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Dear Father Angelo,

I’d like to ask you something, if you can answer: where does it say in the Bible’s Old Testament and in the Gospels that masturbation is a mortal sin? Nowadays the internet is full of the opinions of real or fake priests, I am going to attach some for you to see, and some even recommend oral sex, etc.
Now, I would like to know God’s own word in the matter and not the opinion of the Catholic Church, or the Protestant or other religions: opinions and rules are not God’s word, for instance the Catholic Church has a rule that priests cannot get married because a Pope made up this rule, but they could before that, up to the year 1200 if I am not mistaken, when the Pope made this rule, the rule is not the word of God, maybe in the future another Pope will come who will make it possible for priests of the Catholic Church to get married again, I don’t know if I’m making myself clear, for instance the Catholic priests of the east can marry, not so in Rome, the orthodox do, etc. it’s all a  big mishmash, so the rule is not God’s word, and neither is Catechism etc.
So I would like to know if God prohibited masturbation.
I am attaching a few articles that say that masturbation is not a sin, I don’t know if it is satanism, publicity or just another way to self promote and become popular.

Priest’s answer

Dear friend,

  1. First of all I should begin by saying that there is not just Sacred Scripture but also Sacred Tradition.
    Only a part of what God said and Christ transmitted to us is recorded in the sacred texts, which, more so in the New Testament – aside from the gospels – are mostly occasional writings (the letters of the Apostles).
  2. However, there are texts in the Sacred Scripture that address this sin.  We find one of them in the Old Testament: “A man given to sins of the flesh, who never stops until the fire breaks forth” (Sir 23,16).
  3. There are more in the New Testament.
    The strongest one is the following:”This is the will of God, your holiness: that you refrain from immorality, that each of you know how to acquire a wife for himself in holiness and honor, not in lustful passion as do the Gentiles who do not know God; not to take advantage of or exploit a brother in this matter, for the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you before and solemnly affirmed. For God did not call us to impurity but to holiness. Therefore, whoever disregards this, disregards not a human being but God, who (also) gives his holy Spirit to you” (1 Ts 4,3-8).
  4. And there is more. For instance: “Therefore, sin must not reign over your mortal bodies so that you obey their desires. And do not present the parts of your bodies to sin as weapons for wickedness, but present yourselves to God as raised from the dead to life and the parts of your bodies to God as weapons for righteousness” (Rm 6,12-13).  And: “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? …..Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the immoral person sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body” (1 Cor 6,15. 18-20).
  5. It should be remembered that in Sacred Scripture this sin is not called masturbation but immorality, impurity. Hence Saint Paul, saying: “Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry. Because of these the wrath of God is coming (upon the disobedient)” (Col 3,5-6).
  6. That we are dealing with a grave sin also clearly emerges from Saint Paul: “Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal 5, 19-21).  Moreover: “Be sure of this, that no immoral or impure or greedy person, that is, an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God” (Eph 5,5).
    Having no inheritance in the kingdom of God is the same as staying out of it, that is, in hell.
  7. Furthermore it is true what you observed: there are internet sites purporting to be christian that are the total opposite of being christian and legitimize things that even the most lecherous people are ashamed of. One would think that the devil is not that clever here, since even the most naive person can see that there is something wrong with them and they are imposters.
  8. On the other hand one needs not resort to the Sacred Scripture to know that masturbation is a sin. The embarrassment and sense of shame that even non-believers feel for this sin proves that it is against nature.
    What is according to nature fills you. And not just in the moment, but also afterwards.
  9. I will not touch upon the question of celibacy that you mentioned only as a matter of example, even though you managed to drop in a few inaccuracies.

I thank you for your question, I recommend you to the Lord and I bless you.

Father Angelo