His authoritative voice is familiar to listeners of Catholic radio: Patrick Coffin, host of EWTN’s “Catholic Answers Live,” will speak Jan. 25 at the annual fundraiser for the John Paul II Resource Center for Theology of the Body and Culture.
Coffin, author of “Sex Au Naturel: What It Is and Why It’s Good for Your Marriage” and “Getting Started in Apologetics,” wasn’t always onboard with the Church’s teaching on sexuality. Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae, the Church document that explains why artificial contraception is immoral, proved a stumbling block in his journey growing up in Canada.
What: 6th annual fundraiser to support John Paul II Resource Center
When: 7 p.m., Jan. 25
Where: Xavier College Preparatory, 4710 N. 5th St., Phoenix
Since his conversion of heart on the topic during the late 1980s, Coffin has spoken to thousands about the wisdom of the Church’s teaching on human sexuality.
“That idea that you can dissent and still be a faithful Catholic is a very strong sub-theme in my catechetical formation,” Coffin said. “It just leads to all kinds of darkness and confusion because it doesn’t adhere to what the rest of the Church teaches about premarital sex and homosexual behavior.
“What I came to discover is that the norms of Humanae Vitae are the garment hook for the rest of the Catholic sexual ethics. So if you take that garment hook out of the wall, everything falls down,” Coffin said. “Heterosexual couples who contracept have removed the logic of opposing same-sex behavior because they have sterilized their own sexual act which otherwise would be fertile.”
Coffin’s presentation on Jan. 25, titled “Recipe for Restoration,” will primarily deal with “the Church and sex for skeptics. It’s an explanation of why love and life belong together,” Coffin said. “The restoration part is partly due to one of John Paul II’s talks during 1979-1984 that are collectively known as Theology of the Body.”
Amy Corrieri, interim coordinator for the Diocese of Phoenix’s John Paul II Resource Center, is hoping to fill the theater for Coffin’s talk. The annual event is the only fundraiser for the resource center.
“Because of the donor support we have received over the last seven years, Theology of the Body is now a crucial part of marriage preparation classes, the Catholic Academy for Life Leadership teen formation, mother-daughter retreats, and Spanish-language programs and curricula throughout the Diocese,” Corrieri said. “We are at a beautiful time in our Catholic faith when we are being called to articulate clearly to the world what it means to be human, how to flourish in loving relationships with one another, and how the giving of oneself is the path to our greatest joy and fulfillment.”
The evening will conclude with a catered dessert and coffee reception and book signing.