- Divine Life – A Blog by Eric Sammons - http://ericsammons.com/blog -
Talking about sex
Posted By Eric Sammons On May 12, 2009 @ 10:24 am In Sexuality,The Church | Comments Disabled
Last week Christopher West, a popular proponent of John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body” was profiled on ABC’s Nightline . When I watched the piece (video available in the link provided), I have to admit I was a bit disappointed. The whole segment seemed to be completely focused on sexual acts, devoid of any serious context. It even presented Mr. West as being a fan of Hugh Hefner and made him appear to be supportive of the sexual revolution. I do not know Mr. West, although I am vaguely familiar with some of his work, but I do know the media and I assumed that ABC was to blame. Considering our culture’s distorted obsession with pelvic issues, it is not surprising that they would divorce issues of sexual acts from the context of male-female relationships as intended by God.
Well, it appears that Christopher West also takes issue with ABC’s presentation. On his website, he notes some errors  with a number of points in the report. He also granted an interview with Catholic News Agency  in which he gives further corrections to ABC’s sensationalism of his work.
However, some Catholics are still not happy with Mr. West’s apostolate, including Alice von Hildebrand . Her main objection seems to be that she does not think Mr. West is “reverent” enough in his discussions of sexual issues and does not take seriously enough the problem of concupiscence.
This is clearly an important issue. We live in a culture is that is incredibly sick when it comes to sex. You cannot walk in a mall without seeing semi-pornographic images and you cannot watch more than 15 minutes of prime-time television without some message urging sexual relations without any responsibility. High schools and colleges are deep in the “hook up” culture, which reduces the God-given gift of sex to an animal urge. How are we as faithful Catholics to respond to such a culture?
On the one hand, I am uncomfortable with some of the Catholic responses to the sexual revolution, which try to be like a “Catholic Dr. Ruth” or as “edgy” in its language as Howard Stern. Dr. Hildebrand has a point when she urges us to be reverent when speaking of sexuality and to always remember that we are all afflicted with concupiscence. Yet I also think that one of the beauties of JPII’s Theology of the Body is that it breaks free of the Puritan demeaning of sex. Sexual relations between a man and a wife is a wonderful gift from God and one of its purposes (along with begetting children) is to unite a man and a woman as “one flesh.” St. Paul tells us that marriage is a “mystery” that reflects the relationship between Christ and His Church – how incredible is that? The response to culture’s worship of sex is not to proclaim that “sex is evil” or even to avoid talking about sex, but instead show how sexual relations can and should point people to worship of sex’s creator. From what I have seen, this is the ultimate intention of Christopher West’s apostolate.
Inevitably, good people can make mistakes and perhaps go beyond the proper boundaries when discussing sexual relations. We need to pray that everyone involved in this type of apostolate stays close to the Lord and helps others to understand God’s gift of sex in its appropriate context.
Article printed from Divine Life – A Blog by Eric Sammons: http://ericsammons.com/blog
URL to article: http://ericsammons.com/blog/2009/05/12/talking-about-sex/
URLs in this post:
 profiled on ABC’s Nightline: http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/Sex/story?id=7527380&page=1
 he notes some errors: http://christopherwest.com/page.asp?ContentID=118
 an interview with Catholic News Agency: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=15928
 including Alice von Hildebrand: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=15950
 subscribe to my RSS feed: http://ericsammons.com/blog/feed/
Copyright © 2010 Divine Life - A Blog by Eric Sammons. All rights reserved.