This is the final excerpt of an interview with noted Catholic theologian Monsignor Cormac Burke conducted by The Melbourne Record.
Sexuality And Conjugality
Monsignor Burke also said that the frustrations often experienced within marriage today are not frustrations of sexuality, but of conjugality. "Sexuality alone is not enough to provide happiness," he said. Human beings, unlike other species, have a desire to form a permanent marriage relationship with one other special person, and to create children and a successful family life with that person. That is the conjugal instinct, Mons Burke said. Burke calls the desire for conjugality "distinct, but connected" to the desire of sexuality.
Mons Burke says that a big issue, perhaps the big issue, between the sexes today is "respect." This is so for young people, including teenagers, just as it is for older adults, he says. Often when a teenager meets another of the opposite sex, there is "attraction," but also a feeling of "admiration" and even "reverence" for this new person. Soon, "maybe almost immediately, a "more physical element" begins to come in. This feeling comes from an attitude towards the other sex in general. However, if the attraction is deep, a teenager will try not to let the physical element come into the relationship too much, because he or she will be feeling "too much reverence."
"Without respect and without reverence, it is not love," Mons Burke says. "Young people need to be encouraged to see that love implies respect."
Mons Burke, who is writing a new chapter, addressed to young people, for his book Covenanted Happiness, said he has been greatly impressed by Pope John Paul II's theology of the body, with its meditation on Jesus' words about God's plan for human- kind in marriage.
To view the previous interview post go here.