Catholicism, Sex and the Sixties

Charles Taylor explores Catholic understandings of sexuality through the centuries, and grapples with the conflicts of our own time. From Commonweal:

[W]e have to recognize that the moral landscape has changed. People who have been through the upheaval have to find forms that allow for long-term loving relations between equal partners who will in many cases also want to become parents and bring up their children in love and security. But these can't be simply identical to the codes of the past, insofar as they were connected with the denigration of sexuality, horror at the Dionysian, fixed gender roles, or a refusal to discuss identity issues. It is a tragedy that the codes that churches want to urge on people still (at least seem to) suffer from one or more - and sometimes all - of these defects.

The inability is made the more irremediable by the unfortunate fusion of Christian sexual ethics with certain models of the "natural," even in the medical sense. This not only makes them hard to redefine; it also hides from view how contingent and questionable this fusion is, how little it can be justified as intrinsically and essentially Christian.