|Pope Francis offering flowers to the Virgin Mary|
Letter of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, to the Carmelite Nuns of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires (June 22, 2010)
I write this letter to each one of you in the four Monasteries of Buenos Aires. The Argentine people must confront, in the next few weeks, a situation whose result may gravely harm the family. It is the bill on "homosexual marriage".
The definition of the family, and its very existence, is at risk -- father, mother, son, daughter. At risk are the lives of so many children who will be made to suffer prematurely by depriving them of the opportunity to become the fully developed human beings that God desires them to be by having a father and a mother. At risk is the total rejection of natural law given to us by God, which is nonetheless engraved in our hearts.
I recall an expression of Saint Thérèse [the beloved French Carmelite nun] when she described the illnesses of her childhood. She says that the Devil was jealous and wished to make her family pay a high price because her older sister had become a Carmelite nun.
Here too we see how the jealousy of the Devil, through which sin entered into the world, cunningly seeks to destroy what was made in the image of God -- man and woman who received the commandment to be fruitful, multiply and rule the earth. Let us not be naive -- this is not just a political struggle -- its ultimate goal is to destroy God's plan. We are dealing with much more than a legislative project (this is merely the chosen instrument) but rather a "move" on the part of the father of lies who wishes to confuse and deceive the children of God.
Jesus tells us that, in order to defend us from this lying accuser, he will send us the Spirit of Truth. Today, the nation, confronted by this situation, needs the special assistance of the Holy Spirit to shine the light of Truth on these errors which hide in the darkness. We need this Advocate which will defend us from the wicked spells of so many deceptive arguments which are used to justify this bill, and that confuse and deceive even those who are of good will.
That is why I turn to you and I ask you for your prayers and sacrifices -- the two invincible weapons that St. Thérèse possessed. Pray to God to send his Spirit to those Senators who are about to vote. That they may be motivated not by false statements nor political circumstances, but by what the natural law and God's law reveals to them. Pray for them and for their families, that the Lord may come to them in order to strengthen and comfort them. Pray that they will do what is best for the good of the country.
This bill will come before the Senate sometime after July 13th. We turn our gaze towards St. Joseph, the Virgin Mary and the Christ Child and fervently ask them to come to the aid of the Argentine people in this moment of need. Let us recall what God himself said to his people in a time of great anguish, "this battle is not yours but God's" Pray that they may rescue us, defend us, and accompany us in this holy battle.
Thank you for the part you are about to play in this struggle for the soul of our nation. I also ask you to please pray for me. May Jesus Christ bless you and the Virgin Mary offer you her protection.
With sincere affection,
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio S.J., Archbishop of Buenos Aires