Hi Shannon! I am a 17 y/o Catholic and I am gay. I just want to ask since I am very confused, is masturbating a sin or not?

Hi Shannon! I am a 17 y/o Catholic and I am gay. I just want to ask since I am very confused, is masturbating a sin or not?

I was asked this question yesterday by a blog reader and I would like to take some time to answer it here on the blog because I think it is probably something that is on the mind of many young people in the same situation.

Before I answer I need to point out a few things. Firstly I am not Catholic and I do not prescribe to any religion, nor do I believe in God so I can only pass on what I myself have found after a little research on the net. I would suggest that anybody with these kinds of questions should speak to a Priest.

All of the Catholic Q&A forums that I have looked at on the internet say that Masturbation is a sin and a sin occurs when a person deliberately commits an act they know is wrong. I’m not qualified to expand on the specific dogma further.

What I will say is this,

You are reaching an age where you are now able to make informed choices based upon your own opinions and views. I’m not saying figure it out for yourself or trying to sound like a Parent. I am saying that your relationship with God is your own. The wonderful thing is that your god ( or as I call it the “Universe” ) gave you a direct line to speak to him/her/it everyday. Your heart and your conscience tell you what is right and what is wrong all the time.

The churches ask many people to do many things that I think God and Jesus would not. Your journey is to discover whether your relationship with them will be based on dogma alone or an exploration of your heart and mind.

We all slip up and we are all human. I know when I was 17 I had a hard time keeping my hand off out of my pants, I still do. Living a life that is true to yourself and true to your religion means that sometimes there will be struggle and conflict, that is what it means to be human. This is the promise we all hold, that we can aspire to be better than we are.

The danger is that when you slip up, you feel depressed, dirty, sinful, unworthy or evil. You are not, and no being worth your love would wish this upon you. There are some who wear their religion like a heavy cloak of guilt. Never allow your religion to make you feel like this, creation is to be enjoyed and gloried in. I think if a god is truly out there it is a being of pure love, and will know the measure of your heart and your intent and render judgement worthy of your devotion.

That is my humble answer.

Happiness, abundance and infinite love to you my friend.

This article was originally posted in 2012 but after a conversation with a friend I thought it was worth revisiting. My opinion hasn’t changed and neither has my response.