Schindler charged that West presents love in a “reductive bodily-sexual sense” and treats the Christian mysteries as “more perfect realizations” of sex.
“But sex is not even the most important part of human love, let alone the key to the Christian mysteries–the Eucharist, for example,” he wrote, adding that West misses the “radical discontinuity” between divine love revealed by God and sexual love or intercourse.
Schindler charged that West promotes a “pansexualist tendency” that ties all important human and supernatural activity back to sex without making necessary distinctions.
“If we could just get over our prudishness and sin-induced guilt, he seems to think, we would be ready simply to dispense with clothes and look at others in their nakedness,” Schindler reckoned.
He added that West treats shame and reverence with “a too-male vision” that is “distorted.” This misses the differences between men and women’s different experiences of modesty and shame, he explained.
The theologian also remarked that styles of preaching are not simply differences in personality or taste but have theological consequences. He argued that West tends to treat resistance to his lectures as if it was resistance to the Holy Spirit and urges questioners to overcome the “fear” generated by their poor formation.
“Well-balanced persons have spoken of how West makes them feel a sense of guilt, of resistance to the Holy Spirit, if they experience uneasiness about what he is saying,” he continued.
Schindler then charged that West’s interpretation of the Theology of the Body is “too much about sex and too romantic,” warning that his “unquestionably orthodox intensions” make his theology appear more credible than it is.
“His work often deflects people from the beauty and depth of what is the authentic meaning of John Paul II's anthropology of love, and thus of what was wrought in and through the Second Vatican Council.”
“West has worked tirelessly on behalf of the Church,” Schindler’s essay concluded. “However, if his work is to bear the Catholic fruit he so ardently desires, he needs to subject basic aspects of his theology to renewed reflection.”
To read Schindler's full critique of West's theology visit: http://www.headlinebistro.com/hb/en/news/west_schindler2.html
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