Contra Eric Giunta on contraception

In his article and blog-post, Eric Giunta makes several heretical claims about the teaching of the Church on contraception. I will briefly refute his errors here. But see my series of articles on contraception and heresy at for more details.

His article is here:
When Contraception Isn’t a Sin By Eric Giunta

Giunta: “it has never been the position of the Catholic magisterium, nor Catholic theologians generally, that the use of contraception is intrinsically immoral.”

To the contrary, here is a long list of quotes from the Magisterium explicitly stating that contraception is intrinsically evil:
Giunta’s rejection of the teaching that contraception is intrinsically evil is material heresy. His public teaching of the same is a grave sin.

Giunta: “But any theologian worth his two cents will tell you that the expression commonly translated “sexual intercourse” from the Latin coniugale commercium never refers to a sexual relationship between fornicators, but always and everywhere to relations between married persons.”

To the contrary, in this article, I give an analysis of the word ‘conjugalis’ and its use in Humanae Vitae, showing that the word is not restricted to sexual relations between spouses. And in the same article, I subsequently give two examples from Casti Connubii, the encyclical of Pope Pius XI on marriage, in which the same Latin word is used to refer specifically to non-marital sexual relations. A third example can be drawn from the same document’s reference to St. Augustine’s work “De Conjugiis Adulterinis”, which is usually translated as “On Adulterous Unions.” So here is an example of a use of the term in question to refer to sexual intercourse that is specifically non-marital, as is implied by the term “adulterous”.

I pointed this out to Giunta in the comments to his post. See my comments and his reply at the end of the page.

In the body of his post, he states: “Don’t believe me? Look up the word “conjugal” for yourselves in a dictionary.”

As an experienced translator of Latin, I can tell you that the correct wording for a translation is not always found in the Latin-English dictionary. Every word has a range of meaning, sometimes broader, sometimes narrower, depending in part on context, and there might not be a corresponding single word in English that could merely be used to replace the word in Latin. The word conjugalis/conjugium in its various forms can refer to marital union, or marital sexual union, or sexual union in general, or specifically non-marital sexual union, or the mating of animals, or to other types of close union or joining.

More on Giunta’s doctrinal errors in a subsequent article in my series on contraception and heresy.

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