Basic Teachings of the Catholic Church on the
Gift of Human Sexuality
- Endowed with Divine Revelation and with the authority
to teach in the name of Christ, the Church is compelled
to proclaim life giving truths about the meaning, dignity
and purpose of human sexuality.
- God’s gift of sexuality is the sum total of those
physical, emotional and spiritual qualities that make us
male or female.
- Created in God’s image out of love, each person
is endowed with dignity and grace.
- Our human bodies are to be treasured and treated with
- Chastity is the virtue which ensures that one’s
thoughts, words and actions correspond to God’s plan
for the gift of sexuality.
- Sexual intercourse is reserved for the union of husband
and wife in marriage and for the procreation of children.
- Heterosexuality is normative. While homosexual inclinations
are not in themselves sinful, homosexual activity and behavior
is morally wrong.
- Abstinence outside of marriage and fidelity within marriage
are the only two morally acceptable ways of preventing the
spread of AIDS.
- The strength to live a mature, loving and chaste life
comes from one’s relationship with Christ. Prayer
and frequent participation in the sacraments are sources
of God’s grace.
Office for Religious Education
Archdiocese of Washington