Thursday, May 1, 2014

Catholic conversations about gender, celibacy and homosexuality

Marc, the "Bad Catholic," has a "TOB in a Nutshell" post on his blog, under the title "Sexuality and Personality." The post addresses some pretty fundamental issues (heck, you got that from the title, didn't you?) as well as the very current, very complicated questions that people have only started asking recently--for example, what does it mean that "male and female he created them" when we know someone who experiences life from a transgender perspective?  What would happen if we got rid of concepts like "man" and "woman"?

Here's a sample; go read the rest:
In an imaginary world of only women, there would be no women. For on what ground would “woman” take on any meaning, any demarcation of identity, besides (perhaps) a being who is not a plant, not a fish, and not a bicycle? So too, a man is only a man in any meaningful sense in his relation to women.

Today Huffington Post highlighted the appeal of a priest who wants a dispensation from his vow of celibacy; he doesn't want to leave the priesthood, though. He's hoping Pope Francis will let him have it both ways. The show host did not get all her facts straight (see how many erroneous statements you can spot!), but she did invite Byzantine Father Thomas Loya to speak about priestly celibacy. Which he proceeded to do with more clarity than the host knew what to do with. Note especially how Father Loya explains that the Byzantine liturgy requires periodic celibacy even of married priests: there is an "eschatological" (life-of-the-world-to-come) dimension to the Liturgy that celibacy expresses:

Then this past Sunday a half-hour documentary was released that is addressed in a special way to people who experience same-sex attraction. There will no doubt be many gay people who will be outraged by a film that claims that the Catholic Church has anything to offer them, but the people in the film (all have impeccable gay bona-fides) tell a different story. Watch it here, or go to the Blackstone page to see, share, comment. Gay or straight, seeing this movie could be a moment of grace for someone you love--or for you.

The Third Way from Blackstone Films on Vimeo.

Brandon Vogt interviews Father John Hollowell about The Third Way
Abbey Roads critiques the title and offers a helpful interpretation

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Michigan TOB Retreat April 26

In honor of the canonization of Pope John Paul II, author of the Theology of the Body, a TOB retreat day is scheduled for April 26 (vigil of the canonization) in Brighton, MI. Hope you can make it!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Online retreat to enrich your marriage

In time for St Valentine's Day, Karee Santos, over at Can We Cana? is offering a webinar-style online retreat for married couples. Register for one or both presentations.

Here's the scope:

I. Life-giving Unity: Becoming One with Your Spouse and Your Children  

The marital relationship is the bedrock of any family. Reignite your appreciation for your spouse, and let your renewed unity strengthen your relationship with your children as well. Learn how to communicate better, pray more together, and grow closer to God together.

Mid-day Session: Monday, Feb. 3, at 12:30-1:30 pm EST
Evening Session: Tuesday, Feb. 4, at 7:30-8:30 pm EST

II. Holy Stewards: Making the Most of Your Time and Your Money  

We all struggle to find enough time for work, family, and God. We might also sometimes let worries over money and professional advancement affect our marital relationship. Maintaining a good balance is difficult, but not impossible. Explore useful ways to make the most of what you have.

Mid-day Session:  Monday, Feb. 10, at 12:30-1:30 pm EST
Evening Session:  Tuesday, Feb. 11, at 7:30-8:30 pm EST

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

TOB course with Christopher West in Louisiana

April 27 - May 2, 2014
Taught by
Christopher West
 Rosaryville Spirit Life Center
Ponchatoula, Louisiana

Blessed John Paul II's Theology of the Body is not only intellectually stimulating. The truths it proclaims are life-changing, especially for those wounded by the lies of our sexually-charged culture. 
Paul and CW 
This "Head and Heart" Immersion Course offers rigorous academic study and seeks to facilitate personal integration of the material, helping students journey from "head to heart." 

The Theology of the Body Institute is pleased to offer this one-of-a-kind course in conjunction with the Institute for Priestly Formation and Creighton University. 

Learn more about the Theology of the Body Head and Heart Immersion Course on the TOB Institute's website; register online for the TOB course here.

A note from Sister Anne: I participated in the Theology of the Body Head and Heart Course (part 1) a year and a half ago. It offered a great overview of the whole of Pope John Paul's text, but blended--this is the "immersion" part--with life applications (especially for those called to married life) and connection to prayer, music and art. I highly recommend the program!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Theology of the Body…now in Chinese!

Thanks to the persevering efforts of the Catholic Truth Society in China:

Saturday, December 21, 2013

What the Duck Dynasty guy doesn't know could hurt us all

Migrated over from Nunblog, with slight modifiations:

You might be surprised to hear this, but until all the brouhaha about cable network A&E and Duck Dynasty, I had no idea who Phil Robertson might be. Indeed, all I knew about Duck Dynasty was from seeing the spin-off merchandise in the novelty aisles at the local Walgreens. Now all of a sudden the bearded patriarch is being held up as a paragon of plain-speaking biblical wisdom.

Except I'm not buying it.  I have no doubt that Mr. Robertson is a sincere and virtuous man, butI am afraid that the more Robertson is defended in social media as an upholder of marriage, the more the cause of natural marriage will suffer in the long run. The articles I have read on the matter quote very little of Mr. Robertson, but what is there is incredibly coarse and unreflective. There is little "biblical" to it.

As much as Catholics all the way to Pope Francis believe that complementarity is essential to marriage as such, we really can't put an "Amen" to what the White's Ferry Road Church of Christ elder said about it. Yet the more Mr. Robertson's cause is pleaded, the more he becomes established in the cultural imagination as the mouthpiece and representative of all those who stand up for the integrity of natural marriage.

Is this what we are hoping for? A reduction of the spouses themselves to their reproductive organs?  A raw, physical (not personalist) caricature of complementarity, divorced from its essential, life-giving fruitfulness and the very nature of the family built on marriage as the primary cell of society? Heaven forbid!

Somebody, quick! Invite my fellow Louisianan Mr. Robertson to the Theology of the Body program!  As a Church elder, he should really appreciate the rich, nuanced, infinitely complex biblical vision of man and woman that Pope John Paul spent so many years developing. As the now de-facto media spokesperson for natural marriage, he really needs it.

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Here's a reflection from Audrey Assad on Phil Robertson and the Theology of the Body; Audrey offers  the same point as I (in a much more elegant and comprehensive way).

For a do-it-yourself overview of the Theology of the Body, watch Discover Theology of the Body.