Highlights from the week online

The Church looks at ‘gender theory’

At Crux, John Allen asked what Pope Francis means when he discusses “gender theory”, and how the Vatican might tackle the question.

Put simply, Allen wrote, “gender theory” refers to “theories which posit that male/female identities are not given in nature but rather socially and culturally constructed, and therefore can be revised based on one’s personal desires”. These theories, Francis has suggested, could damage the essential nature of the family.

Given the Pope’s warnings, it’s little surprise that Rome’s Santa Croce university last week hosted a conference which included a paper on gender theory. The paper, by canon lawyer Vincenzo Turchi, described gender theory as seeing sexual differences as “inessential and changeable”. Turchi also expressed concerns about how schools in Europe are teaching gender theory to children. In the end, Allen said, the discussion will have to engage with those who are sympathetic to some of the principles behind gender theory.

Christ had many more than five wounds

The “Five Wounds of Christ” is a common phrase. But “Christ was flogged, beaten, crowned with thorns, and carried his cross in addition to the Crucifixion itself”, an editor at ChurchPop.com pointed out. Therefore, the total number of wounds suffered must be far greater.

And, although it is only a private revelation, there is a mystical vision which indicates the total number. St Gertrude the Great, a 13th-century Benedictine nun in Germany, had a vision of Christ, who “revealed to her the number of wounds he received in total during his Passion: 5,466.”

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