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The Body God Gave Us Doesn’t Lie – A Meditation on the Sexual Confusion of Our Day

June 2, 2015 119 Comments

060215The latest tragic twist in the “Bruce Jenner saga” (more on that below) illustrates yet again one of the great errors of our day: the rejection of the truth that our bodies have something to tell us about who we are and what we are called to do and be. Most moderns see the body as merely a tool of sorts. Assertions are made that one can do as one pleases with one’s own body, and that a person’s sex (male or female) is purely incidental—merely an arbitrary quality one “happens to have.” Many say that our sex should not speak to anything deeper than genitals and that other “mere” physical differences are to be set aside to one degree or another. In effect, it would seem that our bodies have little or nothing to say to us. According to modern culture they are incidental.

The rejection of the body as instructive or in any way determinative has reached its zenith in the attempted normalization of homosexual activity, the redefinition of marriage, and now, sexual “reassignment” surgery.

As regards homosexual acts, any non-ideological analysis of the body will indicate that the man was not made for the man, nor the woman for the woman. Rather, the man is made for the woman and the woman for the man. This is set forth quite clearly in the pure physicality of things. St. Paul calls homosexual acts παρὰ φύσιν (para physin), meaning “contrary to the nature of things.”

As regards so-called sex “reassignment” surgery, I must point out that the soul is the form of the body. Now of course I can hear the objection that somehow we are not only physical beings and thus to use simply physical arguments is not proper. While this is true, but the body cannot be ignored. The soul is the form of the body. That is to say, our soul, its essence and abilities, gives rise to the structure and physical attributes of the body.

What is meant by saying that the soul is the form of the body? Consider for a moment a glove. What is the form of a glove? What determines how a glove is formed, shaped, and designed? Well, of course, it is the hand. It is both the shape of the hand and its capacities that give rise to the design and function of the glove. A glove with only three fingers or one with eight fingers would be a poor glove indeed. The proper form of the glove is the hand. And it is not just the shape of the hand that dictates the design of the glove, it is also the required functioning of the hand. Fingers need to move and work together for the hand to achieve its purpose. A glove that was extremely stiff and permitted the fingers no movement would be a poor glove. A good glove protects the hand but also permits it to achieve its proper end. Thus the fully functioning hand is the form (or blueprint) of the glove.

St Thomas says of the soul as form of the body: Since the form is not for the matter, but rather the matter for the form, we must gather from the form the reason why the matter is such as it is; and not conversely. ST I,  76.5 Aquinas says that because matter of the body exists for the sake of form, rather than form for the sake of matter, the reason the matter of our body is the way it is due to the form itself. [***]

So in this way, the soul is the form (or blueprint) of the body. Our bodies have the design they do because of the capacities of our souls. We are able to talk because our souls have something to say. Our fingers are nimble yet strong because our souls have the capacity to work at tasks that require both strength and agility. We have highly developed brains because our souls have the capacity to think and reason. Animals have less of all this because their souls have little capacity in any of these regards. My cat, Daniel, does not speak.  This is not because he has no physical capacity to form words; but because he has nothing to say. The lack of capacity in his animal soul (or life-giving principle) is reflected in the design of his body. Another old saying goes: “Birds don’t fly because they have wings, Birds have wings because birds can fly.”

Sexuality is more than skin-deep. When it comes to sexuality in the human person, our sex (or as some incorrectly call it, gender, (gender is a grammatical term that refers to the classification of nouns and pronouns))  is not just a coin toss. Our soul is either male or female and our body reflects that fact. I don’t just “happen” to be male; I am male. My soul is male; my spirit is male; hence, my body is male. So called “sex-change” operations are a lie. Cross-dressing is a lie. “Transgender” and other made-up and confused assertions cannot change the truth of what the soul is. You can adapt the body but you cannot adapt the soul. The soul simply says, “Sum quod sum” (I am what I am).

The modern age has chosen simply to set all this aside and to see the body as incidental or arbitrary. This is a key error and has led to a lot of confusion. We have already seen how the widespread approval of homosexual acts has stemmed from this, but there are other confusions that have arisen as well.

Consider for example how the body speaks to the question of marriage. That the body has a nuptial (i.e., marital) meaning is literally inscribed in our bodies. God observed of Adam “It is not good for the man to be alone.”  This fact is also evident in our bodies. I do not wish to be too explicit here but it is clear that the woman has physical aspects that are designed to find completion in union with a man, her husband. Likewise the man has physical aspects that are designed to find completion with a woman, his wife. The body has a “nuptial” meaning. It is our destiny; it is written in our nature to be in a complementary relationship with “the other.” But the complementarity is not just a physical one. Remember, the soul is the form (or blueprint) of the body. Hence, the intended complementarity extends beyond the physical, to the soul. We are made to find completion in the complementarity of the other. A man brings things to the relationship (physical and spiritual) that a woman cannot. A woman brings things to the relationship (physical and spiritual) that a man cannot. It is literally written in our bodies that we are generally meant to be completed and complemented by someone of the “opposite” (i.e., complementary) sex. And this complementarity is meant to bear fruit. The physical complementarity of spouses is fertile, fruitful. Here, too, the body reflects the soul. The fruitfulness is more than merely physical; it is spiritual and soulful as well.

It is true that not everyone finds a suitable marriage partner. But, from the standpoint of the nuptial meaning of the body, this is seen as less than ideal rather than as merely a neutral “alternative” lifestyle called the “single life.”  (Uh-oh, there I go again.) If one is single with little possibility of this changing, then the nuptial meaning of the body is lived through some call of love and service to the Church (understood as the Bride of Christ or the Body of Christ), and by extension to the community.

Another consideration in this has to be the question of celibacy in the Church and of the male priesthood. If the body has, among other things, a nuptial meaning, whence do celibacy and virginity for the sake of the Kingdom find their place? Simply in this: priests and religious sisters are not single. A religious sister is a bride of Christ. She weds her soul to Christ and is a beautiful image of the Church as bride (cf Eph 5:21ff). Fully professed sisters even wear the ring. As a priest, I  do not consider myself a bachelor. I have a bride, the Church. She is a beautiful, though demanding, bride! And do you know how many people call me “Father”?  The religious in my parish are usually called “Sister,” but the Superior is called “Mother” by all of us. And here, too, our bodies reflect the reality of our call. A woman images the Church as bride. A man images Christ as groom.

It is another error of modern times to say that a woman can be a priest. Jesus Christ didn’t just “happen” to be a man. He is the Groom of the Church; the Church is His Bride. The maleness of the Messiah, Jesus, was not just the result of a coin toss. Nor was it rooted merely in the “sociological requirements of the patriarchal culture of his time.”  It is not merely incidental to His mission. He is male because He is groom. The priests who are configured to Him are also male because the body has a nuptial meaning and the Church is in a nuptial relationship to Christ. Christ is the groom; the priests through whom He ministers to His bride are thus male. To say that a female can image the groom is, frankly, silly. It demonstrates how far our culture has gone in thinking of the body as merely incidental, rather than essential and nuptial.

The body does not lie. Our culture lies and distorts, but the body does not. Many today choose to consider the body incidental, a mere tool that can be refashioned at will. But the Church is heir to a well-tested and far longer understanding that the body is essential, not incidental, to who we are. Our differences are more than skin deep. The soul is the form (or blueprint) of the body and thus our differences and our complementarity are deep and essential. Our dignity is equal, but our complementarity cannot and should not be denied. God himself has made this distinction and intends it for our instruction. The body does not lie and we must once again choose to learn from it.

Bruce Jenner needs our concern, not our applause. He cannot undo his maleness by amputation and silicone bags. There is something deeply sad here in him and those like him. They need real help to accept themselves as God made them. Some years ago, Johns Hopkins Hospital stopped doing these surgeries since many of the staff there were uncomfortable cutting off healthy organs and mutilating bodies. Dr. Paul McHugh of Johns Hopkins explained recently why it is better to understand this issue as one of mental illness that deserves care not affirmation:

This intensely felt sense of being transgendered constitutes a mental disorder in two respects. The first is that the idea of sex misalignment is simply mistaken–it does not correspond with physical reality. The second is that it can lead to grim psychological outcomes.” [Elsewhere in the article he notes the high suicide rates, etc.]

The transgendered person’s disorder, said Dr. McHugh, is in the person’s “assumption” that they are different than the physical reality of their body, their maleness or femaleness, as assigned by nature. It is a disorder similar to a “dangerously thin” person suffering anorexia who looks in the mirror and thinks they are “overweight,” said McHugh. [**]

There is something equally sick in the so-called “transabled” movement, wherein people cut off their own limbs because they “feel” that their body is “supposed to be” disabled. They disown certain limbs and use power saws to cut them off. Please tell me the difference between those who cut off limbs and those who mutilate their genitals or cut off their breasts. More on the “transabled” movement can be found here: Choosing to be disabled.

We are in a time of grave distortion and even the loss of simple common sense. It doesn’t seem that things can get much more confused than “gender reassignment.” I am sure, however, that things are going to get a lot more confused. But this confusion is not for us, fellow Christians. Our bodies are not ours to do with as we please. They are not canvases to be tattooed with slogans or endlessly pierced; they are not to be used for fornication, adultery, or homosexual acts. Neither are they to be mutilated or carved up into apparently new forms.

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body (1 Cor 6:19-20).

Do not be deceived. Do not be confused. God was not “mistaken” in the sex He made you. Whatever internal drives, temptations, or disturbing thoughts one might have, the body was not made for sexual immorality or to be mutilated based on any internal rejection of our self. The call for every human being is to be chaste and to love our body as from God.

Here is a quirky and clever video that turns the table on the question of ordination. It also goes a long way to say that we cannot, in the end, simply pretend to be what we are not. Our bodies do not lie, even if we try to.

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Comments (119)

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  1. Steve Brown says:

    Msgr., a brave, timely, and courageous post! Liberalism is indeed a mental illness. Thank you.

    • Steve Brown says:

      Well, this article made Pew Sitter, Courageous Priest, & New Advent. Good job.

      • jane mccartney says:

        I found this article on free republic website…

        • Louise Bredy says:

          Father I found this article so helpful especially that our souls have the same sex as our body because this question came up in an apologetics forum a couple of years ago but it was said at that time, that whether souls were male or female was undecided. I wondered whether you could develop the idea of male soul further by expanding on the fruits of the male soul, because frankly the young need heroes, and these heroes will be denied them unless we can insist that their maleness is more than skin deep, and we can call out to their male spirit. As a sideline to this, it strikes me that those who insist that they are locked in the wrong body are evidencing to the existence of the soul – they are at least saying there are 2 aspects of them, and that the decision-making part is not physical and material and therefore unhappy with the ‘tool’ they have been given. This also is possibly helpful to draw the young out in case they are opting for this world only fulfilment. If the soul fashions the body, are you saying the human soul is first…at the moment of conception? This too I understood was not set in concrete theologically, but again, a radical opening in discussions with the young. Thank you for tackling this subject. Understanding human nature in what should come across, as a new and expansive way, is helpful for anyone wanting to present the faith from God.

          • The matter is somewhat debated among philosophers (but so are many other things). I have not chosen to host that debate in the comments here, but have done so in the past. I am quite surprised how adamant some people are in opposing the idea that the soul is male or female. I think we can accept that the matter is open for discussion and not something that the Church has defined one way or the other. Those who oppose the notion and say that the soul is sexless often compare our soul to angelic souls and to the imago Dei that exists primarily in our soul. But It is not proper for the soul of an angelic person to inform a body, and neither do the Three Persons of Trinity as pure spirits form bodies. So a distinction seems in order. The Human soul is different in this way since its essence is to form a body. The souls of the just in heaven are not currently sexless. And after the parousia their souls will again form a male or female body. Further our sex is not an accidental or incidental quality to who we are such as hair color etc. Our sex permeates every aspect of our body, but I would argue also our soul. Being male affects the way I think, what and how I remember, how I mange my passions etc. I AM male, at every level of my existence. I don’t just have a male body. Thus, since the soul is the form of the body and forms a body based on its fundamental qualities, It makes sense that we discern the matter from the form. It would seem that St. Thomas says the same as quoted in the article: we must gather from the form the reason why the matter is such as it is. To be fair Thomas is not addressing the question of the sex of a person in Question 76, but more broadly the overall qualities. At any rate, metaphysical debates can get very hair-raising and hair-splitting.

    • stoney says:

      Msgr. Pope: “Our bodies are not ours to do with as we please. They are not canvases to be tattooed with slogans or endlessly pierced; they are not to be used for fornication, adultery, or homosexual acts. Neither are they to be mutilated or carved up into apparently new forms….”

      And yet the Catholic Church now approves cremation, the ultimate bodily mutilation. Talk about mixed messages!

      • Well, I dunno, I think a few distinctions are in order here. No time to develop all that now however.

        • stoney says:

          “You have been bought, and at a great price. So glorify God in your body” (I Cor. 6:20). What St. Paul states, the rest of the New Testament affirms: the Christian belongs to God; he is not his own. The baptismal liturgy affirms this, when the priest “claims” the candidate for Christ. This is why the connection between baptism and the funeral liturgy is so important: “On the day of his baptism, (the deceased) put on Christ.” That symbolism is vitiated when the body is destroyed by cremation.” -H&P Review

          We bury treasure, trash is incinerated.

  2. Bee bee says:

    Msgr. said, “Many say that our sex should not speak to anything deeper than genitals and that other “mere” physical differences are to be set aside to one degree or another. In effect, it would seem that our bodies have little or nothing to say to us.”

    As I pondered this sentence, I thought about my own body, and how my femaleness expressed itself without my having anything to say about it. Puberty came on time, and affected my body without my doing anything to cause it, determined by my genetic makeup. All I could do was respond. My body had a lot to say about my self – what I thought, what I wanted, what I hoped for – things very different from the males I knew (who seemed all to understand why baseball was so great; a insight that still alludes me.)

    My physical self is not extremely feminine. No dainty fingers for me, no hourglass figure, no ample bosom. Yet my body has determined many classically feminine things about me that were so different from my siblings, who were all boys. I was different from them in fundamental ways. There was no doubt. And even though I adopted some of their behaviors (tom-boyishness), still, my expression remains ultimately female.

    Some of my brothers are “softer” than others of them; more emotional, more sensitive, more open. Yet, beards still sprouted from their chins, and they could lift and carry much heavier objects than I could. Their expression of their maleness as fathers is in no way the same as the women they married.

    I also wonder what the “transgender” movement will do to scientists like Dr. McHugh who already know reassignment surgery doesn’t produce the hoped for outcome. I wonder if those facts will be denied, papered over, twisted and manipulated to convince the majority the facts are wrong, and persuade them of the goodness of the lifestyle, as so much about the gay lifestyle and actual outcomes has been.

    In any case, I’m so grateful for your delving into and explaining how our very souls are one sex or the other, and the relation of the body to our souls. I have never really understood how the Church describes that until this article.

    God bless you.

  3. Tom says:

    Thanks msgr! Great and brave piece.

  4. Fredi D'Alessio says:

    What a terrific explanation Msgr, Pope. May I repost it? May I also repost ‘Beware the Strangest Idol of All’? As I expected, my readers aren’t clicking on the link to your origianl article .

    Thanks and God bless,

    Fred D’Alessio

  5. Robertlifelongcatholic says:

    What is the world coming to? The Kardashian effect? They want to give whoever it is a national award for bravery because of gender transformation. I know my uncle didn’t give his life on a hill in the Ardennes during WWII so humanity is allowed, encouraged and expected to accept this kind of perversion.

    • Scott W. says:

      Check out The Unknown Warriors by Nicholas Pringle. It’s interviews with British WW2 vets. Almost all of them comment that England is no longer the country they risked their life for.

      • Don John says:

        I doubt they think it would have been better for them to lose.

        • Scott W. says:

          Perhaps, but that’s not my point, is it?

          • kj says:

            then what is your point?

          • Scott W. says:

            Kj, I suspect you are pulling my leg, but I will answer for the edification of any good-faith readers if there are still any following this thread. The point is this: Robert mentioned his uncle not dying in the Ardennes so that the country he fought for could throw itself into a moral abyss. We don’t have his uncle’s testimony, but the book I mentioned confirms a common phenomenon: veterans watching the country they fought for go so far down the toilet that they no longer recognize it. Don John’s comment is a gratuitous and distracting quip.

  6. Candice says:

    Msgr., a very sensitive topic, especially here in DC, almost everyone at work & home thinks it’s good & cool. I don’t- I believe it’s a mental illness, Thanks

  7. Taylor says:

    The “thing” is an acting, a defiant attitude which claims the character of the opposite sex by placing oneself in another role other than the role which they have in reality. These people are actors in facade.

    It is like the man who desires nothing more than to act out the self-indulgent life modeled on the uterous-less mutate-vagina. When you ask them who they are, their reply is, “I am the artificiality which I embrace. I am mutilated unreality. But what matters is not reality, but what you believe to be reality. If you believe my lie, then you have sanctioned my unreality and made it real.”

  8. Scott W. says:

    It seems to me that transgendering is an extreme form of the disordered love-hate with the body. The tatoo/excessive piercing epidemic is part of it too. And one more likely to ensnare our children.

  9. teo matteo says:

    ” It doesn’t seem that things can get much more confused than “gender reassignment.”
    Deciding that a new human life in the womb doesnt belong to the human family and should be killed IS worser.

  10. Paul says:

    Another day, another judgmental post from Charles Pope.

    • Scott W. says:

      Another day, another thought-free non-response by Paul.

    • Paul! I’m feeling a little judged by you. I’m just not feelin the love!

    • Dale says:

      Christians can and should judge the actions of human beings. Both our own and others, out of love of truth and love of neighbor. If someone is doing something contrary to the natural and moral law, we are charged with letting them know what is wrong about it. Msgr. Pope did not condemn Bruce to Hell for his act, but rather condemned the act, and rightfully so. If you’re upset about such an approach by Msgr. Pope, I recommend avoiding the Gospels, for Jesus condemned the actions of many people. But like Jesus, Msgr. Pope prays for forgiveness and mercy for the persons guilty of such foolish and sinful acts.

    • Repent and Believe the Gospel! says:

      Judges make judgments every day. People make judgments, but only God can condemn.
      It helps to know a little theology, don’t you think Paul?

      Paul, I bet you make judgment on an alcoholic OR are you an Enabler?

    • Repent and Believe the Gospel! says:

      Ohhhhh, verses, verses, verses. I know enough theology to be dangerous…

      1 Corinthians 6:3
      “Know you not that we shall judge angels? how much more things of this world?”

      See, we’re supposed to make judgments! See, I told you I’m dangerous.

      • Catharine says:

        Paul appears to be blanket endorsing all forms of what Joaquin Navarro-Valls used to call “polymorphous perversity and promiscuous pansexuality.”
        Paul is guilty of the very same name-calling and judgmentalism he decries.
        Since Paul apparently believes that everything goes, and every sexual vice and sin should be viewed as equivalent to responsible, chaste living, is he suggesting that preschoolers and kindergarteners should be forcibly schooled and sexually initiated by members of NAMBLA and those child sexual perverts whose credo is, “Sex by 8 or it’s too late?”
        Sorry, Paul, calling a spade a spade is not being “judgmental”–it’s living in reality.

    • Sygurd says:

      There is no mental activity without judgment.

    • Linda says:

      That’s your judgment, so I judge. I also judge the article to be helpful, thank you.

    • M. J. Nelson says:

      Hmmm….seems like we are supposed to judge behaviors and ideas. What we cannot judge is the soul…that is God’s domain. However, since your “judgmental post” comment may mean “bigoted comment that I don’t agree with” it seems that by your definition of judgmental (not the biblical one), you are being rather judgmental.

    • Gary Lockhart says:

      Time to brush up on Scripture, Paul and take seriously the words of Christ Himself:

      “And why even of yourselves, do you not judge that which is just.” Luke 12:57

  11. Cynthia W. says:

    Is it wrong of me to wish Bruce Jenner could have a period for 7-12 days per month the rest of his life?

    • 🙂 Seriously too, Women really ought to be insulted by this sort of fakery by him and others

      • Scott W. says:

        Spot on. His Vanity Fair cover is to women what blackface minstrels are to black people.

        • Janet says:

          Yes! As a woman, I have been saying this for years now. Why am I asked to celebrate a man’s decision to present himself as a caricature of my sex, but African-Americans are supported in their outrage against blackface performers? And may I ask the obvious, where are the “feminists” when Mr. Jenner reduces femininity to corsets, hair extensions and professional make-up jobs? This is one of the reasons that the feminist movement has lost all credibility with most of us. I was there at the creation – I bought the first issue of Ms. Magazine that hit the stands in the early 70s. If I could have seen where it would end up I would have saved my 50 cents.

          • enness says:

            Actually, this is the cause of something of a rift on the Left. There are feminist writers who speak out against it; and they get abruptly labeled “transphobic.”

      • Scott W. says:

        Spot on. He might as well put on blackface and start a minstrel show.

      • mary says:

        I have argued that our mothers didn’t firght for the right to work while married, work while pregnant, work for equal pay, right to vote, right to own property, right not be beaten, burned, strangled, killed by our fathers, boyfriends, husbands, and then left on the side of the road like road kill; so that a guy could claim he always knew he was a woman inside a male body.

        • Cynthia W. says:

          Excellent point, Mary. I think the celebration of men claiming to be women is part of a larger mindset – clearly demonstrated by contraception and abortion – that natural women’s bodies are bad. They have emotions, they have periods, they have babies. In many ways, the culture idealizes women who are more like men: lean and muscular, promiscuous without attachments, unable to conceive. Just take a man and stick some big plastic breasts on.

          • Doug says:

            Do the Anglicans, at the 1930 Lambeth Conference, declaring sex for both procreation and recreation have some responsibility here? Or perhaps we need to mourn Luther and Calvin for restricting the number of sacraments, and not realizing the importance of the sacrament of Marriage?

            From what little I see of models, it looks like superskinny, male like models with near flat chests, are very popular. King David’s wife laughed at him for his dancing before the Lord when bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. Her consequence was to be barren the rest of her days. But how many women desire and seek being barren? One insanity after another.

          • Red head says:

            Perhaps an indulgence or two could clear that history up?

        • Doug says:

          I doubt many women considered the consequences of having the right to work while married (when did they not have that in this country?) or work while pregnant, or for equal pay. In this country, have men had the right to do these terrible other things? Once upon a time the main reason a woman worked outside the home when married was she was willing to admit her husband was inadequate at supporting her.

          Back around 1910 women worked out of the home for few jobs: teaching, nursing among them. But then a man could earn enough to support their family. The most live births to teenaged moms was in 1959 and those women were married. All the “rights” have led to a weakening of the family structure and increased divorce, which has made things worse for women. You didn’t mention women getting the “right” to sleep around before marriage, like men, or have affairs once married. But those are part of what they were fighting for and got. So some man demanding that he is really a woman inside seems a natural and reasonable conclusion. There are places where transgendered men are crashing the parties lesbians want for women. It’s a crazy world out there.

    • Repent and Believe the Gospel! says:

      I saw a video of him, and honestly his body structure is big and masculine, he can’t pull it off.
      My analysis: mental illness+ attention seeking. He felt left out from all the pretty girls in the Kardasians. The devil is pretty strong when you don’t have the Sacraments, the D guy will mess with your head!

  12. Colette says:

    Beautifully written article! Thank you and Bless you Father.

  13. Rita says:

    Msngr Pope,
    I always enjoy your writings. Just a brief question, here. What about the soul of a hermaphrodite?
    Thank you for your reply.
    With the affection of Christ,

    • It is an anomaly affecting a very tiny number, that is all we can say. It would be like asking, what about the soul of a person who is born without a right arm? or with three arms. We do not conclude that there is a form of the human soul with three arms. Rather, we conclude that there is a physical deformity, a lack or health, or proper function. It is a genetic anomaly we are dealing with. By definition there can be no “rule” associated with an anomaly, it is anomalous. It does not follow that there is a third sex or that the child is both sexes. It simply means that in this rare case we may need more information to understand the truth of who this little one is, in terms of male or female. To use my analogy of a glove if a person wearing the glove somehow tore the glove or damaged it in some way, it does not follow that the hand is damaged, only the glove. The hand remains what it is and it now means that the glove should be repaired if possible in conformity with the form of the human hand and thereby properly reflect the hand. Thus a soul with a damaged body remains a proper human soul, male or female, the damaged body does not alter that even if it is damaged. That we may have difficulty in seeing the form of the soul because the body is damaged does not mean the soul lack this, only that we cannot determine it as quickly or see it.

      • Linda says:

        Wouldn’t it be true that if, when a child was born, it was recognized as a hermaphrodite, a blood test could determine whether it was XX or XY and any necessary surgery could be performed (not on the newborn, but later) so the child’s body would match its DNA? The problem in the past was that we couldn’t determine the chromosomes.

        • Maybe. But I am not writing on this topic and as I say, it is an anomaly. I don’t want to get sidetracked, I hope you’ll understand. The content of the article is about other issues that are critical and becoming too commonly accepted, it is about those that I write, not this matter that is not morally significant since it does not involve deliberate acts but is a rare birth defect.

          So perhaps a quick word to all that I don’t want to field the “hermaphrodite” (a coined word that I do not think speaks to the reality of such a person is, no one is both male and female) issue here for the reasons stated. It is an anomaly, we cannot make law or base philosophies on rare outliers except to say they mysteriously exist, but we cannot say that nature is telling us there there is some “third” sort of human being.

          If someone is born with six fingers we know it is a defect, probably due to genetic problem or to something that occurred in gestation. But outlier situations like this do not indicate a new form of human being.

          In the case you describe, if we can determine the actual sex, and often this can be done, of someone born with what seem two different genitalia then some surgical alteration might be acceptable since it is clearly or at least likely a physical defect. But that of course is a very different than what Mr Jenner did in cutting off fully functioning organs when there was no ambiguity due to a physical defect.

          • Therese says:

            The hermaphrodite is a perfect example of the exception proving the rule (as are the 1.6% of the population identified as homosexuals, per 2014 CDC report).

          • Elijah says:

            Just to be clear, Msgr, I believe that Mr. Jenner has yet to make the final leap of genital amputation.

        • Elijah says:

          It’s not that simple. There are cases where the person does not have XX nor XY. There are XXYs and even X0s – the other sex chromosome is not present at all. As Msgr points out though, those are anomalies. They are recognized as disorders, just as ‘transgenderism’ and homosexuality should be.

      • KENNETH DIMBA says:

        God bless you Monsignor!

  14. Leslie says:

    Terrific explanation, more thorough and logical than others out there. And I have to add, I thoroughly enjoyed the video. Clever way to turn the tables on the issue.

  15. Adolfo says:

    I want to agree with all of this, I really do. So, please help me with one question: what about those born with both sex organs? There is no hermaphrodite soul, so how does that phenomenon work in this Thomistic understanding of metaphysics?

  16. Maria says:

    Bravo, Monsignor, bravo. I will be praying for you today, as I am sure you will be barraged with awful responses.

  17. Maria says:

    I would also add: Wouldn’t it be nice if our BISHOPS would preach on these things?!

  18. Lidia Michael says:

    Grammar Nazi here. Will you please fix this sentence? LOL

    “While this is true, but the body cannot be ignored.”

  19. kelso says:

    Once doctrine goes, everything goes, especially when the truths of the Faith follow from the Incarnation. If one can be saved in any religion by “sincerity” then what is to stop all the sick moral aberrations that come down the road? This is the “New Paganism — Satanism — that Belloc saw coming. Satan hates the human body because the Incarnate God used His to destroy the demon’s evil empire. He loves it when men, especially the baptized, abuse their body, the temple of the Holy Spirit, to destroy themselves and their children. We must address the cause not just the effect. The Cause is the denial of the Church’s doctrine on salvation, Jesus’ doctrine. Whenb this was first done sixty years ago contraception followed right away. Paul Vi fought contraception but let the causal heresy of salvation outside the Church slide. Archbishop Cushing of Boston infamously told the press in the Father Feeney case: “No Salvation Outside the Church? Nonsense.” Next thing he gave the Kennedys’ the green light to vote in favor of contraception.

  20. Angelo says:

    Very good message,I longed for such an information because I had no words to explain this problem to my community.who are cofused by politians who fear to condemn such an evil act,because thy get their campaing funds from homosexuals.

  21. Frank says:

    Thank you, especially the explanation on how religious are not “single”. I just led a study on the Mass and when we talked about Christ as the Bridegroom, most never heard of this nor did they understand it and just see it as a Catholic construct. More needs to be taught regarding this aspect of the Church as the bride of Christ and its biblical roots.

    The hermaphrodite topic seems to be the “tactic” of choice to get around all this. Similar to how sterile heterosexual couples are used to refute the procreative aspects of marriage. I am not saying that Linda or Rita was doing this, but I’ve seen and heard this thrown out on several blogs and shows since this topic has been in the news lately.

  22. Laurie says:

    Msgr, thank you for this. I am surrounded by people saying “I’m so happy for Bruce, since he is now happy.” All people want is others’ happiness, which of course, we all do, but at the cost of denying God’ very own gift. I struggle with saying “the right thing.” Or what I think is the right thing. Your words will help. So thank you.

    • Laurie says:

      I meant to say…”but NOT at the cost of denying God’s very own gift…”

    • C Beltz says:

      Laurie, I think many people are succumbing to a herd mentality with this thing. They want to be accepted and “cool” themselves so they lavish praise in an effort to fit in. They are afraid and alone themselves. Forgive their fear and pray for them.

  23. Don John says:

    I got to the “glove” part and felt I needed to comment before finishing the article.

    What about people who are born with no hands, or missing fingers? Are they to be called sinners because the “glove doesn’t fit”? (Couldn’t help that). That was the thinking in ancient and medieval times but haven’t we moved away from that in modern times? Shouldn’t we think of transsexuals and gays and all the others that we don’t consider “normal” as being born without hands or fingers so that’s why the glove doesn’t work for them? Mental issues, as physical ailments, can not be “willed” away.

    It may be time to stop thinking that “one glove fits all” and start administering just to the soul, no matter what form it takes.

    • No usually we refer to those who are physically troubled as being handicapped. And we refer to those who have drives contrary to nature as having a disordered drive. All of us have some drives that are disordered and/or excessive. I would never what to humiliate those who are born the way you describe by saying that they are not capable of keeping the moral law. What you seem to suggest is the soft bigotry of low expectations. One glove does fit all since we are all human. Or are you saying that LGBTQIIA folks are something other than human?

    • C Beltz says:

      Don, having a dis-ability is NOT the same as having mental illness. That you would even suggest such a thing is ridiculous!

      Does a lack of fingers or limbs mean that person was born with a damaged soul? No. The glove was perfectly made by God to fit it. So rather than declare those with physical abilities and challenges different than most to be “sinners” consider that perhaps they received gifts and abilities you are unable to see. Perhaps such a blindness might also be considered a disability…

      Further, you got the glove analogy so wrong, it’s not even funny. Start with the soul. The glove (human form) covers it. Each human soul is custom tailored to fit that form PERFECTLY. God does not make mistakes. We do.

      And by the way, we are ALL sinners, no matter how “well made” we appear. Open your eyes, because human standards of perfection are the opposite of true perfection. Look at Bruce.

      • Don John says:

        I questioned the glove analogy. I don’t think it a good one. I evidently did not explain my position well. My point is that if God doesn’t make mistakes (as you emphatically state), then why are people born deformed? If we are all sinners, how do we sin before we are born? Maybe God isn’t involved in that at all, which might explain the percentages of people born with physical, and dare I say, mental issues and disorders. Being gay and transsexual and all of these other things may be nothing more than the percentage of humans just born that way.

        And if that is the case, then I submit we treat people with these disorders as we do with any handicapped person, we try to accommodate them. As a blind person may have gifts and abilities, so may gay and transsexuals.

        Finally, if you want me to come around to your point of view, blatantly belittling me will not work.

        • C Beltz says:

          Why do you assume a disability means that person has sinned? I guess I am incredulous that you would have such an Old Testament opinion of disabilities.

          I do not wish to bring you to my point of view, but offer you contrast to your own. You work very hard at not seeing what Msgr Pope has written. It is your viewpoint, unique to you. It is based on your sensibilities, life experiences and choices. Only Jesus can change you.

          I agree gays and transsexuals were born with wonderful gifts. In fact I would go so far as to guarantee it. Unfortunately, the very self-focused nature of their “lifestyles” likely precludes them from ever discovering those abilities and gifts.

          Look at nature. Trees do not change into flowers because those are prettier, cats do not become dogs because they are cooler. Two female holly bushes do not produce red berries, nor do two males. We are part of this earth that God created just for us. To deny that we are subject to its natural law is pure folly.

    • Steve M says:

      Wouldn’t be wrong to minister to just the soul as we are humans with souls and bodies? Aren’t we giving up on half the person if we ignore the body? Our life is experienced in a world where are bodies exist and are an intregal part of us.

      Everyone has something either physical, spiritually or emotionally that we have to over come. We all have different crosses to bear. Being honest about the situation does not in of itself take away the value of that person as a person. Helping people pretend that there is nothing is wrong. My daughter was disabled. She required assistance for pretty much everything. That was who she was and was our reality. We could have pretended that there was nothing going on but the outcome would have been very bad for her and wrong. Being honest does not mean being insensitive. Your comments are just frustrating. The glove is an analogy and of course is imperfect. A person is not a sinner for being born a certain way or even for having feelings. But surely you can see that there are ways that people can chose to act that would be sinful. The whole point is to love the person as a person but not to pretend or help the perosn believe a lie. The whole accusation of medieval thinking is also just a tool for argument not for seeking the truth. We want to best for each person not just enough altered reality that they don’t feel unhappy. Maybe it owuld be more enlightened to encourage drug addicts to consume more so they don’t experience the pain of their circumstances. I am stuck in the old fashioned thought process that we should help the person seek treatment to accept and deal with their reality
      I know it is another one of those ancient things but to me it seems logical.

      • Don John says:


        Thanks for commenting. All I did was pose a different way of looking at a particular point the father was making. I simply posed some questions. I am uncomfortable with the father’s glove analogy. I just don’t think one size fits all even in a spiritual sense. I simply commented on my doubts and what I feel is an excessive dwelling on individual behavior and not enough on interpersonal behavior. If being born addicted and staying that way all one’s life is possible, then providing drugs may be the appropriate response but I don’t think that’s the case. Some research is showing that people may be born disposed to alcohol abuse (this may apply to drugs) so maybe we should be looking at those issues in a different light.

        I’m sorry if I made you uncomfortable.

    • Repent and Believe the Gospel! says:

      Don, below you wrote: “Being gay and transsexual and all of these other things may be nothing more than the percentage of humans just born that way.”

      No, I don’t buy it, they are NOT “born this way”. That’s a new way of justifying SIN. Then a serial killer can say: I’m born to kill many people. I’m born an alcoholic, etc., etc.

      A handicapped person (without arms, hands, etc.) is not the same as a mentally ill person or an evil person. You are comparing apples and oranges.

      A handicapped person cannot operate his or her body the way he or she wanted. That’s it! And it has nothing to do with the WILL POWER OF THE MIND.

      But a person addicted to vices or an evil person (for example, Hitler) has the WILL POWER OF THE MIND.

      A person with mental illness can control the WILL POWER OF THE MIND if they seek medical help and seek God.

  24. C Beltz says:

    I have always had a problem with people declaring they are one sex on the outside but another on the inside, that they have “always felt this way”.

    Uh, ok. I am a woman. I have no idea what it feels like to be a woman. I have no idea what it feels like to be a man for that matter, as if our feelings (which change rapidly) should somehow be determinative of our physical characteristics.

    I only know what it feels like to be me. Anyone who thinks they are someone else “on the inside” is telling you they do not like themselves and want to change. The carving up of ones body (especially in today’s idiotic culture) brings praise, validation, acceptance. From the outside.

    Msgr Pope has written quite eloquently about how happiness is an inside job, and he is right. All the popularity gained by Bruce for his disturbing attempt at fitting in with his severely dysfunctional family will soon wane. How much pain will his daughters and grandchildren be forced to endure as they lose their patriarch and are expected to accept and praise this abomination who has taken his place. It’s a lie of Satan- control the external and you can be happy. Sadly, if people could see past their own noses they would see they neither have control or happiness. Maybe then they would have hope.

    Msgr, thank you for the glove analogy. I will work that into my meditation and reflection. Am I allowing my soul freedom in how I live and move and am?

  25. Richard Connell says:

    Does a married priest have two wives? He has one wife in a mystical sense, the Church, and another in a non-mystical sense, his bodily wife. If his bodily wife should die, would he become a widower in a non-mystical sense? Yes. In the same way, Monsignor, you are a bachelor in a non-mystical sense. That is my best understanding. Please feel free to correct me if I am in error.

    • Richard Connell says:

      If the idea of bachelor includes the idea that the way of marriage is open to the man, then it is wrong to call a priest a bachelor. I, like Monsignor Pope, don’t think of priests as bachelors, but that, in itself, doesn’t make it true. Does the Church have the power to open the way of marriage to unmarried priests?

      • Richard Connell says:

        If it is of the nature of the priesthood itself that marriage becomes closed off to a priest, then I think a priest is in no sense a bachelor. If marriage is closed off to a priest as the result of a vow taken as part of the discipline of the Church, then I think a priest is in a limited sense a bachelor. If marriage is closed off to a priest only as the result of a vow taken as part of the discipline of the Church, then the ontological difficulties and benefits of being a bachelor remain. My best understanding and open to correction.

        • C Beltz says:

          I would suggest you imagine how hard it would be to have two wives always competing for your attention. There would always be one who was left out or let down. This is what I have come to understand. The priest has a 24/7 obligation to his bride the Church, just as a husband has the same to his wife. In the case of a married priest, one would always be the other woman. How is that fair to either? How is that love?

          • Camilla Cameo says:

            Yet there ARE married priests allowed in the Catholic Church, in the Eastern Rites and Anglican Ordinariates.

            The priest-wed-to-the-Church thing is a metaphor. A very good metaphor with a lot of theological depth (rather, normal marriage is just a paltry metaphor for Christ and the Church/the soul, which is what priests reflect) but it is not exactly literally the case that priests have the Church for a wife.

            By the way, and this is replying to the article rather than this particular comment, I have a tattoo which I got with the express purpose of glorifying the Eucharistic Lord in my body. ~_^

          • Richard Connell says:

            When I was a young man and wanted to get a tattoo, happily I never could think of one I wanted that I would want on my body for my entire life. Now that I won’t get one, I know the tattoo I would like to get: this image that expresses the Holy Trinity that I saw in a parish bulletin.

          • C Beltz says:

            I realize there are married priests. I just can’t imagine how that glorifies and serves our Lord in the best manner possible. One bride is always left out, and the priest is subject to an identity crisis. It’s akin to having two (very) full time jobs. You might do well with it for a while, but eventually you would just be exhausted. You would be giving 200% of yourself instead of the usual 100%. Who benefits?

  26. Vernon says:

    Please send a copy to Cardinal Kasparov.

  27. Patric says:

    Msgr. Charles Pope,

    When Paul refers to certain homosexual behavior as “contrary to the nature of things,” is he referring to the understanding of natural moral law as promulgated by the modern Catholic Church? Would he understand every homosexual act as objectively evil and for the same reasons the Church proposes—as being non-procreative, for example? I think we are sometimes guilty of reading biblical text using modern theological language. Elsewhere Paul uses the same words, saying the “nature” of things teaches that long hair is a man’s disgrace but a woman’s glory (1 Corinthians 11:13-15). But not many in the Church take this to mean that the natural moral law requires men to have short hair.

    • The answer to these questions is yes. As for the final point about Hair and nature, it is possible to use words in the strict and narrow sense. Your point neglects context where St. Paul is speaking of hair length, a matter that admits of a range. However, that men and women should have the same hairstyles does seem to deny nature to some degree. But lets be clear that hair length is of far less importance than sexuality. But I don’t think that St. Paul is using nature in the strict sense that he does in Romans when he calls homosexual acts paraphysin (contrary to nature) This is a stronger and stricter sense of the term. But even if you want to insist that Paul is using “nature” in the strict sense, that alone does not equal his teaching on homosexual acts which he describes in Romans and elsewhere as shameful, sinful, and excluding of one from the Kingdom of heaven and exhibiting of one as having a darkened intellect etc.

      I eliminated two other things Patric said because one question seems to presume Catholics are biblical fundamentalists and I do not intend to go down that rabbit hole. We are not and I will not be asked to defend ancient Christian anthropology or philosophy on those grounds. You might wish to consult St. Thomas Aquinas who does quite and ample job of setting forth these matters using scripture, natural law, Aristotle, Jewish sources, and time-tested Christian philosophy rooted in 1200 years of insight up to the time he wrote and largely unquestioned until the time of Descartes.

      I have already indicated an unwillingneess to speak further on so-called “hermaphroditism” since it is an anomaly and thus nothing can be deduced from it other than to say it is a birth defect. This article is not about that, it is about sexual mutilation.

      In the future Patric please address comments to all here, not to me. I don’t always have time to circle back and answer everything. I am off to a meeting now.

    • C Beltz says:

      Regarding the hair, when’s the last time you saw George Clooney sporting s ponytail or Cindy Crawford with a Pixie? Sin or not, short hair tends to favor men, and long hair favors women. I’m not saying there are no exceptions, just an overall attractiveness sensibility that seems to withstand the cycling hair trends.

  28. Catharine says:

    It seems that the post-modernist/liberal worldview that is taking over so-called Western civilization is progressing towards it natural end–many, many Catholic saints and prophets far more intelligent than I have said that the rebellion against revealed truth (or revealed Truth–Our Lord Jesus Christ) which began with Martin Luther’s 95 theses in 1517 will end in chaos, anarchy and bloodshed.
    When everyone is free to decide for oneself what is true or not, what is real or not, and what God has revealed to His creatures (or not), it means that every possible lie or untruth must be held to have the same validity as actual truth, and must be nourished and cherished and given the same respect, even if it means drinking spiritual Drano and calling it pure water. This is why there are 30,000+ perversions (oops, permutations!) of the Catholic faith, each of them contradicting the known truth.
    The post-modernist/liberal worldview is such that every possible sexual perversion must be encouraged and given full license to play itself out. Normal human sexuality is openly despised and held in utmost contempt and detestation (remember when the gays were calling normal hetero’s “breeders?” Living in accordance with God’s revealed will for most human beings, which is traditional marriage, which in the Catholic church means a total commitment to one’s husband/wife for the duration of one’s natural life, with a concomitant commitment to lifelong fidelity, lifelong monogamy, and the acceptance of all children which may be conceived/ born of the marriage, is considered to be an aberration by these people. A normal adult will tell you that living one’s life in the committed service of one’s spouse and children will keep you normal. Abandoning one’s spouse and/or children to follow one’s sexual whims, moment to moment, is anything but normal.
    Normal human beings have suffered from the sexual revolution.
    Normal adult males who want to be committed husbands and fathers have suffered from divorce-on-demand and being shut out of their own children’s lives.
    Normal adult females who want to be committed wives and mothers suffer likewise, also from pressure to work full-time during pregnancy and almost immediately after childbirth, when (1) she needs to get back into normal condition; and (2) the new baby needs its mother most! Far too many females have bought into the lie that women can “do it all” by themselves. Nonsense! All humans need normalcy and support from other humans!
    Those who have suffered most from the sexual revolution are the children. First, those infants in the womb who have been mercilessly slaughtered like cockroaches because they were deemed inconvenient, or were suspected of having some abnormality. Their only true offense was their mere existence! Disposable human beings–don’t pay attention, keep moving down the sidewalk, nothing of interest here, but let’s worship sexual perversion!
    Those who have suffered most, after aborted/contracepted infants are those infants and little children raised in single-parent homes. While many single parents struggle heroically to parent their children, since the sexual revolution began in the 1960’s, there has been a decided shift from each family taking responsibility for itself, to each family–or-single parent–deciding that the public schools are by default responsible for raising children, teaching them morality, etc.
    The results have been staggering in their destructiveness. But that is a topic for another day.
    I would urge that everyone pray for Bruce Jenner and all similarly afflicted. I believe he truly does suffer from severe psychiatric illness and/or Satanic temptation.
    Again, many Catholic saint and prophets, much more insightful and intelligent than I, have pointed out that in the “latter days,” defined as the times from after the first Pentecost to the end of times, one of the striking characteristics is that people will deliberately choose to believe in, and live by, known lies, than to accept and live by, the known Truth.

  29. Ann says:

    “But this confusion is not for us, fellow Christians.” Yes! We don’t have to be confused, we have no reason to be. The truth is still the truth.

    Thank you for another wonderful blog post. I will remember that quote!

  30. Dr. Cheryl Kayahara-Bass says:

    Absolutely fantastic post, Father, thank you so much. I will be sharing this with many, it is absolutely urgent and timely.

  31. Rex says:

    Amen, Thank you. I’m showing this article to others.

  32. Don John says:


    With regards to the media frenzy and your comments on Bruce Jenner. My understanding is that he himself does not want any surgery. He only wants to dress up like a woman because he identifies as one. I agree with you that there is something really strange regarding those who want to undergo surgery, but I can not begin to understand it.

    I’d like your opinion on the media frenzy. I think that it’s an indication of our worship as a society of the golden calf. They report on this for one reason, money. I’m not sure what’s worse, Jenner or the media. If I had to pick, it’s the media

    • Scott W. says:

      You asked for Msgr’s, but pardon me for interjecting mine: the media is worse, hands down. Jenner is just a poor sap suffering from a body-image disorder which is only made worse by a bevvy of enablers using him for propaganda purposes. Put it this way, any normal person confronted with someone with bulemia or apotemnophilia would recognize the disorder immediately and urge professional help, but in the incoherent world of libertine sexual politics, common sense goes out the window. Jenner says he is not interested in surgery, however it is not hard to see him changing his mind because he is desperately seeking peace of soul and looking in all the wrong places. The media will drive him down further on the road of madness.

  33. Judy Lou Adams says:

    I agree with the Archbishop!! However, my sisters daughter is a lesbian! She was so devastated by this! I cannot criticize it at all or judge!! Her daughter is very intelligent, has mothered two beautiful children and has a third with her partner!! Wouldn’t Christ want me to support my sister and her daughter?? Otherwise, there would be big family splits and we would all be miserable!! Is that good?? No!! It is my nieces lifestyle choice and we have to live with it!! They are filling the family with love and raising beautiful , talented, sweet children!! No menacing activities or evil intent on their part! They are contributing to society the best they can!! I think God understands!!

    • Scott W. says:

      Good intentions and good consequences do not make evil acts good.

    • a catholic psychologist says:

      Hello Judy Lou Adams. “Wouldn’t Christ want me to support my sister and her daughter??” Christ does want you to support them with your prayers and bearing witness to His Truth. Family members are the first persons to which we must bear witness to the truth taught to us by Our Lord who warned us that His way and truth and life would sometimes cause division w/in the family (Matt10:37). May I suggest that your approach is psycho-therapeutic (wanting others to feel good about themselves) it is not spiritually therapeutic (bearing witness to Our Lord.) Fellowship is a great good, but authentic fellowship always depends upon the truth, not upon feelings, or “contributing to society”. The truth is that sex outside of traditional marriage is sinful, even if it makes the partners feel good about themselves. Endorsing feelings above the truth is never helpful to the spirit. As is true for all of us, when you die, you will face The Lord, who will render judgment on your spirit, not on your feelings. These times are trying, they do test the spirit, but the Lord will help you through you trials with your family. Trust in The Lord.

    • Steve Brown says:

      Judy Lou, it is hard when it’s personal. I try to remember all those logs in my eye (sins) between 20 and 35. Then it was another 15 years before I became serious about Christianity and the Catholic Church. All you can do is pray and if you are asked, be very gentle in affirming the faith. M. Scott Peck in his book “The Road Less Traveled” begins with the a three word sentence; life is difficult. Indeed!

  34. Suzana says:

    As a priest I know once pointed out, nobody has ever said, “What a feminine cow!” or “What a masculine steer!”. The characteristics of femininity and masculinity are a gift from God, reserved for human beings alone.

  35. NormB says:

    With wisdom like this, being a recovering catholic (born again christian), I’m more tempted to rejoin the one holy, catholic, apostolic church again. Thank you Msgr Pope.

  36. Joseph says:

    I think the “problem” started when handsome Bruce resorted to plastic surgery which distorted his face.

  37. Debbie S says:

    Angels can reject the idea, humans can reject the idea, Plan B over plan A. Angels and Demons,
    Servants and Masters, Plan C does not exist for those who would choose to be a Servant/Master.
    There is only one Servant/Master and he will be either accepted or rejected. Unlike Demons, humans
    can reject their masterhood for servanthood, a blessed way of life
    that no one has ever regretted from here and beyond.

  38. Donna Pioli says:

    I will respond to people who cut their legs off, because they feel their body wants to be disabled? I am disabled
    (I have not read the article about people becoming disabled on purpose). I can’t understand that at all.
    Isn’t it amazing, I would do anything not to be disabled! I have MS which causes me many problems, one of which is I have a weak left leg, hip. Also painful. I also have Pulmonary Fibrosis. This means that my lungs get stiff and I can’t breathe. I have 50% of my lungs left. I have to use oxygen 24/7 and cannot do things that require much,energy or strength. I have struggled with this disease for over 13 years. I am lucky, tho, as most people don’t live this long, even with a lung transplant, which is the only cure. I have four other diseases but I’m not going to mention those. I don’t usually talk about these things but I,think those folks should thank Gog for the healthy
    Bodies they have. Thank you, Msg for your informing article. Donna

  39. Sophia Grace says:

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the post, Monsignor, and applaud your courage to write and publish it! My prayers are with you!

  40. Florian says:

    June 4th: i believe sin is when we use something God created for a certain purpose for a different purpose than what God intended. And, as Msgr. Pope explained…male and female bodies were formed to ‘fit’ each other…one can manipulate or disfigure one’s body but the original ‘purpose’ is still there…and that cannot change but the capacity to use the body for the purpose for which it was designed is gone. I don’t doubt that Jenner suffered psychologically – why didn’t he get counseling? Or perhaps he did and it didn’t help. Does he have children? Imagine the shock of children who one day have a father and the next…? They can’t call him ‘dad’ – nor can they call him ‘mom’…he is, though, and will always be, their father. How sad for all involved.

  41. O. Felix Culpa says:

    You write: “Some of my brothers are “softer” than others of them; more emotional, more sensitive, more open.”

    Am honestly trying to wrap my head around this: How do we distinguish the philosophical “essence” and “accident” when considering male and female? Men are generally speaking taller than women and more interested in sports; women are generally more interested in shopping. One could go on and list hundreds of stereotypes of masculine and feminine behaviour. So, does that mean there is something “defective” about a man who does not like sports, or woman who does not like shoe-shopping?

    Masculinity and femininity can’t be simply the sum of our stereotypes–are these not mere “accidents” in the philosophical sense? But then–if our essence is not merely the sum of our accidents, then what is it exactly?

  42. mary travis says:

    There is a web site put up by Walter Heyer , which advises strongly against this
    trend, giving supportive facts to add to Msgr.’s most informative overview.

    Msgr. Pope, you give us great service in your clear, faithfilled, presentations of difficult topics.
    We are in your debt.

  43. alma corazon says:

    Yes, I am a woman. However, even though I am married and have been so for 39 years, I have never wanted to have children. There has never been a desire to have children. I do not understand why I am that way. I just am that way. In fact, after being married finally in the sacrament of Matrimony, from that day foreword–and for 20 years since, there has been no act of intimacy between my husband and myself. (Nor was there any sort of speciaL intimacy before my Sacramental wedding. Yes, we are best friends but sorry, no intimacy, and no wish for children. I am now 75 years old. I wonder about my Joseph-Mary marriage and I wonder about myself–am I mentally ill? I do not know. Am I simply part of the wounded church–disabled in a very strange way. I don’t know.
    No, I do not want to be other than what I am, and I do not know how to be other than who I am.
    It is good that there are men and women who fit each other and produce children. It is not me. And–it is not my husband. HE has never wanted children.
    So, what am I? Who am I? Where do I fit in? I do not know.
    So where does someone like me fit into the plan of God?
    Since I have less years to live, than I have already lived, I am coming closer and closer to the end of my life. And I still do not understand who I am. Any comments will be read and appreciated.

    • Debbie S. says:

      Alma, many people are defining marriage for themselves outside of biblical teaching. I don’t
      want children, I want one, two at the most, I’ll take three or four, five’s definitely the limit
      with me, your will be done Lord, the Church exists to help the faithful to fulfill the
      Lord’s will. When we surrender to the Wisdom of the Church, we find a strength that begins to
      say not my will be done, but your will be done O’Lord. Life is short, the treasures that last
      and continue to be an everlasting blessing will be the great harvest of souls. God ask all to
      take care of the harvest and each has been given a task by God for that purpose. You’re called to
      be a part of God’s harvest and to help him with his harvest, its not to late but you need the
      Church as the Church needs you to witness to the Lord. You, your husband and the Lord could make
      a great team and you will see a growing desire for his kingdom to grow and multiply. God bless.
      Some are called by their suffering in union with the Lord to be mothers and fathers of many souls
      who just wouldn’t have made it had it not been for another’s sacrifice. Nothing is wasted, and
      we can use everything that makes up our life.

  44. Zoe Brain says:

    In an isolated village of the southwestern Dominican Republic, 2% of the live births were in the 1970’s, guevedoces (actually male pseudohermaphrodites). These children appeared to be girls at birth, but at puberty these ‘girls’ sprout muscles, testes, and a penis. For the rest of their lives they are men in nearly all respects. Their underlying pathology was found to be a deficiency of the enzyme, 5-alpha Reductase.

    Eppur si muove

  45. Helene Z. says:

    I am an 86 year old mother of four, grandmother of eleven, and great grandmother of three so far and I praise and thank God for my life and my family. I hope that I have come even a tiny bit close to fulfilling the mission He put me here to complete. The Bruce Jenner saga is so sad because something evil appears to be at play. Much of our mission on earth is about “them”, our offspring, not about “us”. We should be enjoying the fruits of our labors…that being the ones to whom we, as procreators, gave life. Bruce Jenner was married three times, and had two children with each spouse, a total of three sons and three daughters, and now has five grandchildren. He is being lauded not for the beautiful family he has, talented and handsome offspring, but for attempting to change himself into a woman!!! There is definitely something wrong with this picture and with those who shrug it off as “no big deal” or jump for joy saying “what a big deal…hurray!”. Bruce Jenner and those before him and who will come after him need our prayers. We may not understand why this is happening but God is still in charge and we can only hope that in the long run, some good will come out of it.

  46. alma corazon says:

    Thank you each for your replies. As to my serving the Church and spreading the good news, I certainly do as much as I can. It is simply that at age 75, I wonder who I am, what I am, and how does God see me.

    Now I see another form of suffering: guevedoces (actually male pseudohermaphrodites). I am sorry for such. Then, I read about a group of people who actually WANT TO BE DISABLED, and so, they cut off their own arms or legs or they blind themselves. I don’t understand this sort of mindset.

    Right now, my husband suffers from a disease called Alzheimer’s. It is unique to him as all Alz D are not the same in symptoms. I do my best to care for him without crying about it all.

    One day by one day–I go forward.. Peace Alma

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