Karol Wojtyla's book, Love and Responsibility, is a comprehensive and insightful examination of Catholic tradition in the area of family life and sexual morality. Drawing upon his own experience as a priest and bishop, Wojtyla sheds light on the complexities of interpersonal relationships, which can too often be oversimplified by society. He asks us to consider how our understanding of the human person affects our view of marriage and sexual relations.
Wojtyla argues that scientific inquiry can provide useful data about interpersonal relations between people, but a full understanding requires study of the human person as an integrated whole – mind, body, spirit, heart – all working together in harmony. He contrasts this with the utilitarian view which sees one’s partner as an object for use rather than a person to be respected and cherished.
In line with traditional teachings from Church authority, Wojtyla makes it clear that divorce, artificial methods of birth control (such as contraceptive pills), adultery (pre-marital sex), and sexual perversions such as homosexuality are incompatible with this personalistic view. He points out that these behaviors ignore the needs and intrinsic dignity of individuals involved in interpersonal relationships.
Love and Responsibility offers readers an opportunity to look at family life and sexuality through a different lens, based on respect and responsibility for oneself as well as for those around them in intimate relationships. It encourages us to think deeply about our behavior towards those we love – not just from a place of culture or religion – but from a moral obligation rooted in our humanity. This book provides readers with thoughtful analysis regarding many pressing topics related to gender identity and roles within marriage today.