Pope John Paul II and Joanna Krupa’s nonsense….

I’ve seen a lots of people try to justify inappropriate behavior – but this is one of the worst I have ever seen. Joanna Krupa – a Polish “supermodel” – is trying to use Pope John Paul II to justify her involvement in pornography!  This is very dangerous because misrepresenting the Church’s teaching on morals can lead many people astray.  Fox News uses the following headline:

“Krupa’s Pics Pope-Approved?

Polish swimsuit star Joanna Krupa says Polish pope approved toplessness”

Here is an excerpt from the Fox News article:

“It should come as no surprise that Joanna Krupa is comfortable removing her clothes.

The Polish-born beauty is one of the most Googled gals on the internet, has been named the “Sexiest Swimsuit Model in the World” by Playboy, and graced the cover of almost every men’s magazine on the planet, from Maxim to Esquire to GQ.

But did you know the first Polish pope was involved in her frequent disrobing?  (Ed. note – That statement is outrageous.  This is is meant to be – wink wink –  salacious.  It is irresponsible journalism.)

“I think worrying about going topless in a photo shoot or film is really ridiculous,” Krupa told FOXNews.com in an exclusive interview. “And the fact is Pope John Paul said, since we were born naked, it is art, and it’s just showing a beautiful body that God created.”  (The FACT is that Pope John Paul II has never said that.  Shouldn’t a responsible journalist check into what the Pope has actually said?  Follow the link at the bottom of this post to Steve Kellmeyer’s article, “The Naked Truth” to see what the Pope actually teaches in the Theology of the Body.)

“I was born in Europe, and Europeans have a more casual, natural way of dealing with nudity,” Krupa adds. “Interestingly enough, these days, you see nudity and toplessness in almost every critically acclaimed movie, and whenever I pick up a French Vogue, I see bare breasts, and French Vogue still sets the standards.”

And even though Krupa is in an industry where so many sleep their way to-the-top, she says she has never once sacrificed her moral integrity to land a job.  (Ms. Krupa has a lack of self-awareness.)

“I can tell you that I am very proud that everything I have achieved to date has happened due to the hard work of my team and myself,” she said. “I was never tempted to give in because I have always been in committed relationships (?), and take the word ‘committed’ very seriously.” (Which is why she uses the plural term “relationships”?)

What has Pope John Paul II REALLY said regarding this kind of exploitation of women?

Here’s an excerpt from #14 of his Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem (On the Dignity and Vocation of Women) available online here.

“After original sin, contrary forces are at work in man and woman as a result of the threefold concupiscence, the “stimulus of sin”. They act from deep within the human being. Thus Jesus will say in the Sermon on the Mount:“Every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Mt 5:28). These words, addressed directly to man, show the fundamental truth of his responsibility vis-a-vis woman: her dignity, her motherhood, her vocation. But indirectly these words concern the woman. Christ did everything possible to ensure that – in the context of the customs and social relationships of that time – women would find in his teaching and actions their own subjectivity and dignity. On the basis of the eternal “unity of the two”, this dignity directly depends on woman herself, as a subject responsible for herself, and at the same time it is “given as a task” to man. Christ logically appeals to man’s responsibility. In the present meditation on women’s dignity and vocation, it is necessary that we refer to the context which we find in the Gospel. The dignity and the vocation of women – as well as those of men – find their eternal source in the heart of God. And in the temporal conditions of human existence, they are closely connected with the “unity of the two”. Consequently each man must look within himself to see whether she who was entrusted to him as a sister in humanity, as a spouse, has not become in his heart an object of adultery; to see whether she who, in different ways, is the cosubject of his existence in the world, has not become for him an “object”: an object of pleasure, of exploitation.”

Jesus said – any man who looks lustfully at a woman has committed adultery with her in his heart.  This is treating a woman as an object of pleasure and exploitation. A woman is a subject responsible for herself – if she places herself in the position of an object of adultery, she is responsible for that.

Anyone who has any familiarity with the Theology of the Body whatsoever would know, without question, that Pope John Paul II would never, ever advocate pornography!   For an excellent analysis of this and a much fuller explanation of the teachings of Pope John Paul II on nudity, see the following by Steve Kellmeyer:
The Naked Truth.

UPDATE – It gets worse…. read on.

A new PETA advertisement featuring model Joanna Krupa wearing nothing but a crucifix and a seductive smile is “totally inappropriate” and exploitative of Christian symbols, critics say.

Krupa, a Playboy cover girl and a “Dancing With the Stars” regular, is seen topless and bottomless in the latest spot by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which urges people to adopt pets from rescue shelters instead of buying them from puppy mills.

The Polish-born beauty appears in the ad with angel wings behind her and a digital halo over her head. Her private parts are covered — barely — by a large, well-placed metallic crucifix.

“It’s totally inappropriate,” said Deal Hudson, publisher of InsideCatholic.com, an online magazine. “It’s another instance of disrespect toward Christianity and another example of the kind of abuse that would never occur with any other major religion, because the outcry would be so immediate and so loud that the people behind it would immediately retreat.”

Krupa’s reaction?

“As a practicing Catholic, I am shocked that the Catholic League is speaking out against my PETA ads. I’m doing what the Catholic Church should be doing, working to stop senseless suffering of animals, the most defenseless of God’s creation.”

OK – so how does posing with nothing but a Crucifix to cover your private parts stop the suffering of animals? Couldn’t she just work at a shelter or something?


Selfishness vs. Love

Today, my son wanted to watch “A Muppet Christmas Christmas Carol”.
True – it is almost April – but it is also two days since the Solemnity of the Annunciation, when we celebrate the Word becoming flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  That means it is only 9 months ’til Christmas!
Also – it is a Friday in Lent.  A penitential day.  A day to reflect on our own sins.  It is actually a great day to watch “A Muppet Christmas Carol”!  Ebeneezer Scrooge undergoes a process of conversion which prompts us to think about ourselves.

Currently, readers of the blog are engaged in a pretty intense debate in the comment section of the page devoted to alerting readers to the dangers of indulging in fantasy.  (See here.)  I’d like to move this discussion over to a new post, and I want to direct the attention of the participants to a specific topic – that being, selfishness vs. love.

Anyone who knows A Christmas Carol (and the Muppet version is my favorite) knows that Ebeneezer Scrooge is a very unattractive character at the beginning of the story.  He is, truly, the epitome of a selfish man.  You may say that he views those around him as parasites – and therefore treats them accordingly.  Ebeneezer is not a happy man, though, in spite of a life dedicated to taking care of #1.  Part of living in community is recognizing that we all need one another.  Individualism is not a virtue.  Ebeneezer cannot see that at the beginning of the story.

During the night, he is visited by the souls of a couple of his damned friends, but also by three different spirits – the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.  It is interesting to notice that the ghosts do not sit down and argue with Ebeneezer.  They show him reality.  Is this emotional manipulation?  Of course not.  Emotion is a necessary part of human existence.  It can enable us to experience sorrow, but it also enables us to experience joy.  Putting a brick wall up around our heart (our emotional center) may protect us from certain sorrows, but it also makes us incapable of joy.  It is like eliminating the nerves that enable us to distinguish between hot and cold.  You can’t just feel hot things and not cold things.  If you lose your ability to distinguish, you can’t feel either.

So – Ebeneezer is shown the ramifications of his decisions.  Selfish decisions.  They have cut him off from the rest of the community.  He is particularly moved by his encounter with the Cratchett family.  Tiny Tim – a little crippled boy (or frog, if you are watching the Muppet version) could be considered a parasitic individual.  He takes and takes… can’t even walk home on his own.  What is it that makes Tiny Tim a person?  Does he have human dignity because his parents (Kermit and Miss Piggy) want him?  What is it about seeing Tiny Tim interact with his family that has such a profound effect on Ebeneezer?  Could it be precisely the fact that the Cratchett family love Tiny Tim?  That they see a dignity in him that is utterly beyond their ability to ascribe to him based on their wants?  That Tiny Tim is intrinsically worthy of love?

Perhaps Ebeneezer has never encountered something like that up close before.  If he had, perhaps he had written it off as emotional manipulation or sentamentalism.  Maybe it took an examination of his own life, and the context of his own failures and hurts, to put things sufficiently on the line for Ebeneezer to have his eyes opened.  The world did not change on the night Ebeneezer had this experience.  Ebeneezer changed.  He had been blind, but he – through the aid of others – discovered his sight. 

So – this brings us to love vs. selfishness.  

Love will sacrifice for the sake of the beloved.  In some cases, the only loving thing to do is to walk away from a relationship if it will harm the beloved.  This is why I have argued all along that Edward does not love Bella.  He fundamental decision is to use her for personal satisfaction in spite of where he can see it leading (ultimately Bella becoming a vampire, the hideous pregnancy, etc.).  Theirs is a relationship of obsession.

I think a lot of people reading the series do not see this because they may be experiencing similar challenges themselves – having emotional needs that they are trying to meet through fantasy (which is where the other post comes in).  The Twilight Saga is harmful to a person in that situation.

So – let’s have a discussion of love vs. selfishness.

What is love?  How do we define it?  How do we live it?

March 25, 2009 – Feast of the Annunciation – God becomes an embryo

On March 25th, we celebrate an incredible feast – a Solemnity, in fact – the Annunciation.  At Mary’s “Yes”, all of creation will never be the same.  God becomes man.  Not a full grown, strong, independent, self-reliant fellow… but, a vulnerable embryo, entrusted to this young woman to nurture and protect.  What does this say about the love of God for us?  What does this say about human dignity? Can anyone tell me, from the other posts on this site, how this conflicts with the values presented in Twilight?  (I’m referring to anti-human statements and Meyer’s attitude toward weakness and vulnerability.)

Fr. Z has this to say:
This is the very Feast of the Incarnation.

Today we celebrate that moment when our Lord elevated our humanity by taking our human nature into an indestructible bond with His Divinity.  In the Incarnation God opened for us the path to “divinization”, His sharing of something of His own divine glory with us in the eternal happiness of heaven.

In the sin of our First Parents, offending God and loosing so many of our gifts, the whole human race sinned.  In justice a human being had to correct the offense, but such a correction was entirely impossible for a mere mortal human.  Such a correction required the intervention of one who was both man and God.

He’s only getting started.  Please read the rest here.

Also, check out what Pope Benedict has to say in this article from Zenit
…The Pontiff called the congress “an exemplary response” to Pope John Paul II’s “call for a ‘new feminism’ with the power to transform culture, imbuing it with a decisive respect for life.”

Faced to the many ways in which life is compromised, especially in “its most vulnerable stages,” he said, there must be a “positive and proactive response.”

He continued: “The recognition and appreciation of God’s plan for women in the transmission of life and”
“The nurturing of children is a constructive step in this direction,” he added.

“Beyond this, and given the distinctive influence of women in society, they must be encouraged to embrace the opportunity to uphold the dignity of life through their involvement in education and their participation in political and civic life.”

The Holy Father asserted that “because they have been gifted by the Creator with a unique ‘capacity for the other,’ women have a crucial part to play in the promotion of human rights, for without their voice the social fabric of society would be weakened.” 

Ladies – we really need to check out what the Church is teaching here.  The Holy Father is telling you that you have the power to transform culture by your decisions in favor of the most vulnerable.  This means cultivating love instead of selfishness.  Avoid wasting time on fantasy!  There is a real world in need of your loving presence.  Spend your time wisely, forming yourself in virtue.  If young women (and older ones, too) are, en masse, wasting their time fantasizing about fictitious vampires and warewolves – their voices are lost.  The social fabric of society will be weakened.  Stay alert and be sober.  You are crucial to ensuring a “positive and proactive” response to the threats to human life so starkly facing us today.