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This room is for discussion related to learning about the faith (Catechetics), defense of the Faith (Apologetics), the Liturgy and canon law, motivated by a desire to grow closer to Christ or to bring someone else closer.

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Feb 13th 2013 new

(Quote) Chris-944200 said: There seem to be alot of holes in your line of thinking. It makes no sense to say that just becau...
(Quote) Chris-944200 said:

There seem to be alot of holes in your line of thinking. It makes no sense to say that just because he makes money he is somehow doing it for money. That could apply to every layperson who has ever sold a book on theology. Just no basis for it. It seems you ahve alot of holes in your line of reasoning. I explained to you what West was donig in the comparison with Hefner but you chose to ignore it. Should B16 have not mentiond prostitutes, condums and tending toward the good. The procreative act is one of intent and not always the end. Every conjugal act needs to be open, not neccesarily succeed, in the procreation of children.

I think you have a problem with Christopher WEst for some reason. I wont speculate why. Also there are some basic holes in your lien of reasoning. I am not sure that you do understand the procreative and unitive act of marriage, at least not at the level of a more established, educated and well read theologian, lay or otherwise. And no I am not attackign you or getting a dig in just stating what seems to be clear. When you boil the sexual act down to prohibitions, than you dont get it, at least not completely.

I would respectfully say that take some time to read over the meaning of marriage and Theology of the Body. Perhaps you would have a better understanding of the conjugal act and its context within God's Divine Economy.

Once again I am not attacking, or getting a dig in but a lack of understanding, coupled with a conservatives zeal seems to be prevalent in the forums, at least some of the time. I am simply, out of charity, suggesting you do a little more reading and praying, as we all do.

--hide--


My basic criticism of Christopher West comes down to his Hugh Heffner reference. I think Mr. West attempts to glorify marital sex more than he should. That doesn't mean he is necessarily wrong - it is his style that I think is too over the top - plenty of others have no problem with it. If money and fame are part of his motivation - I don't think there is necessarily wrong with that either. We live in America - you have a right to make money and pursue fame. I also said there is a lot of value if what Christopher West does - if you read my original post - I said I was basically neutral. My only major criticism is the Hugh Heffner reference. He may have later ackowledged that he shouldn't have made that reference. I don't know - I suppose we should just agree to disagree on this one, isolated comment.


I don't need any more education on Theology of the Body. I get it. I dont think it just boils dows to prohbitions - I get the procreative and unitive elements involved. I think it is a constructive document that explains catholic sexuality in great detail. Christopher West put it more in layman's terms - there is value in that. Yet - he is NOT the post, nor a priest - he is not above criticism. If you don't agree with me - fine. Let's leave it at that. THe other poster here, so far - Mick - is far more critical than I am. Perhaps you should respond to him.

Feb 16th 2013 new

I don’t often post in the Fora, but this thread came to my attention, and I thought it was important to jump in and clarify some things.

First of all, Patrick from Chicago, you are of course correct that Christopher West’s ideas are not above criticism. However, to publicly question his motivation the way you did -- to “speculate” on a public forum that he may be motivated by fame and money -- is a different matter entirely, and remains a sin against the 8th commandment. It would be like me posting “Sometimes I wonder if Patrick from Chicago is only on CM to meet wealthy women and defraud of them of their money. I’m only speculating, so no need to be defensive about it.” Doesn’t really help, does it? I don’t know you. I can comment (charitably) on what you SAY, but to speculate negatively about your motivation would be wrong. And my “speculating” could damage your reputation and raise questions about you in people’s minds.

As it happens, Christopher is a friend of mine, and you could not be more wrong about his motivation. JPII’s ideas were life-changing for him, and he is driven by the desire to share them. He has suffered -- a lot -- for the sake of this ministry that he feels called to. Sure, his ideas and methods are up for debate. I have debated them myself. I personally thought the “Nightline” interview was a train wreck. But none of that speaks to the motivation behind his life’s work.

As for the Church’s teaching on sexuality -- that’s much too big a topic to take up here. But I will say that, while you know enough of the basics to keep you on the straight and narrow, what you’ve written in this thread alone indicates that you really don’t understand the deeper elements of the Church’s teaching. I don’t blame you for that -- very few people are taught about this today, which is a shame. But if you’re going to publicly criticize or question others’ ideas in this arena, you should probably educate yourself a little more deeply first. It’s really very beautiful stuff.

Feb 16th 2013 new

(Quote) MaryBeth-278310 said: I don’t often post in the Fora, but this thread came to my attention, and I thought it w...
(Quote) MaryBeth-278310 said:

I don’t often post in the Fora, but this thread came to my attention, and I thought it was important to jump in and clarify some things.

First of all, Patrick from Chicago, you are of course correct that Christopher West’s ideas are not above criticism. However, to publicly question his motivation the way you did -- to “speculate” on a public forum that he may be motivated by fame and money -- is a different matter entirely, and remains a sin against the 8th commandment. It would be like me posting “Sometimes I wonder if Patrick from Chicago is only on CM to meet wealthy women and defraud of them of their money. I’m only speculating, so no need to be defensive about it.” Doesn’t really help, does it? I don’t know you. I can comment (charitably) on what you SAY, but to speculate negatively about your motivation would be wrong. And my “speculating” could damage your reputation and raise questions about you in people’s minds.

As it happens, Christopher is a friend of mine, and you could not be more wrong about his motivation. JPII’s ideas were life-changing for him, and he is driven by the desire to share them. He has suffered -- a lot -- for the sake of this ministry that he feels called to. Sure, his ideas and methods are up for debate. I have debated them myself. I personally thought the “Nightline” interview was a train wreck. But none of that speaks to the motivation behind his life’s work.

As for the Church’s teaching on sexuality -- that’s much too big a topic to take up here. But I will say that, while you know enough of the basics to keep you on the straight and narrow, what you’ve written in this thread alone indicates that you really don’t understand the deeper elements of the Church’s teaching. I don’t blame you for that -- very few people are taught about this today, which is a shame. But if you’re going to publicly criticize or question others’ ideas in this arena, you should probably educate yourself a little more deeply first. It’s really very beautiful stuff.

--hide--

Well said clap clap clap clap

Feb 16th 2013 new

(Quote) MaryBeth-278310 said: I don’t often post in the Fora, but this thread came to my attention, and I thought it w...
(Quote) MaryBeth-278310 said:

I don’t often post in the Fora, but this thread came to my attention, and I thought it was important to jump in and clarify some things.

First of all, Patrick from Chicago, you are of course correct that Christopher West’s ideas are not above criticism. However, to publicly question his motivation the way you did -- to “speculate” on a public forum that he may be motivated by fame and money -- is a different matter entirely, and remains a sin against the 8th commandment. It would be like me posting “Sometimes I wonder if Patrick from Chicago is only on CM to meet wealthy women and defraud of them of their money. I’m only speculating, so no need to be defensive about it.” Doesn’t really help, does it? I don’t know you. I can comment (charitably) on what you SAY, but to speculate negatively about your motivation would be wrong. And my “speculating” could damage your reputation and raise questions about you in people’s minds.

As it happens, Christopher is a friend of mine, and you could not be more wrong about his motivation. JPII’s ideas were life-changing for him, and he is driven by the desire to share them. He has suffered -- a lot -- for the sake of this ministry that he feels called to. Sure, his ideas and methods are up for debate. I have debated them myself. I personally thought the “Nightline” interview was a train wreck. But none of that speaks to the motivation behind his life’s work.

As for the Church’s teaching on sexuality -- that’s much too big a topic to take up here. But I will say that, while you know enough of the basics to keep you on the straight and narrow, what you’ve written in this thread alone indicates that you really don’t understand the deeper elements of the Church’s teaching. I don’t blame you for that -- very few people are taught about this today, which is a shame. But if you’re going to publicly criticize or question others’ ideas in this arena, you should probably educate yourself a little more deeply first. It’s really very beautiful stuff.

--hide--

I totally agree Marybeth.... Thank you... clap clap clap

Feb 16th 2013 new

Jimmy Akin's article on the Christopher West Nightline interview is well worth reading:

jimmyakin.com

Mr. West's approach to teaching TOB has a number of critics, including Dr. Scott Hahn and Dr. Alice von Hildebrand. Dr. von Hildebrand has written at least one very detailed commentary, of which I quote a small portion below, expressing the problems she sees with Mr. West's approach to TOB:

www.catholicnewsagency.com

It is a joy to praise a great book or author; it is a grief and duty to criticize a bad one. But it is especially difficult to criticize someone who has many talents, whose work has positive sides, but which also suffers from certain faults, calling for correction. Such is the case with Christopher West, with his popular presentation of John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body.”

As gifted as he is—and as much as I appreciate all the good he has done for the Church—West’s work continues to fall short in many respects. He has sometimes misunderstood the authentic Catholic tradition; overlooked or disregarded essential aspects of it; and promoted a new form of religious “enthusiasm” which can best be described as wayward. Monsignor Ronald Knox, who critiqued this attitude so well in his book Enthusiasm, was a prophet, recognizing such outbursts as recurring phenomena in the history of the Church, characteristic of easily misguided movements for which we should always be on the watch.

Key to my concerns is West’s hyper-sexualized approach to the Theology of the Body. The French have a wonderful word to capture the veiling of one’s intimate feelings, out of a proper sense of shame—pudeur, a “holy bashfulness,” so to speak. Seized as he is by what he regards as his calling to evangelize a new generation with this theology in “modern” ways they can supposedly better understand, West practically ignores the importance of pudeur, and, by his imprudence, winds up undermining his own message.

 

 

Feb 16th 2013 new

(Quote) Jerry-74383 said: Jimmy Akin's article on the Christopher West Nightline interview is well worth reading:
(Quote) Jerry-74383 said:

Jimmy Akin's article on the Christopher West Nightline interview is well worth reading:

jimmyakin.com

Mr. West's approach to teaching TOB has a number of critics, including Dr. Scott Hahn and Dr. Alice von Hildebrand. Dr. von Hildebrand has written at least one very detailed commentary, of which I quote a small portion below, expressing the problems she sees with Mr. West's approach to TOB:

www.catholicnewsagency.com

It is a joy to praise a great book or author; it is a grief and duty to criticize a bad one. But it is especially difficult to criticize someone who has many talents, whose work has positive sides, but which also suffers from certain faults, calling for correction. Such is the case with Christopher West, with his popular presentation of John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body.”

As gifted as he is—and as much as I appreciate all the good he has done for the Church—West’s work continues to fall short in many respects. He has sometimes misunderstood the authentic Catholic tradition; overlooked or disregarded essential aspects of it; and promoted a new form of religious “enthusiasm” which can best be described as wayward. Monsignor Ronald Knox, who critiqued this attitude so well in his book Enthusiasm, was a prophet, recognizing such outbursts as recurring phenomena in the history of the Church, characteristic of easily misguided movements for which we should always be on the watch.

Key to my concerns is West’s hyper-sexualized approach to the Theology of the Body. The French have a wonderful word to capture the veiling of one’s intimate feelings, out of a proper sense of shame—pudeur, a “holy bashfulness,” so to speak. Seized as he is by what he regards as his calling to evangelize a new generation with this theology in “modern” ways they can supposedly better understand, West practically ignores the importance of pudeur, and, by his imprudence, winds up undermining his own message.

--hide--

Thank you Jerry.


Mary Beth. The book I recently bought of West's I found some errors with. Also, there was only one comment from a priest at the front of the book. I suggest you ask him to humbly consult the Churches opinion his own writing and get her approval. I am sure his intentions are pure but to keep aligned with the Church is best. Ask him to bring it to prayer. If he feels moved to, approach Jesus in the confessional and He will remove his imperfections. I have experienced this myself. Habitual sins I have made in my life were removed from my behavior and I have become more Spiritual and have a new zeal for the Catholic Churches teachings. Chris has an important roll to play.


Peace be with u and Chris,


Mick



Feb 16th 2013 new

(Quote) Jerry-74383 said: Jimmy Akin's article on the Christopher West Nightline interview is well worth reading:
(Quote) Jerry-74383 said:

Jimmy Akin's article on the Christopher West Nightline interview is well worth reading:

jimmyakin.com

Mr. West's approach to teaching TOB has a number of critics, including Dr. Scott Hahn and Dr. Alice von Hildebrand. Dr. von Hildebrand has written at least one very detailed commentary, of which I quote a small portion below, expressing the problems she sees with Mr. West's approach to TOB:

www.catholicnewsagency.com

It is a joy to praise a great book or author; it is a grief and duty to criticize a bad one. But it is especially difficult to criticize someone who has many talents, whose work has positive sides, but which also suffers from certain faults, calling for correction. Such is the case with Christopher West, with his popular presentation of John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body.”

As gifted as he is—and as much as I appreciate all the good he has done for the Church—West’s work continues to fall short in many respects. He has sometimes misunderstood the authentic Catholic tradition; overlooked or disregarded essential aspects of it; and promoted a new form of religious “enthusiasm” which can best be described as wayward. Monsignor Ronald Knox, who critiqued this attitude so well in his book Enthusiasm, was a prophet, recognizing such outbursts as recurring phenomena in the history of the Church, characteristic of easily misguided movements for which we should always be on the watch.

Key to my concerns is West’s hyper-sexualized approach to the Theology of the Body. The French have a wonderful word to capture the veiling of one’s intimate feelings, out of a proper sense of shame—pudeur, a “holy bashfulness,” so to speak. Seized as he is by what he regards as his calling to evangelize a new generation with this theology in “modern” ways they can supposedly better understand, West practically ignores the importance of pudeur, and, by his imprudence, winds up undermining his own message.

--hide--
Jerry what a great read from Dr. Alice Von Hildebrand. She is so right in how easily in todays world we are blind to so much of what is going on around us and the limits of the english language. I agree with all she has said in her article. We live in a world that tries, in every possible way, to excuse our seeking of all pleasures we want and desire, to be a normal way of life.

Feb 16th 2013 new

Jerry -- I agree that speaking too explicitly or coarsely about this subject is problematic, and that this was a problem I was concerned about in Christopher's early work. Christopher has acknowledged himself that he was too explicit when he first began speaking and writing on the subject. I have discussed this with him personally, and I have seen nothing problematic in that regard in many, many years. I believe that Dr. von Hildebrand is basing her critique solely on her his early work as well.

Mick -- I'd like to know what "errors" you are referring to. Every book of Christopher's that I have in my library carries the Nihil Obstat and the Imprimatur. Which means his work was reviewed by a theologian (in the case of the book I'm looking at right now, that theologian was William E. May, one of the foremost and most highly regarded experts on the theology of marriage and family in the Church today.) And the Imprimatur means that it was formally approved by a Bishop, as representative of the Church, as being free of doctrinal error. That's the official system for gaining the Church's formal approval -- not counting how many priests' comments appear in the front of the book.

I am a little bit surprised at the presumption -- on the part of someone who doesn't know the man -- that he doesn't consult with representatives of the Church, or that he doesn't have recourse to the sacrament of reconciliation. Again, you are very wrong on both counts.

Again, I'm going to keep repeating -- I don't believe that his ideas or approach are beyond criticism. I have shared my own concerns with him personally, as noted above. But I felt I needed to clarify, given the uninformed and presumptive nature of some of Patrick and Mick's statements.

Feb 16th 2013 new

(Quote) MaryBeth-278310 said: Jerry -- I agree that speaking too explicitly or coarsely about this subject is problematic, a...
(Quote) MaryBeth-278310 said:

Jerry -- I agree that speaking too explicitly or coarsely about this subject is problematic, and that this was a problem I was concerned about in Christopher's early work. Christopher has acknowledged himself that he was too explicit when he first began speaking and writing on the subject. I have discussed this with him personally, and I have seen nothing problematic in that regard in many, many years. I believe that Dr. von Hildebrand is basing her critique solely on her his early work as well.

Mick -- I'd like to know what "errors" you are referring to. Every book of Christopher's that I have in my library carries the Nihil Obstat and the Imprimatur. Which means his work was reviewed by a theologian (in the case of the book I'm looking at right now, that theologian was William E. May, one of the foremost and most highly regarded experts on the theology of marriage and family in the Church today.) And the Imprimatur means that it was formally approved by a Bishop, as representative of the Church, as being free of doctrinal error. That's the official system for gaining the Church's formal approval -- not counting how many priests' comments appear in the front of the book.

I am a little bit surprised at the presumption -- on the part of someone who doesn't know the man -- that he doesn't consult with representatives of the Church, or that he doesn't have recourse to the sacrament of reconciliation. Again, you are very wrong on both counts.

Again, I'm going to keep repeating -- I don't believe that his ideas or approach are beyond criticism. I have shared my own concerns with him personally, as noted above. But I felt I needed to clarify, given the uninformed and presumptive nature of some of Patrick and Mick's statements.

--hide--

I agree and I think that it is problematic that some think that it is okay to make assumptions about the spirituality and motivations of someone that they do not know personally. I would even caution against that for someone that they knew personally. While correction and opinion on the work of person may be commented on, I think that some of the comments are crossing the line. None of us are above reproach. Some because they are public figures have to live out their mistakes ( e.g. the Hugh Hefner comment) in the public eye which is in and of itself a cross. I charge that you can make comments on some of the problems with his earlier work but I would caution against throwing out the baby with the bath water and making assumptions that the baby was evil and deserved throwing out because of a few smears of dirt on its body.

Feb 16th 2013 new

(Quote) Patrick-341178 said: The only real grey area is if certain forms of foreplay among married couples as precursor to ...
(Quote) Patrick-341178 said:

The only real grey area is if certain forms of foreplay among married couples as precursor to intercourse are acceptable. I don't think much more needs to be discussed for me, but if others need more, I respect that.

--hide--


Why this priggishness?


As long as the married couple's love-making culimnates in intercourse that is open to the transmission of life, various forms of foreplay are fine.

Certain forms of foreplay or post-coital intimacy can be sinful if they're not shared willinglyby both partners or are degrading or done solely to satisfy the selfish aims of one partner. Certain forms are always wrong. I woulod include in that category any sort of fetish as well as anal sex. But shared and loving intimacies expressed within the context of love-making which includes intercourse are fine. What else would they be?


There are plenty of good reasons to please one another before and after the act of intercourse. Foremost is the fact that humkan beings are not barnyard animals who couple rapidly and solely to produce offspring. Human love-making differs not just by degree by also in essence from animal procreation. It's one powerful way that married couples bond and grow their love for each other. The forms of intimacy which you disapprovingly refer to as foreplay" make many Catholics squeamish. IMO, this is both silly and fearful. It's also a bad misunderstanding of the nature of human love and the sacredness of marital love. These acts, if done PROPERLY, prolong the act of intimacy and intensify its pleasure. This is how couples bond. We're not brute beasts - we're sentient beings with souls created in God's image.


Read the Song of Solomon. God designed sexual pleasure for married people. He wants them to ENJOY it. Sex is not a necessary evil - it's a great gift from God which is never filthy. It is SACRED. Ask the saints. ALL forms of human love are but dim reflections of the various ways God loves us. This includes sexual love. In fact, the greatest Catholic mystics saw sexual intimacy as the form of human love which most closely mirrors Christ's love for each soul. Those who don't believe me and are ready to report this post, should first read Theresa oif Avila, John of the Cross, and even Aquinas on this topic. In convents and monstaeries from the earliest centuries of the Chruch until now, they read the Song of Solomon aloud when a monk or nun is dying - because the soul is the bride and her bridegroom (Christ) is rapidly approaching.


There are also sound biological reasons fo renjoying sex more fully. When women are stimulated to orgasm after the act of intercourse, it greatly increases the likelihood of conception. This is how GOD designed her. So if various forms of mutual intimacy are done in a lovng and mutually self-giving fashion as a prelude and/or follow up to intercourse then what is the problem?


My guess is that the excerpt from your post which I quoted above is a code word for oral sex. Again, if done prior to intercourse as a means of enhancing the pleasure and intimacy of the love act (and never as an end in itself) then what can possibly be wrong with it? I've never understood the horrible taboos which prevent so many Catholics from enjoying procreative sex with their spouses. Actually I do understand and it pains me to no end. This priggishness is a vestige of that twisted Jansenism and silly clericalism which contaminated the Church for the past few centuries. Both of these beliefs are errors. Both perceive all sex as filthy and hold that marriage barely (but just barley) sanitizes it. People who hold to these errors feel that married couples should have sex only when necessary, keep it very basic, get it over quickly, and use it only for procreation. I had a friend who married aconvent educated woman from Mexico. After 3 years of marriage she had let him have sex with her only a handful of times. After each instance she wept for days and ran to confession. He finally brought her to the priest for marriage counselling. She kept repeating over and over the terrible clericalist error the sisters drummed into her head: that sex is always filthy. She said she wanted a "holy marriage" which, to her meant no sex or as little as possible. The priest tried to get her to see that this was clearly wrong-headed and a terrible misunderstanding/abuse of the sacramaent but she called him a "modernist" and refused to budge. My friend finally divorced her and got an annulment. Who was wrong here - the "pious" wife or her longsuffering and patient husband?


Why fear sex? It's a gift and closely mirrors divine love. When used properly it is a path to deeper love, stronger marriages, deeper faith, and above all to personal holiness. Is this heretical?



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