In his letter The Gospel of Life , St. John Paul II’s “summa” of the Church’s prolife teaching, he took us to the root of the problem when he insisted that it “is an illusion to think we can build a true culture of human life if we do not … accept and experience sexuality and love and the whole of life according to their true meaning and their close inter-connection” (Gospel of Life 97).
In other words, it’s an illusion to think we will ever overcome the horror of abortion if we aren’t going to the root of the problem, and the root of the problem is that we simply have not “accepted and experienced” the true meaning of sexuality and love and how inter-connected they are with the whole of life.
At its root the abortion debate is not a debate about when life begins or the “rights” of women. At its root the abortion debate is a debate about the purpose and meaning of sex. The reason millions upon millions of children have had their lives ended in the womb is because we don’t understand the beauty and splendor of God’s plan for sex.
And I’m not just saying that the secular world “out there” doesn’t get it. The problem is right here in our own churches, in our own homes, in our own families, in our own lives. Polls of my audiences over nearly 20 years have shown only 1-2 percent of us have been raised with open, honest, normal, healthy conversation about God’s glorious, stupendous plan for sex. And when the hunger of our erotic desires is not fed from God’s banquet, we fill the void with junk food.
It’s time for a detox. It’s time for a new way of seeing, thinking and talking about sexuality. It’s time for healing and sexual redemption. This is why St. John Paul II gave us his Theology of the Body.