Friday, February 17, 2012

Avoid Chris West's "deep transformation" and you just might make it to Heaven

"When Christopher West came here to Saskatoon for a Theology of the Body Conference, a meeting was arranged between him and a class of attendees from a local post-secondary institution that runs a one-year program of formation. When introducing himself to the females, West would ask their name. When the young woman would say, “I’m Jane”, West would look her in the eye and say, “Jane, you are a very beautiful woman”. He introduced himself to the next woman, and did the same thing, saying, “you’re a beautiful woman too”. Now, if I was to do that with young Catholic women I just met, I would be labeled as “creepy” and shunned and maybe even slapped out, and rightfully so. But Christopher West is allowed to get away with it because he is Christopher West. Nonetheless, the behaviour is indeed creepy and indicative of deeper problems – with him personally and with his theology and sense of modesty (which would exclude statements such as this)."

Wade St. Onge in his post TOB "Smoking Guns" of West's Theology

Worth the read.

Linkthanks to Dymphna's Road for steering me to his blog From the Ivory Tower.

The Catholic faith is being paganized and pornified.

The term pornography - from Greek pornographos: writing about prostitutes - has developed over time with the development of mediums into a broadened sense. Yet the original definition crystallizes, in that we come to realize the operative part of that definition is the predicate more than the subject. In other words, the pornifying of anything is a grasping after something without any sense of the order of things. Moreover, this grasping after assimilates its subject to the nature of its grasping. (It makes sense that this would originate in a definition whose subject is one who is paid to "assimilate" to one's base gratifications.) In the case of the Catholic Inquisitorial Eroticizers it becomes a whole new level of creepy pornification precisely because they are doing it to that which is most singular and most priceless to our eternal souls. West's "deep transformation" is the rendering of (literally, in gastronomic terms, reducing) and pornifying of and, well, the un-transforming of Christ's conversion of our hearts and minds.

In the words of Michael O'Brien on a different subject which I am nonetheless applying to the Inquisitorial Eroticizers:

"I feel good, therefore I am. By the same token, if a critic makes me feel not-good, makes me question the very thing I love, the thing which has become so pleasurable to me, this critic is assaulting my very being. The connections here occur below the level of the mind's rational processes. It is instinctive loyalty, bond-welded through identification....It is defended by educated people in articulate terms..."

You know, when Christ asked if He would find anyone with faith upon His return, it doesn't necessarily mean a world of faithless people whose faithlessness is a straight expression in an outward mode of apparent faithlessness. This faithless world He seems to speculate about upon His return is likely one that will be proclaiming themselves Christs and speaking the Catholic language.

But it will be all wrong. So wrong that you could not get any more wrong - which is pride.

Of course, what is most wrong is most closely aligned to what is most right, so even as to look the same.


Practicing Mammal said...

Nice work...! Love it. What irks me is the language. To be an apparent proponent of the work of JPII, one should be working at maintaining the beautiful, modest language of sexuality that he used.

That is what parents need to be taught, and young couples. How to speak on sexuality appropriately with it proper respect and providing the sacred context.

Barona said...

West has distorted the Pope teachings.... he has (I do not know if he still does) at times erred regarding the use of marital love - reducing it to mere sense gratification.

on another point, great, great care must be taken regarding the issue of so-called NFP. As it stands, many (not all) are using it as a de facto birth control. It is also being promoted as a birth control option by many (again, not all) "Catholics" without the admonitions of the Popes. Pius XII in an address to Midwives outlined how the use of nature could be used, but only within very carefully restricted circumstances.

Terry Nelson said...

Very good post - the world is obsessed with sex. It is good to hear someone else point this out.

love the girls said...

"West would look her in the eye and say, “Jane, you are a very beautiful woman”."

I don't see anything wrong with it.

And don't really know a thing about theology of the body other than I love the name in a conjugal context, i.e. evening theological studies.

And thinking about it, do we really need some kind of study on the subject. I find the whole matter rather distasteful. We did just fine for 2000 years without it.

Paul Stilwell said...

""West would look her in the eye and say, “Jane, you are a very beautiful woman”."

I don't see anything wrong with it."

Just a pop question (though there's other more important things about it that make it so wrong): what if it was your daughter that West said it to?

You wouldn't be at all concerned that thenceforth she may possibly start become spiritually ugly?

love the girls said...

It looks pretty innocent to me. And far from an occasion of sin.

We would be better off if we were less inhibited in innocent ways such as what West does. And more inhibited the common pornographic ways.

Paul Stilwell said...

For me it's not so much that it could be an occasion of sin (at least not in the immediate sense), but that more is being meant (and being taught) than what is said.

For one, the implication of his saying what he says, is that he is some sort of sexual healer, or one who has the capacity or position to heal a person's self-image. He must have soul-perception in order to see who needs to be told that "she's a beautiful woman."

Two, he's teaching a mode, or program, by which those who are told by West that they are beautiful are then highly likely to go forth and do the same in their romantic relationships in their very start-up/introduction (as opposed to natural timing and grace throughout the building of a relationship in which saying such things have their time and place), in which case they would be building a relationship on nothing.

Maybe West is setting up a future generation of ecstatic beautiful people who will be inundating their archdioceses' offices with annulment requests.

love the girls said...

That sounds rather unpleasant.

As a friend of mine once commented, "they should leave sex where it belongs, in the gutter".

Paul Stilwell said...

Or in the family.

The family was broken.

Thus sex became a "subject".

Or rather an object.

Paul Stilwell said...

Of course, that's been idealistic.

Thanks Practicing Mammal, Barona, Terry and LTG for your comments. They're appreciated.