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From Liberation Theology to Ecofeminist Theology A Revolution Entrenched in the Church (IV)

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Ecofeminist Theology Promotes a Profound Sexual Revolution

One of the aspects of the new “missiology” that stands out is the complete indifference of its adepts regarding nudity in Amazonian tribes. “It will be difficult to find, among anthropologists and missionaries of all time, someone who tried to live inculturation in an indigenous people in a more radical way…,” the former Bishop of Araguaia, Most Rev. Pedro Casaldáliga, stated about the Spanish Jesuit priest Vicente Cañas. The latter had stripped off his western clothes, put on necklaces and bracelets of his new tribe, and lived almost naked for the rest of his life until he was found dead, in that condition, in 1987.

Likewise, as we shall see, ecofeminist doctrine on modesty is diametrically opposed to what the Church has always taught.

 (Note how, in this photograph, the Jesuit priest appears unclothed, while the Indian woman in the hammock is dressed).

"Body, sexuality, genitality"

We have referred to the “corporality” of this theology. In reality, all ecofeminist theologians are unanimous in affirming that it begins with the discovery of one’s own body to free it from all gender oppressions imposed by patriarchal society. However, as we will see, when talking about the body they refer especially to female genitalia.

In this regard, Sister Gebara affirms, in the same text: “Once again the body has emerged as a place of action and reflection … and from there one has dared to speak of God and of female genitality, or of female genitality and God… The Divine Spirit, mixing with the flesh of female genitalia, imposes itself in our conversations in a strong and almost unexpected way…. We welcome each other personally as genital subjects. We discover ourselves in our gender reality also as oppressed ‘genitality’, and we discover the connection of this form of oppression with all the others…

 Comment: This woman religious reduces the dignity of the human person, first by showing them only as a material body and abstracting from their condition of a being endowed with a spiritual soul; and, second, by centering the body on genitality, all of which shows a vision profoundly opposed to the Catholic conception.

In March 2002, ecofeminists met in Santiago for a “collective interpretation of the texts” (of interviews); then…we somehow went way beyond current theology, liberation theology, and the patriarchal systems in force.” This kind of public confession or Freudian catharsis made them aware of the repression sustained by their bodies and genitality.

Conference at the “Catholic” University of San Marcos in Lima, Peru, on the body as “territory”.

The woman religious goes on to explain to the readers of the interviews the cause of the injustices suffered by their bodies: “To say [that a person is] dominated equally means to affirm she is feared and denied as a place of freedom and liberation. Freedom according to Christianity never gets involved in these low, fickle, dirty areas … Instead, freedom asserted itself as control and negation of animality, instinct, the flesh that resembles all flesh, living beings and even the ‘zeal’ of the earth … The patriarchal God controlled the policies of empires and controlled the bodies that made up the empires. He divided bodies into classes, colors, genres, and into nobler and less noble parts. The head dominates. The masculine gender dominates … patriarchal tradition showed the greatness of thinking and the smallness of sex, the sordidness of ‘genitality’ and above all female genitality. … It is there that the one felt the strength of religious social repression of the female body. It is from there that the other forms of social, cultural and religious anthropological repression are articulated

She concludes: “It was necessary for them to make us believe in the ‘constitutive’ dualism of our bodies, in the filth of our genitality, so they could dominate …. Our dominated ‘eros’ built a civilization of repression and made us capable of living the illusion of freedom…” [1]

Comment: There could be no greater denial of Original Sin and its consequences: “I heard thy voice in paradise; and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” [2] As per the text that we commented on, the first historical repression was to impose modesty on bodies, covering especially female nudity, and more specifically their “genitality”. So the latter must be exposed to put an end to all repressions built on “patriarchal imposition.”

According to this “theological” conception, Christian civilization, with all its glory of sanctity and progress, is nothing but the fruit of this unjust imposition of modesty and shame. It is not surprising, then, that these theologians view with deep sympathy the wild and primitive life of certain Brazilian tribes that practice total nudity and have no monogamous family.[3]

“The strength of patriarchal religious discourse”

Obviously, for these theologians, an evil so great cannot occur without the action of a great evil force. According to the same nun, that evil force is religion and ultimately God Himself: “… The most perfect and enveloping religious discourse was presented as the negation of that constructive and destructive libido capable of identifying our corporeality and our humanity … The patriarchal biblical God himself seems to come out against female genitality… The Christ is conceived in the bosom of a virgin and born of her in an extraordinary way. In Christian symbolism, sexuality seems to be hidden by the strength of the patriarchal God …  And over the centuries, we, poor female descendants of Eve, have not succeeded to assimilate the transcendent sexuality of Mary. We remain condemned. For millennia, we continue crawling and hiding under the weight of our guilt, our pleasure or the concealment of pleasure…”[4]

Comment: They were still “possessed” by the modesty imposed by the patriarchal God. Taboos of the “more enveloping” religion, the ties of which they had to break, still remained in people’s consciences. To do that, it was necessary to break the “spell” of Christian morality.

They affirm, verbatim: “…The patriarchal charm was broken. Its magic wand no longer scares us. It has no effect on us anymore. We were able to face it, to challenge its power, to affirm our autonomy, to raise our heads, to love our bodies, and even more, to thank all that life has given us.” [5]

 Illustrations in the magazine Con-spirando, devoted to “Ethics and Sexualities,” confirm this apology for immorality. All are drawings of nude female bodies.[6] The same publication reports that in its ten years of activity there was one “self-censored” photograph: “The ‘photo of discord’ … is a photo of naked girls sunbathing … we put some feet over it…” The self-censorship was due to the fear that ecclesiastical spheres might reproach female staff members for deeming that photo scandalous.”

 Despite the fears of ecofeminists, there is no evidence the publication ever received any “reproach” from “ecclesiastical spheres.” [7]

 (See, on the same subject, the support, rather than censorship that this Second Congress, held in 2018, received from ecclesiastical authorities)

“A new meaning of sacred”

Naturally, if bodies are the source of the sacred, everything the Church taught as sacred – that which is sacred by its very nature or is especially “consecrated,” that is, churches, religious ornaments and things related to the worship of God, can no longer be considered sacred. Gebara states: “… We leave the patriarchal sacred, often limited to the institutionality of religions, and enter into the sacred values related to our human reality. The sacred is no longer opposed to the profane as if referring to a different world formed only by dualisms and dualities that exclude each other… We have begun to draw other sacred cartographies, to propose other rites, and this is because we also began to write other sacred texts and to consider our own existence sacred. We are in the beginning of a new common creativity.”[8]

Comment: A central aspect of eco-feminist thinking is the denial of what they call “duality”. According to traditional Catholic philosophy, “among the principles that do not need proof is an initial and very first notion, the simplest and most universal of all, without which the intellect cannot conceive anything: it is the generic notion of being, on which the first principle of reasoning depends…. It is the principle of contradiction, the simplest and most universal judgment of all, which translates into the following truth: it is impossible for a thing to be and not be at the same time.”[9]

For ecofeminist theologians, this “duality” does not exist; the profane is at the same time sacred and the sacred is profane; man is woman and woman is man; the dead is alive and the living, once he dies, will be alive again in another form. [10]

 More specifically in relation to the subject of death, feminists consulted by Judith Ress declare that they expect a kind of second form of life or reincarnation. In no case do they say that they await the beatific vision of God.

Asked by Judith Ress, “What do you think about death?,” Cuban theologian Clara Luz Ajo answers: “ I simply think that death and life are processes that cannot be separated, just as we cannot radically separate good and evil; they are dialectical processes that occur constantly in our lives. I do not believe that death is opposed to life or that death is the end of life … When I die, I will integrate myself into the Earth that is part of this divine-sacred envelope and she will welcome me as a loving mother Then, I will live in another way, maybe like a tree, maybe like a flower…”[11]

The reader may ask, what is Catholic or Christian about this theology? This question does not bother ecofeminists. They remain infecting the Church with a Gnostic and Pantheistic doctrine, while at the same time calling themselves Catholic and often living in convents. . Their main concern is to recruit adepts and allies.

 

In 2017, feminist theologian Clara Luz Ajo was vice-rector of the annual meeting on gender and non-heteronormative sexualities organized by the project “Abriendo Brechas de Colores (ABC)” (Opening Gaps of Colors-ABC) and by the Metropolitan Community Church (ICM) of Cuba. Photo of the event at (https://www.ipscuba.net/genero/matanzas-acoge-misa-y-debate-ineditos-sobre-identidades-trans/).

Excerpts from the book, Desde la Teología de la Liberación a la Teología ecofeminista. Una revolución enquistada en la Iglesia. Download in Spanish here.


  • [1] Cf. Ib., emphasis added.
  • [2] Cf. Genesis, 3:10.
  • [3] Cf. To learn more about Indigenous neo-missiology, we recommend reading the book, “Indian Tribalism, a Communist-Missionary Ideal for Brazil in the 21st Century, by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, 1976 (available on this site).
  • [4] Cf. Lluvia para florecer, Presentación, Ivone Gebara, emphasis added.
  • [5] Cf. Op. cit. Lluvia para florecer.
  • [6] Cf. Con-spirando n° 46, abril 2004, “Éticas y sexualidades”.
  • [7] Cf. Con-spirando, n° 40, junio 2002, “Con-spirando 10 años”.
  • [8] Cf. Lluvia para florecer, “Presentación”, Ivone Gebara.
  • [9] Cf. “España anestesiada sin percibirlo, amordazada sin quererlo, extraviada sin saberlo, la obra del PSOE.”, Comisión de Estudios TFP Covadonga, Spain, April 1988, p. 33.
  • [10] “Truth and error, good and bad, beautiful and ugly, are thus reduced to aspects of the same phenomenon, about which they do not affirm the irreconcilable but look for the point of convergence. They replace the opposition between good and evil, characteristic of the Christian and Western tradition, by a conception that aims to ‘maintain a dynamic balance between good and evil’, that is, a ‘tension’ between two opposing but interdependent realities, as posited by the old Manichaean and Gnostic dualism” (Cf. Roberto de Mattei, De l’utopie du progrès au règne du caos, Editions L’Age d’ Homme,” Lausanne 1993, pp.52-53.
  • [11] Cf. Lluvia para Florecer, p. 214. For her part, the interviewed Brazilian theologian, Sales de Oliveira, states, “Death does not scare me anymore. Sometimes I love it because I feel like I’m going to find something I want and which is not here. The people who died are with us, they circulate among us… I hope to be part of that energy…”
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