viernes, junio 28, 2013

Notable Cardenal Malcolm Ranjith: sin liturgia seria, aburrimiento y decadencia, y la Iglesia vale menos que una secta

Sacra Liturgia Conference Under Way in Rome

Rome, June 27, 2013 (Zenit.org) Edward Pentin

The faithful must be taught the true meaning of the sacred liturgy: that it is “an instrument of communion with the Lord, allowing the Lord to take hold of you, and the Lord absorbing you into his divine mission, and making you experience what a great and privileged moment of communion this is.”

These are the words of Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, archbishop of Colombo, in an exclusive interview with ZENIT on the sidelines of Sacra Liturgia 2013, a major international conference in Rome this week. The cardinal, who was previously Secretary at the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, also discussed the importance of formation, Pope Francis’ approach to the sacred liturgy, and the crucial role it plays in the New Evangelisation.

The June 25-28th conference, convened by Bishop Dominique Rey of the diocese of Fréjus-Toulon, France, has been oversubscribed, drawing more than 300 participants from 35 countries to study, promote, and renew the appreciation of liturgical formation and celebration.

ZENIT: Your Eminence, what are your hopes for this conference?

Cardinal Ranjith: These conferences have been going on for the last several years organised by Bishop [Dominique] Rey. To get a proper idea of the liturgy, we need such conferences and a diffusion of these ideas of the true nature of liturgy, which becomes important for the Church for its life in the future. Because a lot of misunderstandings have come from experimentations that have been going on and they have damaged the liturgical life of the Church. The effort of this conference is also part of this process of formation which is very important and it is why it [the conference] is important.

ZENIT: How important is a sound understanding of the liturgy for today’s Church and how can it help the New Evangelization?

Cardinal Ranjith: People have misconceptions about evangelization as if it is something we ourselves, with human effort, can achieve. This is a basic misunderstanding. What the Lord wanted us to do was to join him and his mission. The mission is His mission. If we think we are the ones to be finding grandiose plans to achieve that, we are on the wrong track. The missionary life of the Church is the realization of our union with Him, and this union is achieved in the most tangible way through the liturgy. Therefore, the more the Church is united with the Lord in the celebration of the liturgy, the more fruitful the mission of the Church will become. That is why this is very important.

ZENIT: Are you saying that without a sound liturgy, it becomes merely a human enterprise?

Yes, a human enterprise, and it ends up being a boring exercise. It doesn’t change, it doesn’t transform. Transformation is very necessary for the faithful.

ZENIT: Some argue that the liturgy is mostly about aesthetics and not as important as, say, good works carried out with faith? What would you say to that argument?

Aesthetics are also important because human life is also conditioned by aesthetics - settings and symbols in aesthetics which help man lift his heart to God. Therefore, aesthetics have a relative role; they’re important but not the most important; that is the inner communion achieved in the liturgy, inner communion of the faithful with the Lord, and the community with the Lord. That is what is most important.

ZENIT: Pope Benedict XVI put a lot of emphasis on the liturgy in his Pontificate, and called you collaborate with him in this work. Can you offer us some insights into the liturgical initiatives of Benedict XVI?

I think even before he became Pope, he had been writing on this subject and was much more theologian than a liturgist. But eventually, any theologian becomes a liturgist because, you know, lex orandi is lex credendi. The foundational experience of the Church in its faith is the liturgy, because it’s prayer that leads us to God, prayer that opens up our horizons in understanding God in His actions. So the importance of the liturgy must have been understood by Pope Benedict so much that while he was prefect of the Congregation [for the Doctrine of the Faith], he started writing articles and books on the liturgy. And he has made a great contribution to the liturgy in the sense that the revival of liturgical thought in the Church is thanks to him.

ZENIT: But his rehabilitation of the pre-conciliar liturgy was controversial in some quarters. Why did he think this was important? Does the older liturgy have a role to play in the New Evangelisation?

Yes, because the older liturgy has some elements in it that can enrich the new liturgy, which can sort of act like a mirror into which you look. You look at yourself, and you understand what you are. The old liturgy helps us to understand what is good in the new liturgy and what is not perfect in the new liturgy. So by creating that kind of confrontation in the Church, he has helped us to make a proper evaluation, purify the new liturgy and make it stronger. He sort of guides us into a process of thinking and working towards a reform of the reform, because the reform of the liturgy had some flaws in the way it started off, in the way it worked. There had been a lot of arbitrary actions, misunderstandings, misconceptions, which need to be purified and which can happen in the light of the old liturgy. By understanding the beauty of the old liturgy, one can gain from the new liturgy also some elements of that beauty. The new liturgy has some of its own positive points, such as better use of the scriptures, more participation by the people, room for greater singing and other things, which can also be integrated into the old liturgy. Old elements like genuflection and some of the beautiful prayers, some of the repetitions, can enrich the new liturgy also. So it’s a two way process. That’s why the Holy Father, Pope Benedict, thought of allowing the old liturgy more freely, in order to affect this third way, the way of the reform. 

ZENIT: There are a number of former Anglicans who have joined the Ordinariates established by Benedict XVI, present here at Sacra Liturgia 2013. What role does the liturgy play in furthering Christian Unity?

Already the liturgical life of the Orthodox communities, the Orthodox churches, is very much more indicative of the devotional and mystical dimensions of, for example, the Eucharist. When they celebrate the Eucharist, they see that happening - in a more mystical fashion it happens. Therefore union with the Orthodox Churches becomes easier for us when we become more authentic in our liturgy. It’s the same thing in churches like the Anglican Communion. It’s helpful for us to draw closer to them and them to us, and be enriched by this process. That’s why it’s important.

ZENIT: What role does the liturgy have now in the pontificate of Pope Francis? Some people talk as if everything has changed because there is a new Pope. Is this the case?

No I don’t think Pope Francis is like that – I don’t believe that. He is a serious person and he thinks seriously about the liturgy. He has told me a number of times liturgical rules and regulations have to be followed because he understands the seriousness of the liturgical life of the Church and the practice of the faith by the people. It influences us certainly. He is a very pastoral-minded person and he understands the people’s spiritual needs. I don’t think he will permit any sort of adventurism in liturgical practice. He will continue [with regards to the liturgy] and I think he’s serious about that too.

ZENIT: You have been the Archbishop of a large Archdiocese in Asia for the past four years. What liturgical initiatives have you introduced? Why were these priorities?

When I arrived I found much liturgical disorder so I started from the very beginning, insisting on certain things. We have declared a Year of the Eucharist in order to put everything in order. Now all the priests are using the vestments because, before, they were not using all of them when they celebrated Mass. Now everybody’s following that, showing that the celebration of the Eucharist is something special, not like any other activity. And there is greater devotion in the celebration of the Eucharist. Communion is given on the tongue and kneeling. This has become common practice everywhere and more and more people are returning to the Church. Those who have resorted to fundamentalism, for example, are returning to the Church because they find that the liturgy is something formative, enriching. It’s not this “show” that they had been used to. So we’ve changed the liturgical life of the diocese a lot.

ZENIT: Sacra Liturgia 2013 is meeting in the Year of Faith, 50 years after the opening of the Second Vatican Council. Its Constitution on the Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, was its first fruit. Would you care to comment on some of the successes and some of the problems of its implementation in the post-conciliar Church?

Sacrosanctum Concilium is a natural development, for example, of Mediator Dei [the encyclical on the Sacred Liturgy] of Pius XII, and the process of reform which had been going on from the time of [Dom] Prosper Guéranger [author of The Liturgical Year in the 19th century]. It’s a process that started in the late 1800s and it’s going on in the Church. Sacrosanctum Concilium is another step in that direction.

But in order to make true reform, to make the liturgy a touching experience that converts people and strengthens them in faith. It’s not just an exotic celebration, one that makes you hysterical and forget yourself and go into some kind of emotional hysteria. [The reform] is to turn the liturgy into that to which it has to become – to be an instrument of communion with the Lord, allowing the Lord to take hold of you, and the Lord absorbing you into his divine mission, and making you experience what a great and privileged moment of communion this is. And it enriches the Church and every single individual. The liturgy of the Catholic Church is unique and special. I go around the parishes in my diocese and explain to them what the beauty of the liturgy is and say: “What are you people trying to do? Why go to the sects to look for something? You have the treasure here. You have the Eucharist. The Lord is there, present for you. He’s inviting you into communion with him, divine communion, eternal communion. Why are you leaving this and going away?” That is what is important for us to show. And the reforms of the Second Vatican Council have, in some instances, got out of control. It has caused harm to the inner life of our people. But the Second Vatican Council itself didn’t say that and didn’t want that. It wanted a true renewal, but renewal means deepening. But it didn’t happen because unfortunately we made everything look like cosmetic changes here and there. Some people said the Council changes were to take the candle from the left side of the Mass and put it on the right side of the altar. That’s [taken to be] the reform, but that’s not the reform. The reform should be more profound, more spiritual. From the celebration of the Eucharist, for example, comes a transforming experience of union with the Lord. That is what the reform should achieve.

ZENIT: Fifty years later, what do we need to do in order to be faithful to the liturgical vision the Council set out in Sacrosanctum Concilium? Do we need a reform of the reform?

We need to be very much involved in the formation process of our people. Most people don’t understand what the liturgy is all about. We’ve got to tell what it is. We’ve got to educate them, to prepare the materials necessary to educate them in that. Then we have to reform the reforms, we have got to also tell our priests how serious they should become when they go to the altar. It’s not a day-to-day eating and drinking exercise. It’s something very special. If you are a priest, you’re placed in the noble company of Jesus. You become another Christ at the altar. Are you aware of this? So you’ve got to educate and form them, and tell the people what is happening at the altar, and make the full part of the sacrament take hold of these people. That is what is necessary.

ZENIT: People talk about a widespread loss of the sacred in society – would you say that is the main problem?

Yes, because we have kind of converted it [the sacred liturgy] into a social gathering, like the assemblies they had in Russia, for example, where they sang songs of heroism, of ideas, and had parades. It’s like a liturgy but it doesn’t bring any transformation in the inner life of our people.

domingo, junio 23, 2013

Líder malo, líder bueno y antilíder

Francisco Armanet, experto chileno en liderazgo, ha expuesto en Alborada los resultados de una investigación científica que calza a la perfección con el sentido común. 

En síntesis, hay líderes malos, que van por el camino de la autodestrucción, aunque tienen éxito. Y hay líderes buenos, que van por el camino de la felicidad propia y ajena. 

El líder malo es el narcisista, egoísta y ambicioso. Está lleno de ellos, por todas partes. Arrasan con todo, pero muchas veces les va bien aparentemente. Consiguen las tres malditas pes: poder, plata y prestigio. Y terminan mal, en lo que más importa: su felicidad, su familia.

El líder bueno emprende proyectos con personas a su cargo. Todos han de ser líders, al menos como padres de familia. Pero su estudio, con miles de variables, arrojó las 5 características del líder bueno. Las expuso de menos a más importante:

  1. Cumplir las promesas. El valor de la palabra dada a los liderados. No prometer nada que no se recuerde luego cumplir.
  2. Adoptar decisiones prontas: más vale equivocarse que no hacer nada. (Claro que equivocarse 3 de 10 veces, si no, que te cambien de cargo). 
  3. Ser impecables desde el punto de vista de las reglas básicas de la ética. No se refería a no tener defectos de ningún tipo, sino a cosas elementales como no gastar dinero de la empresa en asuntos privados (eg el taxi) o no tener favoritismos basados en simpatías privadas o no ser un fresco con la secretaria y cosas por el estilo.
  4. Saber dirigir un trabajo en equipo: que todos los implicados intervengan, y luego,después de escuchar y deliberar, decidir con firmeza. Se ha de conseguir que todos se comprometan en sacar adelante lo decidido.
  5. Preocuparse genuinamente de cada uno como persona, no solamente como trabajador: su familia, sus hijos, etc. No se trata de una estrategia de liderazgo, sino de un rasgo que ha de ser auténtico amor a las personas.

Dos cualidades adicionales fueron mencionadas. Primera: el líder bueno no trabaja para sí mismo, como el egocéntrico, sino para una finalidad que lo trasciende: su familia, la patria, un proyecto en bien de todos. Segunda: el líder es magnánimo, aspira a hacer grandes cosas por el bien común, no sólo para sí mismo.

Fantástico. Sentido común y sentido cristiano. Sin embargo, todavía pienso que existe otra posibilidad: no ser ni líder malo ni líder bueno, sino simplemente antilíder. Ya veremos si algún día logro explicarlo bien.

lunes, junio 17, 2013

Cuidar a la Universidad de Chile

En El Mercurio.

Lunes 17 de junio de 2013

Cuidar la U. de Chile

Señor Director:

No todas las universidades tienen la misma identidad y misión. Esta variedad enriquece el sistema universitario en su conjunto. La Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, mi alma máter, tiene el deber estatutario de hacer brillar la luz de Cristo en la cultura y la ciencia, en diálogo con las otras universidades, sin perder su propia identidad en el proceso. Esta especial misión es incompatible con que ella misma, en su interior, admita toda la pluralidad de visiones vigentes en la sociedad civil. Ha de preservar su propia fisonomía, sin transigir con las ideologías anticristianas.

Por eso mismo, la Universidad de Chile, junto con las otras universidades estatales, posee una identidad nacional comprehensiva y una misión peculiar insustituible. En ella deberíamos sentirnos cómodos todos los ciudadanos, confrontando de manera civilizada nuestros puntos de vista y luchando con las armas de la razón para defender lo que de buena fe nos parece verdadero, recto y justo. Confieso que así me he sentido cuando, como invitado a su Facultad de Derecho, he enseñado y debatido con profesores y estudiantes de posiciones doctrinarias totalmente contrarias a las mías. Debemos cuidar esta realidad.

Debemos ampliar el pluralismo interno de la Universidad de Chile en aquellas facultades que hayan sido cooptadas por grupos unilaterales. Asimismo, cabe esperar de sus autoridades, comenzando por su rector, que hagan respetar su autonomía a quienes se arrogan el poder de invadirla y secuestrarla bajo el pretexto de que, transitoriamente, estudian en ella. Si no lo hacemos, dejará de ser el lugar del encuentro entre todos para ser el espacio donde se impone la ideología de algunos y se amedrenta a quienes discrepan para hundirlos en el silencio.

Cristóbal Orrego Sánchez
Profesor de Derecho UC

Profesor Invitado, Universidad de Chile

viernes, junio 14, 2013

AVP, AVC, engaños diabólicos para católicos deseosos de hacer las paces con el mal

La ideología de género es la peor amenaza de hoy contra las religiones, contra la misma idea de Dios creador.

De Vatican Isider.


Introvigne: “El matrimonio gay es fruto de la dictadura del relativismo”

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La manifestación parisina contra el matrimonio gay
La manifestación parisina contra el matrimonio gay

Entrevista con el sociólogo turinés Massimo Introvigne, ex representante de la Ocse en la lucha contra la intolerancia y la discriminación hacia los cristianos

El matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo ya es legal en 14 países. Siguiendo las reflexiones del presidente de la Conferencia Episcopal de Italia (Cei), Angelo Bagnasco, el sociólogo Introvigne sostiene que “la familia no puede ser humillada y debilitada por representaciones semejantes que, afelpadamente, constituyen un ‘vulnus’ progresivo a su específica identidad, y que no son necesarias para tutelar los derechos individuales, ya garantizados en gran medida por la normativa”.

Profesor, hace tres años, como arzobispo de Buenos Aires, Bergoglio atribuyó la ley sobre el “matrimonio gay” a la “envidia del demonio que confunde y engaña a los hijos de Dios”. ¿Usted considera “católicamente aceptable” la admisión de las uniones civiles sin recurrir a la palabra matrimonio?

El problema no es solo una incertidumbre doctrinal sobre lo que el Magisterio enseña en materia de uniones homosexuales. Para muchos (incluso “conservadores”, dirigentes católicos, sacerdotes, e incluso algún obispo) las incertidumbres doctrinales no existen, pero el problema es que han cedido al mito iluminista del progreso y del carácter ineluctable de ciertas “conquistas” modernas, un mito que vinvula la verdad con el tiempo y que es el pilar mismo de esa “dictadura del relativismo” de la que, siguiendo la huella de Benedicto XVI, ha hablado Francisco. Se han convencido de que la historia avanza en línea recta, que la revolución en contra de la castidad prematrimonial, el aborto, el matrimonio homosexual, la eutanasia (mañana la llamarán “aborto post-natal”) son el resultado de procesos “irreversibles”. El tren avanza en línea recta e ineluctablemente. Como máximo (tal y como ha sucedido en Italia con el tema de las uniones homosexuales) puede detenerse un poco en una estación, pero después parte de nuevo. Los que piensan diferente son víctimas, usando las ideas de Francisco, de esa mundanidad espiritual que ha perdido confianza en Dios y sigue las vías del consenso del mundo y de esa desesperación histórica que, nos explicó el Pontífice, proviene efectivamente del diablo.

Diferentes personas en la jerarquía eclesiástica (como el purpurado belga Daneels, el arzobispo de Curia Marini o el cardenal austríaco Schönborn) se han expresado a favor de una solución que legitime una unión civil para personas del mismo sexo. ¿Existe una fracción pro-matrimonio gay en el episcopado?

Hay que distinguir entre las cuestiones doctrinales y las de teoría de la acción. La doctrina es la que expuso el cardenal Angelo Bagnasco y que se encuentra en numerosos documentos del Magisterio. La teoría de la acción lleva a un cierto número de católicos, que desde el punto de vista doctrinal deberían estar ( y muchas veces lo están) de acuerdo con el Magisterio, incluidos algunos prelados, a preguntarse si, desde el punto de vista estrátegico, las uniones civiles no podrían ser un mal menor con respecto al mal mayor que representaría el matrimonio y las adopciones entre las personas del mismo sexo. Primero se aprueba la ley sobre la unión civil (tal vez “vendida” como una alternativa a la ley sobre el matrimonio y las adopciones) y después de algunos años la unión civil se transforma en matrimonio. Las diferentes soluciones (PACS, DICO, uniones civiles…) son esas representaciones semejantes a la familia que el cardenal Bagnasco vigorosamente rechaza y que no son simplemente reconocimientos de los derechos individuales.

¿Existe una “santa alianza” entre confesiones cristianas y otros monoteísmos para defender el matrimonio y la familia tradicional?

Hay, incluso en Italia (por ejemplo algunas iniciativas en Sicilia), colaboración fecunda entre cristianos y protestantes, sobre todo de la llamada matriz “evangélica” y pentecostal, así como en los países del Este, con las Iglesias ortodoxas. Pero también hay ambientes judíos (Benedicto XVI citó al rabino Bernheim, cuyas ideas siguen siendo interesantes a pesar de las posteriores controversias sobre sus capacidades académicas, que provocaron su renuncia como líder de los rabinos de Francia) e incluso musulmanes.

¿El matrimonio homosexual es también un arma ideológica de la cultura laicista en contra de la fe?

Creo que las colaboraciones sobre este tema entre católicos y exponentes de otras comunidades cristianas y religiones derivan justamente del hecho de que la ideología de género, como Benedicto XVI explicó en su discurso a la Curia del 21 de diciembre de 2012, implica la pretensión prometeica del hombre que se hace a sí mismo, que niega la existencia de una naturaleza humana, y la afirmación de que podemos inventarnos como mejor nos parezca una identidad y un modelo de familia. Pero negar la naturaleza significa negar que exista un Dios Creador. Por este motivo, la ideología de género es un desafío mortal para las religiones. El cardenal Bergoglio, que es muy sensible al tema de la acción del demonio en el mundo, atribuyó esta negación de la naturaleza humana a la “envidia del demonio”. Y, en el diálogo con el rabino argentino Abraham Skorka habló sobre un “retroceso antropológico”, determinado por la ideología de género y por la intención de asimilar las uniones homosexuales al matrimonio, una expresión muy fuerte, pero que concuerda absolutamente con el discurso de 2012 de Benedicto XVI. El documento fundamental está constituido por las Consideraciones acerca de los proyectos de reconocimiento legal de las uniones entre personas homosexuales, un texto del 3 de junio de 2003 de la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe suscrito por el entonces prefecto de la misma congregación, el cardenal Ratzinger, pero que fue suscrito y aprobado por el Papa, el beato Juan Pablo II, hecho que lo vuelve, como sabemos, parte del Magisterio pontificio.

sábado, junio 08, 2013

Homosexualidad y esperanza

De Mercator.net, ideas claras. Para el 80% de los chilenos que no entienden lo que leen, en ninguna parte se dice que el alcoholismo sea igual a la homosexualidad. Hay distancia.

Aquí se puede entender qué bien han hecho el año pasado en la UC discutiendo el tema de las terapias de curación de la homosexualidad, aun cuando no sirvan para todos. Es necesario seguir investigando y ayudando.

Robert R. Reilly | Monday, 27 May 2013
tags : DOMA, genetic determinism, homosexuality

Mutable or immutable?

Homosexuals are born that way, gay activists argue vehemently. How is it that so many have changed?

Science has been enlisted to depathologize homosexuality in so far as it can lend credence to the assertion that homosexuality is an immutable condition. The immutability issue is as irrelevant to the moral nature of homosexual behavior as it is to alcoholic behavior. Alcoholics, by definition, are alcoholics for life. If they wish to remain sober, they may never drink again.
Are homosexuals like this, also? Will they forever suffer from (or celebrate) their inclination? There is mixed evidence regarding this. Of those wanting to change, some have been able to; some have not. However, except in the very real terms of personal hardship, it does not really matter. After all, everyone is disposed in some morally disordered way or another. The immutability of the condition or of the inclination is irrelevant to the moral character of the acts to which they are disposed.
Of course, some homosexual apologists find the genetic excuse exculpatory. Therefore, they need it for the rationalization of their behavior: if I am this way by nature, how can I help what I do? However, the alcoholic could use the same justification for his drunkenness. In neither case does the inclination neuter free will or responsibility for actions.
However, this issue is extremely important here in the US because homosexual activists wish to establish the immutability of their condition in order to constitute themselves as a “class”. Legally, a “class” can be determined only by accident of birth, by such traits as race or sex. This explains the enormous interest in establishing sexual orientation as genetic or biological. Homosexuals want to be designated a “class” so they can game the legal system for the spoils of discrimination. Therefore, this issue has huge legal and financial consequences.
We can see the burgeoning significance of this matter in Attorney General Eric Holder’s 2011 letter to Congress, explaining why the Obama administration would no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as being between one man and one woman, in court. A group can be defined as a “class”, explained Mr. Holder, if individuals “exhibit obvious, immutable, or distinguishing characteristics that define them as a discrete group”. Therefore, everything hinges upon whether homosexuality is an unchangeable characteristic. Mr Holder announces that, “a growing scientific consensus accepts that sexual orientation is a characteristic that is immutable”. So great is this consensus that, according to him, claims to the contrary “we do not believe can be reconciled with more recent social scientific understandings”.
This bestows upon homosexuals the privilege of being a class, just as are blacks, Hispanics, or women. As a class, they can be discriminated against. Has there been such discrimination?
Mr Holder answers that, “there is, regrettably, a significant history of purposeful discrimination against gay and lesbian people, by governmental as well as private entities, based on prejudice and stereotypes that continue to have ramifications today”.  One of those ongoing ramifications is the restriction of marriage to one man and one woman by the Defense of Marriage Act. Thus, he concludes, this law is discriminatory against homosexuals as a class and, therefore, unconstitutional and indefensible.
Judging “immutable characteristics”
But let us try to put these claims in perspective. Let us say that in cannibals, cannibalism is an immutable characteristic. They simply can’t stop eating people. Identifiable as cannibals, they could be discriminated against as a class. But this begs the question as to whether discrimination against them would be justified or not. Surely, one would think, it would be warranted because eating other people is wrong. Therefore, the discrimination against them is based not so much on cannibals as people, but on their activity of eating other people. If there were nothing wrong with eating other people, there would be no moral basis for discrimination against cannibals.
Likewise, even if homosexuality is an immutable characteristic, what distinguishes homosexuals is their sexual activity. Therefore, like cannibals, discrimination against them would be based not so much on who they are, as on what they do. The whole question, then, turns upon whether what they do is right or wrong. Mr. Holder’s letter clearly assumes that this question has been settled and, in his answer, we see the profound ramifications of the Lawrence v. Texas case and its vindication of sodomy. Using Lawrence, Mr. Holder declares, in an opprobrious tone, that, “Indeed, until very recently, states have ‘demean[ed] the existence’ of gays and lesbians ‘by making their private sexual conduct a crime’. Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558, 578 (2003)” – meaning, of course, that it was wrong to do so.
Change you can believe in
However, even if one were to grant that sodomy is a morally fine act, the contention that homosexuals are a “class” is indefensible because sexual orientation is not an immutable characteristic – even if some are unable to change it. There is simply too much clinical and other evidence that proves otherwise. A black man has never become a white man, or an Hispanic, a Chinese. A woman has never become a man, or a man, a woman – without massive surgical and hormonal intervention. However, there is ample fluidity, particularly in younger years, in sexual orientation. Straight men have become homosexuals, and homosexuals have become straight. The mutable cannot be immutable.
In 2003, Dr Jeffrey Satinover, a board-certified psychiatrist, testified before the Massachusetts Senate Judicial Committee on this subject. He said that the National Health and Social Life Survey (NHSLS) study of sexuality was completed in 1994 by a research team from the University of Chicago and funded by almost every large government agency and NGO with an interest in the AIDS epidemic.
“They studied every aspect of sexuality, but among their findings is the following, which I'm going to quote for you directly: ‘7.1 [to as much as 9.1] percent of the men [we studied, more than 1,500] had at least one same-gender partner since puberty. ... [But] almost 4 percent of the men [we studied] had sex with another male before turning eighteen but not after. These men. . . constitute 42 percent of the total number of men who report ever having a same gender experience.’ Let me put this in context: Roughly ten out of every 100 men have had sex with another man at some time – the origin of the 10% gay myth. Most of these will have identified themselves as gay before turning eighteen and will have acted on it. But by age 18, a full half of them no longer identify themselves as gay and will never again have a male sexual partner. And this is not a population of people selected because they went into therapy; it's just the general population. Furthermore, by age twenty-five, the percentage of gay identified men drops to 2.8%. This means that without any intervention whatsoever, three out of four boys who think they're gay at age l6 aren't by 25”.
In “Homosexuality and the Truth”,  former homosexuals Sy Rogers & Alan Medinger, both involved in the Exodus Global Alliance, provide the following references for the contention that homosexuality is not immutable:
Dr Reuben Fine, Director for the New York Centre for Psychoanalytic Training, says in his 1987 publication 'Psychoanalytic Theory, Male and Female Homosexuality: Psychological Approaches': ‘I have recently had occasion to review the result of psychotherapy with homosexuals, and been surprised by the findings. It is paradoxical that even though politically active homosexual groups deny the possibility of change, all studies from Schrenck-Notzing on have found positive effects, virtually regardless of the kind of treatment used...a considerable percentage of overt homosexuals became heterosexual... If the patients were motivated, whatever procedure is adopted, a large percentage will give up their homosexuality. In this connection, public information is of the greatest importance. The misinformation spread by certain circles that 'homosexuality is untreatable by psychotherapy' does incalculable harm to thousands of men and women.’ (pp.84-86)”
Here is what Dr Irving Bieber and his colleagues concluded:
“The therapeutic results of our study provide reason for an optimistic outlook. Many homosexuals become exclusively heterosexual in psychoanalytic treatment. Although this change may be more easily accomplished by some than others, in our judgment, a heterosexual shift is a possibility for all homosexuals who are strongly motivated to change.”
Bieber stated 17 years later: “We have followed some patients for as long as ten years who have remained exclusively heterosexual.”
Dr. Robert Kronemeyer, in his 1980 book, Overcoming Homosexuality says: "For those homosexuals who are unhappy with their life and find effective therapy, it is 'curable'." "The homosexual's real enemy is... his ignorance of the possibility that he can be helped." says Dr. Edmund Bergler, in his book, Homosexuality: Disease or Way of Life?
In his 2003 testimony to the Massachusetts Senate, Dr. Satinover said,
“A review of the research over many years demonstrates a consistent 30-52% success rate in the treatment of unwanted homosexual attraction. Masters and Johnson reported a 65% success rate after a five-year follow-up. Other professionals report success rates ranging from 30% to 70%”.
Stanton L Jones, Provost and Professor of Psychology, Wheaton College, conducted a more recent study of people seeking change in sexual orientation “through their involvement in the cluster of ministries organized under Exodus International”. The span of the study was 6 to 7 years. His reported results are as follows: “Of these 61 subjects, 53% were categorized as successful outcomes by the standards of Exodus Ministries. Specifically, 23% of the subjects reported success in the form of ‘conversion’ to heterosexual orientation and functioning, while an additional 30% reported stable behavioral chastity with substantive disidentification with homosexual orientation. On the other hand, 20% of the subjects reported giving up on the change process and fully embracing gay identity”. Dr. Jones said, “I conclude from these data and years of study that homosexual orientation is sometimes mutable”.
The futility of immutability
If it is even sometimes mutable, then it cannot be immutable. The evidence for this is often disregarded or treated with tremendous hostility by homosexual activists because it imperils their “class” designation and all the goes with it. Therefore, tremendous pressure has been exerted within and on the American Psychological Association and other professional societies to declare that such change is impossible and, in fact, undesirable. Homosexuals who have made the change are viciously attacked and attempts are being made, and have so far succeeded in places like California, to pass legislation prohibiting reparative therapy.
In 2012, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 1172, which “prohibit[s] a mental health provider, as defined, from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts, as defined, with a patient under 18 years of age. The bill would provide that any sexual orientation change efforts attempted on a patient under 18 years of age by a mental health provider shall be considered unprofessional conduct and shall subject the provider to discipline by the provider’s licensing entity”. Therefore, but for the stay of a court order, it would now be illegal in California for therapists to aid teenagers struggling with same-sex attractions from performing any type of reorientation therapy on lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender minors.
The Bill announces the premise upon which it is based: “An individual’s sexual orientation, whether homosexual, bisexual, or heterosexual, is not a disease, disorder, illness, deficiency, or shortcoming”. The Bill also quotes an article in the journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in 2012, which states “Indeed, there is no medically valid basis for attempting to prevent homosexuality, which is not an illness”.
While the bill speaks volubly about the dangers of conversion therapy, for which there is only anecdotal evidence, it never once mentions the far greater dangers of the homosexual life, for which there is ample scientific evidence. Perhaps the reason is that its principal sponsor was a homosexual legislator, which also helps explain why the bill does not prohibit therapists from helping straight youths to become homosexual – only the other way around. The totalitarian impulse underlying the rationalization of homosexual behavior is here revealed by the attempt to forbid those seeking help from obtaining it.
Even some pro-homosexual rights scientists are appalled by the outright denial of reality. Dr Nicholas Cummings said:
“I have been a lifelong champion of civil rights, including lesbian and gay rights. I [was] appointed as president (1979) [of] the APA's first Task Force on Lesbian and Gay Issues, which eventually became an APA division. In that era the issue was a person's right to choose a gay life style, whereas now an individual's choice not to be gay is called into question because the leadership of the APA seems to have concluded that all homosexuality is hard-wired and same-sex attraction is unchangeable. My experience has demonstrated that there are as many different kinds of homosexuals as there are heterosexuals. Relegating all same sex-attraction as an unchangeable – an oppressed group akin to African-Americans and other minorities – distorts reality. And past attempts to make sexual reorientation therapy ‘unethical’ violates patient choice and makes the APA the de facto determiner of therapeutic goals… The APA has permitted political correctness to triumph over science, clinical knowledge and professional integrity. The public can no longer trust organized psychology to speak from evidence rather than from what it regards to be politically correct”.
The effect of this political correctness on those seeking help was poignantly related by former homosexual Rich Wyler. His therapist’s name was Matt.
“The first order of business on my first visit with Matt was for me to sign a release form required by the American Psychological Association. Reparative therapy was unproven, the form said; the APA’s official stance was that it didn’t believe it was possible to change sexual orientation; attempting to do so might even cause psychological harm. Yeah, right, I thought, as if the double life I was living was not causing psychological harm enough”.
In fact, the Journal of Human Sexuality (Volume 1, 2009) has reported that, “Those who have received help from reorientation therapists have collectively stood up to be counted—as once did their openly gay counterparts in the 1970s. On May 22, 1994, in Philadelphia, the American Psychiatric Association was protested against for the first time in history—not by pro-gay activists, but by a group of people reporting that they had substantially changed their sexual orientation and that change is possible for others (Davis, 1994). The same thing happened at the 2000 Psychiatric Association convention in Chicago (Gorner, 2000), and again at the 2006 APA convention in New Orleans (Foust, 2006)”.
As mentioned before, some homosexuals who wish to change their orientation have been unable to do so, but many others have. By itself this is substantial and incontrovertible evidence against the theory that homosexuality is an immutable characteristic. (If it were immutable, where has this “class” been throughout thousands of years of recorded history? As Justice Anthony Kennedy said in Lawrence v. Texas, “the concept of the homosexual as a distinct category of person did not emerge until the late 19th century”.) As such, the case for constituting homosexuals as a “class” falls apart and, with it, all the legal and financial benefits from having been discriminated against.
Nonetheless, society as a whole is now being invited, or rather coerced, into the double life of the big lie – to pretend what is, is not: and what is not, is. There is something worse than disease; there is the denial of its existence. This is all part of what Fr James Schall calls the “systematic effort not to name things what they really are so that we are never faced with what we are actually doing”. However, a double life leads to a double death. One is physical, the other spiritual. The worst thing, Socrates warned, is the lie in the soul about “what is”.
Robert R. Reilly is the author of The Closing of the Muslim Mind. He is currently completing a book on the natural law argument against homosexual marriage for Ignatius Press.

martes, junio 04, 2013

Sí, sí, y No, no: la verdad con caridad

El Papa otra vez.


Il Papa: dire no all'ipocrisia per avere il coraggio della verità

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Papa Francesco a Santa Marta
Papa Francesco a Santa Marta

L'omelia di Bergoglio nella messa di Santa Marta contro "il politicamente corretto" poi lancia un tweet «Cristo ci guida a uscire sempre di più da noi stessi, per donarci e servire gli altri»

Redazione Roma
"L'ipocrisia è il linguaggio proprio della corruzione". I cristiani non debbono usare "un linguaggio socialmente educato",  incline "all'ipocrisia", ma farsi portavoce della "verità del Vangelo con la stessa trasparenza dei bambini".

Lo chiede Papa Francesco nella messa celebrata questa mattina nella Cappella della Domus Santa Marta. Una celebrazione alle quale hanno partecipato i vertici della Rai, la presidente Tarantola e il direttore Generale Gubitosi.
L'omelia di oggi è in continuità con quanto papa Bergoglio ha detto ieri a proposito della corruzione, muove dal brano evangelico della richiesta dei farisei e erodiani a Gesù circa il tributo da dare a Cesare.
«Pensiamo bene oggi: qual è la nostra lingua? - ha chiesto il Pontefice - Parliamo in verità, con amore, o parliamo un po' con quel linguaggio sociale di essere educati, anche di dire cose belle, ma che non sentiamo? Che il nostro parlare sia evangelico, fratelli! Poi, questi ipocriti che cominciano con la lusinga, l'adulazione e tutto questo, finiscono, cercando falsi testimoni per accusare chi avevano lusingato». Questi che si avvicinano a Gesù tanto amabilmente, sono gli stessi che giovedì sera andranno a prenderlo nell'Orto degli Ulivi, e venerdì lo trascineranno davanti a Pilato.
La riflessione del Papa ha preso le mosse dall'ipocrisia, che è il linguaggio dei corrotti. I farisei si rivolgono a Gesù «con parole morbide, con parole belle, con parole troppo zuccherate», «cercano di mostrarsi amici». Ma è tutto falso. Perché, spiega Papa Francesco, «questi non amano la verità» ma soltanto se stessi, «e così cercano di ingannare, di coinvolgere l'altro nella loro menzogna, nella loro bugia. Loro hanno il cuore bugiardo, non possono dire la verità».
«È proprio il linguaggio della corruzione, l'ipocrisia. E quando Gesù parla ai suoi discepoli, dice: `Ma il vostro parlare sia ´Sì, sì! No, no!'. L'ipocrisia non è un linguaggio di verità, perché la verità mai va da sola. Mai! Va sempre con l'amore! Non c'è verità senza amore. L'amore è la prima verità. Se non c'è amore, non c'è verite'. Questi - ha rimarcato il Papa -  vogliono una verità schiava dei propri interessi. C'è un amore, possiamo dire: ma è l'amore di se stessi, l'amore a se stessi. Quell'idolatria narcisista che li porta a tradire gli altri, li porta agli abusi di fiducia».

«La mitezza che Gesù vuole da noi - ha detto papa Francesco - non ha niente, non ha niente di questa adulazione, con questo modo zuccherato di andare avanti. Niente! La mitezza è semplice; è come quella di un bambino. E un bambino non è ipocrita, perché non è corrotto. Quando Gesù ci dice: `Il vostro parlare sia ´Sì, sì! No, no!' con anima di bambini, dice il contrario del parlare di questi».
L'ultima considerazione dell'omelia papale riguarda quella «certa debolezza interiore», stimolata dalla «vanita», per cui ci piace che dicano cose buone di noi. Questo i corrotti lo sanno e con questo linguaggio cercano di indebolirci.