Impotent Catholics Can’t Marry

HomeReligion, Atheism, and Odd TheologyImpotent Catholics Can’t Marry

Imagine that you’re a healthy young man. Now imagine that you’ve been in an auto accident, and that you’re now a paraplegic. That would be sad and difficult, of course.

Now, imagine the Roman Catholic church rubbing salt into your wounds. That’s what happened to a 26 year-old man in Viterbo, Italy. A Catholic bishop has blocked a ‘church wedding’ for this man and his fiancee. Why? Because he is, as a result of his paraplegia, impotent. His fiancee knows that he’s impotent, but that doesn’t matter to the Roman Catholic church.

A spokesman for Bishop Lorenzo Chiarinelli said that no bishop or priest can celebrate a wedding when he knows of admitted impotence. Why? Among Roman Catholics, it’s apparently a motive for annulment of the marriage.

I think that’s a really stupid position to take. The Roman Catholic church considers marriage a sacrament, which means that this young man and the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with are being denied what they consider a spiritual benefit by the only ones able to grant it. It’s not their fault that the gentleman is impotent, yet they bear the burden of never being married in the eyes of their church.

In a word, that sucks.

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2 responses to “Impotent Catholics Can’t Marry”

  1. sue says:

    Catholic priests marry the impotent. I think these sites run by lay people or even communist religious priests are to prvent marriages from happening. this is false information as is most of the info on the internet. I talked to my priest and these are lies.

    • Tony says:


      I appreciate that you talked to your priest. It shows that you’re interested in learning the truth, and that’s good. I would encourage you to continue your pursuit of truth, including here, on this topic.

      First, we must ask, what is the official Catholic position? I find it here at New Advent: “Impotency is the state of one who is incapable of normal sexual relations. It is clear that an impotent person cannot validly contract marriage since he is physically incapable of realizing its object.” Now, I’m not Catholic, so I might be missing something here. Maybe you can fill me in. You might first spend a few minutes at where the official position is explained.

      Second, it does appear that Bishop Lorenzo Chiarinelli actually did what is claimed. Otherwise, Salvatore de Ciuco (his spokesman) would not have explained his reasoning to the media… he would have only pointed out that it never happened. Further, his decision appears to be in agreement with the official Catholic position.

      Finally, your comment betrays you. When you assume the motives of the people reporting on facts, calling them names and claiming they’re lying, you expose yourself as a blind defender. It’s one thing to say that you agree with Catholic doctrine. It’s another thing entirely to say that those who accurately report Catholic doctrine are liars. I’m not trying to jump all over your case, Sue… but you would do well to do a bit of research before you go public with such things. You might also wonder whether your priest actually knows what he’s talking about, or whether you’ve misunderstood what he meant, or if there’s something else going on. Is he unaware of this doctrine?

      I wish you well, truly. Have a great day!

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