Mother Pelican
Meditations on Man and Woman, Humanity and Nature

Luis T. Gutiérrez
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Meditation Seeking Understanding ~ Liturgy

These pages are meditations on the mysteries of the creation, the incarnation, and the redemption. They explore the Christian understanding that all men and women are consubstantial in one and the same human nature, and are consubstantial with Jesus Christ as to his humanity. The meditations are based on a layman's reading of the Sacred Bible, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the Theology of the Body as they pertain to the egalitarian complementarity of man and woman, which transcends the patriarchal binary of mutually exclusive male-female opposites. This understanding of the complementary equality of man and woman applies to all the sacraments, sheds light on the great nuptial mystery of Christ and the Church, and would seem to support the ordination of women to the ministerial priesthood and the episcopate.

Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles

The Spousal Meaning of the Body:
Humanae Vitae and the Acting Church

Working Draft - 29 June 2016

Matthew 16:17, 2 Timothy 4:7

PRAELUDIUM 1 - Humanae Vitae and the Theology of the Body

The TOB explains the why of HV in terms of human personhood, i.e., human beings are personal subjects because they are body-souls, not just corporal objects, let alone sexual objects.

PRAELUDIUM 2 - Something is Wrong

Why is it that many good Catholics do not understand/accept/try to practice the wise guidance of HV?

PRAELUDIUM 3 - Ephesians 5:21-33

Why is it that the beautiful bridegroom-bride analogy (as in Ephesians 5:21-33) is becoming increasingly rare as scripture readings chosen by young couples for Catholic weddings?


The body is a sacrament of the entire person, but is not the entire person. Human persons are body-souls, i.e., personal subjects, not just corporal objects (let alone sexual objects). The soul transcends sex and gender. The human body is male *or* female (*or* intersex) but every human person is masculine *and* feminine because there is woman in man (anima) and there is man in woman (animus). Each human person is unique and unrepeatable as a body-soul. The body enables the person to act, and bodily sex influences gender, but the human person is much more than a biophysical object, and an acting person is much more than just a body in motion. The spousal meaning of the body is about personal self-giving, not just about having sex.

Two incarnations, two persons, two identities
with mutually complementary roles for procreation
but overlapping roles in most other personal acts.


The eternally begotten Word was not a male before the incarnation. For the redemption, and the sacramental economy, the masculinity of Jesus is as incidental as the color of his eyes. What matters is the spousal meaning of God's self-giving in the flesh, not the biophysical constitution of Jesus. When the priest acts in persona Christi, it is Christ who acts. Acting in persona Christi means acting in the person of a divine personal subject, not just a human being with a male body.

It was a divine person, the eternally begotten Word,
who acted and became flesh when Mary gave her fiat;
thus the Marian dimension of the Church precedes the Petrine (CCC 773).


The acting Christ is not the problem. The acting Church is the problem. In the sacramental life of the Church, the exclusively male priesthood effectively reduces personal subjects (human and divine) to sexual objects, thereby distorting the spousal meaning of the body in the entire body of Christ.

CIC 1024: "A baptized male alone receives sacred ordination validly."

Note: CCC 1577 is a literalist, physicalist, rationalization of the patriarchal (exclusively male) priesthood.

CCC 1598: "The Church confers the sacrament of Holy Orders only on baptized men (viri), whose suitability for the exercise of the ministry has been duly recognized. Church authority alone has the responsibility and right to call someone to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders."

Note: The first sentence is a choice, the second sentence is who can make the choice and act accordingly.

Lamentably, the Church is perpetuating an exclusively male priesthood that is heritage from the Old Law and patriarchal gender theory. Women are personal subjects with female bodies, not "defective males." Condescending protestations about "equal dignity and complementary roles" are no longer credible. Ordinatio Sacerdotalis was a tragic mistake comparable to the crusades, the inquisition, and the pedophilia sexual abuse cover up.

Adapted from cartoon about Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, 1994.
The Church is "one, holy, catholic, and apostolic,"

COLLOQUIUM 1 - Patriarchal Priesthood

The patriarchal (exclusively male) priesthood:

  • Enforces a physicalist and sexist (rather than natural, integral, personalist, objective-subjective) resemblance to Christ
  • Reduces Christ, a divine personal subject, to a sexual object
  • Distorts the spousal meaning of the body by reducing it to the physical sexual meaning
  • Reduces all men and women from personal subjects to sexual objects
  • Is an obstacle to reconstructing the original "unity in complementarity" of man and woman

COLLOQUIUM 2 - Canon 1024 and Humanae Vitae

Canon 1024 is an artificial contraceptive (if not an abortifacient) of female vocations to the ministerial priesthood.

COLLOQUIUM 3 - Teaching by Example

As long as the hierarchical Church remains patriarchal, the Catholic faithful cannot be expected to understand, accept, and try to follow the pro-life teaching of Humanae Vitae.




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"Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ...
This is a profound mystery—
but I am talking about Christ and the church..."

Ephesians 5:21-33


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