4 Out of 5 Catholic Men Confess This Sin

January 12, 2016

They confess to looking at pornography and masturbating.

It’s awkward, I know, to say it so candidly, but the only way to defeat pornography in our lives is to admit that we have a widespread problem with it.

Vice, Firmly Entrenched

By the time I was in high school, the habit of lusting after women via pornography was firmly entrenched in my soul. I was an atheist at the time.

I recall listening to a popular late night radio show during these years, where the female host–allegedly a psychologist with a Ph.D.–counseled callers that looking at pornography and masturbating were good, healthy things for a young man to do. I knew I couldn’t resist the desire to look and lust on a frequent basis, so her words confirmed for me that what I was doing wasn’t something wrong.

Years passed, and I was in college, suffering from an anxiety disorder, panic attacks, and depression. I reached out to God for help, and over the course of many months He came into my life.

But I was still addicted to pornography.

While still an atheist, I remember sitting in an apartment with three Evangelical Protestant friends of mine, and they told me that looking at pornography was a sin. My response: I laughed at them. Yes, laughed.

I laughed because the thought of any man being able to overcome the desire for lust and pornography seemed ludicrous to me.

I told them that “every man does this and anyone who denies it is a liar.” While blunt, and not completely true, my words weren’t too far off the mark, even among Christians.

Jesus Pulled No Punches

A year or so later, God drew me out of atheism, and I became an Evangelical Protestant like my friends.

I was a newly minted Christian and didn’t want to believe that looking at pornography was wrong. But then I read Jesus’ words in St. Matthew’s gospel:

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. — Matt. 5:27-28

Ouch. I wanted there to be a way that His words could be interpreted to mean something different from what they seemed to be saying, but I couldn’t convince myself out of what I knew He must mean. Earlier in the same chapter, in the Beatitudes, Jesus said: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” I couldn’t claim to be pure in heart while lusting after women.

“But I can’t stop doing it. There’s no way,” I thought to myself.

I was a slave to this sin. And in John 8:34, Jesus spoke clearly about what that meant: “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.”

I didn’t want to be a slave, but a free man. I wanted to be set free to love by the Son, and Jesus promised that He would help. So began the long, incredibly difficult odyssey in my own life to conquer this vice.

I Started the Battle As a Protestant…

I had access to God via prayer, so I started praying for God’s grace to help me conquer porn compulsion. A little progress was made as the months passed.

To my surprise, when speaking in confidence to one of my Baptist friends about my struggle, he confided in me that he, too, struggled with it. So we began to be accountability partners with each other. That helped as well, especially since,as a Protestant, I did not have sacramental Confession.

I also started to become disciplined. I woke up early in the morning to pray and go to Bible studies with my fellow Protestant roommates. In this way and in others, I slowly grew in self-mastery.

Yet I still fell to the temptation to lust and look at pornography regularly. The desire to do it felt so incredibly strong. I realized that what took years to develop into a deeply rooted vice, would take years to uproot.

I was still a relatively new Christian, and I began to read about Catholicism, the Church Fathers, and listen to Scott Hahn talks. They led me to Catholicism, and a new chapter in my fight for purity.

…And Won the Battle As a Catholic

When I became Catholic, I was hopeful that pornography would be eradicated from my life instantly by Mass and Confession, a sacramental one-two punch.

Alas, that didn’t happen. And somewhere I read that “the sacraments are not magic.”

But I also read that, unlike what I was taught in Protestantism, I could truly cooperate with God’s grace. So I dove into the depths of Catholicism: the lives of the saints, Eucharistic adoration, daily Mass, volunteering and service, frequent Confession, regular novenas, confraternities and sacramentals–the whole gamut.

I wanted to avail myself of the fullness of the means of salvation and grace that our Lord imbued in His Church.

Along the way, I discovered, as a hidden treasure in a field, Pope St. John Paul II’s theology of the body. I began dating a faithful Catholic woman who introduced me to it. It was exhilarating to finally learn the purpose of my sexuality, to give myself and receive the gift of self from my future wife.

More years passed, but I was seeing real progress. I could almost feel myself growing in the virtue of purity, by God’s grace. There was no one day when I conquered pornography compulsion. I was on guard against the temptation at all times, even after living in freedom from it for a year.

By the end of the war, God had taught me many things, not the least of which was my total need for Him to rescue me from slavery to sin. Every Confession, every act of faith, every oblation and self-surrender to Him, brought me a little bit closer to the victory of love. But it took a long time.

“Help Your Brothers”

I am still on guard against temptation, but in truth I’ve tried to put the sin and guilt and shame out of my mind.

That is, until a few months ago. I felt God nudging me to do something to help my Catholic brothers in their fight. And I did what I usually do, ignored Him.

But the thoughts kept coming back, and then the opportunity presented itself to create a course to help men overcome addiction to lust.

I thought about what would have helped me during those long years of struggle. I called to mind every tool, weapon, tactic, and defense I found and marshaled in my struggle. And I distilled those down into a video course.

I didn’t know what to expect when I published the course. But a few men signed up right away. Then a few more men. Then about thirty men, and I started corresponding with them personally over email. Even the seasoned veterans who signed up told me that they learned new ideas from it that they didn’t know existed. One of them asked if he could show it to his King’s Men group at church, a group dedicated to helping men win freedom, and of course I said he could.

The course gives you the tools you need to win the fight against pornography compulsion. I include in it a Steps to Victory Checklist that lists every single thing that I and other men have done to grow strong in chastity. I also lay out a 17-Week Bootcamp program that incorporates all the resources I share in the videos into a step-by-step guide.

Freedom from sin is possible with God! And He has blessed us through His Church with innumerable means to grow in holiness and win this freedom. If you are struggling with pornography compulsion, take a new step today and sign up for my course.

Devin Rose is a Catholic author and lay apologist equipping Catholics to defend their faith, and helping Protestants fairly consider Catholicism’s claims. He blogs at St. Joseph’s Vanguard.

Devin Rose

Converting to Catholicism, best decision I ever made. Next best, marrying my wife. I'm a computer programmer and lay Catholic apologist wanting to help people discover the truth of God and His Church.


Don’t Miss a Thing

Subscribe to get email notifications of new posts and special offers PLUS a St. Joseph digital poster.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



Reader Interactions


  1. Luke says

    I’ve been clean from porn for almost nine months, and masturbation for about seven and a half weeks. There’s hope. To all the young men out there struggling with it, keep persevering!!

  2. David Bridge says

    This is absolutely the truth! The battle my friends, is lifelong. It is never going to go away. No matter how much we try to hide from it, it is always going to be there. We must stand up with courage and fight strong and hard.

    I’m wondering if there is any student discount for the course. I would absolutely love to take it, but I unfortunately do not have the resources to cover even the basic $27 course fee 🙁

  3. Devin Rose says

    David, I don’t want the money to prevent you from joining. I just made a coupon for you (and for the next four people who find this comment and want to sign up) to take 50% off the price! Use code HALFOFF when checking out to chop the price in half. God bless!

    • David Bridge says

      @Devin Rose May God bless you for your generosity brother! I pray that through all of this we will be able to conquer the temptations Men of Christ face daily! Once again, I thoroughly appreciate your work in this ministry. Keep strong and let us all encourage each other. Carpe Diem pro Deo!

  4. Larry says

    If a priest told you this, he was dangerously close to breaking, or may have actually broken, the seal of the confessional. My understanding is that priests are not to comment in ANY way on the sins that have been confessed to them.

  5. Devin Rose says

    Maybe we should bring him up on formal charges? It’s a stat that is confirmed by countless studies and is a well known, huge problem. That’s the takeaway.

  6. Larry says

    No need to snark. You wrote that you are a convert, so I thought perhaps you didn’t know about the seal of confession and how priests are supposed to say NOTHING about their experiences hearing confessions.

  7. Devin Rose says

    Larry, I apologize for being sarcastic. Thank you for being interested in making sure I knew about the seal of the confessional. I am not a canon lawyer, but I have always understood the seal of the confessional to be intended to protect an individual person from having his or her sins made known by the priest. E.g. “John Rogers confessed that he lied to his brother.” This damages John’s reputation and makes public something that should be protected.

    I don’t think that sharing a general statistic violates the seal. No one knows who the penitents were who confessed those sins, and the numbers are ballpark in any case. You could as well say, “a majority of men have looked at pornography in a given year”, which is publicly available information.

  8. godaddyrequires says

    Sam, thank you for your thoughtful, spirit-filled, and courageous post. Your last name is VERY Catholic! St Dominic de Guzman, pray for us! I am curious, in your study of Catholicism, if you ever came across the term “scrupulosity” and what your thoughts are in regard to that subject? This question is not meant specifically regarding this post, but in general. The ultimate submission to His will is the finality of belief in His everlasting mercy and realizing our efforts really, truly, are worthless in comparison. Thank you.

  9. Ron Van Wegen says

    I am celebrating this Lent my one year anniversary of being pornless and continent. The virtue of chastity, however, is something I still strive to attain. Becoming continent is the first step in that direction. I am 60 this year and have fought this fight (rather poorly) since I was 16 with man, many periods of wallowing in filth and shame. For whatever reasons I have now been given the grace of freedom from masturbation. When I am tempted I IMMEDIATELY say, “Father, I cannot do this without your help. If you don’t step in right now I am lost.” And I always receive His immediate assistance. I never did that before and I always failed. The fight is not over. But I have found out how to be victorious by relying on His strength and not my own. And don’t think my lust is any weaker at 60 than it was at 16. I can do nothing much about the degradation our culture has descended into but I can do a great deal about my own participation in it. Brothers, victory is possible but you will have to suffer for it. The result in my own life is peace – for the first time in 44 years. I’d rather experience that peace than any amount of pleasure. Fight the good fight – one day at a time. God bless you all.

  10. Ann Smith says

    Women are not immune from the sin of self abuse either. Perhaps no one sees masturbation among females as a grave sin because they have not spilled any life-giving DNA, but a priest told me that continence is intended for all unmarried persons. The explanation I got was that sex is a gift one gives to one’s spouse. To experience arousal when alone puts the person into a situation that is self-centered. This damages the mutual sexual experience when it or if it should take place.
    Total continence may seem like an impossible goal, but it is entirely possible. As a widow I am at peace knowing that my physical purity and chastity is a gift that I have given to God. The urges go away and soon you are free. This can be done. God bless you all. Peace to all who are reading this.

  11. john matt says

    Four out of five men admit to masturbating. The other one out of five are either lying or in denial. Pornography and masturbation are two different things. Even masturbation has its nuances. Is a man or woman masturbating while away from his or her spouse (or after the death of a spouse) while thinking only of his or her spouse really “lusting,” or making the best of a separation — voluntary or otherwise?

  12. carmine says

    We can all do better in this area, each and every one of us! To watch porn is wrong, masturbation is also, and to lust over a woman is as well. But we must try to be as respectful as we can with our temples! Being our bodies, and ask for Gods strength!

  13. Phil says

    john matt – whether you are objectifying your wife or a complete stranger for your personal pleasure, it is the same thing.

    • Sterling says

      Utter nonsence. You’re not “objectifying” your wife should you be temporarily separated from her and think lovingly about your sexual relationship with her…even if those thoughts result in masturbation. As with any sacred relationship between a husband and wife, someone else’s opinion (like yours) has no validity and is intrusive.

      • Leila Miller says

        Actually, to have sex with yourself, even while thinking of your wife, is still having sex with yourself — to give yourself pleasure. The nature of sex is not solitary, and we were not made to have sex with ourselves. It is a misuse and a misunderstanding of the sexual faculty given by God.

  14. Matthew McCormick says

    Jesus was more viscerally angry and condemning of hypocrites and the self-righteous than sexual immorality. Since we are all hypocrites, especially myself, contemptably so, I try to keep that in mind. The world NEEDS the Church’s teaching on the Theology of the Body, the beauty and goodness of creation, to avoid self-abuse and the evil misteatment and misuse of others. Men are especially in need of this teaching. We are made to desire sex more and more immediately/directly, in general, than women. Why we are made this way is God’s wisdom and mystery. I LOVE being a guy. What we must not do is give license to destructive and harmful purposes, towards ourseles or others. It’s not easy being a guy especially when young. God is kind and merciful to us. Clearly, this is His will. Surely, we should imitate our Lord in how we treat ourselves and others in how He treats us. There is so much dysfunction around this vital issue, male and female, and children are God’s greatest gift.

  15. Leila@LittleCatholicBubble says

    “Four out of five men admit to masturbating. The other one out of five are either lying or in denial.”

    John, that last part is way too cynical. It’s untrue. I am writing a book about raising chaste Catholic men and I ask young men that very question: “What would you say to those who would claim you are lying?”

    God does not ask us to conform to an unattainable virtue. Yes, I believe that a majority of men are in the snares of lust and porn and masturbation, but there are really, truly, chaste men out there who are not looking at porn and not masturbating, and they are not lying. This should give rise to hope, not cynicism.

  16. David says

    Great article ! Struggled with porn and masturbation for 20 years . The one thing that stopped it was daily prayer . Confession helped , but the desire would keep coming back. By accident I found that daily prayer ( for me the rosary ) destroyed my vice . I can’t put into words the power of daily prayer !! Just start saying the rosary a decade a day , don’t skip a day . Slowly start to say more if you can . When you pray make sure you set time aside so you won’t be interrupted . Daily prayer will change your life , just start praying today . One of Mary’s promises to people who say the rosary is that it will take away your vice . That’s exactly what it did for me !!

    God bless you Devin and God bless everyone struggling with this addiction. There is hope though , start with daily prayer and confession , and attend mass regularly. It works !!!!

  17. Devin Rose says


    The Protestant counterpart to my course costs $600. My course offers more than theirs for one twentieth of the cost. Further, when people pay for something, they value it more and are more committed to completing it.

    Finally, I also offer a free course that helps guys get started.

  18. Bill says

    If it was a priest who said this, he did not break the seal of the confessional. No specific act was attributed to a specific person. It was stated as a fact, generally. Further, I read that a yound priest mentioned to an older priest that 50% of men confess this sin. The older priest said it was higher.

  19. David says

    Devin. Please pray for me that I too can concur these sins. I make holy hours to be close to God and seek His grace but feel there’s still more I should do. I could never be open at a men’s groups. Any suggestions?

  20. David says

    It all comes down to one thing your thoughts. You must keep your mind focused on the good and the true and beautiful and God’s eyes.

  21. Tina says

    I still dont think priests should be discussing these things to lay pple or even other priests, giving figures, percentages doesnt seem right. I thought what is said in the confessional stays there unless this is just made up for some reason.

    Also am not sure about this course thing and why one cant just give back in one way or the other, blog, facebook page, q and a etc rather than making pple pay for a course
    It seems pple wanna make money out of anything and I dont get it. Pple seem to have become obsessed with making money out of anything.

  22. Mary says

    This just looks like a marketing strategy to me
    Statistics from a so called priest and then a course, only 50% off to those who cant afford. Why cant pple see through this. Pple should pray, go to confessional, fast and seek help from a priest, even during confessional priest can help pple overcome these things.They can give a piece of advice if they dont one can always ask and will get help. I dont see the point of attending a so called course and part with their money.
    No disrespect but if the article didnt have statistics from a so called “priest” and dint tok about a course and a cost that is said to b cheaper than the one being run by the protestant it wld have been a good article
    So I can b say a prostitute, overcome it and then start running a course on how I managed to overcome and make money out of it, thats very interesting

  23. Larry says

    The following is written very sincerely although I know it won’t be taken that way. I wonder if it will even get published.

    It is a very recent phenomenon in the Church, that so many lay people are “selling product”. Even if their motives were originally good, when they bring money into the game, it corrupts everything.

    One only needs to listen to Catholic radio, watch EWTN, or cruise the blogs, to see all the “institutes” and “apostolates” that are constantly asking for money. Catholic Answers (with which Mr. Rose is affiliated somehow) runs a travel service and is constantly begging for money. EWTN likewise. And on and on and on.

    Did you know that there’s now a “Catholic Marketing Network” that holds a big annual conference and trade show? Just like any other industry. Except, this is supposed to be the Catholic Church – it’s not an “industry”.

    And there’s a mad scramble to get into this industry. The owner of this website was on an EWTN show recently. Once you’ve done that, or if you appear on the Catholic Answers radio show like Mr. Rose has, you’ve made it to the big leagues. Parishes will throw money at you to travel and give talks. No matter your message and no matter your actual qualifications.

    Frankly, I’m getting awfully suspicious about all of this. (Can you tell?) As they say, “follow the money”.

  24. Devin Rose says

    Larry, Mary, and Tina,

    I will address your criticisms. I have a full-time job in order to make a living to provide for my family. I’ve done apologetics and such on the side for 15 years.

    The “big leagues” as you say aren’t so big. It doesn’t come close to providing an livable wage for my family. Being on Catholic Answers radio pays $0.00. If someone buys a book, I make about a dollar and a quarter. The relative percentage of Catholics who buy a non-fiction book about apologetics is very small. You can do the math.

    Why not give everything away? Like a blog, someone suggested? Well, I’ve given away almost 3,000 blog posts on my blog, for free, having been blogging for over 10 years. http://www.devinrose.heroicvirtuecreations.com/blog/

    I’ve written about conquering pornography many, many times. But people don’t go and read all those posts and articles. They need it condensed, simplified, made accessible, and they need the motivation to do it. Hence, I created this course. I offer personal help to the men who sign up for it.

    I pay a monthly fee for the course software. People who developed and maintain that software have done work, and the worker is worth his wages. I have put many many hours and money into this course, book, phone calls, emails, correspondence, cameras, video editing, etc. Making it free would mean more men may sign up for it, but those men would not have as much motivation to go through the course, to complete it, to engage with it, and I would have less capability of helping them, since I only have so much free time, after my day job and family duties are done.

    Regarding parishes throwing money at me, I actually made a blog page enabling people finding a local apologist instead of bringing me or someone else in from far away: http://www.devinrose.heroicvirtuecreations.com/blog/support-your-local-apologist/

    Regarding the Catholic Marketing Network, this is a needed forum where Catholic publishers and shop owners can find out about each other so that the shop owners have good books to make available and publishers have an outlet for selling their products. Nothing wrong with that.

    Do I and others need to be on guard against greed? Certainly. Do we need to avoid the Church-as-business mentality? Yes. Are there spiritual pitfalls to selling stuff and marketing it? Indubitably. But it doesn’t mean that charging money for a speaker or book or course is wrong.

    Bottom line: you can read my blog, Matt Fradd’s, Sam Guzman’s, Christopher West’s, and a few others and piece together all the information you need to grow in purity and conquer lust. It may take you a few years to curate and collect that information, but you can do it. Or you can take my course and learn it all within a few weeks.

    God bless,

  25. Leila@LittleCatholicBubble says

    I’m glad you spelled that out, Devin, because I had written something that did not show up. Basically, I was going to say to Larry that you surely are not getting rich off of this program! And, how does Larry expect that Catholic apostolates get funding to actually run? The money does not come down from Heaven like fairy dust. I’m truly wondering how Larry thinks that programs and organizations and apostolates get their funding?

  26. Lara says

    I recall the story of a young monk who had a problem with temptations of the flesh. He sought out the counsel of an old, wise hermit monk. He asked, “Father, at what point in a man’s life does he stop having these sorts of temptations?” The old monk looked at him and said, “Well, from what I understand, about two or three days after they put him into the ground.” (i.e., after he dies) We must persevere in our fight. Only he/she who perseveres to the end can be saved. The late Ven. Archbishop Fulton Sheen said that we don’t throw evil out of our hearts. We “crowd” it out with the affection of a new love….Jesus Christ. Prayer, penance, self-denial, self-mortification, etc. are all very effective tools in this fight. The world’s most venomous snake is much easier to kill as a baby, than as a full grown adult.

  27. Larry says

    I think Rose proves my point by naming several well-known “professional lay apologists” – who travel extensively giving lectures and parish missions and selling books and training materials. It’s Big Business, and it’s not an official arm of the church: rather, Big Media like EWTN and Catholic Answers control who gets “in”.

    Which raises an obvious question: Twenty years ago, this “career path” didn’t exist. Unlike, say, CCD teachers who volunteer their time, most of the pros do it for pay. Anyone can declare themselves an “apologist” and ask for money. How did this happen? Should it be happening?

    This article makes it pretty clear that the “church as a business” idea was hatched about 20 years ago. Clearly a concept imported from the Protestant world, it provides a career path for converted ministers. Unfortunately, many younger Catholics who should have become sorely needed priests and nuns have followed their example.


    We’re now a full generation into this new “shadow church”… this uncontrolled industry that operates outside of Church authority.

    Listen to any Catholic radio show or discussion forum. Many of the questions are open dissent with priests, appealing to the “shadow church” for validation. “Shut up and do what your priest told you” is never the answer; that doesn’t fill enough air time. No, the apologist fills the air with his often questionable opinions, until the producer signals for a commercial break. Because it all comes back to the money.

  28. Leila@LittleCatholicBubble says

    Larry, 20 years ago, the internet was just taking off. Lots have things have changed in the landscape of evangelization in the last 20 years. That “apostolate of friendship” you link to, those apologists, they are responsible for countless thousands of conversions to the Church in the past two decades, including my own (reversion) and many hundreds of people that I know personally, in real life, including my best friend, both our husbands, her parents and more recently her 94-year-old grandmother. Not to mention the babies that have been born and baptized and went on to live faithful lives — my husband and I added five more children to our family after we were “done” at three, and two of those children are now married with devout spouses and babies of their own. My youngest is six years old. I am a grandma and a preschool mom. And I’ve been teaching the faith (for free) for two decades now, with much good fruit. Long live the apostolates that brought me to the Faith! They are doing exactly what the Church has asked the laity to do in the New Evangelization. God bless them.

    Not sure why you have a problem with that good fruit, Larry, but we all understand your dislike for apologetics apostolates, organizations, and speakers. I’m sorry about that and I hope your heart will be softened. God bless you!

  29. Larry says

    Ms. Bubble, I see what you’re doing. Ignoring most of the points I made and dismissing (in the name of some imaginary “we”, no less. Bonus points for you!) a “dislike” that I did not even express. And adding a “God bless you” that I’m pretty sure you didn’t really mean.

    I said I had some concerns about these unsupervised lay people speaking on behalf of the Church proper, and the amount of money that sloshes around in this unofficial “shadow church”. That’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it, your personal stories of… well, I’m not exactly sure what… notwithstanding.

  30. Leila@LittleCatholicBubble says

    Larry, you stick to it, no worries. I hope you find peace, truly.

    Sorry for being unclear about my reversion and those of my loved ones. I hope others will understand what I meant.

    In all sincerity, may God bless you and grant you a lightening of this worry and burden.

  31. Veronica says

    Well Ms Bubble no idea what u a toking about but Larry is highlighting the problem that is existing. Its possible to reach out to people and not charge them.Resources like free church halls or rooms, volunteers etc can always be used. The truth is some people are using the church to make money as highlighted by Larry. People can be defensive about it but they know they are using the church to run their business.Catholics need to be wary when people start asking for their hard earned cash. Who knows mayb some are coming from these protestant churches with their business ideas.Mayb they can c a big market in the catholic church

  32. Leila@LittleCatholicBubble says

    Hi Veronica! My name is Leila, by the way. Just curious: Who pays the bills at a parish or any organization? Where does the money come from to publish a book or run a website or distribute materials for evangelization? I wish we all could find those free rooms and volunteers and computers and software! Can you point us to them?

    And I’m afraid that one thing that Catholic publishing and apostolates are not is a “big market”. You may be confusing us with Joel Osteen and the Protestant megachurches or televangelists. You may want to rethink the logistical issues here, or become more familiar with what it takes to run an apostolate. No one is getting rich doing Catholic apologetics, I can assure you of that. So rest easy. 🙂

    But since I’m asking questions, what is your authority to say that it is immoral to evangelize with apostolates and to earn the money to run them? Do you know something that the bishops have said that we don’t? What about the bishops in whose flocks these “church users” reside? Are those bishops alarmed and have they warned the faithful about these wolves?

    And what about Catholic newspapers and online sources like National Catholic Register or OSV? Are they just more big business, get-rich schemes for the editors and writers? And are the bishops aware of these vast riches that are flowing through the coffers of all these evangelization organizations and Catholic news sources which constantly ask for donations?

    And what about the Church herself? You know, the Vatican has lots of really valuable (priceless!) paintings and sculptures. Should the Church hang on to those or sell them and give the money to the poor? It seems greedy and defensive of the Church to keep them, don’t you think?

    And what about our parishes? Do you think that we should pay all those youth directors and receptionists and priests, or should they volunteer their time? Isn’t it selfish and greedy if they don’t? And I think that instead of renting out the halls at parishes for weddings, they should let people have the rooms for free. I’m sure the cleaning lady, maintenance man, plumbers, and the electric company will volunteer to provide their services free of charge, don’t you? And if they don’t, they should, shouldn’t they?

    Anyway, when I think of BIG business and BIG money, I sure do think of Catholic apostolates! 😉

  33. Don J says

    Leila, I agree with your comments to Veronica. I would add that lack knowledge of Catholic catechisms is a substantial problem within our Church and lack of of a fundamental understanding of Capitalism is also, now a substantial problem in our culture. If people would go back to the basics of Capitalism and realize that every business is a service, set up to satisfy a demand from a consumer by an entrepreneur, more people would appreciate the services offered and would not covet/dislike/hate those offering the services.

    I came from a family who think like Veronica. Education and experience in the world has enlightened my mind. Maybe someday, Veronica will understand that worrying about how much money someone else makes instead of appreciating a good service offered, can be a violation of coveting in the 10 commandments.

  34. Veronica says

    Noone really cares how much money one makes, its not about the money anyone makes but something that looks like finding an opportunity to make money
    I dont understand the idea of running a course. Well Ms Bubble you can be defensive about it but truth is many are using the church to make money.They can sign up to these courses those who want but its clear to me its someone’s way of making money. Its possible to have the message across for free or little if one wants to
    Am sticking to this
    Im still to come across a single person admitting they are doing something for money.
    We have some rich postors around the world and they still argue they made their own money and its not peoples money. I dont care how rich they are but I feel for the poor people who loose their hard earned cash to these poeple
    Well I just wanted to warn people. If I have managed to warn at least one person I wld have at least done something.
    People dont really need a course, there are many resources in the church that will help people. Sorry if you are part of this but am just expressing my feelings about these courses

  35. Veronica says

    Dont put words into my mouth Ms Bubble
    Noone said anyone is being moral or immoral but questioned the courses and the costs. No idea why you are being so defensive about this but anyway everyone has got a conscience and if ones is clear thats good and if not then they will do something about it.
    There are churches where I am and people are alloeed to use them and clean after.Volonteers are also available. Some venues charge very little as well
    Anyway I rest my case
    One can make thier own judgement

  36. Devin Rose says


    “People don’t need a course.” A course is just a way of delivering content. A book is another way. So what you are saying is equivalent to saying people don’t need books. They could find that information somewhere else.

    Sure they could, but the whole reason we pay for books is that the author has curated a ton of information and distilled it down in a helpful way, saving us the countless hours they spent in doing so. Further, they may have experience and wisdom which we lack and hope to gain by learning from them.

    If you are against courses, you are against books, videos, or any other media one pays for to grow in understanding of the truth.

    By all means, go and read my 2,700 free blog articles, which include sharing insights on growing in purity. It’s freely there for you and everyone. Yet people don’t do that, because it is too hard, takes too much time. A course boils it down for them. Same as a book.

    A book requires an editor, cover designer, distribution, not to mention the writing itself, which in books I’ve written has taken years. We can demand that those workers are not worth their wages, but we would be contradicting Christ who said they were. I could ask everyone to donate their software, storage space, bandwidth, book design skills, etc. etc., yet most would not, because they have to make a living to provide for their families, and there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, Jesus said that was a just thing!

    God bless,

  37. Devin Rose says


    You ignored most of my arguments to simply table pound your original assertions.

    In fact, you are wrong again in this case. I have presented my credentials to my bishop and received his episcopal blessing to operate as a Catholic apologist, defend the Faith, and evangelize. I have placed myself under at his service and told him to call upon at any moment.

    With this pornography work, I have submitted myself to my parish priest to work in this area and am under his guidance.

    So your accusations of me being part of a “shadow church” are baseless.

    Larry, tell me: have you paid any money to buy a book that is about the Catholic Faith in some way?

    If so, you have paid money for something you here decry. A book delivers curated content. So does a course. People are willing to pay money so that someone else curates that content, adds their experience and wisdom, and allows you to get it in an easily digestible chunk that gives you enormous value for very little cost.

    God bless,

  38. Ann Smith says

    Devin, you have clearly and politely made your case. I assert that that you are wasting your time in further attempting to solicit a retraction or apology from any of your critics. Sadly, cynical people spout criticisms and unfounded assertions because the have certain prejudices that their pride prevents them from changing.
    It is a joyful thing to spend one’s life working for a non profit. We all need to work, so why not choose a career where lives can be changed for the better?
    I once worked for such an institution. Uninformed people need to know that non-profits cannot accumulate limitless wealth. Non-profits are also held to certain standards where not more than 28% or so should be spent on administrative costs. The rest is for the causes they serve. You and I understand this, but sadly the people who would like to bash you will just be considered trolls sooner or later if they do not change. Maybe trolling was their intent to begin with. Ignore them from now on. You have said all you can.

  39. Larry says

    Mr. Rose, this was never an attempt to discredit you personally. Yes, I checked your web site where you describe your “day job”.

    Indeed, this was never a personal attack on anyone. It was simply some ideas and observations, prompted by your insistence that your product is of value because you want money for it.

    There is an old maxim which starts with “great minds discuss ideas”. I’m sure you all know the rest of it. The personal attacks and especially the passive-aggressive spouting of the Bubble Lady are really “something”. I won’t respond to them because that’s not what a “great mind” does.

    If on the other hand, anyone would like to discuss the idea of whether it’s appropriate to have a “shadow church” industry of lay media and speakers, many of whom have their roots and training outside of the Church, continually asking for money and more importantly, diverting away many potential priests and nuns? Then please do discuss that.

  40. Don J says

    I think authors who are lay people contribute a great deal to our Church and Christianity, overall. I, myself, like to read the opinions of educated lay people who have similar experiences of living a life as a married Catholic man. Many priests do write good material but I appreciate the perspective of the lay person. A favorite of mine is Scott Hahn, a convert to the Catholic Church who has contributed greatly to enriching the faithful with an educated theological Catholic perspective. To disdain lay people like himself and label them as the “shadow Church”because he is a full time theologian who earns his living from such, in my opinion does much dis service to those who want to read and learn from their books. If spending a buck is your main gripe, Abebooks, sells books, used, at substantially discounted prices. Expecting quality writing always for free, in my opinion, is selfish and contrary to the teachings of our Church. People are allowed to earn a living, and doing so in something one loves, does not require them to stay poor, if they choose to do it full time.

  41. Veronica says

    Mr Rose
    I think you may need to present your stuff differently because as it is and bringing money into it makes it difficult to understand what is really going on. I dont need this product for free, its not a product I need .There is nothing wrong in charging to meet your costs but its the way your product is presented.Mentioning the private confessionals etc
    I notice there is another article saying give up porn for lent and it directs people to this course.
    It comes across as one selling a product and using lent to sell their product.
    People know their weaknesses and they personally decide what they want to give up for lent.
    A priest also wrote an article on purity ( I havent read that article yet but ) am sure the article is good enough but I noticed there is a comment that says something like all that is summed up in a video and directs people to this course if am not mistaken.
    That I dont get.
    I have purchased some books yes.
    I normally buy books written by saints or about saints and books written by some popes, bishops and some priests.
    I choose my books carefully because I know not all books out there are good.
    Some come across as being as what someone has already mentioned.
    There is nothing wrong in trying help people overcome what you have overcomed but mayb its the way the product is being sold.

  42. Veronica says

    As for Ms Bubble I wont waste my time on you.
    This lets pray for ,God bless you thing
    You mayb the one in need of more prayers
    Dont try to stop us from expressing how we feel for you wont succeed
    Its actually good we are saying something for others might question it too
    We are not interested in your camp but in others who might start seeing what some of us are seeing

  43. Veronica says

    Again Ms Bubble dont try and bully people here
    How Christ like is that
    Everyone is alowed to express how they feel which is what am doing.
    Am not going to allow you to bully me., I wont even bother reading what u are writting anymore for I can c what you are trying to do

  44. Veronica says

    Mr Devine
    I have briefly looked at your blog and I think you are doing a good job, helping others with thier faith. I however still think you might need to tone down on charges etc.I dont know if you are paid for the speeches you give, if you dont thats very good but if you do get paid ……

  45. James says

    God reward you, Mr. Devine. You are on solid ground. Those comments that question your assertions are not dealing with this issue realistically. An old monk, a priest as well — in his nineties — once told me temptations against chastity never really go away. You appear to be providing a concrete resource. It might not work for everyone, but it is affirming to men to know they are not alone in this struggle and that with Grace there is a way through. Good work!

  46. Anne says

    Reading this article was a Godsend but not because of struggling with pornography or be being a man. I am a Catholic married woman who have looked for words of wisdom with dealing with managing sexual thoughts and passions even though I have never strayed in my 35 year marriage to a wonderful husband. I am also a Catholic convert and have a friend who provides accountability, there is absolutely nothing available for women who a trying to overcome masturbation. The sacrament of Confession is great but my desire is to live a totally holy life and not be a slave to sin and struggle with this. Is this something women could benefit from with temptations against chastity, too?

  47. D John says

    I’m not sure how or why this article came to my email; likely I read it a year ago and subscribed. I agree with much of what you say, why, because I also lived it and have been conquering it with the Lord for the last 3 years. As a poorly catechized youth, I did not realize it was even a serious sin. I also thought I was secularly enlightened in that time until decades later in my 40s when I committed myself to thoroughly learning my Catholic Faith to raise my daughter. What a roller coaster ride!

    First I went about learning our faith and finding why our Church has its positions and how they are supported by scripture and tradition. { 2 Thessalonians 2:15 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.) Then I discovered Mary’s unique role as loving Mother of Jesus and as a special Saint in our Church. After saying prayers with Mary and asking her as the Mother of Jesus to pray to Jesus to help me, things started to change. I learned the proper way to pray a Rosary, something which was also an investigative adventure, since it took prayer asking the Lord to help me understand, what is going on in the Rosary. Little by little I kept finding articles and hearing the answers to my questions on EWTN radio shows. After I understand how to pray it, it has worked wonders for me. After intermittently saying it for a few years, it gave me the strength to go to confession after 30 years of being in a State of Mortal Sin. I called, made an appointment with our Priest who was being transferred to another country, and went through a written log which highlighted my major sins, year by year through the decades. One and one-half hours later, I felt like a new man. My addiction had a few relapses through the next two years, but then I firmly committed myself to the Rosary everyday, rain or shine, per Mary’s public request at her visit 100 years ago in Fatima, Portugal. I have been praying the Rosary the past 2 years and the prayers give me strength staying close to God and his mother.

    I strongly suggest Catholic men and women give a good confession and undertake a commitment to the Rosary, if they are enslaved to this particular or any other serious sin.

  48. D John says

    Anne, I can not speak to the course, but as a married man, I find per my previous post, that confession and the Rosary are must performs for me. When I see attractive members of the other sex, I praise God for making them beautiful, as I do when I see anything of beauty. I acknowledge it, move on and do not dwell on the thought.When using media or television I move on or skip the channel or webpage. When I make love to my spouse I never think of anyone else; like I may have done decades ago. The thought of my love for my spouse and how it pleases God to only think of my spouse diminishes any temptations to think of others and actually turns me on, knowing God is pleased knowing I take pleasure with only my wife in my mind. I have also learned through my research, that masturbation is not allowed in the bedroom with a spouse. Therefore, a wife is allowed orgasm leading up to the marital act but then the man should consummate the act. {Trent Horn had a good article on this a few years ago.) I hope my comments are helpful. Possibly the course has many things I have not included or even considered.

    • Anne says

      Thank you for your comments. I will speak openly. I (a woman) have been happily married for 35 years and am still married. I have never thought of another man being in my life either in bed or out in the world except my husband. However, I am now faced with what is likely to be a permanent situation where I cannot receive sexual pleasure from my husband because his health is very poor and deals with many issues that include chronic severe pain, heart issues, diabetes, and more. I am most certainly not complaining as I am committed “until death do us part.” I still love my husband with my whole heart and I desire to be faithful to him in every way. I also love God with my whole heart. Unfortunately, I am struggling with this transition from an active and satisfying sex life with my husband, to celibacy and am finding it challenging. I am truly thankful for the years we have had together and know this is just as difficult for him to be at this point in his life. I have sought out reading different Catholic writings and little to nothing is available for women in this situation. All are related to men or young married and/or single women. There is absolutely nothing for elderly women such as myself as there is an assumption that women in their 60’s and up lack sexual function and/or desire. I do wish to be truly celibate and do pray the Rosary, but there is little to nothing to guide women in this area, especially as they age. This article for men is the nearest to what I can relate to even though I have not and never have had an issue with pornography or lusting after someone other than my husband. I know this is a process, but what the process is, there is no help in this area for women in my situation as they just suffer quietly. Since women do not “spill seed,” masturbation is considered less serious and women are in the position where they must confess this type of sin to a male priest and in my case the priest is a wonderful priest but I am old enough to be his grandmother. I am very active in my parish so I am well known to our two priests so even confessing “behind the screen” is not anonymous. Yes, I can drive to our neighboring town, but I desire to not be having to confess such a sin to start with.

      • fourgiven2013 says

        May God bless you for living in the faith! I pray that you find the courage to speak openly with one of your priests about any struggles you may be dealing with. I heard in a recent homily that sexual perversions are the number one most confessed sin, so you can be sure that they have heard it all.

        I have openly confessed to my beloved priest that I had engaged in “self abuse” or touched myself “in a bad way.” It took courage but you will find that your confessor will address your sin in a mature and matter-of-fact way.

        I asked him once why the church considers this a sin, especially for a woman. He answered that it places focus upon oneself whereas sexual pleasure is a gift meant to be given to and received from one’s spouse.

        It is a very high calling and a tough one at first, but here I am in my sixties and have learned to live without masturbation. I thank God for allowing me the years I had, but that was then.

        I enjoyed your post. I will unite my prayers with yours so that you will find your way along this path we call life. I will also pray that you find encouragement as you deal with your husband’s declining health. Go with God.

        • Anne says

          Forgiven2013, Thank you for your words. I have tried to go to confession with our priest but it is just way too difficult to consider. Therefore, I drive to the neighboring parish 30 minutes away. I really don’t like doing that as I know it is about pride, yet another mortal sin, but I simply have not been able to get over my embarrassment and confess such a sin to our young priest. I have never known another man other than my husband and to discuss sexual issues with anyone is difficult, and especially a young priest. However, it is so painful to know my husband will never be well again and even more painful to fail him, and fail God, in this way. Also, I have experienced that priests do not offer to women any “advice” on anything sexual, they offer absolution. I don’t blame them, but it leaves a woman in a place to navigate this alone in finding the path to celibacy and not having to seek out absolution to start with. Again, thank you for you remarks and prayers. God Bless.

          • Caterina says

            Hi Anne, younger woman here, and a thought occurs to me: Is it possible that God might plan to use your confession(s) to help educate this young priest about the situation of older women? Given your young priest’s obligation to be a spiritual father to the whole flock (not just you), it may actually help his own formation to be more aware of how older female parishioners are struggling with this sin. Otherwise, maybe he’ll just be recycled in the cultural misconception that only young people/men struggle with this sin (because they’re the only ones who confess to him!) It’s just a thought. But maybe your confession could be an act of charity (of education to your priest, which may also benefit others he later interacts with in ways you may never know), at the same time as a growth in the virtue of humility for yourself, and giving your priest an opportunity to mediate God’s mercy to you. Just an abundance of God’s love and goodness all around. PS, in my experience I’ve had priests offer me ‘advice’, so it may just vary by the individual priest/area. If it helps, the ‘advice’ I’ve been given has included: “Get up, walk around, do something else; pray the rosary”. And praying the rosary until falling asleep did help me in the past (as a temporary coping mechanism) — but to be honest the final confessional ‘advice’ that helped me was less ‘advice’ and more ‘command’, haha: the priest told me: “Just stop doing that.” And by the grace of God, I did. And have never done it again, haha. Praise God. I can’t explain it. But somehow in my particular case, God chose to just make me able to follow that priest’s instruction. Anyway though, whatever path He guides you down, please disregard the devil (who is the voice of fear telling you to fear confessing to a young priest), and receive the love and grace God wants to give you. Remember: Perfect love casts out all fear. Please pray to the Holy Spirit to equip you to confess what you need to confess, to whom you need to confess. And of course beyond that, to equip you and your husband to love each other as He is calling you to. And I will pray for you and for your husband too. Love in Christ.

  49. Joe says

    I have been a Catholic my entire life, attending Catholic grammar school, high school and college. I have heard just about every “official” Catholic viewpoint on masturbation. When I was younger all the arguments seemed to make sense. Sex was the province of married people and “spilling” one’s seed outside of that realm was a sin. I am now approaching 70 years old and have been divorced for years. I am basically celibate, except for masturbation. The prospects for my marrying again are slim to none and due to having had prostate cancer, I have no seed to spill. I can go 3-4 weeks before the urge overcomes me. I confess my sin afterwards, but I just see this “sin” differently today than when I was a younger man with options.

    • William says

      I’m 58 years Old and Struggle with this HONEST, What can I do to over come This Weakness, I pray on this , But Fall back to this Struggle for Masturbation often,

  50. american weight loss pills says

    Does your site have a contact page? I’m having a tough time locating it but,
    I’d like to shoot you an email. I’ve got some suggestions for your blog you might be interested in hearing.
    Either way, great site and I look forward to seeing it improve
    over time.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *