Monday, June 8, 2015

Forcades sees the Church as "patriarchal and misogynist" and calls for an end to capitalism

by EFE (English translation by Rebel Girl)
La Vanguardia
June 7, 2015

Barcelona (EFE).- The nun Teresa Forcades, a driving force behind the Procés Constituent movement, in coalition with the candidacy of Ada Colau in Barcelona, and who is postulated to lead a leftist coalition slate in the upcoming regional elections, advocates changing the capitalist system so that there would be more social justice and criticizes the operation of the Catholic Church.

Está en nuestras manos ["It's in our hands"] is the title of the new book by Forcades (Barcelona, 1966), a theologian and medical doctor, who has decided to jump into politics and has summarized her social, political, economic, and religious thoughts in her new book, which Dau just published.

"The time has come to build an alternative," writes Forcades, who wants to become the Ada Colau of Catalonia. "The system, as it is operating, -- according to Forcades -- is gradually leading us to an increase in precarity. It's on a path of progressive deterioration. The change can't just be in appearance."

The nun tears the capitalist system apart and asserts that "with capitalism we have a model that has been incapable of responding not only to the basic expectations of many people, but to its own promises of progress." "For most people, there is evidence that it has been a failure, that it's no longer enough," concludes the religious in her book, warning that "there are many people who are organizing from the grassroots to carry out profound change."

After analyzing some of the reasons for the economic, political and social crisis, Forcades, who founded Procés Constituent in 2013 with economist Arcadi Oliveres, wonders: "Can we talk about a free market when in reality capitalism, historically, has always gone hand in hand with political power?".

"Often we find the same family or related families -- some in government and others leading the business. These agreements between economic and political power aren't transparent, they aren't known or voted on by the public," the nun denounces.

"We're in a so-called democratic system, but we can only participate through the political parties, which need huge resources to operate and are basically financed by the great economic powers," the religious reproaches.

For Forcades, "change for greater social justice doesn't depend on the god of capitalism but on us. From the social movements there needs to be two important tasks. First, the work of ideological criticism, of explaining the aspects of the current reality that shouldn't have to be. Side by side with real and forceful social action."

According to the Benedictine woman religious, the social movements "shouldn't have as a goal just regaining freedom and lost privileges, but real social change made among all. It's necessary to open a constitutional period."

The nun also lashes out in her book against the media -- "Currently," she writes, "information answers to a capitalist model of consumption that causes the news to be treated so rapidly that it doesn't allow for the reflection or internalization necessary to give a critical response."

Forcades also proclaims the nature of her nationalism: "You have to increase diversity in the world not as a form of rivalry where the smaller and more at odds the better, but as nuclei, nations, nationalities and peoples where the more self-managed and independent the better so that they are responsible for their affairs." "I am a feminist by conviction because I support the freedom and equality of all human beings," proclaims the Benedictine, who says she "honors" her religion "and it is very important" to her but that she doesn't "idolize it."

Also, she recalls that "in capitalism, economic, political, military power and even Christian religious power have always been allies." "The Catholic Church to which I belong, mine, is patriarchal and misogynist" and, as the nun reports, reserves for women "a secondary role characterized by submission and service."

She also characterizes as "scandalous" certain actions by the Church in the current crisis context and cites the case of the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR) before wondering "if the Vatican should have a bank. And yes, put to the question, whether the Vatican, in its current form, should exist."

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