Theology of the Body

I know, I know.  I know what you are thinking.  For those who aren't traditionalists, you are thinking "oh great, another traditionalist slamming John Paul II's Theology of the Body.  Can't you be original?"  To my traditionalist reader, you are probably thinking "Since when did you go all Christopher West on us?  TOB is some boring intellectual excercise by John Paul II that has little relevance to what we believe as Catholics."

Even more shocking, I'm going to disagree with both.  This isn't another project slamming John Paul II.  Like Mark Antony, I come not to praise, but to bury.  I come to bury a false image in the minds of many individuals of Theology of the Body.  Some of these individuals are even well meaning faithful Catholics who nonetheless come up short, as I believe my work will show.

To the traditionalist, I ask that you give this an open mind.  I share many of the criticisms and concerns levied about the way this stuff is presented.  Yet I also think if one is willing to dig deep enough, one can find some serious thought here, and I'm willing to wager a genuine development of Christian doctrine.  Yet that understanding will never enter the fray as long as those with the tools for the job sit on the sidelines.  We traditionalists have an advantage the Christopher West's of the world lack.  We have an understanding of 2,000 years of tradition behind us, as well as a keen understanding of human nature.  We are the most unlikely of individuals if we take up this task.  We are seeking to save the legacy of a Pope many of us did not particularly care for, or at least we do not join the "JPII The Great" chorus.  Yet if we don't do it, others will, and to the detriment of the Church as a whole.  If nothing else, consider it a chance to settle scores with Janet Smith, George Weigel, and countless other TOB/Christopher West advocates, who made a cottage factory out of slandering faithful Catholics simply because they attended a different Mass.  They've got a special place of contempt for us.  Let the battle be joined.

Why I Don't Buy It

In Defense of "Checklist Catholicism"

Theology of the Wounded

Contra Janet Smith

God is a Stalker and other TOB nonsense

Are Traditionalists Closet Manicheans?  A response to Christina King

Putting Faith to the Test and Occasions of Sin:  A gaping hole in the logic of Christopher West

Turn not your Eyes:  A true understanding of the words of Jesus Ben Sirach

The Limits of Analogy in TOB

Christopher West, Dawn Eden, and the recent TOB dustup:  With Wade St. Onge

Moving Back the Goalposts:  A response to Sr. Lorraine and Christina King

On Dr. Smith's Response to Alice Von Hildebrand

The Hermenutic of Suspicion (a.k.a West's defenders call St. Frances de Sales spiritually immature and a heretic!)

St Frances de Sales vs. Christopher West

Catholic Exchange and Christopher West's defenders promote Christian nudism (warning, offensive doctrine inside!)

When did Continence Become a Dirty Word?

Beyond Eden:  A disturbing viewpoint among many popular TOB speakers

NFP and TOB Demagoguery