In surveying one of the Anglican defenses of contraception, we pointed out that the author's refusal to define coitus makes his arguments open to serious objections. In particular, since he refuses to concede even the minimum definition of coition as an actus per se aptus ad generationem, he must logically admit that any practice that has "relational value" for spouses (e.g., coitus interruptus and anal intercourse) is licit. (emphasis added)This, of course is right up Chris West's alley. John Paul II's TOB audiences famously fail to discuss the generational aspect of the sexual act to any great degree. It is one of the odd but true aspects of those Wednesday audiences that those audiences, a commentary on Humanae Vitae totaling in excess of a quarter million words, mention the word "family" only once, whereas Humanae Vitae itself uses the word "family" 15 times in just 7000 words. Similarly, the words "parents" or "parenthood" occurs ten times in HV, but only three times in the TOB audiences (TOB figures based on the index in the first St. Paul edition of the TOB audiences).
The Theology of the Body audiences are 40 times longer than HV, but discuss the primary purpose of the sexual act between much less frequently in absolute terms. Yet isn't the point of contraception precisely the cutting off of any need to discuss family?
If TOB is not about the generational aspects of sex, then what is it about? It's emphasis is all on relationship - the "relational value," that the good priests warn against above.
As a result, the TOB audiences, while fine insofar as they go, do have huge theological holes in them, holes large enough to drive an ocean liner through.
Someone who primarily studies the TOB audiences and spends very little time with other JP II documents, or other Magisterial teachings in general, is very likely to mistake the importance of the relational aspects of the sexual act. That is, someone who is a largely self-taught "expert" on the Theology of the Body is likely to make precisely the mistake Chris West makes, and label anal foreplay acceptable.
Worse, Drs. Smith and Healy have leapt to defend West's statements not because they are defensible, for there is no defense available from the Magisterial documents. Rather, they have begun a "theology of personality", in which Chris West's statements have to be defended because of he who made them. Catholic theology is being bent to fit the predilictions of a specific personality.
I am a graduate of Franciscan University, but I was fortunate enough to never have Dr. Healy as an instructor. I'm sure he counts himself lucky he never had me as a student.
This is the kind of nonsense that is all too prevalent in Catholic institutions: mistaking fad theology for Magisterium, inability to distinguish between the orifices for nutritive intake and waste disposal, he literally doesn't know his ... from a... well... you get the idea.
This is often what passes for philosophy at Franciscan University. As a former graduate student, I can firmly attest and witness to the fact that, while Franciscan University's theology department is competent, their philosophy department has only a few decent thinkers. Far too many are of Dr. Healy's stripe. That's why I have never recommended the university to people.