Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Catholic Sexuality: Not So Taboo

During the month of August, I'm going to tackle five major Catholic sexuality topics, because I am intrigued that the Catholic Church is accused of being both repressive and obsessed with sex. We sure are a hard crowd to please, aren't we? This will not be a Bright Maidens post series, but if you'd like to join in, let me know.

A few more things: these posts will be every Wednesday of August. Whenever I say Church, I mean the Roman Catholic Church, but certainly am not excluding the whole of Christendom. All Christians are called to a higher standard of living, and I do not think a Catholic perspective ostracizes other faith traditions and their beliefs on such subjects.

Topic 1, August 3
Why the Church does not (really) have a sexuality "Do" and "Don't" list

Topic 2, August 10
Separation of Church and Sex?

Topic 3, August 17
Why and How NFP is not contraception

Topic 4, August 24
Theology of the Body: 129 lectures in Sexual Realities 101

Topic 5, August 31 
What I've learned about sex by not having it

I've had a lot of conversations with people on this (cough, E and T), but I'd like to specifically credit a TBM contributor, Ciska, for piquing my interest. A recent convert to Catholicism, Ciska's TBM post on modesty brought up some good points:
Another red herring in the Catholic church (and just as common in the evangelical church) is sex. Every sexual sin seems to be ten times worse than other sins. There’s so much emphasis on it that it’s ridiculous. People feel much guiltier about masturbation than about lying to their boss. Just stop and think about it for a second. That’s crazy. Dressing modestly, or rather, immodestly, is tightly interwoven with this. The only reason it’s this important is because everything sexual is still very much a taboo in the Catholic world. Why do you think the only aspects of sex that are actually discussed are NFP or sexual sins? It’s clear that there’s much more than those two extremes, but no one talks about that. It’s taboo.
Taboo you say? Sexual sins seem to be 10 times worse than other sins? I think there's an opposing case to be made. As my sister and Barney Stinson would say, Challenge accepted. Stay tuned, y'all!

This exciting series announcement aside, today is fantastic because it is my parents' wedding anniversary! 26 years and 6 kids later, they're still lookin' good:

At Muff's play last weekend
Today is also the feast of Saints Peter and Paul:

"And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (Matthew 16:18-19)

"The Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it." (2 Timothy 4:17)

Paul and Peter, before they formed the singing folk trio with Mary
Saint Peter, Saint Paul - pray for us!

Happy Wednesday folks!


  1. I'm glad you're going to cover the NFP/contraception question, since I am perpetually perplexed. :)

  2. I am excited about this! I want to participate in at least a few of these!

  3. Hooray! I am very excited for this series! :) Happy Feast of Saints Peter and Paul!

  4. I agreeee- totally looking forward to reading what you have to say!

    The caption on Paul and Peter preeettty much made my day.

  5. Looks good. Just like to note, though, that there's an Eastern Orthodox saying: "Heresy begins below the belt." It's not so much that sexual sins are — OOOPS! Better save it for my own post! :^)=)

  6. I'm so looking forward to this series!

  7. Really glad you're going to do this! When I was doing my coursework at the Seminary, one of the classes I took was on Human Sexuality (obviously from a Catholic moral theology perspective). Everything made perfect sense to me. I always say: if only people who criticize Catholic Church's stance on sexuality would actually read some of the Church documents!

  8. Challenge? This sounds interesting, looking forward to your responses.

  9. Looking forward to your posts, Julie! :) -Gwen

  10. Anyone who gets "excited" by this should find a dark room now! Julie, two things before you begin. First, there is no such thing as a venial sin of impurity, so it is more serious, not 10 times but potentially infinitely more serious. Second, remember that Our Lady at Fatima said that more souls are lost through impurity than through any other sin.

  11. Hey, Julie. I'm also excited about this new series. Especially the NFP talk.
    Does any other single catholic woman finds charting fascinating, or is it just me?