Sr Teresa Forcades OSB, a a Benedictine nun and a member of the community of Sant Benet de Montserrat since 1997, has given an interview in which she argues against the Spanish government’s plan to restrict the killing of babies through abortion and also presents homosexual sex as a perfect sacrament of the Most Holy Trinity.
What do you think of the draft law on the protection of the unborn and the rights of pregnant women that was presented to the Cabinet on December 20th?
Sr Teresa Forcades OSB: My position is that of the Procès Constituent: criticism and outright rejection, because it attempts social regulation based on some imposed values. That said, now comes my personal motivation for which I take responsibility individually: I think it is a clear violation of the right to self-determination of a woman that a law requires her to be a mother. I greatly appreciate what it means to be one. I think that a woman who has become pregnant without wanting to, even through violence, can experience the pregnancy as something positive, but I’m in favor of allowing abortion as long as the fetus isn’t viable, without considering other factors.
There’s a real ethical conflict, a bio-conflict, between the right to self-determination of the mother and the right to life of the being in gestation. In a situation where the mother can not choose, her rights of self-determination deserve the utmost respect. There may be a mother to whom it makes sense to bring into the world and accompany a child with a serious malformation who we know will suffer and die shortly after birth. Forcing her to abort would be the other extreme and I’m against that. I think that creature is the image of God and I wish we had a world that would accept him or her. But it’s what I believe, and I can’t tell another woman, “I want the state to force you to do what I think is right.”
[Protect the Pope comment: Gaudium et Spes 27 states: 'Furthermore, whatever is opposed to life itself, such as any type of murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia or wilful self-destruction, whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, torments inflicted on body or mind, attempts to coerce the will itself; whatever insults human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery, prostitution, the selling of women and children; as well as disgraceful working conditions, where men are treated as mere tools for profit, rather than as free and responsible persons; all these things and others of their like are infamies indeed. They poison human society, but they do more harm to those who practice them than those who suffer from the injury. Moreover, they are supreme dishonor to the Creator].
How have you arrived at queer theology?
Sr Teresa Forcades OSB. By studying Judith Butler. I appreciate that queer [theology] asserts the unique character of each person, and that any gender, race, national identity tag … is a crutch that reflects your fear of personal freedom. The process of spiritualization, Christification, and deification is daring to be a manifestation of love and freedom that are God Himself, when He says “you are made in My image.” Buddhism says that personal identity is fiction and should be overcome because everything is one undifferentiated entity. This personal emptiness is only a first step for you to move on to a unity consciousness. But, with the Trinity, the unity is never beyond the difference. The Trinity says that diversity is as exalted as unity, because unity is one thing and uniformity is something quite different.
The religious analysis that understands sex as something that is intended for procreation is a utilitarian view of human love and is contrary to Christian spirituality. To surrender to the mystery of an interpersonal relationship is to surrender to growing towards being an image of God, towards incarnating what God represents on earth. Upon entering, you receive a gift, that this union could engender a child, but that’s perfectly compatible with you being able to be responsible and use contraception when you please.
The opposite of Christian morality is thinking as if there were two ways to use women’s bodies, usually based on the male perspective: the bad one — using them to give yourself pleasure, which would be lust and which is condemned by all the church fathers, and the other one — using them to give you children, and that’s good. No! It would be denigrating the integrity of the partner, of the other person.
So I think that homosexual love is perfectly understandable to the church, because it has what is essential: it’s not having children, but an open intimacy to an interpersonal relationship that includes respect for the integrity of the other. Two people who love one another, desire one another, and respect one another are giving testimony: this is the sacrament, a visible sign — like baptism — that’s saying, “This creature is accepted in this community as any other.” Trinitarian theology says that all sacraments are an embodiment of God’s love. God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are different but they are not complementary. Love is not necessity; it’s not when I need you because I’m missing something. It can’t be utilitarian love.
[Protect the Pope comment: Sr Teresa Forcades OSB argues that homosexual sex is inherently a sacrament of the Most Holy Trinity because by its nature it is not open to the conception of children. This must rank as the most twisted distortion of doctrine among contemporary dissenters because, among other things, it ignores the fundamental truth of Trinitarian generation and the Trinity's act of creation, which human procreation images. And it also ignores the true nature of homosexual sexual encounters which are more often than not highly promiscuous, and totally utilitarian, exemplified by the gay cottaging culture ].
Protect the Pope comment: Sr Teresa Forcades OSB’s persistent and public advocacy of contraception and abortion brings her under the provision of canon. 1369 ,’ A person is to be punished with a just penalty, who, at a public event or assembly, or in a published writing, or by otherwise using the means of social communication, utters blasphemy, or gravely harms public morals, or rails at or excites hatred of or contempt for religion or the Church.’ Who in the Church will begin the process to impose this just penalty?