AMRUTHA - a book about sexual discrimination


on how to escape outdated Catholic teaching on sex

regarding contraceptives and homosexuality which are still officially condemned as contrary to 'Natural Law'

a hilarious novel by John Wijngaards

size: 5x8 inches ............ 531 pages (!)

Buy it now as an eBook in these editions:

AMRUTHA is also available in its printed edition from all large booksellers. For details, click here!

Reviews by readers

"Amrutha is a pure, enchanting, sometimes surprising and fun novel exploring human sexual desire with some twists in a cliff-hanger plot through the eyes of a priest! There are intriguing looks inside Vatican bureaucracy and politics (although as a non-Catholic, the Church’s sexual mores went right over my head). I just loved the explicit, pure, sensitive, sexual depictions. Amrutha strips away (bares?) the shame we are taught of Adam and Eve in their nakedness and the subsequent repression of women. This book helps us understand better God’s 'Natural law' that our hunter-gather societies took for granted."
Jonathan Spatz

"What a transformational book! How inspired to use the techniques and tricks of a best-seller to examine and expose imprisoning, constricting assumptions about the nature of women in mainstream religions! I was captivated from beginning to end as I followed your charismatic Monsignor being swept along by the loving, life-giving, spiritual power of women, against his own cynical “better” judgement and training. It was so enjoyable to follow his experiences, both uproariously comic and moving and potentially tragic, as he found that what defines a person is reason, not nature, whatever the particular proportions of his or her chromosomes. I was caught up in the fast-moving adventure and the suspense but also overwhelmed by the novel’s tenderness, sensitivity and fearless honesty."
Pamela Perry

professional reviews

“AMRUTHA is a lively and action-packed book. Altogether, an enjoyable and thought-provoking read.” Read full review

Dr Pat Pinsent, Senior Research Fellow, Roehampton University, London

“Vivid scenes, haunting images, gripping action. And underneath that ever puzzling question: what is that mysterious Law of Nature that Popes invoke to ban condoms, condemn gays and downgrade women?” Read full review

Elisabeth Price, correspondent of Catholics for a Changing Church

 “Engaging and endearing. I wept a good half-dozen times . . . Tongue-in-cheek humor brought me spontaneous laughter. This work is a cross between Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code and Don Johnson's The Harrad Experiment.” Read full review

Dr Aaron Milavec, Vice-Principal Catherine of Siena College, Cincinnati Ohio

AMAZON --- 5.0 out of 5 stars

"Amazing, engaging, entertaining, amusing ... just a really good book!"
Read full review

Sheila Deeth, writer of books and short stories


"Amrutha is not autobiography yet it contains eminent truths and it challenges one to think about one's attitudes, perceptions and prejudices . . . The story is engaging and once one is into the book one is swept along."
Read full review

Valerie Stroud, coordinator of We are Church UK

Background Information


The areas of Christian sexual ethics and the role of women in the Church both touch on natural law. In recent decades Pope after Pope has appealed to natural law to impose painful prohibitions. Contraceptives may never ever be used in planning the family. Why? They ‘go against the law of nature’. Homosexual intimacy is always ‘intrinsically evil’ as a sin against natural law. Women’s nature defines and restricts their role.

What is at stake?

Theologians in the Middle Ages revamped the notion of ‘natural law’ already discussed by the Greeks and the Romans a thousand years earlier. The idea was: when God created humankind, he laid down a law in their nature. And no one may ever transgress the law of the Creator. In our time the principle resurfaced as the dignity of the person, as human rights; becoming a useful starting point for international agreements. However, the problem is: what does fall under natural law?

The traditional norms for deciding what is natural and what is not, are purely arbitrary. Thomas Aquinas, for example, worked out that polygamy, a husband marrying more wives, though not ideal, does not go against natural law, while natural law totally forbids a woman to have more husbands. Surely mutilating the male sexual organs is against natural law, you would think? No, not so obvious. Enter the castrati, male singers castrated before puberty so that they retained their high soprano voices. Pope Clement VIII declared it was not against natural law. The ethics of natural law have in past centuries mistakenly been used by the Church to justify slavery, the colonial conquest of nations, the inferior status of women, torture no less than wars of aggression.

The origin of the story

Wijngaards wrote the book thinking: what would happen if a naïve monsignor from Rome would try to implement utter fidelity to natural law in everyday life? Also: what do the celibate lawgivers in Rome really know of the lives of ordinary people, especially the lives of women?

The main character in his story - Mgr. Shamus McKenna - demonstrates what might take place.  His quest for the truth brings him to explore options that he never considered before.  He meets extraordinary women who invariably push out his boundaries.  At every point his determination to follow natural law leads him into more murky and untested waters of sex, morality, heroism, and women’s lives. 

His salvation lies in Amrutha whose name means: nectar & immortal. She is a fighter: resourceful, intelligent, able to overcome incredible challenges. With her he eventually finds out that for human beings 'natural law' is the use of reason, that is: of our conscience.

The author

John Wijngaards has published many books. His greatest success in the line of fiction was writing the 2-½ hour film script for Journey to the Centre of Love which narrates the romance between a boy from England and a girl from Taiwan. The film won three international awards:

* the Grand Prix at the International Film Festival in Warsaw (1995)
* a Bronze Award at the Film Fest Houston (May 1997)
* and the prestigious Chris Award for Excellence at the Columbus Film Festival (October 1997).

How to purchase the book

AMRUTHA. What the Pope's man found out about the Law of Nature by John Wijngaards

size: 5x8 inches ............ 544 pages

The book is available as an eBook in three editions:

The book is also available in its printed edition from:


AMRUTHA. novel by John Wijngaards
how to escape outdated Christian sexual morality
The Christian Enjoyment of Sex Frequently Asked Questions
Fantasies Nakedness Contraceptives Guilt Homosexuality Masturbation
Is love simply sex? When is sex sinful? Periods
New Focus in Catholic Sexual Morality - academic sources Origin
of negative attitudes to sex

Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research

This website is maintained by the John Wijngaards Catholic Research Centre.

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Natural Law and Conscience Synod on the Family 2015