30 Sep 2015 News USA No comments

What's it like to play for the Pope? Here's how one Catholic artist described it

Performing for Pope Francis at Saturday’s Festival of Families in Philadelphia was an answer to prayer for musician Marie Miller, but getting a personal thumbs-…

Read more

12 Sep 2016 Americas Europe News USA Vatican No comments

Vatican releases full schedule of papal trip to Georgia and Azerbaijan

Pope Francis will visit the Caucasus nations on September 30 - October 2 With a focus on relations with the Orthodox and with Muslims, Pope Francis will visit …

Read more

22 Aug 2016 Q&A No comments

Fugitive former abbot arrested over abuse allegations

Fr Laurence Soper was arrested on Sunday after being returned to the UK from Kosovo A former abbot of Ealing Abbey accused of child sex abuse offences has been…

Read more

09 Oct 2015 Middle East News No comments

Pope appeals for peace in Middle East

As the Synod of Bishops began its October 9 session, Pope Francis called for “intense prayer, full of faith, to the Lord" for peace in the Middle East. Stati…

Read more

05 Nov 2014 Q&A Comments (5)

May my girlfriend and I be intimate with one another before marriage?

Full Question A priest told my girlfriend that it is okay for us to touch one another intimately before we are married. Is this correct? Answer N…

Read more

04 Sep 2015 Europe News No comments

Retired bishop assaulted by passenger on a train in Ireland

Bishop Emeritus of Kerry said to be very shaken by the incident Bishop Emeritus Bill Murphy of Kerry was punched in the face last month by a drunken passenge…

Read more

08 Sep 2015 Articles Resources Comments (2)

27 Things You Didn’t Know About the Conclave

With the process to elect a new pope now underway, here are some facts to beef up your knowledge about one of the most important and intriguing institutions in …

Read more

24 May 2016 United Kingdom Comments (4)

Catholic Church better at retaining faithful than other churches, study finds

The Church has the highest retention rate of any denomination, but the lowest rate of conversions English and Welsh Catholicism in 2016 is a religion mainly of…

Read more

28 May 2015 Vatican No comments

What does Pope Francis miss most? Walking in the streets, eating pizza at restaurants

In a recent interview with an Argentine newspaper, Pope Francis said he misses the “tranquillity of walking in the streets" and that he's always been “callejero…

Read more
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

May my girlfriend and I be intimate with one another before marriage?

Full Question

A priest told my girlfriend that it is okay for us to touch one another intimately before we are married. Is this correct?


No. Jesus stated in Matthew 5:28 that a person can commit sins of sexual impurity even in his thoughts. He stated, “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” The same thing is true of fornication (premarital sex).

Looking at a woman to whom you are not married and indulging in lustful thoughts counts as committing fornication in your heart. If indulging yourself in mental lust for a woman to whom you are not married counts, how much more will intimate touching, in which you partially act out the sexual desire you have for another.

Though some priests may not like to say so, fornication is a grave (mortal) sin. The apostle Paul states, “Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness . . . and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal 5:19-21). This is a severe teaching. It is one many unmarried people find hard to accept, but it is the clear teaching of Scripture, and we must hold to it.

Sometimes people rationalize extramarital sexual practices on the grounds that by committing a lesser sin one may avoid a greater one, such as fornication, but there are two problems with this.

First, as the Holy Father has made clear in his recent encyclical, Veritatis Splendor, one may never do something intrinsically wrong in order to avoid a problem. We cannot do evil that good may come of it.

Second, this strategy simply doesn’t work. If you find it difficult to restrain yourself sexually, following that priest’s advice will not make it easier to control yourself–quite the opposite.


  1. Nviiri Richard Male Reply

    i have learnt some thing from this post.

  2. Janice Chen Reply

    If two people never married in church but only civil, is annulment possible from God or the church?

  3. Nancysfo Reply

    in the eyes of the Church, they are not married, thus, no annulment.

  4. paul Reply

    Not correct – they need an annulment

  5. Visuca Reply

    I have had REAL probles with this issue in the past… THANKS BE TO GOD! I (think, hope, believe) I am beginning to surmount them; and answers such as the one you give, although correct, do not help much. One thing is LUST, and a completely different one is LOVE: but in many several fields these two overlap so much that one needs every Grace from God to differentiate both and I’m afraid to say that this has come to me though practice. LUST is intrinsically REVOLTING: LOVE is the nearest I have always been to God. Priests, nuns, monks, religious people that adopt celibacy as their way of life are indeed giving up a lot in this world. It is very clear to me that only the immense love of God can fill the gap of being SINGLE. When God created MAN (in His image, if you please) He also created WOMAN, and He did so in His capacity of GOD; what else?!. He surely knew all it entail and His immense gift in making us FREE and capable of following in His steps and being able ourselves of CREATING other human beings not only in our image but also in His, is… Almost behind words!. – I believe that the problem is that we, human that we are as well as divine, do not know our limitations and abuse our privileges until we learn; a part of growing up! – if I were God… (now: THERE is a conundrum!) the thing I would NOT forgive… or very rarely so… is the damage inflicted to others because of my actions.

Leave a Reply

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