Video – Roving Reporter #95: Dawn Eden on Pre-Vatican II Morality

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Ave Maria!

Dawn Eden, who last year gave us the great story of her conversion through St. Maximilian Kolbe and G.K. Chesterton, recently returned to Griswold, CT, and we accosted her for another interview which she graciously granted. This time she talks about her studies for her Masters in Moral Theology at Dominican House of Studies in DC  and how they relate to current issues in our society. In particular she refers to the recent debate on Christopher West's interpretation of Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body. She relates what she has found about how morality was taught before and after the Second Vatican Council and how this compares with West's assertion that Catholic morality was very prudish before the Council. It was this assertion that was the basis for his very controversial Nightline interview where he favorably compared John Paul II to Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy, since both, in their own way, saved us from this supposed prudery. Listen to Dawn's fair, informative analysis of this controversy.

References: "The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality" from the the Pontifical Council for the Family

Ave Maria!

Audio (MP3)


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  • Pascendi says:

    I only just got around to watching this now. EXCELLENT interview!

    I thank you.

    Dawn addresses my concerns about the now infamous West comment and the issues behind it. At about 19 minutes into the video, she cuts to the CORE of my concerns as a father regarding the plethora of TOB ‘prophets’ out there who with good intention do more harm than good for the Church.

    Ave Maria!

  • Susan Kennedy says:

    Dawn should not forget that the Theology of the Body did not just appear in the 1970s but was a product of much thought and early writings of John Paul II. For example, his book, Love and Responsibilty first published in 1960, along with other works. It is as much a part of pre-Vatican II as it is post-Vatican II.

  • Dawn Eden says:

    Susan, Father Angelo Mary foresaw your objection during my video interview and gave me the option of doing a retake. I let it stand because (1) Pope John Paul II’s pre-papal writings do not carry the weight of magisterial pronouncements–that is, they are only on the level of bishops’ writings, not papal or conciliar ones, and (2) even if it could be said that Wojtyla was responding to puritanism in the 1950s, Christopher West’s point is still flawed, because he implies that the world was equally in “need” of a response to puritanism when John Paul II articulated the TOB, which was well _after_ the sexual revolution. There were many problems in the world that needed addressing when the pope gave his Wednesday catechesis, but by that point puritanism was not terribly high on the list.

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