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, 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.
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. 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’ 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).
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, A): 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 (