Theology of the Body
and Gender Identity
September 19 - 21, 2023 9:30 - 3:00
This seminar will address the following questions:
How to respond to children who think they are transgender?
What is the general panorama of transgenderism in the U.S. today?
What are the principal claims of transgenderism and how valid are they?
A few examples:
Each person has their own gender identity.
Some people are trans.
Puberty blockers are a safe, effective, and reversible way to pause puberty.
Refusing to affirm a person’s gender identity leads to suicide.
Parents and educators ought to affirm any child who identifies as trans.
If you struggle with gender dysphoria, you should accept that God made you trans.
How does theology of the body offer a foundational response to the question of transgenderism?
The significance of God’s plan for “original man” “in the beginning”
The implications of “original solitude,” “original unity,” and “original nakedness”
The consequences of the fall: “historical man”
The call of our ultimate destiny in heaven: “eschatological man”
What is the Catholic position with regard to accepting our sex as male or female vs. affirming a different gender identity?
Does equality of the sexes imply sameness?
Is the relationship between the sexes one of competition or complementarity?
What is the foundation for the complementarity of men and women on the following levels?
How should we respond to transgenderism as an ideology?
How should we respond as Christians to individuals swayed by transgenderism or suffering from gender dysphoria?
9:30 Arrival (arrive early for limited parking)
10:00 Conference 1
1:00 Conference 2
2:00 Adoration (Confessions available)
3:00 Benediction and departure
What are some useful resources that this seminar will draw upon?
St. John Paul II, Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body, (Pauline Books and Media: Boston, 2006).
Jason Evert, Male, Female, Other? A Catholic Guide to Understanding Gender (Totus Tuus Press: Scottsdale, AZ, 2022).
John DeSilva Finley, editor, Sexual Identity: The Harmony of Philosophy, Science, and Revelation (Emmaus Road: Steubenville, OH, 2022).
Paul C. Vitz, editor, The Complementarity of Women and Men: Philosophy, Theology, Psychology, and Art (Catholic University of America Press: Washington, D.C., 2021).
Edith Stein, Essays on Woman (ICS Publications: Washington, DC, 1987).
Carl A. Anderson and Jose Granados Called to Love: Approaching John Paul II’s Theology of the Body (Doubleday: New York, 2009).
Walter Schu, LC, The Splendor of Love: John Paul II’s Vision of Marriage and Family (New Hope Press: Gap Knob, KY, 2003).
Father Walter Schu, LC, S.Th.D., is an assistant professor at Divine Mercy University, a graduate school in psychology just outside of D.C. His research interests include philosophical and theological anthropology and their relationship with the psychological sciences, moral theology, sexual morality, especially as seen through the lens of St. John Paul II’s theology of the body, as well as marriage and family.
Fr. Schu grew up on a small farm in southwestern Minnesota, the second of seven children. He entered the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ in 1982 and was ordained a priest in 1994. From 1997 to 2017 he was a teacher at the Novitiate and College of Humanities of the Legionaries in Cheshire, CT.
From 1993 to 1996 he taught in Rome at the International Center for Higher Studies, giving courses in logic, epistemology, metaphysics, and fundamental moral theology. From 1986 to 1989 he served as director of studies at the Immaculate Conception Apostolic School in Center Harbor, New Hampshire (a junior and senior high school for young men who desire to become priests).
Fr. Schu is author of The Splendor of Love, on Saint John Paul II’s theology of the body. This work has been translated into two volumes in Spanish: Matrimonio y familia: un nuevo horizonte, and La sexualidad en el amor.
Fr. Schu has given a number of conferences in the United States, Canada, Rome, Mexico, and Fiji on the theology of the body and has written numerous articles on this topic. George Weigel has referred to theology of the body as “a theological time bomb,” which opens compelling new perspectives on the depth and beauty of married love.