Tag Archives: sexuality

Humans are Useless, indeed

Marc Barnes publishes his essays on his blog, Bad Catholic on Patheos. A recent installment, Humans Are Useless, is a beautiful piece on humanity, God, human relationships, sex, art and Love. My friend Tacy give me the tip to read this essay. It is rewarding. The essay is an excellent piece for faith formation.

Christian Courtship in an Oversexed World: A Guide for Catholics

The Catholic Fellowship of NYC is sponsoring a
Theology on Tap Event this Thursday… January 20, 2011 starting at 7:30pm
discussing the topic of

“Christian Courtship in an Oversexed World: A Guide for

Location: At Cathedral Basilica of St. James Lower Church, Corner of Jay
Street & Cathedral Place, Brooklyn, NY 11201.

Thomas G. Morrow is the featured speaker. Father Morrow is a priest of the
Archdiocese of Washington, DC; he earned the STD in moral theology from Pope
John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in 1999, the
co-founder of the St. Catherine Society and the St. Lawrence Society,
respectively for women and men seeking spiritual growth. Morrow is an assistant
priest at the Church of Saint Catherine Labouré, Wheaton, MD.

Don’t trivialize sexuality Vatican urges

Note of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the

On the trivilization of sexuality regarding

certain interpretations of Light of the World

Following the
publication of the interview-book Light of the World by Benedict XVI, a
number of erroneous interpretations have emerged which have caused confusion
concerning the position of the Catholic Church regarding certain questions of
sexual morality. The thought of the Pope has been repeatedly manipulated for
ends and interests which are entirely foreign to the meaning of his words – a
meaning which is evident to anyone who reads the entire chapters in which human
sexuality is treated. The intention of the Holy Father is clear: to rediscover
the beauty of the divine gift of human sexuality and, in this way, to avoid the
cheapening of sexuality which is common today.

Some interpretations have
presented the words of the Pope as a contradiction of the traditional moral
teaching of the Church. This hypothesis has been welcomed by some as a positive
change and lamented by others as a cause of concern – as if his statements
represented a break with the doctrine concerning contraception and with the
Church’s stance in the fight against AIDS. In reality, the words of the Pope –
which specifically concern a gravely disordered type of human behaviour, namely
prostitution (cf. Light of the World, pp. 117-119) – do not signify a
change in Catholic moral teaching or in the pastoral practice of the Church.

Read more ...

What the Pope really said about condoms…

If you want to know what Pope Benedict XVI really said about AIDS and condom use, you will want to read Chapter 11, of Peter Seewald’s interview of the Pope in Light of the World,  “The Journeys of a Shepherd,” pages 117-119:

On the occasion of your trip to Africa in March 2009, the Vatican’s policy on AIDs once again became the target of media criticism. Twenty-five percent of all AIDs victims around the world today are treated in Catholic facilities. In some countries, such as Lesotho, for example, the statistic is 40 percent. In Africa you stated that the Church’s traditional teaching has proven to be the only sure way to stop the spread of HIV. Critics, including critics from the Church’s own ranks, object that it is madness to forbid a high-risk population to use condoms.

The media coverage completely ignored the rest of the trip to Africa on account of a single statement. Someone had asked me why the Catholic Church adopts an unrealistic and ineffective position on AIDs. At that point, I really felt that I was being provoked, because the Church does more than anyone else. And I stand by that claim. Because she is the only institution that assists people up close and concretely, with prevention, education, help, counsel, and accompaniment. And because she is second to none in treating so many AIDs victims, especially children with AIDs.

I had the chance to visit one of these wards and to speak with the patients. That was the real answer: The Church does more than anyone else, because she does not speak from the tribunal of the newspapers, but helps her brothers and sisters where they are actually suffering. In my remarks I was not making a general statement about the condom issue, but merely said, and this is what caused such great offense, that we cannot solve the problem by distributing condoms. Much more needs to be done. We must stand close to the people, we must guide and help them; and we must do this both before and after they contract the disease.

As a matter of fact, you know, people can get condoms when they want them anyway. But this just goes to show that condoms alone do not resolve the question itself. More needs to happen. Meanwhile, the secular realm itself has developed the so-called ABC Theory: Abstinence-Be Faithful-Condom, where the condom is understood only as a last resort, when the other two points fail to work. This means that the sheer fixation on the condom implies a banalization of sexuality, which, after all, is precisely the dangerous source of the attitude of no longer seeing sexuality as the expression of love, but only a sort of drug that people administer to themselves. This is why the fight against the banalization of sexuality is also a part of the struggle to ensure that sexuality is treated as a positive value and to enable it to have a positive effect on the whole of man’s being.

There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants. But it is not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection. That can really lie only in a humanization of sexuality.

Are you saying, then, that the Catholic Church is actually not opposed in principle to the use of condoms?

She of course does not regard it as a real or moral solution, but, in this or that case, there can be nonetheless, in the intention of reducing the risk of infection, a first step in a movement toward a different way, a more human way, of living sexuality.

Seminary and Sex

Creation of Eve Michelangelo.jpgSexuality is a beautiful part of being human and it is a gift from God that needs to be known, understood, appreciated and embraced (no pun intended). Sexuality is a holy part of being a man or a woman. Unfortunately, that’s not the message we receive in secular society and it is infrequently heard from the pulpit in Catholic churches and very likely not in other Christian communities. Unheard of from the pulpit, that is, until Pope John Paul II introduced his monumental work, Theology of the Body. But that’s a topic for another time. Sexuality is not just a religious issue, it is a human issue and everything human is of our interest.

Religion & Ethics Newsweekly ran an interesting story on sexuality. I will say it makes some good points BUT there are some views that are inconsistent with Catholicism. OK, but that’s a not a good reason not to watch the story! Familiarize yourself with the issues –watch the video and read something on the Theology of the Body. AND don’t be scared.
At places like St Joseph’s Seminary there’s a course on human sexuality taught by Father John Bonnici, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York. Father Bonnici deals with the physiological, psychological, relational, spiritual and theological aspects of human sexuality viz. priestly ministry. AND I am glad to have the class. It is a forum for us to intelligently speak about human sexuality matters while considering the pastoral issues at hand that we will encounter in the parish setting. Learning on the job is not an adequate response any longer… sorry….

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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