“New Morality” at the root of the priestly abuse crisis?

A big step in the propagandizing of the ‘new morality’ was marked by the appearance in June, 1977, of the book Human Sexuality, published under the auspices of the Catholic Theological Society of America. This book has the form of a ‘report’ to the CTSA, but its contents are intended for maximum diffusion among Catholics, as is obvious both from the manner of publication and from the admission in the Forward to the book that it is aimed “at a wider public of interested persons.”

The revolutionary character of this report is obvious from the affirmations it embodies, such as the following:

a) that no physical expression of sexuality is in itself “morally wrong or perverse” (H.S., p. 110); consequently:
b) that even those sexual practices which people have up to now considered deviant do not clearly produce evil consequences either for the individual or for society (H.S., p. 77);
c) that the use of contraceptives is “wholesome and moral” whenever it helps couples to build “a community of love” for one another (H.S., p. 127);
d) that deliberate masturbation (even after unresisted indulgence in erotic imagery) is never a serious sin and can be an act of virtue (H.S., pp. 220, 227);
e) that fornication and adultery are in themselves morally good experiences (H.S., pp. 154-158, 178-179);
f) that ‘living together,’ ‘swinging,’ and communal sex are not morally unacceptable (H.S., pp. 151-152);
g) that Jesus was indeed opposed to the exploitation of women by men, but He did not prohibit self-liberating, other-enriching forms of prostitution, fornication, or adultery, joyously performed, as long as there was genuine concern for possible third parties involved (H.S., pp. 20-22, 30-31, 96);
h) that homosexuals have a moral right to homosexual activity and to homosexual self-expression in the eyes of civil society (H.S., pp. l98, 214);
i) that it is both harmful and unprofessional to ‘moralize’ with children who have the habit of sexual intercourse with animals (H.S., pp. 229-230);
j) that fetishism and transvestism are a physiological and therefore not a moral problem (H.S., pp. 230-231);
k) that the only presently effective treatment for transsexualism is a sex-change operation coupled with hormone treatments and supportive counseling (H.S., p. 233);
1) that even hard-core pornography is not immoral for adults except to the extent that it may exploit persons by reducing them to objects to be used (H.S., pp. 235-237);
m) that obscene words formerly not used in decent conversation are now just part of the common vocabulary (H.S., p. 235).

Human Sexuality is a kind of Kinsey Report for Catholics; its aim is the overturning of traditional Catholic morality. The authors of the Report reduce all human experience to sexual experience, which is seen as the highest goal of human existence. “It is in the genital union,” says the Report, “that the intertwining of subjectivities, of human existences, has the potential for fullest realization…. The possibility of shared existence, indeed of intimacy and union, emerges on the horizon of movement toward the other. There is a call, an invitation that goes forth from bodily existence to bodily existence. It colors every transaction between the sexes, adding interest and delight, promising mystery and disclosure and delivery from loneliness. At one and the same time it realizes the self and enriches the other…. Procreation is one form of this call to creativity but by no means is it the only reason for sexual expression…. Sexuality is the creator’s ingenious way of calling people constantly out of themselves into relationship with others” (H.S., p. 85).

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