Friday, July 23, 2010

Feminist Friday: Lapsed Catholicism

Last Friday, feminists who are still holding out some hope for Catholicism (or am I really the last one of this tribe?) received a mighty wound with the latest revisions on doctrine that included denying women ordination in the same bill as how the church should deal with pedophiles.

While there were some apologists who were quick to say that ordaining a woman priest was not exactly the same kind of sin as ordained priests practicing pedophilia, obviously there were enough people thinking about the two points close enough where they ended up in the same document.

In fact, in the first AP article I read, this "apology" was stated as so:

Sexual abuse and pornography are more grave delicts, they are an egregious violation of moral law,” Monsignor Scicluna said in his first public appearance since the sex abuse crisis hit. “Attempted ordination of women is grave, but on another level, it is a wound that is an attempt against the Catholic faith on the sacramental orders.”

A wound on the Church?  What about covering up pedophilia and reassigning priests… you know, actively, by the Church?

Same article reminds readers that ordaining a female priest is punishable by excommunication.

Remind me now, how many pedophile priests have been excommunicated?  How many bishops and higher church officials - you know, like the pope - who actively reassigned and covered this up have been excommunicated?

Last count that I recall - and please correct me if I'm wrong: Big Fat 0.

Well, in the new revisions, excommunication of pedophiles can occur now.  However, per this Christian Science Monitor Article, "Currently, women or those ordaining women are quickly excommunicated as a violation of sacramental law… Priests found abusing children, however, are disciplined under a different canonical law and rarely excommunicated." 

Ok, CSM says abusive priests are "rarely excommunicated," but several minutes on Google could reveal no news about any excommunicated pedophiles.  Again - if you know otherwise, feel free to shine even that slender light of hope to me.

For those of you unfamiliar with how grave excommunication is, the faith of the Church is that only those accepted by the Church through the proper sacraments are saved from Hell.  Excommunication is the denial of those required sacraments for Salvation by being thrown out of the Church.  So, if you are a more literal and firm believer in Catholocism, then Excommunication = Eternal Burning in Hell. 

Do not pass Go, do not collect $200… you get the picture.

So, alas, God cannot save certain God-fearing women who wanted to follow in His footsteps, nor those who support them, 'cos his Church says so: "Whatever you bind on Earth shall be bound in Heaven" (Matthew 18:18 or 16:19, depending on your version).   All those child molesters: They can still be forgiven.

This brilliant little bit of revisionism may not exactly say that ordaining women is the same (or worse) sin as priestly pedophilia, but G-ddamnit if it doesn't punish such a wounding crime worse than.

Now, the apology article later released on Friday further backpedaled in denial of any intent to classify women's ordination with pedophilia. 

A few problematic things still exist:

If they really didn't mean to create this sense of equal gravity, the Church is seriously blinded by their masculine privilege.  So blind, in fact, that they still don't see a problem with this despite the many progressive groups who are offended.


They know damn well it's wrong, but don't want to give up their positions of privilege to actually connect with the needs of the people they're supposed to be protecting and caring for - not just regarding the hatred of ordaining women, but regarding the lack of empathy for abuse victims across the globe.

"Either these gentlemen are more ethically tone deaf than one can imagine, or they are sly beyond the dreams of foxes in an effort to redirect attention from the criminal behavior of clergy against children to their wrath over the ordination of women."

Logically, emotionally, spiritually: this is disgusting. 

Personally, my Church no longer represents Christ, but Judas Iscariot.  I am betrayed. 

Through my childhood and young adulthood I was blessed with wonderful priests who went out into the community, supported the individuals, knew parishioners by name, and would be willing to have a logical discussion with a wayward 12-year-old (that would be me) about Bible interpretations.  In college, the nun who helped run the Catholic Student Organization was a feminist and pointed out that all of the intellectual discussions and debates Jesus had were with women!  Not only that, but only the women seemed able to have a disagreement with Him without getting chewed out for not listening or hearing with their hearts.  Besides God, the only person Jesus took orders from "on screen": His Mother!  

"Son, you've got to help out our friends at this wedding."

"But, Mo-om -"


I can so see that mom look, too.  I've been on the receiving end of it enough times.  The Bible painted it more like she pleaded, and he did it to be nice, but I know too many Catholic and Jewish mothers to think he did it just to make her feel good.  No, Mary knew He'd do it because she was His mother, and you listen to your Mother!  Even if you are the Son of God.

If the pope is going for a "literal" translation of the Bible, as theologian Karl Joseph Kuschel also argues in the CSM article, why isn't there a Mother figure ruling over the human symbol of Christ to keep things in line?

I bet if there was, this pedophile issue would have been nipped in the bud much sooner and to many more people's satisfaction, women would be priests, and a lot fewer people would be leaving the Catholic church because it's betrayed their deepest trust.


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