Okay, so I'm slightly spinning, but I'm really not that far off the mark. Before I go too far into this, a little story.
I'm a big fan of the movie Gladiator. The movie obviously is not historical (though ironically enough, an ex girlfriend of mine was furious at me for daring to suggest that the movie was a classic example of "never let the truth get in the way of a darn good story.") There's one line where a leading commander of Rome's army says about the barbarians: "People should know when they're conquered." If this is really the best Fr. Loya can do, I would like to offer the good priest some advice: people should realize when they've lost an argument.
After stating that it is clear that the Eastern Church looks at the paschal candle in a phallic sexual way (that the descent of the Paschal Candle into holy water 3 times is analogous to a husband penetrating his wife in coitus), we hear this gem, and trust me, boy is it ever a gem (bold is my emphasis):
"Acknowledging the Paschal candle’s phallic imagery does not require a quote from a particular Father of the Church. It is only one example of the spousal character of the church’s entire liturgical life, from Bernini’s canopy over the altar in St. Peter’s Basilica, designed to resemble a nuptial bed, to St. John Chrysostom reminding married couples that on the cross Christ united Himself with his Church in “spiritual intercourse,” to the liturgical texts of the Eastern churches that proclaim on Easter: “Christ emerges from the tomb like a bridegroom from the bridal chamber and fills the women with joy!” What Roman Catholics call “Holy Week,” Eastern churches call “The Week of the Bridegroom.”
I'll be honest, I saw that remark, and laughed for about 5 minutes straight. That Catholic Exchange would actually allow this to be ran on their website is even more astounding. When someone asserts that it is plainly obvious and that is challenged, you cannot respond by saying "it is plainly obvious!" Fr. Loya states that the Easter candle is a phallic symbol because...... Fr. Loya says so. Pay, pray, obey indeed.
He isn't done. He talks about the Resurrection itself as apparently a sexual act. For Christ leaves the empty tomb and "fills the women with joy." I'm going to come up with a really wild idea. Please, bear with me. The "filling with joy" is not sexual, but rather they are ecstatic that they learn Him who was dead has risen. That they are women and Christ is a man, in this narrow instance, is a pure coincidence. This isn't referencing a sexual act. While I hate to speak ill of a man of the cloth (and those who have followed my readings for years know that I have always been very measured in public statements about a priest), the good father is rapidly approaching blasphemy territory here.
Later he says that perhaps we should replace "phallic" with "spousal" if we feel uncomfortable. that would be akin to stating I should replace "burger" with "pizza." Phallic implies sexuality. There's a lot more to spousal than sex. Yet since words have meaning, if Fr. Loya is going to insist that this is still sexual, even if "spousal", yes, I will still feel uncomfortable when the Easter Vigil is compared to sex. Why do I feel uncomfortable? Because it's just plain wrong.
At the end, Fr. Loya states Christopher West, the fathers and mystics of the Church, and John Paul II are right, and their critics are wrong. He has yet to show:
1.) One Church Father who says the immersion of the candle in the waters is akin to sexual intercourse
2.) He has yet to name one mystic who believes this.
3.) He hasn't even tried to show where Pope John Paul II said this.
Simply stating it to be so, in praying that it will all go away, that won't work. Note to Catholic Exchange, and to Christopher West: find a better spokesman. This is just getting to the point of parody.
And Catholic Exchange, shame on you for running such shoddy work as evidence of something profound.