In the midst of so many discouraging and troubling pieces of news, it is always important to point out manifestations of virtue and of the good that still abides. One of the great defenders of Catholic Truth right now is Antonio Cardinal Cañizares Llovera, the Archbishop of Valencia, Spain, about whom we had presented a report earlier this year. On May 13 2016, another Marian Feast Day, Cardinal Cañizares – the former head of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (who had been removed from that office and sent back to his homeland by Pope Francis) – had given a homily where he denounced the “gay empire” and the “gender ideology” as aggressive forces that attack the family. As we reported then, this homily was used by various feminist, homosexual, and other progressive groups as a basis and pretext to sue him for “hate speech.” Thankfully, this initiative was a month later rejected by the state’s courts. (However, as LifeSiteNews wrote on 31 August, four other Spanish bishops are now being sued for criticizing a new homosexual “protection” law recently passed by the Province of Madrid.)
After the legal suit against Cañizares himself was ended in June of 2016, this courageous Cardinal insisted on continuing his protracted battle against these evil forces that attack the family. He said: “They will not force me to be silent.” He added: “If I were to be silent, I would be a bad bishop.” He would continue to speak the truth, Cañizares added, “even if some do not tolerate it and even if they crucify me.” The cardinal also said that “We need the family, and this [gender] ideology destroys it. That is why we are not to be silent, but we have to respond.”
The most recent sign of this Spanish Cardinal’s “battle joy” came on 15 August 2016. As the German Vatican expert Guiseppe Nardi reports in German on 19 August, Cañizares spoke out once again about the gender ideology in his homily delivered on the great Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady. He then compared this ideology with National Socialism and Communism. Nardi writes:
The Cardinal spoke of the “new beasts of evil,” which “attack with the aid of the powerful propaganda of a materialistic ideology,” an ideology “which neither respects nor defends the poor and the weak, but which is, rather, only interested in consumerism and egoism.”
In this context, Cardinal Cañizares also quoted Cardinal Robert Sarah – the current head of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments – who had earlier made an analogous reference to Communism and to National Socialism and who had thereby declared that the 21th century “is being formed by the dominance of the gender ideology, which is also being supported by numerous economic powers and a massive and powerful force of the media.”
The recent revelations about George Soros’ own long-standing promotion of anti-Catholic themes and causes – such as abortion and the LGBT agenda – have now given ample proof that this stark claim as presented by these two Cardinals is indeed full of truth. (Significant in this context is also that, in 2015, Soros had admitted to having supported the massive influx of immigrants into Europe – which shows itself to be another infectious source of unrest and anxiety in Europe.)
With his own 15 August comments, therefore, Cardinal Cañizares once more shows himself to be true to his own earlier words and brave witness. I am convinced that, if we were to have some more prelates of his stature and conviction, we would not face such an overwhelming pressure that is now being put upon all those Catholics in the world who try to remain loyal to the Catholic Church’s moral teaching concerning marriage and the family.
Cañizares’ loyal witness also came at a time soon after the very progressive German Bishops’ Conference had published – on 10 August – an article on its own website Katholisch.de which is entitled: “Don’t Be Afraid of Gender!” This article downplays the danger coming from the gender theory, and speciously pretends that this theory merely deals with the question of “equality between men and women.” In order to make his argument, the author of the article even makes use of a Biblical quote according to which all men “are one in Christ” and thus effectively independent of whether “they are slaves or freemen, men or women.”
However, for Mathias von Gersdorff, German author and pro-life activist, this Katholisch.de article “completely downplays this dangerous and anti-Christian [gender] ideology,” and it shows once more that the “progressives at Katholisch.de are the Fifth Column of the gender ideology” in Germany.
May we thus be encouraged and inspired by the recent statements of Cardinal Cañizares in Spain and of Mathias von Gersdorff in Germany to give our own fuller Catholic witness in this difficult time of history. The more we truthfully speak up and publicly resist these ideological and moral disorders, the harder it will be for the progressive forces to push through with their larger anti-Catholic agenda.
Dr. Maike Hickson, born and raised in Germany, studied History and French Literature at the University of Hannover and lived for several years in Switzerland where she wrote her doctoral dissertation. She is married to Dr. Robert Hickson, and they have been blessed with two beautiful children. She is a happy housewife who likes to write articles when time permits.
Her articles have appeared in American and European journals such as Catholicism.org, LifeSiteNews, The Wanderer, Culture Wars, Catholic Family News, Christian Order, Apropos, and Zeit-Fragen.