406 • Part III. Christian Morality: The Faith Lived
certain periods, such as when the personality is being formed
during childhood and adolescence. (CCC, no. 2342; cf. Ti 2:1-6)
laws of growth
which progress through stages
marked by imperfection and too often by sin. (CCC, no. 2343)
Chastity presupposes respect for the rights of the person, in par-
ticular the right to receive information and an education that
respect the moral and spiritual dimensions of human life. (CCC,
Chastity is a moral virtue. It is also a gift from God, a
fruit of spiritual effort. The Holy Spirit enables one whom the
water of Baptism has regenerated to imitate the purity of Christ.
(CCC, no. 2345; cf. Gal 5:22, 1 Jn 3:3)
The virtue of chastity blossoms in friendship. . . . Chastity is
expressed notably in
friendship with one’s neighbor
it develops between persons of the same or opposite sex, friend-
ship represents a great good for all. It leads to spiritual commu-
nion. (CCC, no. 2347)
There are a number of acts that are sins against chastity:
is a “disordered desire for or an inordinate enjoyment of sexual
pleasure,” especially when sought for itself (CCC, no. 2351).
is sinful because it misuses the gift of sexuality in an
inherently selfish act, devoid of love. It is a problem for which a
counselor, spiritual director, or a confessor can be of considerable
help. A person often needs assistance to understand the causes of
this behavior, which are often habitual or in response to emotional
stress or unexamined underlying attitudes.
(sexual intercourse between unmarried persons) is sinful
because it violates the dignity of persons and the nuptial meaning
and purpose of sexuality, which is ordered only to the unitive and
procreative goals of married people.