Patrick’s comment on my last post prompts me to write some more. He quotes his Catholic theologian friend as saying: “Everyone is entitled to love and to have sex in the way and to the extent he (she) is able to”! That reminds me of something John NcNeil wrote on his blog right at the end of his life: everybody has a right to his or her particular sexual expression. I find that a beautiful principle because it venerates the goodness of sex. Sex is part of each human being’s individual make-up and each of us has our individual attractions and expressions of our sexual being. To be fully human we need to integrate and express our individual sexual character. To become complete, whole, human beings is what our very existence is about. So, thinking about sex like this, brings it right into the realm of the spiritual. Further, if we believe in Christ we believe that God became man. We can think of our aim in life as to become holy, to come to share in the very being of God. But, since God became man, there is no becoming God for us without our attaining the fullness of our human being. Hence, the importance of sexual fulfillment within our Christian vocation.
With Donald Trump’s latest rave the question of transgender comes into our consciousness. I know nothing about transgender because I am not transgender and do not recall having had anything much to do with transgender persons. So I can only start from the principle that they know what they are about. As a Christian I must leave the matter up to their conscience. As far as the Church is concerned the ordinary magisterium would condemn sex-change on the grounds that it is interfering with nature. But that principle can never be infallible because it goes too far. Every surgical intervention is, in fact, an interference with nature, even if it is to remove an aggressive tumour. Therefore, as with so many other ethical problems, we have to fall back upon the primacy of the individual conscience. Christians are not called to judge and condemn other people’s consciences, but rather to live and let live.