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The Catholic Bedroom

Okay. Here are my thoughts about the church and the bedroom. First of all, the church is spot on when it says that the family is at the foundation of society. And that the family can be seen as the domestic church. The little church that goes out and becomes part of the parish family.

Family is a good concept, it's a fundamental concept. I'll get to that in a minute. Anyway, so the church is essentially right. It goes ahead and says that the family is defined as a man and a woman with children. That's the family. Well that is the conventional family, that's a very good family. Very much to be desired. Because it does facilitate the propagation of the race. Itís not the only way that the race can be propagated, but that's a good way, maybe the best way.

So again, the church is right. Where does the church begin to go wrong? First of all, its conception of a family is too narrow.

What is a family? Leaving procreation aside for a moment, a family can be regarded just as people living together, especially if they're related. So they can be related by marriage or family ties. Brother and a sister can be living together, that's fine. And also they can be related by gay marriage. So marriage is good. Gay marriage is good, even though it's new and untested, in a way. Although gay people can and do have children. They can also adopt children, many of them want to and many do. So there's a family with two men, or two women together as a family, or with children also. And what about single parents? Well, single parents result from all sorts of ways, but let's just say, it results from the spouse dying. And it's usually the woman that has children and is a single parent. Once in a while, it's a man. So the woman has children. And that makes it difficult for her to get along. She has to work as well as raise the children, she has all kinds of difficulties. So this is not an ideal family, but it is a family.

And then what about single people? Well, I would say as by definition, a single person is not a family. If he or she is living alone, that's not a family. You have to have at least two people to have a family. And that's the problem, because the blessings of family life are not available to single people. They can have their extended family, they can have their brothers and sisters, cousins, mother and father, and so on, who can give them support, but they don't have a family. In the church, by doctrine or at least by practice, the leaders of the church, the professionals, the priests and brothers and sisters are required to be celibate. The exception is when they come into the church as ordained ministers, Methodists or Episcopalians and so on can have a family. And also the Eastern Catholic churches. They have the tradition of married priests, and so they have married priests. That's that, it's just really the Roman rite, the Roman Catholic church, that does not permit priests to be married.

So what about priests? Well, used to be there were lots of priests. And they lived together in a rectory and there might be five or six priests living together in a rectory, and that's fine, they were a family. None related, but bound by their common vocation, their common calling, they were a family. Unfortunately, now, there are many fewer priests, and most of them live alone. They have to in order to carry out their work. And that's bad. The church recognizes that it's bad. The priests suffer because they have to live alone. And think also about all those other single people too that suffer because they have to live alone. Some may prefer it, that's fine. When you go back in the history of the church, you have the desert fathers. And these were men and women that literally went out into the desert to live alone. To be close to God, and they didn't even welcome visitors. People would flock to them as visitors, but they didn't really welcome them because it would interfere with their spirituality. So they were living alone and they had God. Maybe they didn't need family.

And so then you get to the teachings of St. Paul. And St. Paul was very explicit in his preference for unmarried people. He said the best thing is to be a virgin and that way you have no other concerns but Christ. So you serve the Lord and that's it. Okay, you wanna be married, you get married. It's better to marry than to burn. That's pretty much of a putdown of marriage isn't it? So since then, the church has chastity and virginity, and virginity especially with women. Now I suppose most of the male saints were chaste and never had sex.They were virgins technically. But nothing much is made of that. Much is made, just of women, they're virgins, they're saints because they're holy virgins.

It all goes back to the basics of being human. What is being human? Well it's the same as being a primate or any kind of animal or any kind of plant that doesn't reproduce asexually. It's sexual reproduction for most of creation. So, what are the requirements of life? What does life have to do? Well, life has to survive. It has to survive, and it has to perpetuate itself. It has to reproduce. That's the imperative. Just as with Adam and Eve, the first commandment, the imperative that God gave them was to go out and multiply and fill the earth. That's the same imperative that every animal has. Multiply, reproduce, and in order to reproduce, of course you have to have sex. And so sex is a very, very important, and precious, thing, and it's always been protected within the human species.

So you need to reproduce, which means you have to have sex, and then you have to have a mother to take care of the offspring. And that's just the way it works out, in every species that's related to us, that's closely related to us. And so basically the model of the female taking care of the young and the male going out and bringing food, that's pretty widespread in the animal kingdom, not just among humans.

Nothing wrong with the feminists that say they don't like that model, they want to have the opportunity to advance in the world as individuals, not just as mothers, thatís fine, I like that.

Weíre talking about some basics now, so you have the very early human family, maybe itís a group of males and females and their young together. Later they would be paired off, we donít know when. But the key thing again is that they have to survive. And what does it mean to survive? They have to have food, and they have to protect themselves from danger. And we still have the same basics now, that's exactly what we face. Although, our civilization is so vast and complex that we don't think about it all that often, but we do think about ďI got to get a job, got to put food on the table, got to take care of the kids." And we think about our legacy, and we think about our children. And we want to have children so that they can carry on the family line. And they can pass on the family name. And that's important to most of us. But it's not a necessity. It's not a necessity for the individual to procreate and have children. It's only necessary for the species. So the species needs to reproduce and maintain and propagate itself.

So back to the Catholic Church. Okay the Catholic Church is mostly right about family. It's a little narrow in its conceptions, it builds a lot of don'ts. Not do's, but don'ts. There are a few do's too, but mostly don'ts that revolve around sex and one is, get married, don't get divorced. Get divorced and you have to get remarried again officially in the eyes of the Church. And if you don't there is some kind of pox upon you. Although the Pope may be changing this a little bit. But it is doctrine and this Pope is not gonna change doctrine. And when you're married or when you're not married, no sex for its own sake is allowed. If you are married, fundamentally, no sex is allowed unless it can result in procreation. So that means if you're too old, no sex. If one partner turns out to be sterile, no sex. And this is the teaching of the Catholic Church.

This is not really the practice of the Catholic Church because there are many, many pastors that will make allowances for these things, and will not be ogres and tyrants to enforce this on people trying to live married life that the priest basically knows nothing about because he's never experienced it. But this is a teaching of the church, that if you can't procreate, no sex. And of course contraception, contraception is something that seems trivial to many people. But to the Catholic Church, it's almost as bad to use contraception as to get an abortion. And here's why: contraception prevents the formation of a human life. And remember you're supposed to always have that open, so the purpose of sex is to create a human life. And so contraception is out. It's a matter of principle, they had to go all the way to the wall on it with the Affordable Care Act, for example. That's important to the church. But only if you accept a lot of fundamental beliefs and doctrines that I'm not going to go into right now. So, the church, Pope Francis, Pope is not, the Pope is very, very sympathetic, but he's not going to change any of the teachings on the family, and marriage, and sex. He's just not going to emphasize them the way that they had been emphasized by previous Popes.