This Conservative Pope
by: John Tyrrell
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This week, Pope Francis, once again disappointed those who saw him as a liberalizing influence on the Catholic Church. He rejected the ordination of women.
“On the ordination of women in the Catholic Church, the last word is clear,” Francis replied, citing Pope John Paul II’s 1994 apostolic letter banning the practice. His questioner pressed him further, asking, “But really forever? Never?” Francis replied: “If we read carefully the declaration made by St. John Paul II, it goes in that direction.”
It's like everything else - Pope Francis might indicate publicly that he's slightly troubled by various dogmas of the Catholic Church, but when it comes to the crunch, he is totally unwilling to overturn decisions made by previous popes.
This isn't the agent of change you were looking for.
Now when it comes to women priests, I don't really care what the official position of the Catholic Church is. Unlike many other Catholic doctrines, this is an internal matter. It is not something they are trying to enforce on everyone else.* People who disagree with the Catholic church's misogynist treatment of women are free to leave. there are other churches (including UCTAA) which endeavor to treat men and women (and all combinations in between) as equals.
Pope Francis seems to feel that by following the model of Mary, women have a path that makes up for them not being admitted to the priesthood. And what kind of model is the Catholic version of Mary?
Mary, Mother of God - that's surely something every woman can aspire to in a monotheistic religion.
Mary, Immaculately Conceived - whatever that means, it happened at the moment of conception in her mother's womb - and it's not really something Catholic women can achieve without a time-travelling DeLorean.
Mary, non-vaginally impregnated by the Holy Ghost - I suppose a Catholic woman could hope for this, but every one of them is going to find that "This isn't the fetus you were looking for."
Mary, eternally virgin - Right! Good luck on giving birth without breaking the hymen. Good luck on finding a husband who does not want "conjugal rights" even once. Or perhaps "high thee to a nunnery" is what Pope Frank is recommending for women.
Seriously, the role model Pope Francis recommends to women is an unrealistic unachievable travesty of womanhood. And that's his best offer as an alternative to priesthood.
Why would any woman remain a Catholic if that's their role model?
* Contrast this with the Catholic positions on birth control, abortion, same sex relationships, etc which the Catholic Church wants to impose on everyone by force of law, not just on their own members.
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