by Hilary White
BARCELONA, September 27, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The BBC calls her the “radical leader” of a movement that will “shake up the politics of Spain and challenge the world’s economic order.” A Catalan Benedictine nun, Teresa Forcades, is making headlines in Europe as the leader of a popular leftist political movement in Spain that is calling for the abolition of capitalism, the complete government take-over of all public social services and media, and the abolition of immigration restrictions and the armed forces.
“I’m completely against capitalism,” she said in a BBC radio interview, because it opposes “the notion of freedom." Forcades, an avowed radical feminist, is a major voice of the Left in Spain and around Europe has become a focus of leftist rallying. She has said that her greatest philosophical influence was the Argentinian-Mexican philosopher Enrique Dussell, who she describes as having had “a personal experience that led him to delve into what are the theories of Marx and read Marx from the Gospels."
The BBC’s Matt Wells called her an “intense” “political leader” who dresses “always in her nun’s headpiece." Wells noted that Forcades has become “a star” of television talk shows throughout Spain, in which she presents a “new liberation theology.”
She is a nun of the Benedictine monastery of Sant Benet de Montserrat, near Barcelona. Wells notes that Forcades fellow nuns at the monastery commented that they are sure she will be the leader of a revolution in the Catholic Church as well, ushering in “a newer, more feminist future for the Catholic Church."
When the BBC World Service was interviewing Forcades, she was in the process of promoting her socialist “revolution” in Spain, travelling around Catalonia “signing up voters to a leftist agenda” called Proces Constituent. The manifesto promises the nationalisation of all banks and a ten-point manifesto that includes “a bloodless economic revolution."
The demands of Proces Constituent include “green” economic policies, “an end to xenophobia” and the repeal of all restrictions on immigration, and the government take-over of all public media, including the internet and all “public services." The movement also wants Catalan independence from Spain and the abolition of armed forces.
She has claimed that she is in agreement with the right of the unborn child to life, but Forcades has clashed in the past with the Vatican over her public statements supporting legalised abortion in which she called it part of the woman’s “absolute right to self-determination."
In a video interview with the leftist Guardian newspaper, Forcades said, “The Roman Catholic Church is misogynist and patriarchal in its structure. So that needs to be changed.” She added that there is “nothing biblically or theologically against having women priests, women bishops or a woman as pope."
In 2009, in response to a television interview in which she supported Spain’s legalisation of abortion, Cardinal Franc Rodé, head of the Vatican’s office that oversees monasteries, sent a letter to Forcades superior asking that she make a public statement of agreement with Catholic doctrine of the supremacy of the right of the unborn to life.
Forcades responded with a public letter on a leftist political website on which she is the director, saying she “respects” Catholic teaching but has a “right” to oppose it.
On abortion, she gave a self-contradictory position, saying, “This right,” she said, “is as substantial and absolute as the right to life,” and “Nobody, neither the State nor the Church, has the right to violate it under any circumstances.”
She equated abortion with “the right to self-determination” which she called a “fundamental right that protects human dignity and prohibits absolutely and under any circumstances that a person be used as an object, as a means to achieve good, even when that good is saving the life of another person or even all of humanity.”
“Nor does anyone, not the State or the Church or the mother, have the right to violate the right to life of the fetus. Under no circumstances. The right to abortion does not exist. What exists is a collision, a conflict of two fundamental rights: the right to self-determination of the mother on the one hand and the right to life of the child on the other.”
She went on to say that this “conflict of rights” does not apply to the will of God, “but only in the sense of whether it is a precedence that might be imposed from the outside,” meaning the imposition of a law protecting unborn children from abortion.
She went on to compare abortion restrictions with a hypothetical law requiring citizens to donate kidneys for transplant. “Why not pass a law requiring people whose kidneys are compatible to donate them to those patients to save their lives?”
“The state could pass such a law and the Roman Catholic Church could excommunicate potential donors who refuse to undergo the surgical removal of the kidney,” she said.
She continued, “If there is a moral principle that legitimizes this refusal, why not apply this principle in the case of pregnant women, especially if the mother's life is in danger or if the pregnancy was the result of rape?”
On her responsibility as a Catholic nun and theologian to hold and profess the teaching of the Church on the inadmissibility of abortion, she said the teaching authority of the Catholic Church, “is to be respected by all baptized Roman Catholics.” But she added, “No Roman Catholic – whether a theologian or not – should be afraid to publicly express reasonable doubt about a point of doctrine.”
She ended her letter by saying, “My faith brings me to express my allegiance to the current Magisterium.”
On homosexuality, Forcades has indicated her support for “queer theory,” the academic ideology that drives the homosexualist political movement. In an interview on the same website, Vilaweb, Forcades spoke of the “grace of queer theory” that she said opposes putting homosexuals “in a box” or “discriminating against them as certain fundamentalists do."
Instead, she said, “We invite them to teach us something essential about who we are. Because, in fact, it’s not appropriate to put any of us in a prefabricated box. And, as such, it helps us to think about ourselves in more open categories.”
In the same interview, although she denounced the pressure put on older people to commit suicide in countries like the Netherlands – that she said was a product of “unjust economic systems” – she supported legalized assisted suicide, saying, “If after announcing all the benefits of life there are people who say: ‘Yes, but I want to commit suicide,’ obviously this possibility is, ultimately the decision of the person. This is clear.”