VATICAN CITY, OCT. 8, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The president of the Vatican’s family council is warning of “spiritual toxic waste” being exported to Africa by the First World.
Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, borrowed this phrase from Benedict XVI to caution synod fathers against the so-called gender theory, being imposed on Africa.
Cardinal Antonelli spoke of this today when he addressed the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops, which started last Sunday in Rome.
“The Holy Father, in his homily during the Inaugural Mass in St Peter’s Basilica, pointed out, with a very incisive expression, how the First World ‘is exporting its spiritual toxic waste’ to Africa and other developing areas,” the cardinal said, according to the summary of his intervention published by the Vatican. “One of these poisons is the so-called gender theory, which, heavily disguised, is starting to infiltrate associations, governments and even some ecclesial environments in the African continent, judging from what the Pontifical Council for the Family tells us.”
The Vatican official noted that agents working for “various international institutions and organizations” start from real problems that must be “dutifully resolved.” Among these, the cardinal noted injustice and violence against women, infant mortality, malnutrition and famine, and problems of housing and work.
But, he lamented, “They propose solutions based on the values of equality, health and liberty: sacrosanct concepts, but rendered ambiguous by the new anthropological meanings that are given to them.”
“For example,” the cardinal explained, “equality of people no longer just means equal dignity and access to fundamental human rights; but also the irrelevance of the natural differences between men and women, the uniformity of all individuals, as though they were sexually undifferentiated, and therefore the equality of all sexual orientations and behavior: heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, transsexual, polymorphous. Each individual has the right to freely practice — and change, should they wish — their choices in line with their drives, desires and preferences.”
Cardinal Antonelli said this ideology is spread through local health centers, education initiatives and international media.
Agents of this ideology seek collaboration from African governments and even ecclesial groups, the cardinal added, “and these groups usually don’t realize the ethically unacceptable anthropological implications of this.”
“My intervention is intended as an invitation to be vigilant, an exhortation to offer careful instructions to priests, seminarians, religious, Caritas and other lay pastoral workers,” the cardinal concluded.
Land of saints
Cardinal Antonelli was one of 22 speakers today at the synod’s Sixth General Congregation.
Another Vatican official, Archbishop Angelo Amato, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Saints’ Causes, spoke of an entirely different aspect of Africa.
“From the beginning of Christianity,” Archbishop Amato said, according to the Vatican summary of his talk, “Africa has been a land of saints, from the great doctor, Augustine, to the Ugandan martyrs Charles Lwanga, Mattia Maulumba Kalemba and companions, and the extraordinary figure of the Sudanese St. Josephine Bakhita, canonized in 2000.”
St. Josephine is the saint that Benedict XVI referred to in “Spe Salvi” as an example of new hope.
The Vatican prefect went on to note that 22 of the African nations have a native son or daughter in the process of beatification or canonization: 13 blesseds, four venerables and 27 servants of God hail from Africa.
And, the archbishop affirmed, “All categories of the faithful are represented.”
Moreover, the prelate explained, the saints accomplish three key tasks for the Church and for Africa: evangelization, inculturation and reconciliation.
“The saints are a true treasure of the local church,” Archbishop Amato stated. “Indeed they accomplish a triple task: of evangelization, because they demonstrate the beauty and existential possibility of the Gospel of Jesus; of inculturation, because they show, not with laboratory theories but with their existence that the Gospel can establish roots in all cultures and transform them for the better; of reconciliation, because as heroic witnesses to Christ’s love, they bring forgiveness, peace and justice in the community.”
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On ZENIT’s Web site:
full text: http://www.zenit.org/article-27110?l=english