Finally, recognition of ills of sex outside marriage

Updated 11/14/2017 11:20 AM

As a middle-aged father of a 24-year-old daughter and three young granddaughters, I see the #MeToo movement as a positive development of secular society finally recognizing what the Catholic Church has been teaching for centuries -- namely, that sex, when used outside of the context for which it was created, has strong negative consequences on individuals, particularly women.

The relaxation of our sexual morals, through the acceptance of pornography, artificial contraception and the devaluation of traditional marriage, has led to a society that no longer respects the dignity of the human person from a sexual perspective. Women, and to a much lesser extent, men, have become mere objects of sexual desire.

It has become a common practice to exploit the sexual nature of the human person for one's own personal gain or sexual satisfaction. While the exploitation of the weak by the powerful is nothing new under the sun, it's been made easier by the degradation of a moral code based on chivalry, chaste love and common decency that used to consider such acts unacceptable.

For reference, read the papal encyclical written by Pope Paul IV entitled "Humanae Vitae" published July 25, 1968. It was a controversial document stating the church's position in opposing artificial contraception. Pope Paul was roundly criticized for this statement by Catholics and non-Catholics alike as being out of touch with the new realities of a society in the midst of the "sexual revolution." Yet, the pope's statements, particularly on the potential effect of losing respect for the sexual nature of women and turning them into objects of sexual gratification, now appear prophetic nearly 50 years later.

What has been considered countercultural for the past 50 years now offers a framework for society to overcome this destructive pattern of behavior to the benefit of women and men alike.

Peter Gennuso


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