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

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.

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.

Awww. 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.

I believe it’s called the “Sacrament of Reconciliation,” but I might be wrong.

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:

and humorously:

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.

No, they only have to report masturbation done elsewhere.

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.


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?

Do Catholics still have to report masturbation in Confession?

I was so expecting a ‘Need Answer Fast’ addendum. :smiley:

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.

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

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.

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.

Since this is a zombie thread, I guess an answer wasn’t needed fast. :wink:

Dammit…I didn’t even notice!



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.