Making Amends

Q. Must those who have received a vasectomy or a tubal ligation have it reversed to “be right” with God and the Church?

A. Here is a reply from Father Francis Hoffman, J.C.D.:

No, those who have been sterilized do not have to have the procedure reversed in order to “‘be right’ with God and the Church.” It is sufficient that they truly repent and express their contrition in the Sacrament of Penance and receive God’s mercy. However, if they do attempt to reverse the procedure, that would be an unmistakable and praiseworthy sign of true and profound repentance. Short of that, some couples refrain from marital intimacy during those periods that the woman might have been fertile in an attempt to mirror “natural family planning,” and that, too, is a praiseworthy — though not mandatory — expression of repentance. I know of one couple who had their procedure reversed, and God blessed them with two more children. How beautiful!