Sex, Gender and the Sacred

The road to the sacred runs through the carnal. Not only the Bible but Life itself reveals that sexuality is more spiritual than biological. The erotic is God's poetry of love calling us out of ourselves to awareness of beauty and to an expansive creativity and giving of ourselves. We go to God through one another, via loving, not apart from one another. --Paschal.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Vatican: a pernicious teaching on sexuality

The Vatican decree to be released this week, just as the teaching on the intrinsic evil of artificial contraception and masturbation, on celibacy, etc., is based upon a false psychology of sexuality and therefore a false theology of sexuality.
Briefly, and others have written about this, it is a physicalist approach, looking only at the physical act.

These people make an intrinsic evil out of the male seed not being placed in a female womb for reproductive purposes. This is essentially a materialistic approach.

I remember being taught this view and believing it for a while as a pre-V2 trained priest. This physicalist approach ignores that intention determines the act, and that loving sexually and sensually brings about a deep and healing bonding between two persons. The teaching ignores the sacred and erotic power of this mystery of human loving given us by God.

Human loving calls us out of ourselves into the mystery of relationship. Of course, sex, like any human need, desire or act, can be mis-used. It has a sacred power to transform us by a commitment to life long giving.

The RC church has no adequate psychology of sexuality and therefore cannot have an adequate theology of marriage. They are not only wrong, but blind to the evil of their teaching, They cannot see how this warped view of sexuality supports a biased view of male hierarchy, that is totally contrary to radical co-equality of community taught in the gospel of Jesus. The physicalist approach denies the power of human love, supports an erroneous distinction between divine love and human love, and finally supports the "power over" illusions of a male hierarchy.

I can tell horror stories of sabotaged marital relationships because of this pernicious RC teaching.

It the Vatican should be speaking at all about sex, it should be about how two thirds of the American bishops transferred these sexual predator priests to protect the chruch rather than protect our children, and how this could happen, but also HOW IT WILL BE PREVENTED IN THE FUTURE.

To issue a doctment like this after the widespread scandal is to ask the public to blame the TERRIBLE scandals on gay priests. It is an insult to a very large number of gay and celibate priests, both loyal and pastoral.

It is blind, ugly and mean. It demonstrates how far this RC hierarchy has traveled from the ethic of Jesus.

Paschal Baute
Priest and psychologist,
Professional AAMFT Marital and Family Therapist
for thirty years.