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All for the Kingdom

This is the tenth of a series of blog posts outlining St. John Paul’s thought on embodiment and sexuality. For the previous post in this series, go here.  In a foundational way, the theology of the body is ordered towards properly understanding the vocation of marriage and the family. In exploring the meaning of the human body and sexuality from a theological perspective, we are given the best vantage point from which to appreciate the truth and goodness of marriage and family. Yet, the theology of the body is also about the vocation of celibacy. In a similarly foundational way, the theology of the body aids us in understanding the voluntary acceptance of continence, precisely since taking a theological perspective upon the body and sexuality also has profound significance for appreciating the choice of celibacy. This further meaningfulness of the body, St. John Paul explores in the second part of the ...

“Male and Female He Created Them”: The Vatican’s document on gender theory and education

A new Vatican document offers a response to the “educational crisis” which has arisen as a result of the growing influence of “gender theory”, and outlines an approach to dialogue that is rooted in Catholic anthropology and pastoral concern.  Titled “Male and female he created them”: Towards a path of dialogue on the question of gender theory in education, the June 10  document, written by the Congregation for Catholic Education, is divided into three sections: Listening, Reasoning, and Proposing.   Pope Francis’ writings on gender theory are extensively cited in the document, as are the writings of Benedict XVI and Pope Saint John Paul II, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and the Second Vatican Council.  I\'ve chosen here to highlight, without comment, a few of the documents key passages which warrant further reflection and study:  “The Christian vision of anthropology sees sexuality as a fundamental component of one’s personhood. It is one of its ...

Closet, cage, or Cross? A response to the New York Times

It has been one of the great privileges of my priesthood to work with the members of the Courage apostolate, faithful Catholics who experience same-sex attractions and have decided to live chaste lives. I have encountered an unexpected joy in this work that has had a profound impact on my life and ministry: namely, the opportunity to support brother priests who experience same-sex attractions. Their commitment to understanding themselves and their vocations better, as they strive for that “successful integration of sexuality” and “inner unity” that defines the virtue of chastity (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2337), has been an inspiration for me and a challenge to live my own priestly commitments more authentically. It is often not easy for a priest, who has been formed to be generous in providing pastoral care, to ask for support and care in his own moments of need. The love that parishioners show ...