Monday, December 8, 2014

More on Gender Complementarity and Catholic Teaching: Michael Mullins and Todd Salzman

Some quotations from articles hot off the (internet) press (for me, at least) that may be of interest to readers of Bilgrimage — these, about the issue of gender complementarity in Catholic thought:

Michael Mullins in Eureka Street

Parents put love before dogma in supporting their children to come to terms with who they are with respect to gender. Dogma refers to social norms and expectations in the various sectors of society. Tony Abbott's utterance 'Let boys be boys, let girls be girls – that's always been my philosophy' is  an expression of dogma. It is, to turn his slur on himself, politically correct.  
Dogma is part of a deductive process that does real harm to people who don't measure up to expectations. Dogma judges and excludes them. They feel alienated from family and various social groups and units of society and develop a sense that their life is unworthy. A logical consequence of that is that they can be driven to thoughts of suicide. 

Todd Salzman in conversation with Brandon Ambrosino at Vox

[In warning against a "static" understanding of sexuality,] Pope Francis is taking what theologically we refer to as a historically conscious approach to complementarity. When he says that we shouldn't confuse complementarity "with the simplistic notion that all the roles and relations of the sexes are fixed in a single, static pattern," the implication is that our understanding of complementarity is evolving in terms of our human understanding. 
That's one of the big critiques of the notion of complementarity that the Church has adopted under John Paul II, that it's based on stereotypical gender roles: man is rational, industrious, and pragmatic, and woman is caring, loving, emotional. But, of course, those traits are culturally determined. Those aren't ontologically given. 

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