Wednesday, February 18, 2015

"Vatican Choice of Female Image Endorses Male Fantasy of Power Over Women" by Soline Humbert, Irish Times

..."A different explanation has now emerged on the council website: “Some complaints have reached the dicastery concerning the image above.

While acknowledging the anger, Cardinal Ravasi has chosen not to remove the image as it speaks clearly for one of the central points of the document: many women, alas, are still struggling for freedom (bound with rope), their voices and intellect often unheard (headless), their actions unappreciated (limbless).”Is he referring to the exclusion of women from church governance and ordained ministry? The fact that no woman will have a vote at the synod on the family next October, as last October?

I do not see myself, or other women, through any man’s eyes and certainly not Man Ray’s eyes. I see myself as beautifully made in the image of God, whole and free. I do not believe this image is a fitting symbol to represent us women, including our suffering and oppression in the church (and outside it) of which I have personal experience. This image does not liberate, but endorses and perpetuates what it depicts: a male fantasy of power over women. It is as unrepresentative of women as Man Ray’s other work Prayer is of prayer.

It is a perversion of the Gospel that this headless dismembered bondage female image represents women while all images of women presiding at the Eucharist which had been sent in by women were censored out of the display on the public day.Now is the time for the church to remember that woman in truth can say: “This is my body.”

Soline Humbert is a spiritual guide and an advocate for women’s ordination

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