‘Demand for preferred pronouns twists logical thinking’

Malolos Bishop Dennis Villarojo delivers his homily during the second day of the university-wide St. Thomas Aquinas’ Double Jubilee retreat on March 6. Screen grab from the University of Santo Tomas’ Facebook live stream.
THE DEMAND by some sectors for people to use preferred pronouns twists logical thinking, a prelate said, assailing those who impose it as “oppressors” and “masters of entitlement.”

Malolos Bishop Dennis Villarojo said the modern ways of self-expression, including the demand for preferred gender pronouns, undermine the concept of virtue and norms where male and female are considered the traditional classifications.

“How can you think rightly when somebody who looks totally like a man demands to be called ma’am? Or madame? It twists our logical thinking. The root of oppression is entitlement,” Villarojo said in his homily during the celebration of St. Thomas Aquinas’ Double Jubilee on Wednesday, March 6.

“Take for instance, the demand to be addressed according to one’s preferred pronouns regardless of one’s gender. It is a form of oppression that does not only take your freedom of expression but also your ability to think rightly,” he added.

Some groups are pushing for the use of preferred pronouns regardless of biological gender to avoid what they called “misgendering” or the association with a pronoun that is not aligned with how some people perceive their identity.  While some regard the practice as a way to respect one’s gender identity, others view it as a threat to free expression as people who refuse to use preferred pronouns are at risk of being ‘canceled.’

Villarojo cited the “ascendance” of critical theory in the present, saying the philosophy resists rule and cooperation rooted in Tria Haec or faith, hope and love. Tria Haec, he said, is the “perfect law” and the foundation of society that unites people.

“Faith, hope and love are called theological virtues because they come from God and they direct us to God. God is their source and object…Critical theory offers a utopia that eventually falls apart, leading us all into despair,” the prelate said.

Citing theories that address the patriarchal system and racial bias in society, Villarojo said people who intend to fight for what they call oppression only worsen existing problems.

According to the bishop, those who indulge in such beliefs of “self-assertion” isolate themselves from God. He also  assailed supposed reforms that he said do more harm than good as they divide human society into “pockets of resistance” against each other.

“Critical theory did not take away entitlement. It merely took away the entitlement from the class of oppressors and reassigned it to the formerly oppressed,” Villarojo said.

The mass was held at the Quadricentennial Pavilion during the second day of the university-wide Double Jubilee of St. Thomas Aquinas retreat. The event honors the 700th anniversary of the UST patron as a saint and his 750th death anniversary. F

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