I had a tough time visualising JPII as the major player in this role, even though he truly believed this was a good metaphor for the relationship of the Church with Jesus. Notice I haven't mentioned cappa magna.
Latley there has been lots of discussion of JPII's Theology of the Body. Enough that I went back and tried to muddle my way through the original Wednesday talks this signature writing of JPII is taken from. I have to admit I just couldn't get through it. I don't know if it's a function of translation or what, but JPII seems to have engaged in an unbelievable amount of convoluted and dense thinking. In the end I couldn't help think most of it was covering the fact he was essentially making the same points over and over again.
What struck me most forcefully about this exercise is that JPII seemed to expend a lot of verbiage justifying traditional marriage as a legitimate metaphor for the Church as the bride of Christ. Quite frankly I have never ever bought that metaphor. Maybe it's because I'm a mother and a woman and don't see how males quite fit the bridal/mother image, and since clerical males are the most important representatives of the Church, they carry the burden of this representation. That's quite a yoke. Actually I was tempted to write another word that rhymes with yoke.
But, if we give credence to this image of the bridal role of the Church, then I guess it could be a fair assumption to take the image even further and state that the polarization evident with in the Church is equivalent to divorce. An ugly divorce in which abuse and exploitation plays a critical role and the children of this divorce have to decide which parent they will support or whether they will break off from both parents.
Trouble with this divorce is the so called 'brides' are the only party being heard from and they are dictating to the children what daddy wants of them. It seems the Catholic family can only stay in tact if the 'brides' get their way. This is quite the role reversal--not traditional at all. I suppose this is why I get so confused with all the babble about orientation and gender roles. Is the pope a father or the most important representation of the bride?
The bottom line for me with the Theology of the Body is whether an opus based on the second creation story in Genesis is even credible, since Genesis itself is not credible as a literal creation description. Seems to me that JPII read back into it a great deal of subsequent abstract theology which incidentally ignored a great deal of historical development which didn't fit his noble concept's of complementarity--things like women being considered a class of property for most of the last two millenia. And as to his understanding of female sexual response, well, let's just say women are equipped to enjoy sex in ways that don't involve male reproductive deposits. A fact JPII seemed to ignore for one reason or another.
It seems I will be able to keep posting sporadically, but it will be sporadic for the next couple of weeks. I will make a serious effort to do so if only because the comment section gets way too long. Speaking of which, there are some serious issues being debated and I hope that continues. It's such a pleasure to read debate over issues and understandings without the salient features of the kind of debates that happen on other sites.