The Relation of Theology of the Body to the History of Church teaching on Marriage, Family and Human Sexuality

In this talk my goal is to show how Theology of the Body is a fruit and development of and in continuity with the past and remains an indispensable resource for the present call to present the Joy of the Gospel. From St. Augustine to Pope Francis, Saints, Popes and Doctors of the Church have all commented on the meaning of Marriage, Family and Human Sexuality. The particular historical realities of each epoch have shaped the approach of each such commentary, while the unifying goal has been to clarify the truth in order to help the faithful experience God’s plan fully. I delivered this talk at the 2014 International Theology of the Body Congress which was hosted by the Theology of the Body Institute in Philadelphia. This talk and all of the talks from that event were recorded by Ascension Press and CDs can be purchased there.

St. Francis of Assisi: His Life, Times, Conversion and Charism


St. Francis of Assisi, one of the most beloved Saints of all time, is known for his deep love of Christ crucified – receiving even the physical stigmata – his love of the poor and of poverty itself, and his profound relationship with all of God’s creation in nature. He is also the founder of one of the Church’s greatest religious orders, and most recently, for the first time in history, the Pope has taken Francis’ name as his own. Dr. Peter J. Colosi, Associate Professor of Moral Theology at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, who earned an MA degree in Franciscan Studies from St. Bonaventure University and has given countless walking tours of St. Francis’ hometown, will paint a colorful picture of Francis’ early life, his conversion, his spirituality and the order he founded. Delivered at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Overbrook, PA Mar. 19, 2014.  St. Francis of Assisi: His Life, Times, Conversion and Charism from Peter J. Colosi on Vimeo.

Bishops and Administrators

The HHS Mandate: What Would Pope Paul VI Advise?

I am grateful to the Bishops for their courageous, outspoken, unified and strong opposition to the HHS mandate. I support them fully, and, like many Catholics, I am awestruck at their unified response. In this talk I look at aspects of the approaches of Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Cardinal Francis George, and Archbishop William Lori. The talk should be understood as an attempt to bolster the cause by pointing out some features of this complex situation that are perhaps underappreciated, in light of which I offer some ways to adjust the approach to fighting the Mandate accordingly. I present some points made by Pope Paul VI in Humanae vitae, which could serve as a guiding light in this fight. The talk should not be understood as a critique of the good work that has already been admirably accomplished, but a reflection on an underappreciated dimension of this debate. In a recent high-profile interview, Cardinal Dolan reiterated his view that “We have to be very vigorous in insisting that this is not about contraception. It’s about religious freedom.”  While focusing exclusively on religious freedom may be a correct legal tactic in the goal of overturning the Mandate, the absoluteness of these statements does contain a further, perhaps unintended, meaning: that there is no link whatsoever between the specific content of the Mandate and the threat to religious freedom we face because of it. That second meaning is problematic, and this talk explains why, and offers some adjustments needed in the approach of the Bishops based on that analysis.

I have published two short online pieces (600 words ea.) on this topic: Contraception and the Fight Against the HHS Ruling (Catholic Exchange) and False Premises (Crisis Magazine).

The talk was given at a day long conference on March 24, 2012 titled, “Humanae Vitae as Seen through the Lens of Theology of the Body” at the Trinity Center of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Southampton, PA. The Philadelphia Catholic Medical Association, the Philadelphia archdiocesan Family Life Office, the Philadelphia Natural Family Planning Network and St. Mary Medical Center co-sponsored the event.

Image credit: See the excellent piece on the HHS Mandate by Msgr. Kevin T. McMahon at Catholic World Report titled Cooperation is Not An Option.

 

 

 

 

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Why Modern Science Needs John Paul II

Presented at: John Paul the Great Legacy Project Symposium; John Paul II Cultural Center, Washington DC  October 17, 2009  Abstract:  In this audio file I begin in part 1 by looking at a series of quotations from Pope John Paul II in order to get at two meanings of “progress” in his thought. One meaning of progress, the Pope holds, is good and very helpful to humanity, while the other meaning of progress makes us “less human.” There is a handout with the quotations on it for part 1 below which can be clicked on to open. In part 2 of the talk, I speak more freely, giving a phenomenological analysis of 5 different human experiences which reveal the intimate union of the spiritual and physical that human persons are – also known as the body/soul unity of human beings. And in part 3, I apply the points above to two areas of concern. First, I attempt to give a new way of explaining the underlying reasons on which the Catholic Church basis her moral teaching against contraception; I do this based on our experience of our own body/soul unity. Secondly, I attempt to frame to core question when it comes to the treatment of embryonic human persons. At times during the lecture, I say that I will not have time to get to the points in part 3, but I do cover them in the end.

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Christian Personalism and Theology of the Body

In this lecture I express some of the insights from Christian Personalism/Realist Phenomenology about the spiritual and bodily unity that human persons are and how these insights inform John Paul II’s Theology of the body. In other words, this lecture attempts to show the mystery and beauty of the fact that human persons are spiritual and bodily. In the end I explain an argument to support the Church’s teaching forbidding contraception related to this bodily and spiritual unity of human persons and to spousal love.   This lecture, the full title of which is “The Christian Personalism of John Paul II as the Foundation of Theology of the Body”, was given at the National Theology of the Body Congress in the Philadelphia area, held July 28 – 30, 2010, and is posted here with permission.   Christian Personalism and Theology of the Body.

 

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Relation between Suffering and Love in Catholic Teaching

In this talk I try to express the sensitivity with which Pope John Paul II and other authors deal with the difficult question of suffering and its relationship to love. This talk was given at St. John of Rochester Catholic Church, Fairport, NY on February 13, 2008.   Relation between suffering and love in Catholic teaching.