What nonsense, Mr. Bishop!

Friday, January 28, 2011

“The Bishop of Cordoba has warned of a plan to increase the gay population”, is the title of an article published in “El País” on January 3, 2011. “UNESCO has a plan to make half of the world’s population homosexual”: this surprising statement, according to the article, was made by the Bishop of Cordova, Demetrio Fernández during a homily delivered during the Festival of the Holy Family on December 26.

In his sermon the Bishop affirmed that Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family had provided him with this information several days earlier in Zaragoza. He added that UNESCO would achieve this foul objective in 20 years through “various programs”…

And instead of correcting this nonsense –actually uttered by the Bishop of Cordoba and possibly by the Cardinal- the Bishops Communications Service for Southern Spain posted it on their website!

Not only Catholics, but all citizens should protest declarations of this type, which can be extremely damaging to people of good faith.

I personally want to present my strongest protest for the silence (and they have kept silent on so many questions that shouldn’t have been silenced) of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, the Spanish Bishops Conference and the Papal Nuncio in Spain, demanding that they immediately offer the apologies that are due.

It is intolerable that the Spanish Catholic hierarchy addresses topics that not only conflict with the good sense required in a democracy where there is no official religion, but which also outrage many of us believers.

We are likewise outraged by these costly mass demonstrations in which the Gospel is conspicuously absent. And abandoning the national framework, which perhaps due to inertia has for many years tolerated acts and expressions characterized more by their arbitrariness and partisan nature than by religiosity, they are now invading the international scene with this implausible slander of the intellectual organization of the United Nations system, UNESCO, whose mission is precisely to build peace –certainly a Christian and Catholic objective- through education, science and culture, and whose Constitution proclaims equal dignity and the “democratic principles” that mankind must follow to achieve it.

When so seriously and so flippantly offending this Institution, they are also offending all teachers who in a world of all colors, sensibilities and identities give their lives to educating “free and responsible people”. “Free and responsible”, in the words of the Article I of the UNESCO Constitution. You, Mr. Bishop, Mr. Cardinal, with your criteria and falsehoods would educate people to be irresponsible, subjugated and confused.

Free, responsible and equal in dignity, without discrimination of any kind based on gender, ethnic origin, ideology, beliefs, cultural identity, sensibilities... This is the education that will enable each unique human being, endowed with the capacity for creation, to “conscientiously manage his own life”, as the incomparable definition of Francisco Giner de los Ríos described it. People who don’t act upon the dictates of others, who are not indoctrinated nor do they live in fear, since as the renowned first paragraph of the Preamble to the Universal Declaration proclaims, the exercise of human rights "frees humanity from fear".

Is this why certain members of the ecclesiastical hierarchy oppose education for citizenship? It’s time to rectify this error. This would serve to correct not only the present absurdity, but might also prompt them in the future to think twice before saying such outrageous things, and there have already been so many.

The academic, scientific, cultural, in summary, the intellectual community will not remain passive and silent much longer.