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

Friday, August 12, 2011

Oversexualizing Theology of the Body.




“When dealing with a subject as fraught with distortions and sensitivities as sexuality there are surely going to be differences between people of good will.” - Dr. Janet Smith

Remember some Catholics thought the Chris West version of TOB was a little too hot to handle?
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Janet didn't - and neither did Rigali - but Bishop Lafitte just might think so...
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The secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Family is cautioning Catholics against making an oversexualized interpretation of Blessed John Paul II’s theology of the body--a series of catechetical addresses delivered at Wednesday general audiences between 1979 and 1984.  
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The problem is that if you focus only on sexuality, you cannot develop beyond that level, that such beauty is a gift, something given to mankind by the Creator but within a much broader context. Attraction to the beauty of human sexuality and the human body is normal because it is true and real. What can become a problem, however, would be to regard human sexuality in a kind of mystical way. Pope John Paul II embraced no form of mystic sexuality. What the Blessed Pontiff did in fact say is that sexuality has a mystical perspective and dimension ...
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There is a danger of vulgarizing here a crucial truth of our Faith that needs rather to be contemplated. It requires a silence. Sometimes in reading Blessed John Paul II’s Catecheses, you read only half of a page and then have to stop … you cannot continue … because it provokes within you a kind of loving meditation of what God has made. You enter into the mystery … 
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The problem involves not the formulation, but rather the respect for the mystery with which we are dealing. It is essential to present these teachings with reverence, with meditation, with silence. We’re dealing here with an endeavor in genuine education, not merely a strict transmission of knowledge. - Source
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“We are convinced that John Paul II's Theology of the Body is a treasure for the Church, indeed a gift of the Holy Spirit for our time.  Yet, its scholarly language needs to be 'translated' into more accessible categories if the average person is to benefit from it,” they continued. "To do this is the specific mission of the Theology of the Body Institute, and we believe that Christopher West, the Institute's popular lecturer and spokesman, has been given a particular charism to carry out this mission." - Cardinal Rigali and Bishop Rhoades

Fr. Angelo Mary has a more dignified post on the same here

10 comments:

  1. Anonymous6:06 PM

    I knew when I saw this in the headlines this morning, you'd be on it. Thought about sending it to you, but figured you'd find it soon enough.

    Btw-I am NOT "manic anonymous" or "Mark" or anyone else. I am Clark, I post as Clark - period. I explained why I had to take my profile down for now. However, you are beginning to see what I have been dealing with. I continue to pray for your vision issues.

    Sara- I added your father to my prayers.

    Clark

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  2. "The problem is that if you focus only on sexuality, you cannot develop beyond that level, that such beauty is a gift, something given to mankind by the Creator but within a much broader context."

    God does not heal sexual wounds by healing sexual wounds. With God there is always an initial "conversation", an engagement which none can anticipate and in which God wishes to tell a soul about something else by that very encounter. It can only be spoken of as an encounter between the Father and His child - the "broader context". Whatever sexual healing occurs is as a "trickle down" effect, to word it badly. Thus a narrow focus on sexual woundedness as the big problem with today's men and women without reocourse to the broader context becomes a kind of further degradation.

    One of the reasons I found Pentimento's post rather narrow, as much as I agreed with it.

    captcha: birding

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  3. Clark - I know who you are. LOL! Thanks.

    Paul - excellent insight - as usual.

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  4. I personally wonder if all these folks who are so hung up about sex are city folks...

    Spend some time on a livestock farm or breeding ranch and it soon looses its, oh I don't know the right words, "mystique."?? Deal with far too many udders, vaginas, and penises on a daily basis...

    Sara

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  5. Is it just me or is the whole subject a complete and utter bore, eventually?

    I want heaven!!!!

    Doesn't mean I will get it, I just mean, it's the only thing on my Big wish list. (Oh and to die sober ofcourse!)

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  6. I just think it's awesome how the Bishop's name is "Jean Lafitte", which is the name of a famous pirate who lived in Louisiana and is shrouded in legend and folklore around here. Lafitte makes Jack Sparrow boring. His role in the Battle of New Orleans (1815) is the stuff of epic legends. There's all kinds of stuff named after him around here, streets and neighborhoods and sports teams and stuff. The oldest bar on New Orleans is a blacksmith's building thy was his front operation in the city, and it's still a working class neighborhood bar, though it's nor unfortunately located in the gay part of the French Quarter.

    An the best part is, he was played by Yul Brynner in "The Buccaneer", which is a great movie, though it's historical hogwash.

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  7. Yes--it's very unfortunate that the historic building of Lafitte's "front shop" has to be amoungst all those nasty gays. I'm sure a good, upstanding man like him would be mortified! ;-)

    Ace

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  8. Mercury - you are right - I didn't make the connection to the pirate right away.

    Morning Ace.

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  9. Thats not what I meant Ace. I meant that for tourists and te like who just wanna go have a drink in a n historic neighborhood bar, that's got to walk across St Anne and past disgusting institutions like "Oz" and the Bourbon St Pub and "Napoleons Itch". The clientele of Lafitte's is not typically gay, but theres a very aggressive gau scene all around it. I'm sure St Anne would actually be more upset that Lafitte that her name is associated with loose gay living.

    To be fair though, most if Bourbon Street is a cesspool, with strip clubs and sex shops all over the place. A lot of the historic places, the nice, fun joints like Pat O's and the like are on the side streets, or can be accessed from the side streets. Of course, you might get mugged then :) I usually tell tourists just to avoid Bourbon at night altogether.

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  10. Mercury--in the late 80's when I was assigned to Keesler AFB in MS we would pop on down to Bourbon Street occasionally....at the time so many neat little hole in the wall jazz clubs you could pop in to for a drink and some GREAT music.. had my first "hurricane" there :)

    I had forgotten all about Lafitte--yeah he was quite the guy..I think I might have stopped by the place but don't quite remember...too many years gone by and too many nights of having one too many on Burbon Street :)Ah the joys of youth :)

    Sara

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