First, let's take a quick look at how Christopher West is arguing against his critics in his newest book.
West is referring to a post by Father Angelo Mary Geiger on Dawn Eden's blog.
To begin with, note how West throws around John Paul II. My friends, Blessed John Paul's lectures that are popularly called the "theology of the body" are about love, not sex. For West to imply that Fr. Geiger is a prude or a dirty old man because he's not as sexually redeemed as John Paul II calls us to be is simply nutty.
But beyond that, the problem here is what West is implying and what happens if you follow his implications.
We see here West using language that implies much more than it expresses. It is hard to know which side of his mouth West is talking out of. Thus, I think we should respond to either of the two arguments regarding concupisence that seem to be couched in West's response to Fr. Geiger.
If West is saying that a married man, when he makes love to his wife, should try to cooperate with God's grace, asking God to turn his tendency towards lust into something holy, something expressive of charity and analagous to the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, I concur heartily - provided the other tenets of Catholic teaching hold, that the marital act should be expressive of love and open to the possibility of procreation.
On the other hand, if West is saying that a man should seek or expect God to obliterate his concupiscence when it comes to looking at naked women, even breastfeeding women, West is fooling himself and us. Now, in the case of breastfeeding women, one could say, "Well, get over it, bud. My baby's hungry." And in such a case, or in such a culture where breastfeeding is open, indeed a man should either avert his eyes or pray for the grace to overcome his concupiscence in this situation.
But look at the sly trick used at the end of the above quotations. Fr. Geiger is saying, "My libido is fallen and therefore I will avoid occasions where my libidio may lead me to sin and lead me to objectify women." West charges Fr. Geiger with doing exactly the opposite. He's saying that if Fr. Geiger averts his eyes so as not to lust, the priest is by that very act justifying "his lustful libido to the detriment of the object of that libido."
Huh?!? "I won't look at this naked woman because my heart may grow to lust after her, and I respect and love her too much to objectify her in such a way" becomes "I won't look at this naked woman so that I can objectify her with my lust."
Beware, my friends. Beware.
This is all touchy-feely 1970's nonsense that seeks to "normalize and even justify" "lustful libido" - precisely the things West accuses his critics - in this case, an ordained priest - of doing. I had my fill of it in the 70's. It begins with mutual back-rubs in acting class, with accusations that you're a prude if you're not comfortable with nudity, with the implication, eventually made explicit, that through promiscuous and even perverse sex we "grow" as "persons".
Now, I challenge my readers to examine the quoted passage above and fail to see how West is utterly inverting not only the case made by an ordained priest but also inverting the 2,000 year moral authority of the Church.