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Truth & Love in the media

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 ...

The virginal meaning of the body

This is the ninth of a series of posts outlining St. John Paul’s thought on embodiment and sexuality. For the previous post in this series, go here.  Having outlined the meaning of the human body and sexuality from ‘the beginning’ in the state of original innocence, and also for ‘historical’ man fallen but redeemed, there yet remains one final perspective to explore so as to complete our outline understanding of the significance of the human body: that is, the resurrection of the body. St. John Paul II calls this the ‘third component of the triptych of Christ’s own statements, the triptych of words that are essential and constitutive for the theology of the body.’ (See Theology of the Body, 64:1) Exploring the meaning of the body from the perspective of the resurrection of the body is important towards understanding the full meaningfulness of the human body, precisely since there is ...

The redemption of the body 

This is the eighth article in a series outlining St. John Paul II’s thought on human embodiment and sexuality. You can read the seventh installment here. In his consideration of the redemption of the body St. John Paul again takes the words of Christ from the Gospel of Matthew as his point of departure: ‘You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you: Whoever looks at a woman to desire her has already committed adultery with her in his heart’ (Mt. 5:27). Though the words of Christ here reported are serious and severe, and might even appear as an accusatory rebuke, as well as a negative evaluation of the body and sexuality, St. John Paul II rather reads in them a resounding call to rise above sexual sinfulness and realise the proper greatness of sexual love. While the words initially represent simply a confirmation of the commandment, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ they also forcefully represent a clear appeal to the human person to fulfil the commandment against adultery not only superficially but also in the innermost depth of the heart. Christ points us into the interior depth because it is ultimately in the heart that human behaviour is determined and from the heart—as the source of desires both good ...