The Surprising Origins of (and Problem with) the Vatican’s View of Sex and Gender

Father Krysztof Charamsa with his partner Eduard at a news conference this past weekend: "I am a gay priest. I am a happy and proud gay priest."

It’s a grabby headline: “Vatican sacks gay priest as Pope opens Synod.”

Indeed, when Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa, one the Vatican’s chief theological gatekeepers, openly celebrated his homosexuality and love for his partner as the “will of God” on the eve of the Synod on the Family, he both got himself fired and stirred a chorus of controversy—perhaps beyond his reckoning.

Might it rile an intransigent “hell-no” chorus or empower liberals to face the Church with its own “We’re here, we’re queer. So, deal with it” chorus? Will it expose the brittle historicity (and thus fallibility) of the church’s long naturalized theological anthropology? Can we expect the Vatican to examine its most fundamental notions about sex, sexual identity, and gender?

Along with gay Catholics, keen Catholic feminists also relentlessly point out the oddities of the Church’s vision of the sexed human person. Could this be their moment, too? Indeed, timed for the Synod, the Paulist Press’ publication of an anthology of essays—Catholic Women Speak: Bringing Our Gifts to the Tableexposes how very weird, and not so wonderful, the official Vatican view of sexed human nature is.

Excerpt from Ivan Strensky’s article in the University of South Carolina’s Religion Dispatches- Read more.

 

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