In the first of the following offerings, posted
Church spokesmen continue to believe that...just by raising the
the hyperbole...they can bludgeon Catholics into falling into
this, despite the clear statement that "There is a tremendous
truth that can be encountered before an assent of faith." See the
comments by Mr. Owens in paragraph 9, page 2 . Well, not
- Excluding obvious abortifacient "birth
control methods" that prevent a fertilized ovum - a human person - from
implanting in the uterus, these methods always lumped together by the
pro-abortion gangs, "artificial" and "natural" birth control
methods have the same intent in common: to separate the sexual act from
conception. (NB. And now these same gangs are attempting to
distinguish "fertilization" from their new meaning of "conception":
implantation, totally without basis.)
- My personal position on this subject
of human sexuality, appearing in several articles in this section, is
entirely restricted to the sexual activities between two committed
married persons in the discharge of their responsibility to bear
children for whom they can properly care. In this specific
context, I believe that the Church has No Jurisdiction. In
all other applications of the sexual act, there are already enough
prohibitions within the Ten Commandments.
- Thus, the application of "the Unitive
Function" of sexual intercourse to committed married couples, who by
the Catholic definition of Marriage must intend to have children in
order for the Marriage Contract to be valid from the outset, has
been a source of great damage to these Catholic couples and to the
- Likewise, the practical moral
equivalence given by the Church to its position on Contraception and to
Abortion has greatly weakened its effectiveness in attacking the
abomination of Abortion. What a Shame.
By contrast, the second of these articles
clear and necessary position of the Catholic Church, in concert with
religious groups, with regard to the only historical and valid
"Marriage": the union between a man and a woman.
- This should not preclude recognition
of the fact that Homosexuality is very largely a biologic variation in
some individuals and not a choice, despite the stupid antics of some of
these individuals vis a vis the rest of Society - very
counter-productive to their legitimate interests.
- And this fact should not preclude
entry by such committed individuals into enforceable contracts between
them regarding many issues common to Married couples: ie. through legal
- For these individuals to seek a
redefinition of Marriage to include them is simply "a bridge too
ZENIT, The world seen from Rome
Bringing Theology of the Body to a Secular Crowd
Institute's New Director on Speaking Truth in Understandable Ways
By Kathleen Naab
PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania, JAN. 9, 2012 (Zenit.org).- A
educational institute focused on promoting Blessed John Paul II's
the body has named a new executive director.
The 7-year-old Theology of the Body Institute picked Damon Owens, a
businessman turned marriage promoter. Included on his extensive resume
work as the Archdiocese of Newark's Natural Family Planning and
Preparation Coordinator, and leadership with the Life Education And
(L.E.A.R.N.), the largest African-American, pro-life ministry in the
Owens is himself a certified Natural Family Planning instructor who has
counseled more than 20,000 couples over the last 16 years. He often
Catholic television and radio, sharing various aspects of the theology
body, as well as commentating on topics related to marriage and family.
his wife, Melanie, have been married for 18 years and have eight
ZENIT spoke with Owens about the Theology of the Body Institute and its
and the difficulties facing those who promote Blessed John Paul's
ZENIT: The Theology of the Body Institute exists to promote John Paul
theology at the secular level, too. Is that truly possible and if so
Owens: Our mission is to train and educate men and women to understand,
and promote Blessed John Paul II's theology of the body. While most of
individuals who come in contact with our programs are Catholic, our
Certification courses regularly draw non-Catholics and non-Christians.
not only possible, but it is critical that we evangelize the broader
Our preparation as believers for the springtime of the new
includes a deeper grounding not only in the what's of our faith, but
As believers, we accept even what we cannot fully understand about
revelation, because we love and trust him. Still, our faith is
There is a tremendous amount of truth that can be encountered before an
of faith. There is a tremendous amount of beautiful and compelling
can be successfully proposed even to a darkened intellect and hardened
Rooted in objective truth, the theology of the body provides a
approach that is well-suited for evangelizing in the modern culture.
sexuality -- masculinity and femininity -- carries deep meaning for the
identity and vocation of every human person. It is also the place of
wounds for so many. The Theology of the Body Institute desires to help
in every state of life gain an understanding of what it means to be
God's image and to live out their call to love as he loves. Only from
foundation can an authentic culture of life and love take root and
ZENIT: Linked to the previous question, statistics about Catholic
couple's use of artificial contraception seem to indicate there is
for Catholics as well to hear and accept John Paul's theology. What are
in this regard? Must we first clean up our own camp before engaging the
Owens: Beginning with your last question, evangelization is, of course,
intimately connected with catechesis (the head) and conversion (the
is always a messy, personal, and inefficient work! Our witness is hurt
own sin, ignorance, and lack of faith. On one hand, our ongoing
strengthens our witness. On the other hand, we have to be careful about
too high a standard of personal perfection before witnessing to
Without question, contraception is a tap-root of nearly every modern
Moreover, the prevalence of Christians contracepting is both a cause
effect of the rise of other grave evils such as pornography, divorce,
against women, abortion, fornication and homosexuality. These were the
predicted consequences of their widespread use, and the subsequent
their widespread acceptance.
The question remains, however: How do we reach people's heads and
reject the evil of contraception? It cannot just be emphatic
instruction on the
mortal sin of contraception (the head). It must include a compelling
to a true conversion of heart. Their hearts must see how contraception
is a withholding
of themselves that deforms the marital act and stifles the very love
for. Theology of the body is a means to illumine the immutable meaning
things (natural law) in the heart of the person.
Fortunately, the great majority truly desire love. Whether they are in
a pew or
at the mall on Sunday, they deserve to hear the truth in a way that
understand it. It is in our heart -- or inner life -- that we as unique
unrepeatable persons encounter the One True God. While we certainly
were a more authentic faith witness from Catholic married couples
today, we at
the Theology of the Body Institute have been just as awed by
conversions in the
Faith as by those to the Faith. We remain passionately committed to the
mission of educating and training men and women to understand, live,
promote the Theology of the Body.
ZENIT: Tell us about the institute and plans you have for it as the new
Owens: The Theology of the Body Institute was formed in 2004 with the
mission to educate and train men and women to understand, live and
theology of the body. Each of the founders experienced a profound
through Blessed John Paul II's great work and continue to be animated
by the desire
to make it accessible to the world -- Christian and secular -- in an
understandable, engaging and attractive manner. Ours is an integrated
educational approach that presents the rich intellectual theology in an
environment that encourages a real encounter with Our Lord. As we often
is an immersion of the head and the heart!
Our certification program with its retreat-format courses is the heart
mission. These courses include Theology of the Body I, II, & III,
& Responsibility, Catholic Sexual Ethics, Writings of John Paul II
Gender, Marriage, & Family, The Thought of Karol Wojtyla, and
the Body & the Interior Life. Our on-site events at schools,
seminaries and conferences around the world complement these courses
grown in number and size every year.
We have a world-class faculty that includes Dr. Janet Smith, Dr.
Waldstein, Christopher West, Bill Donaghy, Dr. John Haas, and beginning
2012-2013, Dr. Peter Kreeft and Fr. Timothy Gallagher, OMV. To date,
1,600 individuals have come to Pennsylvania for our week-long
courses, and thousands have attended our on-site events around the
also held the first Theology of the Body Congress in 2010 bringing
leaders from around the world to explore the diverse applications of
TOB. So, I
begin with an organization that I consider successful in its mission.
My plans are to build on this success with an enhanced Clergy
Program for priests and seminarians that enriches both their priestly
and vocation as fathers. We also plan to expand both our faculty and
Certification course offerings to reach even more lay and clerical
fact remains that only a small percentage of people in the world are
with this profound teaching. I see my role as expanding this success,
opposed to any real change in direction.
ZENIT: You are taking over leadership of the institute when the push
same-sex marriage and adoption is unprecedented. What do you hope to
to this battle?
Owens: We are an educational apostolate, so our contribution to social
such as these is teaching the meaning of things. What is marriage? What
our sexuality mean? What is love, truth, freedom, or joy? What does it
be a human person? How do I choose, act, and live in accord with these
and meanings? These cultural issues ultimately represent a critical
loss of the
meaning and dignity of human personhood. God bless those who are taking
these issues in the public square. I did that for years and deeply
the need for, and difficulty of, these urgent defenses. It is
however, that these issues incubated long-term in a culture steeped in
disintegrated concept of human personhood. Sexual complementarity
sexual difference, now sexual difference has been denied all together.
is argued as sameness. So, the argument continues, since men and women
same, there is no difference between a husband and a
wife or a mother and a father.
This is an identity crisis that requires long-term reformation and
If we don't know who -- and whose -- we are, we won't know how to
behave in a
way that is in accord with our dignity and brings us true joy.
sexual morality, love, marriage, fatherhood, motherhood, family, and
itself are integrated realities that flow from who God has revealed
be -- a Trinitarian Communio: Three Divine Persons in such union that
The Gospel is good news precisely because it reveals to us the deepest
of our identity created in the image and likeness of God, and
vocation to love. The language, approach, and appeal of the theology of
body gives us a means to understand and embrace the Gospel by rereading
language of the body. Simply put, as the body reveals the person,
and femininity reveal the original, enduring, and eternal meaning of
as a call to communion. Love is self-gift. By rereading the language of
body in truth, we see love as not simply something we do, but as a
human vocation that flows from who we are.
With regard to the specific question of redefining marriage, students
of the body are equipped to articulate not mere disagreement, but why
simply not possible.
ZENIT, The world seen from Rome
US Jews, Muslims, Christians Join in Defense of Freedom, Marriage
Joint Letter Called a 'Compelling Argument' and 'Sign of Hope'
WASHINGTON, D.C., JAN. 12, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Leaders of some of the
religious communities in the United States have joined together in an
letter to all Americans to voice their shared concern for marriage and
The letter, titled Marriage and Religious Freedom: Fundamental Goods
or Fall Together, was released today. Signatories include leaders from
Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Evangelical, Jewish, Lutheran, Mormon, and
Pentecostal communities in the United States.
Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York and president
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, was one of the four
Marriage and religious liberty are at a crisis point in the United
said. This letter is a sign of hope. Not only are tens of millions of
citizens represented in the letter's signatories, but the letter itself
testifies to the growing and shared awareness of just how important
and religious freedom are to the well-being of our country. The letter
compelling argument that needs to be heard by all of us, especially
positions of authority: Anyone truly concerned with religious freedom
be a defender of marriage's perennial definition.
In the letter, the leaders counter a common claim that the principal
religious freedom is the possibility of ministers being forced to
The leaders wrote: “We believe the most urgent peril is this: forcing
pressuring both individuals and religious organizations -- throughout
well beyond religious ceremonies -- to treat same-sex sexual conduct as
moral equivalent of marital sexual conduct. There is no doubt that the
people and groups whose moral and religious convictions forbid same-sex
conduct will resist the compulsion of the law, and church-state
They added that these conflicts bear serious consequences.
They will arise in a broad range of legal contexts, because altering
definition of 'marriage' does not change one law, but hundreds, even
at once. By a single stroke, every law where rights depend on marital
such as employment discrimination, employment benefits, adoption,
healthcare, elder care, housing, property, and taxation -- will change
same-sex sexual relationships must be treated as if they were marriage.
requirement, in turn, will apply to religious people and groups in the
course of their many private or public occupations and ministries --
schools, hospitals, nursing homes and other housing facilities,
adoption and counseling services, and many others.
The leaders warned that redefining marriage has consequences for the
freedom of all Americans and urged civic leaders to defend marriage so
to defend religious liberty.
We especially urge those entrusted with the public good to support laws
uphold the time-honored definition of marriage, and so avoid
religious freedom of countless institutions and citizens in this
religious leaders said. Marriage and religious freedom are both deeply
into the fabric of this nation.
The release of the letter comes days before the presidential
Religious Freedom Day (Jan. 16) and a few weeks before World Marriage
12) and National Marriage Week USA (Feb. 7-14). The letter follows a
shared commitment released Dec. 6, 2010.