Can't priests have thought to masterbate?

This is my first time in the forum and perhaps this is not a right place for my question.

I recently encounter a conversation with another Catholic about masterbation. He insists that Catholic men, especially priests, not only can’t masterbate, they can’t even think about it. I thought this is not controlable for men including priests but we can control ourselves, with God’s grace, not to do it.

I am sorry that if someone has viewed the Catholoc Exchange forum and already answered my question, I just want to have a second thought and perhaps get an authentic official answer from Catholic Answers.


Masturbation is a sin, and like any other sin, we are tempted by our thoughts at times to engage in that sin. Priests are people too, and have the same temptations that we do.

The key is whether or not we dwell on those thoughts and let them come to sinful fruition through our actions. While we cannot completely control what thoughts pop into our heads, we can influence our thoughts, and can certainly make a choice whethe to act on them or not.

For an “authentic” answer, use the “ask an apologist” feature. Otherwise, you just get us. :smiley:

This is from the catechism of the catholic church.
2351** *Lust *is disordered desire for or inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes.
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."138 “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."139
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. **
2353 *Fornication *is carnal union between an unmarried man and an unmarried woman. It is gravely contrary to the dignity of persons and of human sexuality which is naturally ordered to the good of spouses and the generation and education of children. Moreover, it is a grave scandal when there is corruption of the young.
2354 *Pornography *consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense. Civil authorities should prevent the production and distribution of pornographic materials.

If you have commited these sins it would be best to repent and confess them.

Using “Ask an Apologist” will get you an apologist’s answer, which is not necessarily the same thing as an authentic answer.

I disagree. The apologists are trained to defend the faith and know it well. They know how to do their job and get the authentic answer. They don’t give you their opinion, they give you the church’s answer, unless you directly ask for their opinion. Here you can get people’s opinions. I would much have a (Catholic Answer) apologist’s answer as opposed to people, because I know the apologists are going to give me exactly what I need to know.

A few years ago I came back to the church after years of being away. I pick up some bad habits and now learning that some of them are serious sins. (I always knew they were sins but never thought they were mortal) Stopping from doing them is much harder than I imagine and I’m troubled by the many times I repeat them especially masturbation and pornography. I confess my sins in confession, but sometimes I just don’t see why I should. I feel that it more of an addiction then me just pleasing myself. I married and haven’t had sex with my wife in over ten years. I been faithful to her, but I still have the longing to make love to her even though we can’t. (Medical problems) Masturbation was the only solution I had at the time. Now that I’m back in the Church I can’t do that and I’m at a point were I damn if I do and if I don’t. What to do?:confused::confused:

You are partially right. Masturbation is one of those personal habits that can be done for a variety of very complicated reasons. Stress, anxiety and hormones drive this habit far more often in the older person than lust.

The problem with pornography these days, most of which is accessed online is that it is no longer pretty girls wearing nothing but a big smile. The cute bikini models that used to cause me a lot of trouble are gone. These days Internet pornography usually consists of the most degrading, disgusting and gross material you can expose yourself to. It often has violent themes associated with it. This stuff is poison in the mind. Avoid it at all costs. Here’s a great start. If you find that you must masturbate… do so without it!

My gut feeling is that if you stop masturbating and looking at porn you will once again feel drawn toward your wife. Sounds like you and her could use “date night” once a week or so!
Good luck!

If tempted, try not to do it, but if U fail, then take it to confession, I have heard that the majority of sins confessed are sexual in nature I believe this. I have struggled all my life with this sin, & so have many many others , albeit ,good catholics, they struggle with it, sex is a strong desire & Priest know about masturbation too, they struggled with it before ordination & possibly after ordination, I heard somewhere where a priest before he is ordained has to go a full yr without masturbating before he can be ordained, that is to see if he is really fighting his carnal lust. God made us naturally sexually beings, it`s a very tough fight