Gender Theory's Dangers Exposed
Expert Says Ideology Is Infiltrating Church in Africa
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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 15, 2009 (Zenit.org).- A priest who is also a psychiatrist and an expert on social psychology is warning that the gender theory ideologies are infiltrating Christian institutions in Africa.
Monsignor Tony Anatrella, a consultor of the Pontifical Council for the Family and of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry, told ZENIT that "thanks to the action of certain Christian institutions, the gender theory is being imposed progressively in society and in the Church" in Africa.
He asserted that "Africans do not want to be colonized by Western ideologies," and he deplored the fact that "topics of the gender theory continue to spread widely in the Church."
Archbishop Robert Sarah, secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, affirmed this last week in an address to the Fifth General Congregation of the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops.
He called gender theory a "Western socializing ideology in relations between men and women."
"It is contrary to African culture and to the human truths illuminated by the divine Revelation in Jesus Christ," the prelate said.
He explained: "The idea of gender separates the biological sex of masculine or feminine identity in stating that it is not intrinsic to the person but is a social construct.
"This identity could -- and must -- be torn down to allow woman to reach an equality of social power with man and for the individual to 'choose' their sexual orientation. Man-woman relations would be governed by a struggle over power."
The archbishop warned that this "unrealistic and disincarnate ideology" denies God's plan, and upholds the "right to choose" as its supreme value, making homosexuality a "culturally acceptable choice."
This ideology, he continued, "puts pressure on the legislator to write laws favorable to universal access to information and contraceptive and abortion services -- 'reproductive health' -- as well as homosexuality."
Archbishop Sarah called this ideology "lethal" and warned that it "creates serious injustices and compromises peace."
In this sense, Monsignor Anatrella explained that in Africa "the cultivation of the sense of the family is very important and to give life to many children is inherent to the culture of this continent."
He continued: "Children are the wealth of the family and of society, but the experts of this theory claim, with Western prejudices, that three children per woman is already a very high figure that must be reduced."
"What the Africans say is that the child is the future of man," the priest pointed out.
Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, also lamented in the Synod the spread of the gender theory in Africa.
Last week he reported that this is happening through Christian institutions that are aligned with other international groups and agencies, such as the United Nations, UNICEF, UNESCO, and several non-governmental organizations.
Monsignor Anatrella stated that "in Africa, activists are carrying out these actions apart from the democratically elected representatives in national parliaments."
He added that the ideology is also spreading through formation sessions for priests, men and women religious and Christian laypeople.
In order "to receive international aid -- in the financial, health and educational realms -- most African countries are subjected, through different associations, to the gender lecture," the priest reported.
He stated that the effort of these activists, "for example, for health and the medical care of women," is translated only in terms of "reproductive health."
This notion of "reproductive health," Monsignor Anatrella stated, "is very problematic because it trivializes contraception and abortion and questions family values, excluding men from relations of cooperation with women and of procreation."
He stated that "African countries are also under pressure from Western countries that, in the name of equality of sexual orientations, try to present homosexuality as a model that can be realized in a couple and in marriage."
The priest continued: "For the time being, the majority of deputies are opposed to the views of a couple, family and procreation that do not correspond to African values. Unfortunately, these sorts of ideas and behavior continue to spread in Africa."
However, he affirmed that many African Christian communities are "more decisive and reactive" to these issues than others.
Archbishop Philippe Ouedraogo of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, affirmed this in his synodal intervention: "In general, our human and religious communities in Africa reject the codified juridical practice of many Western countries; they value the promotion of values related to the family and life."