Hersey and Chastity

So, I’ll start off by saying that I’ve only been officially catholic since April. With that being said, there are two major issues I have (technically three, but the third is minor)

  1. Chastity: I have no problem in believing one should wait till marriage for sex. Though it is difficult task, I am completely willing to wait, even in my weak moments. However, I wish we AT LEAST had the option of masturbation. I’ve heard it compared to throwing gasoline on fire, which I greatly disagree with. I’ve heard that it’s ‘selfish’ which I can understand if one were masturbating instead of bonding with their spouse. I am single, so why can’t I just take a few moments to myself? If pornography were involved, which it’s not, I would understand condemning it, then.

I’m having a problem stopping. I go to confession when I can, always for masturbation and nothing else. Which leads me to wonder if that would send me to hell, especially since it’s the only mortal sin I struggled with and have ever confessed. I’ve never even been drunk!

I really don’t want to hear the excuse that masturbation will lead to porn. Not true. I just don’t understand why a single person who isn’t even in a relationship can’t masturbate. Please don’t quote the catechism. I know exactly what it says. I don’t want to offend God ,but part of me doesn’t want to me chaste. I’m not looking for an excuse to continue masturbating. I’m looking for a reason to quit. A reason why God would even bother to care that we are masturbating. It doesn’t damage us. I’m not some sick pervert who masturbates in public. If you use lust as the reason it’s bad, why does that matter if I’m single? I’m not cheating on anyone.

  1. Homosexuality. I was raised to believe it was wrong, but my mother simply said “because the bible says so” and she’s right, but that wasn’t enough for me. If you take the original text, Hebrew, then you could say that homosexuality applied to young boys being prostitutes back then, not actual male on male sexual activity. I have never seen this theory disproven. Homosexuality is later mention by Paul, I believe, but his words are not God’s. He preached what he believed, but that doesn’t mean he was right. I’ve grown to accept homosexuality. Now that I am catholic, I can’t simply flip my beliefs on this matter. However, the question I really have is: Am I allowed to take the Eucharist if I do not completely agree with the catechism on this matter? Am I committing heresy, even though I never said the church said it was okay to be gay? If I do not participate in homosexual acts, am I still committing a sin by not spitting on every gay I know?

  2. Birth control. I don’t really have a problem with this. When two people have sex, the Holy Spirit comes in and makes life. That is also why it is a sin to have premarital sex. However, what about when it comes to rape? I heard it is possible to convince a rapist to use a condom before he starts. Would doing so mean the woman committed a mortal sin? Why would the Holy Spirit create life during such a horrible time, worse than premarital sex? It also doesn’t make sense that God would create life during premarital sex. I guess we can’t really know His thoughts or why he chooses certain ‘couples’ (The rapist and his victim, those who aren’t married, or those who are married) to create life with. I just find it…perplexing. I have no problem not using birth control once I’m married. I’m just confused on this.

Maybe in the end, I’ll just have to take all of this to a priest. Problem is that I have social anxiety, so the only one I feel comfortable with was the one who baptized me and lately, I’ve been feeling like a nuisance to him.

All three of your questions are common ones and ones that have many threads on them and can be found in the Catechism. But here is something to think about.

All three of your theological questions and doubt about the Church have to do with genitals.

Think about that. Transubstantiation, the afterlife, the concept of forgiveness, a Creator, a Savior who comes back from the dead. Saints who can fly. Suns that can dance in the sky, and your three main problems have to do with the genitals of mankind and their stimulation.

I don’t say this to mock you. Most Catholics struggle with these things, but I do want to point out how odd it is to accept those things that are easy and pleasant and require no sacrifice for you in you faith and how much the libido has to do with the entirety of mans existence.

The point being: Why do you accept something as logically absurd as the Eucharist or the Resurrection but doubt the things your faith teaches in sexuality because they are hard to understand?

Our time on earth is where the Lord sanctifies us. It is worth the struggle, and we have the means to grow closer to the Lord. (Prayer, Mass, Sacraments, good reading, like-minded friends…they do exist.)

Pick up our cross and follow Jesus and He will give us His peace and joy.

God has gifted each one of us with the sexual faculty, to be used exclusively in the course of the marital act and in a manner open to life. I think He would be concerned over every form of misuse, whether it be in the form of masturbation, homosexuality or contraception.

I think the point is that an infinite God is bothered about everything, infinitely, that is contrary to His desires - even if, infinity aside, He would be more concerned about our own charity, the state of the world He gave us, etc, than he would be about masturbation.

Why not forget all this and just accept the Church’s teaching because it comes from God?


Hi, Ashes,

I can relate to everything you said. It’s natural to have doubts, but sometimes persistent doubts harm our relationship with God. It is very hard to see the logic in church teachings when you are bound to habitual sin. You said that you are looking for a reason to stop, but maybe it will not be until after you stop that you will see the reason in it.

That probably sounds like a cop-out, but when you view Church teachings as only a set of laws to be followed, we miss the whole point of Catholicism, which is to Love God with our whole heart, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbors.

Our sexual faculties are ordered towards building an intimate relationship with another person in order to create a family that is a reflection of the Holy Trinity. Just as the Trinity loves so perfectly that life comes forth from it, so it should be with our lives here on earth. That is why masturbation and homosexuality and birth control are disordered, because they can never create life. Rape is a grievous crime, but the rules of nature exist for the creation of life, and the church teaches that all life is worthy. It is hard to accept sometimes, but loving God is hard.

I will pray that you find peace, Ashes,


Masturbation is wrong because it is something that looks for immediate self-gratification and uses the sexual organs for wrong reasons. Even when you are single as you are, masturbation is sinful because you are using the organs that God gave us for procreation and union between a man and a woman in marriage to have a few seconds of “pleasure.”

When you say that Paul was just teaching stuff he though to be right, that it a terrible undertanding of Sceupture, because even when God is not quoted directly, the entire Bjble is still His Divine Word.

Homosexuality is sinful because God said so in a few different places (also look in the Epistle of Jude), and because it is contrary to the natural law written in our hearts. Didn’t God make woman for man to be united as one body in marriage? He didn’t see Adam lonely and give him another man, but a woman.

In regard to contraception, you seem to know that it is wrong, but not even rape is a justifiable reason to use it. Life can NEVER be cancelled, because it is God Who is the only Master of Life and Death.

May God bless you and keek you in the Light of His Truth! :slight_smile:

I think that if you make an earnest effort to delve into the Church’s reasons for why they teach what they do on these specific aspects of sexuality that they may make more sense to you, and once they make more sense you will find the teachings easier to follow. I don’t mean this as to imply you’re ignoring what the church teaches or anything like that. But there’s volumes of information, lots of it on this site, and elsewhere (the Catechism of the Catholic Church, for one) that might click the lightbulb on and make you go “Oh, so that’s why.” Upon my reversion about a year and a half ago I just “got it” and I found it surprisingly easy to drop most everything that kept me away from God, including masturbation and pornography. Knowledge of the truth and prayer are two very powerful things. You aren’t a bad Catholic just because you’re struggling with sin or struggling to understand the Church’s teachings…keep going to Confession and stay close to the sacraments (as we all should be doing!)

One of the biggest misunderstandings about the Church is that it is strict and that its teachings are restrictive in nature. In reality, sin, which promises liberation, traps us and restricts us within ourselves and our own disordered desires. Tobacco use is a good analogy for sin. A cigarette promises to be refreshing and make you feel better. It looks fun and cool and at first it tastes and feels good. Doesn’t seem harmful. The longer you smoke the better you feel after having one. The more you need one. But in reality all you’re relieving is the withdrawal from the time between your previous cigarette. And it’s a trap that will destroy your finances, your health and your life if you don’t escape in time. Before too long you’ve given up hope you’ll ever be able to stop. The Church doesn’t teach what it does in order to control you or put rules on you or restrict you. Rather it teaches what it does so that you may live freely from sin and experience a new freedom and a new happiness.

With that being said, wouldn’t it also be wrong to not use our sexual organs. For example, if someone chooses to be celebrate with no intention of getting married and never having children? Sure, you can justify nuns and priest, maybe. There are those who choose not to marry/have sex. For example, Mary. She did have a child, obviously, but there are others like her.

“Be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect.”

We are all praying for you!

I think the best defense against sexual temptation (and doubt) is a quick prayer! (even better a whole rosary!)

No, the choice to be celibate is perfectly licit. There is a difference between misuse and non-use. We are not obligated to have children any more than we have a right to have them, nor are we obligated to engage in sex any more than we have a right to sexual pleasure. Only that the proper use of these functions is when they are put to use in a way properly ordered to the creation of life (regardless of whether conception happens or is the right time to happen, we can’t purposely frustrate the act) and this is only licit within the bounds of marriage.

Matthew 19 is clear on this that those who marry must marry for life and if that is the case that this can’t be accepted it may be preferable to not marry. Jesus specifically said that those who can accept the celibate lifestyle for three reasons (they were born that way, they were made that way by others or they who have “made themselves eunuchs” for the sake of the kingdom of God) should accept it.

[SIGN]Vivat Jesus![/SIGN]

One question has yet to be answered. If I am okay with gays, am I committing a sin or some sort of heresy? I just don’t believe we can hold people accountable for something a religion they don’t follow says. It’d be like Hindus trying to force us to not eat beef, anymore. I wouldn’t do any gay acts, as I’m straight, but I’d lie if I said I didn’t smile when I heard that gay marriage was legalized.

Actions to remove semen after a rape, or to prevent ovulation pursuant to a rape, are not contraception as that moral act is understood. Just as heaving the aggressor from the victim’s body is not a contraceptive act. Just as a hysterectomy can be medically necessary treatment, not contraception, so actions pursuant to a rape can be steps taken to interrupt the rape, which continues after the aggressor has left the scene.

The Catechism speaks of Doubt in this way:

*Voluntary doubt about the faith disregards or refuses to hold as true what God has revealed and the Church proposes for belief. Involuntary doubt refers to hesitation in believing, difficulty in overcoming objections connected with the faith, or also anxiety aroused by its obscurity. If deliberately cultivated doubt can lead to spiritual blindness.
What is involuntary is not morally imputable. It is not sinful. *

And to promulgate and promote beliefs contrary to Church teaching is certainly wrong (for you as a Catholic).

It’s not about you holding someone else accountable, just for upholding the teachings of your Church.

I’m okay with gays getting married civilly, but I believe it would be very wrong to force a priest/church to participate. So, if I’m not out promoting the acceptance of gays nor am I rejecting them, I am okay?

What do you hold to be the Truth on the topic? Can same sex sexual acts be ordered to the Love of God? Start with resolving that question before moving to the question of ‘civil’ marriage.

I don’t know. Why does God have a problem with it, if he does. I’ve been on this fence since I was young. I can’t fully say it’s wrong and I can’t fully say it’s right. It’s very frustrating. The only reason why God may and the church have an issues with it is because they can’t procreate. But God made it that way.

Ashes to Ashes - most here will disagree with me (as usual), but you are just fine with your beliefs. In order to be fully human and fully Catholic, each of us need to formulate our own conscience. I am in disagreement with two of the social dogmas held by the Church - the ban on ABC and viewing LGBTQ humans as disordered. I have spoken with several priests about my concerns and was advised that I am in the same boat as most Western Catholics. In some regards, I am very lucky since I am 62 and ABC is not a hot button issue for me! I laugh when some try to use verbal acrobatics to proclaim that NFP is not contraception. As far as LGBTQ issues are concerned, I taught High school for 35 years and have witnessed, first hand, the pain and horror that deeming gay young people intrinsically disordered and not natural has caused. Once again, I’m not gay, but I will always support non-discrimination policies for all, gay, straight, black, Brown, Catholic, Hindu or Vulcan.
Welcome to CAF, and please don’t hesitate to share your feelings. As I said before, most posters here disagree with my progressive views, but are charitable. God Bless you!:thumbsup:

Does God have a problem with any act contrary to chastity? Fornication?

Paul writes in I Corinthians 7:2, “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife and every woman have her own husband”. He properly identifies the “marriage” of man and woman as the proper venue for sexual relationship. The Church teaches all forms of fornication are intrinsically evil.

In his first letter to the Corinthians (6:9), the apostle identifies homosexuals among those who will not enter the Kingdom of God.

In the letter to the Romans (1:18-32), St. Paul uses homosexual behavior as an example of the blindness which has overcome human beings. Instead of the original harmony between Creator and creatures, idolatry has lead many people into moral depravity. The clearest example of this depravity is the practice of homosexuality.

Finally in the first chapter of his first letter to Timothy, St. Paul singles out the sin of homosexuality as evidence of heretical doctrine.

Note that there is not a single positive reference in Scripture to homosexual relationships. All references that speak to unions (marriage) speak of the coming together of a man and a woman - never any other case. All references to homosexual relationships in Scripture are consistently "negative.

So it is clear that Scripture opposes homosexual acts, and we know the Church has consistently taught since the beginning that the only moral sexual acts are between husband and wife. Reason also tells us this is right - we can examine the anatomy and biology of man and its design and purpose see clear. We can see how in man the pleasure giving act is one that is bound up with his procreative capacity.

God did not make man to have SSA, nor polio nor any other great affliction. We are in a fallen world where things go wrong, where our desires cannot always be fulfilled. Where there is suffering. Morality is not relative.

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