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‘Sexual relations’ and ‘conjugal relations’ differ categorically

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In the Light of the Law

Among the fault lines revealed by the ecclesiastical earthquakes erupting after Pope Francis’ Amoris laetitia, we can see, I suggest, how some high-ranking ecclesiastics seem inadequately to understand the differences between “sexual relations” and “conjugal relations”.

Most any man and any woman can have sexual relations, of course, but only spouses can have conjugal relations. While physically the actions are the same, the differences between a non-married couple engaging in sexual relations and a married couple engaging in conjugal relations are numerous in the natural order (emotionally, psychologically, even legally); if engaged in between Christians, those differences become categorical (sacramentally, spiritually, and even canonically).

I flagged this confusing of “sexual relations” with “conjugal relations” in my comments on the Maltese Disaster noting that Bps. Scicluna & Grech had carelessly spoken of non-married couples exercising a conjugal virtue (Criteria, # 9). But they were not the first, nor are…

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Written by Father John Boyle

February 16, 2017 at 3:18 pm

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I’ll be staying with Blogger

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After briefly dallying with WordPress following a rather long outage on Blogger, I have decided to keep my blog on Blogger. So there will be no further posts on this blog, at least for now.

My blog is at!

Written by Father John Boyle

May 14, 2011 at 9:39 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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