Saturday, May 30, 2009

Those who defend Christopher West (and others) talk about how he has changed their lives and so on. How does this compare with the talks given by Jason Evert and his wife? What is it about West's teaching that is more effective than the Church's teaching, even if it is understood only in prohibitions? After all, obedience is a necessary addition to Faith, and also a "component" of charity (as well as religion). Why weren't these [infused] virtues enough for people to abstain from acts that are prohibited by Christ? Do people need to be presented with the 'positive' goods associated with a prohibition before they cooperate with grace and fulfill the Law? Society, bishops, and other traditional sources of wisdom concerning marriage and family have been lost, that is true, and people need to be taught about the vocation to marriage. But telling them that certain acts are somehow not consonant with giving one's self, or are a lie, or something else -- is this really an adequate explanation for the prohibition? If certain acts are opposed to love, as a general virtue, it is because they are against reason (and some subordinate good) in some way.
A critique of the phrase "integral good" is found here:
« The entire activity of the Church is an expression of a love that seeks the integral good of man. »

The Abbé de Nantes often contested this expression, inherited from John Paul II, but going back to Paul VI, “expert in humanity”. He claimed to be exercising a global magistracy, infallibly fixing new rights and duties for persons and States, determining the entire ideal and programme for a universal social reform “for the integral development of the whole man and of all men”. In this claim, developed by the encyclical on the progress of peoples (Populorum progressio, Easter 1967), the Abbé de Nantes detected the venom of the errors condemned by Saint Pius X in the Letter on the Sillon of 25 August 1910 (Letter to My Friends no 245, April 1967).

Some thoughts that struck me as I read this part -- is this expression really that problematic? And is it linked in any way to the 'integral humanism' of Jacques Maritain? What of the integral human fulfillment of John Finnis? Answers to come, perhaps...

Friday, May 29, 2009

At the Dawn Patrol: Schindler's list
Sparks fly as JP2 Institute dean raps Christopher West for errors
A guest post by FR. ANGELO MARY GEIGER F.I.
bloggingLOURDES takes issue with Dr. Janet Smith and Christopher West over their approval of certain sex acts, in the name of theology of the body.

Two other posts on TOB: Sex, Matrimony, the Garden of Eden and Theology of the Body and 10 Via Crucis on Mount Carmel (a brief comment on the Theology of the Body).

It does not appear to me that Father gives an argument against the act in question, except that it goes against human dignity -- that may seem almost tautological. Still, and this is something that those looking for theological arguments to permit such acts forget, there is something to be said for the connatural knowledge of the virtuous that enables them to know that certain things are wrong, even if they cannot give a scientific (that is, reasoned-out) explanation of why this is so.

Curious, in the comments section there is a lot of cricism of NFP--some may be criticizing just the mentality (or intentions) of those practicing it, some appear to be going further and criticing the practice itself.
Something from Counterpunch, of all places: On Evolution, by James C. Faris
A Critique of Darwinism Close-up Look at Black Hole Reveals Feeding Frenzy

Monday, May 25, 2009

Christopher West's Theology of the Body by David L. Schindler

stating that, while “there are some important health and aesthetic considerations that can’t be overlooked,” “there's nothing inherently wrong with anal penetration as foreplay to normal intercourse," (Good News About Sex and Marriage, 1st ed., emphasis in original), though qualifying this in the revised edition and stressing the subjective dangers of lust in such activity

I believe it can be argued that anal sex is intrinsically wrong -- the penis is not meant to be put in the anus, and we can know this precisely from the adverse impact on health that this can have. We can also look at the functionality of the organs involved as well.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Some Ralph McInerny videos

Medieval Philosophy: St. Thomas Aquinas

Introduction to Thomas Aquinas

Medieval Philosophy


Ralph McInerny
Center for Ethics and Culture bio
International Catholic University