Is it sinful for someone to be attracted to someone who is not available for marriage?


For example, if someone was attracted to someone who had made a vow of celibacy, someone of their same gender, or someone who was already married or dating, would that be sinful?


You really need to define attraction. If you mean it in the sexual sense, any attraction to any person, including your spouse, not centred around and conducive to the sexual act, is lust, which is a grave sin, as it removes the human dimension from another person, and reduces them to their flesh. If this is directed to a consecrated person, it is doubly sinful, and needs to be confessed as such. Any attraction apart from that, while painful due to that person’s unavailability, is not sinful.


It’s sinful if you do not discipline yourself to disregard it


Attraction is not an act. What you’re describing is not a sin, it’s a temptation.
Resist the temptation and you are not sinning. Indulge it and you are.


The attraction is not sinful, but this is where 2 Corinthians 10:5 comes in to effect:
“we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

So if a person is having thoughts that could lead to sin, it then becomes a matter of prayer in asking God for deliverance from these thoughts and to give a pure heart regarding this matter.


No. The attraction is not sinful in and of itself. We don’t have much control over who we are attracted to. It becomes sinful if we feed that attraction and act on it. For example if we make a move on a married woman or try to seduce a priest.


It didn’t stop King David - with Bathsheba -
but he paid the price - big time.

Proverbs 6:29
So is the one - who goes in to his neighbor’s wife;
Whoever touches her - will not be found innocent or go unpunished.


Attraction is not sinful. It’s what you do with this attraction in thought, word or deed that could lead to sin.


This is contrary to Catholic teaching. Sexual attraction is a good and healthy thing that must be integrated into the virtue of chastity.

This is a unique problem with the English language, which lacks a distinction within the word “desire”. There is a difference between “desiring [without spurring the desire into flame]” and “being overtaken by desire”. The latter is lust.

Song of Songs is pretty good on this, when it discusses not “arousing or awakening love” until the appropriate time.


How can you read that story and think that his being attracted to Bathsheba was the problem?



. . .


I don’t believe this is Catholic teaching. The sin is not in the attraction or even the desire of the heart. The sin would be the act that joins with the free will in acting outside of a sacramental marriage if you are pursuing a consummation of that union. Being attracted to one of the same sex is NOT a sin. Acting on that attraction is the sin, the heterosexual person is in the SAME situation in regards to attractions and actions.


But indulging in that (sexual) attraction, when it is not centred around the marital sexual act, is pretty much the definition of lust. This does not to be acted upon to undermine morality. I do not see where I undermine Church teaching.


But sexual attraction, when indulged in (and not directed to the marital act) is lust, and doubly sinful if directed toward consecrated or married people, as the attraction is disordered, since acting upon it leads to the sins of fornication and adultery.


Sexual desire and lust are not the same thing. Lust is willfully indulging in fantasies, not shutting down intrusive thoughts, objectification of a person. Being sexually attracted to a person of the opposite sex is natural.

Being attracted to someone of the same sex is disordered, but not immorally so in itself, so long as a person doesn’t indulge inappropriately in the attraction.


However, if one in anyway indulges in this attraction for the purpose of sexual pleasure, he sins against chastity via lust. One must be constantly vigilant in guarding against this, and strive not to view others through this lens. Since the question regards ‘attraction’ in a general sense, without a separation into carnal desires and a general romantic attraction, I strove in my original response to separate the two. I fail to see how one can think of another in terms of his flesh, as in sexual attraction when not contained, failing to see their humanity, and not commit lust. This should be confined to the sexual act, as the purpose of sexuality is to provide unison between spouses (as well as procreation.) I never meant to imply that one sins if he diligently strives not to confine another to his flesh.


Feeling sexual attraction ≠ indulging in it

Just like being hungry is not pigging out.


But unless feelings of sexual attraction are deliberately and immediately repelled if not aimed at legitimate purposes, lust ensues. I don’t see where I’m going wrong.


Your confusing sexual attraction with carnal fantasies. It has the word “sex” in it. It doesn’t mean we’re regarding them as objects, imagining sex acts, or undressing them in our mind. Nor is sexual attraction just about the flesh in itself.


Attractions are not sinful, but it would be sinful to try to make them break their vows.

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