In the recent fall-out of the child abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, the media blames the Catholic Church’s hierarchy and the Pope for the abuse. Of course, that’s not really what they blame. They blame the Catholic Church’s teaching on celibacy and Her teaching on sex in general. That’s what they are really after. The Church, in turn, blames the abuse scandal on homosexuality, sex education, and pornography. This is true to some extent, but this too misses the mark, although not considerably.
The proximate cause of the child abuse scandal is none of these. In fact, the cause of the child abuse scandal is the rejection of Humanae Vitae and the related betrayal of the bishops of the Catholic Church to teach the truths in it.
There are two principle philosophical reasons why the child sex abuse scandal has happened.
1. Redefinition – For there to be massive social upheaval as there has been the last 50 years, the culture’s understanding of itself and its relationships had to have changed as well.
a. Language of the Body– The cultural shift commenced with a change in the “language of the body”. Before the widespread use of contraception (and in particular, The Pill), the sexual act used the natural language of the body to speak. A man and woman gave one another to each other as they were created. With the acceptance of contraception, however, men and women began to give each other something that they were not. That is to say, they suppressed a constituent and fundamental part of who they were by purposefully suppressing their fertility. The human body became redefined by manipulating the sexual organs with a kind of sexual bulimia or anorexia by expelling the sperm or the egg. When the redefined body engaged in the sexual act, it therefore spoke a different language. The language of the body was therefore redefined.
b. Sexual Identification – With the redefinition of the language of sex through contraception, the idea of artificial sex became a competing language to natural sex. Under natural law, humanity spoke only one “sex language” through the natural sex act. However, with the advent of artificial sex, society then began to set up for itself a sexual tower of Babel with many competing languages. Artificial sex between a man and a woman led the way to artificial sex between same-sex partners. Artificial sex reduced the physiological difference between a male and a female. For, if a woman is stripped of her fertility, then she loses much of her femininity. When one removes fertility from a woman during sex, one makes her – in a certain sense – another man. If a society can approve of artificial sex in principle, it can have no philosophical or moral objection in objecting to its variant forms, whether that is between persons of the opposite sex or the same sex. And once a society implicitly approves of artificial sex, it necessarily opens the door to questions of “sexual identity”. The redefinition of the sexual act necessarily separates identification of sexuality from biology and nature. Sexual identification therefore becomes arbitrary and not necessarily tied to biology. It too has now been redefined.
c. Marriage/Family– With sexual identification being unencumbered from biology and nature, the relationships surrounding such sexual identification necessarily changed as well. If sexual identity is no longer necessarily aligned to biology, then the union of those identities need not follow biology either. That is how, psychologically and morally, our culture has been able to slide into accepting same-sex “marriage”, as its collective attitude and consciousness toward homosexuality was weakened by its acceptance of contraception. And that is why, for instance, the understanding of “family” has also been stripped from a natural and biological relationship. If sexual identity and marriage are no longer restricted to nature, then it naturally follows that the traditional definition of family need not be either. Hence, mother, father, and children is not necessarily the only model for a family unit. One could have two men with children or two women with no children. Family, like marriage, has become an arbitrary concept. They have become redefined.
d. Gender Roles– Gender ideology, or “gender theory” is a key concept in the radical feminist and homosexualist ideologies. It proposes that the concept of “gender” is distinct from biological sex and that it is a learned set of behaviours or models that can be changed either at will or by social environmental factors. Gender ideologues have proposed that there are not two, but as many as eleven possible “genders” for human beings. They hold that the belief that “gender” is synonymous with biological sex is the foundation of homophobia and bigotry. In 2008, German author Gabrielle Kuby wrote in an essay that “gender mainstreaming” is a force that is being used to “dismantle civilization.” “The gender ideology,” she wrote, “is in the process of creating a new man, whose freedom should include the choice of his sex and sexual orientation.This view of freedom and sexuality, according to the will of the UN, EU and most European governments is to be imprinted onto the minds of children from the nursery onwards.” (Source) The whole gender mainstreaming movement goes even well beyond secular circles to influence Catholic organizations who recognize and implicitly accept the movement: “For the past several years, SAFP [Save A Family Plan] has been making some inroads into the Gender and Development theme and taking on more of a facilitative role, inlcuding most recently the publication of the Gender Impact Assessment Guide. We have begun to see a shift in thinking that gender means women only and instead see gender as the socially contructed roles and responsibilities…These roles need to be viewed as learned, changeable over time and variable within and between cultures….In social development, gender refers to the social, culture and psychological aspects of being male or female and the relationship between them.” (Source). In other words, like marriage and family, the term “gender” has been wrenched away from biology and redefined to include “social, cultural, and psychological aspects of being male or female.”
This is the first of a two part series….