quinta-feira, 28 de abril de 2016

500 transacções suspeitas no Vaticano; 5 eutanasiados por dia na Bélgica

Mais um dia de trabalho nas clínicas de morte da Bélgica
Antes de mais, um aviso para agenda. A Caminhada Pela Vida realiza-se já no dia 14 de Maio. Não deixem de ir! Eu não estou tão envolvido como estive o ano passado, infelizmente, mas também conto lá estar.

Temos várias coisas hoje no blog, a começar pelo artigo desta semana do The Catholic Thing em que David Carlin argumenta que a revolução sexual, não contente com ter ganho a guerra, quer agora pulverizar o que resta da oposição.

Temos também a transcrição completa da entrevista feita a Robert Clarke, da ADF International, sobre a eutanásia na Bélgica, onde por dia são eutanasiadas cinco pessoas, e também a Esme Wiegman, sobre a eutanásia na Holanda.

Parabéns ao padre Tolentino Mendonça, que ganhou ontem (mais) um prémio literário.

As inscrições para o III Encontro de Leigos, que vai decorrer em Évora, estão quase a fechar. Não deixem de ler esta entrevista com Alexandra Viana Lopes.

E o Vaticano detectou mais de 500 transacções suspeitas em 2015. Faz tudo parte da operação de limpeza das finanças da Santa Sé.

“Euthanasia is bad medicine”

Robert Clarke
This is a full transcript, in the original English, of an interview with Robert Clarke, of ADF International, about euthanasia in Belgium. The news report, in Portuguese, can be read here.

Esta é uma transcrição completa, no inglês original, de uma entrevista a Robert Clarke, da ADF International, sobre a eutanásia na Bélgica. A reportagem pode ser lida aqui.

Could you briefly explain what ADF is and its mission?
ADF International is a legal alliance building organization, which advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith. We are headquartered in Vienna, but with offices in Geneva, Strasbourg, Brussels within Europe, and other offices outside of Europe, including in the United Nations, New York, Washington DC; we have positioned ourselves at the international institutions across the world in order to advocate for that right of people to freely live out their faith.

And you help people of any faith?
That's right. Freedom of religion is a fundamental right and one which we support and uphold.

I understand ADF represents Mr. Tom Mortier in his case in the European Court of Human Rights. Could you explain the basics of the case?
Tom's mother was euthanized at the hands of a Belgian doctor in 2012. He didn't know about it until the following day, when the hospital phoned his home number and asked him to come and make the necessary arrangements. 

This changed his world, changed his family, his children's understanding and we say, fundamentally, that Euthanasia is bad medicine. It was offered to a woman, his mother in this case, who was diagnosed with depression, an illness which is episodic in nature and yet she was able to go to a doctor and obtain a prescription for death. 

What exactly is he asking the ECHR?
He is challenging the position of Belgium, at the ECHR, on essentially three grounds: 
He says that the country didn't uphold his mother's right to life, that is to say that a government has the responsibility to protect its citizens right to life, guaranteed under the convention but, more particularly it has the obligation to protect vulnerable citizens and we say that someone who is diagnosed as suffering with depression is a particularly vulnerable person, and that the government has an obligation to protect. Moreover we say that Belgium has violated Tom's right to his family life and that Belgium has failed to provide an adequate remedy to these violations. 

The difficulty in this case is that the same person has essentially acted as judge, jury and executioner. The doctor in question, the doctor who euthanized Tom's mother, sits as the co-chair of the federal commission which is responsible for regulating Euthanasia in the country, so we have the same person who is not only a prominent advocate for Euthanasia in the country, but is carrying out euthanasia and is then sitting on the panel which revues all the euthanasia deaths in the country to decide whether they complied with the law, so we say that the safeguards that the government suggests were built into the law are not adequate and that they cannot be adequate and certainly the context of this case shows everything that can and does go wrong where euthanasia is legalized. 

If the case goes your way, is this something that could make euthanasia illegal in Belgium?
The ECHR is considering a specific case here and at the current time the emphasis has shifted back to Belgium. The public prosecutor is in receipt of a file and is looking into it and the decision rests with them at the moment, as to whether or not they continue with the investigation. Of course the ECHR will be very interested to hear the outcome of that, and we'll continue to push things there if the prosecutor decides not to take any action or causes an undue delay in carrying out their investigation and any possible remedy for Tom.

The position of the ECHR is that it will look into the case and we hope, yes, that it will challenge the legislation that Belgium has put in place, which fails to protect the vulnerable in society, which fail's to protect people like Tom's mother, and fails to protect people like Tom.

Mr. Mortier has said that before this issue struck so close to home he didn’t really bother about Euthanasia, considering that it was an individual decision which didn’t concern him or others. We keep hearing that vast majorities in Belgium, Holland and Switzerland support Euthanasia, is this why?
Certainly our experience is that there is a huge level of ambivalence, a huge level of people not really engaging with it, because it doesn't strike close to home. And that is absolutely right. Tom shared with us that before this happened it wasn't an issue which he thought was particularly relevant for him, it wasn't one he'd given a great deal of thought too. 

And now, without wanting to be the centre of this, without wanting to be the face of this - in fact he want's quite the opposite of that - he's felt compelled to speak on behalf of others who haven't had the confidence to speak out but have felt the same way.

And we do see that, we see more and more voices speaking out and challenging this. In relation to discussions in Belgium to extend Euthanasia not only to children, which has now been passed into law, but a discussion in relation to patients suffering from dementia, patients who don't have the capacity essentially.

The discussion going on there has prompted a number of prominent academics, people in the public eye, to right an open letter criticizing that proposal. So we are seeing, increasingly, people recognizing these laws for the dangerous precedents that they set and the very real danger that they put society's most week and society's most vulnerable, the elderly, the sick, the very real danger that it places these people under.

Tom Mortier's mother
You mentioned some aspects of the current debate... Could you describe the current law about Euthanasia in Belgium?
The law in Belgium allows someone who is suffering from a condition - and its not necessary for that condition to be physical, it can be mental, which is a significant difficulty - to approach a doctor, there is no requirement for that doctor to be their treating physician, and indeed in Mrs Mortier's case, the person consulted was not her treating physician, she had a treating psychiatrist of many years, who had on her initial request suggested that she wouldn't be a candidate for euthanasia, that it wasn't an appropriate option for her, and so she approached Dr. Distelmans someone who is very well known in the media, someone who has a high public profile, and asked if he would do it. 

As I say, there is no requirement any longer that the patient be an adult, or that they have obtained the age of majority. The request has to be made, it has to be repeated, and the law says that it cannot be the result of any external pressure. Well how do you assess that?

This is a difficulty which we see throughout the law, because it asks that the patient in a medically futile condition of constant and unbearable physical or mental suffering, which cannot be alleviated... These are difficult judgements, and essentially when you ask questions like “is the request voluntary?” and “is it well considered?” That is not a medical judgement, that is not the sort of judgement that a doctor has been trained for and, in our experience, it is a decision many doctors don't feel comfortable with it and it is not something that they are trained to do or want to do, and in a lot of cases it is not something that they feel is right, to assess whether or not a patient is in a state of constant and unbearable physical or mental suffering that cannot be alleviated and has made a well-considered and repeated request.

In short there are just no safeguards within this law that would put anyone's mind at rest that this is a practice which is safe, that it should be encouraged, or should be promoted. We see it time and time again, the cases come up which raise very serious questions. 

In fact the first time in the history of the federal Euthanasia commission's reviews of these cases, they referred a case for criminal investigation, in relation to a physically healthy elderly lady who had simply become "tired of living" and despite what some people would say are the safeguards in the law, she was able to go through the process and be euthanized at the hands of, again, another well-known doctor who is an outspoken advocate for euthanasia. 

Euthanasia is also legal for children, under the age of consent. How does it work in those situations?
In relation to children this is a new law and as far as I am aware there have not been any cases yet coming out of Belgium where children have accessed this. It requires a consultation, a discussion with parents, but ultimately if the child has obtained a sufficient understanding, and again, this is something which I suggest is not a medical diagnosis or procedure, but if the child has obtained an understanding, such that they understand the nature of what is being discussed, then the decision is handed over to them. 

Again, we are looking at weak and vulnerable members of society. We are looking at children, who in many of these cases would have years to live, in respect of whom there are different treatment options, but instead are being offered which we say is in fact no treatment at all. 

I have also heard about concerns for freedom of Conscience…
Absolutely. There is a recent case, ongoing at the moment, against a Catholic Care Home which wanted to be a care home in which Euthanasia was not provided as an option, that was its conscientious conviction, and the decision of that care home is being challenged in the courts. 

That is what we see. We see an assault on the Freedom of Conscience of medical professionals, many of whom actually say because of the atmosphere in Belgium, which can be very hostile when people have spoken out. Tom has spoken about this. The reaction to the Church when they spoke out about it, is not atypical. When people speak out against Euthanasia the Belgian media is incredibly critical of those people. Tom gave an interview and spoke with a journalist from the New Yorker, for an extended piece, and they quoted and referred to the very hostile approach of the national media in Belgium, and the following day there was negative coverage of the New Yorker article in Belgium. It just seems that there is an unwillingness in Belgium to scrutinize this practice, to really ask what is going on. When you have soaring rates, when you have the numbers of people who are being euthanized going up every year, so that in one region of Belgium you now have a 2% chance of being killed by your doctor; an expansion in the categories and types of people being invited to consider this as an option.

The Portuguese manifesto for legalizing euthanasia defines it as “the reply to an informed, conscious and repeated request to hasten or abbreviate the death of patients in great pain and with no hope for a cure”. In your experience, does this fit the practice of Euthanasia in the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland, the only European countries where the practice is legal?
This sounds like very similar language to the legislation that we have seen elsewhere; the legislation which has led to A) An increase in the number of euthanasia deaths every year and B) A widening of categories of people who are able to access it. It is a pattern we have seen before, a pattern we have seen in Belgium, whereby the arguments made at the time the legislation is introduced is “this will be exception rather than the rule”, “only in truly exceptional cases will this be allowed” and “only under very tight safeguards will this be possible”. What we see in practice is, of course, the exact opposite and I would encourage any country which is considering this, be it Portugal or elsewhere, to look to the real life examples we have of what happens when euthanasia is legalised. 

You look to Belgium and you see the numbers go up, you see troubling cases in the media, you see the categories of people, whether children or dementia patients, expanded; and it is not a path that is very attractive anywhere.

Dr. Distelmans
Defenders of euthanasia often speak of a right to death with dignity. In your opinion has the legalization of Euthanasia brought more dignity to patients in Belgium?
I think we have to get away from this idea, this image of the velvet pillow death, in which somebody dies in a comfortable room, surrounded by their family. Because that is not what happened in this case and it is not what happened in cases we heard about. In this case a woman who was depressed, was able to go, after relatively few consultations, after a relatively short period of time, to be euthanised without the knowlege of her son. Despite this feeling of distance between her and her son being part of the reason for the occurence of the depression.

So we have to get away from this image. There are only a small number of countries in the World that have legalised euthanasia, and they have drawn criticism from UN monitoring bodies for their failure to safeguard vulnerable people, the ECHR has upheld laws which prohibit euthanasia in a number of countries because the ECHR and the UN bodies I have mentioned recognize that countries have an obligation to protect a right to life. There is no right to death under the European Convention of Human Rights, or under other International instruments. 

There are also stories of elderly people moving to Germany, where Euthanasia is illegal, out of fear of being euthanized against their will. Are these credible?
There are stories, and there are certainly people who have relayed fears to us. The UK, for instance, voted on this last year and the House of Commons rejected legalisation mainly out of these concerns. And if you look at the situation in the UK, every major disability rights group or advocacy group for the disabled, opposed the legalisation of Assisted Suicide, for that simple reason, because they recognized the sometimes explicit pressure that the disabled or elderly can come under, but if its not explicit, the implicit pressure. What does it say about the type of society that we want to live in? Because that's the real question here. What kind of society do we want to live in? Do we want to live in a society that responds to terrible suffering with death, or do we want to live in a society that responds to terrible suffering with treatment, care and compassion?

It sometimes seems that only Christians, and more specifically Catholics are campaigning against legal Euthanasia. Is this the case?
That is not our experience. We have seen a huge number of people, from across political, religious and areligious spectrum who have engaged in this. As I mentioned, in the UK in the run-up to the debate some of the loudest voices came from the disability rights groups who campaigned very strongly against the legalization of assisted suicide in the United Kingdom, because they have a very real fear that this kind of legislation leads to the slippery slope that we have seen Belgium fall down.

We have seen people with no religious belief recognize that this exposes vulnerable people to serious danger and Tom is a great example of that. Tom is not a Catholic, he is not a believer in that sense, but he recognizes that what has happened to his mother is wrong, but it also has much broader consequences for the countries he lives in and even beyond the borders, consequences for other countries. So I would encourage people to look to Tom's story, look to other stories from the countries that have gone down this path. They paint a unified picture and it is a very bleak future indeed.

Has Euthanasia brought dignity to the sick in Holland? Not at all

This is a full transcript, in the original English, of my recent interview with Esme Wiegman about euthanasia in Holland. The news report, in Portuguese, can be read here.

Esta é uma transcrição completa, no inglês original, da minha recente entrevista com Esme Wiegman sobre a eutanásia na Holanda. A reportagem pode ser lida aqui.

What exactly is the Dutch Patient’s Association, and what is your position?
We are a Christian pro-life organization with 58 thousand members. We focus on medical-ethical issues but we are also an organization which gives free help to people who need care in their home situations.

I was a member of the Dutch Parliament for five and a half years and spokeswoman for medical and ethical issues.

Could you explain to us exactly what the law in the Netherlands is concerning Euthanasia?
What the law actually says is also not clear for many people in the Netherlands. Euthanasia is actually still forbidden, but for doctors there are criteria to follow which can exclude them from punishment in cases of euthanasia. That is what the law says, but lots of people in the Netherlands and in all of Europe think that people in the Netherlands have a right to Euthanasia, but that is not what the law actually says.

In practice, however, is that what happens? Or is it as if euthanasia has been fully legalised?
In practice people think they have the right to euthanasia and when they ask for it doctors have to explain to them exactly what the law says. One of the criteria is about unbearable suffering. But what is unbearable suffering? When the law began in 2002, everybody was thinking that pain was the most important reason for euthanasia, patients with terminal illnesses or suffering from cancer. But nowadays loss of dignity is also a reason many people ask for euthanasia. 

Sometimes doctors say that this is also a form of unbearable suffering, and that they will give euthanasia, and last Monday we saw a case on Dutch television about people who were suffering from dementia and who asked for euthanasia, or, rather, the family asked for euthanasia and it was given. 

So there are cases in Holland where people are being euthanized at the request of the family and not their own request?
Well, they say it was her own request from some years ago, written, but is it really clear that a request from years ago is still valid now? We don't know. But some doctor says that he knows the patient and we can euthanize her.

The Portuguese manifesto for legalizing Euthanasia defines Euthanasia as “the reply to an informed, conscious and repeated request to hasten or abbreviate the death of patients in great pain and with no hope for a cure”. In your experience, does this fit the practice of Euthanasia in the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland, the only European countries where the practice is legal?
No, I am afraid it is not. 

Because the criteria in our law are very wide. Exactly how wide they are was visible on television last Monday. What exactly is unbearable suffering? It was better when our law spoke only about terminally ill patients, that was clear, but the criteria now is very open and very wide. 

Defenders of Euthanasia often speak of a right to death with dignity. Has the legalization of Euthanasia brought more dignity to patients in Holland?
Not at all. 

I am also in favour of dying with dignity, but by that I mean good palliative care. So the word dignity is very misleading in a debate. The right of dying with dignity says something about the standard of good care and good palliative care, but not about a right to euthanasia.

Proponents of Euthanasia insist that it should be a last resort for the desperate and always speak only of voluntary euthanasia. Yet in the countries where it is legal we see repeated calls to expand the law and make it available for psychiatric patients, children and even for people who are not even sick but just “tired of living”…Is it realistic to speak of euthanasia only in these terms?
No I don't. Because what exactly is voluntary?

Patients are always patients with a context? What is their complete situation? Not only of their personal health but also family, the places where they live, it is more complex than only being your own voluntary will.

The context of patients is very important.

There are also stories of elderly people moving to Germany, where Euthanasia is illegal, out of fear of being euthanized against their will. Are these credible?
I am not familiar with them, but I don't think they are realistic. I am worried about our laws, but I am not worried about situations where people are forced to having euthanasia. 

But I am worried about what all this tells us about our opinion of elderly people. Because elderly people can suffer in life because of loss of family and because they feel life has become meaningless. I think that is a problem in the Netherlands, but our answer should not be euthanasia, but thinking how to treat those people, what can we give them that might make their life still meaningful?

Is there also a danger that people will ask for euthanasia not because they want to die, but because they don't want to be a burden to their families?
I think that is a very realistic scenario, and people may not use these words, but I think it is realistic. Elderly people might think they do not want to be a burden, but they also think of loss of dignity and significance. That is a problem. They don't want to be a burden but they also do not want to get help because they equate this with a loss of dignity. 

Is euthanasia still a difficult topic in Holland? Or is everybody fine with it?
I think last Monday what we saw on television made lots of people angry. Some said we shouldn't show euthanasia on television, but others said that the answer for this woman suffering from dementia...

It is not only pro-life Christians who are against euthanasia and are speaking out now, but also people who work in healthcare and are asking if this is what we need in our society. So yes, there are critics, but a majority in the country say that the law is ok, and also that if people want euthanasia, who are they to say no?

quarta-feira, 27 de abril de 2016

Cartago deve ser destruída

David Carlin
Quando Roma derrotou Cartago na terceira Guerra Púnica os romanos não se contentaram com a vitória. Queriam que Cartago fosse não só derrotada mas totalmente destruída, para que a antiga inimiga de Roma, que tinha causado tanta angústia e sofrimento durante as primeiras duas guerras púnicas jamais se erguesse. Os romanos optaram por seguir os conselhos de Catão, o Velho, que tinha o hábito de terminar os seus discursos no senado com a frase “Considero, ainda, que Cartago deve ser destruída”.

Por isso, vencida a Guerra, Roma arrasou Cartago e dispersou a sua população. Alguns séculos mais tarde foi construída uma nova cidade com o mesmo nome e foi nesta Cartago que Santo Agostinho viria mais tarde a ser educado e tornar-se maniqueu. Mas a velha Cartago fenícia, de Dido e de Aníbal, desapareceu para sempre. Nunca mais incomodou Roma.

Chegámos a este ponto na guerra entre a noção cristã da sexualidade e a ideia secular moderna, o ponto em que o inimigo deve ser destruído totalmente. A revolução sexual, que começou há cerca de 50 ou 60 anos, terminou numa vitória muito convincente para os revolucionários. A noção cristã de conduta sexual foi derrotada. E agora os secularistas passaram ao próximo passo, isto é, a destruição – a pulverização – da ideia cristã.

Os cristãos, derrotados, talvez quisessem dizer: “Tudo bem, venceram a Guerra. Nós rendemo-nos e deixaremos de lutar pelo domínio. Mas não podem ter misericórdia e tolerar-nos como uma minoria inofensiva, como se toleram as pessoas que acreditam em discos voadores?” Mas os revolucionários sexuais respondem: “Não, vocês e a vossa ética sexual incomodaram o mundo durante demasiados séculos. Os vossos crimes são inumeráveis e imperdoáveis. Temos de nos assegurar que a vossa ética não regressará para estragar novamente os prazeres do mundo”.

Nas décadas que se seguiram à Segunda Guerra Mundial a ética sexual protestante continuava a dominar na América. O americano típico ainda acreditava na maioria dos velhos tabus sexuais que prescreviam a fornicação, o adultério, o aborto e a homossexualidade. Isso não significa que toda a gente acatava essas proibições. Todas eram violadas, claro, de tempos a tempos. Mas as pessoas não deixavam de acreditar nelas.

Havia falhas na ética protestante, claro. O protestantismo clássico permitia o divórcio apenas por adultério, mas essa limitação tinha sido abandonada há muito tempo. Nos anos 50 havia muitas causas que legitimavam o divórcio e nos anos entre as guerras a contracepção dentro do casamento tornava-se aceite entre protestantes americanos.

A ética católica era mais rigorosa. O catolicismo acrescentava a proibição do divórcio e da contracepção. E mais, o catolicismo exaltava a ideia do celibato, tornando-o obrigatório para padres, monges e freiras.

Enquanto a maioria dos americanos, sendo protestantes, não estavam dispostos a abraçar a ética católica, toleravam-na de bom grado e, até certo ponto, admiravam-na, porque comprovava que os católicos, a maioria dos quais eram recém-chegados aos Estados Unidos, não era tão maus como tinham sido representados durante séculos pela propaganda religiosa anglo-americana.

Catão o Velho
Tudo isto desmoronou no início dos anos 60. Quase da noite para o dia, ao que parece, a fornicação tornou-se aceitável e nem precisava de ser acompanhada de amor nem de compromisso. A contracepção não só se tornou aceitável como obrigatória para casados e ainda mais para não casados. A coabitação tornou-se aceitável. O aborto também, e depois de Roe v. Wade, em 1973, tornou-se até legal e fácil de obter.

Levou mais algum tempo até que a homossexualidade se tornasse aceitável, mas o dia chegou e só podia chegar, tendo em conta a rejeição da antiga ética sexual cristã.

Tendo sido derrotada a ideia de sexualidade cristã, começou agora a sua pulverização. A aceitação do casamento homossexual é mais um passo nessa direcção. É a forma de os secularistas dizerem não só que a homossexualidade é moralmente aceitável mas que é tão boa e nobre quanto a sexualidade conjugal, que os cristãos consideram a mais perfeita.

A ideologia do transgénero é outro passo. É uma rejeição da ideia bíblica de que “Deus os criou homem e mulher” (Marcos 10,6) – uma ideia errada que era defendida por Jesus, um rabino bem-intencionado mas preconceituoso do século I.

A poligamia, a poliandria, os casamentos abertos (adultério consentido) – tudo isto ainda não foi aceite em larga escala. Mas será, uma vez que a sua aceitação decorre logicamente do princípio fundador da revolução sexual, nomeadamente a rejeição da ideia de sexualidade cristã. Tal como a aceitação da homossexualidade não surgiu imediatamente nos anos 60 e 70 e a de adultério também não, mas não se preocupem, está por pouco.

Mas o factor mais importante para a destruição total da noção cristã de sexualidade não são as muitas práticas sexuais anticristãs que existem no mundo de hoje. Também não é a aceitação alargada destas práticas entre pessoas que, por uma razão ou por outra, preferem não participar delas.

Não, é a proibição – uma proibição social cada vez mais eficiente que está cada vez mais perto de se tornar uma proibição legal – da própria expressão de opiniões cristãs sobre sexualidade. Se for um cristão antiquado que não se encontra do “lado certo da história” (para citar uma das frases preferidas de Obama), que diz que a fornicação é um pecado, que o aborto é homicídio, que a homossexualidade não é natural ou que a ideia de ser transgénero é uma loucura – então será denunciado como um intolerante, um misógino, um homófobo, um transófobo ou um mero idiota. Os seus juízos negativos tornam-se “ódio” e estes ataques aos seus crimes de pensamento aumentam de tom dia após dia.

O objectivo é que a moral sexual cristã, tal como Cartago, se torne nada mais que uma memória.


David Carlin é professor de sociologia e de filosofia na Community College of Rhode Island e autor de The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America

(Publicado pela primeira vez na Sexta-feira, 22 de Abril de 2016 em The Catholic Thing)

© 2016 The Catholic Thing. Direitos reservados. Para os direitos de reprodução contacte: info@frinstitute.org

The Catholic Thing é um fórum de opinião católica inteligente. As opiniões expressas são da exclusiva responsabilidade dos seus autores. Este artigo aparece publicado em Actualidade Religiosa com o consentimento de The Catholic Thing.

terça-feira, 26 de abril de 2016

Eutanásia, das intenções à realidade

A mãe de Tom Mortier, eutanasiada por depressão
A eutanásia chegou ao Parlamento. Os promotores portugueses querem uma lei à imagem das que existem noutros países. Fomos ver o que se passa na Bélgica, onde as pessoas podem ser legalmente mortas por estarem deprimidas ou cansadas de viver e na Holanda, onde uma ex-deputada nos garante que a legalização da eutanásia não trouxe mais dignidade para os doentes.

O Papa Francisco não se esquece dos padres e bispos raptados durante estes longos anos de guerra civil na Síria.

Francisco também não se esquece da Ucrânia, para quem destinou os ofertórios de todas as missas na Europa do passado fim-de-semana. Os ucranianos agradecem.

Durante o fim-de-semana Francisco esteve com os adolescentes, em Roma, para uma celebração jubilar dedicada a eles. Surpreendeu ao ouvir confissões em São Pedro e no domingo disse-lhes que a felicidade não é como uma aplicação que se descarrega.

A propósito do 25 de Abril fomos ouvir um capelão militar que está ao serviço há mais de 30 anos e que já esteve em vários cenários de conflito.

Recordo o artigo da semana passada do The Catholic Thing, sobre como a revolução que abala o mundo ocidental é menos contra o Cristianismo do que contra a própria realidade e aproveito para pedir desculpa pela inconstância dos meus mails, o que tem a ver tanto com folgas como com variações na minha carga de trabalho. Pode ser que em Maio a coisa acalme.

quarta-feira, 20 de abril de 2016

Cristianismo que não se verga, nem perante o absurdo

Bateladas de dons
O Papa Francisco não esquece o conflito na Ucrânia e por isso destinou às vítimas do conflito naquele país a receita dos peditórios de todas as missas na Europa do próximo fim-de-semana.

Ontem o Papa voltou a falar dos refugiados, descrevendo-os como “um dom” e não “um custo” e pedindo-lhes perdão pela falta de abertura e indiferença de que são vítimas. No fim-de-semana Francisco tinha recordado a história de um muçulmano que conheceu em Lesbos, cuja mulher cristã tinha sido degolada por terroristas.

A exortação do Papa continua a dar que falar. A jornalista Matilde Torres Pereira foi falar com casais católicos em situação irregular para saber como encaram o documento.

E esteve em Portugal, para participar no Meeting de Lisboa, o responsável pelo movimento Comunhão e Libertação. O padre Julian Carron apresenta um Cristianismo que “não se verga perante as dificuldades”.

Hoje é quarta-feira, dia de artigo do The Catholic Thing. Esta semana David Carlin fala-nos da “revolução do absurdo”, ou como a nova ortodoxia liberal insiste que devemos acreditar emcoisas que não fazem o menor sentido.

A Revolução do Absurdo

David Carlin
Eu já fui politicamente liberal. Acreditem ou não, era orgulhosamente liberal – nos tempos em que o liberalismo ortodoxo acreditava em coisas como Segurança Social, sindicatos, igualdade racial, liberdade de expressão, anticomunismo e uma forte defesa nacional. Estou a falar do liberalismo de Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry Truman e John F. Kennedy.

Mas depois a ortodoxia liberal começou a mudar. Radicalmente. Começou por incluir o direito ao aborto. Isso não foi o suficiente para me fazer desistir do liberalismo. Em vez disso dizia que era liberal excepto no que diz respeito ao aborto. Mas o liberalismo continuou a mudar, acrescentando artigos ao seu credo. Por isso passei a dizer que era liberal – excepto no que diz respeito a todas essas coisas.

Até que um dia ocorreu-me que a minha versão do credo liberal estava tão cheio de buracos que eu era um liberal do estilo queijo suíço. Por isso decidi que afinal já não era um liberal e devia ser um conservador político e cultural.

Muitos de vocês devem estar a pensar que eu devia ter desistido do meu liberalismo mal este adoptou o aborto como artigo de fé. Concordo – hoje. Mas como muitas pessoas que começaram na minha posição (incluindo muitos católicos), eu não estava suficientemente atento ao que se passava para ter percebido, de início, o quão importante isto é. O aborto é tão claramente errado que as pessoas que acreditam na sua justiça só podem ter um defeito nas suas faculdades de juízo. Se pudessem estar errados quanto ao aborto, então era natural que estivessem errados sobre muitas outras coisas.

Dizer que eu era liberal excepto em relação ao aborto era mais ou menos como um alemão nos anos 30 dizer que era Nazi excepto no que diz respeito ao anti-semitismo. O anti-semitismo era a essência do nazismo, e se os nazis estavam equivocados sobre uma coisa tão obviamente errada como o anti-semitismo, então era natural que tivessem um defeito nas suas faculdades de juízo e que se viessem a enganar sobre muitas outras coisas. E assim foi.

Hoje, para se ser liberal, é preciso acreditar numa série de coisas absurdas. Por exemplo:

  • Que os nascituros não são bebés, que não são seres humanos;
  • Que relações sexuais entre dois homens ou duas mulheres são uma coisa perfeitamente natural;
  • E, por isso, que apenas mentes pequenas e discriminatórias se oporiam ao casamento homossexual.

Recentemente foram acrescentados a este credo liberal dois artigos:

  • Que se um homem pensa que é uma mulher então é mesmo, e que se uma mulher sente que é um homem, então é mesmo.
  • Que é discriminatório pensar que as casas de banho para homens deviam ser reservadas para homens e as de mulheres para mulheres.

Alguns liberais não são tão progressistas como outros. Eles ainda não abraçaram estes últimos dois artigos. Mas, como os extraterrestres dizem nos filmes de ficção científica: rendam-se, é inútil resistir. Têm de se render, e fá-lo-ão em breve. Até Novembro deste ano o candidato democrata à presidência (seja Bernie Sanders, seja Hillary Clinton) terá, para não perder o voto liberal, de defender o uso misto de casas de banho como um direito humano fundamental, ao nível do direito à vida, à liberdade e à busca da felicidade. 

Não se trata de uma mera suposição, o destino assim o dita.

Portanto, para se ser um liberal ortodoxo hoje é preciso acreditar numa lista cada vez maior de coisas que não são apenas erradas, são completamente absurdas. Não me espanta que daqui a 10 ou 20 anos seja necessário acreditar que se alguém se identifica como um coelhinho então é mesmo um coelhinho.

Chegará o dia em que um liberal será obrigado a respeitar a opinião de pessoas que dizem que 7 + 5 não é igual a 12? Talvez. Afinal de contas, se se defende que Bruce Jenner é uma mulher, porque não defender que a matemática não passa de uma opinião pessoal e subjectiva? Ou que a minha crença de que a minha resposta é a correcta é o produto de matemática imperialista ocidental, ou uma mera construção social.

Ao longo dos últimos 50 anos testemunhámos aquilo a que apelidámos de revolução sexual. Mas eu suspeito que seja mais do que isso. A questão sexual foi apenas a brecha. Os filósofos, moralistas e papas falam sobre relativismo – até sobre a ditadura do relativismo – e coisas como narcisismo, niilismo, autonomia radical, a era da vontade pura e outras noções intelectuais. Mas é ainda mais radical do que isso.

Esta é uma revolução do absurdo; uma revolução contra a razão; uma revolução contra a civilização. Contra a própria realidade.


David Carlin é professor de sociologia e de filosofia na Community College of Rhode Island e autor de The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America

(Publicado pela primeira vez no sábado, 9 de Abril de 2016 em The Catholic Thing)

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