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    January 24, 2008

    Did he say it? You decide.

    Posted by: Chris

    BishopalvarezUPDATE: At the end of the post (before the jump).

    The Roman Catholic Bishop for Tenerife in the Spanish Canary Islands is now denying that he ever linked homosexuality with child sexual abuse, an issue which has of course crippled the Vatican's moral authority on issues of human sexuality (and more).

    "I have not in any way compared, nor wanted to compare, nor do compare homosexuality with the abuse of minors," Tenerife bishop Bernardo Alvarez told a Canary Islands television station on Tuesday. "The abuse of minors is morally a very serious sin and judicially it is a crime," he explained.

    Not only did Bishop Bernardo Alvarez in fact compare homosexuality to the sexual abuse of minors, he tried to dig himself out by blaming the victims of child sexual abuse for seducing their abusers. In the earlier interview, published last month in the newspaper La Opinión, Alvarez argued that homosexuality is actually a sort of sexual novelty like, according to him, sexual interest in minors.

    When the reporter called him out on the obvious difference between a consensual gay relationship and child sexual abuse, the good bishop went on to make the outrageous claim that a good number of 13-year-olds clearly desire sexual relationships with adults and can, in fact, seduce them. How an institution with so fundamentally twisted ideas about sexuality can continue to stake a moral claim on any subject relating to human sexuality is beyond me.

    Here's are the bishop's own words. Caveat: the translation from Spanish is my own, and they last sentence or two was especially tricky for me. The excerpt in original Spanish follows after the jump.

    What do you think about homosexuality?

    I think that the first thing to do is to distinguish people from the phenomenon. People are always worthy of the greatest respect. If a person, for some physiological reason chooses this way of life, they deserve my highest respect. Another issue is whether or not homosexuality is or is not a virtue. We must be very careful now because it cannot be said that homosexuality is suffering or suffers. It is not politically correct to say that homosexuality is a disease, malnutrition, or a distortion in the natural way of being. That was the reading in any dictionary psychiatric ten years ago, but today we cannot say it.

    It is crystal clear that in this connection, my thinking is that of the Church: maximum respect for the person. But logically, I believe that the phenomenon of homosexuality is something that harms people and society. Eventually we will pay the consequences as they have been paid by other civilizations. I am not suggesting that homosexuality be repressed, but there is room between suppressing it and promoting it. I believe we must promote education. The values of femininity and masculinity must be inculcated in children. You can tell us these values are backward, but we believe that these values respect freedom but at the same time guide people.

    Can sexuality be guided [by the church]?

    People cannot be left to fend for themselves. Why not do the same with violence or with other impulses human beings have? Furthermore, only 6% of homosexuals are the result of biological issues. We must not confuse homosexuality as an existential need of a person, with that which is practiced as a vice. The person practices [homosexuality] like child abuse is practiced. He does it because he is attracted to the novelty, a different form of sexuality.

    The difference between a homosexual relationship and abuse is clear.

    Of course. But why is the abuser of children sick?

    To begin with, an abusive relationship is not consensual.

    But there can be minors who do consent, and in fact, such do exist. There are teenagers who are 13 years of age and are perfectly OK with it, and in fact wish it. Included are those who can provoke you if you're not careful. This thing of sexuality is more complex than it seems.

    UPDATE: Rex Wockner, whose Spanish is definitely better than mine, offers what I'm sure is a better translation of the bishop's last answer:

    There can be minors who consent to it and, in fact, there are. There are 13-year-old adolescents who are minors and are perfectly in agreement and, what's more, wanting it. Including, if you're not careful [if you let your guard down], they provoke you. This thing of sexuality is something more complex than it seems.

    The original interview excerpt (in Spanish) follows after the jump.

    An excerpt of the original interview in La Opinión with Bishop Alvarez, in Spanish:

    ¿Qué opina de la homosexualidad?

    Yo creo que lo primero que hay que hacer es distinguir a las personas del fenómeno. Las personas son siempre dignas del mayor respeto. Si una persona, por una razón fisiológica elige esta forma de vida me merece mi máximo respeto. Otra cuestión es que la homosexualidad sea o no una virtud. Hay que tener mucho cuidado hoy en día porque no se puede decir que la homosexualidad se sufre o se padece. No es políticamente correcto decir que es una enfermedad, una carencia, una deformación de la naturaleza propia del ser humano. Eso que decía cualquier diccionario de Psiquiatría diez años atrás, hoy no se puede decir.

    Está clarísimo que, en este sentido, mi pensamiento es el de la Iglesia: respeto máximo a la personas. Pero, lógicamente, creo que el fenómeno de la homosexualidad es algo que perjudica a las personas y a la sociedad. A la larga pagaremos las consecuencias como las han pagado otras civilizaciones. Yo no digo que se reprima, pero entre no reprimirlo y promoverlo hay un margen. Creo que hay que promover la educación. Los valores de la feminidad y la masculinidad debemos inculcarlos en los niños. Puede que nos digan que estos valores son retrógrados, pero nosotros pensamos que estos valores respetan la libertad pero al mismo tiempo orientan a las personas.

    ¿Hay que orientar la sexualidad?

    No se puede dejar a las personas libradas a lo que salga, ¿por qué no hacemos lo mismo con la violencia o con otros impulsos que tiene el ser humano? Además, sólo un 6% de los homosexuales se deben a cuestiones biológicas. No hay que confundir la homosexualidad como necesidad existencial de una persona, con la que es practicada como vicio. La persona practica como puede practicar el abuso de menores. Lo hace porque le atrae la novedad, una forma de sexualidad distinta.

    La diferencia entre una relación homosexual y un abuso está clara.

    Por supuesto. Pero, ¿por qué el abusador de menores es enfermo?

    Para empezar, un abuso es una relación no consentida.

    Puede haber menores que sí lo consientan y, de hecho, los hay. Hay adolescentes de 13 años que son menores y están perfectamente de acuerdo y, además, deseándolo. Incluso si te descuidas te provocan. Esto de la sexualidad es algo más complejo de lo que parece.



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    1. Monster Beats Sale on Nov 30, 2011 2:30:06 AM:

      Esto de la sexualidad es algo más complejo de lo que parece.

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