Tuesday, January 28, 2003

I don't often do this, but I thought this comment from the post on the blackmailed priest below, was worth posting up here:

A seminarian belonging to a religious order sent me photocopies of the handouts distributed to him and his fellows during a (mandatory) workshop on Attaining Psychosexual Maturity held in Boston last year. What follows are verbatim extracts from the handouts. A little reflection will show why Father Ruggeri represents neither a fluke nor a failure of the seminary formation program: he is the man it is designed to produce.

First, here is the presenter's working definition of chastity:

"Chastity is the condition of being affectively present and available to all."

Clear, I hope? Next we ponder the presenter's three basic categories of Psychosexual Maturity:



1. BEFRIENDING YOUR SEXUALITY

-- Reinitiate dialogue with your body, your sexual feelings and desires, especially inviting forth the parts of you that are most repressed (and fostering readiness to have those surfaces will allow them gradually to present themselves).

2. EXPERIENCING YOUR SEXUALITY

-- Allow your sexual feelings and desires into awareness.

-- Allow yourself to focus on your emotions without judging them.

-- Thinking, fantasizing, feeling and acting are DIFFERENT.

-- Thinking about sex IS NOT the same as acting sexually.

3. ACCEPTING YOUR SEXUALITY

-- Sexual feelings, like all feelings, are neutral.

-- Reclaiming and owning your sexual self leads to integration, which is the basis for self-acceptance.

**********************

There's much more of the same, but that should give you the general idea. Remember, these ideas are not being slipped under the door at night by the poachers, but being inculcated at obligatory workshops by the gamekeepers. The presenter was for several years a full-time spiritual director for the seminarians at the North American College in Rome.

Now, I'm as against repression and sexual neuroticism as anyone, but you would think that this kind of discussion would take place in some recognizably Christian/Catholic context. Perhaps it's there in parts of the workshop the commentor didn't post,but this excerpt is just so tediously predictable in how it Misses The Point.

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