Sunday, May 10, 2009

Quote of the day
Father Angelo Geiger on Christopher West's 'Nightline' appearance

After Friday's Quote of the Day in response to Christopher West's "Nightline" appearance, a reader pointed out a post on the subject by Father Angelo Geiger, who writes:

"Okay, I am glad that a Catholic apologist gets some major exposure in the mainstream media, and I want to repeat again that I believe that those who are popularizing the Theology of the Body are good people and well intentioned. Nevertheless, I take exception to the presentation of Christopher West in this latest interview, precisely for the reasons given in my last post on the subject.

"In [an] interview posted on the ABC News website Christopher West compares favorably Pope John Paul II and Hugh Hefner, founder and publisher of Playboy Magazine. [Read the interview and watch the video at] ...

"Now I know this [interview] can be read a number of ways and that West’s remarks could be easily taken out of context. I am not suggesting that West is encouraging men to look at pornography, although, undoubtedly this is how it will be taken by some. I am asserting, however, that fair-minded people know that his words will be taken out of context, precisely because they lend themselves to be so taken. I have argued before that that the abuse of a thing does not vitiate its use, but in my humble opinion, the favorable comparison between John Paul II and Hugh Hefner, for marketing purposes or otherwise, crosses the line. Yes, I know it is an interview on ABC which will be read by more non-Catholics than otherwise, and that is precisely why the comparison is bound to be misinterpreted. Perhaps West said more to clarify, and perhaps it will come out in the televised portion; either way, the effect will be the same. ..."

[On claims by Dr. Michael Waldstein and West that spiritually mature men should be able to sublimate their lustful desire when looking at the female form:] "Who are the good doctor and Christopher West to judge when the spiritual faculties of an individual are fully developed or not? And how are they able to analyze the dispositions of divine providence relative to the interior workings of individual souls? Is one who finds it difficult to look on the form of a woman’s body without concupiscence being inappropriately stirred to conclude that they simply have not yet grasped the Church’s teaching? Or that if they cannot sublimate pornographic images and transform the phantasms associated with them into a regard for beauty that they simply are simply spiritually underdeveloped? This is simply a facile line of reasoning one that is bound to lead to the opposite extreme."

"I am not arguing for one pole against another. A more exalted view of human sexuality is needed and a preoccupation with the sinful nature of inappropriate sexuality should be avoided, but in this age when men have been so feminized and have so often recoiled from duty and consoled themselves in soft and lazy sensuality, they do not need to be encouraged to think about sexuality more, they need to be encouraged to mortify themselves, to be men, to be soldiers for Christ. ...

"Hefner has been sleeping with multiple partners for his whole career. His playmates are exactly that, and he has never grown up. The man, now in his eighties, is sleeping with women that are barely legal. Hefner is quoted as saying 'The interesting thing is how one guy, through living out his own fantasies, is living out the fantasies of so many other people.' That’s the fact and those fantasies are concupiscence run wild and fueled by a soft and effemninate indiscipline and by a very sophisticated and gnostic rationalization. God forbid that the association of John Paul II and such a “playboy” should end by promoting a religious version of that effeminate gnosticism."

— Father Angelo Geiger, Franciscan Friar of the Immaculate, "John Paul the Great and Hugh Hefner the Magnificent" (read the full post).

RELATED: As previously noted, Christopher West has posted a clarification of some of his "Nightline" statements.

Thanks to reader Robin for the tip on Father Angelo's post.