SHAJI GEORGE KOCHUTHARA, CMI, THE CONCEPT OF SEXUAL PLEASURE IN THE CATHOLIC MORAL TRADITION
Happiness and fullness of life for the whole human person is the Good News preached by Jesus. It may be strange to find that many people consider Christianity as opposed to happiness. This is especially true with regard to bodily well-being and happiness and more so in the case of sexual pleasure. On the one hand, it is appropriate to verify whether there is truth in the propaganda that Christianity is against pleasure and joy. On the other hand, it is also pertinent to make a self-criticism in order to understand whether Christianity needs to reconsider its approach to happiness in general and to sexual pleasure in particular.
In spite of the general impression that the Church is against sexuality and sexual pleasure, the teaching of the Church on sexuality catches the attention of the faithful faster than Her teaching on any other area of life. However, any serious attempt to understand the Church's teaching on sexuality demands a committed research into its tradition rooted in the scriptures and into the philosophical and cultural context in which the Church has been trying to live the mystery of human life revealed in Jesus Christ. An analysis of the concept of sexual pleasure in the Catholic tradition is not of mere theoretical importance. Understanding the meaning and significance of sexual pleasure and accepting it in a positive and creative way shall foster the goodness of the family and through the family the quality of the life of the Christian community and the entire society.
This research is an attempt to analyse the various trends in the approach to sexual pleasure from the biblical times to the present day.
SHAJI GEORGE KOCHUTHARA, CMI, born in 1967 at Padaharam (in Kerala, India) and ordained priest in 1996, is a member of the religious congregation Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI). He underwent his degree studies in Philosophy and Theology at the Pontifical Athenaeum Dhar-maram Vidya Kshetram, Bangalore, India and in English Literature at M.S. University, Tirunelveli, India. He obtained the licentiate and doctorate in Moral Theology from the Gregorian University, Rome. At present he teaches Moral Theology at Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram.
(C) PUG 2008