By Fr. Roy Cimagala
IN the gospel, Christ was once asked about marriage and divorce. And it was there that he had to clarify certain misunderstandings the people of that time had about these matters. And he also brought in the issue about celibacy. (cfr. Mt 19,3-12)
Human sexuality is a very delicate topic that has to be handled very, very well. It is so delicate that even a little misunderstanding of it can cause tremendous damage in the spiritual life of a person. It is where the disconnect between man’s body and soul, and ultimately between God and man, can be the sharpest. It can lead us blind, deaf and insensitive to the spiritual and supernatural dimension of our life.
That is why, back in 1995, the Vatican issued a document that to me holds special and urgent relevance today. It’s entitled, The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality, and precisely talks about a topic that should be made mainstream.
It needs to be brought out more in the open. Given the many issues in this area that have managed to generate a lot of confusion and complications, the document offers a basic and comprehensive primer especially to parents who are the first teachers and formators of their children.
What we have in society only reflects and is a result of what we have in the families. If the families do not do well or even fail in the education of their children in human sexuality, we cannot expect a society that will have a healthy attitude toward this very important aspect of human life.
The naked truth is that problems in this area have multiplied not only in number but also in kind. Wherever we go, even if we would just take a cursory look around, we can immediately see that there are things that are not quite right or, shall we say, that at least raise eyebrows, provoke questions and concern, etc.
Pornography is now so easily accessible that even little innocent children can already get exposed to them. Teen-age pregnancy is on the rise, together with casual sex and hook-ups, STD, abortion, contraception, and illegitimate children. This is not to mention the rise of problems related to the confusion in sexual identity.
There is a need to stress the original beauty and truth of human sexuality, its great positive and constructive power and contribution to our lives. And so, we have to highlight its origin in our human nature as designed by our Creator himself. We therefore cannot help but view human sexuality always within the framework of our Christian faith.
From there, we have to stress why our human sexuality is to be lived always in the context of truth and love, that is, in chastity, and not just in the context of our feelings and passions, and other worldly trends and some ideologies detached or even hostile to the faith.
Since we cannot avoid having some conflicting discussions in this topic, we have to have a clear idea of the distinction between good tolerance and bad tolerance, between healthy open-mindedness and the unhealthy one.
More importantly, we have to find ways to make this concern of teaching the truth and meaning of human sexuality an ongoing affair. Some structures have to be put up to continually help parents effectively discharge their duty of being teachers to their children, especially in the area of human sexuality.