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Why Masturbation is Morally Evil & How to Free Yourself From It

by David Gray, December 5, 2010

masturbation

This article is going to point out the clear reasons why masturbation, when performed with the purpose providing an artificial form of sexual pleasure is always morally evil. I will then offer three helpful ways to combat this very addictive behavior. I will build my arguments against masturbation upon the Natural Law and the teachings of the Catholic Church.

As in my other articles on chastity and sexual purity, we also begin here with the premise that everything that God created has a distinct and unique purpose to itself for the benefit of all of creation. From the trees, to the elements, to the metals, to the animals; each thing of creation has its own purpose and these things are also a part of a community of things purposed by God for the betterment of the whole, and, ultimately, the salvation of humankind. In other words, all of these distinct and unique things created and purposed by God are ordered to glorify Him.

Masturbation Inveighs Against Natural Law

What is Natural Law? Natural Law is the axiomatic law of God that cannot be changed or altered in any fashion. Natural Law is God’s created order of things that is distinct from other forms of law, such as ‘positive law’ (meaning “man-made law”, not “good law”; cf. posit) that arises to govern political communities, societies, or nation-states, and thus can function as a standard. The nature and purpose of things informs our understanding of Natural Law. For example, the nature of gravity is to always pull things towards the centre of mass. That is, no matter how many times that we may vote to make gravity stronger, or no matter how many decrees, edicts, or opinions of the Supreme Court that may be issued to reduce the pull of gravity, nothing can change its nature – God designed it and we cannot change it.

In regards to masturbation, we know that male and female genitalia were only created for each other, because it is only when those two sexual organs come together that new life has the potential to be created. Indeed, that is the only manner in which new human life naturally reproduces itself. Moreover, there is no other place where a man can place his genital that can result in the creation of one of his own kind than inside of the female genital. It is also a part of the natural order of things that reproduction between the sexes should be physically pleasing. If sex were painful perhaps the human race would be radically smaller. Therefore, when a man or woman artificially stimulates their genitals, outside of conjugal sex in marriage, it violates and defeats the very purpose for which they were given to us in the first place. It’s like using an automobile for a sailboat. Not only are you not using it for what it was created and purposed for, but you’re going to ruin the darn thing.

It is difficult enough for us to always honor the purpose and order of those things truly created by God, but at least if we would take the time to consider their Creator we might be able relearn and recommit ourselves to using what God have given us rightly. For when we truly trust that God is Holy, we simultaneously trust that the purpose and order of things that He has made are also holy. Our body has a created purpose and masturbation violates that purpose.

What Sacred Scripture Says About Masturbation

Perhaps the clearest thing Scripture has to say about using our bodies for immoral purposes, which masturbation unarguably is, comes from 1 Corinthians 6:13C-15A, 17-20:

    “Brothers and sisters: The body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body; God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power.

    Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? But whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one Spirit with him. Avoid immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the immoral person sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.”

What the Catholic Church Teaches About Masturbation

Paragraph No. 2352 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

    “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.” “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.”

    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.”

Here the Catholic Church points to her long Tradition of always teaching that masturbation is morally evil, then raises the elements of why it is morally evil according to the natural law, and concludes with a treatment on factors in the morally culpability of the offender.

Masturbation is a selfish act to please self. It’s not about anyone else but you doing what you want to do to please you. It is true that many factors can contribute to one’s commitment to masturbation; such as the level of knowledge that masturbation is morally evil, length and frequency of exposure to pornography, how long they have been engaged in that pattern of behavior, environmental influences in children and/or adulthood, and etcetera.

3 Actions to Free Yourself from Masturbation

1. Make a Decision to Stop: I think it is the most obvious thing in the world to say that if you want to stop masturbating then you need to make a clear, conscious, and firm decision to stop. Anyone can stand on the train tracks and think about jumping off before the approaching train hits them, but if you really want to save your life, then you need to make a decision to do so. No one else is going to make this decision for you. And this is not a decision that you make just once and be done with it forever. On the contrary, you have to wake up every morning and make a decision to honor your body as the Temple of God. Every time you feel the temptation to violate your sexual purity is yet another occasion when you need to recommit yourself to being chaste. One day at a time is this battle fought.

In fact, society is going to tell you that nothing is wrong with masturbation. You will hear that masturbation is healthy and that body needs your assistance to artificially release built-up sperm. You will hear that it is natural even though I have already proven that it is not a part of the natural order. You will hear these things because people love the easy way, and masturbation is a tough addiction for many people to quit.But if you want to be free the self-lust of masturbation then start by making a firm decision. Write it down, tell someone, and stay committed to it, even if you fall down and do it again – just get back up and recommit yourself to being free from it.

You will hear people tell you that masturbation is a personal choice, that what they do in the privacy of their own bedroom does not affect you. There are two errors with that line of thinking. The first is the issue of relativism; that is, it is either true or not true that masturbation is morally evil – it can’t be both. Therefore it is not just a personal choice; it is either a bad personal choice or a virtuous choice, and I have already proven that it masturbation is not a virtuous choice. Secondly, if you are living your life in a way that brings glory to God then you are living your life in a way that somehow positively affects me. In contrast, if you are living your life in a way that glorifies Satan then you are living your life in a way that somehow negatively affects me. We are all connected beings – no one is living unto himself on an island. There are not many degrees that separate us or our children from each other. Therefore, our decisions somehow always affect one another, and it is all of our responsibility to help one another make better choices, so that we all might make it to Heaven.

2. Call Masturbation what it is: Call it what it is – it’s not just masturbation, it is the Unclean Spirit of masturbation. This unclean demonic spirit is not of God, and no matter how many times you masturbate, you will never please God by serving this unclean spirit. God is never going to praise you or bless you for masturbating. Masturbation never helps you spiritually – it always hurts. By giving into the unclean spirit of masturbation, you grieve the Holy Spirit. Masturbation can never draw you nearer to God. It is morally evil and if you want to stop doing it then recognize it as a sin and call it a sin that, inasmuch as it feels good to the body, is not worth spending eternity in Hell for.

Most people will do many things in the company of their friends or in private that they would not do around their children, because they know that that particular behavior is morally wrong. If masturbation were truly a virtuous act then we could do it right there in front of our children, parents, family, and boss. If masturbation were truly a virtuous act then it wouldn’t be featured in pornography. On the contrary, masturbation is something that most people always do in secret. But even in secret it doesn’t please God. Even in secret it is still morally evil.

3. Don’t do it Alone – Rely on God and His Patient Grace to Help You: I have known people who have decided to quit masturbation and were immediately able to stop – cold turkey (as they call it), but for many people, especially for those who have masturbation as a real addiction it takes time to learn how to feel good about self without having to turn to false, temporary, and artificial substitutes for true joy. Our God is a patient God. Therefore, don’t give up on yourself, because He won’t give up on you. Keep praying – keep cooperating with grace.

Conclusion

Your best help to quit masturbation or any addictive or sinful behavior is the grace of God. Recognize that masturbation is self’s attempt to make self feel good in a way that is not pleasing to God. Therefore, when you feel the urge to masturbate recognize that that is what is going on with the body, and what you want to do right then is repeatedly invite God into your sinful desire by calling on the name of Jesus Christ and He will give you the grace to move you past your urge.

Again, this may take time, and you may fall down more times than you feel like you have been standing up, you might despair and begin to think you can’t stop, but keep calling on the grace of God, persevere in grace, take advantage of intercessory prayer, and the Sacraments of the Church. What has helped me the most, especially during those moments when the temptation is beating me down, is asking our Blessed Mother Mary to pray for me. Without fail, her prayers always comes through and helps to put my body at peace. The most pure and chaste Virgin Mother is of great help and support. But, most importantly, just be patient with yourself, because God will not lose His patience with you. He loves you and desires for you to be Holy and will go to any means necessary for you to be all that He has created you to be. Therefore, trust Him and trust your commitment.

88 Comments


    • Clifford
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    • January 14, 2012

    This article has really inspired me and encouraged me to be the kind of young man God has created me to be. Thank you so much may God continue increasing you. My life will never be the same again.

    • bambam
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    • March 21, 2012

    i had a porn and masturbation addiction and it was killing my love life, getting me way uninterested in actual female counterparts. first i gave up porn (it was pretty difficult with all the content flooding every aspect of our lives and the internet) and i suddenly found myself using my imagination (which whatever the consensus might be never measures up to the real thing) when i masturbated thinking about real people not pornstars and then, after a while giving up masturbation too. needless to say, my hormones and my body reacted and gave me the nerve to approach women towards i previously had no interest or drive. Stopping masturbation boosts the testosterone levels and both you and the women around you can feel this, it's just that simple and nature has made it so simple for humans to understand each other.

  • This article is really {good|okay|wally|wonderful|great|splendid|dulcet}, people do not {consciously into|realize|be aware of|be apprehensive of|be conscious of} the author's writing situations. I want to {recommend|put forward|introduce|present} it... A work of a harvest,truly because of your troublesome writing, we can feel so much happiness, learn more our own understanding of their. The world could be so splendid....

  • […] Well there is a wide variety of reasons, but most of them have to do with not wanting to get caught! You see teenagers live with their parents and siblings, so they don’t wanna risk getting caught red handed! Other teenagers are raised in very religious households and many religions regard masturbation as something evil. […]

    • Chiafahang Tom
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    • January 28, 2014

    down with corruption.

    • Chiafahang Tom
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    • January 28, 2014

    thank you for writing this, after reading this, i hope that i can reincarnate in a world without obsession for sex or masturbation. those who said that masturbation is healthy for their mind are the equivalent of saying drugs are good for your health. masturbation is maybe healthy physically, but the dangerous part is it's like morphine. Extremely addictive. i would put a stop to masturbation and only have sex with my wife when im married Destroy lust, destroy rule 34, destroy dark souls

      • The Don
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      • December 10, 2014

      Because clearly staying pure for Jeebus is way better than avoiding prostate cancer later on in life because you're too stupid to understand that there is literally nothing wrong with Jerking off. Please evacuate yourself from the Earth. Go meet your God, we don't want you.

        • Michael S Clifford
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        • April 24, 2016

        In real life, masturbating has nothing to do with avoiding prostate cancer.

      • Jeff
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      • June 17, 2015

      See i hate whole thing but the one truth is rule 34 needs to go

    • The Truth
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    • February 23, 2014

    Very true that there is a Natural Law. We are all created in the image and likeness of God. We all have a conscious to differentiate between good and evil and we have free will to choose between the two freely. As we commit evil acts against Natural law our conscious will let us know. There is a reason why women who commit the act of abortion feel great remorse and guilt. Off course after many abortions, the feeling of guilt may become deadened due to the repeated sinful act. The same thing applies to masturbation. The very first time one masturbates one is permeated with a feeling that this is not the human or right thing to do. This is the spiritual part of your being telling you in plain terms that a violation of Natural Law has occurred. After repeated acts of masturbation over time, this feeling of guilt will fade away. Don't listen to the ignoramuses of the day, masturbation is wrong - it is not the natural human thing to do.

    • Very good thoughts! Thank you!

      • Nelly Kutana
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      • May 5, 2016

      Great!

    • Jj
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    • March 2, 2014

    . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . ,.-‘”. . . . . . . . . .``~., . . . . . . . .. . . . . .,.-”. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .“-., . . . . .. . . . . . ..,/. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ”:, . . . . . . . .. .,?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ., . . . . . . . . . /. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ,} . . . . . . . . ./. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ,:`^`.} . . . . . . . ./. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ,:”. . . ./ . . . . . . .?. . . __. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . :`. . . ./ . . . . . . . /__.(. . .“~-,_. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ,:`. . . .. ./ . . . . . . /(_. . ”~,_. . . ..“~,_. . . . . . . . . .,:`. . . . _/ . . . .. .{.._$;_. . .”=,_. . . .“-,_. . . ,.-~-,}, .~”; /. .. .} . . .. . .((. . .*~_. . . .”=-._. . .“;,,./`. . /” . . . ./. .. ../ . . . .. . .`~,. . ..“~.,. . . . . . . . . ..`. . .}. . . . . . ../ . . . . . .(. ..`=-,,. . . .`. . . . . . . . . . . ..(. . . ;_,,-” . . . . . ../.`~,. . ..`-.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... . / . . . . . . `~.*-,. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..|,./.....,__ ,,_. . . . . }.>-._. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .|. . . . . . ..`=~-, . .. `=~-,__. . . `,. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .`=~-,,.,. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . `:,, . . . . . . . . . . . . . `. . . . . . ..__ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .`=-,. . . . . . . . . .,%`>--==`` . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . _. . . . . ._,-%. . . ..`

      • andy6581
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      • June 3, 2015

      Wow, this even LOOKS like Picard

    • Masturbatin TRex
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    • March 7, 2014

    I only am messaging to say that you sir (the writer) are an idiot.

    • Erin
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    • May 26, 2014

    So having marital sex in front of children is acceptable? Because by the logic we would do it in front of our kids it would be morally acceptable to have sex with a spouse in front of them.

    • That would be called taking the spirit of something said to an illogical extreme.

        • Erin
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        • May 26, 2014

        Or it would be doing exactly what you said! If it was ok to do, we would do it in front of kids. That argument within itself is illogical.

    • JOHN
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    • June 5, 2014

    Thank-you so much for giving me firm knowledge of this. I knew it was wrong, but when the time comes just knowing it is wrong is not enough... I question my beliefs, and this has given me answers to those questions. It is completely unnatural and against the Bible. You really inspired me, thanks.

    • You're welcome John. That is the tough part. CONSISTENTLY acting upon what we know to be true. If resisting temptation were easy, everyone would do it, right? I arrived at the point eventually where I got tired of being the same way for decades. I realized that I had been struggling with masturbation since I was a kid and here I was an adult and still struggling. I laughed and was like WTF are you doing dude? You're really struggling with the same crap for three decades? Really? So that was the clicking point for me between what I knew was wrong and making a consistent effort to do right - I was just tired of being the old me and I knew I was better than that In Christ. You're in my prayers! Blessings and Shalom

    • buffy helmet
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    • July 14, 2014

    Bro, you ARE kidding, aren't you? Masturbation is a normal and pleasurable SOLO act. I don't care WHAT you say, we all know YOU yourself are a masturbator.

    • ChibiViolet
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    • July 24, 2014

    "I believe deprivation of pleasure is evil." <--That's one of the more disturbing sentiments I've heard in my lifetime. So it would be evil for any man, woman, or child to turn down someone else's erotic advances and deprive them of the pleasure they desire? What are you going to do about it? What do you normally do about it? o_o

    • Dean
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    • July 27, 2014

    I agree with the article. Self abuse has been criticized by men of high acclaim from varied walks of life and especially in the not so distant past... Former president of America, Benjamin Franklin, Dr John Harvey Kellog, Philosopher Immanuel Kant, Philosopher Socrates. Also the practice of self abuse goes against the tenet of moderation/temperance advocated for by the Founders of many systems of medicines including Allopathy. Eastern systems of medicine. St Thomas Aquinas has also listed self abuse as a sin in his "Summa Theologica" Ancient systems of holistic healing like Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha are equivocal against the practice of self abuse(masturbation).

      • MM
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      • January 10, 2016

      Ben Franklin was never a president.

    • Stephen Lowe
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    • September 4, 2014

    Congrats David....based on the volume of those that either don't have a desire to have higher aspirations or, if they do have them, attribute them to 'mother nature' or even their own glorious mind....you have a following that can greatly benefit from your wisdom, if they give it a chance. I,for one, thought the article was spot on.

    • Thank you Stephen!

    • Chuckles
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    • September 14, 2014

    You sure are f*cking retarded.

    • Chuckles
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    • September 14, 2014

    If it is, then it sure attracted a lot of bible-thumpers and fanatics.

    • Reply Cancel Reply
    • September 29, 2014

    Beautiful post.

    • Thank you Brother Gadel!

    • kcthomas
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    • November 23, 2014

    We live in a world which teaches that many sexual immoralities are normal and there is nothing called sin as it is not harming anyone. That is why we Catholics should have the courage to call a spade, a spade. it is a good article and advice on self abuse. The younger generation must be given such knowledge occasionally;thanks for your interest and for publishing the wonderful article.

    • Exactly Brother Thomas!

    • The Don
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    • December 10, 2014

    Ignorant.

      • Paradox
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      • April 15, 2015

      Um, why? David Gray argued his position. You have not.

    • Jehovah
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    • January 12, 2015

    This article is by far the stupidest level that humans have reached so far. Where in the Bible does it mention any of the things that were mentioned in the article? Nowhere. "But Yahweh, it does quote the Catechism," you will say. So what? That's not valid scripture. Why not? Because the catechism is NOT the word of God. The Catechism is just a publication created by a pedophile.

    • BW
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    • March 21, 2015

    Thank you, Sir, for posting such an intelligent, well-written piece. I struggled for years to quit masturbation, filled with self loathing because of the feelings of guilt & shame associated with the act. Of course non-believers are entitled to their own opinions, though I am a bit puzzled why people would come to a Catholic website to then take issue with Catholic beliefs. Masturbation is, by its nature, a self-centred act. God created sexual love for us to share with a spouse. If we give way to the urge to masturbate, we share nothing - and over time it can cause us to become selfish and concerned only with our own pleasure. People (men particularly) with a long-term masturbation habit can often struggle to perform sexually with their spouse because they have become so atuned to pleasuring themselves that they find it difficult to give their partner sexual fulfilment. This can lead to much unhappiness within a marriage. I don't believe we were given the precious gift of sexuality to abuse in this way. I believe God wishes for us to be chaste outside of holy matrimony, and so giving way to lust and masturbation surely distances us from God and His grace. This may seem like an outdated view, but for the committed Christian I believe it is the only way to live if we truly want to honour God. Yours in peace, BW

    • Thanks for those great points BK. This article gets a steady flow of traffic from people searching whether masturbation is evil. The searches are always late at night. At least 20 every night come here from that search. Very interesting that that happens.

    • anontoo
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    • May 24, 2015

    give me a break. just from ur comment I can see you have no idea what you are talking about. You better get your money back on "theology" because you're wasting your time. If you debated a True Christan with real experience you wouldnt stand a chance. Masturbation definitely is unnatural, just because you feel good or release doesnt mean it is. BUT masturbation in and of itself might not be extremely bad BUT it does lead to addictions, strongholds and its a gateway to worse things. Theres no question about that. and just because they OT has bad things in it DOESNT mean it condones or recommends them. I dont know where you getting that idea. It sounds like you're just skimming though the Bible, taking things out of context and forming your own opinions. And are you telling me people who masturbate 3,4,5 times a day are just releasing and its all natural? sounds more like an addiction to me. Cmon think about it. Anyway good luck with everything.

    • JohnnyVoxx
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    • August 12, 2015

    Funny you would quote Susan B. Anthony suggesting that everyone's notion of what God wants them to do is consistent with their own desires when this entire article is about acting contrary to a natural desire for the sake of complying with a higher purpose.

    • Joe Coolsmen.
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    • November 21, 2015

    I masturbated while reading this.

      • Eva
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      • April 14, 2016

      I just came really hard it was great

    • John Pierre
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    • February 26, 2016

    That's bullshit Masturbation is normal and natural masturbation just leads lose of testosterone,dopamine and Serotonin eating foods full of testosterone,dopamine and Serotonin such as fish,tuna,meat and egg will make you feel motivated,happy and energetic again i know that masturbation makes sleepy,lazy,tired,unmotivated,dull and cold but when we eat these food again our energy gets restored back again just like the car when put petrol inside it it goes but when you over-press the petrol pedal the car gets faster and the petrol gets empty same with humans when they overuse their powers they get tempted to masturbation so they masturbate and for non-masturbates like this writer and religious people they get wet dreams and others they don't get wet dreams because they eat a lot of vitamins i don't know but that's what i know right now about masturbation.

    • Michael S Clifford
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    • April 24, 2016

    Too bad you never heard the difference between documentation of event in advocation for them. Too bad you never heard the difference between perpetual Church dogma and doctrine versus expired Mosaic discipline. If you really have a degree in biblical theology, sue whatever university you went to because you got gypped.

    • Michael S Clifford
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    • April 24, 2016

    Too bad you mistook the Novus Ordo Church for the Catholic Church. Strike 1. 90% actual Catholic priests have been proven not guilty of pedophilia cases. Strike 2. Protestant priests and pastors have way more scandals on their hands the Catholic, "Orthodox", Sirist, Conclavist, and Novus Ordo Churches is put together. Strike 3. You're the one being controlled by the secular world, not us.

    • Michael S Clifford
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    • April 24, 2016

    If women don't count in Catholic culture, then why does the Church venerate Mary so much? And why are there so many female Saints?

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