This really does go to far. They will be wanting a “Catholic Joy of Sex” next. Well, okay, perhaps such thing might not be such a silly idea–in fact, some would argue that we already have it in JPII’s magnum opus “The Theology of the Body” (perhaps someone should bring out an illustrated edition??).
Anyway, if you haven’t caught up with it, here is the offending article at none other than the National Catholic Reporter, entitled “Toward a Catholic Kama Sutra”. The author is one Gordon J. Hilsman, who apparently is a clinical pastoral educator in Tacoma, Wash., and author of “Intimate Spirituality: The Catholic Way of Love and Sex”. He has a website too: www.intimatespirituality.com. His basic argument is that if it is “loving”, it is okay, because “being loving” is what Christianity is all about.
Here’s a taste of the article:
But for our age a widely diverse community of dedicated and educated Catholics committed to formulation of something like a Catholic Kama Sutra may determine that some of the ways in which intimate relationships feed the human spirit reflect the presence of God as clearly as any other religious experience when they are no longer a priori considered to be “bad in all circumstances.”
Sexual intercourse outside of sanctified committed relationship serves as an example. If not condemned morally carte blanche, some uncommitted sexual loving would emerge as spiritually transformational. Not a few solid Catholic marriages, perhaps even a majority, were enlivened by full and loving sexual expression before the wedding.
There is a good reason why only the Hindus have produced a work like “Karma Sutra”. It images the fact that sexuality is an essential aspect in the nature of their gods. Ancient middle eastern pagan rites of temple prostitution were predicated on the same idea. Monotheists such as Jews, Christians and Muslims, tend to disagree.
However, of course, the project to rescue Eros from the Catholic rubbish bin and show its true relation to Agape is not one that I have any argument with. But I would humbly submit that we already have such a work in Papa Benny’s own book “Deus Caritas Est”. The problem with Dr Hilsman’s approach is that it isn’t “Catholic”.