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Sexual Issues For Married Catholics 1987

Sexual Issues For Married Catholics 1987

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Published by John Flaherty
These nuanced teachings emerged after 10 years under formation in the Sword of the Spirit/Word of God. They are a direct contradiction of the SOS's teaching that, "[Husbands and wives] ought not become their ideal to spend a lot of time together socially, nor to invest substantially in companionship for it's own sake."
These nuanced teachings emerged after 10 years under formation in the Sword of the Spirit/Word of God. They are a direct contradiction of the SOS's teaching that, "[Husbands and wives] ought not become their ideal to spend a lot of time together socially, nor to invest substantially in companionship for it's own sake."

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: John Flaherty on Oct 15, 2012
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Three Teachings Given to

Members Of The Servants Of
Christ The King
A Branch of the Sword of the Spirit
With contrasting notes from the Sword of the Spirit Policy
Notebook re: “The Relationship Between Husband and Wife.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/19142540 pg.13-14
Sexual Issues for Married Couples was a set of three teachings given to
members of Sword of the Spirit Covenant Community in Steubenville, OH (The
Servants of Christ the King.)
This particular set of teachings is significant for
several reasons.
First, these teachings were specifically developed by Servants of Christ the
King and were not part of the Sword of the Spirit curriculum of teachings.
Such actions were allowed but had to pass through the Sword of the Spirit
Council and be voted on and approved before being taught. It is unknown if
this actually happened or not, but it is assumed that it did, as Servants was
still in the toxic grip of the Sword of the Spirit and would remain so for three

Secondly, there was little discussion of sex in Covenant Communities.
Disasters such as the 1982 Gavriledes story in the Word of God and the now
fabled infidelities at the top of some East Coast Covenant Communities
still carefully held secrets. The Sex Abuse Scandal in the Catholic Church was
nearing the end of its illegally cloistered existence. When this particular
former member went to his Covenant Community Coordinator with questions
and concerns about his new marital life, he was politely but firmly told that,
“each sexual relationship is unique,” and there ended the discussion.

Third, these particular teachings stand in stark contrast to the superficial
treatment of married life as described in the Sword of the Spirit Policy
Notebook. This document clearly diminishes the powerful role of marital
bonding and the joy of marital love to mechanical acts of “service,” with
minimal emotional attachment.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/19142540 pgs 13-14

In the sterile and stoic world view of the Sword of the Spirit Leaders, men and
women were together to perform the bare functions of their covenant as man
and wife, and were not to find too much pleasure, solace or comfort in
“companionship for it’s own sake.”

The discussion and exploration of a deeply Catholic approach to marital life is
explored in these teachings. The married couples who participated in the
Steubenville Covenant Community sought to understand and enhance their
sexual lives with these scripturally based applications, refined by Catechetical
teachings from the Church as identified in the text.

These teachings take the time to describe the road map to a vision of a
spiritually based sexual relationship with one’s spouse. The Sword of the
Spirit excelled in telling members what they should LOOK like but never took
the time and effort to create the ‘road map’. Why give people a vision and
avoid telling them how to achieve it? Because people didn’t really matter in
the Sword of the Spirit. Married couples were just one, tiny ‘null set’ within a
pastoral group of Null Sets within one large NULL SET of the Covenant
Community itself: the vision of Steven B Clark, “Dictator
” of the Sword of the
John Flaherty, October 17, 2012 Grand Island, Nebraska

. . Sexual Issues for Married Catholics
Talk One: Responsible Parenthood 03/15/87
I. The Threefold Good of Marriage '''Inmarriage, let the goods of marriage be loved:
offspring, fidelity, and the sacrament." In these few words St. Augustine crystallized
the teaching of faith on the purposes of matrimony, the goods for which God established
and sanctified it. He takes the two goods of marriage already indicated in the creation
accounts in Genesis offspring and fidelity, and crowns them with the New Testament
creation of sacrament. In so doing he provides a framework for the study of Christian
marriage, a framework which has been used by the Church do"lU to this day.' (The Teaching
of Christ, A Catholic Catechism for Adults; Edited by Lawler, Wuerl, and Lawler, pg. 498)
A. Marriage is a Sacrament
1. Ephesians 5:25-32
2. "It is ~ sacred sign recalling and drawing upon the perpetual love between
Christ and His Church." (The Teaching of Christ, pg. 501)
3. "It is an encounter with Christ which makes effective the graces it signi-
fies, the graces needed to make human love enduring, faithful, fruitful, and so
a suitable image of the love between Christ and His Church." (Teaching of
Christ, pg. 496-497)
4. "It is ~ covenant between a man and a woman, committing them to live with one
another in a bond of married love whose character was established by God."
(The Teaching of Christ,pg. 496)
5. Most of the other sacramental signs make use of material elements - water, bread,
wine, oil. The sacramental sign of marriage is the exchange of vows - the pledge
of enduring commitment, signifying the love that binds together Christ and His
6. The consummation of marriage is sealed in the personal and mutual self surrender
of sexual union. I
<'t\7W .,Sa.a.. e. ,
B. The Unitive purpose of &exual ~nlcn - mutual and loving fidelity
1. Genesis 2:20-24
2. "The intimate partnership of married life and love has been established by the
Creator and qualified by His laws and is rooted in the conjugal covenant of
irrevocable personal consent ...As a mutual gift of two persons, this intimate
union and the good of the children impose total fidelity on the spouses and argue
for an unbreakable orleness between them." (Second Vatican Council, Pastoral Con-
stitution Gaudium et Spes, no. 48)
3. Fidelity has two meanings
- It forbids sexual intercourse with anyone other than one's spouse as well as
adultery committed in the heart (Matthew 5:27-28)
- It calls for regular sexual relations with one's marriage partner as an expres-
sion of affection and un ity . (I Corinthians 7:4-5)
\N\Zl'f'fi c>qe. .
C. The Procreative purpose of ~exual~Aio~ - bearing and raising children.
1. Genesis 1:27-28
2. "Marriage and conjugal love are by their nature ordained toward the begetting and
educating of children. Children are really the supreme gift of marriage ...Hence,
while not making the other purpose of matrimony of less account, the true practice
of conjugal love, and the whole meaning of family life which results from it, have
this aim: that the couple be ready with stout hearts to cooperate with the love
of the Creator and the Savior who through them will enlarge and enrich His own
family day by day" (Gaudium et Spes, no. 50)
3. "Parents should regard as their proper mission the task of transmitting human life
and educating those to whom it has been transmitted. They should realize that
they are cooperators with the love of God, the Creator, and are, so to speak,
the interpreters of that love." (Gaudium et Spes, no. 50)
4; "It must not be forgotten however, that, even when procreation is not possible,
conjugal life does not for this reason lose its value. Physical sterility in fact
can be for spouses the occasion for other important services to the life of the
human person, for example, adoption, various forms of educational work, and assis-
tance to other families and to the poor or handicapped children." (Apostolic
Exhortation of John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio, no. 14)
II. The Connection between marriage, sex and family life
A. God designed sex for marriage, and marriage for family life
1. The Church "teaches that each and every marriage act must remain open to the
transmission of life". (Humanae Vitae, no 11)
2. "That teaching, often set forth by the magisterium, is founded upon the insepar-
able connection, willed by God and unable to be broken by man on his own initia-
tive, between the two meanings of the coniugal act: the unitive meaning and the
procreative meaning." (Humanae Vitae, no 12)
3. This means that all forms of artificial birth control are illicit and unac-
ceptable because " .•. a reciprocal act of love which jeopardizes the responsibil-
ity to transmit life life which God "the (teator, according to particular laws,
ins~rted therein, is in contradiction with the design constitutive of marriage,
and with the will of the Author of Life." (Humanae Vitae, no. 13)
B. Responsible Parenthood can include, however, family planning by entirely natural
1. It is "licit to take into account the natural rhythms immanent in the generative
functions, for the use of ~arriage in the infecund periods only, and in this way
to regulate birth wi~hout offending the moral principals." (Humanae Vitae, no. 16)
2. This is to be a "minister of the design established by the Creator" rather than an
"arbiter of the sources of human life".
3. Still, a decision to space children, postpone children, or avoid a new birth at
any time can only be made "for grave motives and with due respect for the moral
A. As the head of the marriage, it is the husl;>and's responsibility to lead and pastor the
sexual relationsltip
1. He must respect its God-given nature and purpose
"These acts by which husband and wife are united in chaste intimacy. and by means
of which human life is transmitted, are, as the council recalled 'noble ' worthy'
" (Humanae Vitae, No. 11)
"By safeguarding both these essential aspects, the unitive and procreative, the
conjugal act preserves in its fullness the sense of true mutual love and its
ordination towards man's most high calling to parenthood (Humanae Vitae, No. 12)
2. He is not free to use it for himself or his own purposes" ... a conjugal act im-
posed upon one's partner without regard for his or her condition and lawful de-
sires is not a true act of love, and therefore denies an exigency of right moral
order in the relationships between husband and wife" (Humanae Vitae, No. 13)
B. Chastity is essential to insure that both purposes of the sexual relationship are
fulfilled according to God's design.
Unitive: true mutual love
"In the Christian view, chastity by no means signifies rejection .of human sexu-
ality or lack of esteem for it: rather it signifies spiritual energy capable of
defending love from the perils of selfishness and aggressiveness, and able to ad-
vance it towards its full realization" (Familiaris Consortia, No. 33)
Procreative: open to life -
Knowledge of a woman's rhythm of fertility and infertility for purposes of natural
family planning "must then lead to education in self control: hence the absolute
necessity for the virtue of chastity and for penanent education in it."
(Familiaris Consortia, No. 33)
3. This fulfills God's plan that dtiltren be conceived in the context of an
intimate love not, bDJ"oduct of passion.
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2. llAA-aarried
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3. It's a all Christiana that essentially meus having the _power to
control one's sex irives to put,. i.t. at · th_! service of au-thentic lovtt according to
one's state in life. · ·
D. Problems in attaining chastity
1. Sexual sin in premarital dating
"If spouses have not individually developed the of chastity during their
premarital years, the demands ' 5 ·a.. of marital chastity taught by the mag-
isterium are going to seem unreasonable and unbearable." Birth Control and the
Marriage Covenant, by John F. Kippley, Liturgical Press, 1976, pg. 56}
- A.a.t.··a.t
- .A.Ll,a.4c. '6
Vorldly attitudes about sexual love
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"To domniate instinct by means of one's reason and free will undoubtedly requires
ascetical practices, so that the affective manifestations of conjugal life may
observe the correct order, in particular with regard to the observance of periodic
continence. Yet this discipline which is proper to the purity of the married
couple, far from harming conjugal love, rather confers on it a higher human value.
It demands continual effort, yet, thanks to it beneficent influence, husband and
wife fully develop their personalities, being enriched with spiritual values."
(Humane Vitae, No. 16)

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~cxua~ ~SSU2S tor Married Catholics
Talk Three: Natural Family Planning 03/29/87
I. From the beginning of marriage, the couple should be "open to life", ie, ready to con-
ceive from the outset.
- "will you accept children lovingly from God ..." {from the Marriage Rite}
A. There is a common mistaken notion that it is better to "va it a year" before con-
ceiving in order to get "adjusted to one another".
1. In addition to being opposed to Church teaching, this rationale is deficient
because one of the best ways to "really get to know one another" is through
bearing and raising children.
2. If a couple genuinely thinks they need to know one another better, they should
postpone the marriage.
II. We have a serious responsibility to raise children properly and educate them humanly
~~d ~i~r~~~:~i~~ ~dl0~;:~~~~b!~o~~~~~~h~~~~hOIOgiCal, and social conditions, respon-
sible parenthood-Is exercised either by the deliberate and generous decision to
raise a numerous family, or by the decision, made for grave 'motives and with due
respect for the moral law, to avoid for the time being or even for an indetermi-
nate period, a new birth." (Humanae Vitae, no. 10)
B. The decisions involved in family planning need to be made "in the Lord", ie, sub-
mitted to God.
1. Each couple must base their decisions on reason, grace, and the capacity to be
generous. They should seek sound counsel, weigh the factors, and pray. They
need to be guided by their individual conscience, once it is correctly formed
by the teachings of Christ and the Church.
2. "Couples need to properly assess their duties and capabilities - married
couples have the right to make a free, inform~, mutual decision regarding the
spacing of births and the size of the family. The decision should be based on
prayer and the morally acceptable methods of spacing and limiting births."
(John Paul II to the Executive Director of the U.N. Conference on population
in 1984) .
3. It is still possible to err.
- Being too rigid or legalistic; continuing to have children out of unfounded
gui 1t.
- Being too lax; avoiding more children for selfish motives or a desire for an
easier life.
Ultimately, these are efforts to cooperate with God, not to fend Him off.
Therefore, it is a misnomer to call any pregnancy a mistake or accident, if
the couple is being faithful to the Church's concept of responsible
C. Yleighing the factors; assessing one's "duties and capabilities"
1. Physical
- considering the health of the father, mother, or child
2. Economic
- considering the ability to provide the essentials or necessities of life
3. Psychological
- considering the emotional stability and psychological strength of the mother
and/or father.
4. Social
- considering the social conditions, the political environment, and the
housing conditions.
D. Some "grave motives" (serious reasons) for postponing children, spacing children,
or avoiding a new birth indefinitely.
1. Physical
- when a temporary or permanent medical condition indicates that having a
child would seriously endanger the life of the child or the mother.
- when a respite is needed to regain physical strength before having another
child in order to properly care for those already born.
- still, as Christians with an eternal perspective, we should not let fears
rule in such decisions - fear of death or fear of suffering and hardship.
2. Economic
- when a couple.is not able to provide the basics for the children they
already have or could not do so if another child was born.
- this refers to necessities of life, not luxuries or extras.
- an economic reason for avoiding a pregnancy cannot rest upon such things as:
materialism, social lifestyle, comfort, or worldly values.
3. Psychological
- when a mother or father aren't capable of properly ralslng another child,
ie, not having a reasonable level of emotional or psychological stability.
when one of the children has psychological problems that require a substan-
tial amount of attention from the parents.
when a respite is needed to regain psychological strength before having
another child in order to properly care for those already born.
signs of trouble in this area are commonly: quickly and easily running out
of spiritual and emotional strength; frequent loss of temper with subsequent
remorse and guilt; seeking consolation or escape through over-eating, heavy
drinking, or sinful sexual pleasure.
it's important to determine whether such problems are the result of fa~ily
size or deficiencies in the role of the father.
4. Social
- when social, political, or housing conditions are such that another child
would invite or add to some peril to the environment for the already exist-
ing family unit.
- examples might be: already cramped living quarters in inner city t(nenent
housing; places where war is going on; places where atheistic governmer;ts
persecute Christians.
III. Natural Family Planning is the only acceptable means to regulate births according to
the official teaching of the Catholic Church.
A. It can be used to avoid a pregnancy for the serious reasons mentioned above.
B. It can help a couple to learn when conception is possible when they are trying to
C. It can help teach self contrel.
D. It enhances married love by helping to drive out selfishness and fostering other
ways of expressing love between the spouses.

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