Faith and Sexuality

Recently, students at Georgetown organized a series of events encapsulated as “Sex Positive Week,” thematic programming found at universities across the country. At a university, students here have the opportunity to express ideas and opinions, even those that are controversial. At a Catholic and Jesuit university, those ideas are expressed within a particular religious and moral tradition. That perspective was missing from the student-planned events. The Catholic intellectual tradition, as well as other faith traditions represented in Campus Ministry, bring depth to conversations that our students are having about sexuality.

The religious traditions share a common conviction that the human person’s identity is rooted in the integration of mind, body, and soul. Sexuality is fundamental to that identity. It is a gift from God, integral to the human person and thus worthy of great reverence. When one’s sexuality is appreciated and expressed in keeping with the fundamental dignity of the human person, the individual flourishes and loving relationships deepen. Indeed, sex is positive, and the Catholic tradition joins other faith traditions in celebrating this gift. A university is a perfect place to have conversations that matter to young people. Such conversations, which cut to the heart of being human, are missing something when the intellectual and moral tradition on which Georgetown was founded is not part of the conversation.

Over the years, Campus Ministry has regularly planned events to help our community reflect on the convergence of faith and sexuality, such as our popular “The Sexual and the Sacred” lecture series from a few years ago and the multi-year reflection initiated by our chaplains-in-residence about healthy relationships. Realizing that the best programs are student-led, we have also supported student religious groups as they offered programming on a range of issues related to sexuality. We welcome new ideas for programming as we strive to respond to the needs and questions of our students today, even questions which are uncomfortable.

Fr. Kevin O’Brien, SJ (new window), Vice President for Mission and Ministry

Mission and Ministry