One of the many areas which underwent a much-needed reform was that of the understanding of marriage and family life. This was in no small measure due to the interventions of the young Bishop Wojtyła from Cracow. He understood that the Church needed to develop a theology of marriage that went beyond the formulae of the scholastic marriage manuals that were widely used before the Second Vatican Council. He wanted to inject some of the insights from personalist philosophy into the Church’s teaching in this area. In other words, he wanted to draw into the Church’s theology of marriage ideas that are now presented to the world under the label of “Lublin Thomism.”
Did the vocation to the married life need to be clarified and explained for the laity? Perhaps, with the continuing onslaught by the modern state and the economic and political powers on Catholics and family life. Is theology of the body the best solution? I still have doubts. Love is the foundation of all Christian living, but in marriage one should not neglect the differences in function, psychology, or attraction that are rooted in sex differences, or overly-spiritualize conjugal love and married friendship. Perhaps the original theology of the body does not do that, but one also needs to take into account what else John Paul II said about relations between men and women and the role of women in society. Can the modern state be a proper starting point for an explication on the role of women? Or does a dialectical examination of the history of the modern state and social trends reveal that what we see cannot be purged of the influence of "liberalism" or "feminism" or some other error?