sábado, 24 de abril de 2010

An Open Letter to Hans Küng - by George Weigel

In: On the Square

21. 04. 2010

Ler tradução portuguesa aqui

Dr. Küng:

A decade and a half ago, a former colleague of yours among the younger progressive theologians at Vatican II told me of a friendly warning he had given you at the beginning of the Council’s second session. As this distinguished biblical scholar and proponent of Christian-Jewish reconciliation remembered those heady days, you had taken to driving around Rome in a fire-engine red Mercedes convertible, which your friend presumed had been one fruit of the commercial success of your book, The Council: Reform and Reunion.

This automotive display struck your colleague as imprudent and unnecessarily self-advertising, given that some of your more adventurous opinions, and your talent for what would later be called the sound-bite, were already raising eyebrows and hackles in the Roman Curia. So, as the story was told me, your friend called you aside one day and said, using a French term you both understood, “Hans, you are becoming too evident.”

As the man who single-handedly invented a new global personality-type—the dissident theologian as international media star—you were not, I take it, overly distressed by your friend’s warning. In 1963, you were already determined to cut a singular path for yourself, and you were media-savvy enough to know that a world press obsessed with the man-bites-dog story of the dissenting priest-theologian would give you a megaphone for your views. You were, I take it, unhappy with the late John Paul II for trying to dismantle that story-line by removing your ecclesiastical mandate to teach as a professor of Catholic theology; your subsequent, snarling put-down of Karol Wojtyla’s alleged intellectual inferiority in one volume of your memoirs ranked, until recently, as the low-point of a polemical career in which you have become most evident as a man who can concede little intelligence, decency, or good will in his opponents.

I say “until recently,” however, because your April 16 open letter to the world’s bishops, which I first read in the Irish Times, set new standards for that distinctive form of hatred known as odium theologicum and for mean-spirited condemnation of an old friend who had, on his rise to the papacy, been generous to you while encouraging aspects of your current work.

Before we get to your assault on the integrity of Pope Benedict XVI, however, permit me to observe that your article makes it painfully clear that you have not been paying much attention to the matters on which you pronounce with an air of infallible self-assurance that would bring a blush to the cheek of Pius IX.

You seem blithely indifferent to the doctrinal chaos besetting much of European and North American Protestantism, which has created circumstances in which theologically serious ecumenical dialogue has become gravely imperiled.

You take the most rabid of the Pius XII-baiters at face value, evidently unaware that the weight of recent scholarship is shifting the debate in favor of Pius' courage in defense of European Jewry (whatever one may think of his exercise of prudence).

You misrepresent the effects of Benedict XVI’s 2006 Regensburg Lecture, which you dismiss as having “caricatured” Islam. In fact, the Regensburg Lecture refocused the Catholic-Islamic dialogue on the two issues that complex conversation urgently needs to engage—religious freedom as a fundamental human right that can be known by reason, and the separation of religious and political authority in the twenty-first century state.

You display no comprehension of what actually prevents HIV/AIDS in Africa, and you cling to the tattered myth of “overpopulation” at a moment when fertility rates are dropping around the globe and Europe is entering a demographic winter of its own conscious creation.

You seem oblivious to the scientific evidence underwriting the Church’s defense of the moral status of the human embryo, while falsely charging that the Catholic Church opposes stem-cell research.

Why do you not know these things? You are an obviously intelligent man; you once did groundbreaking work in ecumenical theology. What has happened to you?

What has happened, I suggest, is that you have lost the argument over the meaning and the proper hermeneutics of Vatican II. That explains why you relentlessly pursue your fifty-year quest for a liberal Protestant Catholicism, at precisely the moment when the liberal Protestant project is collapsing from its inherent theological incoherence. And that is why you have now engaged in a vicious smear of another former Vatican II colleague, Joseph Ratzinger. Before addressing that smear, permit me to continue briefly on the hermeneutics of the Council.

While you are not the most theologically accomplished exponent of what Benedict XVI called the “hermeneutics of rupture” in his Christmas 2005 address to the Roman Curia, you are, without doubt, the most internationally visible member of that aging group which continues to argue that the period 1962–1965 marked a decisive trapgate in the history of the Catholic Church: the moment of a new beginning, in which Tradition would be dethroned from its accustomed place as a primary source of theological reflection, to be replaced by a Christianity that increasingly let “the world” set the Church’s agenda (as a motto of the World Council of Churches then put it).

The struggle between this interpretation of the Council, and that advanced by Council fathers like Ratzinger and Henri de Lubac, split the post-conciliar Catholic theological world into warring factions with contending journals: Concilium for you and your progressive colleagues, Communio for those you continue to call “reactionaries.” That the Concilium project became ever more implausible over time—and that a younger generation of theologians, especially in North America, gravitated toward the Communio orbit—could not have been a happy experience for you. And that the Communio project should have decisively shaped the deliberations of the 1985 Extraordinary Synod of Bishops, called by John Paul II to celebrate Vatican II’s achievements and assess its full implementation on the twentieth anniversary of its conclusion, must have been another blow.

Yet I venture to guess that the iron really entered your soul when, on December 22, 2005, the newly elected Pope Benedict XVI—the man whose appointment to the theological faculty at Tübingen you had once helped arrange—addressed the Roman Curia and suggested that the argument was over: and that the conciliar “hermeneutics of reform,” which presumed continuity with the Great Tradition of the Church, had won the day over “the hermeneutics of discontinuity and rupture.”

Perhaps, while you and Benedict XVI were drinking beer at Castel Gandolfo in the summer of 2005, you somehow imagined that Ratzinger had changed his mind on this central question. He obviously had not. Why you ever imagined he might accept your view of what an “ongoing renewal of the Church” would involve is, frankly, puzzling. Nor does your analysis of the contemporary Catholic situation become any more plausible when one reads, further along in your latest op-ed broadside, that recent popes have been “autocrats” against the bishops; again, one wonders whether you have been paying sufficient attention. For it seems self-evidently clear that Paul VI, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI have been painfully reluctant—some would say, unfortunately reluctant—to discipline bishops who have shown themselves incompetent or malfeasant and have lost the capacity to teach and lead because of that: a situation many of us hope will change, and change soon, in light of recent controversies.

In a sense, of course, none of your familiar complaints about post-conciliar Catholic life is new. It does, however, seem ever more counterintuitive for someone who truly cares about the future of the Catholic Church as a witness to God’s truth for the world’s salvation to press the line you persistently urge upon us: that a credible Catholicism will tread the same path trod in recent decades by various Protestant communities which, wittingly or not, have followed one or another version of your counsel to a adopt a hermeneutics of rupture with the Great Tradition of Christianity. Still, that is the single-minded stance you have taken since one of your colleagues worried about your becoming too evident; and as that stance has kept you evident, at least on the op-ed pages of newspapers who share your reading of Catholic tradition, I expect it’s too much to expect you to change, or even modify, your views, even if every bit of empirical evidence at hand suggests that the path you propose is the path to oblivion for the churches.

What can be expected, though, is that you comport yourself with a minimum of integrity and elementary decency in the controversies in which you engage. I understand odium theologicum as well as anyone, but I must, in all candor, tell you that you crossed a line that should not have been crossed in your recent article, when you wrote the following:

There is no denying the fact that the worldwide system of covering up sexual crimes committed by clerics was engineered by the Roman Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Cardinal Ratzinger (1981-2005).

That, sir, is not true. I refuse to believe that you knew this to be false and wrote it anyway, for that would mean you had willfully condemned yourself as a liar. But on the assumption that you did not know this sentence to be a tissue of falsehoods, then you are so manifestly ignorant of how competencies over abuse cases were assigned in the Roman Curia prior to Ratzinger’s seizing control of the process and bringing it under CDF’s competence in 2001, then you have forfeited any claim to be taken seriously on this, or indeed any other matter involving the Roman Curia and the central governance of the Catholic Church.

As you perhaps do not know, I have been a vigorous, and I hope responsible, critic of the way abuse cases were (mis)handled by individual bishops and by the authorities in the Curia prior to the late 1990s, when then-Cardinal Ratzinger began to fight for a major change in the handling of these cases. (If you are interested, I refer you to my 2002 book, The Courage To Be Catholic: Crisis, Reform, and the Future of the Church.)

I therefore speak with some assurance of the ground on which I stand when I say that your description of Ratzinger’s role as quoted above is not only ludicrous to anyone familiar with the relevant history, but is belied by the experience of American bishops who consistently found Ratzinger thoughtful, helpful, deeply concerned about the corruption of the priesthood by a small minority of abusers, and distressed by the incompetence or malfeasance of bishops who took the promises of psychotherapy far more seriously than they ought, or lacked the moral courage to confront what had to be confronted.

I recognize that authors do not write the sometimes awful subheads that are put on op-ed pieces. Nonetheless, you authored a piece of vitriol—itself utterly unbecoming a priest, an intellectual, or a gentleman—that permitted the editors of the Irish Times to slug your article: “Pope Benedict has made worse just about everything that is wrong with the Catholic Church and is directly responsible for engineering the global cover-up of child rape perpetrated by priests, according to this open letter to all Catholic bishops.” That grotesque falsification of the truth perhaps demonstrates where odium theologicum can lead a man. But it is nonetheless shameful.

Permit me to suggest that you owe Pope Benedict XVI a public apology, for what, objectively speaking, is a calumny that I pray was informed in part by ignorance (if culpable ignorance). I assure you that I am committed to a thoroughgoing reform of the Roman Curia and the episcopate, projects I described at some length in God’s Choice: Pope Benedict XVI and the Future of the Catholic Church, a copy of which, in German, I shall be happy to send you. But there is no path to true reform in the Church that does not run through the steep and narrow valley of the truth. The truth was butchered in your article in the Irish Times. And that means that you have set back the cause of reform.

With the assurance of my prayers,

George Weigel

George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of Washington’s Ethics and Public Policy Center, where he holds the William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies.

sexta-feira, 23 de abril de 2010

Joven mexicana: Nunca pensé en aborto tras violación a los 13 años

MÉXICO D.F., 23 Abr. 10 / 06:15 am (ACI)

Lianna Rebolledo es una mujer mexicana de 33 años de edad. En una reciente entrevista televisiva relató que tras haber sido víctima de una violación a los 13 años, nunca pensó el aborto para su hija, que ahora tiene 20 años. La muchacha le agradece haberla conservado pese a las presiones de su entorno para acabar con su vida.

Rebolledo, en entrevista concedida a Telestai, canal 159 de Cablevisión, contó lo difícil que fue haber pasado por el trauma de la violación. "Yo tuve mi niña a los 13 años producto de una violación. Me salvó la vida mi hija, haberla tenido en circunstancias tan difíciles. En mi caso nunca fue una opción el aborto, nunca fue considerado. Fue una situación difícil pero ella fue lo que me motivó a seguir viviendo", contó.

Lianna Rebolledo explicó luego que superar la violación fue "un proceso muy difícil porque nunca te imaginas. Siempre piensas que le puede pasar a cualquier persona pero que no te puede pasar a ti. Cuando tú lo vives sientes que es el peor momento de tu vida. Fue bastante agresivo, la situación fue muy violenta. Y no entendía, a esa edad tú no entiendes por qué estás viviendo una situación así".

Luego de contar que intentó suicidarse por haber sido víctima de una violación, y no por el embarazo, Lianna contó que "el médico me dijo no te preocupes, no se te va a lograr, tu matriz está muy infantil, estás muy débil, has bajado mucho de peso, va a ser un embarazo de alto riesgo, corre tu vida peligro así que voy a conversar con tu mamá. Las enfermeras me decían puede ser un embarazo ectópico, no te preocupes, no entendía por qué me decían no te preocupes".

Rebolledo relató entonces que fue fundamental para ella escuchar los latidos del corazón de su pequeña: "cuando yo escuché la palabra corazón pensé tengo algo conmigo, que es mío, me pertenece y no voy a estar sola".

"Había algo que me decía: ‘ya tengo por quien vivir’".

En estas circunstancias, dijo, muchas personas le sugerían el aborto y le aseguraban que la bebé le iba a recordar el trauma de la violación "toda la vida, siempre le vas a tener resentimiento. Nunca. Inclusive pese a que fue muy difícil porque fue embarazo de alto riesgo. No me podía parar porque lo podía perder".

"Esto es mío, yo lo tengo que cuidar", aseguró Lianna.

La mujer afirmó luego que a veces le "dicen tú le diste la vida a un ser tan especial. Yo les digo, ella me la dio a mí porque después de lo que yo viví hubiese terminado con el daño psicológico hubiese terminado no sé donde pero no estaría dando hoy dando a conocer que fue la vida de mi hija para mí".

"Vengo de un hogar disfuncional donde hubo mucha violencia doméstica. No hubo bases ni se inculcaron esos valores ni una cuestión religiosa", relató y explicó que lo que le daba fuerzas cuando estuvo embarazada fue "el hecho de saber que tenía que luchar por esa vida y tenia que protegerla y cuidarla para que no le pasara lo que me había pasado y que yo no quería que viviera el abandono emocional que sufrí".

Ahora con 20 años, su hija, dijo "va a llegar a ser algo grande, sé que su vida tiene un propósito".

Cuando estuvo embarazada, señaló Rebolledo, "mucha gente se burló de mí, muchos me decían ya nadie te va a querer, ya te echaron la vida a perder".

No se amilanó ante las dificultades y destacó que su hija: "es lo más gratificante que he tenido".

Tras indicar que su joven hija sabe toda la historia, Lianna resaltó "no me arrepiento de nada. Ella es la única que me consuela. La que está conmigo. La que ha estado conmigo en los momentos más difíciles".

"Hoy me pongo a pensar ¿cómo es posible que piensen que estos seres (los no nacidos) no tienen derecho a vivir? Cuando te traen tantas alegrías, llenan de vida, cuando en los momentos difíciles están ahí contigo".

Al hablar nuevamente sobre el aborto, Rebolledo dijo que "no creo que sea una opción. Si no lo quieren, pueden darlo en adopción. El embarazo no es el problema. El problema es ¿qué está pasando para que niñas tan pequeñitas queden embarazadas a temprana edad?", cuestionó.

Al ser preguntada sobre su "secreto" para salir adelante, Liana Rebolledo comentó que eso es darse cuenta de que "no importa las circunstancias en que se dé, y que todo tiene un motivo, una razón en la vida. Amor, mucho amor a la vida".

Refiriéndose luego a su activismo pro-vida voluntario, la mujer indicó que va "a las clínicas abortivas los sábados y tratas de platicar con ellas haciéndoles saber que hay solución, que hay esperanzas, que sí se puede. En todo el tiempo que he ido sólo vi un caso de violación".

A las muchachas que se encuentran en su situación, Liana las exhortó a creer "mucho en su capacidad. Sí se puede, tú puede salir adelante. Ten fe y esperanza para poder lograrlo. Visualiza tu meta. Cuando tienes estos seres a tu lado, puede hacerlo, ellos te apoyan. Al final del día te das cuenta que todo valió la pena".

Para concluir la entrevista y refiriéndose a su hija, Rebolledo aseguró: "si tuviera que volver a vivir lo mismo, lo haría con tal de conocerla a ella".

Para ver la entrevista ingrese a: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UQMoDQEByM y a http://www.youtube.com/user/manosalavida#p/a/u/0/h1AvFuX0MpQ

quinta-feira, 22 de abril de 2010

Uncovering a string of lies about the birth control Pill

By Janet E. Smith

This year we “celebrate” the 50th anniversary of the birth control pill, or “the pill.”

For the 40th anniversary of the pill, PBS produced a thorough retrospective on its history. The material is still on the PBS website and is an invaluable resource for those interested in this subject.

The story PBS tells is fascinating and, without meaning to denigrate PBS, the broadcaster tells the history of the pill in a surprisingly honest way — surprising not only because of PBS’ usual biases, but also because the pill is a subject that involves a great deal of dishonesty. PBS is even honest about the dishonesty and even simple foolishness that surrounds the pill. For instance, when it reports on early efforts to get the pharmaceutical companies — including Searle, which eventually became the first company to receive FDA approval to sell birth control pill — to develop a chemical contraceptive, PBS notes:

“Beyond the legal and religious complications, Searle executives just didn’t believe there would be a huge market for an oral contraceptive. The men at Searle found it inconceivable that any woman would consider taking pills every single day just for contraception. The prevailing wisdom was that no healthy woman would ever willingly take a drug that neither treated nor prevented disease.”

Deceptive drug trial

Sadly they were oh so wrong. Women have proven wretchedly willing to “take a drug that neither treated nor prevented disease” and, indeed, which has been plausibly identified as a cause of lethal diseases.

PBS also noted that some of the early research that was done circumvented laws against contraception by purporting to do research to help women with problems with infertility. Not only were some of the trials illegal, some of them involved giving women in psychiatric hospitals drugs without their knowledge or consent.

Deception was even written into the pill; since the pill creates a pseudo-pregnancy, women on the pill would not be menstruating. Researchers, however, devised the pill so that women would experience pseudo menstruation each month. This was done so that the pill might seem more “natural” and thus perhaps make it more acceptable to the Catholic Church.

Researchers chose Puerto Rico as a place to test the pill because they reasoned if they could get a poor Catholic country to accept contraception, it would be an easy sell elsewhere.

The fact that three women died during the course of the trials did not provoke researchers to examine the risks of taking the pill.

In fact, contraceptives are regularly tested or used without proper testing in Third World countries. Another kind of pill, Quinacrine, has the same sordid history. Quinacrine, a drug available in pellet form, was used for some time in Third World countries to sterilize women. It works by burning surfaces of the fallopian tube and uterus, thereby closing off the fallopian tubes. Huge problems arose with the practice, however. For instance, many of the lesions created by the burning became infected. Many women died of sepsis from infected wounds before the World Health Organization made sterilizers cease the practice.

Health dangers

The disturbing amount of duplicity and falsehood surrounding contraception continues to this day. Neither pharmaceutical companies nor physicians have been honest about the medical dangers of chemical contraceptives. The pill launched a whole set of chemical contraceptives, including Depo Provera, Ortho Evra, also known as the Patch, and Norplant. More and more studies (see the April 2009 study by Jessica Dolle of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center) are linking contraception with increased incidences of some forms of cancer.

The transcript of the PBS documentary indicates physicians recognized this possible connection from the beginning, but, from the start, this information has been suppressed. Why? Because pharmaceuticals make billions each year from chemical contraceptives: An honest account of the dangers would result in huge financial losses. Moreover, most of the research done on the pill is financed by pharmaceuticals. That just might call into question the reliability of the studies.

Occasionally, a study will appear that purports to show that the pill actually reduces the incidence of some forms of cancer. At best these studies show only a correlation between taking the pill and reduction of risk of disease. For instance, a study might take a group of women who take the pill and a group who don’t and compare the mortality rate between them. If the study shows that more takers of the pill lived longer, researchers jump to the conclusion that taking the pill is what prolonged the contraceptors’ lives.

That is a unwarranted leap of logic; there may be many other significant differences between the two groups that could account for the difference in mortality. What the studies definitely have not done is shown why the pill might prolong life. I suspect that will be impossible to do. More reliable logic is on the side of those who suspect a link between contraception and disease, since the chemical contraceptives involve prolonged ingestion of steroids. Many of those taking the pill are young women whose breasts are not fully developed; their breasts are particularly susceptible to predatory cell growth.

Informed risk?

Cancer is not the only lethal side effect of the pill and other chemical contraceptives. The Patch, which was approved by the FDA in 2001 and went on sale the following year, has proved to have many lethal side effects. Johnson and Johnson has paid out millions of damages to women and to the families of women who have experienced sometimes fatal heart attacks and strokes. The fact that the usage of the patch has dropped by nearly two-thirds indicates that at least some doctors have been informed of the risks.

Any other drug that has been linked with as many deaths and risks of lethal diseases would likely have been taken off the market. Some have observed the pharmaceutical companies may be as liable to class action suits as were the tobacco companies.

Certainly too few people know that the chemical contraceptives can have an abortifacient effect — that is, they work by causing the endometrium to be insufficiently friendly to an embryonic human being. Women who use chemical contraceptives may nonetheless conceive. If a woman forgets to take the pill or takes the pill at a different time of the day than usual, or is taking other medication that might interfere with the working of the pill, she may ovulate and conceive a child. As the new little human being tries to implant in his or her mother’s uterus, he or she may find the atmosphere of the womb inhospitable. Women who use the pill may regularly be spontaneously aborting a very small baby.

No woman knows how the pill or any of the chemical contraceptives is working in her body: Are they preventing ovulation, conception or implantation? Brian Gail’s terrific novel, “Fatherless” (One More Soul, $14.95), provides a gripping narrative, all too likely close to fact, of the suppression by pharmaceuticals of the truth of the abortifacient power of the pill.

Present vs. future

That the Father of Lies should be using lies and subterfuge to promote contraception should not be surprising. As Pope John Paul II noted in his 1981 apostolic exhortation Familiaris Consortio (on the role of the Christian family), contraceptive sex is itself a lie. It falsifies the relationship of spouses. When spouses are engaging in sexual intercourse, their acts, by their very nature, are ordained to expressing a lifetime commitment to each other, to expressing love, the desire to share their entire lives with each other, their desire to give of themselves to each other in a way in which they give themselves to no other.

Contracepted acts simply cannot express such meanings. Contracepted acts of sexual intercourse are inher-ently ephemeral; they have no ordination to the future. They express simply the desire of the partners to share a great pleasure.

Noncontracepted acts of sexual intercourse retain the meaning of a profound orientation toward the future — that is, the language of the body, the meaning of a noncontracepted act of sexual intercourse, says, “I acknowledge and accept the beauty of the procreative meaning of this act. If you and I were to become parents with each other, the commitment entailed in parenthood is one I welcome with you; I want a lifetime exclusive relationship with you.”

Lies lead to more lies. Certainly contraception is damaging to the marital relationship since it belies the nature of the gift. It is also falsifies male/female relationships prior to marriage.

Misplaced attraction

First, consider the physical effect of the chemical contraceptives on male/female relationships. More and more studies show that the use of contraceptives muddles the “chemical” attraction between males and females. Since chemical contraceptives put women in a state of “pseudo-pregnancy,” women using the chemical contraceptives have a bizarre chemical makeup — they do not have the hormonal makeup of women with natural fertility nor the hormonal makeup of truly pregnant women.

Studies show that women taking the pill are attracted to less masculine men, and when they go off the pill they often find they are not as attracted to the man they chose when they were on the pill. Men are more attracted to women who have natural fertility cycles. One study showed that they find average-looking women who are fertile more attractive than supermodels. So, chemical contraceptives falsify the attraction between men and women.

The effectiveness rate of contraceptives is misrepresented. Fifty percent of the pregnancies in the United States are unintended, and 50 percent of women who have those unwanted pregnancies were using a contraceptive when they got pregnant. More than 50 percent of women having abortions say they were using a contraceptive when they got pregnant. Within the first year that they use contraception, 17 percent of unmarried, cohabiting women will experience contraceptive failure.

The lying that goes on in any sexual relationship not bound up with marriage is also destructive, both of the relationships and of the souls of those participating in such relationships. Dawn Eden, in her book “The Thrill of the Chaste,” vividly portrays the amount of deception it takes to be promiscuous — to pretend you are more interested in your potential prey than you actually are and after intimate relations to maintain a conversation with someone you barely know. Most everyone who is cohabiting is lying to someone — to a grandmother or co-worker, for instance. It is not beneficial for the future of relationships that individuals discover themselves and their partners to be effective liars.

Connecting the dots

The human and social devastation wrought by the pill and companions cannot be overstated. It is not difficult to connect the dots between contraception, fornication, promiscuity, cohabitation and divorce. The amount of sex outside of marriage and the incidence of cohabitation has increased wildly since the pill was invented. So, too, have unwed pregnancy, abortion, divorce, poverty and unhappiness. Books like Lionel Tiger’s “The Decline of Males” and Jennifer Roback Morse’s “Smart Sex” provide statistical data to demonstrate what logic and common sense should easily be able to link. In his article “Bitter pill” (in the May issue of First Things), economist Tim Reichert uses the methodology of economics to show the use of contraception has led to a measurable decline in the happiness of females. As a result of our sexually out-of-control culture, we have an abysmally unhappy and wounded populace. Certainly the men and women in and out of sexual relationships, carrying and sharing incurable sexually transmitted infections, suffering heartbreak and desolation, and enduring abortions are dreadfully wounded by their sexual behavior.

Yet it is arguably children who suffer the most; those who are aborted never see the light of day. Thirty-seven percent of babies are now born out of wedlock, and nearly 70 percent of American children will grow up in single-parent households or households fractured by divorce. Why is it so hard for the world to see, that out-of-control sexuality is the cause of more troubles in our culture than any thing else?

I keep hoping someone will do a study of the carbon footprint of contraceptives. Production costs are considerable, as is the cost for packaging and distributing and disposing of contraceptives. The estrogens, in particular in some forms of the pill, are having serious negative effects on the environment. Well-known are the reports of a serious disproportion between male and female fish when a water supply has too much estrogen in it. And what other effects might there be of excess estrogen in the environment? Some have conjectured that premature puberty in young girls and the increase in infertility among males may be traceable to excess estrogen in the water supply, or perhaps even in their mother’s systems as they were gestated.

For my part, I believe all those who use natural family planning should get a tax credit for environmentally responsible behavior.

Conflicts within Church

Sadly, even the response to the pill within the Church is marked by underhandedness and coercion. Someone on the commission set up to advise Pope Paul VI on the question of “birth regulation,” leaked confidential documents to the press to put pressure on him to support contraception. Such was a serious betrayal of trust.

Cardinal James F. Stafford tells of a clandestine meeting of the priests in Baltimore wherein the priests were browbeaten into signing a petition against Pope Paul’s 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae (“Of Human Life”), and only he refused. None of the signatories had read the document. That is simply dishonest.

There are, however, many good signs. The studies showing the various dangers of the pill are getting more respect. For instance, the fact that Dr. Louise Brinton of the National Cancer Institute now acknowledges a link between contraception and cancer is a step forward. Within the Church, we find evidence of a renewed zeal on the part of the bishops to defend the Church’s teaching on sexuality. For instance, the fact that the U.S. bishops wrote a letter on “Marriage and the Gift of Life” in 2006, and issued another beautiful statement on marriage in 2009, “Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan,” indicates they have recognized the need for marriage to be bolstered. Their “For Your Marriage” website is a gold mine of resources for the engaged and married and those who work with both groups.

Catholics still have work cut out for them. Nearly all Catholics have used contraceptives, and the vast majority still think the Church should cease teaching that contraception is intrinsically wrong. A wide majority of Catholics have sex before marriage, and they seem to have abortions and to divorce at pretty much the same rate as the rest of the population. The Church has a teaching that is beautiful and that will save women from much of the grief that is facilitated by the chemical contraceptives.

Rather than “celebrating” the 50th anniversary, our culture should take an honest look at what the pill (and its cousins) have done to our culture. It may come to see that the Church, rather than being retrograde and an obstacle to progress, is one of the few voices of sanity in a culture gone mad.

Claiming God's Power

When, through contraception, married couples remove from the exercise of their conjugal sexuality its potential procreative capacity, they claim a power which belongs solely to God: the power to decide in a final analysis the coming into existence of a human person. They assume the qualification of not being cooperators in God’s creative power, but the ultimate depositaries of the source of human life. In this perspective, contraception is to be judged objectively so profoundly unlawful, as never to be, for any reason, justified. To think or to say the contrary is equal to maintaining that in human life, situations may arise in which it is lawful not to recognize God as God.”

— Pope John Paul II, 1983

Love, Not Drugs

In a culture subjected to the prevalence of “having” over “being,” human life risks losing its value. If the practice of sexuality becomes a drug that seeks to enslave one’s partner to one’s own desires and interests, without respecting the cycle of the beloved, then what must be defended is no longer solely the true concept of love but in the first place the dignity of the person. As believers, we could never let the domination of technology invalidate the quality of love and the sacredness of life....

The teaching expressed by the encyclical Humanae Vitae is not easy. Yet it conforms with the fundamental structure through which life has always been transmitted since the world’s creation, with respect for nature and in conformity with its needs. Concern for human life and safeguarding the person’s dignity require us not to leave anything untried so that all may be involved in the genuine truth of responsible conjugal love in full adherence to the law engraved on the heart of every person.

Fordham Study Provides ‘Empirical Evidence’ for Sexual Orientation Change Efforts

NARTH Summary of a Newly Published Study

on Sexual Orientation Change Efforts

Summary Written by Benjamin Erwin, Ph.D.

Karten, E. Y., & Wade, J. C. (2010). Sexual orientation change efforts in men: A client perspective. The Journal of Men's Studies, 18, 84-102.

March 1st, 2010 - Dr. Elan Y. Karten and Dr. Jay C. Wade authored a study published in the Journal of Men's Studies investigating the social and psychological characteristics of men experiencing unwanted homosexual attractions seeking sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE). This study was based on Dr. Karten's doctoral dissertation at Fordham University, New York, under the direction of Dr. Jay Wade.

Karten and Wade make both timely and significant contributions to the body of evidence understanding SOCE. They investigated self-reported change, which factors were statistically associated with change, and which treatment interventions and techniques were perceived by clients to be most helpful. The authors specifically investigated whether male identity, sexual identity, high religiosity, psychological relatedness to other men, gender role conflict regarding affection between men, and marital status would be related to self-reported change in sexual and psychological functioning.

Karten & Wade found that overall clients experienced "a decrease in homosexual feelings and behavior, an increase in heterosexual feelings and behavior, and a positive change in psychological functioning." The researchers discovered that the most significant factors correlating to successful SOCE were reduced conflict in expressing nonsexual affection with other men, being married, and feeling disconnected with men prior to treatment.

This study provides significant empirical evidence to factors related to SOCE. Although several meta-analysis reviews have shown the efficacy of SOCE (e.g. Byrd & Nicolosi, 2002; Jones & Yarhouse, 2000), Karten and Wade provide insight into which factors play a significant role in the change process. Such factors, like reduced conflict in expressing nonsexual affection with men, provide valuable empirical evidence that homosexual thoughts and feelings are greatly influenced by social and psychological factors. Such factors include one's sense of gender identity and relatedness to other men. Daryl Bem's theory, that the "Exotic Becomes Erotic," is another way to summarize this social constructive viewpoint. This suggests that the absence/presence of healthy male relationships plays a critical role in the development/treatment of homosexuality.

For clinicians and clients currently involved with SOCE, this study highlights the importance of developing appropriate nonsexual male relationships. Participants perceived the most helpful interventions to be a men's weekend/retreat, a psychologist, and a mentoring relationship. Considering the above findings regarding the significance of male identity and nonsexual affectionate relationships with other men, it is notable that at least two of these interventions involve healthy relationship development with men. In addition, participants perceived the two most helpful techniques to be understanding better the causes of one's homosexuality and one's emotional needs and issues and developing nonsexual relationships with other men.

Karten and Wade also found that SOCE actually helped psychological functioning. This is in direct contradiction to the APA's executive summary from Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation that states "there was some evidence to indicate that individuals experienced harm from SOCE" (pg. 3). Any psychological intervention or technique has the risk to produce uncomfortable feelings and harm. Ethical guidelines dictate that informed consent statements disclose this fact to clients. However, it is a double standard to assume that SOCE produces any significantly different effects for clients than any other form of psychotherapy or counseling. Karten & Wade provide valuable evidence that SOCE is not contraindicated, but in fact helps psychological functioning.

This study reflects that mainstream literature is beginning to give voice to scientific research and empirical inquiry regarding SOCE. Although such research may not be considered politically correct, Karten and Wade should be praised for their courage to investigate such issues, and Fordham University should be lauded for sponsoring it. Karten and Wade have followed similar pioneers such as Dean Byrd who asserts "though such research into sexual reorientation may be viewed as politically incorrect, no longer can it be ignored. Sociopolitical concerns must not interfere with the scientist's freedom to research any reasonable hypothesis, or to explore the efficacy of any reasonable treatment."

While some would encourage practitioners to provide "affirmative" treatments but "not to aim to alter sexual orientation" (APA's executive summary, pg. 6), SOCE seeks to honor client self-determination. It is ironic that as society promotes self determination and autonomy, efforts to restrict the research and practice of SOCE actually discriminate against the self determination and autonomy of those with unwanted homosexual attractions. The Journal of Men's Studies should be commended for their integrity in publishing honest research regardless of popular political sentiment. Perhaps other journals and scholarly publications will follow suit.

quarta-feira, 21 de abril de 2010

Carta aberta ao Papa e aos seus perseguidores

Cristina Líbano Monteiro

(Assistente da Faculdade de Direito de Coimbra)

Sei quem és, Papa Bento.

E por isso te escrevo.

Sei que te atacam. Não por ti. Só gente desinformada acreditaria poder encontrar, com verdade, na tua pessoa, uma falta de coerência como a que propalam, qualquer conivência com um «crime hediondo» como tu próprio lhe chamas.

Atacam-te a ti porque os confunde a apaixonada busca da verdade e do bem que é a tua vida. Sempre foi assim. Há pessoas que se transformam em perseguidoras porque não aguentam aqueles que possuem um coração enorme e uma inteligência soberana, abertos a todos; e que não procuram o poder mesquinho, a glória efémera dos aplausos hipócritas, a fama conseguida em atropelo da honestidade. Atacam-te a ti — não a mim — porque és grande demais.

Mas não te atacam por ti. Atacam-te porque és Cristo. Perseguem-te como perseguiram e perseguem Cristo. Em ti e nos cristãos.

Como se tu ou Ele fossem os donos das consciências, da liberdade, da história pessoal de cada um e da Igreja. E da humanidade. Como se todos nós, não podendo suportar — cobardes! — as próprias culpas, te atirássemos com elas num exercício absurdo e infantil de branqueamento de responsabilidade.

Atacam-te como o tolo dispara à lua, pensando apagar nela a luz do sol. Ou — talvez pior — como o néscio desfere um golpe fatal no seu próprio corpo, julgando vingar-se.

Atacam-te como se sem ti, sem a Igreja, o mundo florescesse: chegassem por fim a esta terra a paz, a justiça, a liberdade e desaparecessem o medo e a morte.

Perseguem-te para disfarçar a sua falta de ideias, de meios, de eficácia para construir. Porque sabem que tens — de Cristo — as metas altas, maiores ainda do que a nossa capacidade de desejar; e remédio para as nossas ansiedades e angústias; e manifestas, além disso, o respeito mais delicado por todos; e acolhes o bom contributo de quem não pensa como tu. Sempre foi assim.

Atacam-te sabendo que não tens exércitos, ódios, mordomias. Como fizeram — fizemos e fazemos — com Cristo: desarmado, querido pelos pobres e perseguidos, trabalhador infatigável da causa da justiça, denunciador da hipocrisia então reinante. E não reparam que fazem o serviço aos poderosos, aos que esmagam os outros com tal de chegar a uma posição triunfal, aos que negam as liberdades, aos abusadores, também sexuais. Não reparam que são estes que tu fustigas com a tua palavra e o teu exemplo. São estes os que beneficiam com a perseguição que outros te movem: porque assim não têm o trabalho de te atacar — deixam-no aos mesquinhos, aos desapreensivos, aos ignorantes, aos ingénuos.

Mas não se preocupem os atacantes, os perseguidores do Papa e da Igreja. A vossa vozearia não desviará Bento da sua batalha, já antiga, a favor das crianças indefesas, da justiça social, do desenvolvimento sustentável, das vítimas inocentes da pedofilia… Se esta causa urgente e ingente é realmente o que vos importa, podem contar com ele.

Carta Aberta da Associação Acção Família ao Presidente da República

Lisboa, 21 de Abril de 2010

Excelentíssimo Senhor Presidente da República

Prof. Doutor Aníbal Cavaco Silva

Senhor Presidente,

O País encontra-se mergulhado numa das mais graves crises dos tempos recentes, com contornos políticos, económicos, sociais e culturais, isto para não mencionar os morais, em si mesmos os mais profundos e determinantes.

A presente crise é de si muito peculiar, já que não é acompanhada - pelo menos por agora – por graves convulsões sociais, violentos ataques às instituições políticas ou pela instabilidade fundamental e generalizada das diversas esferas do Estado, nem mesmo por dramáticas necessidades económicas. Razão pela qual o amplo alcance da mesma não subtrai à rotina quotidiana uma percepção de aparente normalidade; dir-se-ia que é permeada por uma certa apatia, da qual não está sequer ausente uma nota de bonomia, tão característica do nosso povo.

Mas, Senhor Presidente, quem se preocupa em auscultar a realidade viva do País, apercebe-se de um crescente desalento, de uma progressiva descrença nas instituições, de um alarmante divórcio entre a classe política e a sociedade, de um descontentamento muitas vezes indefinido mas real, de uma discordância muda com certos rumos, e até, por parte de um número considerável de portugueses, de uma alienação relativamente aos problemas do País, como forma de defesa face à realidade que os perturba, mas que não conseguem alterar. O Portugal profundo começa a ficar temeroso, inclusive perante certas notas de autoritarismo que despontam.

* * *

Neste caldo de cultura psico-político-social, vai sendo imposta a toda a sociedade portuguesa uma agenda política radical, com um calendário definido, promovida por uma minoria bem articulada, que conta com posições-chaves no mundo político, nos meios jornalísticos, no aparelho do Estado, em certos círculos económica, social e culturalmente influentes e até mesmo em ambientes religiosos afins ao progressismo católico. Curiosamente, beneficia-se também tal corrente minoritária de omissões e cumplicidades inexplicáveis e inconcebíveis, mas que se diriam estratégicas.

Essa minoria manipula os mecanismos do Estado de Direito para inverter substancialmente os princípios e valores fundamentais que regem a nossa sociedade. Para atingir esse objectivo, articula sectores "oprimidos", cujas exigências reivindicativas faz crer - sempre com o apoio solícito de amplos sectores da imprensa - serem clamores sociais, e alardeia como “generalizadas” situações de facto, afirmando que não podem continuar a ser ignoradas pelo legislador.

Mais ainda, nas palavras dos próprios promotores das aludidas transformações, todos aqueles que se opõem às ditas mudanças passam a ser vistos como suspeitos e agarrados a ideologias e princípios retrógrados e discriminatórios.

* * *

O termo "consenso" tornou-se uma palavra talismã na nossa cultura política. No seu sentido genuíno, os "consensos" só podem ser entendidos como momentos de grande entendimento nacional em torno de metas e princípios comuns ao corpo social como um todo. Entretanto, não é a isso que assistimos, Senhor Presidente! Os "consensos" construídos artificialmente têm servido para “apaziguar” a sociedade e fazê-la ceder sem grandes sobressaltos ante metas que lhe são impostas, sobre as quais não se pronunciou e às quais não dá a sua plena adesão.

Por detrás dos biombos consensuais, assistimos à imposição de um projecto político-ideológico radical, de carácter sectário, que visa mudar as formas de sentir, de actuar e de pensar dos indivíduos, ou seja, de toda a sociedade, e submeter o País a uma nova moral, uma moral imposta através do Estado, com formas de vida colectiva “alternativas”.

Aliás, é sobejamente compreensível que os arautos destas mudanças não hesitem em proclamar estar em marcha em Portugal uma profunda transformação civilizacional.

E é indiscutível que o alvo preferencial de tal ofensiva tem sido a instituição da família.

* * *

O mais recente lance de tal revolução, silenciosa e tranquila - pois é a isso que assistimos - foi o atabalhoado processo legislativo-mediático que culminou com a aprovação, a 8 de Janeiro deste ano, da lei do infamante e erroneamente designado "casamento" homossexual.

Ao contrário do que ardilosamente apregoam os propugnadores do "casamento" homossexual, o reconhecimento legal do mesmo não constitui apenas o consagrar de uma opção pessoal (em si mesma já profundamente censurável, por se tratar de um comportamento aberrante à Natureza e à Moral); ou do reconhecimento de meros direitos individuais; ou ainda de um acto de tolerância e não discriminação. Trata-se, isso sim, de uma transformação profunda e substancial da própria instituição do casamento e da família, o que, de si, acarretará uma subversão da ordem moral e social, que obrigatoriamente trará consigo outras alterações profundas no sistema de valores, nas normas educativas, nas relações familiares, sociais e profissionais, etc.

Em última análise, o "casamento" homossexual ao alterar radicalmente o modelo do casamento como uma união legítima e socialmente reconhecida entre homem e mulher, com vistas à constituição de uma família, à procriação (e, portanto, à continuidade da espécie humana) e à educação da prole, nega a própria essência do casamento e é, pois, o toque de finados do mesmo.

Mais, Senhor Presidente. Uma vez aceites e levados até às últimas consequências os princípios da "não discriminação" de minorias, ou da livre constituição de uniões que tornem felizes aqueles que as contraem, princípios estes fixados nos fundamentos da presente legislação, quem poderá no futuro recusar o reconhecimento legal da poligamia ou da própria pedofilia, isto para mencionar apenas dois exemplos? Não é possível ignorar que activistas ou actores políticos em diversos países defendem tais reconhecimentos.

* * *

Impõe-se ainda outra consideração geral. Os activistas ao serviço do lóbi homossexual passaram a constituir a nova tropa de choque do tão apregoado laicismo de Estado, que sob a capa de um indiferentismo religioso oficial, tantas vezes investiu contra a Igreja e os valores cristãos da sociedade. Aí está a nossa primeira república para disto dar sobejo e inequívoco testemunho.

O deputado socialista que propôs a lei do "casamento" homossexual afirmou ser a mesma o conveniente marco inicial das comemorações do centenário da República. Esta ilação histórica só é compreensível se se vir na presente lei o retomar do sectarismo político anticristão que marcou o início do nosso regime republicano.

Difícil é crer que V. Exa. deseje ver as comemorações do Centenário da República - a que deu início em cerimónia solene - atreladas a tal sectarismo, o que inevitavelmente aconteceria com a promulgação da presente lei.

Está nas suas mãos, Senhor Presidente, sancionar ou não esta lei. E as razões que lhe impõem uma recusa são de monta e inapeláveis, motivo pelo qual Acção Família lhe dirige esta Carta Aberta.

* * *

A presente lei do "casamento" homossexual é um diploma legal abusivo, que em muito extrapola o âmbito de uma mera legislação. Na verdade, condiciona ele a sociedade e impõe-lhe, através dos mecanismos do Estado de Direito, uma moral nova (uma moral de regime, como afirmou acertadamente alguém), uma transformação das mentalidades dos indivíduos e das formas de vida colectiva.

Vozes autorizadas do meio jurídico apontaram inegáveis inconstitucionalidades que permeiam este diploma legal. Entretanto, o Tribunal Constitucional, após pedido de fiscalização preventiva solicitada por V. Exa., decidiu pronunciar-se noutro sentido, dando guarida à estranha tese jurídica de que o casamento é "um conceito aberto, que admite não só diversas conformações legislativas, mas também diversas concepções políticas, éticas ou sociais”.

Mas, Senhor Presidente, não é na constitucionalidade ou não de tal diploma que se esgota a discussão da legitimidade do mesmo. Muitos outros aspectos inquinam de grosseira ilegitimidade a presente lei do "casamento" homossexual.

* * *

O princípio do mandato popular em nome do qual os Srs. Deputados da Assembleia da República se manifestam e votam, exige que a representatividade do mesmo seja inequívoca, sobretudo em matérias transcendentes para a conformação e futuro da sociedade portuguesa. Ora tal não se deu em relação ao "casamento" homossexual.

Há quem alegue que ocorrera uma consulta popular a esse respeito, uma vez que os eleitores haviam concedido maioria parlamentar aos partidos que consignavam nos seus programas eleitorais o projecto do assim chamado "casamento" homossexual.

Tal argumento mais não é do que um legalismo, um mero formalismo democrático. Antes de mais, porque de todos os partidos que incentivaram e apoiaram tal projecto ou as variantes da chamada união civil, apenas um (o Bloco de Esquerda) foi inteiramente inequívoco na sua proposta eleitoral.

Além disso, como poderá alguém sustentar honestamente que tal proposta de consagrar na legislação, com o reconhecimento de amplos direitos, o "casamento" ou as uniões civis entre homossexuais tenha sido objecto de um largo e aprofundado debate na sociedade portuguesa, por ocasião da campanha eleitoral para as legislativas de 27 de Setembro de 2009? E como sustentar, então, que o eleitorado se tenha pronunciado de modo incontestável a tal propósito?

Isso agrava-se quando vozes autorizadas e não desmentidas dentro do próprio Partido Socialista - o Partido do Governo e promotor da presente legislação - afirmam que tal debate não se realizou nem sequer dentro das fileiras partidárias, tendo sido imposto internamente.

Também é necessário levar em conta que, ao votar num partido, o eleitor é condicionado por uma série de circunstâncias próximas e de necessidades imediatas da própria vida pública do País, não implicando por isso a sua escolha uma adesão consciente e incondicional a todos os pontos programáticos apresentados por essa força política, uma vez que não tem a possibilidade de, ao votar, tornar autónomas as propostas programáticas, adoptando umas e recusando outras. Isso é tanto mais verdade em relação àquelas opções que ficaram na sombra.

Assistimos, isso sim, Senhor Presidente, a um processo legislativo apressado, furtivo, em que a aprovação sorrateira deu a clara impressão de que para considerável parte dos nossos legisladores o eleitorado e o público em geral são um adversário a ludibriar ou mesmo a derrotar.

Estas razões impõem-lhe, Senhor Presidente, o dever de vetar o presente diploma legal. Mas não são as únicas.

* * *

Senhor Presidente, todos os agentes políticos se gabam de vivermos num regime político regido pelos assim chamados princípios democráticos. É natural, pois, que aqueles que tanto o proclamam sejam coerentes com esses mesmos princípios.

Ora V. Exa. foi eleito. E como mandatário eleito, como representante que é daqueles que o elegeram tem o dever de consciência e o dever legal de atender à representação que lhe foi atribuída. Se não o fizer estará inequivocamente a atentar contra a autenticidade e a legitimidade do próprio regime democrático.

A maioria dos portugueses que lhe deu o voto, Senhor Presidente, não lhe concedeu de forma alguma um mandato para que ajudasse a impor ao País estas transformações civilizacionais radicais de que ele agora é vítima.

Antes de tudo, porque V. Exa. jamais propôs aos seus eleitores a perspectiva de tais transformações radicais como a sua meta para o País. Além disso, porque no conjunto das candidaturas em que se deu a sua eleição, o eleitorado que votou em V. Exa. era por certo o mais avesso e contrário a tais mudanças.

Aos portugueses que em si votaram, não os movia um anseio de uma ruptura com os seus valores, inclusive e muito marcadamente com os valores cristãos que há séculos conformam a sociedade. Pelo contrário - e sabe-o V. Exa. melhor do que ninguém - os portugueses que em si votaram, na sua maioria, viram nas suas propostas um modo de Portugal trilhar, nos tempos modernos, as sendas de um sadio progresso, em continuidade com a sua História e em coerência com os valores que conformaram a sua identidade; e não um modo do País entrar no século XXI pelas vias da instabilidade e da subversão fundamental das instituições, até mesmo daquelas, como o casamento, anteriores ao próprio Estado.

V. Exa. tem, pois, mais um imperativo para vetar a presente lei: a coerência e a fidelidade ao mandato popular com que foi investido pelo voto dos portugueses.

* * *

Senhor Presidente, uma das suas prerrogativas enquanto Supremo Mandatário da Nação é manter o equilíbrio entre os diversos poderes e sanar os abusos ou as lacunas que de alguma forma prejudiquem o bom funcionamento do Estado de Direito e penalizem a sociedade em geral.

Nenhum partido em Portugal defendeu, com frontalidade e de modo inequívoco, um anseio largamente presente na nossa sociedade, ou seja, a manutenção no nosso corpo legislativo do reconhecimento social e jurídico do casamento, exclusivamente como a união duradoura e legítima entre homem e mulher, potencialmente fecunda, de acordo com o conceito comum e universal.

Ora tal ausência cria também, de si, um considerável desequilíbrio e mais um factor de inautenticidade no nosso regime democrático. É natural, pois, que uma importante parte da opinião pública que se vê assim defraudada no seu anseio de representação se volte para V. Exa. e procure que o Presidente da República sane essa grave lacuna, dando voz e vez àqueles que se sentem silenciados.

Mais silenciados ainda se considerarmos que em poucas semanas foram recolhidas 90.785 assinaturas a pedir um referendo, e boa parte do nosso Parlamento decidiu, num gesto de inexplicável autoritarismo antidemocrático, pura e simplesmente ignorar tal pedido. É difícil afastar a impressão de que os nossos legisladores têm receio de se confrontar com o sentimento popular. O que, de si, Senhor Presidente, é bem oposto ao espírito que deve reger o chamado regime de liberdades democráticas.

* * *

Acabamos de mencionar a estabilidade das instituições. Enquanto Presidente da República cabe a V. Exa. o primordial dever de garantir esta mesma estabilidade e não o de subverter a ordem político-social. Aliás, V. Exa. tem sempre primado por dar destaque a este seu papel e desígnio.

Seria, pois, completamente contraditório com este seu propósito e dever, apor a sua assinatura a uma lei que, além de pecar pela ilegitimidade em diversos aspectos, abala e subverte, com profundas consequências morais e sociais, a instituição do casamento - e, portanto, da família, célula-base da nossa sociedade - anterior ele mesmo ao próprio Estado.

Sim, o casamento não é uma criação do Estado, é anterior a este e o Estado não pode, pois, utilizar a sua prerrogativa de legislador para deturpar essa instituição. Admiti-lo, como se daria no caso da sanção à presente lei, seria admitir uma forma inequívoca de despotismo.

* * *

Como já foi referido, os principais mentores e apoiantes da presente legislação do "casamento" homossexual, regozijam-se e proclamam sem pejo aos quatro ventos que está em marcha, em Portugal, uma mudança civilizacional, que qualificam como imperativa.

Senhor Presidente, desde quando o voto eleitoral conferiu aos nossos legisladores uma representação para impor ao País mudanças civilizacionais, que submetam os cidadãos e o conjunto da sociedade portuguesa a transformações de mentalidade, de modos de ser, de agir e de pensar?

O extravasar indevido do mandato eleitoral a esses extremos transformaria o mundo político numa verdadeira seita filosófico-religiosa, incumbida de tutelar, com assomos inquisitoriais, os costumes, sentimentos e convicções dos indivíduos.

Por mais esta razão e para não ser conivente com tal abuso de poder, cabe a V. Exa o dever de coarctá-lo, vetando a presente lei.

* * *

Impõe-se ainda uma última reflexão a respeito da natureza de tal mudança civilizacional.

Estando o nosso País inserido no âmbito da Civilização Ocidental e Cristã, qualquer mudança só poderá considerar-se verdadeiramente uma "mudança civilizacional" se atingir no seu âmago os princípios cristãos que há séculos conformam a sociedade portuguesa.

Não é difícil perceber que - como no caso da presente lei do "casamento" homossexual - são precisamente os valores cristãos que têm vindo a ser sistematicamente afrontados e relegados ao desprezo em nome de uma "modernidade" que pretende subverter as leis, as estruturas e os costumes da presente ordem social.

Recentemente, o Primeiro-ministro, Eng.º José Sócrates, após ter-se deslocado à Mesquita de Lisboa para actos oficiais e ao ser confrontado com a (in)coerência da sua atitude face ao tão apregoado laicismo de Estado, surpreendeu a todos ao afirmar que o Estado é laico mas a sociedade não o é. Ora, Senhor Presidente, se a sociedade portuguesa não é laica, deve-se isso ao facto de ser maioritariamente cristã. E assim sendo deveria tal realidade social ser levada em conta e, sobretudo, respeitada. O que parece estranho é que tal argumento de que a sociedade não é laica seja apenas brandido quando se tenta de alguma forma promover ou beneficiar credos religiosos totalmente minoritários em Portugal, e não quando se trata de respeitar os valores e princípios cristãos da grande maioria da nossa população.

Uma vez mais, Senhor Presidente, encontramo-nos diante de um desses desequilíbrios nocivos à nossa realidade político-social, que cabe a V. Exa. corrigir, e para tal impõe-se o seu veto à presente lei do "casamento" homossexual.

* * *

Nesta conturbada época histórica, como em outras que o nosso País viveu, é imperativo que as pessoas incumbidas de o liderar, actuem com determinação e sem calculismos políticos, fazendo prevalecer os princípios sobre as ondas da publicidade e da moda. É esta a esperança de muitos portugueses em relação a V. Exa., Senhor Presidente: a de que saiba neste momento crítico vetar a lei do “casamento” homossexual, impedindo desta forma que uma minoria radical e sectária imponha ao País uma agenda que não corresponde aos mais profundos anseios da sociedade.

A Nossa Senhora da Conceição, a quem os nossos monarcas consagraram como Rainha e Padroeira de Portugal, Acção Família -juntamente com inúmeros portugueses - ergue as suas preces, tendo como certo que, para além das insídias e falácias dos estranhos arautos de uma nova ordem, permanecerá Aquele que é o Alfa e o Ómega, o Caminho, a Verdade e a Vida.

José Carlos Alves de Matos Sepúlveda da Fonseca

Director de campanha de Acção Família


BI nº 5199484 4

Email: jcamsf@gmail.com

Acção Família
R. Filipe Terzi, 55 – 3º Dtº
3030-014 – Coimbra
Tel: 239112319 – Fax: 239780485

terça-feira, 20 de abril de 2010

A Paper Showing Homosexuality at Root of the Sex Abuse Crisis

By John-Henry Westen

April 19, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A must-read paper produced by Human Life International Research Director Brian Clowes has closed the book on the question of whether homosexuality in the priesthood is a root cause of the clerical sexual abuse crisis. Citing numerous research studies, Clowes demonstrates that homosexuality is strongly linked to sexual abuse of minors, and that celibacy is definitely not a cause of pedophilia.

Clowes cites studies, including:

- Homosexual Alfred Kinsey, the USA’s preeminent sexual researcher, found in 1948 that 37 percent of all male homosexuals admitted to having sex with children under 17 years old.

- A recent study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that "The best epidemiological evidence indicates that only 2.4% of men attracted to adults prefer men. In contrast, around 25-40% of men attracted to children prefer boys. Thus, the rate of homosexual attraction is 6-20 times higher among pedophiles."

- A study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that, "Pedophilia appears to have a greater than chance association with two other statistically infrequent phenomena. The first of these is homosexuality ... Recent surveys estimate the prevalence of homosexuality, among men attracted to adults, in the neighborhood of 2%. In contrast, the prevalence of homosexuality among pedophiles may be as high as 30-40%."

- A study in the Journal of Sex Research noted that "... the proportion of sex offenders against male children among homosexual men is substantially larger than the proportion of sex offenders against female children among heterosexual men ... the development of pedophilia is more closely linked with homosexuality than with heterosexuality."

- A study of 229 convicted child molesters published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that “eighty-six percent of [sexual] offenders against males described themselves as homosexual or bisexual.”

For the references for these findings please see Clowes full paper here.