My Sex Positive Doctrine


Have you ever wondered about the term, sex positive?

If you’re like me you see it all over the place, especially on sex-related sites. I confess I use it way more often than I should. It’s become one of those industry buzzwords that has, over time, become so fuzzy around the edges that it’s now virtually meaningless. In fact, if the truth be known, I believe the term sex positive has been taken over by the sex Taliban who have made it a cover for their strict code of political correctness. Oddly enough, this is the very antithesis of its original meaning.

sex-on-the-brainIf you want to shame someone in the sex field—be it a sex worker, blogger or adult product manufacturer—you label that person as sex-negative. You may not know anything about that person other than you were offended by something they did, said or made. But still, you hurl the epithet as if you were exorcising a heretic. This is a very powerful tool for keeping people in my industry in line. But I’ve begun to wonder, who is setting themselves up as the arbiter of what is and what is not sex positive? I have to ask: What is the agenda? I mean, could compulsory ideological purity of some artificial standards of thought or behavior be “positive” anything? I say, no!

Like all good ideas that have gone bad due to overuse—or worse, sloppy use—the sex positive concept once had meaning that was life-affirming and enriching. Sex positive has been in the lexicon at least since the mid-1950s. It frequently appears in journals and research papers to describe a movement that examines and advocates for all the other beneficial aspects of sex beyond reproduction.

I’ve been using the term since 1981 when I opened my practice in Clinical Sexology and Sexual Health Care. The opening words of my mission statement read: “I affirm the fundamental goodness of sexuality in human life, both as a personal need and as an interpersonal bond.” Way back then, I was flush with my quixotic pursuit to stand steadfast against all the cultural pressures to negate or denigrate sexuality and pleasure. I dedicated myself to spreading the gospel that healthy attitudes toward sex not only affect a person’s sex life, but his/her ability to relate well with others.

This came relatively easy for me, because I’d learned something very important about evangelization in my life as a Catholic priest. (Another quixotic pursuit, but we’ll have to save the details of that misadventure for another time.) One of the first things one learns in seminary is how to proselytize, to sow the seeds of a creed, and then nurture them taking root by endless repetition of the articles of faith. Of course there is a downside to this, too. Repetition fosters mindlessness, stifles creative thought, and worse makes things boring.Negative-Positive

But the creed statements of the world’s three great monotheistic religions are masterful works of theological art.

  • Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu Melekh ha’olam!
  • Allaahu Akbar!
  • In the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit!

Each contains the most profound kernel of religious truth the believer needs to know, but all are easy enough for a child to learn. And like I said, the secret is in the repetition. For the true devotee, these creedal statements are uttered dozens of times a day and to great effect.

Early on in my career as a sexologist, I decided to put the principles I learned in the Church into disseminating my new belief system. First, keep the message simple! I settled on: “Sex is Good—and Good Sex is Even Better.” This has been my mantra for decades. It contains everything you need to know about being sex positive, but it’s easy enough for a child to learn. Even now it soothes me to hear myself say these words. And it comforts me in the same way blessing myself did in my priestly days.

sex positiveDespite my apprehensions, I continue to be an apostle of the sex positive doctrine. I know that even though my industry has corrupted the concept, others have yet to hear the good news. And there’s something almost spiritual about seeing someone grasp the idea for the first time. Let me tell you about one such instance. Some time ago I was asked to address a group of doctors on the topic Health Care Concerns Of Sexually Diverse Populations. Unfortunately, just a handful of doctors attended the workshop—which was pretty disconcerting, considering all the work I’d put into the presentation. I guess that’s why kinksters and pervs, as well as your run-of-the-mill queer folk, are often frustrated in their search for sensitive and lifestyle-attuned healing and helping professionals.

Since the group of doctors attending was so small, I decided to ask them to pull their chairs in a circle so that our time together could be a bit more informal and intimate. Frankly, I’ve never found it easy talking to doctors about sex; and discussing kinky sex was surely going to be very tricky. So, I decided to start off as gently as I could. My opening remarks included the phrases “sex positive” and “kink positive.”

Sitting as close to my audience as I was, I could see at once that these fundamental concepts weren’t registering with them. I was astonished. Here was a group of physicians, each with a large urban practice. Could they really be this out of touch? I quickly checked in with them to see if my perception was correct. I was right! None of them had heard the term, sex positive. The two who hazarded a guess at its meaning thought it had something to do with being HIV+. I had my work cut out for me.

I decided to share my creed with them. “Sex is Good—and Good Sex is Even Better.” I asked them repeat it with me as if I were teaching a catechism to children. Surprisingly, they did so without resistance. After we repeated the mantra a couple more times, I exposed them to the sex positive doctrine unencumbered by political correctness.

  • Sex Is Good! Sex is a positive force in human development; the pursuit of pleasure, including sexual pleasure, is at the very foundation of a harmonious society.
  • And Good Sex Is Even Better! The individual makes that determination. For example, what I decide is good sex for me, may be boring sex to someone else. And their good sex may be hair-raising to me. In other words, consensual sexual expression is a basic human right regardless of the form that expression takes. And it’s not appropriate for me, or anyone else, to call into question someone else’s consensual affectional choices.
  • Sex Is Good! Everyone has a right to clear, unambiguous sexual health information. It must be presented in a nonjudgmental way, particularly from his or her health care providers. And sexual health encompasses a lot more then just disease prevention, and contraception.
  • And Good Sex Is Even Better! The focus is on the affirmative aspects of sexuality, like sexual pleasure. Sexual wellbeing is more than simply being able to perform. It also means taking responsibility for one’s eroticism as an integral part of one’s personality and involvement with others.
  • Sex Is Good! Each person is unique and that must be respected. Our aim as healing and helping professionals is to provide information and guidance that will help the individual approach his/her unique sexuality in a realistic and responsible manner. This will foster his/her independent growth, personal integrity, as well as provide a more joyful experience of living.
  • And Good Sex Is Even Better! Between the extremes of total sexual repression and relentless sexual pursuit, a person can find that unique place, where he/she is free to live a life of self-respect, enjoyment and love.

Finally I told them they ought to think creatively how they could adapt this concept to their own practice. It was up to each of them to make this creed their own. As it turned out, this primer was just the thing to open my planned discussion of health care for kinksters.

In a way this experience was a bit of a spiritual reawakening for me, too. Despite my misgivings about the contamination of the sex positive doctrine by malicious people bent on using it as a weapon against those they disagree with. I can’t tell you how refreshing it was to watch these sex positive novices hear, and then embrace, the message for the first time. It was nothing short of a religious experience.


‘Hippie ex-priest’ put ‘Spotlight’ on sexual abuse

Richard Sipe’s studies of celibacy helped uncover the Catholic Church’s scandal

By Peter Rowe

Richard Sipes

Richard Sipes, a former priest and monk, is an expert on the sexual abuse of minors by clergy.

In the new movie “Spotlight,” a character describes Richard Sipe as a “hippie ex-priest shacking up with some nun.”

When the real Sipe heard this line, he laughed. The 82-year-old La Jollan is often called worse: Traitor.

Sipe never appears on screen in “Spotlight,” a dramatization of the Boston Globe’s 2001-02 investigation of the Catholic Church covering up the crimes of pedophile priests. Yet his insights, formed after decades of research on priests, permeate the film.

A psychotherapist who treated troubled clergy, Sipe drew on about 500 case files for his 1990 study of celibacy, “A Secret World.” Another 500 priests were also interviewed, plus an equal number of lay people who had been sex partners — as adults or children, willing or unwilling — of Catholic clergy.

His conclusions: At any one time, no more than half of priests are practicing celibacy. Most of the others are engaged in sexual relationships with women or men, but Sipe found that 6 percent prey on minors. (After further research, he revised that figure to 6 percent to 9 percent.)

A scholarly work from a small publishing house — New York’s Brunner/Mazel — “Secret World” nonetheless rocked a 2,000-year-old global institution.

“This is very important and has to be published,” an abbot told Sipe after reading the manuscript. “But it’s a good thing the church no longer castrates or burns at the stake, or you would be in trouble.”

While he escaped execution, Sipe has been verbally flogged for 25 years. TheMediaReport.com, a website decrying “media bias in coverage of sex abuse in the Catholic Church,” calls Sipe “an angry ex-priest” who uses “the issue of clergy sex abuse as a means to advance his attack on the Catholic Church, especially its teachings regarding human sexuality.”

Victims of sexual abuse, though, praise the man and his work.

“He’s an absolute hero,” said David Clohessy, executive director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). “He’s just a very wise and compassionate man who has made an enormous contribution to understanding and exposing this crisis.”

In his office at home, the walls are covered with reproductions of murals depicting the Last Judgment. A computer dominates one desk, a sculpted nude female torso another. In his lair, Sipe looks neither angelic nor demonic. He looks frail — a walker waits by his chair, thanks to old skiing injuries — yet joyful.

“I don’t have any regrets about what I went through,” he said. “I couldn’t have accomplished any of this without being a monk and a priest.”

‘What it’s about’

Sipe grew up in Minnesota, part of a large Catholic family. He remembers his parents as faithful, not fanatical. It was his idea, not theirs, for the naive ninth-grader to enter a Benedictine seminary.

“I was one of 10 kids,” he said. “You had to stand out in some way!”

He was allowed to date through high school, and 70 years later can still rattle off the names of girlfriends. His monastic preparations continued, though, through college. He became a Benedictine monk in 1953 and a priest in that order in 1959, vowing obedience, poverty and chastity.

That last vow didn’t worry him, Sipe said, thanks to his ignorance. “You don’t know what it’s about, what sex is about, what an adult sexual relationship is or what it’s like to fall in love.”

While studying psychiatry and religion in Rome, he grew fascinated by the question of why some priests — such as the Very Rev. Ulric Beste, a Vatican official and a mentor — remained celibate and others did not.

He continued his studies at St. John’s University Mental Health Institute in Minnesota and as a fellow at the Menninger Foundation. At Maryland’s Seton Psychiatric Institute, a hospital where struggling priests were sent for treatment, he collected data on the sexual lives of his patients.

In 1966, Margaret Mead toured Seton. The anthropologist encouraged the priest to study this matter in a dispassionate manner. To this day, Sipe doesn’t refer to errant priests as “pedophiles.”

“I say they are priests who have sex with minors,” he said.

Sipe’s tone, especially in “Secret World” and a 2003 sequel, “Celibacy in Crisis,” is free of outrage and judgment. Some victims are disturbed by this clinical approach, but not SNAP’s executive director.

“There’s just way too much blaming and shaming and anger by people from all sides in this crisis,” Clohessy said. “Richard does a superb job of focusing on behavior and not beliefs, on facts and not theories.”

He’s also more than a scholar. As a fellow priest, he understood his peers’ struggles.

“I was part of the culture,” he said. “And I was a data keeper.”

That data would help direct the Boston Globe’s investigation, which inspired similar probes. As the church’s sex scandal erupted around the world, it seemed that no diocese was free of predatory priests — including San Diego.

Persona non grata

In his 30s, Father Sipe fell into a severe depression. In therapy, he came to the conclusion that he could no longer serve as a priest. In 1970, he was granted dispensation from his priestly vows.

Soon after, he married Marianne Benkert, a former nun and psychiatrist who had worked at Baltimore’s Loyola University. He opened a private practice, taught, wrote and devoted himself to his new role as husband.

Soon, he was a father. Walter Sipe, the couple’s son, graduated from Harvard and enrolled in the UC San Diego School of Medicine. His parents bought a La Jolla home in 1996, where their son took up residence. Three years later, after he graduated, his parents moved in.

Sipe was in La Jolla when the Globe learned of his research. In October 2001, he and Marianne flew to Boston to meet with the journalists. After the Spotlight team’s first stories on sexual abuse by clergy appeared in 2002, Sipe was contacted by media from around the world.

He’s still sought as a source and an expert witness. To date, he’s testified in about 250 cases brought against Roman Catholic priests accused of rape and other sexual crimes. He’s also been invited to speak on college campuses, in public forums, in conferences addressing this crisis.

One place he hasn’t been invited: The offices of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego.

“I’ve been blackballed,” Sipe said. “Bishop Robert Brom sent his chancellor here to say I was not welcome in the chancery. If I came, it would only be in the presence of a lawyer.”

In San Diego, so many victims came forward that the diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February 2007. Later that year, the church agreed to pay $198.1 million to 144 victims. The diocese’s bankruptcy petition would be terminated in January 2014.

The diocese, Robert McElroy said when he was named San Diego’s bishop this March, had to do a better job of preventing these crimes.

“We can never relax on that issue,” McElroy said then. “We can never think we have done enough to have put that in the past.”

This week, the diocese declined several Union-Tribune requests to outline steps it has taken to prevent a recurrence.

In the long run

These crimes are not committed only by Catholic clergy, a truth that was underscored last week by two news stories. Former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle was sentenced to prison for possessing child pornography and having intercourse with two minors; and the Associated Press reported that military prisons contain more sexual abusers of children than any other type of offender.

Next year, Sipe himself will testify in child sex abuse cases involving two non-Catholic religious leaders.

Yet he is convinced that the crisis in the Catholic Church is unique, and rooted in that institution’s attitudes toward sex and gender. While he welcomes the new tone set by Pope Francis, he doesn’t expect any rapid changes.

“I think there is something starting,” he said. “But the real change will not come until the church allows optional celibacy and the ordination of women.

“And these changes will cause more problems, and then more changes. This is an evolutionary process.”

Change is constant, even in an institution that seems to move at a glacial pace. Those images of the Last Judgment on the walls of Sipe’s study? One is a reproduction of an 11th-century work, showing a welcoming Christ in a vast paradise. Hell is almost an afterthought, shunted to a small corner of the canvas.

“Now look at Michelangelo,” Sipe said, gesturing to the framed poster of the 16th-century painting on the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling. Half of this masterwork is devoted to souls being hurled into damnation.

Sipe laughed. “That says it all.”

Years ago, Sipe stopped attending weekly Mass. He’s not a member of any parish and doesn’t regularly partake of the sacraments. But ask if he’s given up on the faith of his childhood, and he smiles.

“My view of being a Catholic is that I am a Catholic in the long run of things,” said the former priest and ex-monk. “I am a part of the change.”

Complete Article HERE!


U.S. Catholic bishops take aim against same-sex marriage

U.S. Roman Catholic bishops, at their first assembly since gay marriage became legal nationwide, vowed Monday to uphold marriage as only the union of a man and a woman and to seek legal protections for those who share that view.

Some bishops said they were committed to reversing the U.S. Supreme Court same-sex marriage ruling last June. Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, said a concerted effort was needed to “build a consensus” to do so. As a model, he pointed to new state laws that have made it harder to obtain an abortion, even as the procedure remains legal nationwide.

“I don’t think because five Supreme Court justices changed the public policy on such a fundamental issue that we should just accept it. I think we have to be as strong as we have on the pro-life issue,” Naumann said at the gathering of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore.

Bishop Robert Baker

Bishop Robert Baker

Bishop Robert Baker of Birmingham, Alabama, said the bishops should join other religious groups in working to protect government workers who refuse to participate in same-sex weddings. The bishops have not said specifically what kind of conscience protections they support for civil authorities.

“I hope we will not back away from that advocacy,” Baker said.

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, president of the bishops’ conference, highlighted the bishops push for religious exemptions for charities, schools and individual for-profit business owners who oppose gay marriage and other laws and regulations.

Dozens of U.S. dioceses and Catholic nonprofits are suing the Obama administration over the birth control coverage requirement in the Affordable Care Act. President Barack Obama created an accommodation that requires insurers to provide the coverage in place of objecting religious nonprofits. The bishops and other faith groups said the change did not go far enough. The Supreme Court recently announced it was taking up lawsuits challenging the accommodation, with arguments scheduled in March.

Archbishop Kurtz

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz

“What a great tragedy it will be if our ministries are slowly secularized or driven out of the public square because of short-sighted laws or regulations that limit our ability to witness and serve consistent with our faith,” said Kurtz, of Louisville, Ky.

The bishops’ meeting came just days after the Islamic extremists attacked Paris. U.S. bishops said they were praying for victims of the violence and renewed their commitment to resettling Syrian refugees, as some U.S. governors threatened to stop accepting them. American dioceses have a vast network of charities that help resettle refugees.

Still, religious liberty and marriage were the focus of the gathering Monday, the first of two days of public sessions. Among the issues they discussed was how they should include children of gay parents in church life. Last week, the Mormon church sparked a backlash with new, strict limits on participation in church rites by children with same-sex married parents.

The bishops’ conference also heard an address from Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the Vatican’s U.S. ambassador who was behind Francis’ controversial meeting with Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who briefly went to jail rather than comply with a court order to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

Archbishop Carlo Maria ViganoVigano had invited Davis to be among those greeting the pope in the Vatican embassy in Washington last September during Francis’ visit to the country. Her lawyer caused an uproar when he announced the meeting soon after Francis returned to Rome, describing it as a papal affirmation of Davis’ approach to conscientious objection. The Vatican insisted the meeting was not an endorsement and said she was one of several dozen people who had greeted Francis. The U.S. bishops’ conference has never commented on the meeting.

In his speech Monday, Vigano urged the bishops to persevere in working to “preserve a moral order in society” and said they should not “fall prey” to “secularized and increasingly pagan” practices in broader society. He said Catholic colleges and universities, specifically those founded by Jesuits, should do more to shore up Catholic identity at the schools.

The ambassador received two standing ovations from the bishops. He turns 75 in January, the age when bishops are required to submit their resignations to the pope.

Complete Article HERE!


Jesus ‘2 Dads’ Sign Causes Outrage: Reverend Says It Wasn’t Meant To Support Same-Sex Marriage

A “Jesus 2 dads” sign has rocked a Catholic Church in Buffalo, New York, after the Reverend, who had it placed on the church’s street sign, mistook it for a sign of encouragement to children from stepfamilies.

“Jesus had 2 dads, and he turned out just fine,” the sign read (see image below from Yahoo! Parenting.)

jesus had two dads

Reverend Roy Herberger of the St. Columba-Brigid Roman Catholic Church confessed to Yahoo! Parenting that he had no idea he was using a sign that in reality supports same-sex marriage.

The 73-year-old reverend said he got the “Jesus 2 dads” sign idea from a Google search for “funny street signs” and that, once he learned the true meaning, he could “see why people are upset.”

“I only had one purpose,” Herberger continued. “After 48 years in the church, I see so many kids with stepparents, or even in single-family homes or being raised by grandparents, who feel that they’re not as good as other kids who have a nuclear mother-and-father family. I’ve seen what that does sometimes when they’re comparing themselves to that nuclear family and I wanted to say, ‘Hang in there. You’re good. Things will work out for you.’ I wanted to provide support and understanding for kids in that situation.”

Herberger also insisted that he was not trying to cause problems, and that he had “no trouble” taking the sign down once it had come to his attention.Reverend Roy Herberger

One look at the church’s guestbook page online, however, shows that some Christians aren’t so quick to forgive, and at least one doubts that Herberger is giving a truthful explanation behind his intent.

“That billboard was set up with both meanings in mind,” said a commenter going by the name of Jason, who added that it’s bad enough the Church “is attacked by the evil, secular gay mafia on a daily basis,” but that it’s even worse when there are “priests within the Catholic Church implicitly supporting it!”

“There is no room in the priesthood for anyone, including bishops, cardinals, and even the pope, that in any way support or promote sodomy,” Jason continued.

Some of his detractors have suggested that he may have known what he was doing, pointing to an emotional interview that Herberger shared over the closure of St. Ann’s church in Buffalo three years ago.

According to the YouTube video notes, Herberger spoke out against the sudden closure, claiming that the closure process “mistreats people.”

In 2011, the church appealed to the Vatican to avoid Kmiec’s decree that St. Ann merge with nearby St. Columba and Brigid Parish.

You can view the video below and decide for yourself whether this is the makings of a rogue parishioner.

On another note for Herberger, it appears that some of the more negative comments are starting to dissipate as supporters chime in, applauding him for his message of inclusion for any children, who come from less traditional households.

As for the origins of the “Jesus 2 dads” sign, the reference is that Jesus was the earthly son of Joseph, but that he was spiritually conceived in a virgin birth to Mother Mary, making God his true Father.

The “Jesus 2 dads” sign itself has origins within growing sects of Christianity that are opening up more to support of same-sex marriage.

If you search “Jesus 2 dads” on Google Image, you will find signs from more than one denomination — mainly Methodist and Anglican.

Catholicism has never been accepting of homosexuality, though, so it was quite the eye-opener when this message appeared in front of Herberger’s congregation.

What do you think of the “Jesus 2 dads” controversy, readers — justified or overblown? And did Herberger secretly know what he was doing? Sound off in the comments section.

Complete Article HERE!


Prominent Dominican publishes book claiming Thomas Aquinas said homosexuality is ‘natural’

By Jeanne Smits


Rev. Oliva’s (pictured) book was published by the historic Dominican publishing house, called Cerf.


A Dominican friar, Fr. Adriano Oliva, has celebrated the 800th anniversary of his religious order with a book about “the Church, the divorced and remarried, and homosexual couples.”

Amours (“Loves”) is a study of St Thomas Aquinas’ definition of love and aims to show that the “Angelic Doctor” recognized the “natural” character of homosexuality. In the wake of the Synod on the family, Oliva pleads for new ways of welcoming divorced and remarried and homosexual couples into the Church and of recognizing their unions in civil law.

His editor, the “editions du Cerf” publishing house, is the historic Dominican editor in France, founded at the request of Pope Pius XI in 1929. It still functions under religious supervision.

“The highest of friendships: this is how St Thomas Aquinas calls the unique, faithful and gratuitous love between two spouses who give themselves to each other in consecrated union, as a sacramental sign of the love of Christ for the Church, His spouse. Should couples who are divorced and remarried, who live out their union in a responsible manner, be banned from this friendship? Could it be that homosexual persons, who live as a couple with responsibility, be banned?” reads the text accompanying the book on the Cerf’s web-shop.

It goes on: “Does a theological assessment of the ‘naturality’ of the homosexual inclination, which St Thomas recognizes, not open the doors to new ways of welcoming same-sex couples within the Church? The anthropology of ‘naturality’ then demands that civil rights be accorded to such couples in national legislations.”

Besides putting homosexual unions on a same plane with conjugal unions, Oliva’s argument would imply no State should have the right to refuse recognition to same-sex couples: an extreme standpoint, that goes even further than notoriously liberal Human Rights Courts across the world.

That a Dominican friar should promote such scandalous propositions is in itself a sign of the times.001

Fr. Adriano Oliva is works as a researcher for the State-run CNRS in France (National Center for Scientific Research) at the “Laboratory of Monotheistic studies. But he is also a doctor in theology, a historian of medieval doctrines, and president of the Leonine Commission founded by Pope Leo XIII in Paris in 1880 in order to publish or republish critical editions of St Thomas Aquinas’ work and to “restore his golden wisdom.”

Dominicans from all over the world are associated with this prestigious institution, whose aim is restore the knowledge of one of their wisest predecessors in the very town where he taught and lived. Oliva also presides the “Bibliothèque thomiste” collection of the Parisian academic editor, Vrin.

Oliva’s book was published and is being promoted in that context, as a genuine or at least noteworthy interpretation of St Thomas’ work. “This essay accompanies us into the complexity of the most authentic theology, with the intent of promoting the Gospel of mercy and the tradition of the Church,” comments the Dominican editor of the book.

Adriano Oliva clearly wants homosexual couples to be “welcomed within the heart of the Church, and not at its periphery,” “totally integrated in full communion with the Church”.

Catholic philosopher Thibaud Collin explains that Oliva bases his reflection on the fact that “counter-natural pleasure” can exist, either because of a corruption which comes from the body (“finding sour things sweet because of fever” for instance), or which comes from the soul, “such as those who, from habit, find pleasure in eating their fellow man, in having relations with animals or homosexual relations, and other similar things which are not according to human nature.”

From this Oliva deduces the thesis according to which “St Thomas places the principle of pleasure in sexual unions between persons of the masculine sex as coming from the soul and not from the body, where he had placed venereal pleasure, on the other hand.” He then proceeds to declare: “St Thomas considers homosexuality as an inclination that is rooted in its most intimate part, the soul, from where affections and love are expressed.”

AmoursThis leads him to affirm that it is necessary to distinguish between homosexuality and sodomy which is practiced for the sole aim of gaining pleasure. “For this singular person, homosexuality cannot be considered as being against nature, even though it does not correspond with the general nature of the species,” writes Oliva, who considers this general nature not as a reality but as an abstraction.

For these people, therefore – reasons Fr Oliva – as homosexuality is constitutive of the very nature of their soul, moral virtue consists for them in living out their inclination according to the demands of their humanity: in unique, gratuitous, faithful and “chaste” love. And the Church must accompany them in their love for a person of the same sex in which they “accomplish” themselves. Sexual acts, in this context, are rendered morally legitimate by the criterion of “love” between homosexual persons, in the same way as happens between heterosexuals.

(One wonders why cannibals were not so similarly vindicated.)

Thibaud Collin has published a scathing response to the sophistic reasoning of the Dominican friar. In the first place, he questions, why should “monogamy,” either homosexual or heterosexual, be a criterion of virtuous love inscribed in the nature of the human person? Couldn’t it be argued that “polyamorous” inclinations are also for some persons in the very nature of their souls? “It is quite foreseeable that some time in the future another cleric will stigmatize the polyphobia of such a position,” argues Collin.

Several fallacies are present in the statements that homosexuality is connatural to the individual and that its finality is the virtuous love of another person.

In the first place, Oliva leaves aside the fact that St Thomas speaks of a “corruption” of the natural principle of the species which leads the human person to be orientated towards a person of the opposite sex, an orientation that allows human life to be transmitted in the sole framework that is fitting to its dignity: marriage, says Collin. Contrary to what Oliva writes, St Thomas does not designate the origin of this corruption as being in the soul but in “habit”: an acquired disposition that becomes a “second nature”. This “habit,” in opposition to mere biological processes, is “on the side of the soul” because “only the potencies of the soul can be disposed by the repetition of identical acts that create a habit.” The same could be said of drug abuse or any other addiction.

In the case of counter-natural sexual pleasure that an individual experiences as connatural, St Thomas considers it to be rooted in a habit that is against reason: which is defined as a vice, a disposition to what is evil, explains Thibaud Collin. St Thomas, in the text quoted by Oliva, is describing the non-natural pleasure some people experience as being natural in an act that is opposed to human nature and therefore to the objective good of man – in this case sodomy – without looking for the source of a psychological type that 19th century psychiatry would later end up calling “homosexuality”.

The second main point of Oliva’s reasoning in view of legitimizing homosexual unions is that this inclination should be accomplished in faithful love that pastors should bless and support: “A homosexual couple has a fundamental right to form, because homosexuality is a constitutive component of the individualized nature of two individuals who unite in natural and in some cases in supernatural friendship,” writes Oliva. Blessing such couples would help them on their “way in fidelity.”

Thibaud Collin comments: “Here, there is confusion between true friendship and sexual and affective attraction.” When Oliva argues that homosexuality, being rooted in the soul, should also express itself and be lived out in the body, he is contradicting the whole of St Thomas’ teaching on natural moral law and the virtues.

Fr. Oliva, in fact, replaces “truth” with “sincerity”: moral truth shows a person’s reason the good that should be accomplished by his free acts, that is proper to human nature as God created it, explains Collin, indicating that Oliva reasons inversely: “For him, natural law ends up by adjusting to an individual whose natural principle is distorted, according to St. Thomas.”

Oliva quotes St Thomas as saying that walking on one’s hands, even though hands are made for another physiological use, is to commit a “small sin,” or even “no sin at all,” in order to justify “using the sexual organ in a relation with the same sex in the context of true homosexual love, unique, faithful and gratuitous.” He even founds his statement on Humanae vitae, concluding that one must answer, “without hesitation,” that “nothing” opposes such a justification. Sodomy would only be wrong if it is experienced without love: “Accomplished with the love that springs from the soul, informed by the soul, such an act will comprise no sin,” writes Oliva.

His subjectivist distortion – one might even say prostitution – of St Thomas’ teachings cannot be set aside as the very marginal ravings of an isolated individual. Fr Oliva is a prominent representative of the religious Order of Preachers – and teachers. His book was accepted by a Catholic editorial team: the Dominicans’ own publishing house. It is available to all on the Cerf’s website, with warm recommendations.

The radio station of the archbishopric of Paris, Radio Notre Dame, includes a conference by Fr. Oliva on its website agenda: the conference itself will take place in a Parisian library in partnership with the Society of St. Paul. The poster for the conference speaks of Oliva’s “tour de force” in referring to the doctrine of Thomas Aquinas “in order to put two questions under debate at the Synod on the family” – divorced and remarried and homosexual couples – “under a new light,” by “returning to the definition of love given by the saint as the greatest form of friendship.”

Interestingly but not surprisingly, this sort of reasoning was invoked in substance by Vatican priest Krzysztof Charamsa, who said on the occasion of his “coming out” just before the Synod: “The Bible says nothing about homosexuality. It speaks of acts that I would call ‘homogenital’. Even heterosexuals can commit such acts, as often happens in prisons, but in this case they act against their nature and so commit a sin. When gay persons engage in such acts, on the contrary, they express their nature. The sodomite of the Bible has nothing to do with two gays who love each other in Italy today and who want to marry. I have not managed to find a single passage, even in St Paul, which can be interpreted as relating to homosexual persons who demand to be respected as such, as at the time the concept itself was unknown.”

This is substantially what Adriano Oliva is saying. And while Charamsa was promptly suspended from all his priestly and magisterial functions for having confessed that he was unfaithful to his commitment to celibacy, a religious like Oliva is allowed to theorize on “homosexual love” with what looks like the blessing of his Order.

In the same way, this rooting of homosexual orientation and “love” in the soul is a manner of making individual and subjective conscience the measure of moral good. This heresy is also at the heart of present false “debates.”

We must surely expect to see more of the same in the months and years to come.

Complete Article HERE!