What Are They Talking About?

Jo McGowan eviscerates one of the hierarchy’s talking points on sex.

Taking on a recent opinion piece from the NYT. Fr Roger Landry trying to make a case against contraception, “Contraception…make[s] pleasure the point of the act, and any time pleasure becomes the point rather than the fruit of the act, the other person becomes the means to that end. And we’re actually going to hurt the people we love.”

Ms McGowan:

At one level, this is insightful and nuanced. When he laments how frequently such objectification happens to women in sexual relationships, Fr. Landry sounds almost feminist. And he is right that a relationship that’s only about the pursuit of pleasure is demeaning and ultimately hurtful.

He is wrong, though, to assume that using contraception automatically makes “pleasure the point of the act.” This is how adolescents think. Teenagers dream of constantly available sex, uninhibited by any possibility of pregnancy. That priests would talk the same way about sex between a husband and wife who have chosen to use contraception reflects inexperience and adolescent projection.

Adults understand that good sex, with or without contraception, goes deeper than pleasure. It is complex and demanding. And pleasure isn’t necessarily a part of it. Any human encounter requiring honesty and surrender has the potential for both revelation and pain. The communication, healing, and strengthening that good sex ensures is foundational to a marriage. Pure pleasure the point of the act? What is Fr. Landry talking about?

I also saw macho talk from Bishop Vasa of Santa Rosa:

If they shut me down, they shut me down.

If I were a conspiracy theorist, I’d say these guys are intentionally trying to shut down the Church. They really don’t know much of what they are talking about.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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One Response to What Are They Talking About?

  1. Jimmy Mac says:

    If they shut me down, they shut me down.” It’ll be easier to shut him down rather than shut him up! He has begun his Vasa-ectomy of a good diocese.

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