholic Online

Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Catholic Online

Franchising to Evangelize
Catholic Online

Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Catholic Online

Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Catholic Online

Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Catholic Online

Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Catholic Online

Full Circle
Robert Gieb

Three words to a deeper faith
Paul Sposite

Relections for Lent 2009
chris anthony

Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell

World Food Program Director on Lent
Catholic Online

Moral Clarity

Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Catholic Online

A Prayer for Monaco: Remembering the Faith Legacy of Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace and Contemplating the Moral Challenges of Prince Albert II
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe

Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Sally Connolly

Glimpse of Me
Sarah Reinhard

The 3 stages of life
Michele Szekely

Sex and the Married Woman
Cheryl Dickow

A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Cheryl Dickow

Modernity & Morality
Dan Shea

Just a Minute
Sarah Reinhard

Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Hugh McNichol

Edging God Out
Paul Sposite

Burying a St. Joseph Statue
Cheryl Dickow

George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Catholic Online

Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell

Action Changes Things: Teaching our Kids about Community Service
Lisa Hendey

Easter... A Way of Life
Paul Spoisite

Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Hugh McNichol

Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Hugh McNichol

Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Catholic Online

Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Catholic Online

Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Catholic Online

Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Catholic Online

Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Catholic Online

Holy Saturday...anticipation!
Hugh McNichol

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.