Archbishop Víctor Manuel Fernández, the new prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, defended his 1995 work, Sáname con tu boca: El arte de besar (Heal Me with Your Mouth: The Art of Kissing), as a “catechesis for [the young] based on what the kiss signifies.”
“A phrase from the epoch of the Fathers of the Church, which said that the incarnation was like a kiss from God to humanity, inspired me,” the prelate wrote in a Facebook post. “At that time, I was very young, I was a parish priest, and I tried to reach young people. Then it occurred to me to write a catechesis for them based on what the kiss signifies. I wrote this catechesis with the participation of a group of young people who gave me ideas, phrases, poems, etc.”
In the introductory passage of Heal Me with Your Mouth (Spanish text, online English translation), Fernández, then 33 and a priest for nine years, did not refer to catechesis as the book’s purpose—though he did write that he consulted the young as he prepared the text:
I want to clarify that this book was not written so much based on my own experience, but based on the lives of people who kiss. In these pages I want to synthesize the popular feeling, what people feel when they think of a kiss, what mortals experience when they kiss.
For that I chatted at length with many people who have abundant experience in this area, and also with many young people who learn to kiss in their own way. I also consulted many books, and I wanted to show how the poets talk about the kiss.
So, trying to synthesize the immense richness of life, these pages emerged in favor of kissing. I hope that they help you kiss better, that they motivate you to release the best of your being in a kiss.
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