CDF to Explore the Science of Sexuality?

Feb 17, 2022 | 0 comments

On his own initiative Pope Francis has issued a decree that modifies both the structure and the emphases of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) – notorious for its roles in the adjudication of clerical abuse and the monitoring of the writings of theologians.

According to a report by Gerald O’Connell in the US Jesuit journal America, there is some speculation in Rome that with a new remit to review ‘progress of the sciences’ the CDF may look at LGBT issues – the realm of sexuality.

Structurally the CDF is now to give equal attention to doctrinal and disciplinary issues, with a full secretary for each. However, the following sentence in the pope’s motu proprio  has aroused great interest.

“The doctrinal section deals with matters pertaining to the promotion and protection of the doctrine of faith and morals. It also promotes studies aimed at increasing the understanding and transmission of the faith at the service of evangelization, so that its light may be a criterion for understanding the meaning of existence, especially in the face of the questions posed by the progress of the sciences and the development of society.”

However, the phrase ‘progress of the sciences’ covers the entire frontier of ongoing science, so all speculation on what the CDF is to look at may well be premature.

To read the full report in America, click here.



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ACI’s Campaign for Lumen Gentium 37

The Promise of Synodality

What we have experienced of synodality so far gives ACI real hope that a longstanding structural injustice in the church may at last be acknowledged and overcome.

As all Irish bishops well know, the 'co-responsibility' they urge lay people to share - as numbers and energies of clergy decline - has been sabotaged time and again by canonical rules that deny representational authority and continuity to parish pastoral councils.  ACI's 2019 call for the immediate honouring of Lumen Gentium Article 37 becomes more urgent by the day and is supported by the following documents - also presented to the ICBC in October 2019.

The Common Priesthood of the People of God and the Renewal of the Church
It was Catholic parents and victims of clerical abuse who taught Catholic Bishops to prioritise the safeguarding of children in the church

Jesus as Model for the Common Priesthood of the People of God
It was for challenging religious hypocrisy and injustice that Jesus was accused and crucified. He is therefore a model for the common priesthood of the laity and for the challenging of injustice - in society and within the church.

A Suggested Strategy for the Recovery of the Irish and Western Catholic Church
Recovery of the church depends upon acknowledgment of the indispensable role of the common priesthood of the lay people of God and the explicit abandonment by bishops and clergy of paternalism and clericalism - the expectation of deference from lay people rather than honesty and integrity.

For the full story of ACI's campaign for the honouring of Article 37 of Lumen Gentium, click here.


"Come Holy Spirit, Renew Your wonders in this our day, as by a new Pentecost. Grant to Your Church that, being of one mind and steadfast in prayer with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and following the lead of blessed Peter, it may advance the reign of our Divine Saviour, the reign of truth and justice, the reign of love and peace. Amen."

Saint Pope John XXIII, 1962 - In preparation for Vatican Council II, 1962-65.

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