Rorate Caeli

Argentina Freak Show. Just in Time for Family Synod, Other Firsts:
- Activists Celebrate Homosexual Catholic "Wedding-like Blessing" -- Plus Another "First" in Baptisms

Argentina, the Sun of the Universal Church: the Argentine Church is a freak show that keeps on giving gifts to the Catholic world! In just two days, two unbelievable stories.

Those are two men getting their civil "wedding" "blessed".
1. Saturday, Sep. 14 - After being barred from "marrying" them, priest "blesses" homosexual "marriage" in a wedding-like public ceremony in Santiago del Estero

"Luisa Lucía Paz" is a man from Santiago del Estero, Argentina. A transsexual, he is a high-ranking official in a homosexual-transsexual organization activist organization that was prominent both in the approval of the law on civil same-sex marriage and the law on the change of civil names for transsexuals. After this second law was approved, some years ago, he managed to have his name officially changed to "Luisa Lucía" -- he got his new "female" ID from President Cristina Kirchner herself in the first ceremony after the law was changed (source).

He had been in a counternatural relationship with José Coria, and last Friday the entire Argentinian press was beaming with news of their civil "wedding", which would be followed by a "wedding" on Saturday, Sep. 13, in the Parish Church of the Holy Spirit, in Santiago del Estero. With the public announcement, the Diocesan bishop made a neutral declaration saying that marriages can only happen "between those who are male and female since birth." The parish priest then arranged a wedding-like blessing that looked like a wedding in all but name, as the images show - report below ["sic" would be so abundant it would make the text unreadable, so use it wherever common sense applies]:

29 years ago, when they had just begun to write their story, Luisa Paz and José Coria would never have imagined that they would be celebrating one of the most important moments of their lives in this way. Undoubtedly, the Same-Sex Marriage Law was the door that opened many paths so that the transsexual community could gain access to rights that had been denied to them for years.

Luisa was the main activist in this struggle, and she lived a special night yesterday, when, together with her husband José, they received the religious blessing in the iglesia Espíritu Santo [the Parish Church of the Holy Spirit in the Diocese of Santiago del Estero] in the Ejército Argentino neighborhood. Father Sergio Lamberti presided over the emotional ceremony in which the trans couple renewed their love and their commitment to be together in life.

This blessing also means a great step and it is important to say that it is the first time that the Catholic Church consents to a celebration of this kind and, despite the fact that it does not correspond to the sacrament of marriage, the priest explained that, "God is no respecter of persons" [reference to Acts 10:34]. The temple was filled with friends, relatives, and authorities who joined the couple, who swore eternal love one more time.

After reading the passage of the Gospel that speaks of the "Wedding at Cana," Father Lamberti made a reflection. "We are here together celebrating the love of God in our lives, a love that was at the origin of our existence," and addressing Luisa and José told them that this love of God, "that has sustained you in moments of difficulties, of joy, of daily effort in order to make the option of life you have taken be respected by all, accompany you for the rest of your lives."

Moreover, he said that, "Jesus is always present in the path that falls upon us to tread, and for this we ask you to renew the commitment to be together, as you have been doing now for 29 years," the priest remarked. [Source, in Spanish - warning: a distressing image in front of the altar and apse could not be posted, but is available here.]

2. Friday, Sep. 13 - The following should be a regular baptism, since the parents are a man and a woman -- but it isn't a regular event, which is why the local press also covers it so prominently. Another episode, in one single weekend, of the Argentine Church, a fiery light unto the nations:

The biological mother, the priest, and the biological father, from left to right

First Baptism of a Transsexual Couple
"Baptism is denied to no one, irrespective of whose child he may be,"* thus begins the conversation with priest Raúl Benedetti de Zan with PERFIL [magazine]. On Friday night, at the Parish Church of Our Lady of Aránzazu, in Victoria, [Province of] Entre Ríos, Benedetti baptized Génesis, the daughter of Karen Bruselario and Alexis Taborda, the first transsexual couple that conceived a child naturally.

Karen (28) was born a male, but now his ID says he is a woman. Alexis (26) was born a female, but he also rectified his document and married "pregnant" at the end of last year.

As a precedent, Father Jorge García Cuerva blessed the children of Florencia de la V [another transsexual] and Pablo Goycochea in the Church of the Blessed Sacrament, in August 2012 [when Cardinal Bergoglio was the local archbishop]. This week, several priests, including Pope Francis, showed that religion can adapt to modern times. Yesterday, a couple including a transsexual woman [a man] and a man received a blessing in a church in Santiago del Estero. Though at first Father Sergio Lamberti accepted to marry them, the bishopric in that province prevented this action [though not the wedding-like blessing, as seen above].

Today, Pope Francis celebrates the wedding of twenty couples, among which is one formed by a woman who is a single mother.

...[Fr. Benedetti says that,] "They wanted to get married [in Church], but it was not possible to achieve this due to the change of identity that they had made. But, in the end, in order to conceive their daughter naturally, they had to return to what nature had determined. This is something that it is up to them to settle with their conscience."
Benedetti was also the one who celebrated the ceremony of "the blessing of the wombs," in which Alexis took part along with other pregnant [women]. "I was not criticized by any other pastor. Each one will think whatever he wants, but respect is above all. An additional faithful is always welcome to the house of God, and only he can judge us," he maintains.

When asked if trans people are considered "sinners," the priest said that, "we all are." "God has love for all, what must be seen is how we respond to him, and how we obey his word," he remarked.

In the invitation to the big event, Karen and Alexis posted in social media: "For us, this event is important because it gives us the happiness that she will not be rejected by society as we were once. Even though no organization accompanies us, we are proud because we opened a path through which the Church will write a new chapter by baptizing the first daughter of two transsexual parents in the world." [Source, in Spanish]

* This is an error gaining ground everywhere -- not true, as we explained in another Argentine first in April of this year.

It may be useful, merely for purposes of historical record, to recall who was mostly in charge of the Argentine Church for most of the past couple of decades, and responsible in some levels for all episcopal appointments to Argentina (except for a handful of conservatives forced upon that national church by Benedict XVI), setting the tone for the Church in his country. The local bishop himself in Santiago del Estero, who just issued an anodyne communiqué to stop the marriage rite from being used (it of course would never have been a marriage regardless of which rite was used) and did nothing to stop the wedding-like "blessing" (which was all that the "couple" and the priest needed for agitprop purposes), was an Auxiliary of Buenos Aires and named to his current position in December 2013.

-As usual, all translations by Rorate contributors. Tip: readers.-

[Original posting time: September 14, 2014, 11:30 p.m. GMT]