"I think it's cruel mutilation"

Hi, Again:

I emailed you, yesterday, about another subject, but since I've told a friend about your site, who doesn't have internet access, he's asked me to ask a question of you: What is the Catholic Church's stance on circumcision? Is it right to do this, for no medical purpose to baby boys? I personally don't believe in it and I think it's cruel mutilation but I've often wondered what religions aside from Judaism think of this. By the way, your site has been very helpful in answering a lot of questions I've had since I've started considering the RCIA. Thanks a lot. I appreciate it!


P.S. I also wanted to tell you how well I think you handled the email you posted on your website "Another bald priest..." A lot of people wouldn't have been able to keep their cool so well.


Dear Sunny,

I was born at a time (and place) when almost all boys were circumcised, shortly after birth. Am not aware of any advantages or disavantages to the practice. The earlier studies showing that cirmcumcision results in lower rates of penile cancer - and cervical cancer in partners - have evidently been revised.

You probably know that in the Bible circumcision was very important - not only as an identifying mark, but as part of the divine pedagogy. So much infidelity centered on misuse of sexuality. Dr. Scott Hahn has some good reflections on why God chose that particular member for the covenant sign.

I'm sure you also know that circumcision is not a requirement for Christians, so a Catholic parent is free to do what they consider best. Myself, I lean to maintaining as much Jewish practice as possible since those are our roots. As St. Paul says, we are wild branches grafted on to the olive tree which is Israel.

Prayers, Sunny. God bless,

Fr. Phil Bloom

P.S. Thanks for the kind word about how I respond to "in your face" emails. The relative anonymity of the internet does seems to give people an idea they are not bound by ordinary rules of politeness. But it also gives the respondent (me) time to cool down and try to get the discussion on some productive track. I obviously often do not succeed in doing that.


See also: Is Circumcions Mutilation?

Other Questions

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C.S. Lewis: To Dissenting Priests

Interview on Birth Control

Catholic Teaching on Birth Control

Women Priests

The Crisis of the Catholic University

The Abortion Issue.

Homily on Abortion and Homosexuality

The Challenge of Secular Humanism

The Religion of our Culture: Naturalism

Magdalene Sisters and other anti-Catholic Pornography (Warning: Contains graphic descriptions.)

The Catholic Church: Founded by Jesus

Hitler's Pope: Comic Book Approach to Church History