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Eight virtues of Catholic sexuality

And there you have it! You have journeyed with us for the last eight weeks on the eight virtues of Catholic sexuality. Beyond the Birds and the Bees by Greg and Lisa Popcak intends to not only teach us about raising sexually whole and holy children, but to broaden our understanding in how our own sexuality impacts children.

Throughout the eight weeks, one virtue was featured each week. And we have learnt that sexuality is beyond the uses of our physical bodies or repression of our chastity. “Sexuality is how we communicate ourselves to others and use our bodies to work for the good of others….” (Popcak, pg 52).

Catholic sexuality means we are communicating the truth of God’s love through the body by making visible what is invisible, the spiritual and the divine; to express the fullness of one healthy, faithful person to another healthy, faithful person.

These eight virtues are said to stand at the heart of Catholic sexuality for wholeness and holiness.

So, let’s recap the eight virtues as stated in Beyond the Birds and the Bees:

  • Love – the ability to give oneself with the intention of working for the good of the other.
  • Responsibility – the ability to exercise good self-discipline/healthy self-control and the need to not treat people as things or less than things.
  • Faith – the ability to invite God into every aspect of your life, holding nothing back.
  • Respect – the ability to treat yourself and others as persons created by God for love.
  • Intimacy – the ability to communicate well on both verbal and emotional levels.
  • Cooperation – the ability to respectfully plan and problem-solve with another.
  • Joy – the ability to celebrate the life God has given you and to enjoy fully, all the permitted pleasure He created for you.
  • Personhood –  the ability to rejoice in the gift of one’s body and have a proper understanding of what it means to be a man and woman in God’s plan.

Any problems related to sexuality may likely be rooted to a deficiency in one of these virtues according to Popcak. If we are able to practice in our everyday interactions with our spouse and children, these eight virtues will provide a good foundation equipped with moral principles for a healthy and holy sexuality.

We should desire for our children to have a lived experience of the Theology of the Body by helping them understand a few principles and teaching them by example.

This includes helping them understand the sacramental nature of love, teaching them that they were made in the image and likeness of God and most importantly, that God wants to be intimately involved in every aspect of their lives.


Visit aflcrc.org and our social media platforms –

@familylifecommission or WhatsApp 299-1047 as we seek to educate parents about healthy and age-appropriate sex and sexuality conversations with their children.