Archbishop Fernández says ‘several’ of his texts are ‘more dangerous’ than erotic book on kissing – LifeSite

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VATICAN CITY (LifeSiteNews) — Pope Francis’ new head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal-designate Victor Fernández, has downplayed criticism of his erotic book on kissing, saying he has “several other texts from years ago that could be considered much more ‘dangerous’ from a theological point of view.” 

Cardinal-designate Fernández commenced his new role as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) on September 11 and is due to receive his cardinal’s hat on September 30. 

READ: Archbishop Fernández previously argued in favor of condom use, contradicting Catholic doctrine

Speaking to Spanish-language outlet Religión Digital in an interview published on September 17, the archbishop addressed the criticisms that have been made about him since Pope Francis appointed him to the new post in early July. 

Fernández described the criticisms as “completely predictable” and being also “partly directed at Francesco [Pope Francis].” He cited critics in the “traditionalist sectors who consider me dangerous for doctrine,” arguing that such criticisms are not just about doctrine but also about “power in the Church.”

Repeating his claim of a “power struggle” within the Church, Fernández argued that “traditionalist sectors, precisely because they enter a power struggle, make use of everything, wherever it comes from, in the attempt to denigrate.”

He accused such critics of taking only “little care of the divine commandments,” since, he argued, they forget that “there is a commandment even more important than the sixth (because it affects justice and charity) that asks not to bear false witness or lie.”

“These are the most numerous attacks, which continue, although I have the impression that it is already boring to talk about me,” he quipped. But he also referenced the “less frequent … attacks that come from an extreme left.”

Defending book on kissing once again

One of the new prefect’s most controversial aspects is his 1995 work Heal me with your mouth: The art of kissing. The unmistakably erotic book is often suggestive of ambiguous sexual relationships in which the genders of the participants are unspecified. It also contains various photos of statues and artworks depicting people passionately kissing and embracing one another in intimate and erotic positions.

READ: New CDF prefect Archbishop Fernández hits back at critics of his erotic book on kissing

Not surprisingly, the text has been a regular question in the more than 40 interviews Fernández has given in the past two months – a text that he has consistently defended. The archbishop stated that critics “have been using that text as a hobbyhorse for a long time.” 

He presented himself as confused over why the text had garnered such attention. “Curiously enough, they stayed there, in a striking but innocent text,” he said of the erotic book. 

Fernández continued by revealing, “I have several other texts from years ago that could be considered much more ‘dangerous’ from the theological point of view and yet they have not even seen them. Maybe I am wrong to mention it, but it is the truth.” 

He attributed criticism of his book on kissing to the “question of power,” suggesting that those opposed to the book would “use whatever seems most effective to ridicule the other.”

Rehabilitation of ‘the persecuted’?

With no apparent context, Fernández was asked about whether the CDF under his leadership would suddenly start rehabilitating “the persecuted.” 

“Will the persecuted be rehabilitated individually or as a collective?” the news outlet asked.

Fernández did not answer directly, stating instead that “there are questions that can be rethought, although I confess that there are not enough personnel to open too many fronts and do it well.” 

“The doctrinal section has somehow been shrinking and will have to be strengthened,” he said, in reference to one of the two divisions in the CDF, the other being the disciplinary section. 

‘Power struggle’ or doctrinal integrity?

While Archbishop Fernández slated his critics as waging a battle over “power,” the most notable criticisms of his statements have been out of concern for Catholic teaching. 

Speaking to LifeSiteNews just after Fernández was announced as the new CDF prefect, former CDF prefect Cardinal Gerhard Müller responded to the archbishop’s openness to homosexual “blessings” and his confession of being “far more progressive than the Pope.”

“Only a fool can speak of a springtime in the Church and a new Pentecost,” said Müller. “The praise of the mainstream media for the progressive reformers has not yet been reflected in a turning of people to faith in Jesus Christ. For it is in the Son of the living God alone that they can place their hope in living and dying.”

Fernández’s predecessor in the Argentinian Archdiocese of La Plata, Archbishop Hector Aguer, has also issued a number of public statements against the new CDF prefect’s theological positions. Aguer argued that Fernández’s statements evidenced the “meaning of the current pontifical ideology, according to which the papal monarchy persecutes and liquidates those who do not keep up with the doctrinal relativism professed by the Latin American (Argentinian, we should say) officialdom.”

More recently, theologians told LifeSite of their grave concerns over Fernández’s promotion of Amoris Laetitia and the admittance of the divorced and re-“married” to Holy Communion. 

READ: Theologians warn Archbishop Fernández pushing ‘heresy’ by promoting Amoris Laetitia

Referencing Fernández’s defense of Pope Francis’ text – a text that the new CDF prefect ghostwrote – Dr. Peter Kwasniewski stated: 

Fernandez has doubled down to say, yes, what Francis said is what he meant: people who are still married to someone else but now ‘re-married’ can go ahead and receive Communion without ceasing to be sexually active with someone who is not their spouse, because they apparently aren’t able to do anything else.

This, Kwasniewski stated, “directly contradicts the Council of Trent’s teaching, reaffirmed by Veritatis Splendor, that there is no commandment given by God that is impossible to accomplish with the help of His grace.” 

“This is Catholicism 101, as basic as The Penny Catechism,” said Kwasniewski. “We can see that the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith is now in the hands of a heretic, like his master.”

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