Last Saturday I attended a conference hosted by the archdiocese of Los Angeles entitled Issues in Human Sexuality. Since I live in Los Angeles and have an interest in the Theology of the Body, I was very interested in attending and seeing what sort of education the archdiocese is providing.
It was informative just to compare the Los Angeles promotional material with the material for an event held in Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis just a couple of weeks ago. Both events were scheduled for a Saturday. The similarities ended there. The Saint Paul event offered Mass with the archbishop, while the Los Angeles event offered only a prayer service. The Saint Paul event was offered by the Archdiocesan Office for Family, Laity, Youth and Young Adults, while the Los Angeles one was offered by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Human Sexuality Taskforce, Department of Catholic Schools, Office of Religious Education, and St. Camillus Center for Pastoral Care. The Los Angeles poster spoke of “issues” but made no mention of love, vocation, God or marriage. So when I made a reservation for the Los Angeles event, I was fully aware that I was bringing a number of reservations with me.
I won’t be blogging about the whole event today. There’s a lot to discuss. The day was broken down into several parts:
- A talk entitled “Human Sexuality: Gift and Challenge” by Fr. Chris Ponnet
- “Talking to Children & Youth about Sexuality” by Theresa Abbene
- “Issues for Lesbian and Gay Catholics” by Fran Ruth and Dr. Bill Mochon
- “Medical Issues of Sexually Transmitted Diseases” by Dr. Elizabeth Crabb Breen
I attended everything except the final presentation on STDs.
My overall impression? Some of the material in each presentation was quite good, some was questionable, and some was, to be frank, problematic. I’ll be unpacking my impressions over the next few days here on my blog.