You will sometimes hear the criticism that Catholicism (because of its stance on artificial contraception, for example) doesn’t like sex. The critic will often give the impression that this is because of a prudishness, or of a distaste for anything involving rushing blood and heaving flesh. Or, that being orthodox means a person isn’t much fun, sexually or otherwise.

I regret that this is sometimes true, but is only by a mistake of the opposite kind which I will now describe – that is, the mistake our critic is making.

The critic, if he believes what he is saying, has it backward – he does not like sex. Instead, it is the Catholic Church’s love of sex which is unsurpassed.

This is because the critic only likes a part of sex, and maybe two parts at best Рthat is, he typically likes only the pleasure (and here I include any of the risqu̩ sensations which might accompany a sexual tryst).

Further on, among those who are stabler, sex is pleasurable and it represents a kind of crowning moment in a relationship. Here are two people (let’s deal with two at a time) who feel they have exhausted every other satisfaction available to them; or not, but they feel this is the only adequate expression of their inward attraction toward each other. This is by no means a foreign experience to the Catholic, since they are also human.

But it is only the orthodox person who understands that sex includes one more thing, obviously and eternally: That is, the possibility of new life. This is so obvious that some have become bored with it. It is so thoroughly an eternal fact that some need to be preoccupied with preventing it.

Rather than restricting our love of sex, the Church encourages us to love it fully. The ones passing out condoms are deficient in their love of sex, and they castrate its full effect.

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