“That is why it is very urgent to present the true vision of man in this world, otherwise we will go astray,” he said.
The vision of the Church, he said, can be understood “on the basis of pure reason,” as well as on the basis of Holy Scripture. The human body belongs to the human person “in an essential way”.
“We have a material dimension and a spiritual dimension, and both are essential for us as human beings,” Eijk explained.
Contrary visions try to portray the body as “something extrinsic to the human person and therefore as a pure means, which has value according to the way in which it is attributed to it by the human person”. This contemporary vision gives the human being “the right to dispose of his body in a considerable way” and helps to justify assisted suicide, abortion and other immoral practices.
The cardinal noted the pope’s previous efforts to address gender theory, but he said these did not address the subject as a central theme.
In the 2015 encyclical Laudato Si’on God’s creation and care for the environment, Pope Francis encouraged the recognition of the body in its femininity or masculinity and the recognition of its “direct relationship with the environment and with other living beings”.
“Accepting our body as a gift from God is vital to welcoming and accepting the whole world as a gift from the Father and our common home, while to think that we have absolute power over our own body is, often subtly, to think that we enjoy absolute power over creation. Learning to accept our body, to care for it and to respect its full meaning is an essential part of any true human ecology,” the pope said.
In Amoris Laetitia, a 2016 post-synodal apostolic exhortation, Pope Francis wrote that masculinity and femininity are “not rigid categories,” but that masculine and feminine cannot be inseparable from God’s work of creation. He spoke of the need to help people, especially young people, to “accept their own body as it was created”. He warned against claims to “cancel sexual difference because we no longer know how to deal with it”.
The cardinal quoted both the encyclical and the exhortation.
However, there are other Vatican sources that deal with the subject. In June 2019, the Congregation for Catholic Education criticized gender theory as a “cultural and ideological revolution”. In its document “Male and female, he created it,” the Vatican department described the origins of the mindset and the broad movement to enact policies and laws consistent with its vision of humanity. .