Saturday, February 25, 2012

Workable for Westians?

"In all times and places it has been man's delight to think of human love as a type of divine Love and of human marriage as a type of the marriage of the soul with God."

"But how shall I ever forget the strange, inexplicable rapture of my first experience? What marvelous thing was this that suddenly transformed a mere water-tap into a pillar of fire, and water into an elixir of life? I lived henceforth in a strange world of contradiction: something was called filthy which was obviously clean; something was called ridiculous which was obviously solemn and momentous; something was called ugly which was obviously lovely. Strange days and nights of mystery and fear mixed with excitement and wonder - strange days and nights, strange months and years."

"There can be no movement of the flesh or of the imagination which cannot thus be sanctified and turned to sweetness. There is good at the root of all our desiring...Appetites which kindle in us the flames of ungovernable lust or wrath were not perhaps ungovernable in their beginnings, and if, before too late, we give thanks for the good which is their primary nature, we may, I do not think I deceive myself, turn what seemed sultry and threatening, however alluring, into the cool and friendly."

"...sexual activity is aligned to godliness."

"...the sexual organs...are 'redeemed' by Christ and 'made dear.'"

"...everything is religious by which God is praised, and in this sense the Song of Solomon is a religious poem indeed...[H]is praises are sung in the strongest of all symbolic terms. The love of man and woman is made the symbol of God’s love for man, and of Christ’s love for the Church."

"I wish I could get you to see the point about Christianity – e.g. when we ‘Marry’ we don’t say to a girl: Madam you realize that we are the embodiment of an idea (or do you?). We say: darling, we two persons are now one flesh – or words to that effect. It’s a love affair first and last. Joining the Church is not like joining the I.L.P. or the 3rd International. It’s like getting married and, speaking analogically, we are f ****d by Christ, and bear children to him – or we don’t. The Church is the whole body of Christians – the bride."

"I found a thing in my mind and I opened my eyes and found it in front of me. You don't become a Catholic by joining the Church; you join the Church because you are a Catholic."

All the above words were written by Eric Gill, the man who carved the Stations of the Cross in Westminster Cathedral and who invented the Gill font and other fonts and who illustrated (controversially) the Song of Songs and who did much "erotic religious" work and who frequently sodomized his daughters and who had incestuous relations with his two sisters, one relationship of which was lifelong, and who had much extramarital sex and who engaged in orgies and who habitually exposed his genitals to people with whom he was conversing (made convenient by a sort of faux habit under which he wore nothing) and who sodomized his dog and who, most disturbing of all, to all appearances (though who knows), died unrepentant.

But why should that information prevent any of you Westians from using the above quotes to promulgate your distorted interpretations of Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body? Because "to the pure all things are pure", right?

Yes, West loves using those words of St. Paul out of context doesn't he? Yes, he most certainly does. A very Westian principle to do that. Gill was fond of it too:

"...even pornographic photographs are generally photographs of things very good in themselves. I mean: what's wrong with a naked girl that you shouldn't look at a photograph of one? What's wrong with sexual intercourse that a picture of it should be considered damnable?"

Anyways, you can have him and you can keep him, because he was most certainly your prophetic forerunner, indeed.


Enbrethiliel said...


We are what by Christ???????

Dude has issues.

But that was obvious from the second quote.

Paul Stilwell said...

Really, with the exception of the vulgar use of the F-word, I'm not sure how it's very different from Christopher West saying that "Christ impregnates out sexuality."

Paul Stilwell said...

Sorry, "our" sexuality.

Deacon Jim Russell said...

Sorry, but what does this have to do with either Mr. West or ToB?

And what on earth is a "Westian"?

Deacon Jim Russell

Paul Stilwell said...

A Westian is one who follows Christopher West's heretical teaching.

This post has nothing to do with TOB but to do with Westianism.

Deacon Jim Russell said...

Are bishops who continue to endorse Christopher West's written and spoken work guilty of being "Westians" and therefore fomenting heresy?

And what exactly does this quote have to do with West?

Deacon Jim Russell

Paul Stilwell said...

"Are bishops who continue to endorse Christopher West's written and spoken work guilty of being "Westians" and therefore fomenting heresy?"

Sure, why not.

"And what exactly does this quote have to do with West?"

You mean the quotes from Eric Gill, most of which (some with a little alteration) if I had attributed to coming from West, no one would have batted an eye?

Deacon Jim Russell said...

Oh, so the Gill quotes *sound* like something you personally think West would say; therefore it's only logical to bash West with them, despite the obvious fact that *West* never said them???

Is this really how to make an argument? "Assume" West could easily say something as shocking as what somebody *else* says? What kind of logic is this?

Now, as to your tacit agreement that bishops endorsing West are fomenting heresy, what do you think I, as a deacon, should do--should I stick with both the bishop who ordained me *and* the bishop whom I currently serve, both of whom endorse West, or should I throw in with the bloggers I've encountered thus far who have twisted West beyond recognition while silencing efforts to follow the truth where it leads, regarding ToB and West's apostolate?

Having found your blog, my hope is that you are willing to seek and follow the truth as it leads us forward....

God bless,

Deacon Jim Russell

jvc said...

We see here again Jim's contention that to follow West is to follow Catholic dogma. This guy is incredible. He literally believes that to believe in West is as necessary as believing in the sacraments.

News flash, Jim: Bishops can be blind and oblivious. They just woke up 5 minutes ago to the problems of Obamacare. Any comments on Archbishop Chaput's disowning of West? I thought not.

STG said...

Has the bishop who ordained you endorsed everything West has said? What is your bishop's position on custody of the eyes? What is his position on sex as an expression of God's love inside or outside of marriage? What is his position on pornography? Would your bishop say that one can seek a good in pornography? Would your bishop say that one should seek a good in pornography?

At any rate, Paul quotes a man who said things very similar to what West says and then reveals this man is a moral monster. You say this is no way to conduct an argument.

Then you say your bishop "endorses" Christopher West. That, sir, is no way to conduct an argument.

Deacon Jim Russell said...

JVC--please *cite* for me the evidence that Chaput has "disowned" West. If you can't, then retract the statement.

STG--I'm told by Paul that West teaches heresy and that bishops supporting West foment heresy. Including mine. So, what should I be doing about that? A pretty simple question, I thought.

What I find curious is that there does not appear to be a single "anti"-West bishop to be episcopal correction of a "heresy"--and no reputable theologian (even the most notable critics) have *ever* accused him of heresy. Only certain bloggers....

" At any rate, Paul quotes a man who said things very similar to what West says and then reveals this man is a moral monster. You say this is no way to conduct an argument."

Yes I do. It's called "guilt by association" and is utterly fallacious (e.g., Hitler was a moral monster *and* he was a painter--therefore Monet must be a moral monster, too!)

Besides you merely are assuming what you haven't *proven*--that somehow Gill "sounds like" West. And *then* you have to prove that *only* "moral monsters" sound like that....

ummm....good luck on that one....

"Then you say your bishop "endorses" Christopher West. That, sir, is no way to conduct an argument."

Sure it is. It's a matter of episcopal integrity and personal "testimonial"--and the episcopal consensus on West appears quite different from the blogospheric-hit-piece consensus on West I keep running into, which time and again reveals itself to be based on either deliberate misrepresentation or a deep ignorance of *JP II*.

Deacon Jim Russell

Wade St. Onge said...

Ah, Deacon Jim is back to the old "my bishop says West is okay so I must follow him".

Deacon Jim, there are bishops out there who agree with Dr. Schindler and believe West's theology is in error. So what you are saying is that the priests of those bishops should also believe West's theology is problematic, while since your bishop thinks he's a-ok, all the clerics in your archdiocese should as well. That is not only schizophrenic, but mindless.

I can't believe I have to educate a cleric on what obedience means and doesn't mean (since clerics promise obedience and should know), but it doesn't mean you have to be obedient to his opinion on whether or not West's theology is correct or erroneous. Obedience means that when he orders you to do something or comply with a directive, you do so.

The priests in Austria would be fools to follow Cardinal Schonborn over the cliff on Medjugorje. Fortunately, most of them have a proper understanding of "obedience" and "infallibility" and haven't.

Oh, and Deacon Jim, if Archbishop Carlson changed his mind on West just like Archbishop Chaput did, would you come back on these blogs and admit you were wrong about West or would you continue arguing his case? Yeah, that's what I thought.

Deacon Jim Russell said...

Hey, Wade:

1. Please stop lying about me on your blog.

2. Please produce the evidence of bishops who are "against" West and of Chaput's supposed "changing" of mind on West.

Deacon Jim Russell

jvc said...

Is Deacon Jim serious? What, you think the removal of his endorsement of his book was a sign of more enthusiasm?

Deacon Jim's repeated assertions of endorsements from bishops tells us several things. First, he is not a good debater: appeal to authority is one of the worst arguments there is. Second, he believes that an endorsement blurb is dogmatic or infallible. Third, Jim would probably be the first guy to jump off a bridge if a bishop he favored told him to.

Deacon Jim Russell said...

jvc--what is this about Chaput?

Here is what Chaput says about West:

(from West's web site): "Christopher West’s keen grasp of John Paul II’s theology of the body and his ability to make it accessible to others is changing lives, strengthening marriages, and renewing people’s faith in the Church across the country and internationally. He is on the front lines of the new evangelization and his message should be heard by all."

And about the book "Good News About Sex and Marriage" (which still contains Chaput's Foreword): "In Good News About Sex and Marriage, Christopher West is articulate, joyful, faithful and absolutely passionate about Jesus Christ. He employs his marvelous gift of making important truths easily accessible, demonstrating the whys behind the whats of Catholic teaching in articulate ways. In Good News About Sex and Marriage, he takes Pope John Paul II's Theology of the body and makes it understandable, compelling and relevant for married couples today. His reflections on the Church and contraception are simply outstanding. In effect, this little volume is a kind of Catechism of Catholic Teaching on sex and marriage and therefore perfect for marriage preparation courses, RCIA, adult education and marriage enrichment. But it is not theoretical work nor a textbook. Rather it is a source of practical nourishment because it continually shows that dealing honestly with issues of sex and marriage brings us face to face with the whole gospel message and the meaning of our lives. It's entitled good news for a good reason: it's a book about our humanity and the human drama of our creation, fall and redemption in Jesus Christ which truly is good news; good news because there is real power in Christ to live the truth."

I apparently missed the news headlines that were generated when Chaput UN-said all this? So, just show me your source.

Deacon Jim Russell

Wade St. Onge said...

Deacon Jim, those quotes are sooooooo 2001. Get with the times - Archbishop Chaput has in recent years come to see the light.

Deacon Jim Russell said...

Wrong Wade--they are soooo *yesterday*.

But if this is how you want to play the game, then by all means *show* your evidence. Trumpet it from the rooftops how Chaput has publicly retracted all the praiseworthy things he has said to this point about West's work--how Chaput yanked his Foreword from one of West's most popular book--how he demanded that West stop using his endorsement on West's web site.

What's that I hear--the sound of crickets chirping? Where's the trumpet blast, Wade? Where's the Chaput smackdown of West that you claim to be so obviously real?

Oh, yeah, right---*another* bit of manufactured "evidence" for your argument.

Still waiting for the names of "anti-West" bishops. Still waiting for you to research and corroborate the wild claims of "Monica" which you count as "evidence." Still waiting for you to UN-misquote me.

Deacon Jim Russell

Wade St. Onge said...

Deacon Jim: "By all means *show* your evidence. Trumpet it from the rooftops how Chaput has publicly retracted all the praiseworthy things he has said to this point about West's work"

He didn't do it publicly - he did it privately. That's how most bishops roll when they made a mistake.


Deacon Jim: "Still waiting for the names of 'anti-West' bishops".

You'll probably be waiting for a while. They're all closet-critics like Dr. Hahn. As a friend of mine said, "West is the darling of the United States bishops conference". To break ranks and come out and criticize West would be considered an act of betrayal and said bishop would pay the price.

Anyway, if you want the names of bishops, Steve Kellmeyer has a list, although I think the bishops swore him to secrecy.


Deacon Jim: "Still waiting for you to research and corroborate the wild claims of 'Monica' which you count as 'evidence.'"

Since she gave anecdotes describing where "Westianism" naturally and logically leads, I will simply say that even if she is lying, it is quite legitimate to do what those families do if you embrace West's theology, in which case, the anecdotes are legitimate even if they are hypothetical as Fr. Angelo's questions to West were (paragraphs #2, 3, 4 under "Looking for Answers":


Deacon Jim: "Still waiting for you to UN-misquote me".

I gave all the links so people can read you in context. You were ranting (as you usually do) and were actually saying that the Pope "didn't get it". Then you realized how foolish this was, and "clarified" by attempting to find something in the broader context you could use to "twist" in order to find Westianism in the writings of Pius XII. It's something you've done before - say something outrageous then when called on it came out and claimed you were misunderstood. So no, I'm not changing anything.