Theology of the Body
“Theology of the Body” illuminates the mystery of being made in the image and likeness of God – not only in the spiritual dimension but also in the body. It is John Paul II’s integrated vision of the human person—body, soul, and spirit. It is a biblical reflection on the meaning of embodiment, sexual desire, and married love.
“Theology of the Body” is the title given to a collection of talks on God’s design for human sexuality by Pope John Paul II over five years. Appealing to the individual’s experiences of truth, the Holy Father discusses both Sacred Scripture and Catholic Tradition on the subject. This approach seeks not only to make understandable the rich theology of Catholic teaching on the nature of humanity created as man and woman but also to communicate the truth and beauty of God’s design of human sexuality.
Resources for Adults/Parents:
Resources for Youth/Teens:
Sexual Immorality- Why the church teaches what they do and help to overcome sexual sins
The Catholic Church views pornography as a sin because it perverts the conjugal act and does grave injury to the dignity of its participants. It fosters the inclination to treat others as objects for sexual gratification. It inhibits one from having healthy, pure relationships and from entering marriage honestly, fruitfully, and faithfully.
Masturbation is considered a sin as it violates the Sixth Commandment. It is a self-indulgent activity that uses the body for personal gratification, rather than expressing love and life through a marital relationship. It turns one inward and conditions one towards isolation.
The Catholic Church maintains that while homosexual desires are not sinful, homosexual acts are violations of divine and natural law. The Church calls for respect, compassion, and sensitivity towards individuals with homosexual temptations, and encourages them to live chastely.
“The purpose of sex is both unitive and procreative within the context of marriage (Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 2351). . . Artificial contraception, meaning an unnatural method of preventing pregnancy, completely closes off the procreative half of the conjugal act, reducing sex to mere entertainment for pleasure’s sake, otherwise known as lust.” (https://realclearcatholic.com/2023/09/12/catholic-teaching-on-sexual-sin/) The Church, however, supports the use of scientific-based methods of self-observation of the signs and symptoms of fertility known as Natural Family Planning (NFP). NFP respects a woman’s body, the marital act, and God’s plan for marriage, all while helping a couple justly and responsibly plan their family. (see videos below).
Sex was created by God for the purpose of procreation and unity within the context of marriage between a man and a woman. Additionally, God intended for spouses to experience pleasure and enjoyment within the boundaries of marriage. Sex is meant to express love in a way that mirrors God’s love and is also intended to bring forth new life.