The various forms of chastity
All the baptized are called to chastity. The Christian has
“put on Christ,”
the model for all chastity. All Christ’s faithful are
called to lead a chaste life in keeping with their particular states of
life. At the moment of his Baptism, the Christian is pledged to lead
his affective life in chastity.
“People should cultivate [chastity] in the way that is suit
ed to their state of life. Some profess virginity or consecrated celi
bacy which enables them to give themselves to God alone with an
undivided heart in a remarkable manner. Others live in the way
prescribed for all by the moral law, whether they are married or
Married people are called to live conjugal chastity;
others practice chastity in continence:
There are three forms of the virtue of chastity: the first is that
of spouses, the second that of widows, and the third that of
virgins. We do not praise any one of them to the exclusion
of the others. . . . This is what makes for the richness of the
discipline of the Church.
Those who are
engaged to marry
are called to live chastity
in continence. They should see in this time of testing a discovery of
mutual respect, an apprenticeship in fidelity, and the hope of
receiving one another from God. They should reserve for marriage
the expressions of affection that belong to married love. They will
help each other grow in chastity.
Offenses against chastity
is disordered desire for or inordinate enjoyment of
sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure ismorally disorderedwhen sought
for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes.
is to be understood the deliberate stimu
lation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure. “Both
theMagisteriumof 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
“The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for
whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its
137 St. Ambrose,
4, 23: PL 16, 255A.