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Sex education.

Your February Sounding Board ("Does true love have to wait?") by Katherine Osborne couldn't have arrived at a more propitious time. I was working on a lesson plan for our 11th-grade Confirmation program on human sexuality.

Osborne's article clearly articulated what is challenging the catechist in today's society. My first reaction was that U.S. CATHOLIC was giving a platform to a new age activist who wants to update the out-of-touch dinosaur. Then I realized that many of the issues the pseudonymic young adult raised are ones that are caused not by the Catholic Church but by the "culture of death" so aptly named by our late Holy Father.

Our young theologian chides us by saying that "sex between married people is not automatically more sacramental than between two unmarried people." She says "what's right and wrong before God is not decided by majority vote" and immediately follows with a plea for us to listen to the vast majority of a segment of our society (young adults).

We are asked to accept the thinking of those conscientious Catholics who believe that engaging in sexual intercourse in a loving, committed relationship is not sinful. This young Catholic says she "appreciates" and "practices" most of what her Catholic upbringing taught her about sex and sexuality.

As teachers and catechists, we must continue to teach truth--that which is immutable in time, which was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be the same. The relativity of today will be blown away like a withered blade of grass. Our youthful theologian must learn the difference between an informed conscience and a self-serving conscience. She must learn to redefine her concept of commitment. At present she is witnessing an agreement. When God is brought in as a partner, a covenant is formed. She castigates the church for setting "sexual sin above all other sorts of offense," yet has spent the complete thrust of her article on nothing else but sex.

Has our author forgotten the sacrament of Reconciliation? Would it not be more fulfilling of the will of God to become a partner in the application of truth than to stand alongside the proponents of the culture of death?

Will Kennedy

Erie, Pa.

I don't know what bothers me the most about the February Sounding Board: the comments of Katherine Osborne or U.S. CATHOLIC giving her space for such drivel.

Osborne sums up her case, as far as I'm concerned, in the opening paragraph and shoots herself down at the same time. She has it backwards; she should be listening to the church about such matters, not the other way around.

Heavens, does she really think men and women have changed and sexual temptation is somehow different than it has been from the time of Adam and Eve? And I'm sorry, sex outside of the context of marriage is casual.

Actually she's taking the easy way out and enjoying all the sexual pleasures without taking on the responsibilities of a married couple. To say, "we're in love and committed" is just a cop-out as far as I'm concerned.

Osborne and her fiance have chosen not to follow church teaching; rather than admitting their failure, she tries to rationalize it to make the situation something to be proud of. That's certainly her choice to make, but please don't tell me it's holy!

Joe Proctor

New Albany, Ind.

I wholeheartedly agree that the moral question of sex for mature couples in long-term, committed relationships is different from that of casual or teen sex. However, Osborne neglected to discuss the procreative aspect of sex. Even for persons who practice contraception, engaging in premarital sex leaves open the possibility of creation of a child outside of marriage.

I also agree that sex narrowly considered as an expression of love between a mature, long-term couple can feel natural and right. However, sex is more than just expression, it is an embodiment and physical symbol of marriage.

Name withheld

Arlington, Va.
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Title Annotation:you may be right: letters
Author:Proctor, Joe
Publication:U.S. Catholic
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Mar 1, 2006
Words:662
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Next Article:God is sufficient.
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