Friday, September 18, 2009

Support for Christopher West

This from I am a little tentative as a layman to parse a letter from my new temporary Bishop and the Bishop next door. So my comments in this open letter are in no way meant to question their legitimate teaching office. We have to respect them and support them and I do.

My emphasis and comments. This from

Support for Christopher West from Cardinal Justin Rigali and Bishop Kevin Rhoades

Cardinal Justin Rigali, as Chairman of the Episcopal Advisory Board for the Theology of the Body Institute and as local ordinary of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia where the Institute is located, and Bishop Kevin Rhoades, Christopher West's local ordinary in the Diocese of Harrisburg, have stated that they are pleased to express strong support for the important work of the Theology of the Body Institute and, in particular, that of Christopher West. [We don't know what that means just yet.]

We are convinced that John Paul II's Theology of the Body is a treasure for the Church, [Many distinguish John Paul II's teachings from West's work.] indeed a gift of the Holy Spirit for our time. [That remains to be seen. But it could be very true.] Yet, its scholarly language needs to be "translated" into more accessible categories if the average person is to benefit from it. To do this is the specific mission of the Theology of the Body Institute, and we believe that Christopher West, the Institute's popular lecturer and spokesman, has been given a particular charism to carry out this mission. With great skill as a presenter, with keen insight as a thinker, and with profound reverence for the mystery of human sexuality, [I must disagree with this. In fact, his presentations do a little too much to remove the mystery of sexuality.] he has been able to reach thousands in our sexually wounded culture with the Gospel of salvation in Christ.

In light of recent discussions, [! Discussions. I wonder if all the debate did not provoke a quiet review.] we are happy to state our full confidence in Christopher, [Were they confident before or just after?] who continues to show great responsibility and openness in listening carefully to various observations and reflections on his work and in taking them into account. [It is evident that Christopher West wants to be obedient to the Church. Nobody questions that.] He and the Theology of the Body Institute are in communication with us, their local ordinaries. They work with our episcopal blessing. In our view their programs, courses, and materials reflect strong fidelity to the teaching of the Church and to the thought of Pope John Paul II. [But what about the unchaste, immodest, and frankly disgusting parts of the programs, courses, and materials? I suspect not. And I also suspect from here on out the programs will be toned down greatly.] As such, we consider them of superb value for promoting the New Evangelization.

We sincerely hope that Christopher will continue his much needed work in the Church. He does so with our enthusiastic encouragement. It is also or hope that more and more men and women -- priests, deacons, religious and laity alike -- will avail themselves of the valuable training and resources offered by the Theology of the Body Institute.

August 10, 2009

Cardinal Justin Rigali
Archbishop of Philadelphia

Most Reverend Kevin C. Rhoades
Bishop of Harrisburg

I still recommend staying away from West's presentations until we see what comes out of this. But I can't give an episcopal blessing and I certainly am not privy to the recent and ongoing talks. West is very popular so one can only hope that Cardinal Rigali and Bishop Rhoades took the opportunity to correct some of the immodest parts of these programs. Pray for everyone involved.

1 comment:

Moonshadow said...

Good, temperate post.

And your puppy is a cutie. :-)

"The whole truth is generally the ally of virtue; a half-truth is always the ally of some vice." - G.K. Chesterton