Follow usTwitterFacebook

Latest

06 Nov 2015 News Vatican No comments

A World without Poverty - Pope Francis

In his quest towards ensuring the Catholic Church supports the poor and the needy, Pope Francis invited a homeless street vendor for an intimate meeting at the …

Read more

25 Mar 2015 Q&A Comments (19)

Did Jesus alter the commandment about observing the sabbath?

Full Question In a recent This Rock article ("Changing the Sabbath," December 1993), you stated that Christ used his authority to alter the sabbath in Matt…

Read more

30 Mar 2015 Q&A No comments

Is it possible to be Catholic and a body-builder?

Full Question Is it possible to be Catholic and a body-builder? I don't see why God would not want me to be my physical best, but I can see how he wouldn't…

Read more

08 Apr 2016 Articles No comments

Pope Francis's New Document on Marriage: 12 Things to Know and Share

Pope Francis’s much-anticipated document on the family has now been released. Here are 12 things to know and share. 1. What are the basic facts about the …

Read more

15 Apr 2016 Articles No comments

The Ultimate Apologist’s Reading List

This is not an exhaustive list, and just because a book is on this list does not mean I endorse everything in it. Instead, this list should serve as a hel…

Read more

07 Sep 2016 Articles Comments (7)

Why young Catholics love the Extraordinary Form

But don't expect them to disparage the Novus Ordo As a young Catholic growing up in an increasingly secular (or even post-secular) Britain, I am lucky to be ab…

Read more

02 Nov 2014 Articles Comments (3)

Can Lying Ever be Right?

St. Augustine wrote the first extensive treatise on lying (De Mendacio). In it he cites the case of a holy bishop, Firmus of Thagasta, who wished to protect a m…

Read more

21 Dec 2015 Q&A Comments (3)

The priest refused to administer the Sacrament of anointing the sick to my sick baby. Why?

Full Question I asked for the anointing of the sick for my very ill baby, but the priest said that the sacrament is only for people older than six years ol…

Read more

07 Sep 2015 News Vatican Comments (1)

Pope opens the Vatican to refugees, calls on Europe’s churches to follow suit

In light of the massive refugee crisis in Europe, Pope Francis announced Sunday that he will give temporary housing in the Vatican to at least two refugee famil…

Read more
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
«
»

Is it a sin to talk for long with women?


Full Question

I was perusing an old (1805) Spanish moral theology tome online, the Compendio Moral Salmaticense. As Spanish is not my primary language, reading it was at times difficult, but I generally could understand it. One thing I found particularly worrisome was a question (the title was written in a “question and answer” format) asking if casual “alias honest” conversations with women are sinful. There were two responses (R.1 and R.2), the first saying that they are “sometimes not only licit, but laudable,” and the second, much longer, saying that “overly familiar, lengthy, or continuous” conversations are often “gravely sinful” by “reason of danger,” and seems to mention that the “many young people of both sexes in our times” who “presume themselves superior to the flames of Babylon” (not sure about the translation here) are “seduced” and are in a continual sin of “lustfulness” and “scandal.”

I personally do not find having conversations with members of the opposite sex to be an occasion of sin, even if long at times (except perhaps of gossip). Do I need to worry about being an occasion of sin by having a lengthy conversation with a girl? Or must I keep all brief and short? I have a scrupulous tendency, and texts like this are definitely no help for me. Rather they tend to make me feel like despairing.

Answer

Without seeing an accurate translation of the book you were reading, I do not know the context in which the instructions were given. My guess is that the instructions would become more clear if context is taken into account. For example, a traditional moral theology text of the early-nineteenth-century might conceivably warn those who are priests or vowed religious from too much familiarity with the opposite sex in order to guard their celibate chastity. It might also warn young unmarried people — whom today we would call teenagers — from interacting too familiarly with the opposite sex. Generally speaking, familiarity is undue intimacy between people who generally should be more circumspect in their behavior toward each other.

If you have difficulty with scrupulosity, I recommend that you consider not poking around in moral theology handbooks unless you have guidance from a spiritual director whose balance and orthodoxy you trust. With the proper guidance, it can be helpful to learn more about moral theology; without it, there is a danger of aggravating scruples. Many such handbooks are written for priests and spiritual directors to guide them in the direction of souls and are not intended for a general audience.










Leave a Reply

  1. most read post
  2. Most Commented
  3. Choose Categories