Welcome to Episode 110 of the Being Human Podcast: Beyond Stereotypes: Gender, Culture, and Catholicism w/ Dr. Jennifer E. Morel
Joining Dr. Greg for this week’s episode is special guest Dr. Jennifer E. Morel, a moral theologian, research scholar, author, and co-founder of the International Institute of Culture and Gender! In their conversation, they explore the complexities of defining authentic masculinity and femininity, revealing why it’s essential to look beyond cultural and historical stereotypes to gain an understanding of what it means to be a man or a woman.
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Cajun by birth, Dr. Jennifer E. Morel completed her undergraduate degree in theology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2002. After two years in youth ministry, her spiritual director told her, "You're young, you're single, go to Rome and study!" She proceeded to the eternal city - with almost no Italian and no money! - and earned graduate degrees at the Pontifical Universities of the Angelicum and the Gregorian, studying as well at the John Paul II Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family.
In 2013, she obtained her doctorate with a thesis in Catholic social doctrine at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross while serving as coordinator of studies for the Markets, Culture, and Ethics Research Centre, marrying a love of the family with a desire to better address poverty. Former professor of moral theology at Notre Dame Seminary, Graduate School of Theology in New Orleans, and having taught courses and presented around the world on Catholic Feminism and on Gender Identity, Dr. Morel is currently a Research Scholar for the International Institute of Culture and Gender Studies. Author and podcast guest on gender, she continues to teach internationally while finishing her Scriptural and cultural research for a book on “a theology of masculinity and femininity.”
Dr. Bottaro is a clinical psychologist and founder of the CatholicPsych Institute. He received his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Institute for the Psychological Sciences, a graduate school that integrates Catholic philosophy and theology with sound, empirically validated psychology.
Before his degree, Dr. Bottaro discerned a religious vocation with the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (CFRs). He lived four years in the Bronx, serving the poor in the tradition of St. Francis of Assisi. Under the mentorship of Fr. Benedict Groeschel, this experience helped him form a spirituality based on Abandonment to Divine Providence which he now applies to psychological principles in his practice. He learned from Fr. Benedict how to discern God's voice and live a life in service to others.
Six years after leaving NYC as a friar, he returned as a psychologist. The CatholicPsych Institute began there in 2012 and has since grown to 5 offices with 12 therapists serving clients around the globe.
Dr. Bottaro now lives in Connecticut with his wife Barbra and their seven children. He actively avoids watching the news and spends his free time thinking up crazy new ideas on how to make the world a better place.