Jesuit blasts St. Paul, Catholic teaching on women’s ordination
February 27, 2009In a recent article for The Washington Post and Newsweek’s On Faith site , Father Aloysius Howe, a Jesuit and international visiting fellow at Georgetown University’s Woodstock Theological Center, has blasted Catholic teaching on women’s ordination.Commenting on the recent beheading of a woman by her Muslim husband in Buffalo, Father Howe says, “Something very insidious is happening when a case of domestic violence becomes an opportunity for Muslim-baiting.” Father Howe continues:
Father Howe continues, “The sin of clericalism, however, is a choice, and not an ineluctable consequence of being a Catholic priest. Similarly, Catholic men may read St Paul, or the latest Vatican instruction against women priests, and yet come away unconvinced that socially-conditioned notions from 2 millennia ago have the force of divine will.”
The Pauline analogy of husbands mirroring Christ and wives mirroring the church has within it the seeds of much in theology and church discipline that is sexist and misogynist. The attitudes that men have towards women are formed very early in their development. We are socialized within our families, in our church communities, in our schools. If Catholics are told that only men can be, for sacramental purposes, in persona Christi, standing in the place of Christ at the Eucharist, are we seriously meant to believe that this does not lay down the germ of an idea, namely that women are inferior to men, even in the order of God's grace? If all the discernment and decisions that affect women in the Church are made only by celibate men, are we to conclude that this has no effect at all on the attitudes of Catholic men towards women?
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