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The truth of love
The bishops´ document on marriage and the family
On Wednesday July 4 the Spanish Bishops’ Conference, with spokesperson and Secretary Msgr. Juan Antonio Martinez Camino, auxiliary bishop of Madrid, presented to the press in Madrid the document “The truth of human love. Guidelines on conjugal love, gender ideology and family legislation”. As the prelate recalled, the document was drawn up by the Plenary Assembly past April 26, and it was reviewed for publication by the recent Permanent Episcopal Commission of June 19-20.
A shared good for the whole of humanity. In the six chapters of the document Spanish bishops proclaim “The Gospel of marriage and of the family as a shared good for the whole of humanity” in the framework of the national legislation that underrates these two realities thus triggering a “culture of death” with the phenomenon of abortions, divorces and the exploitation of poor and weak brackets. But the hope of the Spanish Church is based on the fact that civil society is experiencing a growing rediscovery of marriage and of the family, marked by the birth of many movements and associations. The bishops claim that the new laws, grounded on “the subjective absolutization of freedom and on detachment from truth, risk transforming partial emotions into the norm of good and morality”.
No to “inhuman” thought. The bishops criticize so-called “gender ideology” which claims that the choice of gender belongs “exclusively to the variable and changeable nature of the subject” denying the reality of the human person that exists “necessarily as man and woman”. The bishops equally condemn the “manipulation of language that conceals the fundamental truths of human relations” as well as “the strategies underlying the diffusion of this ideology in realm of education and thought” with the purpose of mind manipulation since childhood years. The risk is that of creating a society “without sexual reproduction, paternity or maternity” that is “solely entrusted to science, biomedicine, biotechnology and political engineering”. “These theories – the prelates point out – conceal a materialistic and radical though, in short, an inhuman thought” which degrades human dignity to the condition of a completely manipulated object”.
Nobody is excluded. The Spanish prelates claim that “behind the pretended neutrality of these theories there are personal tragedies which the Church is well familiar with. However – they continue – hope must continue to thrive. Goodness and truth, the beauty of love, are capable of overcoming all difficulties, however numerous and serious they may be”. From this perspective, the bishops underline that the Church always opens her mother’s heart to everyone. “Nobody should feel left out. Not even those who have a sexual attraction towards people of their same sex”.
The value of marriage. The bishops reiterate that marriage “isn’t a mere relationship based on cohabitation”. Rather, it’s a conjugal alliance between a man and a woman, a bond which is also “moral, social and juridical”. It’s a “total and human, social and juridical form of love that is called to be faithful and exclusive, fruitful and open to live” and indissoluble, and it must not be mixed up with other forms of union. “Acknowledging and helping the institution of marriage is one of greatest services that can be offered today to the true development of society and mankind”. In fact, “the family, as a specific community, made of a father, mother and children is a social capital of the utmost importance which demands political and cultural promotion”. But unfortunately, the document states, with the current regulations in force in Spain “we are witnessing the destruction of marriage through legal means”. The prelates thus ask to promote laws that will sustain the families “and demographic policies that will favour natality, provided that the children are viewed as a decisive contribution for the development of society, a fact that must be adequately acknowledged by the state”.
The need for new evangelizers. “The best answer to gender ideologies and to the ongoing crisis in marriage – claim the Spanish bishops – is the new evangelization. Christ must be proposed anew as representing a path to live and to develop the vocation to love. Without His grace, without the force of the Holy Spirit, loving is perceived as an impossible journey”. For this, the Spanish bishops conclude, “we need new evangelizers that will testify with their lives that for God nothing is impossible”.