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.