Denver, Colo., Aug 11, 2011 / 15:05 pm
Bishop Jean Laffitte is warning against focusing too intently on the sexual aspect of Blessed John Paul II's Theology of the Body, which he says runs the risk of eliminating the depth and “mystery” involved in human and divine love.
“The problem is, if you focus only on sexuality you can't develop beyond that, and you don't see that this beauty is a gift given by the Creator but in a much wider context,” said Bishop Laffitte, secretary of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for the Family.
In an Aug. 3 interview with CNA, Bishop Laffitte weighed in on the current debate on how best to interpret the late pontiff's teachings, saying it is essential to first understand God's design in creating man and woman.
Pope John Paul II's teachings on human love and sexuality – a collection of five years’ worth of his Wednesday audiences from 1979 to 1984 – is widely seen as unprecedented in the history of the Church.
Sexuality and the Body
Bishop Laffitte said that although it's normal to be attracted to “the beauty of sexuality and the beauty of the human body,” he doesn't agree with emphasizing “the sexual phenomenon” without giving the whole perspective of “the mystery of creation, and the mystery of God's calling on human love,” as taught by Pope John Paul II.
Bishop Laffitte recalled that when God created Adam and Eve from nothing, he could have used the same method to create every other person in human history. Yet instead, God enabled man and woman through their sexuality to participate in creating human life themselves.
“The Creator wanted the human being to be His own mediator in the action of creation – that's extraordinary,” he noted. “From that moment, in His providential intention, the man and woman He created would be the mediators through which He would continue to give life.”