Saturday, December 14, 2013

Holy Sex!!! There he goes, again (Gregory Popcak)

A white-gloved courier dressed in a tux hand-delivered this message to our office. Upon opening it, we learned that it was from a very distressed correspondent -- yes, the very one we keep on retainer in an Atlantic seaboard city that knows how to keep its secrets, Guy Noir - Private Eye. Seemed like his head was about to explode:
Hello Doc,

If you were an advice columnist, I might start out,

"Is it just me, or WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?"

If I was sending you an item on Christopher West, I might start out,

"Do you really think we are Puritanical about sex in Catholic circles? Please!"

But I'll simply say: whatever sense of propriety and taste people once had has been seriously bent out of whack if a book about Toe-Curling Orgasms is seen as a "fun" couples gift book recommend at Christmas by the Peggy Noonon of St. Blogs. Not to mention the the whole list is recommended by Mark Shea, who is himself recommended on the list and gets to namedrop Scalia as "Lizzie."
Of course, Guy Noir is referring to the latest promotion of Gregory K. Popcak PhD's Holy Sex!: A Catholic Guide to Toe-Curling, Mind-Blowing, Infallible Loving,yet another attempt to cash in on Blessed Pope John Paul II's wildly popularized "Theology of the Body," which now has Catholics falling all over themselves talking about sex and sounding like the latest issue of Cosmopolitan or Playboy than like, well, Catholics. [And if anyone wants the distressing facts about Dr. Popcak, PhD, all he needs to do is take Roister-Doister's advice and read the section on him in the distressingly-titled EWTN: A Network Gone Wrong.] Guy continues:
OK. Now that I have gagged and been snide, I will make a note to confess all tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I am talking about this. Fewer and fewer public Catholics do not induce cringes in me. [And a DVD about Francis ... or Benedict XVI, for that matter ... just a hair over the top too. Wait, how about BOTH, in the same wrapper!?]

AND I will add that though the book has impressive endorsements at amazon.com, of the title I still have to ask, "Really?" If we have to resort to such marketing-driven packaging, do we honestly expect to be able to cultivate high levels of sanctity? Childish in terms of tone versus context regardless of how sober the actually interior content is.... Actually I suddenly recall a sex seminar for us back in high school at a church where you walked into a room and they had it plastered with sexually suggestive images on a table. Seems like similarly-inspired strategy that even at 16 struck me as both slightly adolescent and slightly off base.
Say a prayer for Guy Noir. Obviously he's having trouble catching up with the times.

[Hat tip to JM]


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