Friday, November 30, 2007

Reality comes before ideology, including that of “gender”

Rev Nicola Bux and Rev Salvatore Vitiello

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - Never before as in these times of proclaimed ecological sensitivity, only on the nature of man everything and the opposite of everything can be said and done. Especially in the western areas, but, thanks to globalization of information and culture, almost everywhere on the planet, we see how flawed philosophy has clearly practical consequences in the life of individuals, societies and nations. They question the truth of the creation of the human person, man and woman (Gen 1,27). Yet no one, concretely lives having to retrace the journey of thousands of years of civilization: we all live accepting and often taking for granted what has gone before us, without even the energy to leap for joy and gratitude for the great work achieved in the centuries by our brothers and sisters.

Nor are we able to wonder at a simple but essential fact: each one of us, before was not and now is. And one day on this earth, will no longer be. An observation as elementary as it is disarming which tells each one of us that we are a "fact", that life is something to be welcomed first of all, to understand its coordinates, origin and end and, only then, to "invent", with all the creativity and ample use of freedom of which only the human person is capable. However freedom can never be uprooting from, or negation of the truth. Freedom is awareness of belonging to a history, which inevitably goes before us.

In recent discussions on sexual morality and , more profoundly on knowledge of one's own affective world, the position of those who believe they can "invent" their gender, as they go along, as the case demands, claim a presumed (and impossible) freedom of man from the biological fact, which (also but not only) characterizes him, simply reveals the ultimate result of philosophical errors of over two centuries non.

Realism which affirms the possibility for reason to know a reality which precedes it and knowledge as encounter, actual and present, knowing subject and known object, are the only premises to a discourse philosophically acceptable and practically livable. One's gender cannot be invented or chosen: it is fact, pure fact. Gender is only either male or female. It reveals itself in the most delicate process of sexual identification which has enormous need of definite models of reference which do not have, themselves, problems of gender determination.

Moreover precisely because it is fact, gender is accepted, perhaps as a cross, in all those cases in which biological and psychological identity disagree, opening the way for paths of psychological and spiritual accompaniment to guarantee that fraternity and respect indispensable for authentic human growth. And in this area too the emergency is again about education: we must start educating again.

In the face of such delicate, issues, there is the jarring attitude of the "flag flyer's of unreal identities". People are real, their journeys, they struggles, their stories. Certainly not the ideologically counterpoised positions, behind which, without much obsessive searching, there are powerful economic interests which, to the person, give no thought at all.
It is also amazing that, precisely in circles where often stronger are the calls for respect for nature and ecological sensitivity, we see, with regard to the question of 'gender', total overstepping of the natural fact, in the name of ceding to unwitting philosophical drifting and to libertarian drifting, existentially practiced which enslave.

Man is not only the fruit of his biological antecedents, he is also constituted by them and, amazingly, in "a little matter " is present a desire for the Infinite, a total opening to the Mystery which makes the human being, man or woman, the point of self-knowledge of the cosmos. This is why the Catechism of the Catholic Church recalls that " Everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity. Physical, moral, and spiritual difference and complementarity are oriented toward the goods of marriage and the flourishing of family life. the harmony of the couple and of society depends in part on the way in which the complementarity, needs, and mutual support between the sexes are lived out."

(2333). (Agenzia Fides 29/11/2007; righe 49, parole 690)