What is the new Church teaching regarding masturbation?

Full Question

What is the new Church teaching regarding masturbation?


Actually, there is no new Church teaching on masturbation.

The Church has always definitively taught that masturbation is “an intrinsically and gravely disordered action” (CCC 2352). It is a corollary teaching of the sixth commandment. And when committed with full knowledge and complete consent (CCC 1859), it is a mortal sin (CCC 1854-64).

For more on this matter and living a chaste life in general, see the linked CCC passages, and see also our resources at the website Chastity.com.

By Tom Nash


1 comment

  1. Patrick Gannon Reply

    This garbage is so infuriating, but it’s good stuff because it drives knowledgeable, reasonable, critically thinking people away from the Church. And that’s very good.
    What is disordered and unnatural are virgin, celibate clergy dressed up in robes and telling the rest of us what we can and can’t do with our own bodies. Research has indicated that masturbation has many benefits including reduction of stress, to help us sleep, and for males, it appears to lead to a healthy prostate. Why would Yahweh-Jesus make masturbation evil if it actually has health benefits? Why would he design our bodies such that we should masturbate in order to keep a healthy prostate? He essentially punishes men as they age for being foolish enough to follow the commands of these disordered celibate virgins (well except the ones who abuse children).
    The part of the bible often used to support this is the story of Onan; however a close reading of that story makes it clear to anyone but ignorant monkeys that Onan was punished for disobeying Yahweh, not for spilling his seed on the ground.
    The purpose of this ridiculous, ancient prohibition is to make us feel shame for doing things that are private and personal, but perfectly normal. This is abhorrent on the part of the Church. The best thing we have going for us, is that these celibate virgins are so disordered and unnatural that they have voluntarily removed themselves from the human gene pool (which probably means that over time it will be harder and harder to find people who possess these unnatural and disordered traits), and for that we thank them!
    “A study by Giovanni Cappelli of the church’s stance on masturbation during the first millennium CE shows that:
    The Bible is silent on the topic.
    None of the Apostolic Fathers wrote about masturbation.
    The first mention of masturbation within the Catholic Church is found in sixth century CE penitentials. 1 These were books containing a set of church rules concerning the sacrament of penance. They were first developed by priests as unofficial handbooks that gave standard penances for the most commonly confessed sins.” (religioustolerance(dot)org)
    The policy didn’t really become important until Thomas Aquinas railed against it in the 1200s. Jesus of course, didn’t say a word about it. The dogma is man-made. It’s designed to fill you with shame, guilt and fear so you can more easily be controlled, and to keep you coming back to church where you are made to feel guilty so you can go to confession and be made to feel temporarily clean so you can go back to feeling guilty again, when you do something that is perfectly normal and healthy.
    It should be a criminal act to tell a child that masturbation is a mortal sin that can send them to eternal torture. To tell a child that is absolutely despicable; but keep it up. The Church’s draining membership makes it clear that this nonsense is no longer being taken seriously. The fear doesn’t work so well anymore.

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