Pope Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger), in addition to being probably the best theologian among all popes, was one of the most prescient social commentators of our times. He saw the endpoint of cultural trends years before the rest of society woke up to the truth. Indeed, in his 1984 interview with Italian journalist Vittorio Messori (published as The Ratzinger Report), then Cardinal Ratzinger called out the embryonic transgender movement before anyone else even realized it existed.
In the interview Cardinal Ratzinger stated:
“It is not by chance that among the battles of ‘liberation’ of our time there has also been that of escaping the ‘slavery of nature,’ demanding the right to be male or female at one’s will or pleasure, for example, through surgery, and demanding that the State record this autonomous will of the individual in its registry offices.”
He noted, however, that changes in appearance to make a male look like a female and vice versa do not alter biological reality:
“Incidentally, one must realize that this so-called sex change alters nothing in the genetic constitution of the person involved. It is only an external artifact which resolves no problems but only constructs fictitious realities.”
Ratzinger then remarked how quickly governments were giving in to the transgender agenda and changing the legal sexual status of a gender-confused person. How did this situation come about? The refusal to recognize man’s nature. He states:
“Nor is it by chance that the laws immediately adapted themselves to such a demand. If everything is only a culturally and historically conditioned ‘role,’ and not a natural specificity inscribed in the depth of being, even motherhood is a mere accidental function.”
And where the transgender movement would end up would be tragic:
“[O]ne cannot struggle against nature without undergoing the most devastating consequences.”
How prescient Cardinal Ratzinger was almost 40 years ago. He lived to see the transgender movement go from the fringes of society to front and center among the commanding heights of culture in the West. Indeed, transgenderism is now the cause celebre of the media, Hollywood, Big Business, Big Tech, and academia. To even question the idea that a man could actually become a woman or a woman could actually become a man could get you fired from your job, brutally harassed on social media, or arrested for engaging in hate speech in many Western countries. And ironically of all, gender-confused people who try to “change” their sex suffer terrible consequences. Indeed, one study found that people who undergo sex change surgeries are 19 times more likely to commit suicide than members of the general population while other studies have found that people who are affirmed in their gender-confusion are significantly more likely to use drugs, be depressed and feel hopeless, and suffer other mental health conditions. (See especially chapter 5 of Ryan Anderson’s ground-breaking book When Harry Became Sally.) Ignore revelation and the natural law, and you get chaos. If only readers had taken seriously the words of Cardinal Ratzinger back in the 1980’s, we may have avoided the reality-defying transgender chaos we have today….