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Quick Hits: Bishops on Brexit, debate on deaconesses, transgenderism vs. women

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | May 17, 2016

  • England’s most prominent Catholic prelates have been actively (if not formally) discouraging the movement to pull Great Britain out of the European Union. Writing in the Catholic Herald, Damian Thompson questions their reasoning. Yes, it’s true that the drive for a European community was spearheaded by admirable Catholic political leaders like Robert Schuman and Alcide de Gasperi, Thompson concedes. But the EU as it exists today is a very different animal: thoroughly secular, indifferent if not actively hostile to the claims of faith, supportive of social engineering and the sexual revolution. “Obviously we don’t know whether Schuman would have disowned a swollen, secularized EU in its current form,” Thompson writes. But he notes that many concerned Catholics, all across Europe, are unhappy with the direction of the EU, and suggests that Catholic prelates should take notice.

  • Pope Francis wants a discussion of whether women might be ordained as deacons, and Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, New York, is ready with his opinion: “If the Pope asks the opinions of the bishops of the world, I will share with him my thoughts on the matter. For the moment I have yet to be convinced that the ‘evidence’ in the early Church about deaconesses indicates any kind of sacramental ordination.” Bishop Murphy argues that the push for female deacons could reflect an odd sort of clericalism, which the Church does not need. Cardinal Walter Kasper predicts that a debate on deaconesses could prompt a “fierce confrontation” among Catholics, because, he says, “on this issue the Church is divided in two.”

  • And in in a column for Crux, theologian Pia de Solenni makes a provocative (and convincing) argument that the push for recognition of “transgender” rights is another assault on the dignity of women. Realistically, she observes, no one is claiming that women should be allowed into men’s locker rooms; the battle is about allowing biological males into women’s restrooms. The point is that these unfortunate men have their own complicated reasons for “objectifying” women, and liberal politicians are now inclined to accommodate them without considering the effect on women. Thus Pia de Solenni writes:
    Whether we’re talking about Target, or states that have passed legislation along the same lines, the practical result now is that any man, whether he’s identifying as a woman or looking for his next victim, may use the women’s restroom because he feels like it.

    So much for women’s rights.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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  • Posted by: AgnesDay - May. 17, 2016 5:22 PM ET USA

    I never needed a backward-pointing collar to serve for the edification of the Church.