The Gift and Task of Sexuality for Catholics
A talk given by Fr. James McTavish, FMVD
A commentary by Therese Gonzalez
May 8, 2018, Discovery Camp, Montebello Hotel Cebu City
It was such a relief to have Fr James McTavish give this Talk on a topic that came out in some of the discussions in our School of the Word group. Here below are some of the points explored in this formation talk.
We needed to hear what he had to say about a video clip showing a Canadian News team reporting on children being taught in their public school that they could choose their own gender by the way they felt!
In other words, if a 5 yr old boy felt like he was a girl, then it was fine to consider himself a girl, could dress like a girl and change his private parts. The same views with the girls!
Fr James started with a quote from James 1:17 (coincidence 😊)
“Every good and perfect gift comes from heaven. It comes down from God, our Creator of the heavenly lights, who does not change or cause darkness by turning.”
What are the Catholic teachings on gender?
A. You are offending God as the Creator if you change your sex.
B. Gender is either male or female.
C. Gender has roles.
D. ‘Feelings’ do not determine nor do feelings define Gender ~ neither is gender dictated by society.
E. Sex change operations are considered an act of mutilation to the body.
So, our body’s sex determines whether we are male or female and not our sensuality. Are we living our sexuality to the fullest? How did we invest in this gift?
The issue of intersex was also discussed. Intersex has nothing to do with transgender issues.
Teaching children gender ideology will confuse the children. This is against the natural law of creation and will result in a disconnecion with the identity of being a man and a woman.
So how do we speak out against this dysphoria without being discriminatory?
How do we guide our children in today’s world, with Gender Identity Confusion issues of LGBT, two spirit, Gender-free or non-binary where babies are born and not registered in their birth certificate as either male or female?
An interesting comparison was on the one hand, a survey of Gender Identity Disorder in the US and the United Kingdom which showed that people in this category are in the 2% of the population. On the other hand, a survey done by Courage, a Catholic organization based in Manila: in the Philippines of 137 males and 220 females, 21% suffer from Gender confusion. Perhaps this high rate is partly due to our local television shows that have gender confused actors and actresses as main role characters and models.
One possible consequence of a lack of clear morality in the area of sexuality is that the numbers of HIV cases are increasing. The Department of Health in the Philippines came up with a comparative survey of HIV data in 2008 as having 1 case a day while in 2014, the cases increased to 17 cases a day. In 2017, the HIV cases have increased greatly to 35 cases a day with the vast majority (85%) due to males having sex with males.
More than leaving us with solutions to this problem, we were also left with many questions; especially what can we, Catholics, do to help others not only become more aware of this reality but also help our fellow Catholics live the gift of their sexuality as God’s gift.
We were also reminded of the call to chastity to all the baptised, stated in the Catechism of the Catholic church (CCC, no. 2348).
Also in CCC no. 2520, “A chaste person is not self centered nor is he/she involved in selfish relationships with people. Rather, he/she is called to govern one’s passions and live in peace. With God’s Grace he will prevail by the virtue of the gift of Chastity, by purity of intention, by purity of vision and by prayer. Be pure in your thoughts and keep disciplined in your feelings.”
Written by: Therese Gonzalez
With thanks to the WordNews team