Fernández's hot texts continue to surface

La pasión mística, the 'hidden' book by the Prefect of the Doctrine of the Faith, which recently caused a stir, was not a youthful mistake. After 1998, there are three other books by 'Tucho' that have questionable chapters.

There is more than 'La pasión mística'. Even if Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández tried to pass off his 1998 book and its “hot” contents to a single youthful mistake, just a glance at his complete bibliography reveals this is not the case. After the media uproar caused by the circulation of some salacious chapters from the work written when he was 36 years old, the Prefect for the Doctrine of the Faith defended himself to InfoVaticana by claiming that he had blocked the book immediately after its release and had asked for it not to be reprinted for fear of being misunderstood. But, the Daily Compasshas discovered that Fernández continued to talk about orgasms and genitals in his theological essays even after 1998.

In 2004, in fact, the current prefect reintroduced in "Para Liberarte de la Ansiedad y de la Impaciencia", published by São Paulo, a concept already expressed in "La pasión mística". About the Word of God that invites us to stop "on every thing, on every person, on every small pleasure, on every activity", he wrote on page 13: "When our whole being is unified in one direction, then we come to true encounter, fusion, perfect union, even if only for a few minutes. It is not necessarily a matter of physical stillness, because this experience can also occur in the midst of the excitement of a very intense activity. This happens, for example, in the orgasm between two people who love each other'.

The mystical orgasm also appears in another essay authored by the now over 40-year-old Fernández'Teología espiritual encarnada : profundidad espiritual en acción', also from 2004 and also published by San Paolo. On page 212, Fernández addressed the theme of the life of a couple - but, unlike the previous quotation, contextualising it in the conjugal sphere - re-proposing the thesis already presented in 1998 of the divine presence in the sexual act by virtue of the pleasure it provokes: "the moments of life and joy (also sexual) are experienced as a participation in the full life of the Resurrection".

The Argentinean theologian continued: 'those moments of shared pleasure, with all their potential for communication, oblation, and loving expression, can be prepared and then lived in gratitude during moments of shared prayer. They must not be separated from the relationship with God as if they were simply an 'allowed sin'. The mystery of the Incarnation, which makes marriage a Sacrament, an efficacious sign of the grace that is consummated in genital union, shows the extent to which God, by becoming man, also entered human flesh, converting corporeity into the mediation of grace. Therefore, when the union of bodies has been a true expression of love, it must be celebrated in prayer".

In a paragraph entitled "Stopping", on page 86, Fernández invited readers to follow the example of Jesus, who was able to stop in front of every human being with his full attention, and gave some practical advice on how to relax the body in order to stop better. The exercise recommended by the present prefect consisted in paying 'full attention to one organ at a time'. 'It is not a question,' Tucho explained, 'of "thinking" about that organ, imagining it or visualising it. It is more a matter of 'feeling' it, perceiving it with sensitivity. It is to experience the sensations of each organ calmly, without judging whether those sensations are good or bad, but trying to make that organ relax and unwind'. The indications were very precise and included a list of organs that the present cardinal invited to 'perceive': 'It is best to do it more or less in this order: jaw, cheekbones, throat, nose, eyes, forehead (and all the small muscles of the face), scalp, nape, shoulders, continue with the right arm, wrist and right hand; left arm, wrist and left hand. Then on the back. Next: chest, stomach, waist, hips, pelvis, buttocks, genitals. Down to the feet. According to the Argentinean theologian, these exercises should help one to stop before God. Tucho also revealed the results: 'At any point of the body we should pick up some sensation (of heat, burning, pleasure). No part of the skin is insensitive, even if the sensations are very subtle. Finally, it is important to try to capture the totality of the organism, becoming aware of the whole body and feeling it for a while'.

The sensuality on which Fernández lingered in "La pasión mística" and in these other texts we have discovered is also not lacking in "Por qué no termino de sanarme?" (published in 2002 by São Paulo). On page 10, in a paragraph entitled 'When sensuality clouds me', the current custodian of Catholic orthodoxy argued that 'a body can make its mark if it wears the right clothes, clothes that awaken sensuality by accentuating interesting forms, according to the body' and then went on to give some examples: 'The sensuality of tanned shoulders and arms is accentuated by wearing a T-shirt'. And again: 'The bare neck is more sensual by putting a chain on it'. The Argentinean theologian continued: 'If we add to this a certain amount of fantasy on the part of the beholder, and in a moment of dissatisfaction, when he needs to be moved or to enjoy something, then a body can appear as something impressive, wonderful, indispensable'.

In Fernández's opinion, personal taste for a certain type of physical feature would change from period to period and would not always be the same: 'at some moments in my life I am attracted to certain types of charms, but at another moment other details begin to attract me: at one the sensitivity of the moment makes me attracted to fine, white, delicate hands; at other times I am more attracted to fleshy, warm hands and those delicate hands are no longer enough for me'. So what should we do? "The only way to be always satisfied would be to become depraved and always use others and leave them when I no longer need them," the author observed, except that he then invited readers to trust their imagination, which "can make what is limited, like all the creatures of this Earth, appear as something divine" in reference to the variability of personal taste for bodies.

In contrast to "Teología espiritual encarnada. Profundidad espiritual en acción""Por qué no termino de sanarme?" and "Para Liberarte de la Ansiedad y de la Impaciencia" do not appear in the list of publications circulated by the Holy See as an attachment to his appointment as Prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith last July. The same fate befell the now famous "La pasión mística", which was perhaps the most striking text, but which in terms of its somewhat morbid style fits in perfectly in Tucho Fernández's bibliography.