Posted on December 6, 2012 by Terence
From Catholic for Choice, an excellent 45 minute film on Catholics and Sexual Morality. Watch it at
“The Secret History of Sex, Choice and Catholics” features interviews with leading experts in the fields of theology, philosophy and ethics who examine Catholic traditions, teachings and beliefs on the following key issues:
Abortion & Contraception
HIV & AIDS
Sex & Sexuality
New Reproductive Health Technologies
Religion in Public Policy
Leading American Catholic theologians take part in this discussion: Mary Hunt, Dan Maguire, Anthony Padovano, Rosemary Radford Reuther, and including British-born Sheila Briggs, now working in the USA.
The Secret History of Sex, Choice and Catholics from Catholics for Choice on Vimeo.
Filed under: sexuality and gender | Tagged: Catholic, Catholic Church, Catholics for Choice, moral theology, sexual ethics, The Secret History of Sex Choice and Catholics, Theology | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 2, 2011 by William Lindsey
Here’s a blast from the past, a word you probably thought you’d never need to look up again: “borking.” After conservative journalist Mona Charen published an article yesterday in the National Review suggesting that liberals are borking poor Herman Cain, the word is now plastered once again all over American media websites. Mind you, though Charen has impeccable right-wing credentials (she was, after all, a speechwriter for Nancy Reagan), her essay concludes that Cain may be playing the unfair character-assassination angle to avoid telling the truth about what went on between him and former employees who claim Cain sexually harassed them.
Filed under: church teaching, Uncategorized | Tagged: catholic commentators, Donald Wuerl, Elizabeth Johnson, Theology | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 17, 2011 by Terence
When the German theologians last week released their declaration calling for far-reaching reform of the Catholic Church culture, structures and teaching on sexual morality, it had been signed by 143 leading theologians from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The publication of the declaration on Friday coincided with the resignation of the Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, in the culmination of sustained popular protests in Cairo and other Egyptian cities. Since then, Arab street protests have spread to other countries of the Middle East, notably including Bahrain, Iran, Libya, Jordan and Algeria.
The theologians’ revolt has similarly been spreading beyond the original 143 German signatories.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: Catholic Church, Germany, Theology | 2 Comments »
Posted on December 5, 2010 by Terence
Andrew Brown thinks so, based on the relevant passage in Seewald’s book. I hesitate to comment with any conviction until I have read the full passage myself, but the published extracts are disturbing and important. Up to now, there have been some signs of a more rational approach to homosexuality under this papacy, but some of these views strike me as just wackadoodle. Benedict is widely acclaimed as a great and subtle theologian, but he could do with some lessons in basic facts of gender and sexuality.
We could say, if we wanted to put it like this, that evolution has brought forth sexuality for the purpose of reproducing the species.
Filed under: sexuality and gender | Tagged: Age of Reason, Bruce Bagemihl, Catholic Church, gay, homosexuality, Joan Roughgarden, LGBT, parents, priests, Queer, research evidence, sexual orientation, Theology, Thomas Paine | 8 Comments »
Posted on December 3, 2010 by Terence
Is it really true that Pope Benedict’s approval of condoms to prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS is backed by very traditional teaching of Augustine and Aquinas? James Heffernan, writing at Huffington Post, seems to think so. First, he refers to Aquinas on the validity of self-defence, and asks, does this imply that condoms are justifiable in AIDS prevention, as self-defence against infection?
In the 13th-century Summa Theologica, perhaps the greatest of all treatises on Roman Catholic doctrine, Saint Thomas Aquinas says that one may lawfully kill an assailant in self-defense. In such cases, says Aquinas, one’s action has a double effect: killing another and saving one’s own life. “Therefore, this act” he says, “since one’s intention is to save one’s own life, is not unlawful, seeing that it is natural to everything to keep itself in being as far as possible” (ST II-II, Qu. 64, Art 7).
If Aquinas says it is “NOT unlawful” to kill in self-defense, could he possibly say it IS unlawful to use a condom in self-defense, as a means of protecting oneself against fatal infection, or one’s partner from such infection?
St Thomas Aquinas (Fra Angelico)
Filed under: sexuality and gender | Tagged: AIDS, Catholic Church, contraception, HIV, humanae vitae, moral relativism, Pope, Pope Benedict XVI, sexual ethics, St Augustine, Theology, Thomas Aquinas | 1 Comment »
Posted on November 21, 2010 by Terence
I got home late last night to find the news sites ablaze with reports that Pope Benedict has conceded that there could be some justification for the use of condoms “in certain cases”. Most reports see this (very slight) shift as significant: the Daily Telegraph headline calls it “historic”. Others are less convinced, noting that the example he gives is very specific, that of a male (homosexual) prostitute, for whom contraception is clearly a non- starter in the first place. This does not seem to leave much for female prostitutes, for whom the same concern for avoiding the spread of infection would simultaneously prevent the transmission of life.
Filed under: sexuality and gender | Tagged: AIDS, body, Catholic Church, Condom, contraception, HIV, Pope, Pope Benedict XVI, relationships, sexual ethics, sexuality, Theology | 7 Comments »
Posted on October 23, 2010 by Terence
One of the key points in Salzman & Lawler’s exposition of Catholic sexual ethics (“The Sexual Person”) is the importance of considering theology in the context of history. Explaining this idea, they describe two approaches to theology,a “classical” view, which sees all moral standards as static and fixed for all time, and an “empirical” view, in which we recognize that circumstances and human understanding (for example,of science), is constantly changing, and which implies that we must be constantly ready to refine our expression of those standards.
In its classicist mode, theology is a static, permanent achievement… In its empirical mode, it is a dynamic, ongoing process……. The classical understanding sees the human person as a series of created, static and definitively ordered temporal facts. The empirical understanding sees the person as a subject in the process of “self-realization in accordance with a project that develops in God-given autonomy, carried out in the present with a view to the future”. Classical theology sees moral norms coming from the Magisterium as once and for all definitive; sexual norms enunciated in the fifth or sixteenth century continue to apply absolutely in the twenty-first. Empirical theology sees the moral norms of the past not as facts for uncritical and passive acceptance but as partial insights that are the bases for critical attention, understanding, evaluation, judgement and decisions in the present sociohistorical situation. What Augustine and his medieval sources knew about sexuality cannot be the exclusive basis for a moral judgement about sexuality today.
The empirical approach, they say, was endorsed by by Vatican II. Later, this view was clearly articulated by Pope John Paul II, in Sollicitudo rei socialis (1987).
Pope John Paul II, Progressive Theologian?
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: Catholic Church, Christianity, history, homosexuality, Human sexuality, Pope John Paul II, sexual ethics, Sexual intercourse, Theology | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 21, 2010 by Terence
In 2008 two Catholic academic theologians at a reputable Jesuit university published a book, “The Sexual Person: Toward a Renewed Catholic Anthropology (Moral Traditions)“, on the Church’s sexual theology which represented a fundamental critique of its entire foundations. The United States Catholic Bishops have now launched a strong counter-attack, concentrating their fire especially on the authors’ section on homosexuality.
I am grateful to the Bishops for this attack: it has brought to my close attention a book that I was previously aware of, but had not considered too seriously. After reading some reviews and the extracts available at Google Books, I will now most certainly read it in full – and will later discuss its conclusions with my readers. As I have not yet had this opportunity to read the book for myself, I will not attempt in this post to evaluate the content or conclusions. However, I have read the authors’ intent and methods as presented in the prologue, and can contrast these with the bishops’ disappointing response, which I have read and re-read in full. Continue reading
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: Catholic Church, Catholicism, Human sexual activity, magisterium, Michael G Lawler, sexual ethics, Theology, Todd A Salzmann | 3 Comments »
Posted on September 29, 2010 by Terence
At Bilgrimage, Bill Lindsay has a depressing (but accurate) assessment of the ten “essential articles of creed”, as espoused by card-carrying Catholics. (“Who Knew? What Reading Newman Did Not Prepare Me for When I Became Catholic“)
In summary, these are concerned with a staunch defence of the Church, the Pope and the Vatican against all criticism; an obsession with sexual teaching, and in particular its stress on heterosexual intercourse which is open to conception; attempts by political engagement to force this view of sexuality into law; the inherent superiority of the male over the female in all Church decision taking and eucharistic celebration; and a complete disregard for the rest of Church teaching, especially that on the importance of social justice and inclusion of all.
Filed under: church teaching | Tagged: Cardinal Newman, Catholic Church, Catholicism, dissent, England, John Henry Newman, obedience, Pope, Pope Benedict, Theology, Vincent Nichols | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 13, 2010 by Terence
Four years ago, a gathering of moral theologians met in Padua for a groundbreaking meeting – coming together from all regions of the world, and trained in all regions of the world , including women and lay people as well as the Vatican-approved Catholic priests who have previously monopolized theological discourse. The gathering was fruitful, and those attending agreed to meet again, to continue the work.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: Catholic Church, Council of Trent, Religion and Spirituality, Theology | 1 Comment »