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Chapter 30. Sixth Commandment: Marital Fidelity • 407


(sexual relationships between close relatives) is always wrong,

harming both the individuals involved as well as the family itself.

Sexual abuse

of any kind harms the victim on many more levels than

only the physical. Forcing sexual intimacy of any type on a child or

minor is an even graver evil (cf. CCC, no. 2356), which often scars

the victim for life (cf. CCC, no. 2389).


(sexually explicit material) has become even more

available through the Internet. This presents real difficulties for both

individuals and society, as viewing pornography is not only sinful

in itself but can also become an addiction and lead to dangerous

sexual behaviors. It has also led to a greater exploitation of children

as sexual objects.


reduces the person “to an instrument of sexual plea-

sure,” an object to be used. It increases the spread of sexually trans-

mitted diseases. To protect innocent members of society, prostitution

can legitimately be forbidden by civil authority. It is more preva-

lent where a culture exploits the physical and social vulnerability of

women (CCC, no. 2355).


is an act of violence in which a person forces a sexual act on an

unwilling partner. “Rape deeply wounds the respect, freedom, and

physical and moral integrity to which every person has a right. . . . It

is always an intrinsically evil act” (CCC, no. 2356).

• “

Homosexual acts

are intrinsically disordered” and immoral. “They

are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift

of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual

complementarity” (CCC, no. 2357). Having homosexual inclina-

tions is not immoral. It is homosexual acts that are immoral.

“The number of men and women who have deep-seated homo-

sexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objec-

tively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must

be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign

of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These

persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are

Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties

they may encounter from their condition” (CCC, no. 2358).