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  #31  
Old 25th February 2011, 11:02 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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In order to be moral, each and every sexual act must be marital and unitive and procreative. These three meanings to the sexual act are the proper moral object of the act. Every moral act is intrinsically ordered, by the very nature of the act, apart from intention or circumstance, toward a good end, an end in harmony with the love of God and the love of neighbor as self. This end is the moral object. The good moral object of every moral sexual act is the marital, unitive, and procreative meanings.

The deprivation of any one of these goods makes the moral object evil, and the act intrinsically evil, but its very nature, since the act becomes ordered toward the deprivation of good required by the love of God, neighbor, self. Evil is a deprivation of some good. Moral evil is a deprivation of a good required by the moral law, which is based on the love of God, neighbor, self.

As long as the act is ordered toward procreation (the natural type of sexual act), then the act has the procreative meaning as its good moral object. If the couple are unable to conceive because of old age or injury or disease, the act is still ordered toward procreation. It is the inherent ordering of the act toward procreation that makes the act procreative, not the attainment of procreation.

So an infertile couple having natural marital relations have the procreative meaning.

But a couple using contraception, who conceive because the contraception fails, do not have the procreative meaning.
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  #32  
Old 25th February 2011, 11:08 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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The unitive meaning refers to the physical union of husband and wife in natural intercourse. This unitive meaning is an end toward which the sexual act is ordered, since it is not merely a physical union, but a union of two whole persons in love.

The marital meaning, the unitive meaning, and the procreative meanings are all in the moral object of the act of natural marital relations. But these three meanings also have an order among themselves. Marriage is primarily directed toward procreation, and secondarily toward the union of the couple (physical union as well as spiritual union in love). The union of the couple is ordered toward procreation, but also toward the strengthening of the marriage. The procreative meaning is the primary end of marriage and sexual relations, but procreation also strengthens the union and the marriage. So the three meanings are interrelated.
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