By Hilary White

ROME, October 8, 2009 ( – Gender theory, the materialist philosophy that sees human sexuality as not intrinsic to the human person but as a “social construct” based on “choice,” is a “lethal ideology” and “contrary to African culture,” a senior Vatican prelate said yesterday.

This ideology, said Archbishop Robert Sarah, Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, is being imposed on African countries from the West and brings with it a host of evils including abortion, artificial contraception and the legitimization of homosexuality.

“Africa must protect itself from the contamination of intellectual cynicism in the West,” said Archbishop Sarah. “It is our pastoral responsibility to enlighten African consciences about the threats of this lethal ideology.”

Speaking at the afternoon session of the ongoing Synod of the African Catholic bishops in Rome, the archbishop told the assembled 197 African bishops that gender theory “is a Western socializing ideology” that is the foundation of the political and cultural destruction of the natural family.

Gender theory, Sarah continued, “puts pressure on the legislator to write laws favorable to universal access to … contraceptive and abortion services … as well as homosexuality” as part of the concept of “reproductive health.”

It places the “right to choose” as the “supreme value of this new ethic” in which “homosexuality becomes a culturally acceptable choice and access to this choice must be promoted.”

The archbishop's comments followed an intervention yesterday morning at the Synod when one bishop warned against the incursions of Western NGOs into Africa, saying that they have ”hidden agendas” pushing contraceptives and abortion as part of population control policies.

Sarah, formerly archbishop of Conakry in Guinea, echoed a theme of the Synod, saying, “There is no peace, no justice, no stability in society without family, without cooperation between man and woman, without a father and without a mother.

“For the sake of non-discrimination, this ideology creates serious injustices and compromises peace.”

Gender theory has been identified by experienced pro-family lobbyists at the United Nations as the underlying ideology behind the international movement to legitimize and promulgate throughout the world the effects of the sexual revolution in the West. One of its founding philosophers, feminist Simone de Beauvoir, summarized its ideas when she said, “One is not born a woman, one becomes one.”

Pro-family NGOs continue to warn that the philosophy driving much international aid work in Africa is one that emphasizes population control, abortion, sterilization and contraception as a cornerstone of poverty reduction.

Read related coverage:

Interview With Babette Francis on the UN's Destruction of the Concept of Gender


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