Instead of building solidarity among women who suffer harassment and violence, Lucetta Scaraffia's comments divide women by ranking their pain and suffering as greater or less, and comparing their situations in impoverished areas like South America vs. rich Hollywood in the United States. While I recognize her point that there is a difference between a lewd comment and rape, we should try to build support between survivors of abuse and create networks of compassion and advocacy for all victims of violence.
In a front-page L’Osservatore Romano op-ed, Italian historian Lucetta Scaraffia decried violence against women...Scaraffia, a frequent contributor to the Vatican newspaper, made a distinction between the killing of women in Latin American societies and the claims of sexual harassment by “American actresses.” She then distinguished harassment claims in which “women have the full possibility of refusal” from other cases in which “the power of the male harasser renders it difficult or almost impossible to escape.”There is a great difference, she continued, between “an American woman harassed by a producer and a woman raped on the streets in Latin America”: the former can find work in less humiliating conditions, while the latter cannot.
Scaraffia lamented widespread domestic violence against women in Russia and the systematic use of rape in African wars. “
However, I'd like to comment on her final important question "Returning to her consideration of Latin America, she called on Christians to ask themselves why women designated victims of male violence” in traditionally Christian countries.
The elephant in the Vatican's living room is patriarchy, centuries of it!
A Church that teaches women are not worthy to image Christ as a priest at the altar in presiding at Eucharist (and other sacraments) is erroneous teaching. It contradicts to our equality as images of the Holy One, as male and female and the example of Jesus in the Gospels.
Until the Vatican makes the connection between sexism in the Church and violence towards women in the world, the church will fail to promote the Christ vision of gender justice and equality in our world today. Jesus treated his male and female disciples as equals and according to all four Gospels, the Risen Christ appeared first to Mary of Magdala, not to Peter. According to a recent church survey, young women are "disengaged and disengaging" from a church that treats them as second class citizens. So, what future does an all-make clergy have that excludes women priests? Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP, www.arcwp.org
|Left to right: Bridget Mary Meehan and Joan Meehan co-presided at liturgy at Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community in Sarasota,Florida on Jan. 20, 2018|