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November Mon 15, 2010
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“The future of faith and the relations between faith and secularism have Spanish culture as its epicentre,” the Pope said. “The renaissance of modern Catholicism comes mostly thanks to Spain. But it is also true that laicism, a strong and aggressive secularism was born in Spain, as we saw in the 1930s. This dispute is happening again in Spain today. The future of faith and the relations between faith and secularism have Spanish culture as its epicentre.”
In other words, Pope Benedict was not “denouncing” secularism but speaking about the possibility of a relationship between secularism and faith. I have studied the texts of two homilies delivered by the Pope in the Sagrada Familia, one at the consecration Mass and the other later on at the Angelus, and can find nowhere the terms “abortion” or “gay marriage”.
Appropriately, given the venue, the Pope spoke of the importance of the family. “Only where love and faithfulness are present”, he said, “can true freedom come to birth and endure. For this reason the Church advocates adequate economic and social means so that women may find in the home and at work their full development, that men and women who contract marriage and form a family receive decisive support from the state, that life of children may be defended as sacred and inviolable from the moment of their conception, that the reality of birth be given due respect and receive juridical, social and legislative support. For this reason the Church resists every form of denial of human life and gives its support to everything that would promote the natural order in the sphere of the institution of the family.”
This, I presume, is the Pope’s “denunciation of gay marriage and abortion”, certainly the nearest thing to such that he uttered in or near Spain that entire weekend. To describe it as a denunciation of any kind is fatuous. To characterize it as an attack on homosexuals, who are not mentioned, is to place homosexuality at the centre of human culture and imply that the Pope was advancing a radical alternative vision, when in fact he was speaking nothing but the blindingly obvious: that humanity is generated out of the sexual relationships between men and women.
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