ROME — Exposing the errors of gender theory is of the “utmost urgency” for the future of humanity and of Christianity, a Dutch cardinal told an assembly of Catholics in Rome Thursday.
Cardinal Willem Jacobus Eijk, the archbishop of Utrecht, said that gender theory is a modern development “which sets the city of the human race against the City of God, and the world order against the Christian faith,” in an address to the Rome Life Forum on the theme “City of man vs City of God – Global One World Order vs Christendom,” organized by Voice of the Family.
“The fact that public opinion today readily accepts the total detachment of gender from biological sex is the result of a ‘cocktail’ of hyper-individualism and its autonomous ethic,” the cardinal said, along with “a particular vision of man, today particularly dominant in the English-speaking world.”
This viewpoint reduces the human person, whether consciously or unconsciously, to the “mind,” Eijk said, “that is, the rational consciousness and center of the autonomous will, in fact of the highly complex biochemical and neurophysiological functions in the superior nuclei and cortex of the brain.”
The ensuing materialistic vision of the human person sees the body “as something secondary, not essential for the human person,” he said. “The ‘mind,’ as the autonomous human person, determines the purpose and significance of the body, hence also gender identity, without needing to take account of the biological sex of the body.”
This vision of almost absolute autonomy fails to take into account that human freedom today is strongly conditioned “by the education provided by parents and teachers as well as the influence of friends, public opinion and the mass and social media,” he noted.
From the Christian perspective, the human person is not just its “mind,” Eijk said, “but the union of a spiritual and a material dimension, soul and body. The human person is neither merely its soul, or merely its body, but “corpore e anima unus” (the union of soul and body).”
The human body, he continued, “is not a raw datum but, because it belongs to the being of the human person, has its own purposes and meanings which the human person cannot change.”
Christianity teaches that “God made man in his own image, in the image of God He created him; man and female he created them” (Gen. 1:27). Men and women are complementary, a fact that extends beyond the spheres of marriage and procreation, the cardinal said, but “pertains also to biopsychic differences in their relationship as spouses and with third parties and society as a whole.”
Further along, Genesis states: “That is why a man is destined to leave his father and mother and cling to his wife instead, so that the two become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24), Eijk noted.
The remedy against discrimination and contempt for women, he added, is not obtained by denying the biological and psychological identity of men and women, but through “conversion to the recognition that both man and woman are primarily human persons with the same dignity, both created in the image of God.”
For obvious reason, the cardinal concluded, gender theory, which detaches gender from biological sex, “radically contradicts the Church’s teaching that the place of a sexual relationship can only be between a man and woman, within matrimony, and must always be open to procreation.”
Gender theory, which has its origin in radical feminism, also “promotes the legality of procured abortion – employing the euphemistic terms of sexual and reproductive rights – to prevent a woman who has become unintentionally pregnant from being compelled to assume the role of a mother, viewed as a role imposed on women in the past in Western society and still today in many countries in the world,” he said.
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