English translation of the preceding article:

More on the Catholic Liberation Workshop

As a country colonized by Spain and the Catholic religion, Mexico has a culture full of recordings1 of genocide. The Church has played an important role in keeping these recordings in place and has not offered enough space to discharge them. The International Catholic Liberation Workshop, led by Joanne Bray2 this past April, helped me look at where I have to work to recover my mind.

I could see clearly how the institutional class-supported religious oppression (vs. liberationist Catholic perspectives) falls on us as Mexicans of Catholic heritage. We are made to be quiet and invisible, to obey without questioning or thinking, to sacrifice ourselves for the well-being of others. I could also see the internalized racism—for example, how people with a lighter skin have some privileges and can act oppressively. Sexism and male domination separate people from each other. Homosexuality is a taboo topic in the Church. To talk about sexuality in general is taboo. And I have always wondered why, if male and female are made equal in the eyes of God, we women can’t preach. So far I haven’t received a good answer.

The opportunity at the workshop to talk and discharge about these topics opened a space for me to feel and recover my thinking, a space to make peace with myself. In a demonstration someone got to “kill [recordings] of Jesus or God as the colonizer.” Doing this in a Co-Counseling session allowed me to separate my re-evaluated thinking and beliefs from the institutional recordings of the Church. I was able to feel what I must have known at some point about being a real Catholic—about being together, sharing and appreciating the differences among us in our ways of thinking and being.

It was a gift to be in front doing the interpreting. I loved listening to all the different stories and interpreting the thoughts of all, including Joanne. I liked how Joanne led in an easygoing way and with such good humor. It was a good way to talk about hard topics, such as sexuality.

I also liked working on the feeling of “moral superiority.” In my case, I have used this to blame others. When I do it, I separate myself from others. This is so internalized that I’m sometimes not aware of it. When I judge people around me and condemn their patterns, I stop seeing the people and get confused. If I didn’t have “moral superiority,” what would be left for me? How would I distinguish between others and myself? How would I see that I’m a good person? I’ve had to be better than others in some way; it has made me feel some power. However, making connections with people who are different from me could enrich my life and show me other ways of thinking and being.

I keep discovering things, such as how much I like life and being in this world. My direction is “I was born wanting.” I have felt so tired from having to do things out of obligation or trying to fill the expectations of people around me. This direction has made me go early, maybe to the moment of my birth. I know the story: I spent many hours trying to get out of my mother and also had anesthesia.

I know what if feels like to want things to happen, to want people, and to have my own thoughts about life. I know I’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg, but I feel hopeful knowing that I have people, my people, with me in this work.

Dulce Cisneros
Mexico, D.F., Mexico
Translated by Dulce Cisneros
Reprinted from the RC e-mail
discussion list for leaders of Catholics

1 Distress recordings
2 Joanne Bray is the International Liberation Reference Person for Catholics.

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00