See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Another POV on TOB.


Not your ordinary pop-theologian-sex-therapist's POV either...
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Fr. Maurizio Faggioni, OFM, a professor at the top pontifical institute for moral theology, the Pontifical Academy “Alphonsianum,” said in a recent interview with Catholic News Agency that the teachings of the Church suggest “far more prudence” in approaching some of the issues raised by Christopher West in his presentation of the Theology of the Body.
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Faggioni, a Franciscan who teaches at the Alphonsianum, an academy named upon the father of modern Moral theology, St. Alphonsus of Liguori, is one of the most consulted moral theologians and is an advisor to several Vatican dicasteries.
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In a conversation with CNA, Fr. Faggioni explained that some of the issues discussed publicly by West, such as the appropriateness of anal sex or other forms of sexual “foreplay” in married relationships, have to be dealt with using great care, since “the risk is of displacing the attention from marital love and the anthropologic meaning of lovely gestures to merely the genital aspects.”
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“Sexuality,” Fr. Faggioni said, launching into his analysis West's presentation of the Theology of the Body, “is the language of love and this language is authentic only when it is respectful of the meaning of human love.”
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Fr. Faggioni said that “it is simply not true that the traditional Catholic morality supports the use of acts that Thomas Aquinas call contra naturam -against nature- (such as anal sex) as something ordinary.”
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Regarding the practice of blessing the genitals before a sexual relationship, Fr. Faggioni expressed “real perplexity.” “Without doubt, all the body in each one of its parts is God’s creation and deserves honor. We precisely respect our private parts by surrounding them with greater respect and modesty.”
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“In itself,” he continued, “nothing forbids thanking God for the sexual body of oneself or the spouse, but from the perspective of Christian anthropology, it is not right to emphasize the genitals as if our sexuality could be reduced to them. “Love is made with all the body, with the entire person’s humanity, not only with the genitals.”
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“This is not prudishness, but the wisdom of the Church that has time and again demonstrated the importance of discretion and prudence when it comes to sexual issues,” he added. - Finish reading here.
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Art: Adam and Eve - Tamara de Lempicka

8 comments:

  1. Boy, these TOB conversations are getting right down to the nitty gritty (at least for St. Blog's parish). I even deleted a couple of words from the third paragraph of that message when I sent my newsletter out last night.

    But it's good that people are talking about it and even better that they are talking about in in the context provided by Pope John Paul II.

    It will probably be a rocky road, but I'm hopeful that the next generation will possess instructions that will help to revolutionize behaviors.

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  2. Yes - "even better that they are talking about in in the context provided by Pope John Paul II."

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  3. Anal sex is just plain old perverted--sick and wrong--the anus was not made to have objects forced inside it--it was made for a specific purpose. Part of respecting the body, is to respect the use each part was created for.

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  4. I can't even read TOB anymore - no matter what side I read (West vs. Faggioni) I am getting so paranoid that I am not doing it "right" that it's making me want to avoid it altogether.

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  5. Angela:

    I don't think doing IT right is what it's all about. I think it is about total communication/love between you and your husband.

    But don't cite me as a reference. I've only read a few things on it.

    There is supposed to be a relatively recent, posthumous, translation of John Paul II's notes from the Polish that is supposed to be quite good. I don't know the title.

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  6. Thanks, Ray. I will look into it.

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  7. Angela, When in doubt I find going to the actual source is always helpful in understanding the Holy Father's teachings, as well as studying related documents released by him, His Letter to Women from 1988 flows from his understanding of TOB - I highly recommend reading it. Find it here:

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_15081988_mulieris-dignitatem_en.html

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  8. At the end the day, let's remember that TOB is not a sacrament. It's not a requirement and you aren't a bad Catholi if you choose to ignore it. When JPII spoke about TOB he was lecturing on his theological hobby.It is not part of the Magisterium.

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Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.