The Catholic church requires celibacy for its priests and nuns. But many find it hard to do so. While some are coerced into it, many of the sexual relations they have are voluntary and with both priests and parishioners.
Celibacy is seen as one of the most important sacrifices a priest or nun makes for the church. Nuns consider themselves married to Christ. Rather than taking a human spouse, they devote themselves to God. But many nuns face a daily challenge trying to keep their vows and their faith.
According to a study conducted by Margaret Halstead and Lauro Halstead entitled “A Sexual Intimacy Survey of Former Nuns and Priests,” which was first carried out in 1978 and which has consistently confirmed results, including an update in 2018, more than half of all nuns say they knew of sexual activity going on in their convents. Some 44 percent of the most recently surveyed say they knew of sex between sisters, while 54 percent say they knew of sexual relationships between nuns and male members of the clergy. Just over a third say the nuns they knew were fooling around were doing so with lay people, including married men in the congregation.
Fighting sexual desire is made more difficult by the church’s requirement that one must abstain from masturbation.
Sister Federica says there have long been nun fetishes and rumors of convents full of vibrators, but the reality is that nuns, like priests, often struggle with their vows of celibacy under which even masturbation is a sin.
Even outside the clergy and religious orders, men are not supposed to masturbate because the church believes that such an act amounts to spilled seed that should be used for procreation. And women are prohibited from masturbating under Catechism rules because the church believes that self-pleasure “robs the potential of sex” from the partner and it often gives way to the potential for “adultery of the heart” if a woman is fantasizing while touching herself.
Because of course every sperm is sacred.
One wonders how long celibacy can be retained as a requirement. It is quite astonishing how much of the Catholic church’s crimes, scandals, and problems are due to its restrictions on sex.