Monday, November 7, 2016

"Women Priests are a no-brainer, banning them is just dumb", Celia Wexler, Huffington Post

..."All women should be insulted by Pope Francis’s recent cavalier dismissal of the possibility of the church ever changing its 
position on women’s ordination. 
The question came up after the Pope 
celebrated the Protestant Reformation in Sweden
with the country’s Lutheran prelates, including the
 woman who is primate of the Church of Sweden.
If you’re going to make excuses for refusing to allow ordination 
of women you might want to invent something more plausible, 
with a little more intellectual heft, than the old saw 
about Christ choosing only men to be His apostles. 
It was, as Maureen Fiedler bluntly put it, and has 
always been,“a dumb argument.”
The fact that the apostles were male isn’t surprising, given the Jewish culture and the role of women in that era. As a Catholic feminist wryly asked, “All the apostles were Jews. 
Should all priests be Jews?”
A number of the apostles were married. And yet the church has 
had no problem enforcing a celibacy rule on priests.
 So the argument isn’t even consistent.
There’s also a history of women playing active leadership 
roles in the early church. But really, even if that 
were not the case, society evolves, and 
the role of women has greatly expanded 
over the centuries.  If the rest of society clung 
to the same position as the Catholic Church, 
women could never become surgeons, 
teachers, astronauts, physicians, or architects, or 
even earn the right to vote or own property.
The Pope also relies on the fact that he can’t change policy 
because Pope John Paul II closed the door on women priests.
 Funny, that didn’t prevent 
Pope John XXIII from reversing course on the 
church’s relationship with other Christian religions. 

Not so long ago, indeed, within my lifetime, the 

children of mixed marriages, generally one spouse 
Catholic and the other Protestant, were told that 
the non-Catholic parent would go to hell 
without conversion.
That message was sent to my own cousins. 
Catholics were not allowed to worship with others 
of different faiths, or 
even attend non-Catholic weddings. Vatican II 
changed all that, urging tolerance, respect, 
and collaboration among Christians of 
various denominations.
The church does change its mind, thank goodness. 
I highly recommend Fiedler’s book, Rome Has Spoken, 
documenting those changes over the centuries.
 And it certainly could change its 
position on women’s ordination.
The other, more subtle, argument one hears 
about Pope Francis’s reluctance to admit women
 to the priesthood goes something like this. 
Pope Francis is concerned 
about rampant “clericalism” in the church, 
with priests elevating 
themselves above people and its highest-ranking 
prelates prone to “spiritual Alzheimer’s” 
indifference to human suffering, joylessness, and
 hypocrisy, among other things.
So the inference is that since power corrupts, 
the Pope wants to inoculate women from corruption
As he said to an 
interviewerin 2013 responding to rumors 
of a laywoman being named as a cardinal,
 “Woman should be valued, not
 ‘clericalized.’” We delicate flowers of the church 
should not be exposed to the 
underbelly of real power.

I don’t believe that any Catholic reformer believes 

that the 
ordination of women to the priesthood would radically
 change the top-down nature of the church, 
something that must change.
But what’s the best reinforcement for clericalism, 
and the concentration of power? 
Doing what Pope Francis just did, 
saying his hands are tied because of the 
decisions made by the guy who used to be in charge."

No comments: