Rome, Italy, May 19, 2017 (CNA/EWTN News)—Apostolic nuncios attended a crash course last year on gender from an expert in the field who stressed the need for the Church to develop a unified strategy based on the Faith's basic principles(.)
First, “we Christians, and certainly our bishops and nuncios, need to be convinced about our principles, the principles of our faith,” Fr. Robert Gahl told CNA May 16 (Can that be said enough times? Catholics can only share what they possess. If more Catholics possessed a the confidence to publicly live the Faith, Canada would be a different place right now.). “We also need to have a thought-through understanding of those principles, also regarding the human body.”
He stressed the importance of remembering that “humanity has been saved fully, that we are redeemed also in our sexuality.”
Secondly, he said, “the Church needs to act together, so that it be in concert, because we’re more powerful when we act together.”
Acting together doesn’t mean that everyone has to do the same thing, but rather that by seeking guidance from the Church on how to handle modern issues such as gender, individuals will be able “to act in a way that will be more effective in the public square.”
Fr. Gahl emphasized that the present time “is a crucial moment for the bishops to help to intervene and to help coordinate so the market can produce sound alternatives that also agree with our conscience and our religious belief.”
Fr. Gahl, a priest of Opus Dei, is an associate professor of ethics at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross who has authored numerous publications on sexual ethics and moral action, among other topics.
Fr. Gahl said he disagrees with those who claim the push for gender ideology comes from “some malicious political strategy or that it’s motivated by some evil intent, or people who claim that there is some kind of material gain from it.”
Instead, he voiced his belief that most of the pushing is being done by people with “a good intention” who are truly convinced it is for the betterment of humanity. “I see it as being rooted in a view of the human being … that comes out of post-modern philosophy,” he said.
This notion, the priest said, is what Benedict XVI described as “a nihilistic understanding of freedom, such that we are each our own creator.” In this view, God is replaced and we can each create ourselves in the image of whatever we would like to be, rather than receiving our nature from another as a given.
“What’s really horrible about this is it means we have no intrinsic dignity. No one has intrinsic dignity, no one should be respected for who they are, but they should be respected for who they think they are,” Fr. Gahl said.
“My entire conference was infused by this effort to say we should be understanding toward people, we should be compassionate to them … especially people who are suffering from some form of gender dysphoria,” he said.
Rather than being condescending, the priest said we ought to try to understand and appreciate the view of the other, showing compassion in order to “help them in some way to achieve a full flourishing and health according to who they are.”
Fr. Gahl said he was impressed by the resonance among the nuncios in recognizing the importance of the gender issue, and noted that he often emphasized the need to utilize new media better, given its influence.
Pope Francis “is very concerned about what he calls ‘ideological colonization,’” the priest said. “He’s especially concerned about the educational process of how there are schools that are indoctrinating children with propaganda that is ideological that is contrary to even a scientific or Christian understanding of the human person.”
In Francis’ view, “this as an intrusion or a violation of the rights of the parents, who are the principle educators,” Fr. Gahl said, noting that this is evidenced in many of the Pope’s writings.
“He sees gender promoted as an ideology,” the priest said, clarifying that when he refers to ideology, “not everything gender is ideology. But it is an ideology when it puts people in categories that conflict with their biology and boxes people in and forces people at times to become something that they’re not.”
“It imposes upon other people styles of life that are contrary with reality.