Is this teaching correct?

Here is the articles in full: couragerc.org/wp-content/uploads/Masturbation1.pdf

I’m wanting to understand if these few lines are in conjunction with the Catholic Church actually legitimate:

“Catholic Sexual Ethics also responds to the objection that masturbation is not a grave moral disorder in certain circumstances. Adolescent masturbation is given as one of the circumstances. The response is that the Church has always acknowledged that circumstances alter cases, and that there are degrees of responsibility in the different kinds of masturbation.”

“There is another form of compulsion in which one becomes immersed in the object of his desire, feeling that he must give in to the impulse to get some physical relief, or he will suffer great pain. Here the person is aware that he can resist, and that there is another option. There is a little freedom, but hardly sufficient to constitute serious guilt. This is even more true when persons struggle against this impulse when they are trying to sleep at night, or are surprised by temptation in the middle of the night or upon awakening. Farraher comments at length on these situations in which the individual who has resisted the temptation to masturbate during waking hours is sometimes overwhelmed with sexual fantasies as he tries to go to sleep, or upon awakening in the morning. As long as the person makes a real effort to turn his mind away, he commits no sin even if orgasm occurs.”

There is a movement in the church it seems to allow masturbation. This is seen in youcat and in other places. It is at best misplaced mercy. Masturbation is grave matter.

OP, read the Catechism about the conditions necessary for sin to be mortal sin:

vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s1c1a8.htm

In order for sin to be mortal, it must be grave matter chosen with complete consent and the knowledge that it offends God. Masturbation is objectively grave matter, but it may not be mortal in some circumstances when it is not freely chosen. It is accurate to say there are “degrees of responsibility.”

[quote=]As long as the person makes a real effort to turn his mind away, he commits no sin even if orgasm occurs."
[/quote]

That’s not how I’d phrase it, because it seems to indicate that the actions of the body are acceptable so long as one directs the mind away from them, but it is fair to say that one cannot sin by accident or sin while asleep and that some circumstances can mitigate guilt.

[quote=Hoosier Daddy]There is a movement in the church it seems to allow masturbation. This is seen in youcat and in other places. It is at best misplaced mercy. Masturbation is grave matter.
[/quote]

I don’t see how the excerpts quoted by the OP “allow masturbation.” They acknowledge what the church has always taught; namely, that grave matter chosen without complete consent is not mortally sinful.

The article is quite lengthy; I will have to finish it later. However, in my preliminary skimming of it, the article does not appear to be permissive. It seems to be aimed squarely at repentance and chastity. I’ll write more after reading the whole thing.

The “objective matter” is gravely disordered. That is unquestionable Church Teaching.

However imputability (i.e. the degree of personal sinfulness before God) is a completely different issue. For adolescents who are in every other aspect of their lives are faithful and good Catholics it is highly unlikely the grave matter is fully imputable as personal mortal sin. It is highly likely it is venial only.

The Catechism and Tradition remind us that we are bound to confess grave personal sins before Communion if we are aware of them.
If one is regularly going to confession then most priests would advise adolescents struggling with such a habit to take such transgressions in their stride and they do not need to confess before Communion for each and every transgression. It is enough to make a perfect private act of contrition with the intention of maintaining a regular habit of Confessional attendance. This advice too is based on unquestionable Catholic Teaching.

The church does not demonize masturbation. How can something be grave matter but not demonized?

What does it mean to “demonize” something? Perhaps there is a general recognition that many people who engage in this practice, although practicing grave matter, are not mortally sinning?

I personally quit masturbation after adolescence. It is not good for you after adolescence. It is a grave matter.

The language the church uses is “demonize”

I don’t know what it means but apparently for the youth it is not grave. It would be odd if other sins were said to be “not demonized”

I think “adolescent masturbation” is too broad. Adolescents to generally have mitigating factors, but many adolescents do not.

‘Persona Humana - Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics’, issued by the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on 29 December1975. We quote some typical excerpts:

“Masturbation constitutes a grave moral disorder...”
“Masturbation is an intrinsically and seriously disordered act... The deliberate use of the sexual faculty outside normal conjugal relations essentially contradicts the ultimate purpose of the sexual faculty . . .
For it lacks the sexual relationship called for by the moral order, namely the relationship which realizes ‘the full sense of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love’. All deliberate exercise of sexuality must be reserved to this regular relationship.”

vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19751229_persona-humana_en.html

Lets not cherry pick when quoting. We need to balance this aspect with:

"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. " CCC 2352.

It’s not good for you before or during adolescence either. :shrug:

It is grave mater regardless. For some youth it may not be mortal. This is what the Church has always taught and it is the same for other sins like abortion, divorce, lying, theft, etc.

Is there a place where the church officially says it does not demonize abortion?

For an adult masturbation is grave matter. For a teen it is just a social no no.

Perhaps it would help me if you quoted where the Church officially says it does not demonize masturbation. I don’t usually hear it couched in those terms, but since you do, could you show me where?

Masturbation is always grave matter, for teens and adults alike. Your impression of it being “just a social no no” is your own impression but not Church teaching.

Sure. in a catechism that BXVI wrote the intro to. It’s called youcat it is specifically for teens.

It states that the church does not demonize masturbation…
In avoids the word grave. And speaks that the danger of masturbation is a social one, that you could be too addicted to it that your social life suffers.

So you take issue with the way that YouCat represents this sin? But you understand that the Church teaching hasn’t changed with the publication of the teen catechism?

I’m not sure. Youcat seems to say that for its audience it is not mortal or grave matter. I understand the CCC says it is and I personally believe it is but I am confused as to why the apparent lengths we are going to assure a group of people that while not the most productive thing to do it is not a danger worthy of hell.
Teens face this at a much earlier age and in much more graphic ways than we use to. I’m not sure if the youcat is trying to sugar coat sin to make it seem less harsh ( I think that is foolish). Or if it flat out changed the sin doctrinally.

Either way it would seem that teens are afforded a different set of rules with sexuality.

It does appear that youcat changes it from mortal to venial. There is nothing to indicate reconcilliation would be required.
In our youth programs there is a huge parental push to never discourage masturbation.

Will the Church teaching on masturbation ever change?

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