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USCCB staff criticizes ‘flawed anthropology of sexual orientation’

August 29, 2013

The staff of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage is publishing a seven-part series of blog posts in the wake of recent Supreme Court decisions on same-sex marriage.

In the most recent installment, the staff criticized “the flawed anthropology of sexual orientation”:

The problem with treating “sexual orientation” as a description of a class of people is that it proposes a deeply flawed anthropology, or understanding of the human person. Christian anthropology teaches that each person is called to accept his or her sexual identity as a man or as a woman (Catechism, no. 2333). This is consistent with the understanding that man – male and female – is a unity of body and soul (Catechism, no. 362-368). Our identity as human persons is intimately connected with our identity as a man or as a woman. In short, the body matters.

What the language of “sexual orientation” does, anthropologically, is separate one’s identity from one’s bodily nature as a man or woman, placing a premium on one’s desires and inclinations. The body then becomes a “bottom layer” – essentially meaningless matter – over which one’s “real” identity – comprised of desires and inclinations – is super-imposed.


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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Aug. 29, 2013 10:31 AM ET USA

    "Desires and inclinations" = concupiscence