News of Pope Francis’ sex talk has the devout stirring uncomfortably in their sacramental vestments. We know what you’re thinking – they talked about what at the Vatican? Imagine an entire conclave of robed men, listening to an older couple educate them on the joys of intercourse and demystify the ins and outs, as it were, of sexual relations. Generally, that talk occurs in the pre-teen age, not at a sex-ed 101 synod of middle-aged Catholic hierarchy.
Writes NBC News on Oct. 8: “Surprising details are emerging about exactly what is being said behind closed doors at the Vatican, where Pope Francis has gathered 191 cardinals and bishops to review the Church’s policies on marriage and the family. For the first time, synod discussions are not in Latin, lay couples have been invited to speak and, perhaps most stunning of all, is the degree to which topics considered sensitive for the Church, including the value of sex, are being talked about.”
For the bishops, archbishops and cardinals gathered at a two-week conference, they got an earful on the pleasures and contentment found in sex. Rumors that Woody Allen’s Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex was shown in the Apostolic Palace have proved untrue.
What the robed ranks did hear was an Australian married couple, Ron and Mavis Pirola, speak to them on how intimacy has solidified their 55-year-marriage. The Catholic couple from Sydney spoke to a room of approximately 200 Synod Fathers, giving “intimate details on the importance of sexuality to the well-being of their marriage,” writes NBC.
The extremely unorthodox homily from the Aussie couple with four kids was given, by Pope Francis’ request, in the hopes that his devout would find it easier to address and council their individual parishioners on marital problems, rendering to each mate their “due,” and competently discussing issues on sex, marriage, divorce and homosexuality.
“The little things we did for each other, the telephone calls and love notes, the way we planned our day around each other and the things we shared were outward expressions of our longing to be intimate with each other,” the couple said to the ordained clergy on Monday.
The Pirolas related a story of their devout Catholic friends, and how the mother and father reacted when their boy, a homosexual, brought his lover home to Christmas dinner.
“They fully believed in the church’s teachings and they knew their grandchildren would see them welcome the son and his partner into the family,” the Pirolas said. “Their response could be summed up in three words: ‘He’s our son.’ What a model of evangelization for parishes as they respond to similar situations in their neighborhood. It is a practical example of what the Instrumentum laboris says concerning the Church’s teaching role and its main mission to let the world know of God’s love.”
Speaking of what gives their marriage that spark, the Pirolas said: “Gradually, we came to see that the only feature that distinguishes our sacramental relationship from that of any other good Christ-centered relationship is sexual intimacy, and that marriage is a sexual sacrament with its fullest expression in sexual intercourse.”
The couple also spoke about the Humanae Vitae – an encyclical written by Pope Paul VI that is one of the few documents that provides any guidance on sexual topics. This is no Kama Sutra; the document is filled with archaic pope-speak and nonsensical language.
“(The documents) seemed to be from another planet, with difficult language and not terribly relevant to our own experiences,” the Pirolas said.
The reaction among the celibate on getting a little sex education? “That’s not what we bishops talk about, quite honestly” said a blushing Cardinal Vincent Nichols. The pragmatic Francis has been encouraging other attendees to speak their piece on all things sex; approximately 70 have done so thus far, reports said.
Father Manuel Dorantes, from Chicago, said most of their discussions of sex within their churches involve adultery and fornication. The negative focus on sex has made sex within a marriage “almost seem to be an imperfection that is permitted,” Dorantes said, adding that the entire topic “is completely new” to Vatican gatherings.
Writes News.com.au: “In an indication, though, that opposition to such a welcoming position remains high, a group of conservative Catholic groups blasted the Pirola’s example as ‘damaging’ to the church.”
Speaking particularly of the couple’s view of homosexuality, Maria Madise, coordinator of the pro-family coalition Voice of the Family, said, “The unqualified welcome of homosexual couples into family and parish environments in fact damages everybody, by serving to normalize the disorder of homosexuality.”
“It damages children by presenting homosexual relationships as models which may legitimately be chosen,” Madise continued. “It damages adults by making them complicit in tacit endorsements of the immoral and dangerous homosexual lifestyle. And it damages the homosexual couples themselves by failing to guide them with the truth in charity – that their relationship is gravely harmful for their moral and spiritual health.”
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