S+L logo

Now online: Christopher West on Catholic Focus

March 31, 2010
"I am well aware," Christopher West confessed in his recent interview with S+L, "that those looking for flaws in me will always be able to find them."
The popular Theology of the Body author and speaker offered a forthright response to his critics, who last year sparked a surprising public debate among Catholic academics. Theologian David L. Schindler derided a “pansexualist tendency” in West's work, claiming that he too broadly links sex with “all important human and indeed supernatural activity”. Philosopher Dr. Alice von Hildebrand questioned his frequent use of blunt, informal language, commenting that he “lacks reverence”.
Moral theologian Dr. Janet Smith soon responded by defending West's work as “completely sound” and calling Schindler's critiques unsubstantiated. Then, crucially, his superiors Cardinal Justin Rigali and Bishop Kevin Rhoades issued a joint statement reaffirming their “strong support” and “full confidence” in West, granting their episcopal blessing to the Theology of the Body Institute where he is a research fellow and faculty member.
The eloquent West is quite capable of articulating his own defense and, invoking John Paul II, he maintains that the late pontiff's Theology of the Body is key to overthrowing today's 'culture of death'. Still, looking back on his early years in ministry, he concedes that he would now express some of his arguments differently.
"'You will come to see that your critics will demand perfection of you,'" says West, quoting the advice he received from a bishop. "I humbly admit I don't have perfection to give."
If you missed our interview with West when it first aired on S+L two weeks ago, the Catholic Focus episode is now streaming online.

Related posts

Encore SLHour: Perfectly Human and other great conversations
FacebookTwitter
This week, on a special edition of the SLHour, Dr. Joseph Dutkowsky tells us about working with persons with disabilities, and we learn all about the new Family Theater Productions series Catholic Cen ...read more
Why does a Toronto church have a heart in its wall? Read about this and other great stories from this week's news on Noel Ocol's Weekly News Round-Up. ...read more
"We all are in this boat together" : A Reflection on the Current Crisis in the Church
FacebookTwitter
Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B., reflects on the current crisis in the Church, the Vatican's response, and how we can learn from this in the future. ...read more
Read all about the famous shrine at Knock, Ireland, which Pope Francis will visit on Sunday, August 26th, during his trip to the World Meeting of Families. ...read more
For Cindy Wooden, a distinguished Vatican journalist, Pope Francis is a dream and a nightmare. Watch this #TFImoment to find out why! ...read more
Health Food for the Soul
FacebookTwitter
"You are what you eat." Father Thomas Rosica, CSB, reflects on the meaning of Jesus' command to eat his flesh and drink his blood. ...read more
President of U.S. Bishops’ Conference Announces Effort That Will Involve Laity, Experts, and the Vatican as U.S. Bishops Resolve to Address “Moral Catastrophe”
FacebookTwitter
Read the full text of a statement from the president of the USCCB regarding the current "moral catastrophe" in the Catholic Church. ...read more
Vatican responds to Pennsylvania Grand Jury abuse report
FacebookTwitter
On Thursday evening, the Director of the Holy See Press Office issued the following statement regarding the report of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury. ...read more