Really confused at the moment on this issue

Greetings everyone,

So being a Catholic Teenager it’s let’s say pretty difficult to maintain a pure life free from impure thoughts and that. For the most part I have and have warded off the evils of pornography and lust. Though I’m currently confused on this issue about masturbation. I’ve been doing research into seeing is it a sin or not (I’ve been told it is a sin and have upheld that it is) however certain websites that are fairly legitimate have been saying that the act of masturbation is not a sin and that it’s only the thoughts that come with it. It goes on to elaborate that if one can block out impure thoughts then masturbation isn’t really a sin. Is this true? I’m a bit confused at this so please help.

It is not true. Consenting to impure thoughts is one type of sin. Acts of masturbation are another type of sin. If both occur together, then it is two types of sins. Both should be confessed in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

To avoid confusion, rather than consulting a bunch of websites that can offer you a variety of opinions, why don’t you actually read and research the official teaching of the Church, found in the Catechism?

Here is what it has to say about masturbation:

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.

2396 Among the sins gravely contrary to chastity are masturbation, fornication, pornography, and homosexual practices.

scborromeo.org/ccc.htm

-ACEGC

The sinfulness can depend on age. As a teen it of course is a bad idea but the gravity can be less.

And presuming on this point is also a BAD BAD BAD IDEA. It is generically a mortal sin, and certain kinds of dispositions could POSSIBLY lessen culpability. It is presumptuous to say, “It’s not as bad a sin for me, so I’ll go ahead and do it anyway.” It adds yet another sin to the picture.

Share with us some of these websites, if you please. They are wildly off track, if they are supposed to be presenting Catholic morality.

I would argue it is not grave matter for youth.

It is always grave matter, that is the objective aspect of a mortal sin. The subjective aspects that mitigate culpability are under the other two criteria, full knowledge and free consent of the will. Youth of itself doesn’t necessarily mitigate one’s culpability for this sin, though habit and relative maturity might. Again, see the catechism.

-ACEGC

Regarding the youth, The church does not demonize masturbation. Now I don’t like the word demonization. But it would appear allude to mortal sin. Invoking images of hell and all. But the church rather points out that it is socially unhealthy for some to masturbate.

Which catechism?

Hello people, some of those articles are the following:
growingupboys.info/Answers2011/05-14.html
lavistachurchofchrist.org/LVanswers/2008/08-18e.html
iwilltrustinyou.org/mastur
todayschristianwoman.com/articles/2013/august/is-masturbation-sin.html?start=2I’m

These are just a few of them that I have researched. The most concerning one is the first one

Nor does it diminish it’s seriousness.

But it would appear allude to mortal sin. Invoking images of hell and all. But the church rather points out that it is socially unhealthy for some to masturbate.

Since masturbation is a grave problem it is seriously spiritually unhealthy.

What does grave mean?

Jeff Hamilton, the author of the information in the first link, is an American jazz drummer. Why should you accept what he says about the morality of masturbation?

Serious.

A grave sin completely severs our relationship with God.

Are you familiar with youcat?

Speaking directly to the youth, it states. " The Church does not demonize masturbation".

Now if mortal sin separates us from God, and relegates us to hell, that would be a “demonization”.

The CCC for adults clearly defines it as grave matter. It would seem the church views this differently in regards to terms and youth.
The forward for youcat is written by HH BXVI and has the approval it needs.

Why is that? The last I read, the Church teaches that if we end up in hell, we will still be human.

The CCC for adults clearly defines it as grave matter. It would seem the church views this differently in regards to terms and youth.
The forward for youcat is written by HH BXVI and has the approval it needs.

How does youth change the inherent nature of the act? Are you confusing culpability with nature of the act?
[/quote]

I remember there being quite a firestorm over the YouCat, particularly the English translation. Do you know that B16 knocked the CCC in Salt of the Earth, saying it phrased some things poorly? (Unfortunately I don’t have the reference with me. Look around on the interwebs.) Catechisms are not infallible documents, they are presentations of infallible teachings.

Grave matter means that by the nature of the act itself it implies a reordering of the human person away from God. This act (and any intrinsically gravely immoral act) can be imperfectly rational due to some mitigating factors, as the CCC notes, and since the intellect is the ordering principle of the human person, the individual remains in the order of charity. However, it is an AWFUL AWFUL HORRENDOUS pastoral, let alone personal, practice to presume on these mitigating factors. IT ADDS THE SIN OF PRESUMPTION, which brings its own grave matter to the table.

The matter is objectively grave. Culpability is determined by God, as is one’s disposition at death.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.