Saturday, April 9, 2016

Nobody is Obliged to do Impossible Things

The Pope recently used a Latin adage: “Ad impossibilia nemo tenetur.”  He was using it in the context of telling Capuchins how to forgive in confession rather than being rigid with penitents. He said that people often could not get out of their sins because they were psychologically conditioned or imprisoned in a situation.   But it struck me that that saying “No one is held to doing impossible things” applies so manifestly to the situation of the enhanced male.  His focus on things masculine and all the urges that that implies are pre-conscious, sub-conscious and deep in his nature.  None of this he can change.  In order not to break his nature he must go along with his urges and realize his potential for bringing the joy of masculinity into other people’s lives.

Another thought: The Catechism enforces chastity on gays.  But chastity is incumbent on all Christians because chastity simply means keeping your sexual urges and practices within reasonable bounds.  In particular this means keeping your appetites in check so that in no way do they do harm to others.  People have a tendency to confuse celibacy and chastity.  Celibacy means not being married.  Members of religious orders take a vow which is called one of chastity that couples the practice of celibacy with the Christian practice of chastity.  As I come to reflect on this now, as I integrate my enhanced masculinity or gay nature, I can see that this does not necessarily amount to a vow to forego all sexual activity, which has long been the official interpretation of the state of consecrated celibacy.  We still have our sexual nature to fulfil.

Monday, April 4, 2016


Everyone has a right to their sexual fulfilment.  That is a principle that I must have seen before in the writings of John McNeill, but it struck more forcefully only recently when I dropped into John McNeill’s blog.  It is a wonderfully liberating principle.  For religious with a vow of chastity it is particularly liberating because we were brought up to think that by our vow we renounced all sexual fulfilment. 

Experience shows that this just does not work.  For some, especially perhaps enhanced males, total sexual self-denial is very destructive of their nature as persons.  McNeill has a beautifully positive view of sex as a gift of God to human beings for their recreation and enjoyment.  McNeill makes his own somebody else’s summing up of the value of sex.  There is no such thing as bad sex.  There is only good sex, better sex and best sex.  The best sex, McNeill says, is in a loving long-term committed relationship.  Better sex is playing with somebody else.  Yes, even one night stands have their value and God rejoices to see his children enjoying themselves in this way. 
That leaves the category of simply good sex as covering solo sex.   As I have said before the sin in certain uses of sex is not in the sex itself but in transgressing the norms of love in some way, in the abuse of persons or of human lives.  Sex as such is always pleasing to God.  Mansex, I would add, is relatively free of the occasions for the transgression of way of love.  So, if mansex is your particular way of being sexually fulfilled, just get on with your fulfilment.

A corollary to everyone having the right to his sexual fulfilment would be that nobody but he is in a place to judge what he needs for his individual sexual fulfilment.  Provided that we do nothing contrary to the commandment to love one another we can do only good with sex.  Nobody else should condemn our sexual appetites or practices.  Another corollary might be that we have a duty in the sight of God to fulfil ourselves sexually, to use and develop the talents he has given us for our well-being and playful joy.