A deeper understanding of our bodies' physical and spiritual dimensions can shed light on the harmful, distorted views of societyBy Emily Stimpson - Our Sunday Visitor, 9/26/2010
The theology of the body is not just a theology for Marriage Encounter weekends, Pre-Cana classes or high school classrooms. It’s also a theology for the public square.
Of course, Pope John Paul II’s collection of teachings has a lot to say about sex and sexuality. When it comes to communicating the Church’s understanding of marital love and intimacy to contemporary culture, the theology of the body has been a game-changer, helping countless people grasp for the first time the sacredness and power of giving one’s body to another.
But it’s not called the theology of the body (as opposed to the “theology of sex”) for nothing. Pope John Paul II’s teachings are, at their heart, not a sex-ed curriculum, but rather an anthropology of what it means to be a human person. They are a prism through which Catholics can view themselves and the world rightly.
That’s why the theology of the body has something to say about what happens outside, as well as inside, couples’ bedrooms. It is, at its most basic, not just a guide for how we are to love, but also for how we are to live.
And, when properly understood, it sheds light on the root causes of some of our culture’s most pressing social concerns: the spread of pornography, the rise in out-of-wedlock births, the culture of divorce, support for abortion and embryo-destructive procedures, and the push for same-sex marriage.
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