Comments on: Pope orders doctrinal investigation of nuns’ leadership organization History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Sat, 20 Sep 2014 17:08:06 +0000 hourly 1 By: billywingartenson Sat, 26 May 2012 23:40:42 +0000 All through its history the church has demonized women, including doing its share during the 1500s – 1700 to burn witches at the stake, most of whom were women.

Who else does this type of attitude remind us of


its the old story – tyrants all think alike.

Hopefully the nuns will all soon quit, and no new ones will join the orders.

And then more will sing out in joy – Free at last, free at last.

As hte whole western world needs to be able to do re our owwn version of islam

By: John Sun, 29 Apr 2012 21:58:26 +0000 This issue will undoubtedly bring seperation. Seperation between Catholics and the Vatican Empire. It is very easy for all to see the truth behind this move; the Vatican has nothing else to do but flex their so called spiritual muscle. They are dealing with a powerful intellectual force, Women. Did the Pope ever watch Oprah?

By: Katherine Wed, 22 Apr 2009 22:50:01 +0000 At the risk of furthering a tangent, a note on the annulment/legitimacy of children issue.

People really need to get this straight, since failing to obviously does great damage. In Latin Rite Catholic canon law, a marriage is presumed valid until proven otherwise. If a couple believe, in good faith, that they are legitimately married when they have kids, the kids ARE LEGITIMATE, even if the marriage is later declared canonically null (which means that it did not meet the conditions for a sacramental, non-dissoluble relationship). It’s sad that people needlessly suffer (and often resent the Church), from not understanding this. If I were teaching seminarians, I would drill this into their heads; any parish priest should be able to explain it clearly.

This was sorted out In the Middle Ages. For example: Louis VII of France and Eleanor of Aquitaine had two daughters before their marriage was declared null. Those daughters were never considered illegitimate, or ‘erased’. The Church also considered kids canonically legitimate if the parents were not married when they had them, but legally could have been (ie neither was married to someone else, or had vows of chastity) and subsequently did get married. This was WAY more lenient than English secular law, which considered such kids bastards, while their younger born-in-wedlock siblings were legitimate.

Incidentally, I think the two investigations of women religious are quite different from each other, and I have a much less sinister view of both than I see expressed here. But it’s late and I have papers to grade …

By: Historiann Tue, 21 Apr 2009 21:05:33 +0000 And Maritzia–thanks for stopping by to comment. Yes, the men of the Church have relied on women’s volunteer or even free labor as much as heteropatriarchy (marriage) and advanced capitalism. Underpaying or refusing to pay women at all for their labor is what makes the world go ’round, right?

By: Historiann Tue, 21 Apr 2009 21:03:46 +0000 quixote–I don’t think you were rude–I just didn’t want people to think this thread was veering in the direction of ranting about Catholicism in general. It’s clear to me from your further comments that this is a Church leadership issue, and it’s certainly not anti-Catholicism to criticize leaders and leadership.

I share your frustration with moves by leadership like the one described above, but I think there is a logic to women’s continued faith in Catholicism and the church. It’s what they believe, and many uppity women aren’t going to let this or that bishop or Pope tell them what the church is or isn’t. Women religious will continue to nod, and then turn away to do whatever they like.

Most of us are members of corrupt organizations: the organizations that employ us, or marriage, or holding a passport/being a citizen of a nation. But they’re not corrupt everywhere for all time–most of us find communities or corners of these organizations that suit our needs and that work for us, right? I think that’s how many women and men feel about the Church.

By: quixote Tue, 21 Apr 2009 20:06:19 +0000 Historiann, I wasn’t being rude or flippant. Honest. It was more one of those overly blunt cries from the heart. I mean, I know it’s what they believe. But why? How can anyone go through life accepting a framework for the whole universe that tells them they’re subhumans?

Nuns do incredible work, and they do it in the name of a religion that tells them they’re not fit to be priests. Hell, they’re not fit to hold any “leadership positions” and some guy, who’s probably not doing anything useful for his fellow human beings, needs to investigate them for being organized enough to run a soup kitchen. Why don’t the nuns resign in mass? Or at least get offended and tell him to go soak his head?

I don’t know if there’s an answer to my question that I could understand (for Catholicism or any other religion). And you do point in the same direction when you note that “this could be the final nails in the coffin for Catholic women’s communities in North America and Europe.” I would think so! My bogglement is that there are any left at all.

By: Maritzia Tue, 21 Apr 2009 19:55:45 +0000 I think you can pretty much track the attitude towards women in the church (not just women religious) to the beginning of the Church. Let’s face it, many of the early Church Fathers were heavily influenced by neoplatonic thought. Some of them doubted women even had souls. They saw women as weak and needing strict control to prevent them being used by the devil in his attempt to sway man away from the righteous path. And so to this day, the Church is still trying to control women, especially any who are publicly Catholic women, like women religious.

When I was discerning religious life, I heard so many stories from various religious about how the history of their religious order was controlled and directed by whatever Bishop was displeased with them at the time. And yet, for all their attempts to control religious, they certainly took advantage of their work and certainly never attempted to help them make ends meet while they did the work of the Church.

As much as things change, they just stay the same.

By: Profane Mon, 20 Apr 2009 17:36:25 +0000 Four local IHEs are having some issues with their bishop:

Colleges: Birth control ban is honored
4 local Catholic institutions tell bishop no contraception is made available.

Bishop Martino says colleges’ condom response is ‘insufficient’

By: Historiann Mon, 20 Apr 2009 04:38:02 +0000 I don’t want this to be read as an anti-Catholic post (or to become an anti-Catholic thread), but rather as a bemused post at the ways in which women religious have been subjected to attempts to control them and their work for 1100 years or so.

I understand why millions of women are Catholic–it’s what they believe. I just wish that the church leadership for the past 1100+ years were more respectful of women’s work and women’s contributions. Many will argue that 1100+ years is a long enough time to wait for change–and I agree. But, it’s what people believe, and what I admire about the Roman Catholic church is its ability to embrace everyone from Dorothy Day to members of Opus Dei. Who gets to say what the Church is? Of course, there’s only one orthodox answer to that (the Pope) but I think most people will recognize that it’s more complicated than that in terms of how human institutions and faith communities work.

By: Luis Gutierrez Mon, 20 Apr 2009 04:35:24 +0000 It is time to stop worshiping the past, and time to start discerning what God really desires about the ordination of women (and other issues of human sexuality) here and now. According to St Cyprian (3rd Century CE), “A custom without truth is ancient error.” But the attachment to old customs without truth will continue until popes and bishops are hit in their pocketbook, and this will not happen until a critical mass of Roman Catholics stop giving money to the church, and this will take a long time. It is so much easier to keep going to church, to keep giving money so as to remain in good terms with the pastor and parish friends, and then go out and (never mind what the Vatican says) “enjoy” human sexuality – the gift of love and the gift of life – either responsibly or irresponsibly.