Eastern Orthodox/masturbation and virginity


Does masturbation lead to loss of virginity for a woman, even if she never had sexual relationships with a man? Does the sin of masturbation (provided that she has confess it and that she abstains from that sin for many years. She also has no sexual relationships and lives a christian life) consists an obstacle for a woman to become wife of a priest?

Glory to Jesus Christ!

The Church defines "virginity" in the praises of the Theotokos, the "ever-virgin". She remained a virgin before, during, and after birth of her Son and our Lord, Christ Jesus. Simply put, virginity is an intact hymen, which is generally accepted to mean that a woman has not had sex with a man that could lead to child-birth. In the case of the Theotokos, who conceived in a Divine manner, the Church teaches that her virginity was preserved in giving birth and she never had carnal relations throughout her life.

The Church teaches that masturbation is not conducive to a healthy spiritual life. It is based on self-pleasure. While virginity is admired, the real virtue being praised is chastity. A chaste life is important and that includes the chastity embodied in Holy Matrimony where the husband and wife are faithful to each other in a sanctified relationship.

Some of the more strict old-calendar Greek jurisdictions have some very strict guidelines for ordination of a priest, for example the experience of "nocturnal emissions" is considered disqualifying. These guidelines are so strict that they have problems finding qualified candidates and they often take already ordained priests from other jurisdictions who aren't so picky. In as much as a man must be married before he becomes a priest, one cannot become the wife of a priest. She must become the wife of a man who may, or may not, become a priest as God wills. That his wife may have masturbated at some point in her life probably does not come up on the application, nor in the bishop's interview. If a jurisdiction can make allowances for its priests, I have to think that allowances can be made for his wife if necessary. Regardless, marriage is two people working out their salvation together as one, and putting your lives in God's hands.

I hope this answers your question!

Your servant,

Eastern Orthodox

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