Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Sexuality and the Catholic Church

If there is one topic that traditional Catholics fear it is anything dealing with human sexuality. The Vatican offers only one solution to avoid this sin – celibacy! Sex is bad! For centuries the Church has taught that "Pleasure during intercourse is the carrier of original sin" (St. Augustine c.354-430). "Virginity belongs to paradise - marriage began after the fall" (St. Jerome c.347-420). "Every form of sex not directly open to conception is sinful and the use of contraceptives, masturbation and homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered" (Catechism of the Catholic Church). How can the Church define human sexuality as understood by St. Augustine centuries ago in the face of modern science and psychology?

More recently an article in a conservative Catholic newspaper dealing with sexuality found it necessary to condemn victims of transsexuality. Here follows the article in its entirety as it appeared in the Catholic Register

The following day I challenged The Catholic Civil Rights League as follows:

Several days later this amazingly non judgmental and courageous response was posted under the Catholic Register website by Denise Holliday

I am a 63yr old female that was born male. I am married and have two children alive and a son who died in an accident. I recall issues at age 4, my mother admitted I had issues actually at age 3. It has taken a long time for the world to catch up but I assure you that one or two struggling people do not define a nation or a segment of a nation.

We are estimated to be two in a thousand and most are indefinable as trans. Some are more masculine due to struggling to meet your idea of normal. There are as many if not more regular females who have similar issues. Trans females just wish to use the bathroom and go on their way. They try to be quiet and unobtrusive for the most part and despite fears, I have yet to hear of a transwoman attacking children in or out of washrooms. We go through hell and over two years of counselling. If lucky we can be who we are if we can find $ 20,000 plus. Many are too poor to get that far, 50% attempt suicide. For the record, I am still married and was married in a Catholic church 40 years ago.

I wish the Lords blessing for you all.

"Some serious research is needed before making judgments.

Opinions provided by medical experts dealing with transsexuals directly contradict the Catholic Civil Rights League’s recent position on this most sensitive issue. Professional opinions which appeared on the CBC Fifth Estate program 'Becoming Ayden' aired on October 2004 illustrate this point very clearly.

The medical experts featured on this program leave little doubt about nature or unknown cause behind this unfortunate condition. In addition to the mental stress that these people suffer the Catholic Civil Rights League and several others are now prepared to marginalize these victims even further by condemning and demeaning transsexuals as being somewhat lesser human beings. By throwing their weight behind the misinformed and baseless fears expressed by Catholic sponsored groups such as Campaign Life Coalition and REAL WOMEN, the Catholic Civil Rights League has fallen into a trap spreading further pain and suffering upon transsexuals. No one chooses to become a transsexual! The Catholic Civil Rights League should be prepared to explain precisely how religious freedom and freedom of expression are endangered by transsexuals!

The unjust fear mongering by the League and others should remind Catholics worldwide what Jesus taught about ‘unclean’ persons. The cleanliness laws during the time of Jesus were especially strict, calling for the afflicted person to remain outside the community of God’s people. Any physical or moral blemish, including menstruation or touching a dead body could render a person ‘unclean’. Jesus went out of his way to touch and to allow himself to be touched by the ‘unclean’.

In the meantime the senseless arguments against transsexuals are reminiscent of the witch hunts during the 15th. and 16th. centuries. Shame on those who call for discrimination against an innocent minority whom some consider ‘unclean’. Shame on the Catholic Civil Rights League for denying the basic human rights they claim to support. No one chooses to become a transsexual!"


The Catholic Register – by Deborah Gyapong, Canadian Catholic News

REAL Women national vice-president Gwen Landolt and Jim Hughes of Campaign Life Coalition are among those speaking out against Bill C-389 that would expand rights for transgendered and transsexuals.

OTTAWA - Pro-family groups are raising alarms about a bill before Parliament that would give expanded rights to transgendered and transsexuals. They argue it could expose businesses, schools and religious groups to a host of new human rights complaints that trample on their religious freedom and freedom of expression.
“Our government has come one step closer to passing the ultra-radical, private members’ Bill C-389,” warned Campaign Life Coalition Nov. 5 shortly after NDP MP Bill Siksay’s bill passed through the Justice Committee by a 9-2 vote. “If passed, it would add ‘gender identity’ and ‘gender expression’ as a protected class within the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code.”
The bill comes up for a vote on Dec. 2, and socially conservative groups have asked members to contact their MPs to oppose it.

Creating these new rights “will result in male cross-dressers and drag queens having the legal right to use girls’ bathrooms,” Campaign Life warned, noting the bill would also protect transgendered persons who believe “one can be a man on the outside but a woman on the inside or vice versa.”  “It’s absolutely crazy,” said Campaign Life president Jim Hughes. “It’s an opening of a Pandora’s Box to every kind of misconceived perceived right.”

Siksay has argued that the bathroom fear is a “red herring” because use could be handled appropriately. He has argued in the House of Commons about the real discrimination and even violence transgendered and transsexual individuals face.

Hughes admitted he was shocked at how rapidly this bill has rocketed through the House.  “I thought this was a bit of a joke at first,” he said. “We’re going to be in a real mess in this country if we continue to allow this to happen.”

REAL Women of Canada national vice-president Gwen Landolt raised alarms over the bill when it passed second reading in June only weeks after it was introduced. She said people who think they are transgendered need counselling not surgery.

The Catholic Civil Rights League has also flagged this bill to its members. “Of real concern is that many aspects of gender identity issues contain a strong element of self-definition,” said executive director Joanne McGarry in a Nov. 15 statement. She pointed out gender identity questions are listed as a psychological disorder.

“To protect by law a quality that the law does not even define could have serious implications for employers in their hiring and assignment decisions,” McGarry said. “People who believe they have faced discrimination on ‘gender expression’ grounds could file human rights claims. “This system is already misused by those who believe the issue was discrimination when it wasn’t; to complicate it by opening the process to more subjective grounds isn’t in anyone’s best interest.” She said.

Even without the bill, complainants are using present human rights legislation as if these grounds are already included. A man who had not undergone sex change surgery launched a complaint against the owner of an all-women’s gym when he refused the man membership. Two transgendered “women” sued a plastic surgeon for refusing to do cosmetic surgery on their reconstructed female parts. And a transgendered “woman” complained of discrimination against a rape crisis centre when “she” was refused a job as a counsellor.

Hughes worries about the implications for education if gender identity and expression are added to the law and schools begin to teach children from a young age that it is normal to think you are trapped in the body of the opposite sex. He said some psychologists have said sometimes there is a transient sense of this in young people that goes away if the young person is properly guided.

Landolt has warned of the dangers both to religious freedom and freedom of expression should this bill become law and Catholic teaching on this issue becomes subject to hate complaints.

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