Christopher West, the well-known popularizer of Pope John Paul II's theology of the body, has responded, in an interview with Our Sunday Visitor, to controversy over his in-your-face and, critics say, vulgar, approach to sexual ethics.
Debate was sparked by his appearance on ABC's "Nightline," and the producers playing up of West's favorable comparison of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner to the late Polish pontiff.
"On the one hand, a few million people in the secular world heard about the theology of the body for the first time," West told us. "There has also been an extraordinary online discussion among Catholics that I think will lead to a clearer understanding of the theology of the body for us all.
"On the other hand, the 'Nightline' piece has caused a lot of consternation among certain Catholics," he said. "For any way my own folly contributed to that, I do have regret. There have been some hard-earned lessons for me in all of this, and I'm praying that I don't miss any of them."The piece closes with a strong defense from Janet Smith, a professor at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit: "Some people find some of his examples vulgar and crude, but at the end of the day, I think many more people are going to develop a greater reverence for sexuality and for the opposite sex and for marriage than they had at the beginning."
Read the entire piece here.
And here's a good collection of some of the pro and con pieces that have appeared.