Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Fratelli Tutti': Papal dreams or Vatican diversion? by Ilia Delio OSF

Unsplash Matthew Waring

My Response: I agree with Ilia Delio's excellent analysis. Until the full equality of women, including priestly ministry in the institutional Church is  a reality, Pope Francis' words are meaningless. The Roman Catholic Church needs to transform its medieval theology, patriarchal structures, and heed the call to live with  a mystical heart and a prophetic spirit that changes its own unjust structures and addresses its failures with   with the wisdom  of contemporary theologies and actions in a evolving, inclusive, creative and chaotic world. Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

"Without significant theological revisioning and without dismantling the patriarchy of the institutional church, the pope is speaking to a few close friends while the rest of the world lines up for the newest iPhone."

"How do we make sense of this in a church that does not regard women as equal? A church that will not allow the ordination of women or even the ability of women to preach? A church that insists on mandating the rights of a woman's body? A church that excludes LGBTQ persons from full acceptance and does not allow divorced and remarried persons to participate in the liturgy?

How does the pope tell the world what it needs to do when he spearheads an institution grounded in patriarchy, hierarchy and ontological differences?

Some of the best critical scholarship on racism today points to the Catholic Church as the very source of the problem of racism, early Christians distinguishing themselves from the Jews as the pure and saved ones. How does the pope seek to establish a world of equity when theological doctrine is rooted in a metaphysics of substance, where maleness is ontologically superior to femaleness and whiteness is salvific?

According to a recent Forbes article, the Vatican is hardly a model of fraternity; rather it is ensnared in power struggles, including ideological differences, financial abuse and an unresolved clerical pedophilia crisis that has redefined justice as reprimand or loss of job without criminal prosecution.

The Vatican is steeped in secrecy and clericalism and there seems to be no real efforts to clean out the cobwebs stifling the institution. While Francis laments the problems of the world, he does not acknowledge that, in many areas, including health care and education, global life has been improving. The overall poverty rate has decreased in the last 10 years and, while there is a long way to go to equilibrate a global standard of living, the efforts to do so are not entirely absent."

[Ilia Delio, a member of the Franciscan Sisters of Washington, D.C., is the Josephine C. Connelly Endowed Chair in Theology at Villanova University. She is the author of 22 books, including Making All Things New: Catholicity, Cosmology and Consciousness (Orbis Books 2015), and the general editor of the series Catholicity in an Evolving Universe.]

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