EWTN Catholic Q&A
Question from Althea Dole on 06-03-2014:

Dear Father I am a older practicing Catholic who was married for 24 years & have been divorced for 26years. I have remained single and celibate. I try to be healthy, exercise & ask if occasional masturbation is a sin?

Answer by Richard Geraghty on 07-20-2014:

Dear Althea,

Masturbation is wrong because it deliberately take a gift of God, sex, and turns it to our own pleasure. The sexual act is meant by God for married people to express their love for each other, the result often being children. To seek the pleasure of sex alone is disordered. We may tend to see it as simply reliving tension or loveliness. Nevertheless priests, religious and unmarried lay purple should not do it because it is an offense that can lead to a very bod habit. Even married people should not do it. Should people fall into doing it some times, they should confess it so that this disorder may not take root in us. We have to learn how to accept the pain and loneliness of being single, which is certainly a suffering, by calling on God and Mary's health. The fact that the act is done alone without anybody else knowing it makes the act appear to be harmless. But the act creates a division in our souls while outwardly we appear to be quite respectable, quite virtuous, quite orderly. We begin to live a lie. The devil is there to help us along. Confession nips the sin in the bud.

Dr. Geraghty