"If we marry, it is only so that we may bring up children."
"God made the male and female for the propagation of the human race." St. Irenaeus, "Against All Heresies," c. 180 A.D.
"Because of its divine institution for the propagation of man, the seed is not to be vainly ejaculated, nor is it to be damaged, nor is it to be wasted. To have coitus other than to procreate children is to do injury to nature." St. Clement of
"On account of their prominent ancestry and great property, the so-called faithful want no more children from slaves or lowborn commoners, they use drugs or sterility or bind themselves tightly in order to expel a fetus which has already been engendered." St. Hippolytus, "Refutation of All Heresies," 225 A.D.
They (certain Egyptian heretics) exercise genital acts, yet prevent the conceiving of children. Not in order to produce offspring, but to satisfy lust, are they eager for corruption." St. Epiphanius of
"...and that which is sweet, and universally desirable, the having of children, they esteem grievous and unwelcome. Many at least with this view have even paid money to be childless, and have mutilated nature, not only killing the newborn, but even acting to prevent their beginning to live."
"But I wonder why he (the heretic Jovianianus) set Judah and Tamar before us for an example, unless perchance even harlots give him pleasure; or Onan, who was slain because he grudged his brother seed. Does he imagine that we approve of any sexual intercourse except for the procreation of children?"
"You may see a number of women who are widows before they are wives. Other, indeed, will drink sterility and murder a man not yet born."
"And then, fearing because of your law against child-bearing...they copulate in a shameful union only to satisfy lust for their wives. They are unwilling to have children, on whose account alone marriages are made. When this is taken away, husbands are shameful lovers, wives are harlots, bridal chambers are brothels, fathers-in-law pimps."
"For necessary sexual intercourse for begetting (children) is alone worthy of marriage. But that which goes beyond this necessity no longer follows reason but lust."
Printed with permission from Catholic Defense.