At least, according to Mark Shea!
I enjoyed his article, and I have to admit, I'm relieved to find a "Big-Name-Catholic," whose position on Theology of the Body is pretty close to mine.
I'm completely indifferent. I would like to read Love and Responsibility some day. But, it's pretty dense, and I'm not very good with phenomenology, so I need to do some groundwork first. I find Christopher West incredibly annoying, and so his personality tends to overshadow any good I might get from his writings. But in the mean time, do I really need TOB?
From the bits I have read, it doesn't really seem to be anything new-- just what the Church has always taught, but presented differently. I love the 1950's marriage manuals by Fr. Leo Kinsella that EWTN has in their library. Three to Get Married by Fulton Sheen is one of my favorite books on Marriage and the Trinity.
So do I really need Theology of the Body? Should I have to endure listening to and wincing at Christopher West when I'm really more interested in Church History at the moment?
I'm going with "no." I'm married. I have small children. Everywhere. All the time. My husband and I like each other. We like our vocation. We don't really need someone to persuade us that this is what God is calling us to - we're here already.
I think a lot of the biggest TOB fans are genuinely happy that West's writing changed their view of marriage and sexuality. I'd argue, however, that if it was really a huge change for them, they probably didn't understand the teachings before they met West. TOB is not a revolution in Catholic thought. It's the same tune the church has always sung -- it's just a slightly different setting.
Anyway, for the time being, I'll remain firmly in the 'indifferent to TOB' camp - there are other things I'd rather study. But the next time people accuse me of being a bad Catholic because I don't care, I'll point them to Shea's piece.