sexta-feira, 22 de novembro de 2013

Even the Pope Critiques Himself. And Corrects Three Errors - by Sandro Magister

In Chiesaespresso 

ROME, November 22, 2013 – In the span of a few days Pope Francis has corrected or brought about the correction of a few significant features of his public image. At least three of them.

The first concerns the conversation that he had with Eugenio Scalfari, set down in writing by this champion of atheistic thought in “la Repubblica" of October 1.

The transcript of the conversation had in effect generated widespread dismay, because of some of the statements from the mouth of Francis that sounded more congenial to the dominant secular thinking than to Catholic doctrine. Like the following:

“Each one has his idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight the evil as he understands them."

At the same time, however, the interview was immediately confirmed by Fr. Federico Lombardi as "faithful to the thought“ of the pope and “reliable in its general sense.”

Not only that. A few hours after it was published in “la Repubblica," the interview was reproduced in its entirety both in “L'Osservatore Romano" and on the official website of the Holy See, on a par with the other discourses and documents of the Pope.

This gave birth to the idea that Jorge Mario Bergoglio had intentionally chosen the conversational form of expression, on this as on other occasions, as a new form of his magisterium, capable of reaching the general public more effectively.

But in the following weeks the pope must also have become aware of the risk that this form entails. The risk that the magisterium of the Church might fall to the level of a mere opinion contributed to the free exchange of ideas.

This in fact led to the decision, on November 15, to remove from the website of the Holy See the text of the conversation with Scalfari.

"It was removed," Fr. Lombardi explained, "to clarify the nature of that text. There were some misunderstandings and disagreements about its value."

On November 21, interviewed at the Roman headquarters of the foreign press, Scalfari nonetheless revealed more details of the matter.

He said that the pope, at the end of the conversation, had consented that it should be made public. And to Scalfari's proposal that he send him the text beforehand, he had replied: “It seems like a waste of time to me, I trust you.”

In effect, the founder of “la Repubblica” sent the text to the pope, accompanied by a letter in which he wrote among other things:

“Keep in mind that I did not include some of the things that you said to me. And that some of the things that I attribute to you you did not say. But I put them there so that the reader may understand who you are.”

Two days later - again according to what Scalfari claims - the pope's secretary, Alfred Xuereb, telephoned to give the go-ahead for  publication. Which took place the following day.

Scalfari commented: “I am perfectly willing to think that some of the things that I wrote and attributed to him are not shared by the pope, but I also believe that he maintains that, said by a nonbeliever, they are important for him and for the activity he is carrying out.”


But even the calibrated and thoroughly studied interview with Pope Francis in "La Civiltà Cattolica" - published on September 19 by sixteen magazines of the Society of Jesus in eleven languages - has in recent days been taken into the shop of things to be corrected.

On a key point: the interpretation of Vatican Council II.

This has been made clear by a passage of the letter written by Francis himself to Archbishop Agostino Marchetto on the occasion of the presentation on November 12 of a volume in his honor, against the solemn background of the Campidoglio. A letter that the pope wanted to be read in public.

The passage is the following:

"You have demonstrated this love [of the Church] in many ways, including by correcting an error or imprecision on my part - and for this I thank you from my heart - but above all it has been manifested in all its purity in your studies of Vatican Council II. I have said this to you once, dear Archbishop Marchetto, and I want to repeat it today, that I consider you the best hermeneut of Vatican Council II."

The definition of Marchetto as "the best hermeneut" of the Council is striking in itself. Marchetto has in fact always been the most implacable critic of that "school of Bologna" - founded by Giuseppe Dossetti and Giuseppe Alberigo and today directed by Professor Alberto Melloni - which has the worldwide monopoly on the interpretation of Vatican II, in a progressive vein.

The hermeneutic of the Council upheld by Marchetto is the same as that of Benedict XVI: not of "rupture" and "new beginning," but of "reform in the continuity of the one subject Church." And it is this hermeneutic that Pope Francis has wanted to signify that he shares, in bestowing such high appreciation on Marchetto.

But if one rereads the succinct passage that Francis dedicates to Vatican II in the interview with "La Civiltà Cattolica," one gets a different impression. "Yes, there are hermeneutical lines of continuity and of discontinuity," the pope concedes. "Nonetheless," he adds, "one thing is clear”: Vatican II was "a service to the people" consisting in "a reinterpretation of the Gospel in the light of contemporary culture."

In the few lines of the interview dedicated to the Council, Bergoglio defines its essence this way three times, also applying it to the reform of the liturgy.

Such a judgment of the grandiose conciliar event immediately appeared so summary to many that even the pope's interviewer, director of “La Civiltà Cattolica" Antonio Spadaro, confessed his amazement in transcribing it from the pope's spoken words.

Meanwhile, however, this judgment has continued to garner widespread consensus.

For example, in receiving Pope Francis at the Quirinale on a visit on November 4, the president of the Italian republic, Giorgio Napolitano, thanked him precisely for making “resonate the spirit of Vatican Council II as a 'reinterpretation of the Gospel in the light of contemporary culture,'” citing his exact words.

And praise for these same words of the pope has come - for example - from the foremost of the Italian liturgists, Andrea Grillo, a professor at the Pontifical Atheneum of St. Anselm, according to whom Francis has finally inaugurated the true and definitive “hermeneutic” of the Council, after having “immediately put in second place that diatribe over 'continuity' and 'discontinuity' which had long prejudiced - and often completely paralyzed - any effective hermeneutic of Vatican II.”

In effect, it is no mystery that “service to the people” and a reinterpretation of the Gospel “brought up to date” are concepts dear to the progressive interpretations of the Council and in particular to the “school of Bologna,” which has repeatedly declared itself to be an enthusiast of this pope.

But evidently there is someone who has personally pointed out to pope Bergoglio that reducing the Council to such concepts is at the least “imprecise,” if not “mistaken.”

And it was precisely Marchetto who took this step. There has always been great trust between him and Bergoglio, with mutual esteem. Marchetto lives in Rome at the residence for clergy on Via della Scrofa, in room 204, next to room 203 where the then-archbishop of Buenos Aires stayed during his trips to Rome.

Pope Francis not only listened to the criticisms of his friend, he welcomed them. To the point of thanking him, in the letter he had read on November 12, for having helped him in “correcting an error or imprecision on my part.”

It is to be presumed that in the future Francis will express himself on the Council in a way different from that of the interview in “La Civiltà Cattolica.” More in line with the hermeneutic of Benedict XVI. And to the great disappointment of the “school of Bologna.”


The third correction is consistent with the two previous ones. It concerns the “progressive” tone that Pope Francis has seen stamped upon the the first three months of his pontificate.

One month ago, on October 17, Bergoglio seemed to have confirmed this profile of his once again when in the morning homily at Santa Marta he directed stinging words against Christians who turn the faith into a “moralistic ideology,” entirely made up of “prescriptions without goodness.”

But one month later, on November 18, in another morning homily the pope played a completely different tune.

He used the revolt of the Maccabees against the dominant powers of the age as the point of departure for a tremendous tongue-lashing of that “adolescent progressivism,” Catholic as well, which is disposed to submit to the “hegemonic uniformity” of the “one form of thought that is the fruit of worldliness.”

It is not true, Francis said, that “in the face of any choice whatsoever it is right to move forward regardless, rather than remain faithful to one's traditions.” The result of negotiating over everything is that values are so emptied of meaning as to end up merely “nominal values, not real.” Even more, one ends up negotiating precisely over “the thing essential to one's very being, fidelity to the Lord.”

The one form of thought that dominates the world - the pope continues - legalizes even “death sentences,” even “human sacrifices.” “But you,” he asked, “do you thing that there are no human sacrifices today? There are so many, so many! And there are laws to protect them.”

It is difficult not to see in this pained cry of Pope Francis the countless human lives mown down before birth with abortion, or cut off with euthanasia.

In deploring the advance of “this spirit of worldliness that leads to apostasy,” the pope cited a “prophetic” novel from the early 20th century that is among his preferred reading: “Lord of the World” by Robert H. Benson, an Anglican priest, son of an archbishop of Canterbury, who converted to Catholicism.

With the exception of a few Catholic outlets, the media of the entire world ignored this homily of Pope Francis, which in effect starkly contradicts the progressive or even revolutionary framework within which he is generally described.

But now it is part of the record. And there it remains.

One curious coincidence: at the Mass during which Francis gave this homily, one of the participants was the new secretary of state, Pietro Parolin, on his first official day of service in the Roman curia.

También el Papa hace autocrítica. Y corrige tres errores - por Sandro Magister

In Chiesaespresso 

ROMA, 22 de noviembre de 2013 – En pocos días el Papa ha corregido, o ha hecho corregir, algunos rasgos relevantes de su imagen pública. Tres, por lo menos.

El primer rasgo tiene que ver con el coloquio que tuvo con Eugenio Scalfari, puesto negro sobre blanco por este campeón del pensamiento ateo en "la Repubblica" del 1 de octubre.

La transcripción del coloquio había generado, de hecho, un desconcierto generalizado, causado por algunas afirmaciones de Francisco que parecían más congeniales al pensamiento laico dominante que a la doctrina católica. Tipo la siguiente:

"Cada uno de nosotros tiene su propia visión del bien y del mal, y debe elegir seguir el bien y combatir el mal como él mismo conciba".

Sin embargo, en ese momento la entrevista había sido valorada por el padre Federico Lombardi como "fiel al pensamiento" del Papa y "fidedigna en su sentido general".

No solo. Pocas horas después de su publicación en "la Repubblica", la entrevista había sido reproducida íntegramente tanto en "L'Osservatore Romano" como en el sitio web oficial de la Santa Sede, igual que los otros discursos y documentos del Papa.

Nació así la idea de que Jorge Mario Bergoglio había elegido a propósito la modalidad expresiva del coloquio, tanto en esta ocasión como en otras posteriores, como la nueva forma de su magisterio, capaz de llegar de manera más eficaz al gran público.

Pero seguramente el Papa se ha dado cuenta, en las semanas sucesivas, del riesgo que entraña dicha modalidad: que el magisterio de la Iglesia descienda a nivel de una mera opinión ofrecida a la libre confrontación.

De hecho, de aquí ha derivado la decisión, el 15 de noviembre, de eliminar del sitio de la Santa Sede el texto del coloquio con Scalfari.

"Quitándolo – ha explicado el padre Lombardi – se ha precisado la naturaleza de ese texto. Había algún equivoco y debate sobre su valor".

El 21 de noviembre, entrevistado en la sede romana de la prensa extranjera, Scalfari ha revelado, sin embargo, otros detalles de todo el asunto.

Ha dicho que el Papa, al término de la conversación, había consentido en que se hiciera pública. Y ante la propuesta de Scalfari de mandarle el texto anticipadamente, había respondido: "Me parece una pérdida de tiempo, de Usted me fio".

Efectivamente, el fundador de "la Repubblica" envió el texto al Papa, acompañado por una carta en la que, entre otras cosas, escribía:

"Tenga en cuenta que no he referido algunas cosas que Usted me ha contado. Y que algunas cosas que le hago decir, no las ha dicho. Pero las he añadido para que el lector sepa quién es Usted."

Dos días después – y según cuanto refiere Scalfari – el secretario del Papa, Alfred Xuereb dio, telefónicamente, el ok para la publicación, que salió al día siguiente.

Scalfari ha comentado: "Estoy preparado a pensar que el Papa no comparta algunas cosas escritas por mí y atribuidas a él, pero también creo que él considera que, expresadas por un no creyente, son importantes para él y para la acción que desarrolla".


Pero también la equilibrada y estudiadísima entrevista del Papa Francisco a "La Civiltà Cattolica" – publicada el 19 de septiembre por dieciséis revistas de la Compañía de Jesús, en once idiomas – ha entrado en los días pasados en el taller de las cosas que hay que reparar.

Sobre un punto clave: la interpretación del Concilio Vaticano II.

Y esto se ha entendido por una pasaje de la carta autógrafa escrita por Francisco al arzobispo Agostino Marchetto con ocasión de la presentación de un volumen en su honor, el 12 de noviembre, en el solemne marco del Campidoglio, carta que el Papa quiso que se leyera en público.

El pasaje es el siguiente:

"Usted ha manifestado este amor [a la Iglesia] de muchas maneras, incluso corrigiendo un error o imprecisión por mi parte,  – y por ello le doy las gracias de corazón –, pero sobre todo se ha manifestado en toda su pureza en los estudios realizados sobre el Concilio Vaticano II. Una  vez le dije, querido Mons. Marchetto, y deseo repetirlo hoy, que le considero el mejor hermeneuta del  Concilio Vaticano II".

Ya la definición de Marchetto como "el mejor hermeneuta" del Concilio es clamorosa. De hecho, Marchetto es, desde siempre, el crítico más implacable de esa "escuela de Bolonia" – fundada por Giuseppe Dossetti y Giuseppe Alberigo, y hoy dirigida por el profesor Alberto Melloni – que tiene el monopolio mundial de la interpretación del Vaticano II en clave progresista.

La hermenéutica del Concilio sostenida por Marchetto es la misma que sostiene Benedicto XVI: no "ruptura" y "nuevo inicio", sino "reforma en la continuidad del único sujeto Iglesia". Y ésta es la hermenéutica que Papa Francisco ha querido demostrar que comparte al manifestar una apreciación tan elevada de Marchetto.

Pero si se vuelve a leer el sucinto pasaje que Francisco dedica al Vaticano II en la entrevista a "La Civiltà Cattolica", la impresión que se tiene es distinta. "Sí, hay líneas de continuidad y de discontinuidad", concede el Papa. "Pero – añade – una cosa es clara": el Vaticano II ha sido "un servicio al pueblo" consistente en "una relectura del Evangelio a la luz de la cultura contemporánea".

En las pocas líneas de la entrevista dedicadas al Concilio, Bergoglio define así su esencia en tres ocasiones, aplicándola también a la reforma de la liturgia.

A muchos les pareció tan sumario un juicio semejante sobre el grandioso acontecimiento conciliar que incluso el entrevistador del Papa, el director de "La Civiltà Cattolica" Antonio Spadaro, confesó su asombro al transcribirlo de la voz de Francisco.

Pero, mientras tanto, este juicio ha seguido ganando amplios consensos.

Por ejemplo, el presidente de la república italiana Giorgio Napolitano, al recibir al Papa en su visita al Quirinal el 14 de noviembre, citando las palabras exactas de éste, le ha dado las gracias precisamente por hacer "vibrar el espíritu del Concilio Vaticano II como 'relectura del Evangelio a la luz de la cultura contemporánea'".

Y estas mismas palabras han sido aplaudidas – es otro ejemplo – por el número uno de los liturgistas italianos, Andrea Grillo, docente en el Pontificio Ateneo San Anselmo, según el cual Francisco habría, por fin, inaugurado la verdadera y definitiva "hermenéutica" del Concilio, tras haber "situado inmediatamente en un segundo plano esa diatriba sobra la 'continuidad' y la 'discontinuidad' que había perjudicado durante mucho tiempo – y a menudo paralizado del todo – cualquier eficaz hermenéutica del Vaticano II".

Efectivamente, no es un misterio que "servicio al pueblo" y relectura del Evangelio "actualizada para hoy" son conceptos apreciados por las interpretaciones progresistas del Concilio y, en particular, por la "escuela de Bolonia", que varias veces se ha declarado entusiasta de este Papa.

Pero, evidentemente, hay quien ha hecho observar en persona al Papa Bergoglio que reducir el Concilio a dichos conceptos es por lo menos "impreciso", si no "errado".

Y ha sido precisamente Marchetto quien ha dado este paso. Entre él y Bergoglio hay desde hace tiempo una gran confianza, con estima recíproca. Marchetto vive en Roma en la casa del clero de via della Scrofa, en la habitación 204, adyacente a la 203 en la que se hospedaba el entonces arzobispo de Buenos Aires en sus estancias romanas.

El Papa Francisco no sólo ha escuchado las críticas de su amigo, sino que las ha acogido, hasta el punto de agradecerle, en la carta leída el 12 de noviembre, el haberle ayudado "corrigiendo une error o imprecisión por mi parte".

Se presume que en un futuro Francisco se expresará sobre el Concilio de otra manera respecto a como lo hizo en la entrevista a "La Civiltà Cattolica", más en línea con la hermenéutica de Benedicto XVI, y con gran desilusión para la "escuela de Bolonia".


La tercera corrección es coherente con las dos precedentes. Se refiere al sello "progresista" con el que el Papa Francisco ha visto que le han marcado en estos primeros meses de pontificado.

Hace un mes, el 17 de octubre, parecía que Bergoglio convalidaba una vez más este perfil cuando en la homilía matutina en Santa Marta había dirigido palabras duras contras los cristianos que transforman la fe en "ideología moralista", hecha toda ella de "prescripciones sin bondad".

Pero un mes después, el 18 de noviembre, en otra homilía matutina el Papa ha tocado una música muy distinta.

Ha tomado como punto de partida la rebelión de los Macabeos contra las potencias dominantes de la época para dar una tremenda reprimenda a ese “progresismo adolescente”, también católico, dispuesto a someterse a la “uniformidad hegemónica” del “pensamiento único fruto de la mundanidad”.

No es verdad, ha dicho Francisco, que "ante cualquier elección sea justo ir hacia adelante a pesar de todo, en vez de permanecer fieles a las propias tradiciones". A fuerza de negociar sobre todo los valores acaban vaciándose de sentido, por lo que al final quedan sólo “valores nominales, no reales”. Más bien al contrario, se acaba negociando precisamente "lo que es esencial para el proprio ser, la fidelidad al Señor".

El pensamiento único que domina el mundo – ha continuado el Papa – legaliza también “las condenas a muerte”, “los sacrificios humanos”. “Pero vosotros – ha preguntado – ¿pensáis que hoy no se llevan a cabo sacrificios humanos? ¡Se hacen muchos, muchos! Y hay leyes que los protegen”.

Es difícil no ver en este grito de dolor del Papa Francisco las innumerables vidas humanas segadas antes de nacer con el aborto, o bien truncadas con la eutanasia.

Lamentando el avance de “este espíritu de mundanidad que lleva a la apostasía” el Papa ha citado una novela “profética” de inicios del siglo XX que es una de sus lecturas preferidas: “El amo del mundo” de Robert H. Benson, un sacerdote anglicano, hijo de un arzobispo de Canterbury, que se convirtió al catolicismo.

Con la excepción de algunas publicaciones católicas, los medios de comunicación de todo el mundo han ignorado esta homilía de Papa Francisco que, en efecto, contradice de manera flagrante los esquemas progresistas, o incluso revolucionarios, con los que se le describe generalmente.

Pero ahora está en los documentos, y allí se queda.

Una curiosa coincidencia: en la misa en la que Francisco ha pronunciado esta homilía ha participado también el nuevo secretario de Estado Pietro Parolin, en su primer día de servicio efectivo en la curia romana.

The Real Lives of Gay Men - by Austin Ruse

In Crisis 

Not caring about what happens to gay men is like not caring about prison rape. Prisoners are our brothers, too, and so are gay men. We must care deeply about the abuse of our brothers in prison and we must care deeply about the lives led by our gay brothers.

Prison rape seems a world away from us, a subject we try not to think about, yet it is rampant, dehumanizing and deadly dangerous. In the same way, we avert our gaze from the lives led by gay men. Certainly ignoring the lives of gay men is what the paladins of the gay movement want us to do. If others peek behind the curtain of the white-picket-fence-homosexuality they have built up for public consumption, support for the movement would wither and probably die.

I do not equate sex between gay men and prison rape. I draw the parallel simply to compare how we look away from certain things and act as if the subjects of those acts are not part of us, part of society, part of the human family. The active gay man and the prisoner are our brothers and we have to be concerned with both. But we quite deliberately look away from the reality of both.

But look we must, particularly since we are being asked to consider that homosexuality is on par with heterosexuality, that same-sex marriage and opposite-sex marriage can be the same, that gay sex can in fact be spousal.

The arguments made by our best defenders of man-woman marriage focus almost exclusively on the definition of marriage and the rights of children to have both a mother and a father, and they explicitly say their arguments have nothing to do with the underlying question of homosexuality. Their arguments are very effective and I do believe they are making converts to the pressing cause of marriage. But in those arguments, one of the things lost is the real lives of gay men. It is as if we really do not care about them.

This is a difficult topic that no one wants to talk about. Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage tells me that these arguments are not effective during active political campaigns. These arguments can backfire in those situations. Even so, we should show greater regard for our gay brothers by paying more attention to their lives.

Recently I was reading an excellent manuscript of an upcoming book by long-time Crisis Magazine contributor Robert Reilly on how the gay movement has moved through our institutions and our culture. He references a 2006 essay by a man named Ronald G. Lee who described himself as “a refugee from the homosexual insane asylum.”

Lee lived as an out and active gay man for going on three decades and what he describes is not only insane but also deeply heartbreaking. Lee was lied to before he came out of the closet. He was lied to the whole time he lived the gay way of life. He was lied to each and every day. What was the lie? That gay men are interested in sexually monogamous relationships.

Lee writes about a gay bookstore in Austin, Texas called Lobo’s where if you look in the front window you see bookshelves full of books, gay books certainly but books. In the back, behind a curtain was a section on pornography. No one could be seen among the stacks of books, everyone was in the back room. He said such an arrangement was perfect for the big lie that active homosexuality was normal and non-threatening to any straight person looking in the front window. The reality, though, was that everyone was in the back room with the porn. This was the reality of his life and the lives of gay men.

Lee wanted love, gay love to be sure, but love that fell in line with Christian sexual ethics, that is to say a lifelong emotional and sexual bond. His whole life he looked for that. He read the influential 1976 book The Church and the Homosexual written by a Catholic priest that explained how the Church wrongly interpreted all those references in the Bible condemning homosexuality. The book explained that monogamous same-sex couplings were consistent with the teachings of the Church. Lee says the book by Father John McNeill made him “justified in deciding to come out of the closet.” Father McNeill later wrote an autobiography in which he explained he lived a widely promiscuous gay life far removed from any notion of Christian sexual ethics, gay or otherwise.

And that was the reality Lee discovered as he began his search for gay monogamy. “For twenty years I thought there was something wrong with me,” Lee writes. “Dozens of well-meaning people assured me that there was a whole, different world of homosexual men out there, a world that for some reason I could never find, a world of God-fearing, straight-acting, monogamy-believing, and fidelity-practicing homosexuals.”

Lee got a computer and continued his futile attempt to find gay monogamy. He joined a Yahoo group loosely affiliated with Dignity, the “Catholic” organization that affirms gays in their active homosexual way of life. A young man posted a note asking if “any of the subscribers attached any value to monogamy?” He received “dozens of responses, some of them quite hostile and demeaning, and all but one—mine—telling him to go out and get laid because that was what being gay was all about.”

Lee got an AOL subscription and wrote a profile describing himself “as a conservative Catholic … who loved classical music and theater and good books and scintillating conversation about all of the above.” He said he wanted to meet other homosexuals like him for “friendship and romance.” Within minutes the first response he received was “How many inches?” And it went downhill from there.

The ugly reality Lee discovered his whole gay life was that this way of life is almost wholly about sex and plenty of it. Even supposedly stable relationships, the ones we read about in the New York Times, are largely facades. A gay man once told me he was in a long-time relationship but they never had sex anymore, just masturbated in front of porn with lots of action outside the relationship. He said this was typical. Lee says so, too, and so does the research.

In his excellent manuscript, The Gaying of America:  How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior Is Changing Everything to be published next March by Ignatius Press, Robert Reilly lays out the horrific numbers. Keep in mind that even repeating these numbers opens you up to a torrent of vitriol. You will see in the inevitable comments below that even mentioning them is hate speech, no more than lies, myths on par with the oversexed black man. Other than invective and charges that the studies and their authors have been “discredited,” the numbers are unassailable. And they are supremely important for a young man considering taking a peak outside the closet door.

This is the door he is about to walk through.

Reilly writes: “one might ask how typical anal intercourse is in homosexual behavior. Is it fundamentally characteristic, or anomalous? Some claim that homosexual behavior does not necessarily mean that male couples engage in anal intercourse. The answer, however, is that it predominates.”

Reilly quotes psychiatrist Dr. Jeffrey Santinover in Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth that “The typical homosexual (needless to say there are exceptions) is a man who has frequent episodes of anal intercourse with other men, often with many different men. These episodes are 13 times more frequent than heterosexuals’ acts of anal intercourse, with 12 times as many different partners as heterosexuals.”

Reilly goes further. “The most rigorous single study—the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study [1987]—recruited nearly 5,000 homosexual men and found that: ‘a significant majority of these men … (69 to 82%) reported having 50 or more lifetime sexual partners, and over 80% had engaged in receptive anal intercourse with at least some of their partners in the previous two years.’”

Such relationships are not spousal in any way, shape or form and this is what Ronald Lee found in his decades long search for real love, for a relationship that would fit into any notion of Christian sexual ethics.

Studies show gay men are remarkably promiscuous. Dr. Santinover cites a study by two homosexual researchers that found that out of “156 couples studied, only seven had maintained sexual fidelity; of the hundred couples that had been together for more than five years, none had been able to maintain sexual fidelity.” They said, “[t]he expectation for outside sexual activity was the rule for male couples and the exception for heterosexual couples.”

Reilly cites a 1997 Australian study that showed “only 15% of the men reported having fewer than 11 sex partners to date, while on the other end of the spectrum 15% had over 1,000 sex partners. A whopping 82% had over 50 partners and nearly 50% had over 100.” The research goes on and drearily on.

Some have said gays act out promiscuously because they have internalized homophobia, that they were “forced to look for love in dimly lit bars, bathhouses, and public parks for fear of harassment at the hands of the homophobic mainstream.” Lee answers, “But 35 years have passed since the infamous Stonewall riots of 1969 in New York…. During that time, homosexuals have carved out for themselves public spaces in every major American city, and many of the minor ones as well. They have had the chance to create whatever they wanted in those spaces, and what have they created? New spaces for locating sexual partners.”

I will give the final word to Ronald Lee from his magnificent essay.

When the young man from the Yahoo group got all the hostile response from his query about monogamy, “He did not know what to make of it because none of the propaganda to which he was exposed before coming out prepared him for what was really on the other side of the closet door. I had no idea what to tell him, because at the time I was still caught up in the lie myself. Now the solution seems obvious. What I should have written back to him was, ‘You have been lied to. Ask God for forgiveness and get back to Kansas as fast as you can. Auntie Em is waiting.’”

quarta-feira, 20 de novembro de 2013

Conscience and Its Reviewers: A Response to Kevin Doyle - by Robert P. George


Kevin Doyle, a Catholic lawyer and death penalty opponent, has published a review in America magazine of my new book Conscience and Its Enemies: Confronting the Dogmas of Liberal Secularism. I’m grateful for the kind things Mr. Doyle said about me and my work. Still, there is an error at the heart of the review, and it goes to a central matter: the meaning of conscience. So I want to address that error. Before that, I’ll comment on some less significant shortcomings of Doyle’s review.

The Death Penalty

First, Doyle says that “the death penalty wins mention in [George’s] case against Mario Cuomo but draws no condemnation.” Let me say plainly what I have said before: I believe that all direct killing of human beings—that is, deliberately bringing about death, whether one’s own or another’s, as the precise object of one’s act—is morally wrong. So I am opposed to the death penalty.

I did not address the substantive moral issue of capital punishment in this book because support for the death penalty scarcely qualifies as a dogma of liberal secularism. Most liberal secularists oppose the death penalty. I think they are right about that, albeit right for the wrong reason. The subject came up in my chapter on Mario Cuomo and other politicians who claim to be “personally opposed” to abortion yet “pro-choice,” because Cuomo had advanced an absurd argument trying to square his opposition to the death penalty with his support for the legalized and taxpayer financed killing of unborn babies. Here’s what I wrote:

Cuomo claims that when he speaks of the death penalty, he never suggests that he considers it a “moral issue.” Then, in the very same paragraph, he condemns the death penalty in the most explicitly, indeed flamboyantly, moralistic terms: “I am against the death penalty because I think it is bad and unfair. It is debasing. It is degenerate. It kills innocent people.” He does not pause to consider that these are precisely the claims pro-life people make against the policy of legal abortion and its public funding—a policy that Cuomo defends. . .

Subsidiarity and Solidarity

Second, Doyle says that in my analysis “subsidiarity eclipses the counterbalancing imperative of solidarity.” This claim rests on the mistake—a common one, to be sure—of supposing that subsidiarity and solidarity “counterbalance” each other. To suppose so is to misunderstand the principle of subsidiarity (which, among other things, restrains government action in some areas and authorizes or even requires it in others) as well as its relationship to solidarity.

Subsidiarity and solidarity are distinct principles, and respect for both is required as a matter of justice. But they do not pull in opposite directions. They do not need to be “balanced.” Nor, strictly speaking, can their normative demands be in conflict. They do not require tradeoffs. Both are to be applied and respected fully—all of the time. To suppose otherwise is to start heading down the wrong path from one’s first step.

Health Care

Third, Doyle says that, for me, “health care as a human right becomes merely something of which it is ‘certainly not unreasonable to speak.’” Doyle’s “merely” is extremely misleading, as the context of the quoted line from my book makes clear:

Human rights exist (or obtain) if principles of practical reason direct us to act or abstain from acting in certain ways out of respect for the well-being and the dignity of persons whose legitimate interests may be affected by what we do. I certainly believe that there are such principles. They cannot be overridden by considerations of utility. At a very general level, they direct us, in Immanuel Kant’s phrase, to treat human beings always as ends and never as means only. When we begin to specify this general norm, we identify important negative duties, such as the duty to refrain from enslaving people. Although we need not put the matter in terms of “rights,” it is perfectly reasonable, and I believe helpful, to speak of a right against being enslaved, and to speak of slavery as a violation of human rights. It is a right that we have not by virtue of being members of a certain race, sex, class, or ethnic group but simply by virtue of our humanity. In that sense, it is a human right. But there are, in addition to negative duties and their corresponding rights, certain positive duties. And these, too, can be articulated and discussed in the language of rights, though here we must be clear about by whom and how a given right is to be honored.

Sometimes it is said, for example, that education or health care is a human right. It is certainly not unreasonable to speak this way; but much more needs to be said if it is to be a meaningful statement. Who is supposed to provide education or health care to whom? Why should those persons or institutions be the providers? What place should the provision of education or health care occupy on the list of social and political priorities? Is it better for education and health care to be provided by governments under socialized systems or by private providers in markets? These questions go beyond the application of moral principles. They require prudential judgment in light of the contingent circumstances people face in a given society at a given point in time. Often, there is not a single, uniquely correct answer. The answer to each question can lead to further questions. The problems can be extremely complex, far more complex than the issue of slavery, where once a right has been identified, its universality and the basic terms of its application are fairly clear. Everybody has a moral right not to be enslaved, and everybody an obligation as a matter of strict justice to refrain from enslaving others; governments have a moral obligation to respect and protect that right and, correspondingly, to enforce the obligation.

The context reveals that Doyle’s characterization of my view, served by his use of the term “merely,” completely fails to do it justice to my point—an analytical point about a key difference between claims of negative and positive rights. It is a point that Doyle ignores. I doubt that he or anyone else would contest my claim that for assertions of positive rights to be meaningful, the types of questions I mentioned must be addressed.


Fourth, Doyle’s treatment of my arguments about what marriage is—and isn’t—is odd. He doesn’t offer any criticism of my arguments or even address them in any substantive respect. Instead, he dismisses them—and dismisses them in a curious way, especially (as we shall see) for someone who dedicates himself to fighting against the death penalty.

Doyle allows that I’ve put the advocates of redefining marriage to include same-sex partners in a tough spot by challenging them to, among other things, identify a basis of principle consistent with their rejection of the conjugal conception of marriage for understanding marriage as inherently involving two persons, as opposed to three or more in polyamorous sexual partnerships. And he notes that those advocates have “side-stepped” the problem “until now.” But he doesn’t suggest how they might actually respond to my challenge. Nor does he offer any criticism of my philosophical defense of the conjugal conception of marriage or my criticism of the revisionist alternative conception of marriage as sexual-romantic companionship or domestic partnership.

Instead, he says this:

For many Americans, George’s marital metaphysic will stand up poorly next to the reality—just down the block or a few family relations away—of a committed gay couple with children. So take or leave George’s argument that a same-sex marriage cannot be a genuine marriage.

This simply will not do. My actual arguments either are successful or they are not. Doyle vaguely suggests that they are not, but he does so without taking a clear position, much less defending it. That this is unsatisfactory in a review would be clear enough to Doyle if we switched the topic from marriage to the death penalty. Doyle has devoted his career to making arguments—serious and well-informed arguments—against capital punishment. But whatever their ultimate merit, it would simply not do for a critic to say something like this:

For many Americans, Doyle’s metaphysic of the inalienable dignity of the life even of a wanton murderer will stand up poorly next to the reality—for some right in the neighborhood, and sometimes even in the family—of young men who have been gunned down in the streets and girls who have been brutally raped and then killed by their assailants. Most Americans fully accept the death penalty for such crimes, and there are countless family members for whom the execution of the perpetrator is essential to emotional well-being and a sense of justice and closure. So take or leave Doyle’s argument that the death penalty is morally wrong.

Conscience and Its Protections

Fifth, let’s turn to that big error I mentioned at the beginning. Doyle claims that while I “plead powerfully for the claims of conscience” of those with whose judgments in conscience I agree, I am “non-committal” or “send signals in different directions” when it comes to consciences that I believe are formed incorrectly. But that is the reverse of the truth—manifestly so. In fact, I do not think I could possibly have made clearer my view of the importance of respecting and protecting the rights of conscience even of those with whose judgments of duty I disagree.

Let’s take an example. I am, to say the least, not especially sympathetic to atheism. Still, here is what I say about the conscience rights of atheists in Conscience and Its Enemies:

Respect for the good of religion requires that civil authority respect (and, in appropriate ways, even nurture) conditions or circumstances in which people can engage in the sincere religious quest and live lives of authenticity reflecting their best judgments as to the truth of spiritual matters. To compel an atheist to perform acts that are premised on theistic beliefs that he cannot, in good conscience, share, is to deny him the fundamental bit of the good of religion that is his, namely, living with honesty and integrity in line with his best judgments about ultimate reality. Coercing him to perform religious acts does him no good, since faith really must be free, and dishonors his dignity as a free and rational person. The violation of liberty is worse than futile.

I make clear here and elsewhere that I utterly reject the “error has no rights” view in the name of which radical traditionalist (“rad trad”) Catholics reject the robust conception of religious freedom set forth by the fathers of the Second Vatican Council in the great declaration Dignitatis Humanae. In fact, I make my view on this point so clear in so many places, that I was initially puzzled at how Doyle could suppose that I was “non-committal” on the rights of people with erroneously formed consciences.

Reading on, though, the basis of Doyle’s error came into focus for me. He must have missed, or in any event he clearly missed the point of, Chapter Ten, entitled “Two Concepts of Liberty . . . and Conscience.” Evidently failing to notice my distinction—drawn from Newman—between the traditional conception of conscience as a “stern monitor” imposing duties we must fulfill whether they are in line with our preferences and desires or not, and the modern autonomy-based liberal idea of conscience as “self-will” grounding a right to do as one pleases, whatever one pleases, so long as there is no direct or palpable harm to others, Doyle supposes that I should be on the side of the liberals concerning the legal regulation of allegedly self-regarding immoralities.

In that chapter—which contrasts the conceptions of liberty and conscience held by John Stuart Mill with those held by John Henry Newman—I go to great lengths to explain the competing views and say why I think it is a mistake to conceive conscience as licensing conduct rather than imposing obligations:

Conscience, as Newman understood it, is the very opposite of “autonomy” in the modern liberal sense. It is not a writer of permission slips. It is not in the business of licensing us to do as we please or conferring on us (in the words of the U.S. Supreme Court) “the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” Rather, conscience is one’s last best judgment specifying the bearing of moral principles one grasps, yet in no way makes up for oneself, on concrete proposals for action. Conscience identifies one’s duties under the moral law. It speaks of what one must do and what one must not do. Understood in this way, conscience is indeed what Newman said it is: a stern monitor.

Contrast this understanding of conscience with what Newman condemns as its counterfeit. Conscience as “self-will” is a matter of feeling or emotion, not reason. It is concerned not so much with the identification of what one has a duty to do or not do, one’s feelings and desires to the contrary notwithstanding, but rather with sorting out one’s feelings. Conscience as self-will identifies permissions, not obligations. It licenses behavior by establishing that one doesn’t feel bad about doing it—or at least one doesn’t feel so bad about doing it that one prefers the alternative of not doing it.

I’m with Newman. His key distinction is between conscience, authentically understood, and self-will—conscience as the permissions department. His core insight is that conscience has rights because it has duties. The right to follow one’s conscience, and the obligation to respect conscience—especially in matters of faith, where the right of conscience takes the form of religious liberty of individuals and communities of faith—obtain not because people as autonomous agents should be able to do as they please; they obtain, and are stringent and sometimes overriding, because people have duties and the obligation to fulfill them. The duty to follow conscience is a duty to do things or refrain from doing things not because one wants to follow one’s duty but even if one strongly does not want to follow it. The right of conscience is a right to do what one judges oneself to be under an obligation to do, whether one welcomes the obligation or must overcome strong aversion in order to fulfill it. If there is a form of words that sums up the antithesis of Newman’s view of conscience as a stern monitor, it is the imbecilic slogan that will forever stand as a verbal monument to the so-called me generation: “If it feels good, do it.”

Now, Doyle has every right to disagree with me about the superiority of Newman’s conception of conscience as duty-imposing to what, following Newman, I argue is its counterfeit: “conscience” as “self-will,” licensing the subject to do as he or she pleases. But he should be clear that what I oppose is conscience-as-license—and not respect for the good-faith conclusions about duty of people whose moral or theological judgments and beliefs I reject.

Doyle seems to have missed the critical distinction between these two conceptions of conscience altogether. But it is a distinction that is at the heart of Conscience and Its Enemies. Had he noticed it, he would not have supposed I was “non-committal” on the need to respect the consciences of those with whom I disagree. He would have seen that I am committed to an understanding of conscience, and the rights of conscience, that is very different from the one he himself, I gather, holds.

segunda-feira, 18 de novembro de 2013

Papa Francisco: "Creéis que hoy no se hacen sacrificios humanos? ¡Se hacen muchos, muchos! Y hay leyes que protegen esto"

CIUDAD DEL VATICANO, 18 de noviembre de 2013 ( - El papa Francisco ha pedido este lunes que el Señor nos salve del “espíritu mundano que lo negocia todo”, no solo los valores, también la fe. Durante su homilía de esta mañana en la Casa Santa Marta, el pontífice ha advertido también que es necesario estar en guardia ante “una globalización de la uniformidad hegemónica”, fruto de la mundanidad.

El Pueblo de Dios prefiere alejarse del Señor ante una propuesta de mundanidad. El santo padre se ha referido a la Primera Lectura, una cita del Libro de los Macabeos, para detenerse en la “raíz perversa” de la mundanidad. Los guías del pueblo, ha destacado el papa, no quieren que Israel se aísle de las demás naciones, y así abandonan sus propias tradiciones para ir a negociar con el rey. Van a “negociar” y están encantados por ello. Es, ha recalcado, como si dijesen “somos progresistas, vamos con el progreso adonde va toda la gente”. Se trata, ha advertido, del “espíritu del progresismo adolescente”, que “se cree que ir detrás de cualquier elección es mejor que permanecer en las costumbres de la fidelidad”

Esta gente, por tanto, negocia con el rey “la fidelidad al Dios que siempre es fiel”.  “Esto, ha advertido el papa, se llama apostasía”, “adulterio”. No están, de hecho, negociando valores, ha subrayado, “sino que negocian con la esencia de su ser: la fidelidad al Señor”.

“Esta es una contradicción: no negocian con los valores, sino con la fidelidad. Esto es el fruto del demonio, del príncipe de este mundo, que nos lleva adelante con el espíritu de mundanidad. Y después, llegan las consecuencias. Han tomado las costumbres de los paganos, después se va un paso adelante: el rey ordena que, en todo su reino, todos formasen un solo pueblo, abandonando cada uno sus propias costumbres. No es la bella globalización de la unidad de todas las Naciones, cada una con sus propias costumbres pero unidas, sino que es la globalización de la uniformidad hegemónica, es la del pensamiento único. Y este pensamiento único es fruto de la mundanidad”.

A continuación, ha recordado, “todos los pueblos se adecuaron a las órdenes del rey; aceptaron también su culto, sacrificaron a los ídolos y profanaron el sábado”. Paso a paso “se va por este camino”. Y al final, ha relatado el papa, “el rey alzó sobre el altar un abominación de devastación”.

“¿Pero, padre, esto también sucede hoy? Sí. Porque el espíritu de la mundanidad también existe hoy, también hoy nos lleva, con esta voluntad de ser progresistas, hacia el pensamiento único. Si a alguien se le encontraba el Libro de la Alianza y se sabía que obedecía la Ley, la sentencia del rey lo condenaba a muerte: esto lo hemos leído en los periódicos, en estos meses. Esta gente ha negociado con la fidelidad a su Señor; esta gente, movida por el espíritu del mundo, ha negociado con su propia identidad, ha negociado con su pertenencia a un pueblo, un Pueblo muy amado por Dios, que Dios quiere que sea suyo”.

El pontífice se ha referido, después, a la novela de principios del siglo XX “El Señor del mundo” que habla de este “espíritu de mundanidad que nos lleva a la apostasía”. Hoy, ha advertido el santo padre, se piensa que “debemos ser como todos, debemos ser más normales, como hacen todos, con este progresismo adolecente”. Y, ha observado amargamente, “continua la historia”: “Las condenas a muerte, los sacrificios humanos”. “Pero vosotros, es la pregunta del papa ¿creéis que hoy no se hacen sacrificios humanos? ¡Se hacen muchos, muchos! Y hay leyes que protegen esto”.

Lo que nos consuela es que ante este camino que hace el espíritu del mundo, el príncipe de este mundo, el camino de infidelidad, siempre permanece el Señor, que no puede negarse a sí mismo, el Fiel: Él siempre nos espera, Él nos ama tanto y nos perdona cuando nosotros, arrepentidos por haber dado un paso, aunque sea uno pequeño, en este espíritu de mundanidad, volvemos hacia Él, el Dios fiel a su Pueblo que no es fiel. Con el espíritu de hijos de la Iglesia recemos al Señor para que con Su bondad, con Su fidelidad, nos salve de este espíritu mundano que negocia todo: que nos proteja y nos haga seguir adelante, como hizo que anduviera su pueblo por el desierto, llevándolo de la mano, como un papá lleva a su hijo. De la mano del Señor estaremos seguros”.

Ano da Fé - por João César das Neves

Não há felicidade maior do que saber que Deus, o Deus supremo, sublime, transcendente, que fez o céu e a terra, se entregou à morte para me salvar. A mim pessoalmente. Nas nossas cidades e aldeias, nas casas e capelas de Portugal, em especial neste Ano da Fé que agora termina, tudo lembra este facto radical. Apesar disso, ele é esquecido a cada passo. Por isso as nossas vidas não são felizes. Ele está pendurado por minha causa. Nas paredes das salas, nas frontarias das igrejas, nos quadros dos museus, até no meu peito, em todo o lado a imagem da cruz lembra que Aquele ali, coberto de sangue, foi condenado à morte por minha causa. Eu vivo a minha vida, em cada momento, sob o olhar do que está num patíbulo em vez de mim.

As razões da condenação acumulo-as a cada momento. Pequenas e grandes traições, mentiras e violências, egoísmo e mesquinhez; sobretudo a terrível tibieza e mediocridade em que mergulham os meus dias. De fora não se vê a podridão que tenho dentro. Nem os meus inimigos, que têm tanta razão nos insultos, nem eles sabem do mal a metade. Sou todos os dias muito justamente condenado à morte.

Todos estamos condenados à morte e um dia, cedo ou tarde, a sentença será executada. Aliás, a morte não é só um justo castigo dos nossos males, mas também um alívio terapêutico dos mesmos males. Que seria viver para sempre em tanta maldade? "Deus não institui a morte ao princípio, mas deu-a como remédio. Condenada pelo pecado a um trabalho contínuo e a lamentações insuportáveis, a vida dos homens começou a ser miserável. Deus teve de pôr fim a estes males, para que a morte restituísse o que a vida tinha perdido. Com efeito, a imortalidade seria mais penosa que benéfica, se não fosse promovida pela graça" (S. Ambrósio Na Morte do Irmão Sátiro, II, 47).

Isto posso compreendê-lo bem olhando com honestidade para a minha vida. Se tirar a máscara de respeitabilidade e elegância, se esquecer as justificações retóricas e os enganos convenientes, se for ao fundo das minhas razões, vejo com clareza que um juiz justo e imparcial teria de me condenar. Exalto o pouco bem que vou fazendo, mas essa ilusão de óptica não impede a sentença inevitável.

Mas não sou eu que estou ali pendurado. É Ele. Ele, a única pessoa a poder dizer com verdade não merecer a morte, é Ele que está ali. "Jesus estará em agonia até ao fim do mundo" (Pascal , 1670, Pensées, ed. Brunschvicg n.º 553, ed.Lafuma n.º 919). Ele está em agonia, e a culpa é minha. E graças à morte d"Ele a minha tem remédio. A morte, em si mesma, é definitiva. Quem morre fica morto. Mas porque Ele quis morrer por mim, a minha morte tem saída. A minha morte pode ir para a vida. Se me agarrar a Ele, o único que voltou da morte.

Porque essa morte, que Ele sofreu por minha causa, durou apenas três dias. Porque Ele, o único a poder dizer que não merece a morte, destruiu a morte com a morte que sofreu por minha causa. Assim não há mais morte, não há mais culpa. Tudo foi levado na enxurrada da ressurreição de Cristo.

Eu, no medíocre quotidiano, continuo a mesma mesquinha criatura que sempre fui. Os meus pecados não desapareceram por Ele ter morrido e ressuscitado. Aliás, todos os meus pecados foram já cometidos depois de Ele ter morrido e ressuscitado por mim. Mas, porque Ele morreu e ressuscitou, eu sei que existe algo que cobre a multidão dos meus erros, misérias, podridões. Existe a Sua eterna misericórdia. E essa, por ser infinita, ganha ao meu mal. Se eu a procurar.

Agora posso viver a minha vida debaixo do olhar que Ele me lança da cruz. Daquela cruz que vejo a cada passo nas cidades e aldeias. Daquela cruz onde Ele está pendurado por minha causa. E isso muda a minha vida. Até muda a desgraça, a tacanhez, a maldade da minha vida. Assim, até ela fica quase boa. Por me lembrar do facto de Ele estar ali pendurado por minha causa. E não se ir embora, por grandes que sejam os meus crimes. Por ficar ali pendurado, esperando sempre que eu O veja. Que caia em mim. Que volta para Ele. Que tenha fé. E isso é a vida eterna.

Contra el matrimonio homosexual el general Bergoglio mandó al asalto a las monjas - por Sandro Magister

 In Chiesaespresso

En lugar de desafiar a los poderosos de frente, el entonces arzobispo de Buenos Aires escribió una carta incandescente a unas monjas de clausura. Era su modo de "hacer política". La narración de una testigo directa de esa batalla 

ROMA, 15 de noviembre de 2013 – El Papa Francisco lo ha dicho claro en la entrevista programática a "La Civiltà Cattolica". Las batallas públicas sobre cuestiones como el aborto o el matrimonio homosexual no son para él prioritarias.

Ello no es óbice para que el próximo sínodo esté dedicado precisamente al tema de la familia. Por tanto, a cuestiones que hoy están también entre las más combatidas en el terreno político.

Generalmente, se considera que el Papa Jorge Mario Bergoglio debe pedir a los obispos que actúen en la escena pública en las modalidades adecuadas para cada país.

Pero también entre los obispos hay incertidumbre. En Italia, en Estados Unidos, en España, es decir, en los países donde en los años pasados el compromiso público de los episcopados sobre las cuestiones de la vida y de la familia ha sido más batallero, hay quien presiona para una mayor distancia del terreno político, siguiendo el ejemplo – se dice – del Papa.

Pues bien, ¿qué ejemplo dio Bergoglio cuando, como arzobispo de Buenos Aires, tuvo que enfrentarse a la aprobación de una ley que permite a personas del mismo sexo contraer matrimonio y adoptar niños?

Corría el año 2010 cuando en Argentina se aprobó dicha ley. El cardenal Bergoglio tomó posiciones en contra de ella de una manera que él había estudiado muy bien. No con declaraciones públicas que desafiaran frontalmente a los poderes políticos, sino con dos cartas internas a la Iglesia: la primera, a las monjas de cuatro monasterios carmelitas de Buenos Aires y la segunda a un dirigente del laicado católico argentino.

El doble movimiento del cardenal Bergoglio tuvo naturalmente un notable impacto también en el terreno político. Pero la explicación que se dio fue que el cardenal, con las dos cartas, no tenía la intención de "hacer política" sino simplemente "recordar la enseñanza de la Iglesia a todos aquellos que se proclaman católicos, pidiéndoles que actúen en consecuencia".

La persona que dio en el parlamento argentino esta justificación de la actuación del cardenal Bergoglio fue una senadora católica muy vinculada a éste, Liliana Negre, miembro del partido peronista y primera presidenta mundial de los "Parlamentarios para la vida y la familia".

Liliana Negre ha contado detalladamente cómo se llegó en Argentina a la aprobación de esa ley en un libro que ha salido en los Estados Unidos sobre Papa Francisco, con el testimonio de veinte personas que lo conocieron muy de cerca, jesuitas y no.

El entonces arzobispo de Buenos Aires no estaba, naturalmente, en el parlamento, cuando se aprobó la ley sobre el matrimonio homosexual. Sin embargo, los promotores de esa ley veían en él a su enemigo número uno, que había que derrotar a cualquier costa, incluso boicoteando cualquier negociado que abriera el camino a soluciones aceptables para la Iglesia.

He aquí la narración de esos días incandescentes, de mano de una testigo directa.



de Liliana Negre

El Cardenal Bergoglio siempre fue una persona que tuvo mucho coraje y mucha valentía para plantarse frente a los poderosos y decir lo que pensaba: la voz de los que no tenían voz era el Cardenal Bergoglio. Sobre todo en Buenos Aires que era el lugar de mayor concentración del poder, concentración económica, concentración política… como decimos nosotros “Dios está en todas partes, pero atiende en Buenos Aires”. […]

Yo lo conozco a él cuando soy senadora, tengo tres o cuatro entrevistas con él, pero profundizo más la relación a través de Parlamentarios por la Vida y la Familia. Él participó en ese congreso y se acercó a los parlamentarios pro-vida de Argentina para saludarnos, alentarnos a que siguiéramos trabajando, que tuviéramos coraje. Y después vino el tema del matrimonio de las personas del mismo sexo que en la Cámara de Diputados se trató muy rápido; y cuando llega al Senado de la Nación yo era la Presidenta de la Comisión. […]

En ese entonces la presidenta era Cristina Fernández y su esposo, el fallecido ex - presidente Néstor Kirchner, era diputado nacional. […] En el tema del matrimonio de las personas del mismo sexo, los Kirchner habían señalado a Bergoglio como el enemigo, porque lógicamente él planteaba lo que la Iglesia plantea a ese respecto. Incluso hubo una manifestación pública la tarde anterior a la aprobación de la ley, frente al Congreso. Y ese día el Cardenal envió una carta al Presidente del Consejo de Laicos de la Arquidiócesis de Buenos Aires. La carta se lee con su permiso y así el Cardenal permite que se conozca su postura públicamente y alienta a los laicos a seguir trabajando y luchando por nuestros valores.

Los Kirchner decían que el Cardenal era quien coordinaba todo el movimiento pro-familia a lo largo y ancho de la Argentina. El Cardenal también envió una carta a las carmelitas descalzas de Buenos Aires. Y, no sé por qué, el texto empieza a circular en las redes sociales: contenía no sólo una dura crítica a la catástrofe humana que supondría la legalización del “matrimonio” homosexual,  sino que pedían que rezaran para iluminar a los senadores. El día 14 de julio a las 10 de la mañana se inició el debate, que fue muy fuerte, y terminó sin interrupciones el 15 de julio cuando perdimos la votación.

Nosotros nos habíamos sentado al inicio del debate con una ventaja de nueve votos, y finalmente perdimos por tres. Así se puede dar cuenta de lo terrible que fue eso. El ex-presidente Kirchner como diputado nacional honorario nunca iba a la Cámara. Sólo fue dos veces: cuando juramentó como diputado… y cuando fue a votar a favor del “matrimonio” de las personas del mismo sexo.

Recuerdo que un senador del oficialismo interrumpió la sesión para hace una fuerte crítica al Cardenal Bergoglio y habló de la carta que había enviado a las carmelitas de Buenos Aires, en la que el Cardenal decía textualmente: “No se trata de una simple lucha política; sino de la pretensión destructiva al plan de Dios.  No se trata de un mero proyecto legislativo –éste es sólo el instrumento– sino de una ‘movida’ del padre de la mentira que pretende confundir y engañar a los hijos de Dios”.

La misiva decía además: “A los senadores: clamen al Señor para que envíe su Espíritu a los Senadores que han de dar su voto. Que no lo hagan movidos por el error o por situaciones de coyuntura sino según lo que la ley natural y la ley de Dios les señala.  Esta guerra no es vuestra sino de Dios.  Que ellos nos socorran, defiendan y acompañen en esta guerra de Dios”.

El senador oficialista que leyó esta carta fue Marcelo Fuentes, quien usó epítetos durísimos contra el Cardenal Bergoglio. Era un momento de mucha tensión porque la sesión tuvo muchos agravios.

Yo era la Presidenta de la Comisión y como tal llevaba la voz del no al “matrimonio” homosexual. Habíamos logrado consensuar un proyecto que era apoyado por quienes votaron no al matrimonio de las personas del mismo sexo; y que recibía además el apoyo para un proyecto de unión civil que estaba firmado por ocho de 15 senadores. Eso era lo que buscábamos para tener el 80 por ciento de la adhesión de los miembros de la Comisión. En este grupo estaban senadores del kirchnerismo, de partidos provinciales, de la unión cívica radical y del peronismo federal al que yo pertenezco. La idea era reconocer algunos derechos que los convivientes del mismo sexo pedían, como por ejemplo que se modificara la ley de salud, que los dejaran entrar a la terapia de sus parejas, o tener derecho de recibir pensión.

Esa noche, mientras estaba la gran manifestación en las afueras del Senado y se leía la otra carta del Cardenal, la dirigida a los laicos, el Presidente del Senado, violando todo el reglamento y la Constitución argentina, me notifica a mí como Presidenta de la Comisión que ha decidido anular  el proyecto de ley que tenía el apoyo del 80 por ciento del Senado, y que dejaría para el día siguiente solamente el sí o el no por el “matrimonio” homosexual.

La tensión que había se hizo más fuerte. A mí el presidente del grupo oficialista me dijo que era una fascista, que quería discriminar a las personas homosexuales como hacía Hitler con los judíos, que solo me faltaba ponerme la banda con la esvástica. La situación me arrancó lágrimas, porque yo había sido especialmente respetuosa; había cuidado mucho mis palabras. En medio del fragor de la madrugada me tocó responder a todas estas cuestiones. Pero especialmente quise referirme a las barbaridades que habían dicho del Cardenal, a quien nadie había defendido.

Puedo leer lo que dije tras señalar que iba a aclarar al senador Fuentes: “La Iglesia Católica responde al magisterio de la Iglesia; significa que el magisterio tiene un documento y ese documento ha expedido la Iglesia Católica en el año 2003. El documento lleva por título 'Consideraciones sobre los proyectos de reconocimiento legal de las uniones de personas homosexuales'. Esta es la posición de la Iglesia Católica. Entonces lo que ha hecho el Cardenal Bergoglio cuando confeccionó esa carta que dirigió a las Carmelitas, que son monjas de clausura, fue opinar de conformidad a las normas internas de la Iglesia Católica. Debemos saber diferenciar las cosas y defender a los ministros de culto. Ayer el Cardenal Bergoglio mandó una carta a esa marcha de laicos dirigida al Dr. Carbajales, su presidente. Esa es una carta y otra es la que mandó a las Carmelitas”.

Quería dejar en claro que ni el Cardenal Bergoglio ni otros muy valientes obispos argentinos estaba “interviniendo en política”, como criticaba el oficialismo, sino que estaba recordando lo que enseña la Iglesia a todos los que se proclaman católicos, y estaba pidiendo a esos católicos que actuaran en consecuencia. […]

Después que votaron a favor del matrimonio homosexual, los oficialistas dijeron: “Ya redujimos a Bergoglio”. Ellos habían encarado esta lucha por esta ley como si hubiera sido entre ellos y Bergoglio. […] El Cardenal Bergoglio fue vituperado, insultado, mancillado. Las cosas que yo escuché esas 24 horas de sesión sobre el Cardenal era para no creer. Y de pronto el Señor lo pone en ese lugar de Sucesor de Pedro en la Tierra. Por eso creo y por eso dije que es un mártir en vida y es un héroe.