Book Review: What the Church Teaches About Sex

I recently started reading What the Church Teaches About Sex: God’s Plan for Human Happiness, by Robert L. Fastiggi.  I was interested in the book because I am a new Catholic and just about to get married (in 7 days, in fact!).  Also, from my perspective, the Church’s teachings have been much maligned and are fairly complicated, so I figured this book would clear some things up.

The foreward is by Dr. Janet E. Smith, who has a really good CD called “Contraception: Why Not?” that I got from my NFP class.  She does a nice job of outlining the book and explaining who the author is and where he is coming from.

The book itself is very informative. The author has a lot of background research to support his writing, from the Catechism, papal writings, etc.  It is fairly dry- I will admit that I had trouble getting through it and could only read a few pages a day.  It’s pretty dense reading and almost feels like a textbook. However, I did find it more understandable than say, Christopher West’s Theology of the Body, which I have tried to get through but is still very confusing to me.

The author includes a lot of great quotes from other sources such as this one from Pope Paul VI, that married love establishes a trust between partners that

“enables them ‘to grow, so that husband and wife become in a way one heart and one soul…'”

Also, he does a good job of explaining that pesky term, concupiscense, which I heard in RCIA, Pre-Cana classes, and in Theology of the Body, but didn’t quite get until I read this book.

Overall, this is a good book, and it gives you the information that you would expect, but I don’t think it’s an easy read.

This review was written as part of the Catholic Book Reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on What the Church Teaches About Sex.

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