Integral ecology

"Political correctness can become an instrument of oppression of freedoms."

So proclaims Rafael Sánchez Saus, director of the Catholics and Public Life Congress 2021, which in its 23rd edition will take place from November 12 to 14 in Madrid, organized by the Catholic Association of Propagandists (ACdP) and the San Pablo CEU University Foundation. The Congress will analyze the theme Political correctness: freedoms at risk.

Rafael Miner-June 21, 2021-Reading time: 4 minutes
Rafael Sánchez Saus

Last year, despite the pandemic, it was possible to hold the Congress on the defense of life. It was not in person, "but it had a great projection, thanks to the media and new technologies, with a high following, perhaps even greater than the previous one.

The This year's Congress has as its theme Political correctness: freedoms at risk, and we trust it will be held with full normality or almost close to it," he began by saying in a meeting with journalists, Rafael Sánchez Saus, who will also be in charge of this year's edition in November.

He then added: "The subject this time is perhaps not as obvious as life, freedom of teaching or the action of the Church, raised in the previous ones. In fact, there are people who do not know exactly what we are talking about. Therefore, it is necessary to explain the reason for this issue".

The original idea came from the General Assembly of the Catholic Association of Propagandists (ACdP), which in October 2020 proposed to deepen the phenomenon of "political correctness, unstoppable growth in the West. And the Executive Committee of the Congress decided in January of this year to support this option and dedicate the 23rd Congress "to this disturbing issue".

His reflection began by alluding to the two thousand years of Christianity and the cultural heritage of the West. "I think that when we talk about political correctness, regardless of the ideas we have about society, of our own political ideas, we all identify a set of initially scattered ideologies, perhaps united by gender ideology as the most visible element, although there may be others, which are posing to society, from politics, the demand for a profound cultural and attitudinal change that reaches the mentality of the people."

congress poster

"We are concerned about this as Catholics, as ACdP, and personally, as director of this Congress, for two reasons. First, because what political correctness as a whole really aspires to is a change in the cultural canon. By reformulating the cultural canon of the West, and making a devastating criticism of the true cultural roots, this has tremendous consequences on the Christian cultural legacy.

"Christianity," continued Rafael Sánchez Saus, "throughout its two thousand years, has created a civilization with very different expressions, depending on the time, depending on the geography, but in which practically, and I think there is a very broad consensus, at least in the field of history, which is my own, a good part of the advances that have taken place in the last two thousand years, in almost any place where Christianity has been received, have been inspired".

Good and evil are redefined

"The danger that we are beginning to see in recent decades is that the very basis of these contributions is beginning to be questioned. Everything that was good is now questionable, is bad, or requires a re-reading. The matter goes even further, and this fully justifies the need to deal with political correctness. Apart from the danger that all this poses for the transmission of the faith, for the adherence of Catholics themselves to their history, to their tradition, without which it is difficult in today's world to remain Catholics, we must be aware that all this is leading to a redefinition of good and evil. This is of tremendous gravity for all of us who adhere to the vision of good, which comes from the tablets of the Law, and which then, naturally, through the Gospels, is completely defined in the Christian sphere.

This redefinition of good and evil that in a very short time we have observed, first with concern and perplexity, and then with real alarm, leads to an ever greater difficulty, not only in transmitting the faith, but also in proclaiming it. This is something that in some countries, for example in the United States, has begun to be seen for some time now, and also in Europe," said the Congress director.

"Christianity, relegated to the negative."

At the meeting, Rafael Sánchez Saus pointed out that from the political sphere, from the sphere of legislation, it has begun "through that confusion, that fact so typical of our times, of confusing the legal with the moral, and what is good and what is bad begins to be defined. And Christianity, with its moral code, remains in many cases in the politically incorrect, in the negative, in that which has only contributed to the maintenance of structures that today are felt as structures of oppression.

"It is against this that the Congress, in essence, intends to stand up," the professor stressed. "And it is worth warning: be careful, because political correctness, which is often presented to us as an instrument of liberation of historically oppressed minorities, can become an instrument of real oppression of civil liberties, civic freedoms, not to mention religious freedoms, starting with freedom of conscience, and continuing with freedom of expression of what our conscience dictates.

Prominent personalities

José Gómez, archbishop of Los Angeles and president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), who will speak about the effects of political correctness on religious freedom, informed Rafael Sánchez Saus.

Speakers include Polish philosopher Ryszard Legutko, spokesman in the European Parliament for the Law and Justice party; historian and intellectual Rémi Brague, professor emeritus at the Sorbonne University; the vice-president of the Villacisneros Foundation, María San Gil; actor and playwright Albert Boadella, and the former director of ABC, Bieito Rubido. In addition, as usual, there will be several workshops on different areas. In the Youth Workshop, the colloquium will be moderated by contributor Javier Segura.

Affects numerous fields

Political correctness, according to the director of the Congress, has its expression in various fields, and is already involving the family, education, memory, "also historical memory, specifically in Spain, because do not think that this is a problem only in Spain, although here we live it with special intensity. The problem of memory is manifesting itself not only in a civil war, but in the legacy of Western culture practically all over Europe, and we see it in America. A few days ago, for example, we saw how in Colombia they are removing, tearing down, the statues of Columbus, a character that has given birth to the name of the country itself".

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