Is masturbation a mortal sin in my case?

I know that masturbation is considered a grave matter, but whether it is a mortal sin or not depends on the circumstances. In my situation, I am 30. I got into the habit of masturbating when I was about 14. Back then, I didn’t know it was even considered sinful. I just looked at it as something everyone did. Now, it is a really hard habit to break. I would like to break the habit, but it is almost like quitting smoking. I am not trying to ask a stupid question. I am being serious here.

Talk to your pastor in confession. That is the best place for spiritual counsel on this matter.

It’s possible that it is not, but whether grave or venial confession is still important as a way to beat the sin.

Yes I know it’s embarrassing. and it’s worse to go back and tell the same sin again… and again… and for some people the struggle last for years…

I’m maybe not qualified to answer, but I would consider it at the very least venial sin due to mitigating circumstances. Like the others, I advise professional counseling. Also, isn’t masturbation almost always accompanied by impure thoughts? These are always serious matters, are they not? I’m asking because I am not entirely sure, but it seems like the bodily addiction may be separate from the mental addiction to impure thoughts. Like I said,.I may not be qualified to answer. I’d like to know for sure myself. If it were me, I would treat masturbation as serious no matter the circumstances and hope to have the strength to frequent the confessional and seek counseling. Whatever you decide, don’t despair.


It is kind of embarrassing to talk about this. I don’t masturbate to willfully go against my religion. It is basically a force of habit.

It’s still worth going to confession. No-one is judging you here.

You know why it’s worth going - because it IS embarrassing etc etc etc.

If it’s hard for you it’s probably worth doing.

You must not use that as an excuse to continue in this grave activity. You have free will, you can assert your will to overcome temptation. Make an act of your will.

Go to confession, to a priest you do not know if you find it too embarrassing to go to your regular pastor.

Mortal sin by definition: Sin that fully seperates you from God.

The mere act of you coming to a forum for some reconciliation shows intention that you may or may not want to do it. I cannot judge your intention. If your intention is to want to “quit” truly. Then no it cannot be a sin that seperates you from God. This is a strategy of the enemy, you are still connected with God if you have direction towards God. Now with that being said, every time you fall into these acts, you are not longer pure. So damage is being done. To what extent once again, not up to me!

I am not sure where your maritial status, but, for me, the greatest force against masterbating is to picture your future wife. You are taking away from your future sexual relationship with whoever that is when you fall into these acts. By remaining pure, your relationship will be fuller, more in love, and likely more “sexually satisfying.”

But, know you will be given the option to truly love your future wife, to the extent you express that is up to you! I would stray to say you will love to love your wife :). So some more motivation besides “Following a rule” is the functionality of not masterbating, which is remaing pure for your future wife, and or God if you remain without a partner. Trust when I say your reward of choosing God over a wife your reward shall be great in heaven :).

God loves a repentant sinner, very much. Don’t give up on stopping I assure you, your life will be far greater without these empty acts.

With love,

My motto with these things is “assume Mortal, hope venial” as we can not be morally certain in this life it is best to assume in a situation like this where the issue is something like an addiction rather than a gun to the head that it is Mortal. It is better to go and confess it as soon as possible rather then either committing the other Mortal Sin of Reception of Holy Communion in the state of Mortal Sin or dying without absolution.

As far as I can tell it is a very rare and usually extreme situation where we can have absolute certainty on these issues.

When we are 14 we think like a child, when we are 30 we think like an Adult. People realize smoking is bad for them as they get older and DO quit, be determined with God , Confession and your determination to stop doing this unhealthy sinful act and put your trust in the Lord and help of your priest in confession, if your finding it hard to confess its because you know its wrong, especially since you have been doing this for so long, get yourself a wife and you wont have a problem, what did St. Paul say its better to get married than to burn. Say short prayers to the Lord during the day to give you strength to show how you love him by not doing this.

Habit does not necessarily mean addiction and in either case that does not justify continuing to do it.

Masturbation is always a mortal sin in any case whatsoever, even if it is a habit, each time you masturbate you are giving in to your desire and lust. And if you’re watching pornography while masturbating is just making matters worse, i spoke to my priest about this yesterday and he said to me that masturbation is a mortal sin in any case.

We are required to love God more than we love ourselves.

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Catechism of the Catholic Church

2352 By masturbation is to be understood the deliberate stimulation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure. “Both the Magisterium of the Church, in the course of a constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have been in no doubt and have firmly maintained that masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action.” “The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose.” For here sexual pleasure is sought outside of “the sexual relationship which is demanded by the moral order and in which the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love is achieved.”
To form an equitable judgment about the subjects’ moral responsibility and to guide pastoral action, one must take into account the affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety or other psychological or social factors that lessen, if not even reduce to a minimum, moral culpability.

Sorry but your priest is misinformed.

Now, though masturbation is indeed a grave matter, the accountability may be less severe. One of the conditions is that the decision is willful. With addictions the choice is not a complete willful act because the body and other factors are compelling one to continue in the addiction to receive the desired effect.

I believe it is safe to say you commit this sin out of weakness. Jesus is a loving and understanding God. He knows the struggle it is, but nonetheless is a grave sin. I would also remind you to never receive the Eucharist in that state, no matter what a priest may say. I have had priests say things contrary to Catholicism in this regard. One time i told a priest to go back to seminary even. May Jesus be with you and heal you of the desires.

“To the powerful Virgin it is given to crush the serpent’s head; to souls who are united to her, it is given to overcome sin. In this we must believe with an unshaking faith, with a firm hope.” Auguste-Joseph-Alphonse Gratry

Your bolded part is the one people use an an excuse to justify continuing to sin. Masturbation is always a sin of grave matter and in my view unless mental incapacity or coercion is involved there is no reduced culpability and I think that applies to almost everyone. People who masturbate look for ways to continue doing it while also looking for a get out of jail card.
The answer is simple. Stop doing it. Go to Confession.

Thistle counselling is prob not your strong suit and your b and w application of the principles suggests a very limited experince of the reality.

You’re asking us to judge your moral culpability for you. We can’t do that. That’s what your conscience and confessor are for.

The safe bet is to always treat it as a mortal sin and confess it.

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