Church's view of masturbation (Teachings of the Orthodox Church) Christianity. Orthodoxy. Catholicism. Sense of life. Articles for Christians.
If I speak with the languages of men and of angels, but don't have love, I have become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal.                If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but don't have love, I am nothing.                If I dole out all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but don't have love, it profits me nothing.                Love is patient and is kind; love doesn't envy. Love doesn't brag, is not proud, doesn't behave itself inappropriately, doesn't seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil; doesn't rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will be done away with.               
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Church's view of masturbation (Teachings of the Orthodox Church)


What is the Church's view of masturbation?


Sexuality is a gift from God, as we read in the book of Genesis.

It is meant to be shared, a physical expression of our love and concern for a member of the opposite sex with whom we have made a life-long commitment through marriage and is open to the possibility of procreation.

There is a sharp distinction between "making love" and "having sex." The former constitutes the wise use of the gift of sexuality, whereas the latter falls short of this ideal.

Masturbation is self-directed. As such, is a distortion of human sexuality.

By nature, it is incapable of expressing love and concern for an other person. It is also incapable of the possibility of procreation, in fulfillment of our Creator's injunction to "be fruitful and multiply."

Since it "misses the mark" of the wise use of the gift of sexuality, it is considered sinful. This is especially so in cases in which masturbation becomes an addiction.

Hope this helps.
In Christ,
Father John Matusiak, OCA Communications Office

Published in January 2011.

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