I went to confession about half an hour ago and I’m still upset by the experience.
I went to confess the sin of masturbation. It’s not something I would normally discuss on these forums, but what the priest said after I confessed disturbed me deeply. Here are some of his words as best I can remember them:
“I went on sabbatical recently and consulted with other priests about masturbation, to discover its status as a sin. The view of masturbation has changed dramatically. It’s very different from what I was taught in seminary many years ago. We just don’t talk about masturbation anymore. It’s part of human nature, and people cannot be held responsible for acting according to their nature. The church’s position on this changed after Vatican II. We now know that mortal sin is extremely rare. To commit a mortal sin, you have to genuinely hate God. Virtually no one commits mortal sin.”
I was extremely upset, and was sorely tempted to respond along the lines of:
“So if it’s alright to act according to my nature, can I just have sex with anyone I feel lust for? Or is an act of conjugal love outside of marriage unacceptable while a selfish act of masturbation outside of marriage is acceptable? That doesn’t make a lick of sense. If we go this far down this modernist road of ‘God doesn’t care what you do with your genitalia’, we may as well throw out the church’s entire moral teaching on sexuality. If our actions are justified by ‘our natures’, who needs God?”
Instead, I responded:
“I will continue to view this act as a mortal sin, with all respect.”
The priest then quickly gave me absolution (no act of contrition). I said “thank you, father” and left.
Your thoughts? He seemed to give the impression that the entire Canadian church thinks this way (I know it doesn’t, I’ve had at least five good confessors who acknowledge the gravity of this sin). I should also point out that this confession took place in a Cathedral, the seat of the Archdiocese of Kingston. Every other experience I’ve had there was fully orthodox, but now I’m afraid to enter the confessional again just to be told I shouldn’t be there.