Jun 5, 2009 / 14:15 pm
Theologian David Schindler has expanded upon his criticisms of Christopher West, saying the speaker’s views can encourage a “dangerous imprudence” and arguing that those not at ease with his presentation have some ground for concern. He suggested that West’s work merits “patient reflection” in light of its critics.
Last month Christopher West, a Catholic speaker on the Theology of the Body, was the topic of an ABC interview broadcast he later said was “sensationalized.” The ABC story claimed West saw John Paul II and pornography propagandist Hugh Hefner as his “two big heroes” and depicted West’s call for Christians to “complete what the sexual revolution began.”
West's interview drew responses from critics such as Prof. David Schindler, a theologian who is dean of the John Paul II Institute in Washington, D.C., and defenders.
Prof. Janet Smith, a professor of moral theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, and Dr. Michael Waldstein, an Ave Maria University theology professor and translator of Pope John Paul II’s work, defended West's teachings. Waldstein spoke of West as an effective communicator and popularizer whose works should not be harmed by a critical “spin,” while Smith said West’s informal style was a response to “the sexually wounded and confused” and dismissed many criticisms of him as “without foundation.”
Writing on the Knights of Columbus site HeadlineBistro.com, Schindler explained on Friday that he was not reacting only to West’s comments on ABC Nightline. He also drew on his own personal experience with his former student and his own examination of West’s tapes, videos, and his writings. Further, he said he had been approached by people who had attended West's lectures and workshops.