In Catholic elementary school, I learned how the world worked. Women who dedicated their lives to God’s service lived so poorly they couldn’t afford deodorant. Men who dedicated their lives to God’s service received a nice salary and a lot of status. Nuns were the servants, priests were the bosses. Nuns were not human beings like the priests. They were human givers.Read More
Between 1944 and 1984, roughly 1,500 Irish women, unknowingly and without consent, underwent horrific surgical procedures during childbirth. These procedures involved the use of a hacksaw to cut through the ligaments and bone in their pelvis, and often resulted in lifelong pain and disability. These surgeries were performed instead of Caesarian sections, which were safer for the mothers and their infants. Why were pregnant Irish women denied knowledge of what was being done to them? Why were they denied the option of safer procedures? Why were they treated like farm animals?Read More
The Great Witch Hunt was a systematic campaign of torture and murder. It was carried out by local authorities across Europe for three centuries, and hundreds of thousands of people, mostly women, were rounded up, tortured, and killed.
The underlying belief system that supported the torture and killings came from the Catholic church and its centuries of misogynous rhetoric and dogma. Now that feminism is creating new interest in examining exactly what happened during the Witch Hunt and why, one would hope the Catholic church would examine its role, accept responsibility, and root out the poison in its dogma that led to that abomination against women. But no. The Catholic church remains trapped in that very same belief system.
And so, dear reader, the question I am concerned with is this: What is to prevent the Witch Hunt from happening again?Read More
[The saga of our indecisive pope continues, as Pope Francis wrestles with whether he should implement instructions he received directly from God regarding women.]
Dear women –
I am writing to you today to ask for your help as I work my way through a very strange and unprecedented situation. As you know, I have become quite the waffler, which is rather embarrassing. My words are by definition infallible, are they not? I make pronouncements, everybody believes them.That's what they told me when I took the job.
But it turns out that even though I am the pope, I am sadly quite fallible.Read More
[Sometimes progress doesn't always last. His Holiness Pope Francis has issued another letter to women, and sadly, he's retracting the apology he wrote earlier.]
Dear women -
As you know, I had a visitation from God, and He told me he wanted me to apologize to you and ask forgiveness. Which I did, right away, on my Facebook page, because I was so excited. Also because He gave me a very short deadline and wanted me to get started pronto.
But now I am wondering. What if it was all in my mind? What if God didn’t talk to me at all? What if I imagined the whole episode?Read More
(The following is a letter of apology to all women, from His Holiness Pope Francis.)
Dear women –
It’s so funny, isn’t it? How you go through life, and at a certain point you think you have things pretty much figured out, but then – big surprise – you don’t? I am 81 years old, and I thought the rest of my life would be showing up and doing the pope job. Following the daily agenda. An easy slide from here to the end.
So imagine my surprise when I was on Facebook yesterday, watching the CEO of Starbucks apologizing to the two African American men who were arrested in one of his stores, basically for being black. I was thinking, wow, this is a great apology, and suddenly I heard a voice that said, “Francis, pay attention to this because you too have some apologizing to do.”Read More
Everyone who was raised Catholic learned this fact: there are not, there never were, and there never will be women priests. Never. We were taught that this is what God decided, and so it isn’t something that can change. Despite statements from the Vatican reassuring women that we do indeed have value, and we are indeed equal, all the recent popes have made it very clear that the Catholic church will never, ever, ever allow women priests.
So what do Catholic women do when they feel God calling them to the priesthood but they’re told by their pope that the church will never let them be priests? They look for a way to do what they believe God wants them to do, in spite of what the popes tell them.Read More
The Catholic church is trying very hard these days to position itself as pro-women. It knows its membership is declining in the developed world, and it knows the steepest decline is to be found among millennial women – a concerning trend. And so the church has taken to issuing statements to reassure women that they are just as valued as men, and just as equal.
As a result of these efforts, there is much excitement among Catholic women, who desperately hope this new rhetoric signals an end to Catholic misogyny and the dawn of a new age of equality for women within the church.
This hope is a delusion.Read More
For decades, women in the Western world have been making painfully slow progress toward equality. But last year this changed. The pace of our journey toward being fully equal accelerated thanks to so many remarkable events, including the Women's March and #MeToo.
With all this women-standing-up-and-demanding-equality going on, with all this progress finally happening, does being raised Catholic even matter anymore?
Unfortunately, sadly, terribly, the answer is yes.Read More
As we wade through this oh-so-complicated story of what it means to be a woman raised Catholic, we need help to understand the Catholic belief system and its impact on women. Lucky for us, there are people who dedicated their lives to figuring this out, none more effectively than the audacious, rebellious philosopher and theologian Mary Daly. For her work on our behalf, she is elevated and declared a New Saint for Women Raised Catholic.Read More