Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

9/16/2012 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

These sexual barbarians are the wild and unruly spawn of the sexual revolution. They have been schooled by their parents who grew up on the pill and abortion on demand, and have been raised largely in secular institutions where the knowledge of chastity is rare, and its practice even rarer.

As the last preserve of a civilized sexuality, the Church is being called to serve human civilization by teaching the virtue of chastity to those who know nothing about it.  To the intolerant, often close-minded, sometimes even violent sexual barbarian, the Church must reach out, and thereby achieve, with the aid of God, a re-civilizing of sex. We will never have peace without justice, and we will never have justice without love, and we will never have love without chastity.

Highlights

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/16/2012 (3 years ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: chastity, virtue, barbarians, culture war, purity, sexual revolution, Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.


CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - The Church, especially through her monastic institutions, is commonly regarded to have preserved Christian culture during its dissipation engendered by the Barbarian invasions.  The insurgence of the pagan barbarian tribes with morals unenlightened by the truths of the Gospel, and their insertion into the delicate fabric of Roman civilization which had then been relatively Christianized, unraveled the existing institutions of civilization. 

Things fell apart, the center did not hold, and, for a time, anarchy was loosed upon the world.

After this cultural destruction, the world had to be rebuilt from the ground up.  "The Church," the historian Christopher Dawson wrote in his book The Formation of Christendom, which had preserved the seeds of Christian culture, "had to undertake the task of introducing the law of the Gospel and the ethics of the Sermon on the Mount among peoples who regarded homicide as the most honorable occupation and vengeance as synonymous with justice."

Those days and the victories achieved by the Church are long gone, but today Western culture faces a similar threat and the Catholic Church a similar challenge.  Today, the Church and Western culture confront new barbarians, new pagans, and these are already within the gates our society, destroying the fabric of Western civilization. 

But these barbarians are not Goths or Vandals. 

These barbarians are sexual barbarians. 

These sexual barbarians are the wild and unruly spawn of the sexual revolution.  They have been schooled by their parents who grew up on the pill and abortion on demand, and have been raised largely in secular institutions where the knowledge of chastity is rare, and its practice even rarer. 

These sexual barbarians in our midst--not always through their own fault--have grown up in a culture that views unchaste sex (so long as consensual) as a most honorable occupation, chastity as a false or unattainable virtue and its opposite as a virtue to be promoted (so long as rendered infertile), and abortion as synonymous with justice (it is a right no one may justly deny). 

The only responsibility recognized by these sexual barbarians is to use technique: techniques that render sex infertile and can be learned in a few minutes.  Unfortunately, by rendering sex infertile, the sexual barbarian spoils it and renders impossible an authentic sexual culture. 

An infertile sexual culture is no sexual culture at all, but an anti-sexual culture.  To expect to grow a healthy sexual culture based on sex rendered infertile is sort of like expecting the defeated Carthaginians to flourish after the Third Punic War when the victorious Roman general Scipio Aemilianus Africanus razed their capital Carthage, plowed over their fields, and sowed their soil with salt.

You simply cannot have good agriculture if your fields are rendered sterile with salt.  And you cannot have a good sexual culture if your sex is rendered sterile by contraceptives, and, where contraceptives fail, abortions.

In a sort of repeat performance, the last bulwark against the sexual barbarians and the demise of a civilized sexual culture is the Church.  No other Christian institution in the world has preserved, in any meaningful sense, a sexual culture.  The mainstream Protestant bodies have all-but-capitulated to the sexual barbarians. 

With respect to a sexual culture, things have fallen apart, the center has not held, and sexual anarchy is loosed upon the Western world. 

Even the Church, where the wheat will always grow with the tares, is not immune to the dissolution of sexual mores in the greater society around her.  After all, though she is not of the world, her members are in the world, and they are infected by the world's vices.

Consequently, the Church has suffered great internal injury and assault from these sexual barbarians--from pedophile priests, to Catholics who no longer uphold monogamous marriage but instead adopt the serial polygamy (divorce and remarriage) of their society, to married couples that--if the Guttmacher Institute is to be believed--contracept and perhaps even abort at equivalent rates to the population at large.

But these aberrations are not the fruit of the Church's value tree.  These are the perverse and rotten fruits of the infertile sexual culture of the sexual barbarians and the sin of her unfaithful, even wicked members.

Though the Church is besieged, and though her own children are not always faithful to the calling of their baptism, the Church remains the last preserve of chastity, a virtue absolutely necessary for a healthy sexual culture.  In fact, it is a virtue absolutely essential to justice, and to love.

The virtue of chastity may be said to be the classic curriculum of a healthy sexual civilization.  As the last preserve of a civilized sexuality, the Church is being called to serve human civilization by teaching the virtue of chastity to those who know nothing about it.  To the intolerant, often close-minded, sometimes even violent sexual barbarian, the Church must reach out, and thereby achieve, with the aid of God, a re-civilization of sex. 

To be sure, chastity is a hard-earned virtue, which is to say it is not a facile technique learned in one minute, one day, one week, or even one year.  In the words of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, chastity is a life-long "apprenticeship in self-mastery which is a training in human freedom." [CCC § 2339].  This hard-won freedom is gained when the human person controls, governs, and tempers his or her sexual passions, so as to culture and to civilize them, so that they are rightly ordered and so that he or she does not become enslaved to them. 

Like all virtues, chastity is a habitus, a stable character trait, a personal excellence, one based upon truth, reason, and consonant with the moral law.  This stable character trait or excellence rightly disposes a man or woman with regard to the rightful use of his or her body in the area of sex.  Like all virtues, it is most commonly a blend of both acquired (natural or moral) virtue, and infused virtue (a gift of grace).  This means that it requires grace along with personal effort or ascesis.  [CCC §§ 2340, 2345]  Jesus Christ, both God and man, is "the model for all chastity."  [CCC § 2348]  Mary, the most chaste mother, shows us that chastity is a fully human trait.

"Chastity is a difficult, long term matter; one must wait patiently for it to bear fruit, for the happiness of loving kindness which it must bring," wrote John Paul II in his book Love and Responsibility.  "But at the same time, chastity is the sure way to happiness."

It is a sexual culture informed by chastity which Pope John Paul II called the culture of life, a culture inspired by the Gospel of Life.  Its contrary--what is currently reigning among the sexual barbarians--is the culture of death, a culture based upon convenience, efficiency, technique, and pharmacology, but not virtue.

This task of re-introducing the virtue of chastity presents a tremendous pastoral and pedagogical challenge to the Church, but no greater a task is before her than the conversion of the barbarian hordes during the Dark Ages. 

This task is an essential imperative, since without chastity we lose the sense of personhood, we will invariably misunderstand justice, and we will become unable authentically to love.

Without the virtue of chastity, we are not fully the persons we are intended to be.  If we are unchaste, we "depersonalize" ourselves.  The reason this happens is that, by being habitually unchaste, we become blind to the personal significance of the body, whether that body is our own or another's.  We begin to think of the body--either our own or another's--as a tool or a commodity that we might use for pleasure's sake alone and so separate from our person.  When we blind ourselves to the personal significance of the body, we also blind ourselves to the "spousal meaning of the body," as John Paul II put it.

Once we lose sight of the personal significance of the body and its spousal meaning, it is sort of like opening Pandora's box: all the evils associated with unchastity come flying out in a whirlwind of stinging and poisonous vices: lust, pornography, fornication, masturbation, contraception, prostitution, adultery, homosexual activity, rape, pedophilia, and finally, that most heinous offense of them all, abortion. 

That's why chastity is less a virtue of saying "no" than a virtue of saying "yes."  Of course, some paths must be said "no" to, but only so that right path may be said "yes" to.  Chastity is a dedicated and constant disposition to say "yes" to the personal significance and spousal meaning of the body.

Without developing the virtue of chastity, we cannot love.  This is because, as the Catechism puts it, "charity," or authentic love, "is the form of all the virtues."  It is under charity or love's influence that "chastity appears as a school of the gift of the person." 

In other words, we have to be schooled in chastity so as to be able to give the "gift of self"  to another, whether in friendship or in marriage.  Without chastity, we can never fully and totally give ourselves to others.  Instead, we invariably lapse into our own shells of selfishness.  [CCC § 2346]  "Only the chaste man and the chaste woman are capable of true love," wrote John Paul II in his book Love and Responsibility

"If you want peace, work for justice," Pope Paul VI famously stated in his message for the celebration of the Day of Peace in 1972.  In his many great writings on human sexuality, first as Cardinal Wojtyla and then as Pope John Paul II, a great corollary was added to the Pauline principle. 

As Professor Gregory R. Beabout summarized John Paul II's corollary: "If you want justice, work for chastity." 

We will never have peace without justice, and we will never have justice without love, and we will never have love without chastity.

-----

Andrew M. Greenwell is an attorney licensed to practice law in Texas, practicing in Corpus Christi, Texas.  He is married with three children.  He maintains a blog entirely devoted to the natural law called Lex Christianorum.  You can contact Andrew at agreenwell@harris-greenwell.com.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for June 2016
Universal:
Human Solidarity: That the aged, marginalized, and those who have no one may find-even within the huge cities of the world-opportunities for encounter and solidarity.
Evangelization: Seminarians and Novices: That seminarians and men and women entering religious life may have mentors who live the joy of the Gospel and prepare them wisely for their mission.



Comments


More Living Faith

How to be a missionary of mercy: Bishop Caggiano blows minds at WYD Watch

Image of Be the change you want to see.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Too many people believe God has only called a select few to the path of mercy and compassion when the truth is we have all been called to be missionaries of mercy. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Catholic News Service, many young pilgrims who traveled ... continue reading


Popular country singer sings powerful, MUST-HEAR song to 'Pray for Peace' Watch

Image of Reba McEntire releases touching 'Pray for Peace' music video (YouTube).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Country music artist, actress and author Reba McEntire released a music video titled "Pray for Peace," which has since touched hearts around the world. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The "Pray for Peace" video features people of all walks of life holding their ... continue reading


'Don't be afraid': Pope Francis delivers first balcony speech for World Youth Day Watch

Image of Pope Francis at WYD (PopeFrancisVisit).

By Elise Harris (CNA/EWTN News)

On his first night in Krakow Pope Francis was already stirring things up with participants in WYD by hosting an off-the-cuff Q and A and telling them to 'make chaos' by spreading the joy of their faith. Krakow, Poland (CNA/EWTN News) - "You must do your duty and make ... continue reading


You're Pope for a day! See what's it really like to be pope! Could you do the job? Watch

Image of You're pope for a day. Can you do the job?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Congratulations on becoming pope for the day! You have a busy day ahead, so get some rest, the night will be short. VATICAN CITY, ITALY (Catholic Online) - The buzz of the alarm jolts you awake. With bleary eyes you glance at the clock which reads 4:45am. It's time to ... continue reading


Did Pope Francis seriously just give nuns permission to play Pokemon Go? Watch

Image of Texting, tweeting or Pokemon? Moderation is key, and that goes for absolutely everybody, not just nuns.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Pope Francis is encouraging the use of social media for nuns, on the condition they use it properly and in moderation. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Pope Francis has issued a new document praising the work nuns do. Within the document, he also suggests that ... continue reading


'We are all God's children': Cardinal urges WYD pilgrims to ensure the Gospel of Jesus reaches the world Watch

Image of

By CNA/EWTN News

Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz's welcome to World Youth Day pilgrims on Tuesday had a stirring reminder: it is up to them to ensure that the Gospel of Jesus Christ reaches the world. Krakow, Poland (CNA/EWTN News) - "Carry the flame of your faith and ignite with it other ... continue reading


Pope request prayers for all en route to 31st World Youth Day Watch

Image of Pope Francis asks for prayers for the pilgrims.

By Ann Schneible (CNA/EWTN News)

Pope Francis has asked for prayers as he, and all the pilgrims attending this year's World Youth Day, prepare to make their way to Krakow, Poland for the international event. Vatican City, Italy (CNA/EWTN News) - The Pope, who leaves Wednesday, said Sunday that he is ... continue reading


Pope Francis responds to the heartbreaking attacks around the world Watch

Image of

By Ann Schneible (CNA/EWTN News)

On Sunday, Pope Francis responded to recent acts of violence in Germany and Afghanistan, expressing his closeness to the families of the victims, and stressing the importance of prayer in the face of threats against "safety and peace." Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - ... continue reading


'Contemplative communities are not immune': Pope Francis on prayer Watch

Image of Cloisters have new prayer habits.

By Elise Harris (CNA/EWTN News)

Amid modern challenges emerging from a culture which provides increasingly easier access to outside distractions, Pope Francis has issued new norms for women's cloistered communities, which place a special emphasis on prayer and the centralization of communities. LOS ... continue reading


'She is the witness to the risen Christ': Mary Magdalene honored Watch

Image of Mary Magdalene to get upgraded feast day (Alamy).

By Elise Harris (CNA/EWTN News)

Faithful to the wish of Pope Francis, a new decree has bumped the liturgical celebration honoring St. Mary Magdalene from a memorial to a feast, putting her on par with the apostles. Vatican City, Italy (CNA/EWTN News) - The reason, according to Archbishop Arthur ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Popular country singer sings powerful, MUST-HEAR song to 'Pray for Peace'
  • A world without nuclear weapons
  • Daily Reading for Sunday, July 31st, 2016 HD Video
  • How to be a missionary of mercy: Bishop Caggiano blows minds at WYD
  • Daily Readings for Friday, July 29, 2016
  • St. Martha: Saint of the Day for Friday, July 29, 2016
  • A Prayer for Special Intentions HD Video

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 18:1-6
1 The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh as follows,2 'Get ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 146:1-2, 2-4, 5-6
1 Alleluia! Praise Yahweh, my soul!2 I will praise Yahweh all ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:47-53
47 'Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet that is cast in the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 28th, 2016 Image

St. Innocent I
July 28: Innocent was born at Albano, Italy. He became ... Read More