Theology of the Body
#1
I'm really confused about theology of the body. I've heard traditional Catholics criticize TOB - but is there a difference between what Pope John Paul II actually wrote and for example Christopher West's explanation of it? (I've read threads about West already and I don't even read his work, I'm just wondering about TOB itself, the way it was originally presented).

What about Humanae Vitae? since it's a Papal Encyclical it's something we fully accept yes? I think I heard some criticism of it too somewhere - not sure - but my priest spoke about how it talked against contraception, etc, in his homily..

My other question is sort of TOB related. Maybe this isn't something that's found in Pope John Paul II's talks at all and is more from the popular speakers, I don't know. But - I read that some of them link the symbolism of marriage to the fact that God is not one Person. Can we make that sort of parallel at all? I don't mean talking about any particulars - just the fact that marriage exists at all, in general. I know we can link it to Christ and the Church though.

thanks!
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#2
Also I've read how some Catholics believe that the marital act is like a sacramental of some sort that helps the couple receive more grace if their marriage is a Sacrament. What do we think of this? I'm just honestly looking for whatever is the orthodox view so I can finally understand TOB.
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#3
(09-04-2015, 01:59 PM)little_flower10 Wrote: I'm really confused about theology of the body. I've heard traditional Catholics criticize TOB - but is there a difference between what Pope John Paul II actually wrote and for example Christopher West's explanation of it? (I've read threads about West already and I don't even read his work, I'm just wondering about TOB itself, the way it was originally presented).

What about Humanae Vitae? since it's a Papal Encyclical it's something we fully accept yes? I think I heard some criticism of it too somewhere - not sure - but my priest spoke about how it talked against contraception, etc, in his homily..

My other question is sort of TOB related. Maybe this isn't something that's found in Pope John Paul II's talks at all and is more from the popular speakers, I don't know. But - I read that some of them link the symbolism of marriage to the fact that God is not one Person. Can we make that sort of parallel at all? I don't mean talking about any particulars - just the fact that marriage exists at all, in general. I know we can link it to Christ and the Church though.

thanks!

I haven't heard any criticisms of Theology of the Body itself.  I've only heard criticisms of Christopher West's "explanation" of it- the most significant of which came from Dr. Alice von Hildebrand.  Dr. Alice von Hildebrand is no prudish old lady, yet she does express some concerns about Christopher West's writings.  She was married to one of the great philosophers of the 20th century, and has devoted most of her life to promoting his work.  Even so, she is a highly intelligent, qualified philosopher in her own right.  She was a college professor for many years, and is an accomplished author.  Her best-known works are about sexuality, so she's definitely no prudish old lady.  Here are some links that give her response to Christopher West:

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/n...-the-body/

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/docume...d-sex-999/

A quote from the first link...

Quote:In her 36-page essay, which she provided exclusively to CNA,  Dr. Von Hildebrand explains that there are two main concerns she has with West's approach to presenting the teachings of Venerable John Paul II on human sexuality.

The first is that West “erroneously”  assumes “that John Paul II has initiated a 'revolution' in Catholic teaching” in the concept of the Theology of the Body. The second concern is that West uses “loose” and what could be viewed as crude and graphic language in describing what she calls the “intimate sphere” of human sexuality.

My problem with Christopher West and many similar evangelists is that they try to make everything "cool" or "fun."  That approach is very superficial.  Practicing the Catholic Faith isn't always going to be "fun."  Being "fun" is irrelevant.  The Catholic Faith isn't "fun" like roller coasters, rock concerts, and sporting events.  It's worthwhile, of course, but that is in spite of the fact that there are times of great difficulty, even pain.  Being a part of a Church whose founder promised would be hated by the world isn't "cool."  It's the opposite of "cool."  People are deluding themselves if they think that the world will love the Church if they can just make themselves more "cool."  The Church just needs to proclaim the truth boldly and clearly, and those who are willing to hear it will hear it, will be drawn to it, and in spite of the trials that will come their lives will be all the better for it.  Don't try to be "cool"- once the current generation has past, you'll look like an idiot.  Be authentic.
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#4
The discussions often center on a couple items:

Q: What kind of sexual acts are permissible?
A1: All sexual acts (besides anal sex) are permissible as long as the sexual act is completed for the male with sexual intercourse.
A2: Sexual intercourse is the only permissible sexual act. All others are evil.

Q: Is it permissible to use NFP to avoid pregnancy?
A1: Not for any extended period of time unless there's a grave reason, this makes NFP no different than contraception
A2: Yes, NFP forces the spouses to completely abstain from sex during the fertile period, this is completely different than contraception

The arguments go from there. It's two topics that the Church hasn't quite put out a full answer to. I think it's most common for trads to be of the A2/A1 mindset (at least from what I've read online), although the A1/A2 is quite common as well.
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#5
Theology of the Body, or as it has been called "Theology of the Bawdy" has one primary flaw in my opinion:

It is a solution looking for a problem.

Like so many other things in the modern Church, it tries to reinvent things.

It was not as if the preceding moral theology was inadequate to provide the principles for people. That theology rested on core moral principles. It may have needed some development to better be applied those principles, but it was a whole system that was objective.

Yet, it had to be reinvented, just like everything else post 1960. It was done in such a way as to abandon the objective principled method of previous moral theology and it became subjective, and legalistic. In short, it doesn't seek to foster Virtue based on principles. It seeks to provide easy answer and often to try to provide as many loopholes to modern less-than-noble sexual behavior as a "pastoral" approach.
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#6
Thanks for the replies, I'm wondering does anyone have thoights on the particular questions I was wondering about? I can't seem to find an answer... Thanks!
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