MADRID, November 12, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) - Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah strongly criticized LGBT ideology that he said is overrunning governments and education centers while tracing the ideology to the root of the widespread acceptance of contraception about seven decades ago.
"The destructuring of sexual identity, which is often called ‘gender theory,' against which Pope Francis has harsh words and an attitude of absolute intolerance, can be understood as the anthropological consequence of a practical mutation," said Cardinal Sarah, the Vatican's Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline, at a Nov. 7 conference at Madrid's San Pablo University in advance of the 21st Congress of Catholics and Public Life of Spain. His talk was titled "The importance of education in the Church's mission today."
Gender theory holds that male or female sexual organs do not determine an individual's "sexual identity" but a person's inner sense of being a man, a woman, or whatever it is that a person wants to identify as (dozens of 'gender options' have been invented to help people identify how they feel about themselves). The theory holds, for instance, that a person born with a male organ of reproduction can choose to identify as "female" and that it's discriminatory not to support the individual's choice, including the male's choice to use female pronouns. The theory also holds that a person's "gender identity" is fluid and can change over time.
"The first link in the process involved women," Cardinal Sarah continued: "In fact, the contraceptive mentality that has extended strongly after 1950 has made possible a profound disconnection between the woman and her body, a disconnection that has radically changed the way of understanding human sexuality, marriage, filiation and of course education."
The Catholic Church reaffirmed its condemnation of contraception in the 1968 Encyclical Humanae Vitae. Pope Paul VI prophetically warned that widespread acceptance of contraception would lead to the "general lowering of moral standards" among other things.
The Cardinal credited French writer Simone de Beauvoir's phrase "You are not born a woman, you become a woman" as summarizing the essence of gender theory.
"Let's add that for de Beauvoir, the family, Marriage and motherhood are the source of female ‘oppression' and dependence. The pill would have ‘freed' women by giving them ‘control of their body' and the possibility of ‘freely disposing' of it. Under the feminist motto ‘my body belongs to me' a deep alienation of the incarnated subject is actually hidden. In fact, behind this ‘freedom' statement lies an instrumentalization of the body itself as a material available to the most indeterminate desires," he said.
The Cardinal then showed the link between contraception and the distancing of a person from his or her male or female body.
"The contraceptive mentality has engendered a dualism between individual freedom seen as unlimited and almighty, on the one hand, and the body as an instrument of enjoyment, on the other. In that perspective, the sexed body can no longer be lived as a sign and instrument of the gift of self, whose purpose is the communion of the spouses. The intrinsic link between the two meanings of the conjugal act, the procreative dimension and the unitive dimension, is broken. This link becomes optional, and logically, sexuality ends up being considered only in its relational and pleasure-producing dimension. The destabilizing effects of such a mentality have not been long in coming," he added.
The Cardinal noted that one of the major destabilizing effects of the contraceptive mentality was the "social legitimization of homosexuality."
"In fact, if sexuality is no longer perceived in the light of the gift of life, how can homosexuality be considered a perversion, an objective and serious disorder?" he said.
Cardinal Sarah said logically accompanying these changes regarding sexuality was a "redefinition of sexual identity, considering it as purely constructed."
"If the intrinsic link between the two meanings of the conjugal act is denied, the difference between the sexes loses the first foundation of their intelligibility." From then on, he said, the "sexed body" can more and more be considered as a "material that individual consciousness can model to its liking."
The Cardinal then explained the mechanism at work as "sexual minorities" publicly demand equality and freedom to live according to their perceived identities.
"In the name of the fight against the ‘discrimination' of which the ‘sexual minorities' would be victims, the agents of the anthropological subversion take the public authorities and the legislator hostage in their revindications. In the name of ‘equality' and ‘freedom', they demand that all social discourse, especially in schools and the media, be ‘respectful' with the sexual indeterminacy of individuals and the free choice of their identity," he said.
"Then, each one can affirm that it is by self-designation and proclaim: ‘I make my own choice. I am proud of it and I affirm myself in that choice. I do not admit that another or society tell me what I am. I do not receive my being and my existence from anyone but myself. I decide for myself who I am. Society must assume my choice and adapt to my orientation changes.'"
For the LGBT movement, the Cardinal pointed out, the battle is no longer about "claiming tolerance" but about "imposing a new conception of the human being" and creating a "new" human being.
"Under the guise of freedom, this deconstruction at the service of a radical constructivism can be compared with the totalitarian attempts to produce a ‘new man,'" he said.
"Its innocent victims are mainly children, whose parents, permeable to libertarian slogans and bewitched by contemporary sirens, do not support [authentic] human growth and the formation of their [genuine] sexual affectivity. All this presupposes an erroneous conception of freedom, understood as the fact of not being prevented from following your immediate desires. How far we are from true freedom, which is the realization of the person when he uses his free will to seek the truth and choose his true good," he continued.
"The anthropological revolution violently disrupts intellectual and moral education, because it creates mental and social dispositions that separate people from themselves," he added.
The Cardinal said that Catholics should be aware of the gravity of the crisis, "given the atheist atmosphere or of indifference to religious or moral issues which permeate education and school structures." What should be understood is that the goal of education is for students to "acquire the virtues that permit them to unfold and structure their humanity and personality in accord with the truth that is intrinsic to them."
He called for the Church to become more active in defending the truth about man in sectors of civil society where that truth has been abandoned, especially in education.
"As has been the case several times in history, the Church has a duty to assume a substitute role to compensate for the collapse of entire sectors of civil society and public authorities," he said.
"The Church assumes this function of substitution through all its children who are present in this magnificent educational task," he added.
‘Dirty and unhealthy' environment destroys children
Following his presentation, Cardinal Sarah answered questions from participants who are concerned about secular influences upon their children.
Likening schools to aquariums where fish are regularly fed fresh food, he said, "But the water in the aquarium is dirty and unhealthy." Despite the good food, he said, the fish are slowly poisoned and eventually perish. In the learning environment, "even while there are well-disposed students and dedicated teachers, there are substances in the environment that are toxic to the students mental health," said the Cardinal.
When he was asked how the water in the aquarium could be made clean, he said, "What poisons the environment are dangerous ideologies," citing "marxism" and "transhumanism."
He continued, "If we cannot explain who is man, who it is that God wants him to be, logically the aquarium is contaminated." The water can be cleansed by rediscovering, he said, "the identity of human beings created in the image and likeness of God."
"Identity is not something we give," he said, "God gives it to us." The West, he said, arrogantly "refuses to accept" that identity." "The great issue are the economic and media leaders who contaminate the environment concerning the identity of the human person." This is, he said, "the rejection of God."
Asked what the Church should do in an environment where God is excluded, the Cardinal said, "The Church should be the first to combat toxic ideologies."
The Church, he said, should focus on "the unprecedented anthropological and moral crisis of our time which demands that the Church should assume a greater responsibility and commitment to propose its doctrinal and moral teachings in a clear, precise and firm manner."