Misogyny in the Catholic Church

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Registered: 02-20-2013
Misogyny in the Catholic Church
41
Wed, 04-17-2013 - 12:18am

Since I'm currently taking a history class focused on early religion (pre-reformation, so there is no other church but the Catholic church), I'm repeatedly struck by the absolute misogyny of the Medieval Church. The portrayal of women as she-devils and amount of propoganda (Peter Damian is one to read) positively villifying women culminating with Pope Gregory VII's reforms in the 11th century positively take my breath away. 

While I realize why it was done: get rid of simony & lay investiture (corruption), centralize power & reestablish the papacy as the dominating geo-political force in the region and the patriarichal context of the society at the time, History was rewritten to wipe out the fact that women (deaconesses, wives of priests) served right along side the men for the first millineum of the church's existence. Now, in the third millineum, I am struck by the fact that, women are still second class citizens in the Catholic Church. 

Galatians 3:28  says "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." So how do you come to terms with a faith in which you are not equal (or worthy of ordination/performing sacraments) because of your genitalia?

On Wednesdays we wear pink.

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Avatar for BeaArthurisMyReligion
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Registered: 02-20-2013
Wed, 04-17-2013 - 6:02am

a topic near to my heart as you know.  I remember back about oh 1980 before our parish had altar 'girls' and my sister was teaching and 8th grade CCD class and wanted them to serve a full mass with the parish priest.. he flat out refusedto have 'girls' on 'his' altar as euch ministers, lectors, or altar servers.. my sister, god bless her soul... stared. him. down.   and the door opened. and the next year we had altar girls all the time. a small step.  what my sister showed me was that one person can make one small difference.

In college in my feminist theology seminar (catholic college as you all know by now) I remember learning about the role of mary magdalene being summarily changed from disciple to prostitute in the writing on the gospels by men.. and I read Mary Daly and scores of other writers who really opened my eyes to the ways that women had been excluded from leadership and their true legacy in the church.

but this was at war with the tradition I knew . .. that of male priests.  Even as I understood the centuries of exclusion I couldn't reconcile myself to the thought of a woman priest.  even now women ministers seem strange to me.. while at the same time I admire the denominations who allow women to serve as church leaders, and envy them their exclusiveness.. the internal war with my Catholic tradition still sparks that little voice in me saying "that's odd."  It demonstrates to me again and again how powerul a religion steeped in tradition can be and how hard it is to overcome that even internally let alone through out the whole church.

I think most of you kow I no longer practice my Catholicism and it pains me.  For me it's been the Church or nothing and as a gay woman it's not exactly a place I have felt welcomed so even though I tried for the sake of my daughter and even though I miss the community of our parish that i had during her catholic school years I know that it isn't the place for me right now.  maybe this Pope will change my mind, I don't know.. the Benedict years were.. .rough for women and gay catholics LOL.

so that's my mumble jumbled answer... or nonanswer as it were..

Avatar for jamblessedthree
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Registered: 10-23-2001
Wed, 04-17-2013 - 6:04am

Was the mother of God treated like a second class citizen? Reform your church all you want but stay off the Catholic church. Misogyny is harsh and it's ignorant. 

 


 


Avatar for jamblessedthree
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Registered: 10-23-2001
Wed, 04-17-2013 - 6:20am

My brothers were only allowed to serve back in the 70s and 80s, I remember that.  But women did have a role, They were ccd teachers and they were lectors and eucharistic ministers at mass.  They had important parts in First Communion formation too and they stood next to Monisgnor B in my First Communion class picture.  I am personally appalled there is a reform of women that are trying to change American Catholics and I'm grateful that is denounced by the Vatican.  I love this pope already, I hope he returns some humility to the church.

 


 


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-22-2013
Wed, 04-17-2013 - 6:23am

jamblessedthree wrote:
<p>I am personally appalled there is a reform of women that are trying to change American Catholics </p>

What on earth is "a reform of women"?  and why would such a thing be harmful to a Church that is vested in the idea of denying women voice in any true form of Church leadership?
 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
Wed, 04-17-2013 - 6:34am
The exaltation of the Virgin is not exactly good news for ordinary women, since she has been defined in a way that is impossible for ordinary women to emulate: Perfect Mother and yet Perpetual Virgin.
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Registered: 01-08-2009
Wed, 04-17-2013 - 6:36am
Maybe she's mad at the "Nuns on the Bus." One of my favorite fb pages.
Avatar for BeaArthurisMyReligion
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Registered: 02-20-2013
Wed, 04-17-2013 - 6:43am

I am a big fan of Sister Simone and admire her greatly, and was apalled at the sanctions that Benedict sent down on American nuns... I do like many things about this new Pope but recently read he agreed with benedict... so I don't know.  All I do know is that for me and for many many Catholic women (and men) like me it's a complicated and painful issue.  I love my faith but I do not love my church leadership very much, I am devoted to my prayers to divine intercession to Mary and continue to pray to her daily,  and currently am really torn about what to do about whether to have my daughter confirmed or not... there's no easy answer right now

Avatar for jamblessedthree
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001
Wed, 04-17-2013 - 6:58am

bordwithyou wrote:
Maybe she's mad at the "Nuns on the Bus." One of my favorite fb pages.

No, It's more than that.

http://in.news.yahoo.com/pope-stands-firm-reforming-radical-feminist-u-nuns-154413631.html

 

 

 

 


 


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
Wed, 04-17-2013 - 7:00am
What does your daughter think about the confirmation? Since confirmation is supposed to be the kid assuming control of her/his faith journey, I was pretty clear that whether to go through with it had to be the kids' choice.
Avatar for BeaArthurisMyReligion
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Registered: 02-20-2013
Wed, 04-17-2013 - 7:03am

LOL I"m pretty sure I wasn't given a choice  when i was in 8th grade LOL... I don't know honestly we really haven't talked about it.. i'm good at avoidance.

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