The Theology of the Body is not a change in Catholic teaching. Rather it’s a new expression of timeless Gospel truths. While, JPII does definitely make some theological developments in the Theology of the Body, it is largely a re-proclamation of the Gospel in a way that speaks to the human heart. In a sense, our vision has changed, and the Pope is like an optometrist. The Theology of the Body is like a new prescription that enables us to focus on revelation and rediscover the original energy of the Gospel message.
The Theology of the Body and the New Evangelization are two of the main thrusts of John Paul II’s pontificate and both have continued to influence the Church at large after JPII’s death. First, JPII equipped us with the tools, a way of understanding revelation that sets the human heart aflame with Divine love and a desire to share that love with other people. Then he challenges us to creatively share our faith with others.
I originally stated that I thought Jason was “mostly” correct because I would say that the Theology of the Body is the “best” theology of the new evangelization. We can still serve dishes of food that people don’t want to taste, and we can also try to hit targets with old an prescription correcting our vision. I propose that we immerse ourselves in the Pope’s teachings (both JPII and Pope Benedict), and share their vision of love with the world.
Director, Theology of the Body Advocates