Argentina’s March for Women became an attack on the Church

In Argentina, the home country of Pope Francis, the March 8 UN-sponsored International Women’s Day became a pretext for assaults on the Catholic Church, including a grotesque fake abortion in front of a Catholic cathedral. Some groups rejected those tactics, while others remained silent.

In Pope Francis’s home country of Argentina, pro-women rallies of any sort have become synonymous for attacks on churches and on the Catholic faith.

This week was no different, when, on March 8, as the world marked the United Nations-sponsored International Women’s Day, a woman dressed like the Virgin Mary pretended to have an abortion in front of a cathedral.

The events took place in Tucuman, a northern province in Argentina, where thousands rallied in favor of equal pay for women and against femicide. In Argentina during 2016, a woman was murdered by her male partner every 30 hours, so it’s not as if there weren’t reasons for the protest.

Yet as has happened in many other countries, a rally that was once about equality between women and men has also become for most of those participating a rally in favor of abortion, a practice that is forbidden in Argentina unless the life of the mother is threatened by pregnancy.

Hence, in what is being described as “an artistic representation” by some, a group of women pretended to do an abortion on a woman dressed like a very pregnant Virgin Mary in front of a Catholic cathedral in a clearly provocative gesture.

The gruesome images, which include what looks like blood and baby parts coming out from under the woman’s dress, were shared thousands of times on Facebook.

An organization called “Socorro Rosa Tucuman” organized the fake abortion. On their Facebook page, they wrote: “In Tucuman, the Virgin aborted in the cathedral the patriarchate, the mandatory heterosexuality and the mandates of this reprising society and demanded all misogynist of this medieval province to remove her image from every maternity ward, to stop forbidding abortions in her name, that he, throwing this abortion in the face of monsignor Zecca, this rotten fetus, conceived only for the raping system that mandates us to forced maternity.”

An image of the event appears below, but viewer’s discretion is advised.

The local archbishop, Alfredo Horacio Zecca expressed his condemnation of the abortion parody.

The events, he said, “deeply aggravate the person and image of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and also the faith of the Catholics of Tucuman.”

In a statement released on March 9, Zecca said that the performance “deeply contradicts a celebration where the intention was to dignify women, so many times humiliated, beaten and murdered.”

“The aggravating facts are not only aggressive for all believers, but also, for the dignity of women,” he said.

Although the National Institute Against Discrimination, Xenophobia and Racism, has refrained from commenting on the assault on Catholic sensibilities, other organizations have come forth.

For instance, the Argentine Union of Private Teachers condemned “violence and aggression as methods of asserting rights or in defense of conquests.”

To this end, they rejected the aggressive manifestations that took place during the rally, “hurting the feelings of the whole Catholic people, offending their mother, the Virgin Mary.”

The group has long been active participants in the rallies in defense of women’s rights, but after what happened, they said they won’t participate in the future so as to not show support to violent and “gratuitous acts” against any social or religious group.

Through WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter Catholics in Argentina are calling for a rosary to be prayed on Saturday, March 11, in every church, school and home as reparation for what many are describing as blasphemy.

But the events in Tucuman weren’t the only assaults on Catholic targets.

In the southern city of Bahia Blanca, the Catholic cathedral was painted with pro-abortion and anti-church remarks. In Buenos Aires, a group of women who had participated in the Women’s March, tried to bring down the protective fencing the police had set up in front of the cathedral, former home of Pope Francis.

Bare-chested protesters lit up a fire in front of the building, while chanting “The only church that illuminates is one that is burning,” “take your rosaries out of our ovaries,” and several other similar songs. A few dozen women were arrested by the police.

A young man who stood in front of the group, holding a Vatican flag, defending the church, was violently attacked.

This is not the first time that Argentine women have attacked a church in defense of what they perceive to be women’s rights. Last October, women with naked torsos demanding legal and free abortion and the legal recognition of prostitution as a legitimate trade assaulted a Catholic cathedral in Rosario, hurling stones and bottles and prompting police to fire rubber bullets into the crowd.

This event came at the closing of a yearly workshop known as “National Women’s Congress,” which every year ends in the same way.

By Inés San Martín


1 comment

  1. Patrick Gannon Reply

    Articles like this are always a good platform to remind Catholics of why abortion is bad. It’s bad because it sends an unbaptized soul to Hell. The Church catechism says that the Church knows of no way to salvation outside of baptism, and these completely helpless and innocent souls (assuming such exist – a highly dubious claim given the inability of something immaterial to affect the material), are therefore sent to Hell.
    I think you are still allowed to believe in Limbo, a suburb of Hell, invented by Augustine without benefit of biblical support, but this, as I understand it, is not official doctrine. You are also allowed to “hope” that your god isn’t the most evil invention of all time, but that he will offer salvation to these innocents – but it must be stressed that it is only a hope. You are not allowed to have “faith.” There is a difference. You are not allowed to pretend to know things you don’t know – you may only have hope.

    The Catholic Church insists that you must worship an evil god, if that god denies salvation (whatever that is), to complete innocents who commit the grievous crime of dying before being baptized. Gen 3:22 tells us that we, like the gods, know what good and evil are, and any sane and decent person knows that intentionally harming a completely helpless innocent soul is evil. Even though these “souls” don’t exist, that we would be called upon to worship an evil god who would send them to Hell, is rather despicable, don’t you think?
    Abortion is not the problem. The problem is worshipping an evil god who would send them to Hell in the first place. Or is it possible that the Church got its god wrong? Maybe he’s not as evil as they claim? Maybe he doesn’t really send anyone to eternal torment for failing to believe, say and do what the Church insists on, in the mere handful of decades that we live here? What do you think? Is your god evil, or is your Church evil? I don’t see how you can have it any other way if you truly believe your god sends mere humans to eternal torture, and particularly the most innocent – those who die before being baptized. So which is it? Evil god or evil Church?
    Your god sends these innocents to Hell, the Church will tell you, because a talking snake convinced a couple to do something they didn’t know was wrong till after they did it. At the same time, your Church agrees that evolution explains how we got here, which debunks the talking snake story – and certainly the idea that there was no death before Adam is utter nonsense as the fossil record indicates. They refuse to accept the DNA evidence that indicates we did not evolve from a specific breeding pair, but rather from a pool of several tens of thousands of early Adams and Eves – as they know this debunks original sin, which in turn removes the primary reason for the Church to exist in the first place. The Church is in a very difficult situation and they are deflecting attention from this real problem by talking about petty issues such as whether divorced and remarried Catholics should get Communion. Who cares? If there was no original sin, it doesn’t matter.

    What was the original sin? What sin did our ancestors commit that would lead to all this rigmarole of virgins and sacrifices and salvation? There was no garden paradise. They woke up on the menu, and scraped out an existence day by day. Was the “original sin” the crime of attaining a certain level of self-aware consciousness or intellect? Was it learning to use tools? Original sin was probably learning to talk! That must have really ticked off the big guy!
    Paul was wrong. Sin did not enter the world through one man, Adam because there was no one man, Adam. There was a pool of early ancestors from whom we evolved, and the original sin is ancient campfire story nonsense. Remember when the Church was supreme? Odd that they called it the “Dark Ages” isn’t it?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *