Kisses and touches performed for sensual and lustful motives are condemned as mortal sins by the Catholic Church and Her Saints for both married and unmarried people alike

Pope Alexander VII, Various Errors on Moral Matters #40, September 24, 1665 and March 18, 1666: “It is a probable opinion which states that a kiss is only venial when performed for the sake of the carnal and sensible delight which arises from the kiss, if danger of further consent and pollution is excluded.” – Condemned statement by Pope Alexander VII. (Denz. 1140)

Jean Gerson, Oeuvres Complétes: “Several doctors [of Divinity] maintain that willingly fostering wicked carnal thoughts in order to enjoy oneself is a deadly sin, even without doing the deed. Be sure, however, that kisses, gazes, and fondling, mainly caused by such wicked and lustful thoughts, without anything more, is an even greater sin. … it is even worse if these kisses do not respect the honesty which is usually kept in public.

“… Is it a sin to kiss? I answer that kisses between spouses who maintain the same modesty as the kiss of peace at church, or who do them openly, are without sin. If they do them so immodestly [and lustfully] that I cannot be more precise, it is an abominable deadly sin. If kisses are made between strangers and publicly, as a sign of peace, by friendship or kinship, without wicked thought, there is no sin. They could be dangerous between clerics, or people of the same sex or lineage, or in a secret place, and in a prolonged way.

The Church’s moral teaching that condemns kisses “performed for the sake of the carnal and sensible delight” might come as a surprise to many married couples who thought that this was lawful to do within a marriage. Now some people will indeed be quick to suggest that this statement only applies to unmarried people. However the truth of the matter is that there is not a single indication in the decree that even remotely suggests this. This objection is also easily refuted by considering the wording and reason behind the decree, which of course applies both to the married and unmarried people. Note that “pollution” is an older term used to describe “ejaculation” or “discharge of semen” other than during lawful sex.

The Free Dictionary, The Origin & History, pollution: c.1340, "discharge of semen other than during sex," later, "desecration, defilement" (late 14c.), from L.L. pollutionem (nom. pollutio) "defilement," from L. polluere "to soil, defile, contaminate,"

Therefore, according to the above Church condemnation, even if spouses or unmarried people do not consent to do anything more than the act of kissing itself and don’t commit any other sexual sin or act, it would still be considered as a mortal sin for them to be kissing “for the sake of the carnal and sensible delight” even if “danger of further consent and pollution [or ejaculation] is excluded.” This, of course, is true both before, during, and after the marital act, and applies both to married and unmarried people alike. Thus, spouses may never kiss each other in a sensual way or in this way provoke themselves into sexual lust or “pollution,” either as an act that is separated completely from the marital act or as an act that is committed in relationship to the marital act (such as foreplay), even if pollution or ejaculation is excluded.

Again, the condemned proposition specifically mentioned that kisses “for the sake of the carnal and sensible delight which arises from the kiss” is mortally sinful even though “danger of further consent and pollution [or ejaculation] is excluded” so that no one, whether married or unmarried, should get the idea that they would be allowed to kiss another person for sensual pleasure as long as they did not proceed any further than that.

This point is important to mention since many lustful couples use all kinds of unnecessary acts before, during and after sexual relations. They try to excuse these shameful acts by claiming that they cannot complete the sexual act without them. However, their sinful excuse is condemned by this decree alone.

Now, the main reason for why the act of kissing for the sake of venereal pleasure is mortally sinful according to the teachings of the Catholic Church, the Saints and the Doctors of the Church is because it’s lust and serves no reasonable purpose other than wickedly arousing the selfish sexual desire of the spouses while not being able to effect the conception of a child. This fact then shows us that sensual kissing is a completely selfish and unnecessary act with no other purpose than to inflame a person’s shameful lust, which is contrary to virtue and the good of marriage. Again, unless husband or wife are totally degenerated, the mere thought of having sex with their spouse should be enough to inflame their lust and make them ready—at least on the part of the husband. And if this is true with mere thoughts, how much more with kisses and touches?

There can be no doubt about the fact that many men who are ignorant about sex and women would be in danger of “pollution” by the mere thought of, or act of, sensual kissing or touching. It happens even today amongst some men, mostly in young men who are unlearned in the ways of lust—if one can call it that. That’s why the condemned proposition that tried to excuse this mortal sin even mentioned if “pollution is excluded,” as if wanting to argue that only ejaculation or climax (or pollution) was the mortal sin and not also the evil intention of seeking the pleasure. However, as we all could see above, whether pollution actually happens or not, sensual kisses was still condemned as a mortal sin according to God’s Holy Law.

The fact that many men today have no danger of pollution from sensual kisses or touches does not make it lawful or right either. Because it is obvious that the act is not made lawful just because some men have hardened their hearts and become perverted. Simply said, all kisses and touches performed for the sake of sensual or fleshly pleasure is condemned as a mortal sin by the Catholic Church.

There are three main reasons for why all kisses and touches “when performed for the sake of the carnal and sensible delight which arises from the kiss” is mortally sinful and a sin against the Natural Law. The first reason is that they are a kind of drug abuse since they are selfish, intoxicating and unnecessary just like drug abuse is; the second is that they are shameful since the people who commit these unnecessary acts are ashamed to do them in front of other people; and the third is that they are non-procreative even though God’s law teaches that the “the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children” (Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii #54). These three reasons are also why the Church teaches that even the normal, natural and procreativeact of marriage exercised for pleasure only is condemned as a sin for both the married and unmarried people alike (Blessed Pope Innocent XI) and why this truth was taught already in the Old Testament by God long before even the New Testament was revealed to us by Our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Holy Bible, Tobias 6:16-17, 22; 8:9 “Then the angel Raphael said to him [Tobias]: Hear me, and I will shew thee who they are, over whom the devil can prevail. For they who in such manner receive matrimony, as to shut out God from themselves, and from their mind, and to give themselves to their lust, as the horse and mule, which have not understanding, over them the devil hath power. … And when the third night is past, thou shalt take the virgin with the fear of the Lord, moved rather for love of children than for lust, that in the seed of Abraham thou mayest obtain a blessing in children… [Tobias said] And now, Lord, thou knowest, that not for fleshly lust do I take my sister to wife, but only for the love of posterity, in which thy name may be blessed for ever and ever.”

One of the three greatest reasons for why all non-procreative and unnecessary forms of sexual acts are mortally sinful is that all sexual acts (even marital, natural, lawful and procreative ones) are intoxicating and affects the person similar to the effect of a drug. In fact, the sexual pleasure is many times more intoxicating than many drugs that are unlawful to abuse. But when people are performing unnatural and non-procreative forms of sexual acts, they are abusing the marital act in a similar way that a drug user abuses drugs, or a glutton abuses food. It is an inherently selfish act that are not founded on reason, but only on their unlawful and shameful search for carnal pleasure, similar to the action of a person that uses drugs in order to get intoxicated or high. This absolutely proves that all unnecessary and non-procreative forms of sexual acts, such as sensual kisses and touches, are sinful and unreasonable to abuse in the same way that drugs are sinful and unreasonable to abuse.

This is also why the Church teaches that even the normal, natural and procreativeact of marriage exercised for pleasure only is condemned as a sin for both the married and unmarried people alike (Pope Innocent XI, Various Errors on Moral Matters Condemned in Decree (# 8), March 4, 1679). Since the Church and the Natural Law condemns even the normal, natural and procreativeact of marriage exercised for pleasure only”, even though this act is procreative in itself, it is obvious that all non-procreative and unnecessary forms of sexual acts (such as sensual kisses and touches) are condemned as even worse sins (that is, as mortal sins); since they are utterly unnatural, unreasonable, shameful, and selfish. This obvious fact is also why it is patently absurd and illogical for anyone who agree with the Church’s condemnation of the normal, natural and procreativeact of marriage exercised for pleasure only” even though this act is directly procreative in itself, to then turn around and say that the Church and the Saints allows spouses to perform unnatural or non-procreative sexual acts, such as sensual kisses and touches! In truth, it is a marvel how anyone who accept such a contradictory, illogical and absurd position as described above is even able to justify such a stupid position in his own conscience, but free will being what it is, we can only pray that those who have fallen into this false and unreasonable position see their error, and become converted.

A sick person is allowed by God’s permission to take drugs in order to lessen his pain. But when this sick person uses more drugs than he needs in order to get intoxicated, or continues to use the drugs after he gets well, he commits the sin of drug abuse. This is a perfect example of those who perform non-procreative or unnecessary forms of sexual acts (such as sensual kisses and touches) either by themselves or in relationship to the marital act. They are gluttonous or overindulgent in the marital act, and are thus sinning against their reason and the Natural Law. For “the sin of lust consists in seeking venereal pleasure not in accordance with right reason...” and “lust there signifies any kind of excess.” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 154, Art. 1)

The “excess” that St. Thomas and the Church condemns as a sin are all sexual acts except for what is inherent in the normal, natural and procreative marital act itself. All other sexual acts are by their own nature inexcusable and a sin against the Natural Law, which means that even though a person has never been told or taught that they are sins, they are still committing a mortal sin, just like a person do not have to be told or taught that murder, abortion, stealing, or getting intoxicated or drunk is a sin against the Natural Law in order for this person to be able to commit a mortal sin. As the Haydock Bible and Commentary correctly explains about The Natural Law and Romans 2:14-16: “these men are a law to themselves, and have it written in their hearts, as to the existence of a God, and their reason tells them, that many sins are unlawful...

In truth, “We may also reply that "lasciviousness" relates to certain acts circumstantial to the venereal act, for instance kisses, touches, and so forth.” (Summa Theologica, II-II, Q. 154, Art. 1) Notice that St. Thomas even rejects as lascivious and unlawful “acts circumstantial to the venereal act, for instance kisses, touches, and so forth”, and so it is clear that St. Thomas taught that all non-procreative and unnecessary sexual acts are sinful and against nature. This is also why the Natural Law and the Church teaches that even sensual kisses performed for the sake of the carnal and sensible delight which arises from the kiss” is condemned as a mortal sin for both the married and the unmarried people alike (Pope Alexander VII).

St. Augustine also confirms the fact that it is utterly shameful to even think that one could use “kisses and embraces” for venereal pleasure: “... and you [the Pelagian heretic Julian] do not blush to say you think: ‘It is the more to be commended because the other parts of the body serve it [the reproductive member], that it may be more ardently aroused; be it the eyes for lusting, or the other members, in kisses and embraces.’” (St. Augustine, Against Julian, Book V, Chapter 5, Section 23) Indeed, the people of the modern world shamelessly do not blush to proclaim that kisses and touches for venereal pleasure is lawful and even good, just like the heretics of the early Church did! Since many of the heretics of our own times, like Julian, are Pelagians in their doctrine and rejects the Church’s teaching concerning Original Sin, they also fail to see the inherent evilness of unnatural or non-procreative sexual acts, (such as sensual kisses and touches) since they have chosen to call concupiscence or sexual desire “good” or a “gift from God” rather than a defect that arose from the Original Sin of Adam and Eve. In addition to all of this evidence, this quotation also shows us that even the married are forbidden to perform unnatural or non-procreative sexual acts such as sensual kisses and touches. The Pelagian heretic Julian that St. Augustine is citing in this quotation, did not teach that sexual acts (such as sensual kisses and touches) could be performed by unmarried people, but that only the married were allowed to perform them, which shows us that it is shameful to even dare to suggest that the married can perform such acts. This fact, then, directly refutes those who claim that the Church and Her Saints only condemns kisses and touches for venereal pleasure for those who are unmarried.

This is also why St. Augustine teaches that all non-procreative or unnecessary sexual acts (such as sensual kisses and touches) are sinful even for the married.

St. Augustine, On The Good of Marriage: “For necessary sexual intercourse for begetting [of children] is free from blame, and itself is alone worthy of marriage. But that which goes beyond this necessity [of begetting children, such as sensual kisses and touches] no longer follows reason but lust.” (Section 11, A.D. 401)

Thus, St. Augustine taught that the only lawful sexual act was the intercourse itself. This obviously excludes all other sexual acts that are not part of the normal and natural intercourse “for the begetting of children”. Notice that St. Augustine is also speaking about married people in this quotation, since he says that “necessary sexual intercourse for begetting [of children] is free from blame, and itself is alone worthy of marriage”, thus showing us that he is speaking about the married in this quotation, and not only the unmarried. The fact that he is speaking about the married, of course, totally refutes all who say that only the unmarried but not the married are forbidden by the Saints and the Church to perform unnatural, non-procreative or unnecessary sexual acts—such as sensual kisses and touches. Thus, “as regards any part of the body [such as the mouth] which is not meant for generative [procreative] purposes, should a man use even his own wife in it, it is against nature and flagitious [that is, atrociously wicked; vicious; outrageous].” (St. Augustine, On Marriage and Concupiscence, Book 2, Chapter 35). Again, for those who would claim that only some non-procreative or unnecessary sexual acts, such as masturbation of self or of spouse, oral and anal sex, or foreplay, are condemned by the Church and Her Saints, but not sensual touches or kisses, St. Augustine answers that “as regards any part of the body [such as the mouth] which is not meant for generative [procreative] purposes, should a man use even his own wife in it, it is against nature and flagitious” in order to show us that no sexual act without exception that is non-procreative could ever be performed by married spouses without sin, and that all unnecessary sexual acts are “against nature” and condemned and utterly detested by God: “For necessary sexual intercourse for begetting [of children] is free from blame, and itself is alone worthy of marriage. But that which goes beyond this necessity [of begetting children, such as sensual kisses and touches] no longer follows reason but lust.” (On The Good of Marriage, Section 11)

Indeed, we know that St. Augustine even teaches that spouses who perform the normal, natural and procreative sexual act itself but without excusing it with the explicit motive of procreation, are committing a sin; and since this is so even though this act is procreative in itself, how much more must not those acts that are non-procreative be condemned by him?

St. Augustine, On Marriage and Concupiscence, Book 1, Chapter 17, A.D. 419: “It is, however, one thing for married persons to have intercourse only for the wish to beget children, which is not sinful: it is another thing for them to desire carnal pleasure in cohabitation, but with the spouse only, which involves venial sin. For although propagation of offspring is not the motive of the intercourse, there is still no attempt to prevent such propagation, either by wrong desire or evil appliance.”

Therefore, it is patently absurd and illogical to claim that St. Augustine teaches that the normal, natural and procreative sexual act itself, but without excusing it with the explicit motive of procreation, is sinful to perform for the married; but then turn around and claim that he allows spouses to perform non-procreative or unnecessary sexual acts, such as sensual kisses and touches.

The fact of the matter is that every shred of evidence from the Great Saint Augustine’s writings utterly destroys the heresy against the Natural Law which teaches that sensual kisses and touches are allowed or lawful for the married: “But those who, giving the rein to lust, either wander about steeping themselves in a multitude of debaucheries, or even in regard to one wife not only exceed the measure necessary for the procreation of children, but with the shameless license of a sort of slavish freedom heap up the filth of a still more beastly excess...” (St. Augustine, On Christian Doctrine, Book III, Chapter 19:28) St. Augustine makes it perfectly clear that all sexual acts that “exceed the measure necessary for the procreation of children” are acts of “beastly excess”. Are sensual kisses and touches “necessary for the procreation of children”. Of course not! Only the most dishonest person would ever dare to claim such a thing. Thus, it is a fact that St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, condemns those who “even in regard to one wife not only exceed the measure necessary for the procreation of children, but with the shameless license of a sort of slavish freedom heap up the filth of a still more beastly excess...” and anyone who denies this is simply said not being honest, sad to say!

Furthermore, Pope Pius XI clearly proclaims the Magisterium’s definitive teaching in his encyclical Casti Connubii, which is also found in Holy Scripture, Sacred Tradition and the Natural Law, that each and every marital sexual act must include the procreative function as well as that “the intrinsic nature of the act” must be “preserved” in order for the spouses to even be able to consider the secondary ends of marriage. This teaching necessarily prohibits the married couple from engaging in any kind of unnatural, non-procreative or unnecessary sexual act (with or without climax), because all such acts lack the procreative function. Pope Pius XI teaches that spouses are not forbidden to consider the secondary ends of marriage “SO LONG AS THEY ARE SUBORDINATED TO THE PRIMARY END [that is, Procreation of children] and so long as the intrinsic nature of the act is preserved.”

Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii (# 59), Dec. 31, 1930: “For in matrimony as well as in the use of the matrimonial right there are also secondary ends, such as mutual aid, the cultivating of mutual love, and the quieting of concupiscence which husband and wife are not forbidden to consider SO LONG AS THEY ARE SUBORDINATED TO THE PRIMARY END [that is, Procreation of children] and so long as the intrinsic nature of the act is preserved.”

Pope Pius XI directly teaches that the married are not even allowed to “consider” the secondary ends of marriage unless they are subordinated to the primary purpose of marriage (procreation) and unless “the intrinsic nature of the act is preserved” which means that all sexual acts must be able to procreate in themselves, and that no unnatural and non-procreative form of a sexual act (such as sensual kisses and touches) can ever be performed without sin.

Notice how clearly Pope Pius XI teaches that married people are not even allowed to “consider” the secondary ends of marriage unless they are subordinated to the primary purpose of marriage and “the intrinsic nature of the act is preserved” which means that one may never perform anything other than the normal, natural and procreative marital act itself. This, of course, totally excludes all sensual kisses and touches. The secondary ends of marriage “such as mutual aid, the cultivation of mutual love, and the quieting of concupiscence” can follow after the primary end or purpose of begetting children if the spouses choose this, but the secondary ends or motives are not absolutely needed to lawfully perform the marital act in the same way as the primary purpose of begetting children, nor is the secondary motive of quieting concupiscence meritorious even though it is allowed: “Love your wives then, but love them chastely. In your intercourse with them keep yourselves within the bounds necessary for the procreation of children. And inasmuch as you cannot otherwise have them, descend to it with regret.” (St. Augustine, Sermons on the New Testament, Sermon 1)

The Catechism of the Council of Trent: “Two lessons of instruction are then to be specially impressed on the mind of the faithful. The first is that marriage is not to be used from motives of sensuality or pleasure, but that its use is to be restrained within those limits, which, as we have above shown, are prescribed by the Lord. They should be mindful of the exhortation of the Apostle: “They that have wives, let them be as though they had them not,” (1 Cor. 7:29) and that St. Jerome says: “The love which a wise man cherishes towards his wife is the result of judgment, not the impulse of passion; he governs the impetuosity of desire, and is not hurried into indulgence. There is nothing more shameful than that a husband should love his wife as an adulteress.””

Good and virtuous spouses always remember that God is present with them, and that is also why they do not stoop to the evil and unnatural sexual sins that so plague humanity today. “The activities of marriage itself, if they are not modest and do not take place under the eyes of God as it were, so that the only intention is children, are filth and lust.” (St. Jerome, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians, Book III, Chapter 5:21)

In truth, “filth” is the most suitable word that sums up the worth of every marital act that lacks a procreative purpose. Thus, “…when it [the sexual act] is from lust or for the sake of pleasure, then the coition is a mortal sin and the man sins mortally. … And these dicta assume that the man and his wife have sex according to the order of nature, for anyone who goes against nature always sins mortally and more seriously with his wife than with anyone else and should be punished more seriously… Note the difference between the two cases of husband-wife sex, for incontinence and for pleasure and lust… In the second case, he seeks to procure pleasure with hands or thought or passionate uses and incentives [such as sensual kisses] so he can do more than just have sex with his wife… [thus sinning mortally] because he acts as an adulterer when he burns like an adulterer even with his own wife.” (Gratian, On Marriage, Dictum Post C. 32. 2. 2)

Footnote 359 to The Shepherd of Hermas: “‘To the pure, all things are pure;’ but they who presume on this great truth to indulge in kissings and like familiarities are tempting a dangerous downfall.”

St. Cyprian of Carthage, To Pomponius (c. A.D. 249): “Assuredly the mere lying together, the mere embracing, the very talking together, and the act of kissing, and the disgraceful and foul slumber of two persons lying together, how much of dishonour and crime does it confess!” (The Epistles of Cyprian, Epistle LXI)

St. Clement of Alexandria, The Stromata, Book II, Chapter XX (c. 199 A.D.): “Socrates accordingly bids ‘people guard against enticements to eat when they are not hungry, and to drink when not thirsty, and the glances and kisses of the fair, as fitted to inject a deadlier poison than that of scorpions and spiders.’” (Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol 2, p. 613)

Indeed, the argument that sensual kisses and touches are sinful for both the married and unmarried alike because they are intoxicating like a drug is just one of the three main arguments against it, the other two being that they are shameful and non-procreative. If one wants to read more about these two arguments and why they refute all those who perversely claim that one may perform kisses and touches for sensual reasons (or any other unnecessary or non-procreative sexual act), one can read more about them in the beginning of Part 2 of this Book, which is named “Sexual Pleasure, Lust, And The Various Sexual Acts In Marriage”.

Lustful kisses and touches between spouses are definitely mortal sins

Master Jean Charlier de Gerson (13 December 1363 – 12 July 1429), French scholar, educator, reformer, and poet, Chancellor of the University of Paris, a guiding light of the conciliar movement and one of the most prominent theologians at the Council of Constance, who “was the most popular and influential theologian of his generation”, had the following interesting things to say about lustful kisses and touches in marriage between two married spouses, contraception and about sensually arousing oneself:

Jean Gerson, Oeuvres Complétes: “Several doctors [of Divinity] maintain that willingly fostering wicked carnal thoughts in order to enjoy oneself is a deadly sin, even without doing the deed. Be sure, however, that kisses, gazes, and fondling, mainly caused by such wicked and lustful thoughts, without anything more, is an even greater sin. … it is even worse if these kisses do not respect the honesty which is usually kept in public.

“… You have committed the sin of lust: If you have fondled and stroked yourself on your shameful member until you obtain the dirty carnal pleasure. If you initiated such sins with others, by words, kisses, fondling, or other signs, or immodest paintings. … If you committed this sin differently from Nature ordered, or against the honesty that belongs to marriage. … If you wanted to be desired and lusted after for your beauty, your behavior, your clothes, makeup, dancing or dissolute gazes.

“… What a young boy should tell in confession: I sometimes stroked myself or others, urged by disorderly pleasure; I fondled myself, in my bed and elsewhere, something I would not have dared to do if people had been there. Sometimes the priest cannot absolve such fondling. If they are not confessed and the details given, whatever the shame, one cannot be absolved, and the confession is worthless: one is destined to be damned for ever in Hell. The action and the way it has been done must be told.

“… Is it a sin to kiss? I answer that kisses between spouses who maintain the same modesty as the kiss of peace at church, or who do them openly, are without sin. If they do them so immodestly [and lustfully] that I cannot be more precise, it is an abominable deadly sin. If kisses are made between strangers and publicly, as a sign of peace, by friendship or kinship, without wicked thought, there is no sin. They could be dangerous between clerics, or people of the same sex or lineage, or in a secret place, and in a prolonged way.

“… Is it a mortal sin to eat and drink in order to carnally arouse oneself? Yes, if it is out of wedlock, and even with one’s spouse, if it is to enjoy a pleasure which is not required in marriage.

“… The fifth commandment is: thou shall not kill. … They commit this sin who succeed, in whatever way, in preventing the fruit which should come from carnal intercourse between man and woman [such as by NFP, contraception or abortion]. … It is forbidden for two people, married or not, to do any kind of lustful fondling without respecting the way and the vessel Nature requires for conceiving children [that is, one cannot perform “extra” sexual acts not able to procreate in themselves or that are not intended for procreation]. It is worse when it is outside of the natural way [unnatural sexual acts], either if it is out of wedlock or even worse, within it [that is, all unnecessary and non-procreative sexual acts within marriage are considered as worse sins than when they are committed outside of marriage].

Is it permitted for spouses to prevent the conception of a child? No: I often say that it is a sin worse than murder [hence that contraception or NFP is equivalent to murder]. It is a sin which deserves the fires of Hell. Briefly, any way of preventing conception during intercourse is dishonest and reprehensible.”

Here we see the very obvious truth of the Natural Law that spouses are committing an abominable deadly sin” when they kiss each other for sensual or venereal pleasure. “Is it a sin to kiss? I answer that kisses between spouses who maintain the same modesty as the kiss of peace at church, or who do them openly, are without sin. If they do them so immodestly [and lustfully] that I cannot be more precise, it is an abominable deadly sin.” Thus, it is clear that anyone who either performs acts of kissing or touching for venereal pleasure or who thinks that these acts are moral acts are sinning against nature, which means that they are in a state of damnation, since acts or heresies against nature can never be excused since no one can be a “material heretic” or in “ignorance” in regards to such things.

Lustful kisses and touches are mortal sins against the Natural Law

It is clear from the evidence thus far covered that sensual kisses and touches are not only mortal sins, but in fact also sins against the Natural Law. That means that any person who thinks it’s right to kiss or touch for the sake of carnal pleasure or lust is a heretic against the Natural Law, and as such, are therefore outside the Church of God and thus excluded from salvation. Everyone without exception who have kissed or touched someone or something for the sake of sensual pleasure proved by their deed that their primary or secondary purpose for doing this inherently evil, selfish and shameful deed was not the lawful motive to procreate or quench concupiscence, but rather the sinful and unlawful gratification and excitation of their shameful lust like brute beasts without any reason. No, it would be an insult to beasts to call these vile spouses beasts! It would be more accurate not to call them beasts, but demons, since beasts have no reason, and thus are blameless. In truth, such husbands and wives are lower in their actions than the beasts of the Earth! “Bodies corrupted by lust are the dwelling places of devils.” (St. Hilary of Poitiers, On the Gospel, Matt. 11:2-10)

Everyone without exception that kisses and touches “for the sake of the carnal and sensible delight which arises” from these acts, are committing a mortal sin against the Natural Law. How so, you might ask? Well, I answer that it is easy to prove.

First of all, acts of lust that are performed for the sake of pleasure and sensual kisses are completely selfish, shameful, intoxicating and unnecessary for conception to occur. Only a blind person could fail to see the fact that “the sin of lust consists in seeking venereal pleasure not in accordance with right reason...” and that “lust there signifies any kind of excess” (St. Thomas Aquinas) and this obvious fact totally excludes all kinds of sensual kisses and touches.

Second, consider how people will not kiss or touch their spouse in a sexual way or for carnal pleasure in front of other people (unless they are totally degenerated). And consider that they would be very ashamed if their parent, child or friend walked in on them when they were committing this shameful, selfish and unnecessary act with their spouse. It is thus clear that their conscience tells them that it is an inherently evil, shameful and unnecessary act; and yet, though they know this truth in their conscience, they nevertheless refuse to feel this very same shame when they are committing this act of lust in the presence of God and Mary and all the Saints and Angels in Heaven.

Sad to say, a little known truth known today taught by the Saints is also that pleasures of various kinds and sexual lusts and acts blinds people from perceiving spiritual truths and facts (see The evil of lust makes man blind to spiritual things) and that is why people can sin so boldly against their natural conscience and God since they have allowed their conscience to be smothered by their evil lusts.

Some people may object that there are many other events that are shameful and that are not yet inherently sinful such as soiling one’s pants or being forced to show oneself naked to other people against one’s own will. This objection, however, fails to notice the obvious difference between 1) people committing acts of lust with a desire or longing; and 2) events which are shameful but who are not desired or longed for by a person in a sensual way.

Acts of lust are acts performed for the sake of a pleasure and are performed with the will and purpose of satisfying a sensual desire while the events or acts of soiling one’s pants or being forced to show oneself naked to other people is not a desire or lust that is sought after. Thus, these people do not desire that these events should happen. If those people who endured the events of soiling their clothes or naked exhibition against their will would sensually desire or lust for that these shameful events would happen in the same way that a man or a woman lust for and desire that acts of lust happen, they would indeed be declared the most disgusting perverts. Who but a complete and satanic pervert would sensually desire or lust after soiling their pants or being exhibited naked?

When Our Lord was going to be crucified, He was forced to be without any covering for His private parts for a while before someone handed Him something to cover Himself with. Our Lord was obviously ashamed for having to appear naked before a lot of people, but He didn’t desire that this should happen, and most importantly, He didn’t lust at it when it happened! and so, there was no fault in Him. If, however, a person should lust or desire (in a sensual way) that he or she should appear naked before other people (such as nude models), he or she would commit a mortal sin and be a pervert.

Consequently, it is not a mere shameful act that is sinful, but the shameful act that is performed with the intention of pleasing oneself sensually—that is sinful. Kissing for the sake of a venereal pleasure is a completely selfish act that only serves to increase lust, and as such, is against the natural law just like gluttony is against the natural law. It is indeed very similar to the sin of gluttony. One could say that those who commit this sin are gluttonous in the marital act. It is completely self evident that no one ever needed to break God’s law by kissing or touching their spouse in a sexual way in order to perform the marital act. No one ever needed to kiss or touch in a sensual way in order to be able to make a child. This is just a selfish, shameful and condemned excuse used by sexually perverted, morally depraved people in order to try to enhance or inflame their sexual pleasure. Kisses and touches must not and cannot be used to satisfy sensual pleasure as is totally clear from the above Church condemnation and from the words of Jean Gerson (and as we will see, St. Thomas Aquinas).

Kisses, touches, hugs, caresses etc. can of course be sinful or non-sinful depending on why they are performed. All kisses, touches, hugs, and caresses performed for the sake of lust or sensual pleasure is mortally sinful and must always be avoided at all cost by all people at all times. Natural touches, kisses, hugs, caresses, embraces and the like (such as those performed by family members and by lovers in public) are not sinful provided they are not performed for the sake of sensual or lustful reasons. Spouses must be aware though, for even though it is not sinful to embrace one another out of affection, excess or unreasonability in embracing happens easily during the heat of concupiscence, and this is certainly sinful. Also, if spouses hug or kiss each other out of affection and love and they perceive that their lust is aroused by this act, they must immediately cease with this deed that is arousing their lust, or be guilty of the mortal sin of unlawfully inflaming their lust.

St. Finnian of Clonard, The Penitential of Finnian, #46: “We advise and exhort that there be continence in marriage, since marriage without continence is not lawful, but sin, and [marriage] is permitted by the authority of God not for lust but for the sake of children...”

It is totally clear that the reason for why so many people of our times consider kisses and touches for venereal or sensual pleasure to be a moral act in marriage and between married spouses is that the satanic media from the beginning of the 20th century have bombarded them with films, series and music that promotes this unnatural and non-procreative perversity that were totally rejected by the Christian world if we just moved back in time a little. Indeed, just like all the other moral laws that have been flouted through the media in our time, such as the laws of modesty and marriage, sensual kisses have been promoted increasingly much in the media through films, music and series, and those who watch media with such kinds of perversity, rightly and justly fall into error concerning the Natural Law about how all non-procreative sexual acts are unlawful and unnatural, since they chose to put themselves into a proximate or near occasion of sinning, which the Church condemns.

A good example of how people who get married today sin by kissing each other is the kiss that the husband and wife perform after the wedding ceremony. It is obvious that those who kiss each other in a lascivious and shameful manner are following what they have learned from the world and the media by watching perverted and evil shows, series and films, and that as a consequence of watching this filth, their shame and conscience have been completely smothered due to their lust and sensuality. Only people who have had their conscience seared with a hot iron could ever dare to kiss another human being in a shameful and lascivious manner, or for the sake of venereal pleasure, and this is much more true in the case of those who do this evil deed in public and in front of other people, and by this act, maliciously tempt other people to sins of impurity and sensual thoughts and desires. People who get married as well as anyone else who want to show affection towards someone close to them must instead learn to kiss them in a pure way as brothers and sisters kiss each other, or as modest married people in public kiss each other, for this is the only kind of kiss that God allows.

Tertullian, Against Marcion, Book I, Chapter 29, A.D 207: “For He [God] bestowed His blessing on matrimony also, as on an honorable estate, for the increase of the human race; as He did indeed on the whole of His creation, for wholesome and good uses. Meats and drinks are not on this account to be condemned, because, when served up with too exquisite a daintiness, they conduce to gluttony; nor is raiment to be blamed, because, when too costly adorned, it becomes inflated with vanity and pride. So, on the same principle, the estate of matrimony is not to be refused, because, when enjoyed without moderation, it is fanned into a voluptuous flame. There is a great difference between a cause and a fault, between a state and its excess. Consequently it is not an institution of this nature that is to be blamed, but the extravagant use of it; according to the judgment of its founder Himself, who not only said, "Be fruitful, and multiply," [Genesis 1:28] but also, "You shall not commit adultery," and, "You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife;" and who threatened with death the unchaste, sacrilegious, and monstrous abomination both of adultery and unnatural sin with man and beast.”

St. Thomas Aquinas condemns lustful kisses and touches for married and unmarried people alike as mortal sins

Now we shall look at what St. Thomas Aquinas has to say about kisses and touches.

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 154, Art. 4:

Whether there can be mortal sin in touches and kisses?

Objection 1: It would seem that there is no mortal sin in touches and kisses. For the Apostle says (Eph. 5:3): "Fornication and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not so much as be named among you, as becometh saints," then he adds: "Or obscenity" (which a gloss refers to "kissing and fondling"), "or foolish talking" (as "soft speeches"), "or scurrility" (which "fools call geniality---i.e. jocularity"), and afterwards he continues (Eph. 5:5): "For know ye this and understand that no fornicator, or unclean, or covetous person (which is the serving of idols), hath inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God," thus making no further mention of obscenity, as neither of foolish talking or scurrility. Therefore these are not mortal sins.”


[St. Thomas Aquinas’] Reply to Objection 1: The Apostle makes no further mention of these three because they [kisses and touches] are not sinful except as directed to those that he had mentioned before [i.e. fornicators, unclean and covetous people].”

As we have seen, married people can of course also be unclean and covetous according to St. Thomas’ teaching concerning the sexual acts of married people “since the man who is too ardent a lover of his wife acts counter to the good of marriage if he use her indecently, although he be not unfaithful, he may in a sense be called an adulterer; and even more so than he that is too ardent a lover of another woman.” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 154, Art. 8) Notice in the quote above that St. Thomas held sexual sins within marriage to be worse than adultery, because the act occurs within marriage. Therefore, unnatural and non-procreative sexual acts such as sensual kisses and touches do not become permissible when these take place within marriage. Instead, unnatural sexual acts are made even more sinful when they take place within marriage because they offend not only against nature and a Holy Sacrament, but also against God and the Law written in our hearts. Thus, it is clear that this quotation about sensual kisses and touches concerns both the married and the unmarried since it is obvious that married people also can be unclean and covetous in their actions.

The phrase ‘if he use her indecently’ used by St. Thomas refers to unnatural and non-procreative sexual acts—such as sensual kisses and touches within marriage. This is clear because the good of marriage emphasized by St. Thomas is the procreation of children (Summa Theologica, II-II, Q. 154, Art. 2). St. Thomas could not be referring to natural marital relations when he says ‘if he use her indecently’ because even natural marital relations done with some disorder of desire still retains the procreative function. But unnatural or non-procreative sexual acts (such as sensual kisses and touches) lack this meaning, and so are contrary to the good of marriage. The use of unnatural or non-procreative sexual acts within marriage are therefore worse than adultery, according to St. Thomas Aquinas! since such people who commit these acts “may in a sense be called an adulterer; and even more so than he that is too ardent a lover of another woman.” This of course totally destroys the thesis of those who claim that the Church allows non-procreative sexual acts in marriage.

Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 154, Art. 4 [continued]:

Objection 2: Further, fornication is stated to be a mortal sin as being prejudicial to the good of the future child’s begetting and upbringing. But these are not affected by kisses and touches or blandishments. Therefore there is no mortal sin in these.”

[St. Thomas Aquinas’] Reply to Objection 2: Although kisses and touches do not by their very nature hinder the good of the human offspring, they proceed from lust, which is the source of this hindrance [of why kisses and touches are made sinful]: and on this account [in so far as they are lustful] they are mortally sinful.”

Notice that St. Thomas here said that kisses and touches was mortal sins in the general sense if “they proceed from lust”, and that he did not say that “it depends on whether they occur in the context of marriage/fornication or not” or that “this is what decides or determines whether it becomes sinful.” St. Thomas clearly says that the source of the hindrance of why sensual kisses and touches are sinful is because they proceed from lust, and that these acts are sinful not because they “hinder the good of the human offspring” but because they proceed from lust. Thus, it is totally clear from this definition of St. Thomas that he views the lustful intention when performing these acts as the source of the mortal sin itself, and not simply because they occur in context of marriage or not (as we shall also see further down).

Again, notice above that St. Thomas says that Kisses and Touches does not “by their very nature hinder the good of the human offspring” and that he said if “they proceed from lust... they are mortally sinful” since this is the source of this hindrance of why they have become unlawful to do; and that he said this in reply to the objection which stated that kisses and touches were not mortal sins since they do not hinder the good of the human offspring as fornication is said to do. What does St. Thomas reply show? It shows that it is the lust that determines if the act is to be regarded as a sin, and not whether it is a hindrance for the good of the future offspring. We know that this is the case, since St. Thomas himself said that kisses and touches do not hinder the good of the future offspring, since kisses and touches can be made without lustful intention, or be made without an intention to procreate, or even be made in context of wanting to procreate in marriage, (hence that they do not necessarily hinder the good of the future offspring), but if they proceed by lust, they are made unlawful and sinful anyway (regardless of the cause).

[St. Thomas Aquinas’] Reply to Objection 2: Although kisses and touches do not by their very nature hinder the good of the human offspring, they [kisses and touches] proceed from lust, which is the source of this hindrance [of why kisses and touches are made sinful]: and on this account [in so far as they are lustful] they are mortally sinful.”

That is why St. Thomas even rejects as lascivious and unlawful “acts circumstantial to the venereal act, for instance kisses, touches, and so forth”: “We may also reply that "lasciviousness" relates to certain acts circumstantial to the venereal act, for instance kisses, touches, and so forth.” (Summa Theologica, II-II, Q. 154, Art. 1)

In another part of his Summa, St. Thomas deals with the question of “Whether the unnatural vice is a species of lust?” and his answer affirms, once again, that all non-procreative sexual acts are unnatural and sinful lust: “Objection 3: Further, lust regards acts directed to human generation, as stated above (Q[153], A[2]): Whereas the unnatural vice concerns acts from which generation cannot follow. Therefore the unnatural vice is not a species of lust. [St. Thomas' Reply:] On the contrary, It is reckoned together with the other species of lust (2 Corinthians 12:21) where we read: "And have not done penance for the uncleanness, and fornication, and lasciviousness," where a gloss says: "Lasciviousness, i.e., unnatural lust." [St. Thomas’] Reply to Objection 3: The lustful man intends not human generation but venereal pleasures. It is possible to have this [pleasure] without those acts from which human generation follows: and it is that which is sought in the unnatural vice.” (Summa Theologica, II-II, Q. 154, Art. 11) And so it is clear that St. Thomas taught that all non-procreative and unnecessary sexual acts (such as sensual kisses and touches) are sinful and against nature (unnatural). “Therefore, since in matrimony man receives by Divine institution the faculty to use his wife for the begetting of children, he also receives the grace without which he cannot becomingly do so.” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Suppl., Q. 42, Art. 3) Thus, according to St. Thomas, all spouses are given the grace by God to use his spouse in an appropriate or suitable way (that is, for the procreation of children), which means that any man who acts contrary to this rejects God’s grace and damns himself, since he does not use his wife “becomingly”. “We may also reply that "lasciviousness" relates to certain acts circumstantial to the venereal act, for instance kisses, touches, and so forth.” (Summa Theologica, II-II, Q. 154, Art. 1)

In addition, St. Thomas also affirms (as St. Augustine) that even married spouses sin in their normal, natural and procreative sexual acts if they do not excuse them; and this proves that he utterly rejects all non-procreative sexual acts as unlawful.

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Suppl., Q. 49, Art. 5: “Whether the marriage act can be excused without the marriage goods? On the contrary, If the cause be removed the effect is removed. Now the marriage goods are the cause of rectitude in the marriage act. Therefore the marriage act cannot be excused without them. Further, the aforesaid act does not differ from the act of fornication except in the aforesaid goods. But the act of fornication is always evil. Therefore the marriage act also will always be evil unless it be excused by the aforesaid goods. … Consequently there are only two ways in which married persons can come together without any sin at all, namely in order to have offspring, and in order to pay the debt. Otherwise it is always at least a venial sin.”

Since St. Thomas condemns as sinful even the normal, natural and procreative sexual act when it is not excused – even though this act is still procreative in itself, – how much more must he not utterly reject the notion that non-procreative sexual acts, such as sensual kisses and touches, are allowed for spouses to perform? To deny this obvious truth is simply said to be dishonest! However, while St. Thomas here erroneously taught that the payment of the marital debt is a sufficient motive for excusing the marital sexual act from sin, this teaching by him is nevertheless contradicted by Pope Pius XI’s authoritative encyclical Casti Connubii, which, as we have already shown, teaches that the marital debt is a secondary end or purpose after the primary motive of procreation of children (Casti Connubii, # 59); still, the fact that this great Saint and Doctor of the Church teaches that the procreative sexual act itself is sinful unless it is excused, totally proves that St. Thomas teaches that all non-procreative sexual acts are unlawful and sinful.

Indeed, it is so obvious that St. Thomas really teaches that even spouses can sin in their lustful touches and kisses when they do them before, during or after the marital sexual act that he actually teaches that spouses can even commit mortal sin from simply performing an unsuitable or indecent sexual position while performing the marital, procreative sexual act!

St. Thomas Aquinas, In Libros Sententiarum, Chapter IV, Section 31, 2, 3: “Marital relations are contrary to nature when either the right receptacle or the proper position required by nature is avoided. In the first case it is always a mortal sin because no offspring can result, so that the purpose of nature is completely frustrated. But in the second case [of inappropriate sexual positions that are procreative] it is not always a mortal sin, as some say, though it can be the sign of a passion which is mortal; at times the latter can occur without sin, as when one’s bodily condition does not permit any other method. In general, this practice is more serious the more it departs from the natural way.”

The above of course refutes the idea that St. Thomas does not teach that spouses can sin in their sexual acts by their unnecessary, lustful, or passionate acts or deeds—such as lustful kisses and touches—since St. Thomas even teaches that married spouses can commit the mortal sin of “passion” by merely performing another sexual position beside from the missionary position, even though this act is procreative in itself.

Continuing on with the topic of “Whether there can be mortal sin in touches and kisses?”—St. Thomas Aquinas’ general refutation of, and reply to all the objections against the Church’s moral teaching that there can be mortal sins in sensual kisses and touches also for married people, utterly destroys the notion that one may perform these acts.

Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 154, Art. 4 [continued]:

On the contrary, A lustful look is less than a touch, a caress or a kiss. But according to Mat. 5:28, "Whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her hath already committed adultery with her in his heart." MUCH MORE THEREFORE ARE LUSTFUL KISSES AND OTHER LIKE THINGS MORTAL SINS.”

This means that St. Thomas views lustful kisses “and other like things” as worse sins than adultery or fornication! This is probably due to the fact that St. Thomas views sexual sins that cannot serve for procreation as worse sins than those that can. Notice also that St. Thomas says that “A lustful look is less than a touch, a caress or a kiss” in order to show us that the main sin is in the intention when we lust against our reason and consent to committing unnecessary, intoxicating and shameful acts; but that external acts, such as “a touch, a caress or a kiss” aggravate the guilt of the act, and that these are therefore worse mortal sins than just the lustful look and thought. Thus, if even St. Thomas condemns as mortally sinful a lustful look, in addition to teaching that married people’s sexual sins are worse than adultery, “MUCH MORE THEREFORE ARE LUSTFUL KISSES AND OTHER LIKE THINGS MORTAL SINS.”

In fact, St. Thomas abhors all non-procreative sexual acts with such a detestation and hatred that he even views the vices of fornication, rape or incest as a lesser sexual crime than the vice of masturbation. However, one must not think that St. Thomas teaches that fornication, rape or incest are generally lesser sins than masturbation or other non-procreative sexual acts. Fornication, rape and incest are greater crimes in the sense of justice, but masturbation is a greater violation of the Natural Law with respect to the sexual act since it more grievously “transgresses that which has been determined by nature [for the procreation of children]”. It is therefore considered, according to St. Thomas, as a greater crime in the sense of sins against human sexuality.

Here is the text itself. In the Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 154, a. 12, Aquinas says:

“In every genus, worst of all is the corruption of the principle on which the rest depend. Now the principles of reason are those things that are according to nature, because reason presupposes things as determined by nature, before disposing of other things according as it is fitting. This may be observed both in speculative and in practical matters. Wherefore just as in speculative matters the most grievous and shameful error is that which is about things the knowledge of which is naturally bestowed on man, so in matters of action it is most grave and shameful to act against things as determined by nature. Therefore, since by the unnatural vices man transgresses that which has been determined by nature [for the procreation of children] with regard to the use of venereal actions, it follows that in this matter this sin is gravest of all. After it comes incest, which, as stated above (Article 9), is contrary to the natural respect which we owe persons related to us. With regard to the other species of lust they imply a transgression merely of that which is determined by right reason, on the presupposition, however, of natural principles. Now it is more against reason to make use of the venereal act not only with prejudice to the future offspring, but also so as to injure another person besides. Wherefore simple fornication, which is committed without injustice to another person, is the least grave among the species of lust. Then, it is a greater injustice to have intercourse with a woman who is subject to another’s authority as regards the act of generation, than as regards merely her guardianship. Wherefore adultery is more grievous than seduction. And both of these are aggravated by the use of violence. Hence rape of a virgin is graver than seduction, and rape of a wife than adultery. And all these are aggravated by coming under the head of sacrilege, as stated above (10, ad 2). … Reply to Objection 4. Gravity of a sin depends more on the abuse of a thing than on the omission of the right use. Wherefore among sins against nature, the lowest place belongs to the sin of uncleanness, which consists in the mere omission of copulation with another. While the most grievous is the sin of bestiality, because use of the due species is not observed. Hence a gloss on Genesis 37:2, "He accused his brethren of a most wicked crime," says that "they copulated with cattle." After this comes the sin of sodomy, because use of the right sex is not observed. Lastly comes the sin of not observing the right manner of copulation, which is more grievous if the abuse regards the "vas" [orifice] than if it affects the manner of copulation in respect of other circumstances.”

The first objection of the article argues that sins against nature are not the worst, because they are not the most contrary to charity: “The more a sin is contrary to charity the graver it is. Now adultery, seduction and rape, which are injurious to our neighbor, seem to be more contrary to the love of our neighbor, than unnatural sins, by which no other person is injured. Therefore sin against nature is not the greatest among the species of lust.” St. Thomas replies to this objection: “As the order of right reason is from man, so the order of nature is from God himself. And therefore in sins against nature, in which the very order of nature is violated, injury is done to God himself, the one who ordains nature.” In reply to the second objection, St. Thomas says: “Vices against nature are also against God, as stated above (ad 1), and are so much more grievous than the depravity of sacrilege, as the order impressed on human nature is prior to and more firm than any subsequently established order.”

Aquinas is focusing on the sins precisely as a violation of the right use of sexuality, and abstracting from other aspects of them. As justice is a greater virtue than chastity, so injustice is a greater evil than unchastity, and thus all things considered, Aquinas would consider rape a greater evil than masturbation or contraception. This formal way of speaking is recognized by some more considerate authors:

“The teaching of medieval theologians that such sexual sins as masturbation, sodomy, and contraception are more perverse, as sexual sins, than fornication or adultery or even rape (the former were said to be contra naturam whereas the latter were said to be praeter naturam), angers many people today. But this teaching must be understood properly. The medieval theologians are claiming that certain kinds of sexual sins more seriously offend the virtue of chastity than do others. They are not saying that these sins are for this reason less grave as sins than adultery or rape, for instance. After all, adultery and rape are very serious violations of the virtue of justice as well as being violations of the virtue of chastity. Thus, as a sin, rape is far more serious than masturbation or homosexual sodomy because it not only offends chastity but also gravely violates justice.” (Ronald David Lawler, Joseph M. Boyle, William E. May, Catholic sexual ethics: a summary, explanation & defense)

St. Thomas Aquinas continues to answer the question of “Whether there can be mortal sin in touches and kisses” between married and unmarried people:

“Further, Cyprian says (Ad Pompon, de Virgin., Ep. lxii), "By their very intercourse, their blandishments, their converse, their embraces, those who are associated in a sleep that knows neither honor nor shame, acknowledge their disgrace and crime." Therefore by doing these things a man is guilty of a crime, that is, of mortal sin.”


I answer that, A thing is said to be a mortal works/sin in two ways. First, by reason of its species, and in this way a kiss, caress, or touch does not, of its very nature, imply a mortal sin, for it is possible to do such things without lustful pleasure, either as being the custom of one’s country, or on account of some obligation or reasonable cause. Secondly, a thing is said to be a mortal sin by reason of its cause: thus he who gives an alms, in order to lead someone into heresy, sins mortally on account of his corrupt intention. Now it has been stated above [I-II, Q. 74, A. 8], that it is a mortal sin not only to consent to the act, but also to the delectation [or pleasure] of a mortal sin. Wherefore since fornication is a mortal sin, and much more so the other kinds of lust [1] it follows that in such like sins [that is, sins of lust] not only consent to the act but also consent to the pleasure is a mortal sin. Consequently, when these kisses and caresses are done for this pleasure [lust] it follows that they are mortal sins, and only in this way are they said to be lustful. Therefore in so far as they are lustful, they are mortal sins.”

[1]. “and much more so the other kinds of lust…” i.e., lust committed both inside and outside of marriage. And by the way, St. Thomas also views sexual sins committed within a marriage as worse sins than those committed outside of marriage, as we have seen and shall see further on.

And for those objecting that St. Thomas was referring only to the unmarried people here since he mentioned the word “fornication” in some instances (but not others), we will provide the following quote by him refuting this argument:

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Supplement, Q. 64. Art. 1, Reply to Objection 3: “If the husband [refuses to pay the marital debt without a just cause] . . . then he sins, and his wife’s sin, should she fall into FORNICATION [adultery, impure thoughts or masturbation] on this account, is somewhat imputable to him. Hence he should endeavor to do his best that his wife may remain continent.”

Hence, it is totally clear from above that when St. Thomas was mentioning the word “fornication,” “lascivious,” “unclean,” or “covetous” person, he was using it to refer to the sins of the unmarried and married people alike. And we know that this is the case, for when St. Thomas condemned lustful kisses and touches above as mortal sins – in the Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 154, Art. 1 & 4 – we know that he was referring to both, since, as he said, all fornicators, all unclean people, all covetous and all lascivious people was included in this category of mortal sinners (see objection 1 and reply to objection 1 quoted above).

St. Thomas Aquinas explains himself further in another part of his Summa, saying that acts “such as impure looks, kisses, and touches” regards the virtue of purity, while the virtue of “chastity regards rather sexual union.”

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 151, Art. 4: “Consequently purity regards venereal matters properly, and especially the signs thereof, such as impure looks, kisses, and touches. And since the latter are more wont to be observed, purity regards rather these external signs [i.e., looks, kisses, and touches], while chastity regards rather sexual union.”

Here we have another great evidence that kisses and touches for venereal pleasure was known very clearly to be sinful, shameful and contrary to purity even by the lay people of St. Thomas’ time. St. Thomas tells us that the virtue of “purity regards venereal matters properly, and especially the signs thereof, such as impure looks, kisses, and touches.” But he adds that the virtue of purity were “more wont to be observed” by the people of his own time in regards to these “impure” acts of “impure looks, kisses, and touches,” thus confirming the fact that unnecessary sexual acts, such as kisses and touches for sensual pleasure, is a completely foreign concept to the Church and Her Saints that have been foisted on the modern man and woman through the diabolical media to be a cause of, or even to be “love”, “affection”, or an integral part of the marital act, when it in fact is nothing but filthy lust! “The activities of marriage itself, if they are not modest and do not take place under the eyes of God as it were, so that the only intention is children, are filth and lust.” (St. Jerome, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians, Book III, Chapter 5:21) Thus, according to St. Thomas, in contrast to the lustful spouses of our own times, the people of the former times were lucky enough to have this good “shamefacedness” that kept them from performing unnecessary and unlawful sexual acts “such as impure looks, kisses, and touches.

In addition, it is very important and of worth noting that St. Thomas, in the context of this quotation, referred to the marital sexual act, by using the words “the conjugal act” as well as “of marriage,” which directly refutes one of the principle objections of the heretical objectors to the condemnation of sensual kisses and touches by the Church and Her Saints (that is, that the quotes doesn’t apply to marriage or the marital act):

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 151, Art. 4: “I answer that, As stated above (Objection 2), "pudicitia" [purity] takes its name from "pudor," which signifies shame. Hence purity must needs be properly about the things of which man is most ashamed. Now men are most ashamed of venereal acts, as Augustine remarks (De Civ. Dei xiv, 18), so much so that even the conjugal act, which is adorned by the honesty [Cf. 145] of marriage, is not devoid of shame: and this because the movement of the organs of generation is not subject to the command of reason, as are the movements of the other external members. Now man is ashamed not only of this sexual union but also of all the signs thereof, as the Philosopher observes (Rhet. Ii, 6). Consequently purity regards venereal matters properly, and especially the signs thereof, such as impure looks, kisses, and touches. And since the latter are more wont to be observed, purity regards rather these external signs [i.e., looks, kisses, and touches], while chastity regards rather sexual union.”

In another part of his Summa, St. Thomas speaks about the “"shamefacedness," whereby one recoils from the disgrace that is contrary to temperance – which sadly is lacking in deviant lustful spouses – and he shows that “vices of intemperance” that arouse the sexual desire, such as “kissing, touching, or fondling,” are contrary to the virtue of “purity.”

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 143, Art. 1: “… there are two integral parts of temperance, "shamefacedness," whereby one recoils from the disgrace that is contrary to temperance, and "honesty," whereby one loves the beauty of temperance. For, as stated above (Q[141], A[2], ad 3), temperance more than any other virtue lays claim to a certain comeliness, and the vices of intemperance excel others in disgrace. The subjective parts of a virtue are its species: and the species of a virtue have to be differentiated according to the difference of matter or object. Now temperance is about pleasures of touch, which are of two kinds. For some are directed to nourishment: and in these as regards meat, there is "abstinence," [from gluttony] and as regards drink properly there is "sobriety." [from drunkenness] Other pleasures are directed to the power of procreation, [that is, they arouse the sexual desire] and in these as regards the principal pleasure of the act itself of procreation, there is "chastity," [from acts of adultery, fornication or other unlawful sexual acts] and as to the pleasures incidental to the act, resulting, for instance, from kissing, touching, or fondling, we have "purity [from all such non-procreative sexual acts]."”

Here St. Thomas Aquinas is discussing temperance as a virtue as opposed to the “vices of intemperance”, and he says that the contrary species of the matter or object of “kissing, touching, or fondling,” is purity. This means that “kissing, touching, or fondling” can be a means of impurity, and a vice of intemperance, and it shows us that St. Thomas, in this context (as in the other quoted above), referred to it as impurity.

Furthermore, we here see the fact we have already spoken about that spouses who have lost their temperance of “shamefacedness” that St. Thomas speaks about are able to perform such shameful acts as kisses and touches for venereal pleasure. Sad to say, but it is exactly their lack of shame and “shamefacedness” and their forgetfulness of God’s presence, and that God’s eyes sees them and all their unnecessary and lascivious acts, kisses and touches that are performed in connection to the marital act, or as an individual act separated from it—that are the reason for why they dare to perform these unlawful and shameful acts. “Damascene (De Fide Orth. ii, 15) and Gregory of Nyssa [Nemesius, (De Nat. Hom. xx)] say that "shamefacedness is fear of doing a disgraceful deed or of a disgraceful deed done."” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 144, Art. 2) And in Reply to Objection 1 of the same article, St. Thomas states: “Shamefacedness properly regards disgrace as due to sin which is a voluntary defect [of the will]. Hence the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 6) that "a man is more ashamed of those things of which he is the cause [of doing]."

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 144, Art. 1, Reply to Objection 2: “As stated above, shamefacedness is fear of baseness and disgrace. Now it has been stated (142, 4) that the vice of intemperance is most base and disgraceful. Wherefore shamefacedness pertains more to temperance than to any other virtue, by reason of its motive cause, which is a base action though not according to the species of the passion, namely fear [from being shamed*]. Nevertheless in so far as the vices opposed to other virtues are base and disgraceful, shamefacedness may also pertain to other virtues.”

* “Now shamefacedness is inconsistent with perfection, because it is the fear of something base, namely of that which is disgraceful. … Therefore shamefacedness, properly speaking, is not a virtue, since it falls short of the perfection of virtue.” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 144, Art. 1)

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 144, Art. 4: “I answer that, As stated above (1 and 2) shamefacedness is fear of some disgrace. Now it may happen in two ways that an evil is not feared: first, because it is not reckoned an evil; secondly because one reckons it impossible with regard to oneself, or as not difficult to avoid. Accordingly shame may be lacking in a person in two ways. First, because the things that should make him ashamed are not deemed by him to be disgraceful; and in this way those who are steeped in sin are without shame, for instead of disapproving of their sins, they boast of them. Secondly, because they apprehend disgrace as impossible to themselves, or as easy to avoid. On this way the old and the virtuous are not shamefaced. Yet they are so disposed, that if there were anything disgraceful in them they would be ashamed of it. Wherefore the Philosopher says (Ethic. iv, 9) that "shame is in the virtuous hypothetically."”

Though they are not in themselves mortal sins when they are not performed for the sake of venereal pleasure, St. Thomas Aquinas clearly recognizes that kisses and touches come to be treated as such "ex sua causa," "because of a wicked intention," as the Blackfriars edition of the Summa renders it (cf. Summa Theologica 2a.2ae.154.4; 43: 220-221); kisses that are intended to arouse, to incite venereal pleasure, are properly called libidinous and are condemned as mortal sins.

In fact, the Angelic doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas, defines lust in the following manner:

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 153, Art. 3: “I answer that, The more necessary a thing is, the more it behooves one to observe the order of reason in its regard; wherefore the more sinful it becomes if the order of reason be forsaken. Now the use of venereal acts, as stated in the foregoing Article, is most necessary for the common good, namely the preservation of the human race. Wherefore there is the greatest necessity for observing the order of reason in this matter: so that if anything be done in this connection against the dictate of reason’s ordering, it will be a sin. Now lust consists essentially in exceeding the order and mode of reason in the matter of venereal acts. Wherefore without any doubt lust is a sin.”

All of this absolutely proves that all unnecessary sexual acts like sensual kisses and touches are sinful! for according to St. Thomas, whenever spouses go beyond “the order and mode of reason in the matter of venereal acts” during marital relations, they committed the sin of lust. Notice that St. Thomas says “that if anything be done in this connection against the dictate of reason’s ordering, it will be a sin.” He says that “anything” that is done “against the dictate of reason’s ordering” is sinful, and not only some things, (as many heretics of our own times claim), and that “lust consists essentially in exceeding the order and mode of reason in the matter of venereal acts”, that is, exceeding that which “is most necessary for the common good, namely the preservation of the human race.” Since the venereal act “is most necessary for the common good, namely the preservation of the human race” it is a direct sin against nature to perform unnatural or non-procreative sexual acts. Thus, according to St. Thomas, since “the use of venereal acts” are permitted for the purpose of procreation, “there is the greatest necessity for observing the order of reason in this matter: so that if anything be done in this connection against the dictate of reason’s ordering, it will be a sin. Now lust consists essentially in exceeding the order and mode of reason in the matter of venereal acts. Wherefore without any doubt lust is a sin.” Therefore, it is obvious from the Natural Law itself that sensual kisses and touches are “exceeding the order and mode of reason in the matter of venereal acts” since they are unnecessary and not able to procreate children, which is the purpose of the marital sexual act, according to the teaching of the Church.

St. Thomas continues to expound on this teaching in the following question:

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 154, Art. 1: “I answer that As stated above (Question 153, Article 3), the sin of lust consists in seeking venereal pleasure not in accordance with right reason. … Reply to Objection 6. According to a gloss on this passage [Galatians 5:19] "lust" there signifies any kind of excess.”

What, then, is excess in the marital act? Again, let’s ask St. Thomas Aquinas.

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 154, Art. 1: “Reply to Objection 5. As a gloss says on this passage, "uncleanness" stands for lust against nature… Reply to Objection 6. We may also reply that "lasciviousness" relates to certain acts circumstantial to the venereal act, for instance kisses, touches, and so forth.”

Notice that St. Thomas even rejects as lascivious and unlawful “acts circumstantial to the venereal act, for instance kisses, touches, and so forth” and so, it is clear that St. Thomas taught that all non-procreative and unnecessary sexual acts are sinful and against nature. And the infallible word of God of course agrees with this truth of nature, teaching us that: “The works of the flesh are manifest, which are fornication, uncleanness, immodesty, luxury [lust]... Of the which I foretell you, as I have foretold to you, that they who do such things shall not obtain the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19, 21)

Commenting on Ephesians 5:3-5 just mentioned by St. Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica, The Haydock Bible Commentary explains the sin of covetousness and uncleanness:

Ver. 3. Covetousness. The Latin word is generally taken for a coveting or immoderate desire of money and riches. St. Jerome and others observe, that the Greek word in this and divers other places in the New Testament may signify ANY UNSATIABLE DESIRE, OR THE LUSTS OF SENSUAL PLEASURES; and on this account, St. Jerome thinks that it is here joined with fornication and uncleanness [i.e., sexual sins]. --- Ver. 5. Nor covetous person, which is a serving of idols. It is clear enough by the Greek that the covetous man is called an idolater, whose idol is mammon; though it may be also said of other sinners, that the vices they are addicted to are their idols. (Witham)”

The main point we can gather from this explanation of St. Thomas that he so eloquently gives to us is that kisses and touches for sensual pleasure are completely unnecessary for procreation of children and serves nothing but a shameful, selfish, sinful and condemned lust. They are therefore mortal sins for both the married and unmarried and are unreasonable and unnatural. “May marriage be honorable in every way, and may the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.” (Hebrews 13:4)

Pope Alexander VII, Various Errors on Moral Matters #40, September 24, 1665 and March 18, 1666: “It is a probable opinion which states that a kiss is only venial when performed for the sake of the carnal and sensible delight which arises from the kiss, if danger of further consent and pollution [or ejaculation] is excluded.” – Condemned statement by Pope Alexander VII. (Denz. 1140)

Jean Gerson, Oeuvres Complétes: “Several doctors [of Divinity] maintain that willingly fostering wicked carnal thoughts in order to enjoy oneself is a deadly sin, even without doing the deed. Be sure, however, that kisses, gazes, and fondling, mainly caused by such wicked and lustful thoughts, without anything more, is an even greater sin. … it is even worse if these kisses do not respect the honesty which is usually kept in public.

“… Is it a sin to kiss? I answer that kisses between spouses who maintain the same modesty as the kiss of peace at church, or who do them openly, are without sin. If they do them so immodestly [and lustfully] that I cannot be more precise, it is an abominable deadly sin.”


Athenagoras the Athenian (c. 175 A.D.): “On behalf of those, then, to whom we apply the names of brothers and sisters, and other designations of relationship, we exercise the greatest care that their bodies should remain undefiled and uncorrupted; for the Logos again says to us, “If any one kiss a second time because it has given him pleasure, [he sins];” adding, “Therefore the kiss, or rather the salutation, should be given with the greatest care, since, if there be mixed with it the least defilement of thought, it excludes us from eternal life.”” (A Plea for the Christians, Chapter XXXII.--Elevated Morality of the Christians)

St. Clement of Alexandria (c. 198 A.D.): “Love and the Kiss of Charity. And if we are called to the kingdom of God, let us walk worthy of the kingdom, loving God and our neighbour. But love is not proved by a kiss, but by kindly feeling. But there are those, that do nothing but make the churches resound with a kiss, not having love itself within. For this very thing, the shameless use of a kiss, which ought to be mystic, occasions foul suspicions and evil reports. The apostle calls the kiss holy. When the kingdom is worthily tested, we dispense the affection of the soul by a chaste and closed mouth, by which chiefly gentle manners are expressed. But there is another unholy kiss, full of poison, counterfeiting sanctity. Do you not know that spiders, merely by touching the mouth, afflict men with pain? And often kisses inject the poison of licentiousness. It is then very manifest to us, that a kiss is not love. For the love meant is the love of God. "And this is the love of God," says John, "that we keep His commandments;" not that we stroke each other on the mouth. "And His commandments are not grievous." But salutations of beloved ones in the ways, full as they are of foolish boldness, are characteristic of those who wish to be conspicuous to those without, and have not the least particle of grace. For if it is proper mystically "in the closet" to pray to God, it will follow that we are also to greet mystically our neighbour, whom we are commanded to love second similarly to God, within doors, "redeeming the time." "For we are the salt of the earth." (The Paedagogus or Instructor, Book III, Chapter XI)

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