Intersexuality?

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This topic contains 22 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  LARobert 7 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #1771

    Victor
    Member

    Haven’t the foggiest idea if the Church has said anything on this topic.

    See:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intersexuality

    Can they marry a male or female?

    Talk about complex wiring.

    #8725

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    What a complex issue. This raises the question as to whether the whole of a person is summed up in their genitalia or do we believfe there is more to being a person. In other words is the essence of being male or female reserved to sex characteristics or is it personality.

    I personally don’t believe that it is an either/or argument. I think it lies somewhere in between.

    Also, it seems if the Church were to talk about this then it would have to address transsexuality and all sorts of other things like this. Often times it takes a while for an official pronouncement or declaration on such things because the issues are so complex.

    But Victor, your basic question remains: can they get married? I wouldn’t even know where to start.

    #8726

    weather
    Member

    :rolleyes:Isn’t the basics of mankind on earth to be one man and one woman and to populate the world?? how do two men or two women do this(lets get real).we have to respect any living person no matter what their gender,but to say men can marry men and women can marry woman,no way in my opinon.

    #8727

    Victor
    Member
    "Jon":1nvqo3ry wrote:
    What a complex issue. This raises the question as to whether the whole of a person is summed up in their genitalia or do we believfe there is more to being a person. In other words is the essence of being male or female reserved to sex characteristics or is it personality.

    I personally don’t believe that it is an either/or argument. I think it lies somewhere in between.

    Also, it seems if the Church were to talk about this then it would have to address transsexuality and all sorts of other things like this. Often times it takes a while for an official pronouncement or declaration on such things because the issues are so complex.

    But Victor, your basic question remains: can they get married? I wouldn’t even know where to start.[/quote:1nvqo3ry]
    Neither do I.

    I do know that if the Church decides to eliminate physical characteristics from even defining a person’s sex it would be much harder to argue for things like traditional marriage, homosexuality, etc.

    Part of our argument revolves around not just the psychological jargon that makes a male a male, but also how physical characteristics (like genitalia) affect it.

    #8748

    LARobert
    Participant

    There are a wide variety in the world we live in. There are people who are born with sexual organs of both male and female, (in days gone by they where sometimes all surgically changed to females in infancy) There are people who carry both male and female chromosomes, (XXY) who appear to be male externally, usually have “micropenis” or very small penis and testicles when they become adults, they also have fits of rage and a tendancy to psychosis.

    As Catholics we have to remember two very important things. Each of them has a soul. Each of them needs to be treated with dignity because they have an immortal soul and part of that dignity is in following the teachings of the Church on moral issues. If someone has a predominatly male physical sexual charictaristics at birth, we treat them as a male, the same for one who is predominatly female. If someone “changes” Sex later (someone born with no ambiguity of sexual charictaristics) we still treat them with dignity, but we would not be helping them by ignoring the moral teachings of the Church, and allowing them to marry someone of the same sex. (Remember a doctor can fill them with hormones and do surgery, but cannot change the DNA of the person)

    The second important factor to remember is we live in a world that is not the ideal world planned by God. We live in a world where original and actual sin has caused sickness and death. Where evil presents itself as good, and immorality as morality. Love of God bids us to be an example of charity and Love to our neighbors, but does not command that we call evil, good. If we do not show the joy that comes from living a life in harmony with God, those who follow an immoral path will have no reason to investigate living a life in harmony with God’s will.

    #8750

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    I forgot about chromosomes. So, in essence, a male, regardless of surgery and hormone treatment is still a male because he is genetically encoded as such.

    Would you say that transsexuality is a mental disorder then?

    Anyway, the original question remains: for someone who is an intersexual can they get married? My guess is if they do not have the faculties to consummate the marriage then no. :/

    #8751

    LARobert
    Participant

    I believe, (I’ll try to check my sources) The basic requirement is that except for advanced age, or sterility that is caused by medical nessesity, ie a woman with ovarian cancer must have her ovaries removed. Both parties must be judged by usual means as able to concieve and bare children. So an impotent man, (before Viagra) was unable to marry, (upheld as valid grounds for an annulment if the condition predated the marriage) Or a man who was a homosexual before marriage with little or no inclination to change his behavior, was considered unable to marry, and granted an anullment.

    We must remember the Annulment is granted because there existed prior to and at the time of the apparent marriage some sort of impediment to marriage.

    #8752

    Victor
    Member
    "Jon":3ktcuza5 wrote:
    I forgot about chromosomes. So, in essence, a male, regardless of surgery and hormone treatment is still a male because he is genetically encoded as such.

    Would you say that transsexuality is a mental disorder then?

    Anyway, the original question remains: for someone who is an intersexual can they get married? My guess is if they do not have the faculties to consummate the marriage then no. :/[/quote:3ktcuza5]
    According to wiki one can’t even determine if there chromosomes are male or female.

    #8753

    Victor
    Member
    "LARobert":1sajcn0r wrote:
    I believe, (I’ll try to check my sources) The basic requirement is that except for advanced age, or sterility that is caused by medical nessesity, ie a woman with ovarian cancer must have her ovaries removed. Both parties must be judged by usual means as able to concieve and bare children. So an impotent man, (before Viagra) was unable to marry, (upheld as valid grounds for an annulment if the condition predated the marriage) Or a man who was a homosexual before marriage with little or no inclination to change his behavior, was considered unable to marry, and granted an anullment.

    We must remember the Annulment is granted because there existed prior to and at the time of the apparent marriage some sort of impediment to marriage.[/quote:1sajcn0r]
    The problem here is that intersex people aren’t transgenders or homosexuals. The Church sees these as psychological disorders, but intersex aren’t even wired to be male or female.

    #8755

    LARobert
    Participant

    From the reading that I have done, they do fall into one of three major categories, not always neatly though.

    Predominat Male, while they may have female organs these are non-functional, and sometimes hard to distinguish. If the Male organs are functional, I’m going to assume, at least until I find an acceptable Ecclesiastical source they would be able to marry as a man to a woman.

    Predominat Female, as above but sexual organs of the female are functional.

    Equal sexual organs, both functional, very rare, as most who have this rarest of anomolies are sterile.

    So you are getting my little gray cells, which have been taking a nap for the past few months something to tackle…. Now to find sources.

    For the time being here is Jimmy Akin’s posting on the subject.
    [url:2548n2or]http://www.jimmyakin.org/2005/06/intersexed_marr.html[/url:2548n2or]

    #8760

    Victor
    Member
    "LARobert":18djzwxb wrote:
    From the reading that I have done, they do fall into one of three major categories, not always neatly though.

    Predominat Male, while they may have female organs these are non-functional, and sometimes hard to distinguish. If the Male organs are functional, I’m going to assume, at least until I find an acceptable Ecclesiastical source they would be able to marry as a man to a woman.

    Predominat Female, as above but sexual organs of the female are functional.

    Equal sexual organs, both functional, very rare, as most who have this rarest of anomolies are sterile.

    So you are getting my little gray cells, which have been taking a nap for the past few months something to tackle…. Now to find sources.

    For the time being here is Jimmy Akin’s posting on the subject.
    [url:18djzwxb]http://www.jimmyakin.org/2005/06/intersexed_marr.html[/url:18djzwxb][/quote:18djzwxb]
    [color=navy:18djzwxb]I’m not sure if that source helped me or confused me even more. It seems this issue is still so fresh that theologians are barely starting to duke it out.

    How about I just say “I don’t know”…<img src=” title=”Very Happy” />[/color:18djzwxb]

    #8764

    LARobert
    Participant

    Hey if theologians, and the Magesterium have not come up with an answer to everything, then how can we??? It does point out that some things that have not been defined or God did not clearly reveal to us may have to wait until we see Him face to face and are given the answers to all we have wondered about.

    #8765

    Victor
    Member
    "LARobert":nakpupo8 wrote:
    Hey if theologians, and the Magesterium have not come up with an answer to everything, then how can we??? It does point out that some things that have not been defined or God did not clearly reveal to us may have to wait until we see Him face to face and are given the answers to all we have wondered about.[/quote:nakpupo8]
    [color=navy:nakpupo8]I know but some catholics that may actually be struggling with this need to know before they leave this world. They might want to get married.[/color:nakpupo8]
    #8766

    LARobert
    Participant

    Until such time as the Church, if ever makes a final decision, one can approach one’s parish priest, who can consult with his bishop.

    #8767

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster
    "LARobert":s8s0i55v wrote:
    Until such time as the Church, if ever makes a final decision, one can approach one’s parish priest, who can consult with his bishop.[/quote:s8s0i55v]
    Who would seriously approach their parish priest and say “Hi, Father, I’m intersexual. Can I get married?”
    #8769

    LARobert
    Participant

    I’ve heard tell of such things… priests I know have shared some very interesting stories. The Church historically does not address issues until a major question is raised. The issue about women and Holy Orders was never really settled until women and supporters of women’s ordination started making noise.

    And once again Intersexuals are not all “created equal” There is a broad spectrum from those who look almost entirely female, but have micro male organs, and those who look and junction as male, but have female organs that are almost undetectable. As they can “function” in the role their predominant external sexual appearance, and in some cases even reproduce, there should (I would imagine) be less of a problem with them than with someone who has ambiguous or has “equal” parts of both genders.

    Having access to the theological powerhouses at BU you may be in a better place to ask Jon.

    #8770

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster
    "LARobert":1f22b42w wrote:
    Having access to the theological powerhouses at BU you may be in a better place to ask Jon.[/quote:1f22b42w]
    I’m actually at BC (no offense taken). <img src=” title=”Very Happy” /> BU is a secular school.

    With what you say it seems like there would need to be some sort of inspection procedure. I’m sure that would raise a number of issues. Of course the Church could require some sort of doctor’s note, but then that leads to other issues for people who are not intersexual. For instance would the Church require fertility testing as a condition of marriage?

    Man, I can see a whole lot of legal/privacy issues being raised in the United States.

    #8771

    LARobert
    Participant

    When a marriage is entered into by a man and a woman who do not withhold known information that would invalidate the marriage, the Church holds it to be valid. If however something is not disclosed the possibility of the marriage being null and void from the first moment exists.

    Examples of non-disclosure would be, the husband or wife not disclosing they are homosexual, one or both of the parties not disclosing to the priest or each other that they intend to practice artificial birth control, not disclosing known infertility or impotence. Not disclosing sex change procedures. If someone entered into the marriage and did not know they where infertile, therefore did not enter the union attempting to deceive the grounds for annulment would not be upheld. The need to prove that someone with ambiguous sex would be important would be to protect the integrity of the sacrament and the souls of those who where attempting to marry. The reason being there would be questions with someone of ambiguous sex, whereas someone who did not have any evident anomalies would not have a reasonable question as to being fit to contract a marriage.

    #8779

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    How would someone know their marriage is null and void if they did not pursue an annulment?

    Actually, now that I think about it, the sin would still be on the individual. It’s not so much up to “the church” to make sure someone’s marriage is valid as it is up to the individual to have a clear conscience and not engage in sin.

    #8781

    LARobert
    Participant

    True, and I think the majority of those who post here are aware of that. However, I’ve spoken to many Catholics who hold some very strange opinions and ideas about the Sacraments.

    I know one man who (and this is going to appear to weaken my post on communion in the hand.) He considers himself to be well versed in the Faith, even teaches RCIA classes. Yet when it comes to Marriage, he denies that a mutual friend’s annulment was valid, while admitting that he does not know on what grounds the annulment was granted. He upholds another marriage as not only valid, but indissolvable because a priest preformed the wedding ceremony, even though the wife is a Chinese Buddhist who was never baptised. As for his marriage, he holds it to be Catholic because he and his wife are Catholics and have two kids, even though they where married by a Justice of the Peace for the purposes of nothing more than a Green Card, and had no intention of remaining married before they had a child togeather.

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