Catholic Sexual Morality

Catholic Sexual Morality

by Robert L. Fastiggi


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Many people today believe that the traditional Catholic view of sex is antiquated, unrealistic, and potentially harmful. In Catholic Sexual Morality, Dr. Robert Fastiggi asks whether the permissive sexual attitude of today's culture is really contributing to deeper love, better relationships, and true happiness for men, women, children, and families. He begins with the example of St. Augustine who recognized he was a slave to lust and in need of true freedom. Fastiggi then examines the foundations for Catholic sexual morality in Scripture, reason, and human experience. The hope is that people will realize that the Catholic Church is not "against sex" but sees sexual intimacy as something so beautiful and life-giving that it requires the stability of marriage for its true and rightful expression.

Catholic Sexual Morality is grounded in the belief that the church's teachings on sex correspond to God's plan for human happiness. These teachings are challenging, and the church understands how easy it is to fail in sexual matters. God's mercy, however, is more powerful than human weakness and sin. This book explains the reasons why the Catholic Church teaches as she does on matters such as pornography, masturbation, fornication, adultery, contraception, divorce, and homosexual acts. It presents these teachings in a realistic way with full recognition of the reasons why people reject them. The ultimate desire is to help people understand that Catholic sexual morality is not a creation of church leaders but a response to what God has made known to us in Sacred Scripture and the natural law. In a world filled with infidelity, divorce, wounded children, and broken hearts, the wisdom of traditional Catholic sexual morality deserves a more sympathetic view—not just because it is Catholic but because it is true.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781532641305
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 01/04/2018
Pages: 180
Sales rank: 577,344
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.36(d)

About the Author

Robert Fastiggi holds an A.B. from Dartmouth College and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in theology from Fordham University. From 1985–1999, he taught at St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX, and, since 1999, he’s been on the faculty of Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit, MI, where he’s Professor of Systematic Theology. In addition to his own publications, he served as the co-editor of the English translation of the 43rd edition of the Denzinger-Hünermann Compendium of Creeds, Definitions, and Declarations on Matters of Faith and Morals (2012) and the executive editor of the 2009–2013 supplements to the New Catholic Encyclopedia (Gale Cengage Learning in cooperation with The Catholic University of America).

Table of Contents

Foreword Dr. Janet E. Smith 9

Introduction - The Good News about Sex: God Wishes Happiness for His Children 13

Chapter 1 The Struggle for Chastity: The Case of St. Augustine 21

Chapter 2 In the Beginning: The Theology of the Body 29

Chapter 3 The Beauty, Holiness, and Indissolubility of Marriage 35

Chapter 4 Sexual Sins and God's Mercy 57

Chapter 5 Pornography 65

Chapter 6 Masturbation 73

Chapter 7 Homosexuality 79

Chapter 8 Fornication and Cohabitation 95

Chapter 9 Marital Chastity 105

Chapter 10 The Magisterium, Conscience, and the Question of Dissent 115

Chapter 11 Growing in Chastity 123

Appendix A The Essential Ends and Properties of Marriage: Is There a Hierarchy? 131

Appendix B Guidance from the Church: A Summary of Key Magisterial Documents 143

Bibliography 151

Index 161

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Fastiggi begins his work with a recounting of St. Augustine’s struggle with sexual sin. . . . Given the fact that most Catholics now have sex before marriage and engage in many other sexual sins such as the use of pornography and contraception, Fastiggi is wise to begin with the story of a reformed sinner who became one of the greatest saints of the Church. . . . Readers of this book may well find themselves undergoing a similar conversion process—to the truth itself, to the necessity of asking for grace, and to the joy of being a member of the Catholic Church.”

Janet E. Smith, Ph.D., Father Michael J. McGivney Chair of Life Ethics, Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit, Michigan

“The ‘chaotic and tragic force’ of sex outside of marriage is especially evident in the anxieties, questions, and concerns it generates for young persons. The secular response often comes in the form of an informational pamphlet from a ‘rights based approach,’ while Dr. Robert Fastiggi offers the comprehensive response of the church in the fullness of its truth, beauty, and goodness in accord with reason, human nature, and the will of God. This book is a gem.”

Dr. Jane Adolphe, Associate Professor of Law, Ave Maria School of Law, Naples, Florida

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