Last week, an interview with Cardinal Caro Maria Martini was published in the Corriere della Sera and included a scathing rebuke of the policies of the Catholic Church. The cardinal said that the Church is “200 years out of date.” Which got me thinking what, specifically, the Catholic Church is out of date on. It didn’t take long to think of several.
Role of Women
Oh, don’t even get me started on how the Catholic Church sees women! All you need to know about the esteem given to the so-called fairer sex is tucked away in Vatican law. You see, women aren’t allowed to be ordained as priests. Because of reasons. Fine. It’s totally retrograde and insulting, but whatever. However, in 2010 the Church took one step further. Not only are women not allowed to be priests, but any attempt to ordain a woman is a crime on par with child sex abuse. Let that sink in for a minute. Ordaining a woman as a priest is just as bad as abusing a child. Because how dare someone confess their sins or take communion from a woman! That’s totally the worst thing in the world.
But wait! There’s more! Earlier this year, the Vatican accused the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents almost 60,000 American nuns, of, in essence, not hating gays and women enough. The Vatican felt as though the nuns were not speaking out against contraception and gay people enough for them. The nuns were too busy, you know, helping poor people. I guess that isn’t of itself proof that the Church’s view of women is so-1850s, but it goes a bit deeper than that. The Vatican has ordered an archbishop to “work with” the nuns to revise their statutes, handbooks and programs.
Yep. The Vatican thinks it’s totally okay to take the power away from a religious women’s organization to make sure the nuns stay exactly in line with what the Church wants them to be talking about. Forget the fact that the LCWR has not outright supported contraception, nor do they use their time to campaign for marriage equality. They simply focus on other things, like poverty relief. But everyone knows that lady-brains are weak, thus we need a firm, male hand to guide us.
The Catholic Church is well-known for its anti-contraception policy. Life begins at conception and all that (see “Science” below). If you live in the United States, it was almost impossible to avoid the giant hissy fit the Vatican pitched because of the contraception mandate. I’ve got bad news for you. It’s not just in the United States. For example, the Church has been stalling a reproductive health bill in the Philippines for 14 years, which, incidentally, puts them out of step with their followers in the country:
The church’s stance puts it at odds with many of its followers in the Philippines. Eight out of 10 Filipinos are Catholic. Even for weekday Mass, popular churches draw huge crowds that tie up Manila traffic.
Polls show, however, that 70% of the population supports the reproductive health bill, which also calls for sex education in schools.
The Church is similarly out of touch with American Catholic women. Almost all of sexually active Catholic women have used some form of birth control. So good job, Vatican! You’ve certainly kept all the ladies in line!
What could possibly be more threatening to our freedoms than the gays? Nothing! With all their…uh…happy relationships and well adjusted children! How dare they have a less prevalent yet totally normal sexual orientation? The Catholic Church has spent the past several years fighting gay marriage in the United States and abroad. Again, actual Catholics feel a little differently:
For all the opposition by leaders in the Catholic Church, their flock isn’t following. “Nearly six-in-ten white non- Hispanic Catholics (59%) favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry,” Pew reports, “as do 57% of Hispanic Catholics.” This shouldn’t come as too surprising. Catholics have been leading the way on same-sex marriage for some time now.
Wowza. This support stops the Church from attempting to destroy more lives because it’s not getting its way. In August, the French Catholic Church instituted a day of prayer against gay adoption. (Yeah, that’ll work.) They’ve taken more concrete action in the United States, through shutting down its Catholic Charities in Illinois because — gasp! — the rules require that they must consider gay couples for adoption and foster care. The same was done in Washington, D.C.
Wait, was raping children ever in vogue? There is really too much here to go into in detail, and it’s all so sad. But it’s worth noting that, instead of willfully taking responsibility for failing to deal with abusers, they are trying to make it harder for victims to get any justice. Or, at least, standing in the way of people who want to make it a little easier for victims to get some justice. Oh, and should I mention the horrible priest who blames the victims for seducing poor, poor Jerry Sandusky.
Admittedly, I haven’t seen any polls that indicate the popularity of child rape. But come on. Do we need one?
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons