Franciscan University Presents: Theology of the Body and Humanae Vitae

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Join Host Dr. Bob Rice, panelists Dr. Regis Martin and Dr. Scott Hahn, and special guest Dr. Michael Waldstein, translator of St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, as they discuss the relevance of Humanae Vitae and the Theology of the Body today.


we recently observed the 50th anniversary of Pope Saint Paul the sixth encyclical whom on a vitae and this year marks the 40th anniversary since the beginning of Pope st. John Paul the second Wednesday audiences that are collectively known as theology of the body how are these two teachings connected and what do they have to say to Catholics today join us as we explore those questions and more with dr. Mikhail vaj dean translator of the English edition of st. John Paul the second theology of the body man and woman he created them I'm dr. Bob rice professor of Caddick addicts at Franciscan University in Steubenville Ohio and you're watching Franciscan University presents stay with us welcome to Franciscan University presents I'm your host dr. Bob rice a professor of catechetical at Franciscan University of Steubenville and we're talking about theology of the body and Humanae Vitae I'm joined by our regular panelists dr. regis martin professor of systematic theology here at Franciscan University and dr. Scott Hahn the father Michael Scanlon professor of biblical theology and the New Evangelization here at Franciscan and we're pleased to welcome our special guest dr. Mikhail valdine dr. Valle Steen is a distinguished fellow of the st. Paul Center for biblical theology and a Franciscan University theology professor he holds a PhD from the University of Dallas an SSL from the Pontifical biblical Institute in Rome and a THD from Harvard University in the New Testament and Christian origins dr. Waldheim taught at the University of Notre Dame before serving as the founding president of the International Theological Institute in Austria he also served as a member of the Pontifical Council for the family from 2003 to 2009 pertinent to today's discussion he translated John Paul the second theology of the body into English but before we delve into that topic let's start about a decade earlier with whom on a vitae welcome to the show it's great to have you here you Bob so why don't we just start off tell us a little bit about what humanity vitae was about who MonaVie ta reaffirmed a teaching that had been constant in the Catholic tradition against contraception the immediate occasion or the necessity for it was the invention of the pill which in some ways seemed different from other means of contraception a condom for example really impedes the conjugal act whereas the pill seems in some way like imitating the natural rhythm of the woman Paul the sixth was never in doubt about the question it was a question for him how best to put it in the context in which the question was raised that context is important it's in the 60s the late sixties were the heyday of belief in progress the technology would make our life better all the way around and contraception and the invention of the pill in particular was thought to be a high point and an achievement somewhat like antibiotics that was the atmosphere and so many people who wanted to align themselves more with modernity felt this was a decisive step for the church to take someone like the green card to enter the land of modernity and begin working in it to say yes to contraception that was the expectation and he didn't live up to those particular expectations didn't live up to those expectations and maybe there was a certain amount of deception that also that went on we're both ecclesiastics and theologians generated the expectation that the teaching would change to put pressure on politics the majority report the of the commission appointed to discuss this question came out in favor of contraception and that majority of report was published contrary to those the participants had taken there's another way of putting pressure on politics but he for him it had been clear from the beginning it was a question of how to put it best in a way that's understandable to people in our age that that sense of expectancy that things would change for the better the fact that Paul resisted that I think is such a testimony to his heroism he was clear about the doctrine it can't change its its unalterable but he felt the pressure and in his own psyche there was a certain Hamlet of temperament which he had to overcome and he did decisively he held fast to the constant teaching and that really is a witness to his his his heroic sanctity you know there's a sense of delay though that we have to recognize that in intensified the drama so Vatican 2 ended in 1965 and who money feet–a came out in 1968 and that that birth control Commission had been formed almost immediately after Vatican 2 because the documents have attic and who didn't address this issue directly by design so that it could receive more careful attention and some of the members of that not only formed a majority but they also were massive theologians I mean scholars like Bernard herring and Fuchs and others too and of course Charles Curran wasn't on the commission but he was Haring student at Catholic you and a darling of the media as well as the the new generation of Catholic theologians the sort of young turks who were coming up intent upon changing things and before he became Paul the six Montini had been perceived by all as a moderate and so he was ideally suited you know situated to kind of adjust the teaching according to all of every the majority reports expectations but he didn't do that but he also didn't act quickly he did act heroically that's right yeah but I mean 1966 67 and 68 and and by the time it finally was released in the middle of the year of 1968 you know the pressure had mounted and the media was conspiring with the scholars and the and the ecclesiastics and so on and and so to read about that drama makes me grateful that I was a Protestant it may have been a tactical misjudgment I I think on his part not to have dissolved the Commission but I mean that's being a Monday Morning Quarterback but but you mentioned early on that what Paul did was to reaffirm a constant Catholic teaching but at the same time until 1930 it had been universal among all Christian people's so he was going against the age contra mundum and he did it and we forget that so easily because now in the present time it's a matter of course you know of course anybody who is somewhat enlightened and in control of their lives will use contraception it's like taking something against the cold right right yeah yeah how does one overcome that that fixation it seems to me that the fundamental question is our relationship to nature you know it's interesting that in the majority report which was published against promises among the various reasons given for the legitimacy of contraception the one that's called most of all a reason is the duty to humanize nature yeah by technical control of nature this was the time I remember my mother for example being persuaded by her pediatrician that it was much superior to use formula rather than right breast mother's milk yeah because it was scientifically formulated and the scientists knew what they were talking about so that background atmosphere is extremely important I think to see where the pressure came from of course it also comes from the great availability of sexual intercourse between the husband and wife it's difficult to abstain no no doubt about it you know but intellectually the the groundswell came from the technological scientific mindset yeah and the irony I I think the crowning irony of the whole business is that in liberating a man from nature you are suppressing man I mean to take a pill you are really suppressing a perfectly natural biochemical process yes ovulation it's a form of self-hatred as if you're saying you know there's really something wrong with my body and I've got to obliterate this particular capacity to co-create because very often the parallel is drawn between contraception and antibiotics you know because in a certain way you have little organisms that are knocked out or you know but the difference is obvious in the case of antibiotic you're attacking an attacker right in the case of contraception you know yourself what about you maybe you can explain a little bit against another argument that's often heard about contraception which is to say well you know if I don't have sex with my wife you know that's a kind of birth control you know that I'm you know not engaging in this act so you know what does it matter if we're if we don't feel like it's an appropriate time for us to have life right now why wouldn't that be acceptable that discussion is made more difficult by the Italian text of omen Evita which says that a conjugal act must remain open to the generation of new life and so openness especially then when it's widened to mean openness to children in general rely on the openness of the act that has become the dominant term the latin text which is the authoritative text of amana vita says that each marriage act must remain through itself destined at tus destined or ordered to the end of procreation which is much more precise and specific it does to talk about openness so the issue in contraception is making an act that would otherwise be fertile infertile and that you don't do perhaps staining you know there's a confusion that has settled upon most of the West for many centuries and you're familiar with this and that is what the meaning of nature is right you know because I think we tend to assume that natural law and the laws of nature are really two ways of saying the same thing whereas the laws of nature are none that's an Enlightenment idea that is directed towards inanimate beings whether they're subatomic particles or galaxies so the law of gravity electricity magnetism these are the laws of nature whereas natural law in the classical sense of antiquity was always specified with regard to human nature yeah because human nature is different than asteroids and subatomic particles human nature is body and soul but the soul is also intellect and will so you have to know what is true in order to choose what is good in order for the soul to govern the body towards fulfillment perfection and happiness and so what's the difference between contraception and say air-conditioning what's the difference between contraception and shaving you know these things are unnatural but yeah only when you consider nature in the broadest sense of what we share in common with impersonal objects but when you look at natural law which is always pertaining to the human person then you realize that a sneeze is not the same as contraception dogs sneeze we do too but we think about what is true and choose what is good in order to perfect ourselves not by instinct but by reason yeah and once you clarify that well you've lost most of all of the West you know because we're so wedded to science yeah and through this view of nature that is meant to be manipulated for our comfort and convenience but when you clarify what natural law is then you can move on to the values of the person the unitive and the procreative how the two become one and that one becomes a child and all of that beautiful stuff but man you've got to go back to elementary school to clarify well this misunderstanding that that you speak of is pretty widespread but there is a villain in the piece that I would assign a responsibility for to a chap by the name of August compt who is who is I think widely viewed as the father of sociology and what he does is simply to apply the laws of physics to human society those abstract unalterable laws that we infer from the movement of the heavens and just impose that on human beings we're just matter in motion as not as Marx would say it seems to me good as you do in your book politicizing the Bible I think brilliantly show the origins of this way of looking at nature as below the person the origin lies in the ambition for power over nature in the Scientific Revolution a new orientation of knowledge was sought Francis Bacon and the cat are the clearest on this that knowledge our knowledge of nature should seek the kind of thing that will give us power over nature to improve the human condition once you make that choice inevitably the science of mechanics which the ancients knew about becomes the dominant science and it is a mathematical science that is what you're trying to find this mathematical laws that will then allow you to push the right lever to again power over nature and mathematics as a matter of principle can't talk about beauty goodness right life right personhood all of that is excluded and so the so-called natural world becomes a click-click-click mechanism that is really below us it's like a bicycle that we write that we ride yeah we have a lot more to talk about and so please stay with us as we continue Franciscan University presents ultimately Humanae Vitae is about love love between a man and a woman in the love of God marriage the sexual act is for two purposes the procreative and the unitive purpose when a couple contracept the couple blocks half of the purpose of marriage they block the procreative aspect so then the sexual act becomes not about love but about use one of the things Paw Paw is safe through warned what happened if contraception came widespread is that women would be viewed more as objects some point of view of men and we've seen that happen especially through pornography the Franciscan University Steubenville you'll find faith and reason wisdom and grace mercy and truth you'll study under world-class scholars and seasoned practitioners who are committed to Christ in this church with over 40 majors and pre-professional programs you'll find the formation you need to succeed the Franciscan University you'll find more than just a college you'll find yourself and an educational experience as singular as you are welcome back to Franciscan University presents we're talking about theology of the body and Himani vitae with our guest dr. McKay of Augustine as we talk about Humanae Vitae you know we talked about the pressures going into writing the document but st. Paul the sixth with heroic virtue stayed firm to the Church's teaching how is the reception of it afterwards I think it helps to see that the question of contraception is not just one among many moral issues but many threads many questions of our age come together with it if the fundamental commandment that we're given by Jesus is the commandment of love then you can see immediately how the questions of life which in man and woman are right at the heart of Christian life so it immediately for that reason became a major battleground with many ramifications many theologians were absolutely convinced that the spirit of Vatican 2 required adjournment or the discipline dating to fall in with faith in progress assent to technology Cardinal soon ends at the council for example said let's not have a second Galileo affair you know and rejecting contraception would be a second Galileo affair that is a wholesale rejection of scientific knowledge of technology of the modern age so before the encyclical was published resistance against it had been organized on a grand scale with the press Charles Curran Professor Charles Curran played a great role in that and there was really overwhelmed by press campaign against it one of the most dramatic spectacles I think in in recent history of people pronouncement coming out and that machinery bearing down on it yeah which created a kind of double Magisterium you have that stale old guy in Rome you know pronouncing these hoary platitudes but in America which looks to the future somehow enamored of this myth of progress we're stepping up and doing the right thing and we honor technology and one of the difficulties was that some of the bishops conferences Germany Austria Holland to some degree also here in North America we're ambiguous in their reception of Amana VT and built little back doors of you know freedom of conscience of course we have to obey our conscience there's no question about that we have to be our conscience even when our conscience is mistaken but that didn't help right you know isolated Paul the sixth even more you know not only from theologians but from many of his fellow bishops put your finger on the issue though that really comes up in the confessional at that time and still today and that is follow your conscience because the moral obligation to abide by your conscience as a subjective norm is true and universal but the prior obligation before you follow your conscience you're morally obliged to form your conscience acting and to form your conscience according to the Word of God which always builds upon the light of human reason but it can also take us beyond that too you know I think that was what was forgotten and let's admit it that there was a period of time in the 60s into the 70s where theologically we were in a sort of slump a lie I remember the Pittsburgh Pirates not having a see a winning season in 20 years you know they're about 20 years were the dominicans especially where a kind of slump were there weren't really solid to a mystic theologian stepping forward and say I mean there were some but their voices were muted and as you said the resistance was organized I mean you don't have to be labeling yourself a conspiratorial list to identify the conspiracy that takes place in the reception of Humanae Vitae because the sequestered copy of the of the encyclical was actually circulated widely and sent from Rome to Washington DC where father Charles Caron organized this press conference on on the steps of Catholic University with over 200 theologians most of whom were priests and even the lay theologians I felt the academic pressure like the late great bill may to capitulate yeah and the the few Souls like Monsignor Eugene to van were tormented and basically you know excommunicated because they resisted this dissent you know but all of that played out of the media because it was conspiracy of the Academy the media as well as the ecclesiastical paralysis that set in for so many bishops and really for the conference to the National Conference but where it really played out most dramatically I suspect was the confessional yeah where people were coming to priests who had been conditioned for two or three years after Vatican 2 to say just hold your breath just you wait follow your conscience in the mean time but it'll change and it didn't and what happened I think in the confessional is that that sort of advice didn't change just follow your conscience and it also had a massive seismic effect in the Catholic Medical Association you had over 10,000 members in the early 60s and then after this decision and the and the internal decision to kind of abide by this Magisterial teaching it dwindled down to the thousands to the hundreds you know and so the medical profession made up of so many Catholic doctors just simply backed off yeah loyalty to the church and for their professional reputations and so across the board we lost it you know every season from the late 60s into the early 70s and we got to remember that the summer of 68 was a hot broiling tuilik riots in Europe assassinations here you know riots in the cities of America as well I mean it really was like the devil was just simply let out to play right and boy did he do it and and of course with contraception you then have an open door on abortion when the pill fails to function you have this backup method called killing the child yeah I mean this discuss it's predicted that's exactly right yeah I mean this this discussion you're having about conscience I mean that was the great anthem the mantra just follow your conscience but always it has to be informed by the truth mine but it was informed it was informed by what we call the zeitgeist the spirit of the age that's the point and you what you said about the doctors I think is very revealing their intellectual training of course is in Natural Science and the pill came on the scene as administered you know not in sex shops yes but in red coats by the doctors whose professional honor was invested in that so that membership would collapse is highly assist I shouldn't cert that the Catholic Medical Association like the Pirates made a great comeback you know but the damage was done indeed at the most strategic time too right and it wasn't just it wasn't just abortion you could also make the argument towards homosexuality you know if if we can be sexually active in some kind of unit of capacity but not ever needing to be open to life you really also lose the argument not just a contraception but why can't a woman and a woman or a man and a man be sexually active if we're just you know expressing our emotions and trying to bond with each other I mean I mean let's let's push it to the reduction absurdum if you shatter the unity of sex love and life that natural Trinity then you can proceed with impunity anything anything is permissible so many bishops were against it many theologians were against it one who wasn't was Carroll voice IVA and actually wrote a very found letter to Paul the sixth encouraging this writing ten years later after Humana vitae he becomes John Paul the second Pope John John Paul the second and he begins in a series of Wednesday audiences something that would become known as theology of the body which of course you were able to translate can you tell us a little bit about that and particularly how what john paul ii was saying in theology of the body was connected to whom on a vitae what paul the six was writing about when cataluña was a young priest he says this in crossing the threshold of hope and that autobiographic work on page one two three it's easy to remember hundred twenty three that as a young priest he fell in love with love between men upon because love is beautiful and the one who has seen the beauty of love he says wants to devote himself wholeheartedly to totus Tuus wholeheartedly to the service of beautiful love mother of beautiful love is one of the titles of mary that's particularly dear to john paul so from early on he had an interest in what is it that makes for the full beauty the full splendor of love parallel with that he had strong sensibility for human experience partly I think heightened by his reading early on that was the first major influence on him of the writings of st. John of the Cross who was the great master of Christian experience what is it actually like to live a Christian life consciously now those two things are extremely powerful that is a perception of beauty the beauty of love and attention to experience so that you can find ways of verified the beauty of love or its modes of sickness when it becomes defective that's the soil from which the theology of the body grew so for not surprising that when the debate about contraception exploded already before long before money we in love and responsibility he treated the subject very deeply and then in the elegy of the body he unfolded the issue on a large scale in a large fresco not simply focusing on the moral argument philosophical and theological moral argument the tradition of the church etcetera but setting it into a spiritual context for him in particular reverence is one of the central animating principles of the life of husband and wife that is the realization that in dealing with sexuality we deal with something that has descended from above it's not simply a mechanism from below that happens to have evolved the way it did but it comes from the God who is love supposed to reflect the God who is love the beauty of the God who is love and therefore deserves reverence that's the only point of view existentially from which one can make sense really or form an Evita and make it one's own one can argue until runs blue in the face with theologians and they might even concede arguments but unless that position of reverence is there it won't take indeed tell me a little bit about a lot of my work has been in youth ministry and so you often we talk to young people about chastity and yet theology the body came about and it it changed the conversation this was certainly my experience as someone working with young you know that it it wasn't just about you should save sex for marriage right you know or you shouldn't look at pornography or you shouldn't be engaged in these other sexual acts but what john paul ii did is I mean maybe you can explain it better but he was giving it a deeper reasoning behind he was giving us a language with which to understand even just the idea of seeing God in our bodies you know being created and yeah he wasn't moralizing it it had to do with vision it had to do with metaphysics whom do you see in the beloved you you see an image of the eternal thou and God himself looks at us with a kind of reverence as well he sees his image an image that has been rescued and redeemed by his son so human beings are not to be reduced to the status of things we don't objectify the other we reverence her yeah we love people that use things well you will all talk about that more when we get back to Franciscan University presents stay with us last semester I had the opportunity to take a theology of the body class at Franciscan University study abroad program in Austria and traveling around Europe and seeing all the art I was especially struck by Michelangelo's creation of man and that painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel was specifically mentioned by john paul ii as being a sort of prototype to the theology of the body in the way that it demonstrates the way God relates to adam and adam relates to eve one insight that i've taken from john paul ii theology the body is the complementarity between men and women so men and women both image God because we're human and yet we image God in different ways so in general women image God in their nurturing and in general men image God and their protectiveness and that's been really healing in my own life and something that I've really taken to heart you don't have a trade top-flight academic programs for a passionately Catholic identity you can have both at Franciscan University of Steubenville you're not only deepen your faith you'll be prepared for real world success by dedicated professors for whom excellence isn't just a goal but standard we're ready to get started check out Franciscan dot e-d-u welcome back and thank you for joining us you're watching Franciscan University presents and we're coming to you from the Communication Arts studio here on the campus of Franciscan University of Steubenville our students are operating the cameras and equipment and my colleagues in the theology department dr. regis Martin and dr. Scott Hahn are guiding our discussion with our special guest dr. mikael valdine who also teaches theology here at Franciscan University before the break we were talking about how what john paul ii was doing in theology of the body is he was approaching a subject that was often seen as a negative you know you should not have sex and even Humana vitae you should not use birth control but he shifted that into a positive into a deeper understanding of how God works through our human sexuality can you talk a little bit more about that yes Christian ethics is fundamentally positive if you look at the Gospels it's the commandment of love the way a guest and formulates it love and then do what you want you know that's fundamentally positive so what John Paul did I think is a line the way of talking about sexual morality with the overall shape of Christian morality it's easy to see why it could be bent out of shape a little bit because the sexual passion is extremely powerful I think everybody experiences difficulties in that area it's in some ways like writing a very fiery horse teachers of horsemanship say if a horse throws you get right back on it again you know otherwise you'll be consumed by fear and John Paul not getting read back on it again in the sense of sinning again right away but of course not but that the positive relationship of human sexuality is something created by God reflecting the life of God himself that should be the dominant mode of looking but if the difficulty is that we do to the fact that we tend in this area particularly to fail many people think of it as dirty you know and that's a great obstacle because dirty and beauty they didn't go together yeah absolutely that was the the great Victorian hang-up that sex is the dirty little secret about which maybe we can whisper but we ought not to speak aloud about its defilement and that hangover that residue has certainly survived into this postmodern age despite the fact that people are always obsessed by sex preoccupied with sex but in a way they don't really think about sex sex is about the gift of yourself to another person and that's that's dynamite that's explosive I mean Agustin is spot on love is my gravitation where it goes I too must follow and and eros is something consuming which is why reason needs to regulate it in in the light of of Revelation grace what John Paul did I think was not only profound but really exciting and accessible I remember my own experience as a Protestant pastor in the early 80s I was preaching Scripture but then you'd have to sit down and do pastoral counseling and it was never about what do these passages mean it's how do I keep these couples together because the power of Eros was disintegrating you know in a disordered sort of way and so when I left a pastor but I began to explore Catholic theology I I latched on to what was then not known as the theology of the body but simply the Wednesday audiences I was enrolled in a doctoral program an unnamed University not far from Steubenville where almost all of my professors were former priests and without an exception they dissented with from the Church's teaching on whom on a vitae so there I was in in 84 and 85 the only Protestant in these graduate seminars defending John Bull and then reading Humanae Vitae and recognizing that there was a scientific revolution going on in Catholic theology that was so much more constructive and exciting than the other revolution that was going on with technology you know going back to 1930 I read pope pius xi caste canoe be on Christian marriage he had already begun to combine the natural law assessment that the primary end of marriage is the procreation education of offspring with the second but he also brought in Agustin the three goods of marriage Pro let's fetus and sacramentum you know the offspring and the fidelity and the indissoluble bond of love and it was just like this is powerful and then to couple that with whom on a vitae the inseparability of the unitive meaning of the marital act with the procreative that she'd become one but you're open to that oneness becoming incarnate and a child and then to pick up libertĂ  romano week after week in the in the library and just begin to photocopy these things over the course of 2 3 4 or 5 years when I finally when I finally transferred to Marquette University the daughters of st. Paul had begun to release those volumes the original unity of man and a woman blessed are the pure in heart you know it was like gold it was more like diamonds you know in the sense that you know this was making sense out of Scripture because that's what John Paul did he introduced a kind of biblical theology of human sexuality and marital love and is like my brain was exploding it was also my heart I mean and so I find that your work in translating this and explicate it for ordinary people along with people like Christopher West and others you know it is such a powerful counter force to the cultural toxins that we find in the aftermath of the sexual revolution yeah and it's remarkably effective I took a sabbatical at Notre Dame when I was in Austria for a year and it was in 2002 and there ran into a group of undergraduates who had been touched by Christopher West's communication of the theology of the body and their lives had been transformed you know I I was amazed so I invited myself to Christopher West's home I didn't know him and in Austria he wasn't known but who is this man who can who can do this and we spent some days together and became friends yeah the theology of the body has exactly because of that positivity the constructive way in which it comes at the questions as you say has an immense power to change lives that's right I mean human nature is what human person is who you know and so when you can decode the natural law and the binding norms against contraception and show that it is only the inner logic of love that really it illuminates and unites the church is teaching in all of these controversial areas it becomes a magnetic force to attract people you know and people like Jason Evert as well as dr. Ted Surrey and I mean the number now is legion so many young Catholics have latched on to the theology of the body that's the wrong word they have embraced this you know and they have been on a mission been embraced by I am very excited I mean I was and it wasn't just a conceptual theoretical thing it also impacted our marriage and our love and our family and our kids you know Kimberly's first conversion was on whom on a vitae and then that was intensified by her discovery of the theology of the body as well and just looking at the body as a sort of sacrament of the person an effective sign of love that you're not just performing an act you're giving yourself and nobody in history opened that up like John Paul the great or Saint John Paul yeah he was a ordinary figure I think and what a blessing to have known him as you certainly have and I had occasional encounters with and I remember in fact the first time is together right to an audience people honest that's right and we were both spellbound and I don't know about you but I was rendered mute I was completely silent what do you say that was a miracle I've since compensated for that yeah you know there's a passage that springs to mind a letter that Caravan tiwa wrote to his friend on Reda luboc back in 1968 and he said there's a crisis that has confronted the church and the way to view it is not in moral terms but metaphysical terms it has to do with the disintegration and degradation of the unique human being and the only way to overcome this crisis is not through sterile argument but through what he called a recapitulation of the mystery of the human person and that is exactly set forth in the unity of man and woman the theology of the body one condensed way of putting it is what is it that a slap when I slap myself it's the purse and I don't slap an organism right right yet within which a soul dwells like a ghost in a machine yeah but this is this is I you know the body has the dignity the beauty the depth of the person yeah I am the body I possess right you know as we look at Cardinal 40 wa writing a letter to Pope Paul the sixth in 1969 about which we knew nothing until recently you know he was pointing out with a profound gentleness his gratitude and his agreement but also the fact that you know bishops including the Bishop of Rome don't just educate they also have to govern so there has to be a pastoral plan to implement this and a year later it had become apparent by nineteen 89 that there wasn't much implementation in fact there was hardly any sort of pushback against all of the dissent and so he proposed not just arguments but plans to way to make this really gain traction to go out there into the church and make a difference you know ironically and I would say unfortunately it was only published in the observer observed in Romano the official Vatican newspaper it wasn't actually implemented you know but ten years later the hand of Providence guides Cardinal 40 were to become Pope John Paul the second and as you've discovered and shown us he was already working on the manuscript of the theology of the body not because he anticipated becoming Pope but because he recognized the need to explain more deeply more practically and more profoundly in personalistic in biblical terms what this teaching really can do in liberating human couples and and families and that the fact that he would begin then almost immediately after coming into office in 78 to do this teaching Wednesday audit week after week after week for years until about 1985 yeah five years he spent on it a holy year into mission and all of it is pursuant I think to this overarching theme of his pontificate be not afraid look to love eros can be very instructive divine eros let that be the dynamism that guides you through the mystery of human sexual love indeed well up next our panel and guests will have their final thoughts on today's topics so please stay with us I remember being told that it's called theology of the body not just theology of sex which means that it doesn't just apply once I'm married or if I have a boyfriend but right now and one way is just by taking care of my body and seeing it as beautiful and dignified right now on the way that I exercise and in the way that I dress and the way that I even think of myself and that's been really helpful and encouraging explore the treasures of your Catholic heritage on a Franciscan University pilgrimage led by inspiring spiritual directors you'll walk in the footsteps of saints and martyrs in the Holy Land Poland France and Italy and you'll deepen your love for Jesus Christ through daily mass confession prayer and the joy of Christian Fellowship but Franciscan University lead you on a pilgrimage of faith find out more at Franciscan ddu slash pilgrimages welcome back to Franciscan University presents we've come to our final segment Regis would you start us off with yours you know I think we're under the gun there's a shortage of time so let me be brief brevity is the soul of wit so and I want to hear more from you me Kyle but first let me thank you for all that you've done not just in terms of this document but in terms of people's lives my own in particular you introduced me to Hans von Balthasar of and my life would have been very different if I hadn't been so completely captivated by his his thought so thank you for that you're a bird of paradise of the only comment I would make is a is a paraphrase from a wonderful little essay that GK Chesterton wrote called in defense of rash vows and he begins with the modern myth that somehow marriage is a yoke that the devil imposes upon couples when in fact it's a yoke that couples themselves impose and the church simply takes the couple at its word and and plants that word in the skies and says this is really the highest moment of your life when you burn all of your bridges and you give yourself completely to another person and to make that work requires a kind of dedication a consecration of your whole life you see in this other person of a hint an intimation of the divine person I mean I I think of Dante when he stumbles upon Beatrice on the streets of Florence he he thinks that some dreadful perfection is now walking towards him and it completely beguiles him his whole life is is is turned upside down by this sudden evocation of eternity that this is the Blitz that we have been promised on the other side and this is just a kind of prefiguration of it and the the theology of the body captures that preserves that the attrition moment and makes it last as long as the couple themselves are willing to work at it I would say that the theology of the body for for me for us Kimberly and me you know the culture says that the Catholic Church is hung up on sex I would say the church is hung up on love the culture is hung up on sex and then what the church is teaching is not that we we love too much when we have this sort of you know unfaithful disordered sex it's that we love too little but the only logic that illuminates what sexuality is about is love and love is sacrificial love is self giving and love requires a degree of of self mastery but I do think that back in the 80s something was bequeathed to the church by more than a man it was a gift of the Holy Spirit I'm not saying it's inspired on the level of Scripture but the theology of the body for a friend of mine who is now deceived Deacon Ken Baldwin who I think could almost be canonized he became one of the earliest translators of the theology of the body in youth ministry he wasn't a deacon yet but he was he became sort of a feeder for Franciscan University you know dozens and dozens of the students in high school ad in youth group you know would come here after the summer conferences having experienced this this really lively catechetical from this youth minister but he was living it out in his marriage as well you know and it was so compelling I've met so many over the years who were like yeah you know but he was like a lone voice now you know it's a choir of people who are singing this sort of song and I would say we still don't have enough members in the choir you know we have to grow this and the next generation that's coming up the Millennials and beyond if if we needed it back in the 70s and 80s we don't need it less we need it much more much much more and so for youth pastors you know what we don't want to talk about the pelvic issues well of course not but we all want to talk about love and we want to grow and learn what love requires in order for it to be true just like we don't want to slake people's thirst with salt water which will dry them up and kill them so we don't want to slake their thirst for love by allowing them to live lies with their bodies and so I say your work especially the translation and the introduction it's like a hundred page introduction man and woman he created them is that the title that is you know that is rich fair and so I thank you for doing that work and for making it available but thank God also for Pope Saint John Paul the second yeah thank God for him as both of you said is also true for me that contact with the theology of the body was a transforming experience we already had six children we thought of ourselves as an experienced couple we had thought about marriage and studied marriage but when both of us my wife and I studied the theology of the body it was in some ways like a new honeymoon it made us aware of deep sources of joy in our life that we hadn't really attended to now of course married life has its ups and downs and the grayness of everyday life of covers it's it's like a mountain to ever need when you're in the mountains suddenly the fog can come in and you don't know where you're going and that can be very disorienting but as the great spiritual masters whom John Paul studied especially John of the Cross say those moments of darkness of blindness have their own importance because if you stay with love a spring will come back and it's our experience the experience of many people that it does so I think one should be encouraged and not think of the feelings of the body as a rosy picture you know that makes everything perfect suffering and the cross is going to be there but it deepens the the joy in the end well thank you thank you so much for your work and for being with us today and if you want to learn more about today's topic we have a handout for you it's an essay written by dr. von Stein on john paul ii clarification of Humanae Vitae in his the of the body this is yours for free by simply going online to faith in reason dot-com or by calling the number you'll see on the screen in just a moment my final thoughts on today's topic you know in 2018 we had Synod on youth the faith and vocational discernment and for so many young people and many young adults particularly have really embraced and been blessed and transformed you know by theology of the body whether it's conferences speeches the writings themselves and truly understanding this this gift that saint john paul ii gave us it has to be at the heart of our understanding of our own vocation you know who we are before we can give ourselves away not just in married life but for those that might be discerning you know celibacy discerning religious life discerning Holy Orders and that real beauty of the positiveness the focus on the love you know it's not you know as many particularly young people perceive the Church's teaching on sexuality as restrictive it is in fact life-giving you know as Jesus said the thief comes to steal and kill and destroy but I have come that you might have life to the fall and I think in a very profound way for this generation that is the message of theology of the body that continues to ring true today I want to invite you to be part of Franciscan University of Steubenville and join us in our mission to educate evangelize and send forth joyful disciples to restore all things in Christ maybe you can enroll in one of our education programs and get your degree here on campus or from one of our online programs another way to connect through Franciscan University is through our life-changing summer conferences for adults and for youth that are offered in 13 locations across the United States and in Canada or you could travel with us on one of our pilgrimages to holy shrines in Italy Poland the Holy Land and other sacred destinations around the world remember go to faith and reason com for today's handout and to watch past episodes of Franciscan University presents as well as watch hundreds of talks that will inspire and inform your faith and so let's consecrate this entire conversation to our Blessed Mother hail Mary full of grace Lord is with thee blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus Holy Mary Mother of God pray for us sinners now to download the free handout on today's topic go to faith and reason com email your request for the handout – presents at Franciscan ETU at faith and reason com you can also purchase past episodes of Franciscan University presents or request today's free hand out and purchase past programs by calling 888 three three three zero three eight one that's eight eight eight three three three zero three eight one or call seven four zero two eight three six three five seven [Applause]

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