Why did the Roman Catholic Church tolerate prostitution?

And during which centuries was it so?

7 Answers

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago
    Favourite answer

    The Catholic Church did allow prostitution. St. Augustine said that prostitution should be tolerated because men would seek sex outside of marriage anyway. He said that prostitution would prevent them from resorting to more perverted activities.

    Also in medieval times prostitution many Western European towns had brothels licensed by municipal authorities. Since the Catholic Church was the only church in Western Europe back then, this suggests that the church also tolerated prostitution.

  • 4 years ago

    Catholic Prostitution

  • 10 years ago

    I agree with the previous poster that it is rather unlikely that the catholic church ever officially condoned prostitution. However, the official teachings of the church are one thing and practice is quite another.

    For instance, there was a time when sexual "misconduct" was little on the minds of the higher-ups in the church. Pope Alexander VI, for example, was known for having had several mistresses, and I'm pretty sure that he did not care too much about prostitution either. Of course, the church at the time also officially condemned having mistresses (or having sex -- for all priests, cardinals and of course also the pope) or being involved in prostitution or using the services of prostitutes. But surely this was only a problem for those who were not too powerful or could not pay off the church.

    I also see parallels with today's catholic church. Pope Benedict sure likes to rant against homosexuality or even extramarital sex and all that. At the same time, the church is comparatively low profile about people like Berlusconi (head of state and infamous client of prostitutes) on the one hand and the sex life of its own clerics on the other -- who either use prostitutes or have sex with clandestine female or male partners or those who abuse children.

    Stating such facts about the church, by the way, does not constitute slander or offensive speech at all. I don't find the question offensive either.

    Source(s): Here's wikipedia on Alexander VI. His several known mistresses are listed somewhere. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Alexander_VI
  • 10 years ago

    Prior to the 20th Century, the word prostitution was a synonym for actress. It's a semantic thing. However, this is obviously a troll question meant to insult Catholics. Reported ditto. In case Y!A falls down on the job, the Catholic Church has never condoned the selling of sexual favors and it never will. Sex is a form of love instituted by God for the procreation of human beings. Period. It is only OK to have sex within the bonds of the Sacrament of Matrimony. Sex is a spiritual thing. Selling sex is profane. Yes, members of the Catholic Church are sinners just like everyone else and have used both prostitutes and actresses. Us crazy Catholics!

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  • 5 years ago

    Surprises me that people refuse to learn the truth and historical facts about many genre in our world. Do not forget also, because of a book written by a man (to wit: ) it was used by Catholic to torture and kill tens of thousands of women as witches. You must remember, clergy in those days and today are only men (not gods, not angels, just simple men). The church used brothels to increase revenue. Wife of a Caesar created convents for "nuns" as rest home(?) for old prostitutes who had otherwise no home or care. Do not blame the church. Yes, Catholic church was man church in Europe - but it was the men running things. Same as a famous senator who bestowed many pleasantries on Caesar... beautiful words that said nothing (very clever politician) - so he was never killed, never angered Caesar and he used his position to become head of Catholic Church in France. Yes, Catholic church, do not blame any church for its leaders and the boards" that tell the minister what he can and cannot teach in that church and its bylaws despite what is said in the Bible. Yes, mature wisely, grow in grace and knowledge and learn truth of all things in life and history and past.. do not let our own teachings from "our childhood" "our parents" "our church" make us blind or reject history and the truth. Just grow up and open our hearts and minds to things we were never told. Good to know the past, no need to teach all things to the too young in our families. Even your Bible says, 1 Cor 3:2, Heb 5:12.."...I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready." Immature child needs milk until older and can handle solid food, same with spirituality. We can only teach some things to young, more to mature minds.

  • Naz F
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    False - extramarital sex has always been considered a sin, by ALL Christians - and this question is very offensive, to all Catholics.


  • 5 years ago

    Profit and to fulfil their lists.

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