WHAT IS CHASTITY ?
Chastity means the positive integration of sexuality within the person. Sexuality becomes
truly human when it is integrated in a correct way into the relationship of one person to
another. Chastity is a moral virtue, a gift of God, a grace, and a fruit of the Holy Spirit.
WHAT IS INVOLVED IN THE VIRTUE OF CHASTITY ?
The virtue of chastity involves an apprenticeship in self-mastery as an expression of human
freedom directed towards self-giving. An integral and continuing formation, which is
brought about in stages, is necessary to achieve this goal.
WHAT ARE THE MEANS THAT AID THE LIVING OF CHASTITY ?
There are many means at one’s disposal: the grace of God, the help of the sacraments,
prayer, self-knowledge, the practice of an asceticism adapted to various situations, the
exercise of the moral virtues, especially the virtue of temperance which seeks to have the
passions guided by reason.
IN WHAT WAY IS EVERYONE CALLED TO LIVE CHASTITY ?
As followers of Christ, the model of all chastity, all the baptised are called to live chastely in
keeping with their particular states of life. Some profess virginity or consecrated celibacy
which enables them to give themselves to God alone with an undivided heart in a remarkable manner. Others, if they are married live in conjugal chastity, or if unmarried practise chastity in continence.
WHAT ARE THE PRINCIPAL SINS AGAINST CHASTITY ?
Grave sins against chastity differ according to their object: adultery, masturbation,
fornication, pornography, prostitution, rape, and homosexual acts. These sins are expressions
of the vice of lust. These kinds of acts committed against the physical and moral integrity of
minors become even more grave.
“There are three forms of the virtue of chastity: the first is that of spouses, the second is 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.” St Ambrose.
ALTHOUGH IT SAYS ONLY “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY” WHY DOES THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT FORBID ALL SINS AGAINST CHASTITY ?
It is because the Tradition of the Church comprehensively follows the moral teachings of the
Old and New Testaments and considers the sixth commandment as encompassing all sins
WHAT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF CIVIL AUTHORITY IN REGARD TO
Insofar as it is bound to promote respect for the dignity of the person, civil authority should
seek to create an environment conducive to the practice of chastity. It should also enact
suitable legislation to prevent the spread of the grave offences against charity mentioned
above, especially in order to protect minors and those who are the weakest members of
WHAT ARE THE GOODS OF CONJUGAL LOVE TO WHICH SEXUALITY IS ORDERED ?
The goods of conjugal love, which for those who are baptised is sanctified by the sacrament
of Matrimony, are:
– indissolubility, and
– an openness to the procreation of life.
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THE CONJUGAL ACT ?
It has a twofold meaning: unitive (the mutual self-giving of the spouses) and procreative (an openness to the transmission of life). No one may break the inseparable connection which God has established between these two meanings of the conjugal act by excluding one or the other