Catholic women: Pope Francis, tear down that misogyny wall

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jserraglio
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Catholic women: Pope Francis, tear down that misogyny wall

Post by jserraglio » Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:26 am

Reuters

Roman Catholic women led by former Irish president Mary McAleese demanded a greater decision-making role for women in the Church on Thursday, urging Pope Francis to tear down its "walls of misogyny".

McAleese was the key speaker at a symposium of Catholic women called "Why Women Matter", attended by hundreds of people and followed by many others around the world via web-streaming.

The Women's Day event was held at the headquarters of the Jesuit religious order after the Vatican withdrew permission for it to be held inside its walls when organizers added controversial speakers without its permission.

McAleese, who supports gay marriage and the ordination of women as priests, joked about the change of venue to a location just a block away from the Vatican walls, saying: "I hope all their hearing aids are turned on today".

She said the Church's ban on a female priesthood had "locked women out of any significant role in the Church’s leadership, doctrinal development and authority structure".

The Church teaches that women cannot be ordained priests because Jesus chose only men as his apostles. Those calling for women priests say he was only following the norms of his time.

"We are here to shout, to bring down our Church's walls of misogyny," she said, adding that the Church's position on keeping women in a subordinate role to men had "kept Christ out and bigotry in".

"How long can the hierarchy sustain the credibility of a God who wants things this way, who wants a Church where women are invisible and voiceless in Church leadership?" she said in her address. McAleese was Irish president between 1997 and 2011.

Many women, she said, "experience the Church as a male bastion of patronizing platitudes, to which Pope Francis has added his quota".

The pope has promised to put more women in senior positions in the Vatican but critics say he is moving too slowly.

Other women speakers included Zuzanna Radzik, a Catholic theologian from Poland, who described the struggle to make priests and bishops in her homeland take her seriously as an intellectual on a par with men.

Many in the audience were nuns, who cheered on the speakers who demanded more rights for women in the Church.

Last week, a Vatican magazine denounced widespread exploitation of nuns for cheap or free labor in the Roman Catholic Church, saying the male hierarchy should stop treating them like lowly servants.

The article in the monthly "Women, Church, World", remarkable for an official Vatican publication, described the drudgery of nuns who cook, clean and wait on tables for cardinals, bishops and priests.

jbuck919
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Re: Catholic women: Pope Francis, tear down that misogyny wall

Post by jbuck919 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:56 pm

Part of the problem is that John Paul II hated and feared the idea of women priests so much that he wrote an apostolic letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis which affirmed the church's stand on ordaining women and did everything JP II could manage to elevate a matter of church discipline (which who can be ordained must always be) to a matter of eternal doctrine. Comes Francis and he says in effect "Whew, that one was taken care of for me, so now I can move on to other things and not address some of these old questions again." A pope cannot tie his successors' hands except in matters of the deepest doctrine, which no one cares about anyway because things like the Resurrection and the Trinity are of no consequence to people's lives. None of that matters that come up all the time--the proscription against contraception, the marriage of clergy, and the ordination of women being among those near the top of the list--are all things that any pope could change with the stroke of a pen.

There is precedent for this. When the Counter-Reformation Pope St. Pius V issued his missal, the one which was in use for centuries, which I an still remember, and with which my parents grew up, he also attempted to anathematize anyone who ever proposed any other. That did not stop Paul VI from issuing his missal of 1968. Even in matters other than straightforward church discipline, the church no longer teaches that lending money for a return with interest (usury) is necessarily a sin, or that capital punishment is justified, or that the Earth is the center of the universe, or that the creation stories in Genesis hare historical fact, though you can find ingenious evasions of a direct reason for these changes that appear to avoid stating that the church ever simply makes a mistake.

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jserraglio
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Re: Catholic women: Pope Francis, tear down that misogyny wall

Post by jserraglio » Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:49 pm

Francis is a savvy guy. He realizes that if he addresses your to-do list head-on, he risks igniting a schism. I doubt that he breathed a sigh of relief and weakly acceded to the prior rulings of his two reactionary predecessors; but if he ever were to challenge some or all of the irrational but deeply rooted precedents he inherited, I believe he would do so in a measured, prudent way when the time is right. Ironic the way that elderly pontiffs like John 23 and this one, initially regarded as mere placeholders, turn out to be reformers.

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