NEWS: February 1, 2003
Bird’s Eye View of the News
Atila Sinke Guimarães
VATICAN PERMITS TRANSSEXUALS – The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the organ directed by the “lion of conservatism” Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, has sanctioned sex-change surgeries. After years of research, in 2000 the Congregation wrote a letter on the topic and sent it under secrecy to papal representatives around the world to provide guidance on a case-by-case basis for Bishops. When it became clear that many Bishops were still unaware of its existence, in 2002 the Congregation sent it to the presidents of the Episcopal Conferences as well.
According to a source familiar with the text, the document affirms that the sex-change procedures do not change a person’s gender in the eyes of the Church. “The key point,” said the reported source “is that the transsexual surgical operation is so superficial and external that it does not change the personality. If the person was a male, he remains male. If she was female, she remains female.” For this reason the Vatican organ instructs Bishops never to alter the sex listed in parish baptismal records and says that Catholics who have undergone sex-change procedures are not eligible to marry, be ordained to the priesthood, or enter religious life” (Catholic News Service, January 16, 2003).
When he is judging a moral monstrousity, such as the sex-change surgeries, the legislator (the Church) has to make a rejection of the crime proportionate to the moral aberration. If he does not, he leads people to take as natural what is an aberration. In this lack of proportion there is an implicit acceptance.
For instance, if someone has the habit of anthropophagy (killing human beings to eat their flesh), and the legislator, when judging it, does not qualify the abomination of this crime, but only says that those who have this habit cannot enter the seminary, he is putting this crime on the same moral level as some defects that do not imply guilt, such as to stutter, which also prevents a man from entering the seminary. So, by omitting the qualification of the moral monstrosity, the legislator attenuates the gravity of the crime and implicitly admits it.
Therefore, when the only thing the Vatican has to say about sex-change surgeries is that the transsexual is not eligible for the seminary and marriage, it is implicitly giving citizenship to this abomination.
In more precise words, it is a spectacular sanction of one of the most radical forms of homosexuality, which goes beyond dressing and acting like the person of other sex, but involves a bodily mutilation or addition in order to simulate the physical body of the other sex. This monstrosity against nature that calls for vengeance from Heaven is considered as something almost indifferent by the present day Vatican: “It is so superficial and external that it does not change the personality.”
With this latest attitude, the Vatican has added yet another to an ensemble of concessions on moral issues – the de facto establishment of divorce by the radical increase of marriage annulments; the virtual abolition of traditional Catholic rigor against homosexuality; the execution of many and important points of the feminist agenda inside the Church; the protection of pedophiles priests imposed by the Vatican in the reformed Dallas Charter of the American Bishops; and now the citizenship offered to transsexuals. There are not many aberrations left to be sanctioned in the moral realm…
CASTRO AND JPII: THE SAME “FAITH” IN EVOLUTION - During his recent visit to the University of Pittsburg, Fidel Castro addressed a talk to around 600 professors and students representing 269 US universities. In it he said John Paul II was “very courageous” for criticizing the Inquisition and for defending that the theory of evolution is compatible with the Catholic faith about creation (Inside the Vatican, January 2003, p. 61).
Castro has good reasons to praise JPII, since evolution is one of the major hoaxes upon which Communism establishes itself. Until today there is no serious scientific evidence to support it. The research supporting both Darwinism and Neo-Darwinism have collapsed under scrutiny. The evolutionist theory is considered just one more philosophical hypothesis in the ideological spectrum. In these conditions, the endorsement of a Pope is quite helpful to increase “the belief” in such a theory. The Communist dictator is taking full advantage of it.
NO MORE ECUMENISM, SAY BAPTISTS – The North American Mission Board (NAMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention recently stated that it does not want to continue ecumenical dialogue with Catholics. Rudy Gonzalez, who heads the NAMB, said: “Ecumenical dialogue is not part of our ministry assignment from the Southern Baptist Convention. In the end, I think all parties would agree that our theological differences are what make us uniquely who we are as Baptists and Roman Catholics” (Our Sunday Visitor, January 26, 2003, p. 12).
So we have this rather strange situation. In the wake of Vatican II, innumerable Catholics have become ashamed of the anti-ecumenical Truth the Church had defended in the past and are constantly asking forgiveness for the splendid actions she made on behalf of the Faith. The Baptists, on the contrary, are proud of their past errors and their obstinacy. Since these Catholics argue that they have to deny the past teaching of the Church to please the heretics, why don’t they at least be consistent now and deny ecumenism to please the innumerable Protestants who take a similar position as that of the Baptist sect?
VATICAN III POSTPONED – An international petition asking for a new ecumenical council launched in April of 2002 was signed by 35 Bishops, 782 priests, 1,196 religious men and women, and 6,017 Catholic lay people (click for a past column on the topic). In an interview with Zenith Agency last December 4, Cardinal Ratzinger addressed this possibility.
Asked about the convocation of a new council as proposed by the petition, the official of the Holy See said: "First of all it is a practical problem." He explained this saying that not enough time had passed to assimilate Vatican II: “We have not implemented sufficiently the legacy of Vatican II. We are still working to assimilate and interpret this legacy, as vital processes take time.” He emphasized, “This is why the time has not yet arrived for a new council.” He also pointed to the practical difficulties of assembling at the Vatican the 4,000 Bishops the Church has today, compared to the 2,000 at the last Council (Adista, Rome, January 4, 2003, p.14).
Ratzinger: Vatican III? First, let's resolve practical problems - El Pais, October 11, 1991
I don’t agree with this answer by Ratzinger. As far as I know, a new council is not convoked or avoided in function of practical reasons. Throughout History, the councils (good or bad) were called because of doctrinal, institutional, pastoral, and political reasons. This rule was also followed by John XXIII. When he convened Vatican II he did not manifest a special concern for practical problems. Actually he created a lot of practical problems when he almost completely disregarded the previous plan that Pius XII had prepared for a council. Most of the proposals that the latter had set to be discussed in a new council were put aside and replaced by a new progressivist agenda. This created turmoil at Vatican II. Certainly, it was not a practical approach.
Ratzinger should know this reality perfectly well. Therefore, his answer does not mean that a new council will not be assembled in the near future. His answer only indicates that it is postponed for now.
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