The meaning of human sexuality

Many Catholics find the teachings of the Church on sexuality among some of its most challenging — and there’s almost nothing more at odds with today’s society. But, as the following In Focus aims to teach, the Church’s teachings on sexuality are among the most beautiful it has to share. It is through our sexuality that we are first defined and that we are first able to discover our purpose here on earth.

As is conveyed in Chapter 3 of “Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive,” the preparatory catechesis for the World Meeting of Families — Philadelphia 2015, “Our bodies are not simply shells for the soul or sensory machines for the brain. Nor are they raw material we can freely abuse or re-program. For Christians, body and spirit are profoundly integrated.” Expanding on that concept in the following three commentaries are Buffalo Bishop Richard J. Malone, chair of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; moral theologian Janet Smith; and author and speaker Christopher West. In the authors’ own unique ways, each explores the meaning of human sexuality as proclaimed by the Catholic Church.

In his Philly report, seminarian Eric Banecker writes about how locals are opening their homes to World Meeting of Families pilgrims.

Bishop Richard J. Malone - We are designed by God for a purpose

Janet Smith - Our bodies, which are a gift from God, reveal that we are to be committed lovers who treasure new life

Christopher West - How to follow God's plan for human sexuality using three easy words

Eric Banecker - No room at the inn? Philly residents step up
No room at the inn? Philly residents step up

“The tangible, earthly, corporeal world is more than inert matter or modeling clay for the human will. Creation is sacred. It has sacramental meaning. It reflects God’s glory. That includes our bodies. Our sexuality has the power to procreate, and shares in the dignity of being created in the image of God. We need to live accordingly.” — “Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive,” Chapter 3