Adultery Remains Adultery

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Isaiah 5:20

One of the shabbiest, and bleakly hilarious, features of our time is the increasingly popular superstition that morality and sex have nothing to do with each other.  That this is absurd we see all around us in shattered families, fatherless kids, a million abortions a year and hordes of truly pathetic individuals attempting to substitute promiscuity for love.  Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels for the Faith so frequently that I have named him Defender of the Faith, takes the verbal buzz saw to one of the advocates of this rubbish on stilts:

Feeling guilty about the fact that your wife caught you doing your hot, young, female executive assistant?  Or that your husband caught your hot, young, male executive assistant tapping you again and again?  Not to worry, says self-described “Hollywood life coach and spiritual teacher” Lisa Haisha (which means that every word out of her mouth is brain-dead crap). We’ll just redefine “marriage” so that you don’t feel bad:

Don’t get me wrong… I’m not condoning adultery as we know it,

Are so.

because I’m not strictly talking about sex.

Are too.

But because it is so taboo, when you consider the historical context of marriage, isn’t being shocked by adultery a bit of an overreaction?

No.  What part of this don’t you understand, “spiritual teacher?”

Of course, no one can deny that when you lie and do something behind another person’s back, you are doing something wrong. You’re breaking an agreement, and that lacks integrity. You’re breaking trust with the other person, which is most definitely hurtful. But in the course of a long term relationship, taking into account the practical realities of our human need to experience life on our own, or through experiences with other platonic or romantic relationships, perhaps a new kind of conversation can unfold with your spouse or partner where you jointly communicate your needs and set reasonable and practical parameters of what is and isn’t allowed in your marriage, so the negative and hidden behaviors associated with adultery don’t take place.

Translation: it really sucks that it took us this long to come up with pseudo-intellectual euphemisms for banging the babysitter but we’re only human.

Since marriage has evolved so much over the ages, and different cultures have different views of it even today, perhaps it’s time for the age-old institution to evolve yet again. Maybe the tenets of a successful marriage should not be whether the couple stays monogamous for decades, but rather whether the couple openly communicates about what their unique marriage will look like, what will be deemed acceptable and what will not, and then honoring that joint decision.

Back to the old man again. If he’d had his druthers, Pop’d druther not have married a woman he knocked up since she’d already had a daughter by her first, late husband so he’d always have that “number two” feeling in his head.  And particularly if he knew that he would eventually have to leave his beloved Montana and have a youngest son who would turn out to be not all that fond of him.

But my old man, well, manned up.  He understood that taking responsibility for your actions involves, well, taking responsibility for your actions, no matter the cost.

Go here to read the rest.  Morality reminds us that going through life looking out for only number one is truly a miserable existence.  When we divorce, or rather when we attempt to divorce, sex and morality, reality is not altered by our petty self-deception.  Loveless sex is clearly destructive of the individual and society and it is a tribute to the ability of most people to see only what they wish to see that so many are blind to the abundant evidence of this timeless truth.

More to explorer


  1. Of course. Here we are. Gay marriages are notoriously non-monogamous. For some reason, gays feel a compulsion to have sex outside the marriage. They intend to be monogamous at first, but find it is impossible. Which says a lot about why they are gay.
    So now everyone else has to redefine (or “evolve” as she says) so that ALL marriages are non-monogamous.
    This will be the next wave of news media articles, designed to justify the fact that gay marriages cannot procreate and neither are they monogamous. Note that Liz Mundy already wrote a column in the Atlantic about this, saying that all marriages will become non-monogamous – it’s just a higher and more evolved way of existing, don’t you know. The New York Times published an article saying that gays need to “play” outside the marriage.
    Gee, and you were worried that gay marriage would destroy the institution of marriage.

  2. “Hollywood life coach and spiritual teacher”. More like a spiritual enabler. Or better yet, a spiritual euthanizer.

  3. “Since marriage has evolved so much over the ages, and different cultures have different views of it even today, perhaps it’s time for the age-old institution to evolve yet again.”
    Saw this coming from a mile away. Of course the “spiritual teacher” would advocate what amounts to polyamory: it’s the unstated but logical conclusion.

  4. I love the majestic language of the King James Bible. I use Catholic Bibles for my devotional reading and for study but the English translations are often hair raisingly pedestrian, and often for quotations, as with the Isaiah quote, I use KJB.

    In regard to the link, that is from Christopher Johnson’s post. Since he is a Protestant, although friendly to the Church, I am unsurprised he linked to a Protestant Bible.

  5. I use Protestant translations all the time. Then again, I use the Douay–Rheims translation all the time too. No big deal.

  6. Saruman spoke for a long time and wove a spell, then Gandalf laughed and the spell was broken. Moral self-justifications always seem to need so many words!

  7. The difference of import between the KJB and the Catholic (badly translated by some atheist scholars) Bible is that only the Catholic Bible refers to The Supreme Sovereign Being using the Holy Spirit of God’s Name” I AM WHO I AM”
    In the first translation of the New American Bible (which had to be later revised), “WHO” was rejected and the Lord’s prayer began: “Our Father, in heaven…”. The passage now reads: “Our Father, WHO art in heaven.” Only sins against the Holy Spirit are not forgiven unless and until repentance, restitution and repair are made.
    Cecil B. Demille’s masterpiece, The Ten Commandments uses the Protestant version, leaving the Triune God with only two Persons, the Father and the Son. “Who” proceeds from the Father and the Son.
    I am hoping and praying that the Holy Spirit has been acknowledged.

  8. Our Lady, Holy Mary, desired to remain virgin. Mary willed to be perfectly obedient to God’s will, from the first moment of her existence. Mary chose to be immaculate as God had created her for all time. God fulfilled Mary’s desire and predicated “full of grace” on Mary’s choice.
    The Blessed Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost chose Mary as daughter of the Most High, Mother of God and Spouse of the Holy Ghost. Mary is redeemed before all ages by Jesus Christ through her informed consent, through Mary’s “fiat voluntas tuas.”
    When God created Blessed Mary’s soul, the Immaculate Conception, God endowed Mary’s soul, as all men’s souls are endowed, with free will. Mary exercised her free will in choosing to serve God in time and in eternity. Mary chose the right to choose God.

  9. “….perhaps a new kind of conversation can unfold….”
    I think this conversation is ancient.

  10. Side note – the original KJV included all the books that the Catholic Bibles have – all the Deuterocanonicals although they were called Apocrypha. KJV is an excellent translation. But I prefer the Nova Vulgata Bibliorum Sacrorum. 😉

  11. I actually have a KJV with the Deuterocanonicals included. I read it all the time. The thing’s as Anglican as all get-out. Almost has more ribbon markers than it has pages.

  12. 10Jesus straightened up and said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ 11She said, ‘No one, sir.’* And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.’]]*

    I use the New Revised Standard Version Catholic edition.
    “… the increasingly popular superstition that morality and sex have nothing to do with each other”.
    Thank you Donald McClarey- superstition is an interesting term for this belief in this scientific and so called “rational” age. Our view of life seems to grow more and more superstitious and less and less well reasoned.

  13. Jesus forgives sin. All of it.

    But the church ought NEVER affirm sin…of any kind.

    But, people want what they want. And will rationalize every way they can to defend it.

  14. Mary De Voe,

    In the hearing of His preached Word (“Faith comes by hearing.”)

    And in Baptism and Holy Communion (which He commanded us to do – He never commanded us to do anything wherein He would not be present in it)

  15. “Open marriage” was what it was called in the ’70s. Our women’s Bible study class leader, a Catholic priest, had us mull it over then. He wanted us, I think, to be able to meet it head-on and deal with it, but once we assigned it to perdition the subject evolved into the possibility of married people having a “platonic” relationship with the opposite sex (there were only two sexes then). Most of us said it was not likely for men but that women could handle it. Finally we all agreed that under the Golden Rule we would not attempt it, because it would hurt our husbands.

  16. Kmbold,
    I was raised with a very conservative father who always said that men & women could never be friends, one would always want more & it would lead to an affair. I never questioned that because it’s my personality to listen to authority. So many people have a hard time coming to the conclusion that your bible study did. I’ll be teaching my children the same.

  17. Donald,

    Great comment: “the increasingly poplar superstition that morality and sex have nothing to do with each other”. Indeed it is a superstition, a myth that has been enshrined by SCOTUS as ‘the right to privacy’. Because of that ‘myth’ there is no objective moral norm between two consenting adults

  18. Went to my son’s wedding today in the Cathedral in Raleigh, NC.

    The priest who knows my wife gave her and her lover communion.
    I walked out from the wedding, got my things together and left for home.

    The bishop knows well the circumstances and was forewarned.

    That was my last Mass. I am done. I cannot be part of this anymore.
    Our children are very distraught. I told them my decision was final.
    They are now, i believe, at odds with each other but to what extent, I do not know. I have a three week old granddaughter I just met and another is expected by another daughter in August. I told my two daughters that i will not attend their baptisms.

    This is the fruit of Francis.

    Take care, Don. You are a good man.

  19. Karl,
    Why would you allow anyone, cleric or layperson, to separate you from God and shatter what’s left of your family unity?
    God sees what is happening with your wife and HE alone will intervene with her in due time.
    Consider the possibility that God is calling you to engage in a radical act of mercy for the well being and future happiness of your newly married son and his bride…witness the love of Christ to your son by forgiving your wife NOW and yield your marital situation to Christ.
    Take care that you do not allow your injured Pride to fracture the marriage(s) of your children. When Jesus taught us to pray the “Pater Noster” he reminded us that His forgiveness of our sins requires us to forgive others… “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”.
    Karl, we freely choose to Love and we freely choose to Hate. Choose to Love your children enough to forgive your wife and restore happiness to your home. Don’t let the seeds of your divorce take root in your children’s lives; they have lived the tragedy as well. Let joy return to your household…and go to Mass again soon.

  20. Slainte, I cannot disagree more with your counsel, given the facts presented. Adultery is a grave sin in the eyes of the Church. To remain active in such a state and then receive Holy Communion is a further sin. For bishops or priests to be aware of this situation and not attempt to correct it before administering Holy Communions is a colossal failure on their part. It is also a sin.

    Since the adultery is likely well known among those present, a public scandal has arisen, as well as the public humiliation of the affected spouse. He has a perfect right to be angry with the cowardly actions of his so-called shepherds and the reluctance of his family and friends, if they are Catholic, to rise up in his defense and counsel the adulterous wife and lover before hand (or after).

    The problem with liberal catholics is that they do not believe that Christ preached on sin, and heaven and hell. Did not Christ say to the prostitute once he forgave her sins, “Go, and sin no more?”

    Sin exists. It causes great harm to the perpetrator and to those affected by it. Unrepentant, grave sin at the time of death may very well jeopardize your immortal soul. It is the job of the Church to make sure you die repentant, without grave sin. The Church cannot do this by turning a blind eye to the sin. Mercy is not the correct action to on-going grave sin. Admonishment is. Remember the Spiritual Works.

    This particular problem is the result of the leaders in the Church acting like wolves in sheep’s clothing, saying one thing and doing another, and the sheep acting like they never received an ounce of instruction and never bothered to develop an informed conscience as adults.

    I would say to the man, make a stink! Write letters, privately—to the bishops and priests at the wedding, to your family, children, and friends, including the wife and lover. Let them know how you really feel. It can be done charitably, according to Church teaching. This is important since the scandal went public and his reaction went public. Then, go and seek out a Catholic Parish that adheres to the true teachings, and have a long discussion with the parish priest and do as he suggests. I would say. “Do not despair! Love God first, among all things, even above all those around you.”

  21. Karl,
    Annulments do not fall under infallibility ergo often they are reversed at Rome appeals which also don’t give absolute certitude. Priests along the way must proceed under the assumption that the last decision was valid. They MUST give Communion to your legally divorced and annulled wife….must…until the decision is reversed if at all.. They cannot go by private judgement…either yours or theirs. They must follow the judicial decisions. All of this is separate from the Last Judgement when the perfect truth of your marriage will come out. These annullment tragedies predate Pope Francis’ odd moments by a long shot. As slainte said, yield it into Christ’s care…yield it, turn it over verbally each day to Christ in your case. You are very verbal about it here. Be verbal about to Him…to Him. You’re getting worse telling us…you’ll get better telling Him. The foregiveness part I’m not sure of in that God does not forgive a bankrobber unless he returns the cash. The foregiveness awaits the restitution. Certain sins are fixable as to their damage with great effort and in your conscience this one is fixable. You are awaiting restitution but you should forgive in this sense: you should be praying daily that God leads her away from damnation because if you really are the husband before God, then you must will her salvation until death and in that sense you must forgive her daily until death.

  22. Raymond,
    I think an anullment took place but Karl rejects its decision. Am I incorrect here?

  23. Don’t go, Karl. These other members of the Catholic Church who are betraying Christ are sinners. They are hurting you and all of us. They are hurting The Lord. Don’t you go away from Him too.
    I know you are crying with Him, My God, My God WHY have You forsaken me. You are participating in the suffering He took on when Peter abdicated. Jesus dealt with Peter. We let Jesus deal with Francis. Meanwhile you Karl, have to remain standing like Mary and John.

  24. Acceptance of Gay marriage will necessarily lead to anti-monagamy, polyandry and polygamy because:
    1. There isn’t really any natural satisfaction in homosexual sex, this leaves a person longing for something, that something is of course the other half of humanity. All have this.
    2. The whole meaning of a pair, two, binary lovers.. Is based on heterosexual normal behavior.. Children with parents. Abolish that and you abolish the idea of two.
    3. Gay marriages are by definition naturally sterile, always. Any attempt to “have children” involves not only another person, but one of the opposite sex. At that point there’s really no transition to polyandry or poligamy, you’re already there..

  25. The Old Adam: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matt. 28: 19-20.
    The Sacrament of Penance is where forgiveness of sins takes place after our original Baptism. The priest speaks “in persona Christi” the words of Jesus Christ: “I absolve you…”. Confess the sin. Do the penance, with a firm purpose of amendment.
    Karl: It is time for you to get selfish about you soul and refuse to allow anybody, for any reason, to injure your relationship with Jesus Christ. God made them. God will take care of them. God loves them more than you can.
    Cling to Jesus.

  26. Raymond Nicholas,
    I don’t support adultery and I take Karl at his word that he informed the bishop of his wife’s irregular status, to wit, “The bishop knows well the circumstances and was forewarned”. Karl posted previously and disclosed additional details about his plight for which I am in full sympathy.
    The pain and injury of divorce is horrific made worse by a spouse’s betrayal in the form of adultery. This sort of trauma can emotionally cripple some and badly scar others. All members of the family suffer.
    If one has has successfully defended the marital bond in connection with an offending spouse’s petition for nullity, as Karl did, it is understandable that he should experience a sense of injustice when he observes his spouse continuing to receive communion at mass. It is unfortunate that the bishop didn’t inform Karl that he intended to permit the priest to dispense holy communion to Karl’s wife. Short of writing to the Vatican, I don’t know what other remedy is available that has not already been exhausted to resolve this debacle.
    There comes a point in every divorcee’s life when the innocent spouse must choose to forgive, but not forget, a great betrayal and injustice in order to move on with one’s life and bring peace to the home. Forgiveness heals the entire family.
    We cannot control others; Karl cannot control the bishop he forewarned or his spouse who exercised her free will unwisely. We can control ourselves, though, and how we respond to adversities. For the good of all, forgiveness is a worthy endeavor that will restore Karl to wholeness so that he can be liberated from the heaviness of the hurt that abandonment and divorce causes. God’s grace is sufficient to get us through the worst of times.

  27. Since adultery requires at least one in the couple to be married, the way to get rid of adultery is to get rid of marriage, and certainly anyone who goes into marriage thinking about it like this “life coach” will not be entering a valid marriage.

  28. Regarding Karl, I am not aware of any prior posts regarding divorce and/or annulment, and “who shot John” issues. Based on Karl’s brief comments, and that this was an article on adultery, it seemed to me that he was referring to yet another Church scandal, which seems to be reported with regularity on the internet, and that he has lost hope in the Church ever backing him up or following what they say.

    On the other hand, if a Church process did happen, and it was proper in all aspects, then Karl must live with the results, and he has a tough test ahead of him, as slainte says.

    Unfortunately, I know of more than one Catholic “break-up” wherein one party or the other did not like the Church ruling, so they left and joined another church in order to get married.

  29. Bill Bannon
    You are right to stress the provisional character of annulments. It has always been the law of the Church that declarators concerning status are never final (In the current code, see Can. 1492 §1)
    In cases concerning the validity of sacred orders or marriage, the Holy See is always prepared, on cause shown, to grant a Commission of Review, even of its own decisions. This is not an appeal, but a re-hearing on the merits.

  30. slainte, I just finished reading Karl’s very long post from the link you posted. This situations is a shame of the Church and reinforces my earlier post, regarding scandal and its intended/unintended consequences.

    Obviously, Karl could use help because he feels betrayed and bitter. It very well may be the test God gave Karl in his life.

    Putting aside Karl’s soul for the moment, it seems to me that the second annulment was obtained under false pretenses and granted by an erring priest. The priest and the two lovers will have to account for their actions in the end.

  31. Mr. Nicholas writes, “…It very well may be the test God gave Karl in his life…”
    We concur…hence my recommendation that Karl forgive the unforgiveable and yeild his marriage and his wife into the hands of God. The act of forgiveness does not suggest that Karl forgets or affirms his wife’s trespasses. Rather, Karl’s granting forgiveness to his undeserving wife is a radical act of mercy in imitation of Christ’s unmerited gift to us (undeserving children of Eve) in atonement for our sins.
    God will grant Karl grace to supercede his pain and a tranquil family life….in essence, beauty for his ashes.

  32. Raymond Nicholas
    “granted by an erring priest”
    I would be very reluctant to accuse any judge of error, when I had not had his advantage of observing the demeanour of the witnesses and parties.

  33. I will pray for Karl.

    If I had any kind of ecclesiastical authority at all, that woman and her partner in adultery would be excommunicated as of this moment. It is not because of sin, but rather, obstinate grave sin. Forgiveness is absolute, but also conditional.

    I was hesitant to post here again, but after reading slainte’s link about Karl’s situation, I simply couldn’t contain my outrage.

  34. Proslogion writes: “…Forgiveness is absolute, but also conditional…:
    Thankfully God did not apply a conditional standard of forgiveness to mankind. Had He done so, He would not have sent His Son to atone for our sins by dying on the cross; and we, the unrepentant sinners, would not be saved.
    Forgiveness requires the forgiver to adhere to an ideal greater than one’s self; it causes one to reach beyond the flesh and become godlike in dispensing unmerited mercy.
    For many, it requires much prayer, much supplication, and many hours in Eucharistic Adoration seeking the strength to do what we resist on every level of our being.
    It is a test of a lifetime…would that those who commit adultery and then divorce fully apprehend the consequences of their acts on the rejected spouse.

  35. I was prepared to see the blessing of adultery by the ordinary and the priest. I expected it. Against my own will, I read Tobit at the request of our son and, I presume, his fiancee. It broke my heart reading it and seeing my wife with her lover separated by her father who sat between them in the row behind our son but I worked through it.

    I was totally unprepared to see my wife and her lover be given the host, it was overwhelming. I could not bear it. I had to leave. I made no scene.

    It is not a question of forgiveness. It is a question of a broken human
    Making that choice, every moment of every day. Sometimes I fail.

    But when I failed, at that moment and after, somehow my sin became
    Worse than unrepentant public adultery.

    In defense of the priest: He is a young priest with little experience. He misunderstood the need to see me so he could understand the facts. He heard only from my wife and her lover, not me. Our daughters, who spoke with him the following day believe he was and is unprepared for such circumstances and asked me to consider their visit with him.
    This would not be written if I was unforgiving or hateful or whatever.

    But, his bishop knew the story and should have prevented it. This is fact.

    The bishop, my wife and her lover put that young priest in a position he is not equipped to adequately understand, much less deal with.

    Now, my family is shattered! One would think that bishop would move
    Heaven and earth to work to heal all that brokenness, wouldn’t one?

    But, in his defense, should the bishops in responsibility wherever my wife and her lover have lived for the passed more than two decades not have attempted the same, again and again, before him?

    There is no annulment. There may be one granted in the near future, for reasons i have just learned but which i feel should not be mentioned, but not for reasons supported by Canon Law or its underlying theology. Not good reasons.

    Do pray for all of us but, pray more for priests and bishops to work to restore marriages rather than supporting adultery, which is what they are doing now and have been for decades and decades.

  36. Karl,
    Jesus will not co-exist within a heart that is inflamed with anger, even if that anger is righteous as yours appears to be.
    Please consider prayer, supplication, and spending time with Jesus in Eucharistic Adoration. Invite him into your heart; ask him to extinguish the negative emotions that have taken root; request that he silence the endless internal monologue of self blame you may recite; and ask Him to bless you with His Grace.
    Do all of this repeatedly, if necessary, and I promise you that in time He will restore you and make you whole again. If not for yourself, do this for your children and grandchildren.
    The Serenity Prayer
    God grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference.
    Living one day at a time;
    Enjoying one moment at a time;
    Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
    Taking, as He did, this sinful world
    as it is, not as I would have it;
    Trusting that He will make all things right
    if I surrender to His Will;
    That I may be reasonably happy in this life
    and supremely happy with Him
    Forever in the next.

    –Reinhold Niebuhr
    Trust in the LORD with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
    in all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will direct your paths.
    Proverbs 3, 5-6

  37. Slainte,
    Be careful speaking for Jesus as to where his is. He lived among and moved among some ugly characters. I believe you meant no harm but
    Only God knows my heart and the horrors i have faced from the Catholic Church for at least 25 years.

    The corruption is thorough. I have only, within the last day or two, come to understand it in frighteningly concrete ways regarding annulments, even though i have fought this system since 1991.

    Do you not understand that NO BISHOP has shut his mouth, opened his mind and his heart and sat down with me, in face of our valid marriage and asked me….”what can i do to work to heal this?” Not in this entire nightmare!

    If you or any person does not find that completely unacceptable and outrageously, gravely and scandalously harmful, then you need your prayers more than i do. Have you personally contacted your bishop about this and demanded he act and demonstrate that he has? If not, then you should.

    How can i sit down with men who have turned their back on me and our marriage for decades? To ask that of me is to ask a woman to sit down with her unrepentant rapist with no defense.

    If this offends you, then you need to try to walk in my shoes and the shoes of others who walk the same walk.

    The clergy do not care. If they did their actions would indicate it.

    Please stop pouring salt on my wounds. Unless the clergy are forced to act, this marital and child holocaust goes on and on and on.

    Stop telling me of my unrepentance and say the same to your clergy and hierarchy. You are persecuting me and our marriage and supporting rapists!

    If they drop to their knees in repentance for their scandalous neglect and rent their clothes and tender their resignations to show their outrage at themselves and their callous clerical selfrighteous hatred, their might be a place to start! But these persecutors must remove their knives from my throat and the throats of our children first!

    I have never shut the damn door. These men have never opened it. I have been knocking on it for 25 years, begging for help and been ignored.

    Do you feel better now, slainte. And yes, i know and believe you meant only good. So do I. But you have seen the tip of my pain.

    Forgive me, dear, sincerely. I had to let you see it.

  38. Karl – I’ll pray for you. I’m truly sorry for your pain – we fallen and imperfect people, in our own self-absorption, sometimes cause great pain to those who trust us. May God Bless you.
    To those who are criticizing or rebuking or “advising” Karl, I would respectfully suggest that you review the Book of Job and particularly God’s warning to Job’s “sympathetic friends”.
    Regarding the original content of this article, the legitimization of adultery in western society, persuasive rationalization is a tool used by satan to mislead man throughout history – the pagan spiritualist in this piece sounds very similar to satan tempting Eve in the garden.

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