Christopher West Thanks and Responds to his critics
#1
Christopher West, the prolific author and well-known speaker who shot to fame in the Catholic world as a result of his work popularizing Pope John Paul II's "Theology of the Body," has for the first time responded publicly to criticisms that were directed at his work by other theologians and professors of Theology of the Body earlier this year.

In an essay sent to LifeSiteNews.com, West stands by his take on the issue of the nature of concupiscence - which, in the case of sexuality, manifests itself in the temptation to lust - which, as he points out, was the "crux" of the criticisms leveled against him. But he also thanks those who have made thoughtful criticism of his work and suggestions on how to improve it. "I have taken them to heart," he says.  "Indeed, I have always weighed my critics' observations carefully and prayerfully.  They have helped me refine my approach a great deal over the years and I remain very grateful for that."

In his essay West acknowledges that concupiscence cannot be fully overcome in this life.  "It is abundantly clear from both Catholic teaching and human experience that, so long as we are on earth, we will always have to battle with concupiscence - that disordering of our passions caused by original sin (see Catechism of the Catholic Church 405, 978, 1264, 1426). "

West adds: "In some of my earliest lectures and tapes, I confess that I did not emphasize this important point clearly enough.  The battle with concupiscence is fierce.  Even the holiest saints can still recognize the pull of concupiscence within them."

However, West goes on to argue, quoting extensively from Pope John Paul II, that people can come to a "mature purity," in which "man enjoys the fruits of victory over concupiscence."

"Liberation from concupiscence - or, more precisely, from the domination of concupiscence (John Paul II used both expressions)," says West, "is not only a possibility, it is a necessity if we are to live our lives 'in the truth' and experience the divine plan for human love (see TOB 43:6, 47:5)."

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/oct/09102210.html
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#2
If anyone is interested here is the 2004 papal document: Theology of the body

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congre...on_en.html

with the essential message:

A second tendency emerges in the wake of the first. In order to avoid the domination of one sex or the other, their differences tend to be denied, viewed as mere effects of historical and cultural conditioning. In this perspective, physical difference, termed sex, is minimized, while the purely cultural element, termed gender, is emphasized to the maximum and held to be primary. The obscuring of the difference or duality of the sexes has enormous consequences on a variety of levels.


(10-23-2009, 07:12 AM)savienu Wrote: Christopher West, the prolific author and well-known speaker who shot to fame in the Catholic world as a result of his work popularizing Pope John Paul II's "Theology of the Body," has for the first time responded publicly to criticisms that were directed at his work by other theologians and professors of Theology of the Body earlier this year.

In an essay sent to LifeSiteNews.com, West stands by his take on the issue of the nature of concupiscence - which, in the case of sexuality, manifests itself in the temptation to lust - which, as he points out, was the "crux" of the criticisms leveled against him. But he also thanks those who have made thoughtful criticism of his work and suggestions on how to improve it. "I have taken them to heart," he says.  "Indeed, I have always weighed my critics' observations carefully and prayerfully.  They have helped me refine my approach a great deal over the years and I remain very grateful for that."

In his essay West acknowledges that concupiscence cannot be fully overcome in this life.  "It is abundantly clear from both Catholic teaching and human experience that, so long as we are on earth, we will always have to battle with concupiscence - that disordering of our passions caused by original sin (see Catechism of the Catholic Church 405, 978, 1264, 1426). "

West adds: "In some of my earliest lectures and tapes, I confess that I did not emphasize this important point clearly enough.  The battle with concupiscence is fierce.  Even the holiest saints can still recognize the pull of concupiscence within them."

However, West goes on to argue, quoting extensively from Pope John Paul II, that people can come to a "mature purity," in which "man enjoys the fruits of victory over concupiscence."

"Liberation from concupiscence - or, more precisely, from the domination of concupiscence (John Paul II used both expressions)," says West, "is not only a possibility, it is a necessity if we are to live our lives 'in the truth' and experience the divine plan for human love (see TOB 43:6, 47:5)."

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/oct/09102210.html
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#3
A lot of disordered desires find expression in an overcomplication of a straightforward teaching of the Church.  TOB uses a pseudo intellectualism to obsess about sex. 

No different than someone trying to entice themselves about any other sin.  It just sounds downright silly when you  apply Theology of the Body doublespeak to another aspect of life that can be used virtuously or as a vice.  "Look at all that money!  Oh Boy, I wish I had that money, I sure would like it, think of all the wonderful things I would do for the Lord if I had that money.  It's a blessing from the Lord, that money is.  Lord thank you for that millionaire flashing his bucks in front of me,  that sure does stop me from wanting all of that money." 

How come a half an hour of Bishop Sheen or a 20 minute sermon of an SSPX priest (Fr. Robinson comes to mind) can teach you more about a healthy and proper attitude about the marital act than a booklet and weekly lectures for a month of TOB? 
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#4
Gerard: Can you recommend something pithy from Bishop Sheen on this matter? I am stuck with a version of his (West) work in my 8th grade CCD class. It is even titled "Theology of the Body". I find it disingenious at best and use it little as possible.
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#5
LOL
Well put gerard. But its not suprising jp the small was afterall a trained phenomanologist. Phenomanology is of course notorius for its tripple speak. Anyhoo I remember a lecture one time in phenomanology dealing with what makes a chair a chair as opposed to a stool. What is the being of the chair.
Sip
Allot during that lecture
When I woke up it turns iut its the back of the chair which makes it a chair according to this proff and I thought shit!
How much am I payong for this?
Sip
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#6
(10-23-2009, 11:48 AM)formerdatt Wrote: Gerard: Can you recommend something pithy from Bishop Sheen on this matter? I am stuck with a version of his (West) work in my 8th grade CCD class. It is even titled "Theology of the Body". I find it disingenious at best and use it little as possible.

There is a series of lectures by Bishop Sheen that I got from  www.keepthefaith.org.  I found that he did a good job giving lectures to students in the series "Family Retreat"  I think there is a lecture called "Youth and Sex" and it's Bishop Sheen at his best.  Supplemented with other talks like Marriage as a Sacrament and Marriage Problems and you can get a first class Catholic education on how to approach these issues in conformity with any of the classic catechisms.  His book "Peace of the Soul" also has a good chapter on the subject.

When I actually attended a parish TOB course just out of curiosity, I noted that the guy presenting the course kept supplementing it with Bishop Sheen quotes from the same lectures and his "Three to Get Married" book.  The fascinating thing is that from week to week people would remember the Sheen quotes and couldn't begin to remember the JPII quotes that were considered so important. 

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#7
I found TOB very helpful, illuminating and certainly not a waste of my time.

I also found Three to Get Married by Bishop Sheen to be refreshing in its brevity and content.

Just because JPII wrote it doesn't mean its bunk.
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#8
The TOB of JP II is certainly not bunk. It provides a deeper account of sex and morality for Christians and a counter-reason to the world's obsession of sexual freedom. To preach Christian sexuality as a virtue in holy matrimony and a sacred sacrament has always a place in the Christian vacation (as in Bishop Sheen's or other saintly writings). To recognize sex as a God-given human passion to be enjoyed and exercised responsibly as God intended is where the TOB sets new grounds. To perceive that this Christian sexuality is an exchange of a love-gift between a couple, and is meant to be joyful, in its material and spiritual contents, is to return to God's original intention of this holy matrimony. This is what the TOB speaks of.
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#9
I think sex should be as painful as possible.
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#10
LOL
Not mich new with tob other then the size of it. I guessa saome like things complicated and long winded
I'm simple man
Sip
Yeah as painfull as possible
Sip sip
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