Christopher West’s Publisher, Matthew Pinto, Enters Debate in Defense of West
By Alex Bush
June 12, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Over the past few weeks, a debate between Catholic intellectuals has been waged over Christopher West's take on John Paul II's “Theology of the Body.” The debate was sparked by an interview West did on ABC's Nightline.
The Nightline segment, which aired on May 7, set off a firestorm of controversy in the Catholic publishing world, with some accusing West of playing loose with JPII's teachings and of trivializing certain aspects of Christian sexual theology, and others defending West as a skilled promoter of authentic Catholic teaching on sensitive subject.
Heavyweight theologians including Janet Smith, Alice von Hildebrand, David Schindler and others have already weighed in on the matter.
Now, one of West's publishers, Matthew Pinto, has entered the fray, releasing an article defending West's work. Pinto argues that few can match West's “track record of eyes opened to Truth and hearts turned to Christ.”
“Fewer still have shown the courage to battle the colossal dragon that is modern society’s dissolute sexual culture, a beast that threatens to devour the souls in its path, including those of our children,” he said.
Pinto says that each year, “more than 55,000 engaged persons in over 40 dioceses are being introduced to the authentic Catholic vision for marriage contained in Christopher’s marriage preparation program,” and that of “the 91% who have entered the program sexually active, more than half of these couples said they will forego ongoing sexual relations until they are married.”
Furthermore, he states that “nearly a third of these couples state that they will employ 'Natural Family Planning' methods once they are married. And fully 61% made a deeper commitment to Christ because of the program.”
“This is powerful evangelization,” Pinto points out.
Pinto states that West's work must be from God, since the book of Acts says, “if a work is not of God, it will fail (5:38-39). Yet in this time of historic sexual anarchy, Christopher’s critics remain disinclined to attribute his overwhelmingly positive results to a blessing by God.”
“There is no question that many in the Church are still very uncomfortable discussing the subject of sex. But while millions are drowning in a sea of filth advanced by our sexually-twisted media culture, Christopher is one of very few hazarding a high seas rescue mission and giving people a hand into the boat,” Pinto said.
“Never has such a mission been so badly needed.”
See related LSN coverage:
Christopher West Controversy Fuels Debate about the Problem of Modesty
Christopher West Debate Continues: Schindler Responds to Smith and Waldstein
Prominent Theologians Defend Christopher West and Theology of the Body