Holy See Official at the UN
Unveils Semantics Strategy
By Sergio Mora
FEB. 18, 2011 (Zenit.org).-
"Husband" and "wife"
is out, and "partner" is in.
Also out: "man" and "woman."
"Gender" is the word of choice
today. Want to say "Contraception?"
Try "reproductive health."
these and similar word games combined
with an extreme interpretation of "anti-discrimination,"
international institutions are imposing
ideologies across the globe -- policies
that oppose Catholic thought and influence
daily life. And in general, people realize
there's been a change too late.
was the warning made by Archbishop Silvano
Tomasi, permanent representative of
the Holy See to the U.N. offices in
Geneva, when he spoke Thursday in Rome
at the headquarters of the Communion
and Liberation movement.
address was titled "The Force of
the Word. Truth and Ideology in International
Organizations." Marta Carabia,
professor of constitutional law at the
University of Milano-Bicocca, also spoke.
The event was moderated by the director
of the International Center, Roberto
"Geneva is a place where culture
is generated daily," said Archbishop
Tomasi, recalling that 30,000 employees
of international entities reside there,
holding more than 9,000 conferences
To clarify the problem, the prelate
recalled Benedict XVI's thought on the
dictatorship of relativism: "A
good part of contemporary philosophy
states that man is incapable of knowing
the truth. And, as a consequence, the
man who is incapable of [truth] does
not have ethical values."
Thus, the archbishop continued, "he
ends up by accepting majority opinion
as the sole reference point -- although
history demonstrates how destructive
majorities can be," as in the case
"of the dictatorships imposed by
Nazism and Marxism."
According to Archbishop Tomasi, words
from Judeo-Christian tradition are disappearing:
words such as truth, morality, conscience,
reason, father, mother, child, commandment,
sin, hierarchy, nature, marriage, etc..
new vocabulary that "represents
an individualist ideology taken to the
extreme and which inspires the guidelines
of the employees of world governance"
is coming to the fore, he said.
United Nations aspires to create a new
international order and to do so it
creates a new anthropology," as
when it speaks of gender -- "not
the one given by nature but the one
chosen by the individual," Archbishop
Tomasi explained. This undermines the
very structure of society in what pertains
to the family, he added.
A Thomist vision that exacts "conformity
of the intellect with reality"
is replaced "by a concept of reality
as subjective and as a social construction
in which truth and reality do not have
a stable content," the prelate
"alliance between ideology and
pragmatism" challenges Christian
wisdom, he affirmed, even if in the
long run "they will not be able
to underestimate or simply ignore the
anthropological realism of the Christian
how these strategies come about, Archbishop
Tomasi said it is a complex process,
beyond the proponents themselves. He
traced it to the dictatorship of relativism.
"To say that a pear is not an apple
is not discrimination," the archbishop
reminded. "And these soft laws
are transformed into juridical norms.
Then there is a new convention and it
becomes law and it is applied even in
a small village."
For her part, Marta Cartabia affirmed
the importance of the language of law.
She noted the ambiguity since the 1995
Beijing Conference, with its emphasis
on "gender discrimination,"
which has nothing to do with a biological
fact but simply with the interpretation
of a role that a person wishes to have.
She noted that in Spain and Germany
today, one can "ask for a change
of sex despite physical characteristics,
guaranteed by the law with a trivial
procedure such as going to a registration
"How can woman be defended,"
Cartabia asked, "if the role is