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#1
Old 03-07-2012, 10:50 AM
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Do Catholics still have to report masturbation in Confession?

I know they don't call it Confession any more. When I was a good Catholic girl in the 1950's & '60's I wasn't so good that I refrained from pleasuring myself even though I knew it was a mortal sin and that if I was hit by a bus after I did it but before I went to Confession, I would go straight to hell. It just felt too good.

It was VERY traumatic for a little girl (say... age 10) to kneel in the darkness of the confessional and tell a middle-aged priest that I had "done something I didn't want my mother to see"-- I didn't know the correct term and also didn't know any euphemisms. I DREADED those confessions, but I had to do it, because of the bus-hell connection.

There is more awareness of the intransigence of old-timey Catholic doctrine these days, e.g., that every voluntary ejaculation MUST have procreation at its intent. In my day, that included any voluntary sexual pleasure with or without orgasm, even for a little girl.

Is this still taught? Or are all those poor bastards who died unshriven after masturbation still frying in hell next to the hapless fools who ate meat on Friday before the Pope said it was okay?

But seriously, are Catholics (adults and children) still expected to confess masturbation?


Aside: I heard an interview with cartoonist Lynda Barry one time, and she said she was very shocked as a child to find out that masturbation was a mortal sin. She enjoyed it way too much to give up, so after some thought, she made a deal with God. She said she would not stop masturbating, but for the rest of her life, if she saw a beetle struggling on its back, she would turn it right side up.

*****************************
MODERATOR NOTE: This thread is from March 2012, until revived in Post #13 in March 2014 -- CKDH

Last edited by C K Dexter Haven; 03-16-2014 at 08:59 PM.
#2
Old 03-07-2012, 10:58 AM
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I was a kid in the '60s and '70s and even attended Catholic grade school for a few years and I was never instructed on this being a sin. So I never knew. In fact I don't remember it ever being brought up, in any kind of official church capacity way, until just last year at lent when we had a featured speaker come in a priest, to lead a parish Lent retreat. Otherwise I'd just "heard" it was forbidden. It's one of those things I take with a grain of salt.
#3
Old 03-07-2012, 10:59 AM
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I've only had one priest ask about masturbation or other sexual practices directly, ever. And his questions were so evidently inappropriate that I ended up leaving and telling Mom, and she proceeded to go to the confessional and rip him several new holes...


Mind you: I also didn't learn I was masturbating until Las edades de Lulú won the Sonrisa Vertical prize of erotic literature in 1989. Its most polemic scene described the protagonist masturbating by the same technique I used - and which does not involve "touching yourself" at all, so I hadn't connected it with the diatribes we sometimes got against "touching yourself". If a priest other than that pig had asked me whether I touched myself I would truthfully have answered that I did not.
#4
Old 03-07-2012, 11:01 AM
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A That beetle thing is just so cute.

Sorry that I have no idea what the answer to your main question is. I didn't even know that it's not called confession any more. What is it called instead? I hope it's not Reporting. That's just too dull.
#5
Old 03-07-2012, 11:05 AM
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I believe it's called the "Sacrament of Reconciliation," but I might be wrong.
#6
Old 03-07-2012, 11:15 AM
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Don't know about currently, but 12 years of Catholic school from 73 to 85 definitely taught that it was a sin that had to be confessed. I don't recall it being a mortal sin however.

From the Baltimore Catechism:

Quote:
What does the sixth commandment forbid?

The sixth commandment forbids all impurity and immodesty in words, looks, and actions, whether alone or with others.

and humorously:
Quote:
What are the chief dangers to the virtue of chastity?
The chief dangers to the virtue of chastity are: idleness, sinful curiosity, bad companions, drinking, immodest dress, and indecent books, plays, and motion pictures
#7
Old 03-07-2012, 11:20 AM
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Reading the OP, my mind immediately went to what Nava covers:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nava View Post
I've only had one priest ask about masturbation or other sexual practices directly, ever. And his questions were so evidently inappropriate that I ended up leaving and telling Mom, and she proceeded to go to the confessional and rip him several new holes...
Old Priests listening to little girls talk about self-masturbation is disconcerting. Eww.
#8
Old 03-07-2012, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by sachertorte View Post
Reading the OP, my mind immediately went to what Nava covers:

Old Priests listening to little girls talk about self-masturbation is disconcerting. Eww.
I thought they were into little boys.
#9
Old 03-07-2012, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
Do Catholics still have to report masturbation in Confession?
No, they only have to report masturbation done elsewhere.
#10
Old 03-07-2012, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Quote from the Baltimore Catechism:
What are the chief dangers to the virtue of chastity?
The chief dangers to the virtue of chastity are: idleness, sinful curiosity, bad companions, drinking, immodest dress, and indecent books, plays, and motion pictures
Yeah, I used to go to bed in a very short skirt and halter top when I was 10 (in 1958), put on a porn video, and while away the day instead of doing my homework by touching myself with my right hand while taking slugs from a bottle of Jack Daniel's held in my left hand. I was a great multi-tasker.

Okay, I lied. We didn't have video back then. I tape recorded passages from a dirty book and replayed them while indulging.

Okay, there were no cassette tape recorders then that a kid would have access to.

I guess I did what all kids did whose dads didn't subscribe to Playboy; I scoured National Geographic for pictures of naked women. No, I'm not lesbian, but naked breasts were the best one could do. It was a simple time.
#11
Old 03-07-2012, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panache
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThelmaLou
Do Catholics still have to report masturbation in Confession?
No, they only have to report masturbation done elsewhere.
Ba-da-BING!

Last edited by ThelmaLou; 03-07-2012 at 11:56 AM.
#12
Old 03-14-2014, 10:34 PM
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I have a question, well actually a statement and a question.
Well when I was a little kid is was "kicked there", a lot.
I thought I could not procreate anymore, so I masturbated.
I thought it was not right, but not grave.
When I researched and discovered it was grave, I felt horrible, and vowed to never do it again.

Is that bad?
#13
Old 03-14-2014, 10:43 PM
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Do Catholics still have to report masturbation in Confession?

I was so expecting a 'Need Answer Fast' addendum.
#14
Old 03-14-2014, 10:51 PM
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I have a situation.
When I was young,(4-8) I was kicked a lot.
My mom constantly rebuked whoever kicked me. She said I may not become a dad.
Hearing this frightened me.
I always wanted to become a dad. I forgot about that until I got the talk when I was 12.
Then, 1.5 I wondered again. I heard my classmates talking about masturbation, so I thought, maybe I could figure out that way. I was foolish so I did not research into its severity. I thought it was venial. After I figured out it was mortal, I promised to God to never do it again.

Is that mortal?

ohhh it was already published.

Last edited by ThomasSmith; 03-14-2014 at 10:52 PM. Reason: lol
#15
Old 03-14-2014, 10:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by running coach View Post
I thought they were into little boys.
I know that the priests-like-little-boys thing has become part of the popular culture and even a source of humor to some, but there is another tragic part of this whole scandal: The abuse of girls has been neglected. Here is a short article that has a lot of links that you might want to follow:
The Forgotten Victims Of Priest Sexual Abuse: Girls
#16
Old 03-14-2014, 11:14 PM
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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."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.


Calling it an "intrinsically and gravely disordered action" is the go-to for it being possibly considered a mortal sin.
#17
Old 03-15-2014, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
I know they don't call it Confession any more. When I was a good Catholic girl in the 1950's & '60's I wasn't so good that I refrained from pleasuring myself even though I knew it was a mortal sin and that if I was hit by a bus after I did it but before I went to Confession, I would go straight to hell. It just felt too good.

It was VERY traumatic for a little girl (say... age 10) to kneel in the darkness of the confessional and tell a middle-aged priest that I had "done something I didn't want my mother to see"-- I didn't know the correct term and also didn't know any euphemisms. I DREADED those confessions, but I had to do it, because of the bus-hell connection.

There is more awareness of the intransigence of old-timey Catholic doctrine these days, e.g., that every voluntary ejaculation MUST have procreation at its intent. In my day, that included any voluntary sexual pleasure with or without orgasm, even for a little girl.

Is this still taught? Or are all those poor bastards who died unshriven after masturbation still frying in hell next to the hapless fools who ate meat on Friday before the Pope said it was okay?

But seriously, are Catholics (adults and children) still expected to confess masturbation?


Aside: I heard an interview with cartoonist Lynda Barry one time, and she said she was very shocked as a child to find out that masturbation was a mortal sin. She enjoyed it way too much to give up, so after some thought, she made a deal with God. She said she would not stop masturbating, but for the rest of her life, if she saw a beetle struggling on its back, she would turn it right side up.
I grew up catholic and I guess you're expected to confess every sin.
There was no expressed order that masturbation was special, what the fuck lmao?

Generally as I remember the way it happened, you confess what you want to confess. Generally you confess something that is truly bothering you. If masturbation does not bother your soul and you feel happy, there is no need to confess it, anyway its a relatively low level sin, not like killing someone or raping someone.
#18
Old 03-15-2014, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by kambuckta View Post
Do Catholics still have to report masturbation in Confession?

I was so expecting a 'Need Answer Fast' addendum.
Since this is a zombie thread, I guess an answer wasn't needed fast.

Last edited by EmilyG; 03-15-2014 at 12:54 PM. Reason: typo
#19
Old 03-15-2014, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by EmilyG View Post
Since this is a zombie thread, I guess an answer wasn't needed fast.
Dammit....I didn't even notice!



#20
Old 03-15-2014, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Anondragon2012 View Post
Generally as I remember the way it happened, you confess what you want to confess.
We were taught that you had to confess everything and that, if you failed to do so, it was a false confession, which was itself a mortal sin.

A friend of mine lived in terror for several years. He ate a cookie on the way out the door to his first communion, thus breaking his fast. Receiving communion under these circumstances was a sin, so grave in the mind of a seven year old that he was afraid to confess it. Every time he received communion or confession after that, his sins compounded, in an exponential accumulation of mortal sins. At about age ten, he finally got up the nerve to confess it all. One "Our Father" and two "Hail Mary's" later, all was forgiven.

Last edited by JWT Kottekoe; 03-15-2014 at 10:05 PM. Reason: correct a typo
#21
Old 03-16-2014, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by kambuckta View Post
Dammit....I didn't even notice!



Neither did I! If it's a long-dead zombie, usually I'll notice when I see the name of a once-familiar poster who's been banned, deceased, or just hasn't posted in years. But everyone who posted to this thread two years ago is still an active poster here, so there was no "hey, I haven't seen OldSoAndSo in awhile!" moment.
#22
Old 03-16-2014, 08:48 AM
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From the catechism: "masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action." Apparently the official Catholic party line is that the world is populated almost entirely by gravely disordered people. I guess they'd say only God's grace and the leavening influence of the Church have kept us from killing each other off long ago.

And: "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."

As I read it, a couple of fifteen year olds making out and consciously getting aroused by it (and isn't that the point?) are making "deliberate use of the sexual faculty" outside of marriage and are violating the moral order.

What an incredibly twisted world view.

You know, I don't expect the Catholic Church to give any ground on certain things they regard as fundamentally true - for instance, in the year 2101, they'll still take the position that genital sex should take place only in marriage. OK, whatever.

But at some point I hope they will come to recognize that sexual desire is a fundamentally Good Thing, that nothing is inherently morally wrong with expressly non-procreative expressions of that desire, that good Christians who aren't married are going to find ways of expressing that desire, and that those ways aren't all inherently wrong.
#23
Old 03-16-2014, 10:17 AM
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Even in marriage "expressly non-procreative expressions of that desire" are forbidden, that's why for example if man is impotent from diabetes oral sex with his wife is a mortal sin.
#24
Old 03-16-2014, 12:25 PM
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I was raised Catholic in the '80s and '90s and don't recall any mention one way or the other about masturbation, certainly no particular injunction to bring it up in the confessional.
#25
Old 03-16-2014, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
I know they don't call it Confession any more. When I was a good Catholic girl in the 1950's & '60's I wasn't so good that I refrained from pleasuring myself even though I knew it was a mortal sin and that if I was hit by a bus after I did it but before I went to Confession, I would go straight to hell. It just felt too good.
Go on.
#26
Old 03-16-2014, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by running coach View Post
I thought they were into little boys.
Girls are allowed to be altar servers now, so it's equal opportunity.
#27
Old 03-16-2014, 03:56 PM
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Since this is a zombie thread, I guess an answer wasn't needed fast.
Well, Easter is coming....
#28
Old 03-16-2014, 04:01 PM
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So it's probably not something you could give up for Lent?
#29
Old 03-16-2014, 07:43 PM
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There are two basic rules for confession.

1. you have to genuinely believe it is a sin.
2. you have to be sorry.

The Catechism describes a number of things that most people no longer think of as sins, masturbation being one. It's a flawed institution, what can I say.
#30
Old 03-17-2014, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Icerigger View Post
Even in marriage "expressly non-procreative expressions of that desire" are forbidden, that's why for example if man is impotent from diabetes oral sex with his wife is a mortal sin.
Hence the order I had them in. If the Catholic Church were to accept that there was nothing inherently morally wrong with expressly non-procreative expressions of sexual desire, it would be an immediate consequence that at least some such expressions within marriage would be OK. (I have no idea whether Catholic objections to oral sex are strictly a matter of its nonprocreative nature, or whether they would still forbid it as a kind of unnatural intercourse.)

But whether they'd also be OK with premarital expressions of sexual desire would still be an open question.

Last edited by RTFirefly; 03-17-2014 at 07:46 AM.
#31
Old 03-17-2014, 07:48 AM
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I think if you went into the booth to confess masturbation the priest would tell you to beat it.
#32
Old 03-17-2014, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Ellen Cherry View Post
I was a kid in the '60s and '70s and even attended Catholic grade school for a few years and I was never instructed on this being a sin. So I never knew. In fact I don't remember it ever being brought up, in any kind of official church capacity way, until just last year at lent when we had a featured speaker come in a priest, to lead a parish Lent retreat. Otherwise I'd just "heard" it was forbidden. It's one of those things I take with a grain of salt.
It might just be me, but this kind of thing sends mixed messages, IMO. Especially during Lent.
#33
Old 03-17-2014, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Ulfreida View Post
There are two basic rules for confession.

1. you have to genuinely believe it is a sin.
ISTM that would be an Ulfreida rule, not a Catholic Church rule, though. Their take on it is the believer does not get to "genuinely believe" X conduct is a sin, the Church will inform him/her if it's a sin, and if armed with that knowledge s/he still goes ahead and does it, s/he's got to confess it.

( requirements for mortal sin: grave matter + knowledge of the sinfulness + deliberate act; requirements for confession: self examination, true contrition, purpose to amend, actual confession, willingness to do penance)


While at it, I suppose that doing a generic lumping together of conduct is allowed, otherwise if you had to itemize by each individual event most teenagers would never leave the confessional...

Last edited by JRDelirious; 03-17-2014 at 11:13 PM.
#34
Old 03-18-2014, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Icerigger View Post
Even in marriage "expressly non-procreative expressions of that desire" are forbidden, that's why for example if man is impotent from diabetes oral sex with his wife is a mortal sin.
In this thread, you were quoting a document from the 1930s in an effort to show the Catholic Church's beliefs in a negative light -- and in that thread, I explained why that document was no longer good authority on the particular point.

Are you doing the same thing here?
#35
Old 03-18-2014, 10:51 AM
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Had no idea the church considers masturbation as a sin, but as a Catholic, I'm pretty sure my views on the wisdom of obtaining sexual advice from voluntary celibates is likely not in line with normal church teachings.
#36
Old 03-18-2014, 10:56 AM
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Well, Easter is coming....
Nah, she's not coming, she's just breathing hard.
#37
Old 03-18-2014, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
Yeah, I used to go to bed in a very short skirt and halter top when I was 10 (in 1958), put on a porn video, and while away the day instead of doing my homework by touching myself with my right hand while taking slugs from a bottle of Jack Daniel's held in my left hand. I was a great multi-tasker.

Okay, I lied. We didn't have video back then. I tape recorded passages from a dirty book and replayed them while indulging.

Okay, there were no cassette tape recorders then that a kid would have access to.

I guess I did what all kids did whose dads didn't subscribe to Playboy; I scoured National Geographic for pictures of naked women. No, I'm not lesbian, but naked breasts were the best one could do. It was a simple time.
This post is art. Make it a sticky.
#38
Old 03-18-2014, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
Had no idea the church considers masturbation as a sin, but as a Catholic, I'm pretty sure my views on the wisdom of obtaining sexual advice from voluntary celibates is likely not in line with normal church teachings.
How did you become Catholic and not learn what is considered a sin?
#39
Old 03-18-2014, 05:12 PM
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I was born Catholic, that's how!
#40
Old 03-18-2014, 05:14 PM
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JohnT Were you seriously unaware of what your church teaches about sexual ethics?

The Catechism, nowadays, is easily available online.

For the OP: yes, I confess it. I'm Episcopalian, though, not Catholic.
#41
Old 03-18-2014, 05:20 PM
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I never understood the difference between mortal and venal sin, figured early on that I can pick and choose whatever I care to take out of the experience, and never bothered to internalize the church's teachings on a wide variety of subjects... like much of their stance regarding sexual acts, which to me sounds like a lot of restrictions guys with really bad sexual hangups would prescribe to punish themselves for thinking dirty thoughts, institutionalized.

Would I confess to masturbation? No more than I would confess to looking at my wife naked, noting that an actress is attractive, or using birth control. Just as I wouldn't go to a person who didn't play the piano for piano lessons, I don't go to the Catholic Church to tell me how to handle sexual relations or the consequences thereof. I'm more likely to trust the Baptist's on that one - at least their preachers are married, with kids.

Last edited by JohnT; 03-18-2014 at 05:23 PM.
#42
Old 03-18-2014, 05:25 PM
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I was born in 1961, have gone to Mass almost every week for 45 years, spent 13 years in Catholic schools, and got all he last of the old-school nuns before they retired.

So, wanna guess how many times the topic of self-abuse came up in church or school in all that time?

NEVER! Not once!

I never confessed it because I didn't know it was supposed to be a sin.
#43
Old 03-18-2014, 05:25 PM
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Ran out of edit time...

So, to answer the question: Yes, I'm sure at one time I was told it was a sin, and promptly decided "No, not for me, thanks" and never concerned myself about the concept since. The Church says what it says, I do what I do, and that's that.
#44
Old 03-18-2014, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
I never understood the difference between mortal and venal sin, figured early on that I can pick and choose whatever I care to take out of the experience, and never bothered to internalize the church's teachings on a wide variety of subjects... like much of their stance regarding sexual acts, which to me sounds like a lot of restrictions guys with really bad sexual hangups would prescribe to punish themselves for thinking dirty thoughts, institutionalized.

Would I confess to masturbation? No more than I would confess to looking at my wife naked, noting that an actress is attractive, or using birth control. Just as I wouldn't go to a person who didn't play the piano for piano lessons, I don't go to the Catholic Church to tell me how to handle sexual relations or the consequences thereof. I'm more likely to trust the Baptist's on that one - at least their preachers are married, with kids.
JohnT Do you only take advice from oncologists who are cancer survivors? or from cardiologists who have heart problems? If not, then I'm not sure why the fact of priestly celibacy disqualifies the Catholic Church from making pronouncement a about sex.

I'm not Catholic and I think there are plenty of other reasons to disagree with the church and what it teaches. priestly celibacy is not one of them.
#45
Old 03-18-2014, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
No more than I would confess to looking at my wife naked, noting that an actress is attractive, or using birth control. Just as I wouldn't go to a person who didn't play the piano for piano lessons, I don't go to the Catholic Church to tell me how to handle sexual relations or the consequences thereof.
Would you go to a therapist who wasn't contemplating suicide? Would you go to a doctor who didn't have cancer? Would you go to a lawyer who wasn't a convicted felon?

Quote:
I'm more likely to trust the Baptist's on that one - at least their preachers are married, with kids.
I don't really think you wanna go there.

ETA: Just like Hector_St_Clare said.

Last edited by Alley Dweller; 03-18-2014 at 05:52 PM.
#46
Old 03-18-2014, 05:56 PM
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My church tells me to have sex only for procreation and not to use birth control.

My church does not offer me assistance to support the $125k-250k+ per child that this policy would cost me if I choose to follow it.

The Church's position may have made more sense at a time when children could have been used as an economic asset and/or infant mortality rates are at Medieval levels. It makes no sense now and, imho, in the modern world this attitude can only be supported by people who, by their very admission into the decision-making body of that particular organization, are disallowed from having sex, wives, and children.

To me, this makes the very quality of their advice (on matters re: sex) suspect.

Do I go only to oncologists that are cancer survivors? No... but that analogy doesn't really apply here. I would have to go to an oncologist that vows never to get cancer (and tells other people to join his no-cancer vow, then does little to assist them when they do get cancer) for the analogy to be more applicable.

Children are expensive. Taking the advice of "have as many as you physically can" from people who won't take their own advice is, imho, folly. I live in this world, not one where kids are free and masturbation is a "sin".

Last edited by JohnT; 03-18-2014 at 05:59 PM.
#47
Old 03-18-2014, 06:12 PM
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You don't have to answer and I don't mean to pick on you ... but do you consider yourself (a practicing) Catholic?
#48
Old 03-18-2014, 06:32 PM
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Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 54,972
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
My church tells me to have sex only for procreation and not to use birth control.
No, it does not, on either count.

While those having sex should always be open to the possibility of procreation, the Church teaches that sex brings a husband and wife closer together, and it's fine to have sex NOT for procreation, but simply for the unitive aspect.

And the Church forbids some kinds of birth control, yes -- barrier methods, for instance -- but is fine with Natural Family Planning. Which is NOT simply charting timing, but can include precisely the techniques like mucus measurement that are used when couples are trying to conceive.

In other words, sex is not simply for procreation.
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#49
Old 03-18-2014, 06:47 PM
Guest
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 3,542
JohnT They don't say 'sex is only for procreation', and they don't object to family planning / having smaller families. They simply argue that the only morally acceptable way to do so, is through NFP.
#50
Old 03-18-2014, 07:06 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 18,743
Of course. I'm on the altar server committee at the church, I have Christmas dinner with the priests every year, I attend every Sunday (well, about 48 out of 52), go to confession, my daughter goes to Catholic school, we financially support the church/school, and openly supported Obama last year (who won the Catholic vote 50%-48%.)

In regards to sex and procreation, I differ from the Church, true. The problem is that I'm an USAian, a people who post an especially vexing problem for the church - we are born and raised in a nation that celebrates dissent, founded by Protestant* dissenters, and we're told from birth that we have the right to decide how we want to live. This is a poor support base for a church that teaches that Authority is revealed only to a select few, with the rest to do as they're told. Even the US Conference of Bishops will look at a Vatican edict and say "Yeah, this is interesting. We're going to set up a commission and get back to you with our opinion about this." The latest case is Pope Francis's poll, where the USCCB left it to the discretion of the individual church to decide whether or not to disseminate it, as opposed to just saying (like they would if they were good Catholics) "Here's what the Holy Father wants. Make sure he gets it." )

Are there other Catholics who claim that I'm not practicing? Of course. Do I worry about them? Of course not.

And, lastly, judging by the number of children per family at my daughter's school, I doubt my attitude towards the Church and sex is uncommon. It's amazing the number of 1-child, 2-children Catholic families there are.

*Defined as "largely non-Catholic", though there were Catholics among the founding fathers.
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