So is the Pope really a virgin?

So if priests have to be celibate and all and the Pope was a priest does that mean he’s a virgin? Is he (and has he always been)“master of his domain,” so to speak?

Priests (in the Roman Catholic Church) have to be celibate, but not necessarily virginal. The idea is that a priest must be able to devote all his energies and loyalties to god and the church; what (or who) he did before devoting his life to the big fella is largely immaterial.

That being said, I haven’t the faintest clue as to the current pope’s purity. My guess would be that he is a virgin, but that’s all it is.

Sheesh. It never ends.

Dignan, to the extent you’re using “master of his domain” as homage to the Seinfeld episode, you should know it referred to the bet made amongst the four characters as to which could refrain from masturbation the longest - not which was, or could retain, virginity. It is true that during this episode, Jerry was dating a virgin (played by the inestimable Jane Leeves of Frasier fame), but that had no bearing on the phrase.

Turning our attention to the actual question you pose… a moment’s thought would make the answer clear - while we have no way of knowing if the current Pope is, in fact, a virgin, there is nothing about the office of Pontiff - or, indeed, of priest - that mandates virginity.

As Varlos points out, the requirement is that priests be celibate. The Roman Catholic Code of Canon Law, Can. 1031, §1, provides: “The priesthood may be conferred only upon those who have completed their twenty-fifth year of age, and possess a sufficient maturity; moreover, an interval of at least six months between the diaconate and the priesthood must have been observed. Those who are destined for the priesthood are to be admitted to the order of diaconate only when they have completed their twenty-third year.”

In short, then, we see that a man cannot become a priest until he’s twenty-five years old, nor a transitional deacon until he’s twenty-three. We can thus easily posit a man losing his virginity at eighteen, for instance, and even marrying and having kids, becoming a widower, and then becoming a priest.

We know that Karol Wojtyla was never married, but cannot definitively say what may, or may not, have happened to him as a teenager in Wadowice, Poland, long before he received the sacrament of Holy Orders that made him a priest at age twenty-six.

So far as I am aware, no seventy-five year old women have stepped forward to claim a hot date with a young Karol in the back seat of a '39 Dusenberg. It is certainly possible, but there is no evidence one way or another.

As a moment’s thought would have made clear.

  • Rick

Dredging back to memories of annoying the heck out of my Jesuit teachers at school, I’d say that the pope is almost certainly a virgin, but he doesn’t have to be one. The reasoning is as follows: you don’t have to abstain from sex to be a priest (ie be chaste), but you can’t be married (ie celibate). However, sex outside of wedlock is a sin, quite a biggie from what I was given to understand, as is having sex without the possiblity of procreation. Now, as divorce is also a no-no, it stands to reason that your man is a virgin.

Um, not meant to be nasty, but, is it really anyone else’s business?
I’m not saying you shouldn’t ask or wonder, it’s just that, who really cares if the Pope is a virgin or not, or if he spanks the monkey? That’s his life, not mine.

Moonshine, did you even read my post before you keyed in your “reasoning?”

There is nothing in Roman Catholic doctrine, tradition, or belief that indicates the Pope must lead a sinless life as Pope, much less that he must have led a sinless life prior to becoming a priest. The fact that any sex Mr. Karol Wojtyla may have had before he became Fr. Karol Wojtyla was sinful is of no moment, and consists of mere speculation, utterly devoid of any probative value.

  • Rick

Lots of popes have had children.

Why don’t you ask him? The current pope posts to the SDMB under the user name rastahomie.

Being that no two people know how to define ‘virgin’ here, I think this is a pointless question.

Oh, I mean no two people define it the same.

Uhh, I was using it in the right context. I might not have made it clear enough, but what I meant was when he was younger he probably wasn’t considering his possible future as the pope, so did his youthful hormones get the best of him.

I figure if a certain political group can spend our tax dollars to see if the Prez is getting a BJ there is no harm in a couple of folks on the internet speculating about the Pope.

I never said there was. I’m just saying that the Pope, whatever he is, is human.

What does virginity have to do with masturbation, Dignan? The context of “master of his domain” was refraining from masturbation. The OP asks if the Pope is a virgin. How were you using the phrase in the right context?

  • Rick

It was clear to me, Bricker. Dignan was asking 2 separate, but related, questions:

  1. Is the Pope a virgin?

  2. Has the Pope ever masturbated?

The OP referenced only the first question.

As to the answers…I dunno, of course. [opening can of worms] I wonder if the current Vatican’s stringent anti-birth control stance is affected by the virginity (ot lack thereof) of the Pope. Is it possible that he, never having done it, can’t really understand why people want to have sex for non-procreative purposes?

If he is, then that’s going to explain a whole lot of things because he’s never experienced them. Before making rules and regulations that millions are ‘forced’ to follow (for fear of being excommunicated), it usually is best if one has a pretty good working knowledge of what goes on.

Isn’t the question of Papal masturbation moot? It seems to me that the Pope, too, has a confessor. When a person has sinned and confessed their sin and done the penance prescribed by the prelate hearing the confession, they return to “a state of Grace.”

So even if Karol Wojtyla had committed sins that he confessed and for which he did penance before, during or after becoming Pontiff, those sins would have been forgiven in the eyes of the Lord and the man would have been returned to a state of Grace.

Not being a Catholic, my assumptions might be a bit off the mark, but I’m pretty confident of their accuracy.

The most horrifying thing I can imagine, though, is being that lowly prelate who has to hear of the Holy Father’s onanistic pleasures and have to mete out proper punishment!

Reminds me of a joke.

A man was visiting the Vatican and became separated from his tour group. After wandering for a while, he needed to relieve himself. He finally found a bathroom and wandered in. You can imagine his surprise to discover the Pope sitting on the toilet masturbating. Figuring that this was an attraction few tourists ever saw, he snapped a couple of pictures. The Pope managed to recover his composure and offered the fellow $10,000 for the camera with the film. The fellow decide to take him up on the offer and an exchange was arranged.

The camera was pretty good one, so after disposing of the film, the Pope decided he would use it on his world travels. One day while visiting a foreign country, a faithful follower noticed the Pope’s camera and remarked that it was a very nice one.

He then asked, “How much did you pay for it?”

“Oh,” replied the pope, “I paid someone ten thousand dollars for it.”

“Wow,” said the man, “that guy must have seen you coming!”

Pope John Paul II may be conservative in his views regarding pre-marital sex and contraception, but he certainly didn’t decide to emphasize these issues because he himself lacks sexual experience. From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

In short, the teachings of the RCC already address those issues, and the Pope has merely chosen to emphasize them because he feels they need reinforcement in modern society (particularly in America, where more liberal voices have been making themselves heard).

By the way, AVSC916, masturbation or sex outside marriage are not grounds for someone to be excommunicated.

Actually, it’s pretty hard to get excommunicated, as Cecil mentions: