81. Young people are aware that the body and sexuality have an essential importance for their lives and for their process of growth in identity. Yet in a world that constantly exalts sexuality, maintaining a healthy relationship with one’s body and a serene affective life is not easy. For this and other reasons, sexual morality often tends to be a source of “incomprehension and alienation from the Church, inasmuch as she is viewed as a place of judgment and condemnation”. Nonetheless, young people also express “an explicit desire to discuss questions concerning the difference between male and female identity, reciprocity between men and women, and homosexuality”.[FD 39]
All true. Many Catholics bristle at the lack of reception on many of these points, even when confronted with evidence that young people’s perception of judgmentalism sours them on the institutions: universal, parishes, and other believers. The best one can say is that the Church’s witness is very unconvincing. That witness may be grounded in truth, at least for most young people. But the way it can be communicated is an obstacle to faith and commitment.
One possible source of that “incomprehension and alienation” is the relative paucity of the witness of lay people. The question is often raised: what do celibates know about sex? And it may be a good question of most celibates. Healthy celibates can certainly witness to relationships. But the Church’s pastoral theology of marriage lags far behind its legal approach to the sacrament. That is a substantial problem.
You can access the full document on this link at the Vatican site.
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