May 27, 2008 at 1:40 am #8833AnonymousInactive
When an individual is born with an intersex condition, they experience a physical evil. This is of course not something God does, but something that can happen to individuals during their development in the womb. This enables them to learn to rely not on themselves, but on the perfect triune God of the bible.
For these individuals, reflect on Matthew 19 which recounts some of their anthropological truth as “eunuchs who were that way from birth”, alongside the prophet Isaiah 56 “For the eunuchs who observe my Sabbaths and choose what pleases me and are faithful to my covenant” they will have the joyful hope of the new covenant as will all other “foreigners” who also believe in Jesus and follow him.
I think there is much we can learn about individuals born with these conditions who maintain their faith and hope through struggles and shame brought on by confusion, conflation, and co-option of their medical condition with other “issues” of our modern times, and by those who advocate for various ideological beliefs.
The Wiki link offered above is as good a place as any to learn more about what medicine/science has learned about Intersex conditions. Faith builds upon reason, and but also our reason should always be guided by our faith, as Pope John Paul II stated so eloquently in his encyclical Fides et Ratio.
As we reason about these interesting questions, we learn more nuances about our own faith, not that contradict our Catholic doctrine, but that bring fuller appreciation and understanding. For example, individuals with an Intersex condition compel us to bring a theology of the soul alongside a theology of the body, in other words, the “personality” of man as indivisible soul & body. Why? Well, we must do so to answer the types of questions that arise, such as whom can they marry, if anyone? This reminds us that we should always be careful not to emphasize any one doctrine of faith over any other as it may lead us astray.
As we look at individuals with Intersex conditions, do we see a wisdom in arguments against surgical intervention for these people until such a time as they can communicate to us what they have received as their first communication about themselves from God — that is to say, what sex they are? Since the mid 50’s, a program run by an Atheist Dr. John Money hypothesized that nurture, not nature (i.e. God) determined an individuals “gender”. Radical feminists applauded the idea. In this cloud of war with those who rightly see the moral wrongs of this ideology, care, charity, and most importantly faith must guide our reason as we develop arguments and statements aimed at calling attention to this fundamental flaw in reasoning.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith & Morals (might have that name wrong) has spoken on so-called transsexual surgery. They have determined that it is not an intrinsic evil; in other words, in extreme cases, it may be morally licit. They also distinguish that condition from that of a “hermaphrodite”, where one’s genetic, hormonal, pheonotypic, and/or gonadal development is not all unambiguously of the same sex. Their statement on transsexual surgery does not apply to those with an Intersex condition.May 27, 2008 at 4:26 pm #8834About Catholics TeamKeymaster
Welcome to the board, My_Discernment! Excellent post too.May 30, 2008 at 1:58 am #8838AnonymousInactive
Welcome. You do point out a couple of important points. The term Intersex has been used by different people to mean different things. in the mid to latter 1800s it was used to describe homosexuals, now it is used for any number of conditions.
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