“With the appropriation of tens of thousands of goods Through the registration, the hierarchy of the Spanish Catholic Church contravenes the mandate of Jesus not to accumulate treasures on earth, turns a deaf ear to the request that he return these goods to the people and stands on the side of the neoliberalism that kills ”. With this harsh message concludes the 40th Congress of the Association of Theologians ‘Juan XXIII’, the main group of progressive Spanish theologians, who since 1981 claim a Church more attached to the poor and the end of patriarchy in the institution.
On its 40th anniversary, celebrated online by the pandemic, theologians denounce “the defense and maintenance of the economic, fiscal, educational, cultural and even military privileges” of the Catholic Church in Spain, which they accuse of “appropriating a a large sum of money (301.7 million euros this year) that should be used for social purposes ”and that, through the box of the ‘X’, goes to the episcopal coffers.
During the symposium, under the slogan ‘Neoliberalism kills: you cannot serve God and money,’ among others, the Archbishop Emeritus of Tangier, Santiago Agrelo; the theologians Frei Betto and José Arregi; or the theologians Ana de Miguel and Nivia Núñez de la Paz. Throughout the weekend, they have analyzed “the situations of structural injustice, extreme poverty, growing inequalities, gender violence, speeches and hateful practices against immigrants, refugees and displaced people. LGTBI and deterioration of the planet ”, as well as“ wars, pandemic and environmental devastation ”, which have increased food insecurity by 250 million.
“The coronavirus, which has caused the contagion of two hundred million people and the death of more than four million, has affected the most vulnerable sectors of society with the most virulence. At the same time, it has made us aware of our fragility and vulnerability and of the need to practice the ethics of care, “says the final statement, which directs a look” moved and indignant “at the suffering of the Afghan people, extreme poverty in Haiti or “the neglect of Moroccan children in Ceuta and their political use, by drowned poor immigrants and by violence against the Palestinian people and other oppressed peoples.”
Church, neoliberalism and patriarchy
“We have become aware that borders kill, information, when used in the service of power and against the poor, kills and silence also kills,” claims the final manifesto, which harshly attacks “economic neoliberalism, in alliance with patriarchy ”that“ turns into sexual neoliberalism ”. “Sex and the market are becoming more partners than ever,” emphasizes the final statement, which highlights “the alliance between economic neoliberalism, fundamentalism and religious patriarchy, due to their commercial use of women.”
A discrimination that turns into gender violence, “exercised by religious hierarchies, our case by the Catholic hierarchy, which denies women the recognition of moral, ecclesial, theological subjects and their sexual and reproductive rights.”
Thus, theologians lament, the Catholic Church maintains “a repressive ethic, which imposes slave morality on women, and the hierarchical-patriarchal structure, which excludes them from decision-making spheres.”
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