..."But the same Francis who’s so so right is also so so wrong. He’s still hobbled by Catholic natalism and sexism. He doesn’t seem to know that there’s not a single topic he discusses in his encyclical that isn’t impacted by overpopultation. He says, ridiculously, that “demographic growth is fully compatible with an integral and shared development.” Every four and a half days a million people are added to our planet and most of those in the poor world. Contraception is an essential part of the solution and yet he maintains the Catholic taboo against it. That is sinful irresponsibility.
And Francis’ woman problem shows up starkly in his repeated condemnation of abortion. It is gross and raw sexism because it says that over forty million women who choose abortion worldwide each year—again, most of them live in the poorest regions—are either evil or ignorant. There is no gentle alternative. Yes, Francis has made it easier for women who have had abortions to get reconciled with the church, which is helpful for those Catholic women who have been made to feel that their conscientious decisions to abort were wrong. But even with that concession it doesn’t perform the radical surgery so badly needed on ingrained and long-tenured Catholic sexism.
If abortion regardless of circumstance is objectively evil and millions of women choose it then Francis, by continuing this condemnation, is stoning those women. He should put down the stones and get educated. If there’s any hope for the church’s survival it will come from women who right now are leaving his church in droves and taking their children with them.