Commentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
A recent demonstration outside a cathedral in Argentina in which feminists staged a mock abortion of a woman dressed as the Virgin Mary, sparked international outrage and prompted a response from a priest whose letter to the perpetrators has gone viral.
Father Leandro Bonnin of Argentina responded to the demonstration which was conducted on International Woman’s Day in front of the cathedral at Tucuman, Argentina. Feminists claim their performance was meant to symbolically represent the killing of patriarchy and forced heterosexuality which is why they made the scene as bloody as possible and used four women wearing pink pussy hats to play the role of abortionists.
If this demonstration was supposed to stoke support for their radical causes, the crude scene fell far from its mark. Instead, it sparked international disgust along with a powerful rebuke from Father Bonnin which has since gone viral on social media.
“I do not find it easy to write to you,” Father Bonnin begins in an open letter on Facebook addressed to a woman named Marina. “A mixture of indignation and sadness invades my soul, as well as that of hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions of Argentines. A mixture of indignation and sadness that, this time, I cannot easily settle.”
Attacking one’s mother is very serious, he says, and even more so because these women attacked the mother of God, the Mother of the Argentine people, he said. Not only was this demonstration a blasphemy, it was one that bore “all the unmistakable signs of the diabolical, by his malice, his perversity, and above all by hatred of Mary.”
And, paradoxically, he continued, “the Woman you parodied is, as a woman and as a Mother, the most splendid and sure claim of the feminine. The woman was never placed in such a high place in history as that morning in Nazareth, when Mary, the humble daughter of Israel, offered her body and her entire existence to the saving plan of God. Never before or after did the female sex perform such a decisive act in the course of time, as when she gave birth, in a dark cave, to the Light of the world.”
He continued: “Never was a woman so influential, so valued, so exalted, as when She – yes, the one of whom you made fun – standing with the Blessed Son of her womb – whom you dared to represent aborted – joined her Mother’s pains to His Sacrifice as Redeemer, taking his Yes to the extreme, without reservations, without measures.
“What you have committed is not only a sin, but also a crime. And so, for the education of the new generations, so that evil does not remain unpunished, so that our people do not mistakenly believe that everything is possible, we ask, we demand from the authorities an exemplary sanction.”
However, at the same time, no matter how difficult it might be, “even though our guts may stir in anger, we know that the Child you dared to imagine unborn has taught us: ‘Love your enemies, pray for their persecutors’.”
Father Bonnin goes on to demand justice and respect for the faith and asks that “dementia and anarchy be stopped when it comes to offending Catholics” but also reassures the women that we will pray for them, and all women like them.
“I do not know your story. It is possible that true and gratuitous love has not visited your life, you probably have not yet been able to experience the beauty of the Face and Love of Jesus.
“But I want you to know that if for a moment you open your soul; If you give up pride, if you humbly acknowledge your sin, if you repent of heart … the Blood of the Son of Mary can renew and cleanse you.”
He goes on to reassure her that even the Woman she so crassly misrepresented has already forgiven her and is saving a place on Her lap for her.
“Let me tell you, finally, the gigantic secret that sustains us all who love and defend the unborn: LIFE WILL WIN. Not all the hatred of the world, not all the wiles of evil, nor the earthly powers that are against it, can defeat it.
“Meanwhile, those who love and defend life, we will remain firm in the gap, although it seems that we are losing . . . . because Love and Hope sustain us. Because faith tells us, ‘What they did to the least, they did to me’ and because He promised, ‘I will be with you until the end of the world’.”
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