Fat acceptance has a right to exist.


Anyone want to play pretend?

I got a Masters of Divinity from a prestigious Catholic college and I am now a world-reknowned Catholic theologian. The Vatican recently announced a Third Vatican Council and I want to start a forum for Catholics to discuss possible changes to teaching and practice. So I start a website and open a forum. All Catholics can attend.

My site immediately gets thousands of hits a day. Not all of my visitors are alike or have the same focus. Some will be Latin Rite and others Eastern Rite. They might be from the era before or after Vatican II. Some of my Catholics will be European, others Asian, and still others Latino. Most of them will be lay people. Many will be priests, bishops, cardinals, or religious. Some will be rich and some will be poor. Some will want to discuss the nature of the Eucharist. Others will want to discuss canon law. Someone else will want to talk about social issues. Still others will want to talk about Church governance.  Someone else entirely will take on the new Roman missal. You can discuss just about anything you want in my forum, on one condition.

You are Catholic and accept Catholic beliefs.

In other words, this is not the time or place to debate whether or not Catholicism is a pagan religion, whether the Mass constitutes sorcery or human sacrifice, whether the Trinity is theologically valid, or whether the Eucharist is a symbol or a Sacrament. This is a space by Catholics for Catholics to discuss Catholic issues. It’s not censorship for me, as a theologian, in my own space, to say that MY space is intended to serve a particular purpose and that you need to either conform to that purpose or leave.

It’s not censorship for fat activists to say that their spaces are fat acceptance spaces. In order to participate, you need to accept, or to at least respect, FA beliefs. You don’t have to think or act like everyone else, anymore than Roman or Byzantine Catholics have to agree on how to celebrate the Sacred Mysteries or on clerical matrimony. Some fat activists are liberal and others are conservative. Some are fashion-based, others HAES-based, and still others rights-based. Others are a combination. They come in a variety of sizes and colors. Fat activists are diverse, but they are still fat activists.

That means no promoting of intentional weight loss, by any method for any reason. That means not accepting the premise that obesity is a disease in itself that causes health problems

A Catholic is someone who is:

A) baptized, in Communion with, and Confirmed in the Catholic Church by a validly ordained priest and who is currently engaged in Catholic practice or:

B) a catechumen who has received the Rite of Acceptance or:

C) a pre-catechumen who intends to enter the catechumenate and who is currently engaged in Catholic pratice (baptism of desire.)

Of course, you are officially Catholic under canon law as long as you have been validly baptized, even if you have not received the other initiation rites or are not currently practicing. You are unlikely, however, to remain in good standing if you fall under this category.

Anyway, I do not recommend a body of laws or a rite of initiation for members of fat acceptance. That said, there is no such thing as a Catholic who denies the sacramental nature of the Eucharist. Such a person would NEVER be accepted as a catechumen and would likely be denied Communion if a priest knew about their history.

There is no such thing as a fat activist who tolerates fat pathologizing and prejudice. That’s not censorship. That’s not exclusive. That’s just fact.

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