Catholic Dictionary




Principally the mutual rights to marital intercourse between husband and wife. In the words of St. Paul, "the husband must give his wife what she has a right to expect, and so too the wife to the husband. The wife has no rights over her own body; it is the husband who has them. In the same way, the husband has no rights over his body; the wife has them. Do not refuse each other except by mutual consent, and then only for an agreed time, to leave yourselves for prayer; then come together again in case Satan should take advantage of your weakness to tempt you" (I Corinthians 7:4-5). In a broader sense, conjugal rights include all that husband and wife may justly expect of one another in terms of attention, affection, co-operation, and patient forbearance.