"Is Pope Francis opening the doors of the Church to 'queer theology'? The question arises spontaneously after learning that the Portuguese priest-poet José Tolentino de Mendonça has been asked to direct the upcoming and now-traditional Lenten retreat which will be given in Ariccia, Italy, to Pope Bergoglio and members of the Roman Curia. Mendonça is known to be a fan of Sister Maria Teresa Forcades i Vila, a theologian noted for her 'queer' positions and who is presently in Italy to promote her book We are all Diverse! In Favor of a Queer Theology (Castelvecchi Editore).
As reported by L’Osservatore Romano, the Lenten retreat scheduled for February 18-23 in Ariccia at the Casa del Divin Maestro will be directed by the priest-poet, Vice Rector of the Catholic University of Lisbon and consultor of the Pontifical Council for Culture, who has chosen 'The Praise of Thirst' as the theme of his meditations.
But who is Sr. Teresa Forcades? Forcades is a nun of a cloister near the Benedictine monastery of Montserrat who travels the world to spread the word – the contemporary homosexualist 'word' – within the Catholic Church. She spoke in this role on Thursday, February 1, in Reggio Emilia, as part of a series of conferences on 'The Theology of Women', held to promote the acceptance of homosexuality in the Catholic Church. As the 'Christian LGBT' website gionata.org explains, 'there are women theologian protagonists who, with their capacity for analysis, succeed in characterizing and giving a specific value to theological thought, in order to offer a new point of view, different, renewing, inclusive, addressing those who feel themselves to be at the ‘margins’ of the Church.'
Interviewed at the margins of her presentation, the Spanish sister emphasized how the rapport between the Church and homosexuality is finally changing thanks to the advent of Pope Francis, who has tried to do what he could through holding the Synod on the Family in order to change the attitude of the Church in the face of homosexuality:
I think that Pope Francis attempted to make a step forward in this sense with the Synod on the Family; he did not succeed in doing it, but it is not the same atmosphere now as it was when there was not Pope Francis. For example, Sr. Jeannine Gramick, who worked in the United States for many years for acceptance not only for being homosexual but also for homosexual activity, for physical homosexual love, has said that from the time Pope Francis arrived she no longer faced the pressure she had endured previously to not do this type of apostolate.
Forcades further specified how in South America and in Oceania, the local Churches are taking important 'steps forward' in dialogue with homosexuals, in a much more rapid way than is happening in Europe, admitting, however, that recently, beginning with the arrival of the Argentine Pope, her own experience has been that she is finding that doors are much more open: 'My experience up until now has been that I have found more groups and people who support me, who endorse me, and who are close to me.'
Forcades is thus a religious sister who has clearly been 'deployed.' She has never made a mystery of her heterodox positions on the matter of sexuality and the 'renewal' of the Church, and because of this she has been celebrated and carried in the palm of the hand by the cultural mainstream, which favors a 'queer revolution' within the Catholic Church.
On April 19, 2015 in an interview with Corriere della Sera, when asked if she was in favor of gay marriage, she gave this response:
'Yes, because sexual identities should not be considered as closed boxes which God wants to be complementary to each other and which must remain forever that way, fixed in separate, defined roles. I live in the world and I see persons of the same sex who love each other, and I ask myself...Why must they be wrong?... They seem happy, they truly love each other. Why can they too not receive a blessing? Why not within the Church? Why shouldn’t we rejoice at the sight of any love, whatever form it takes?’"
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