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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. 1. Is celibacy and virginity the same thing?

A. 1. No, those two words do not mean the same thing. Celibacy refers to abstaining from sexual relations or renouncing the Sacrament of Marriage for religious reasons. A celibate is sometimes referred to as a single person whenever that person abstains from sexual activities.

A virgin, being in the state of virginity, is one who has never engaged in sexual relations.

I should mention a third word that sometimes gets mixed up with celibacy and virginity. It is the word "chastity." Chastity refers to refraining from immoral sexual relations outside of marriage.

So if a person has never been sexually involved, he or she is a virgin. Refraining from immoral sexual activities, that person is chaste, or practicing chastity. If that person has joined a religious Order, he is then referred to as a celibate.

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