- Published: Tuesday, 07 July 2015 12:26
May a man and a woman who are dating, but unmarried, engage in passionate kissing? Is passionate kissing outside of marriage moral, or a venial sin, or a mortal sin?
Many moralists claim that ‘passionate’ kissing is always an objective mortal sin for any unmarried man and woman, regardless of intention or circumstances, even if the couple is engaged. But they allow that non-passionate kissing is moral. There are several doctrinal problems with this claim.
First, only intrinsically evil acts are always immoral regardless of intention or circumstances. There are three fonts of morality, if an act is immoral regardless of two fonts, it must be immoral under the remaining font. Intrinsically evil acts have an evil moral object; the moral nature of the act is inherently disordered. But the addition of the adjective ‘passionate’ does not signify a different moral nature, nor a different moral object. So if the type of act and the moral object have not changed, then the act cannot be intrinsically evil. For the moral object always is the sole determinant of the moral nature (or species) of an act.