Saturday, October 3, 2015

"The Pope's Encore, Reforming the Church" by Mary Hunt, Baltimore Sun Op. Ed.

  http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-pope-encore-20151003-story.html

First, there is a disconnect between the pope's rhetoric about equality and the institutional Roman Catholic Church's practice with regard to women. It was unmistakable during the televised masses and meetings. Hundreds of robed men — priests, bishops, cardinals and their successor seminarians — were visible at every turn. The principal of a school and the head of a social service agency were among the very few women in evidence...
To be a decision-maker in Catholicism, to have jurisdiction, requires ordination. Women are prohibited from being ordained because they are not men — a tautology postmodern people reject. Equality is equality. Women's ordination is important not so women can dress up like men on ceremonial occasions and celebrate the sacraments. It is to give women voice and vote in every church decision from parish to synod. Women's participation will erase the impression that some people, namely men, are more equal than others because of gender, race, class and the like. That could change the world.
Second, the pope needs to make good on his promise to survivors of clergy sexual abuse...To commend bishops — some of whom covered up for their brother priests and/or moved them around to avoid prosecution — and to suggest that God weeps is inadequate and insulting. It is time to rout out bishops who act illegally and to create structures of accountability to prevent future problems...
Finally, it is time to end the gay charade in the Roman Catholic Church. The sea of men in every church and papal meeting during the U.S. visit underscored a homosocial power structure. It is an open secret that a high percentage of clergy and religious leaders are same-sex loving people, whether sexually active or not. For those same men to collude in anti-LGBTIQ efforts, including legislation and theology, is morally repugnant. A papal step next step would be to speak openly and frankly about the range of sex/gender options among Catholics and help people see the many healthy, good, natural and holy ways there are to love. Stop wasting church money on anti-marriage legislation. Change doctrine to keep young gay people from committing suicide because they internalize the church's immoral teachings against their love...
Mary E. Hunt is co-director of the Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual (WATER). Her email is mhunt@hers.com.

No comments: