Bernardo M. Villegas
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A Tale of Two Songs

           I am sure all Filipinos are very proud of Fil-American Robert Lopez for having won the Oscar for the song "Let It Go" from the smashing success of a film called "Frozen."  As a fanatic for top tunes, I have already downloaded at least two popular songs from this award-winning movie: the Oscar-winning ditty sung by Demi Lovato and the less popular "For the First Time in Forever."  In a recent reunion of alumni of UA&P to celebrate their twenty fifth anniversary, I bluntly told them that I prefer the second one.  I don't like the way "Let It Go" is being used by tendentious groups who are misconstruing the message to mean letting go of all restraints to one's impulses and desires, whether moral or immoral.   Even the "Snow Queen", Elsa, should not be forgiven if her letting go her unfortunate version of the "midas touch," i.e. transforming all liquids and solids to ice and snow will lead to the deaths of the people around her, especially her loved ones.  The very reason why her father obliged her to stay away from her sister Anna was that she almost killed her.  Although we symphatize with her in her predicament, we agree with her father that her dangerous powers should be kept in check.  In fact, it was the unconditional and unselfish love that her sister had for her, willing to give up her life for her, that eventually liberated Elsa.

          I wouldn't have taken the songs too seriously had I not read too many ignorant commentaries that came out when the Catholic world celebrated the first anniversary of the election of Pope Francis.  There were again  all sorts of superficial statements that the Pope was going to "let go" of the age-old condemnation by Christian doctrine of all acts that separate the pleasure from sex from the intercourse between  a man and a woman lawfully married in an indissoluble union.  Some writers for international newspapers and magazines are especially notorious for misinterpreting comments of Pope Francis when he rightfully wants to distinguish between the sin and the sinner.  For example, when he said "Who am I to judge," when asked about his views concerning gay people, he is in no way changing the moral teaching that, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church states in no uncertain terms, homosexual acts are intrinsically evil, are contrary to the natural law, close the sexual act to the gift of life, and do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. The Catechism couldn't be clearer when it states that "under no circumstances can they be approved."

          The words "For the First Time in Forever," could better express the immutability of the teachings of the Catholic Church on sexual matters.  Pope Francis or any other future Pope will not change an iota of doctrine on sexual morality just to attract back to the Church the millions of Catholics who have lost their faith.  When Christ uttered for the first time the very strict doctrine about  how innermost desires, even if not translated into actions, can already consist in the sin of lust, He meant for his teaching to be forever, with no ifs and buts.  Every Bible-reading Christian knows very well Matthew, 5: 27-28, ““You have heard that it was said to the ancients, 'Thou shall not commit adultery.'  But I say to you that anyone who so much as looks with lust at a woman has already committed adultery with her in his heart."  If a lustful desire can already be a sin, how much more sinful is a willfully lustful act.  Once stated in unequivocal terms by Christ or His successors, the Bishops united to the Supreme Pontiff, the moral law is "forever." 

          The Catholic doctrine which identifies which acts against sexual morality are intrinsically disordered and, therefore evil, is etched in stones.  They are forever going to apply to human actions. No Pope would ever go against the following statement in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: "Sexuality, by means of which man and woman give themselves to one another through the acts which are proper and exclusive to spouses, is not something simply biological, but concerns the innermost being of the human person as such.  It is realized in a truly human way only if it is an integral part of the love by which a man and a woman commit themselves totally to one another until death."   For comments, my email address is bernardo.villegas@uap.asia