Christopher West Controversy Fuels Debate about the Problem of Modesty

Christopher West, the prolific author and well-known speaker who shot to fame in the Catholic world as a result of his work popularizing Pope John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body,” has come under fire recently for comments made during an interview with ABC’s Nightline. In the interview he told Nightline that there is a “very profound” connection between John Paul II and Playboy founder Hugh Hefner and suggested that Christians should “complete what the sexual revolution began.” The Nightline segment, which aired on May 7 and which highlighted West’s work with the “theology of the body” 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.