Last week ABC’s Nightline featured a segment on the Theology of the Body with an interview with TOB expert Christopher West:
As you can expect the six minute report did not exactly portray the Church teaching or West’s own views properly, which West discussed with CNS:
“The story [by ABC] sensationalized some of the sexual aspects,” West said.
“Certainly the Theology of the Body provides a beautiful vision for us of marital love. But to reduce the Theology of the Body to its teaching on sexual morality, or to some kind of Catholic version of a sex manual is terribly missing the mark.”
He said the ABC correspondents were generally “very professional” and “very interested” in giving a fair hearing to the Theology of the Body. However, the two hour interview and four hours of speaking footage had to be reduced to a 7-minute interview.
“I can understand why they put it together the way they did. They did a decent job,” he told CNA, but his concerns prompted him to encourage people to read his articles and books for “the very important context.”
Responding to ABC’s characterization of Hefner and Pope John Paul II as “heroes,” West said the statement was not given proper context.
“I never said Hugh Hefner is a hero, never,” he remarked, explaining that Hefner said he started Playboy as a personal response to the hurt and hypocrisy of Americans – Puritan heritage.
“The point I was making with ABC was that we as Catholics agree with Hefner’s diagnosis of the disease of Puritanism, a fearful rejection of the body rooted in heritage of Manicheanism. Sadly, that very important point did not come out in the interview.”
“Let the record stand very clearly: the pornographic revolution that Hugh Hefner inaugurated, the medicine that he suggested, proves to be in many ways more dangerous than the disease itself.
To get a more proper understanding of Christopher West’s explanation of JP II’s vision of the human person visit his website and check out his many books, articles and audio/video presentations.