Just because you love Mary does not mean that you fully respect the “female sex.” I hate to say this, but there are some things men, no matter how well intentioned, cannot understand.
Practically forever, women have been used, abused, and made fun of. Women have been effectively erased from history. This is especially true in the Church. When women heard voices of saints, had visions from God, reported abuse by clergy, etc, they were tried, burned at the stake, excommunicated, or called a heretic. The only “Virgins” the Church recognizes are women. Joan of Arc was subjected to a virginity test by Church authorities.
When women like St. Mary of the Cross spoke out against abuse by men, she was excommunicated. When Hildegard von Bingen dared to break off from the coed monastery in Disibodensburg, she was told she would burn in Hell. Joan of Arc was actually burned as a heretic.
Misogyny is taught to men as children. The lives of women in this country are still effectively ruled by men. Did you know that there is a movement in conservative Christianity to get women back inside the home, and not working, going to school, or having careers? Did you know that in the Catholic church, there is even a movement to have women submit to their husbands?
All of this is done by men who “respect women” and “love Mary.” I maintain there are some things you will never be able to empathize with. You’ve never had menstrual cramps. You’ve probably never been told to “go make a sandwich.” You’ve probably never been told your worth is only in having children. You will never understand the fear of a possible pregnancy after being raped. Did you know that female fetuses are aborted because of their sex? Men are prized in all societies, and women have a lesser value.
There are so many things I could write about and I’m sorry this post is all over the place. But seriously. Just because you love the Mother of God or your own mothers, does not mean you respect women or believe they should be liberated from this patriarchal society in which we live.
And finally, when you try to tell a woman “I totally understand I’ve been hurt the same way but why are you a feminist,” you really do no understand a single thing about women or feminism.
a disgruntled feminist Catholic intellectual.
WE LOVE YOU MEN BUT SOMETIMES THE THINGS YOU SAY MAKE US SAD.
Okay, I’m sorry, but I have a lot of problems with this post. I wrestled with it for several days before deciding what to say, but I hate this idea that the Catholic Church - with examples from the extremely early days because, ya know, we go that far back - is as bad or worse than the rest of society. I’m not going to lie, this post makes me really unhappy with the early Church until I really thought about how incorrect it actually is. It paints this disgusting image that just isn’t fully accurate and put in such a context that it makes it seem like the Church is still this way. Especially in the line, “Women have been effectively erased from history. This is especially true in the Church.” This is claiming that the Catholic Church goes above and beyond the rest of society in their attempt to erase women from history.
I’m going to use the story of St. Joan of Arc to respond, and hopefully that will show that all of the other examples should really be taken with a grain of salt.
As everyone knows, she was a French woman who joined the army and pretty much kicked butt against the English. She won this amazing victory at Orleans, which was a turning point in the Hundred Years War. At the time, women were not allowed in the army. Still, Joan marched up to King Charles VII somehow and got him to agree to let her go to Orleans (not to mentions he somehow even got to meet with him). To society, it looked like the king just got pushed around by some peasant woman. So when she was captured by the English later, he basically said he respected her, but he really didn’t want to bring her back because he was in charge and didn’t want anyone to think that he was being held up by some woman.
King Charles was not a Catholic official nor did he ever claim to be Catholic. That should be known right away. When Joan was captured, she could have been purchased for ransom, but Charles did not buy her back because of the reasons I already mentioned. It was awful - absolutely - but this cannot be pegged on the Church.
Continuing on, Joan was captured as a prisoner of war and ended up being purchased by the English. They were determined to execute her because she was responsible for King Charles’ coronation and they wanted to undermine his authority.
The bishop involved was appointed by politicians, not the Church. He hand-picked the men on his team, who financed his decisions, to support his own motives of beefing up the King of England and executing a military woman in an attempt to cut down the French. So many things were done in this trial to keep the Church out of it that it’s remarkable. Many clerics who were on the committee were forced to participate, many of them even receiving death threats. Joan was supposed to be put into an ecclesiastical prison with female guards (also known as nuns) to watch over her, but they forced her into a secular prison instead, where she was watched by their own soldiers. Joan asked to be seen by the Council of Basil and the pope, but was not granted these requests. Keeping in mind - this was not in the days of the internet where the pope would just know that this was happening and be able to step in.
The accusation articles contradicted the court’s decision. Everything was done by the followers of the King of England to make sure she was executed. The virginity test was given to her because she came from a class of people known for not remaining chaste. She claimed to, despite all of her involvement with men (and especially considering many of the men she controlled in the army were rapists and thugs), still be a virgin. If they could prove she was no longer a virgin, right there they could peg her for being a liar and then nothing she said could be trusted. It would give them leverage to say she really was crazy and the voices in her head just that - in her head.
They ended up calling her a heretic for dressing in men’s clothing - yet the Catholic officials involved said she was allowed to. She was granted permission because dressing as a man made people pay less attention to her gender, both on and off the battlefield, and made men less likely to rape her. Even during her trial, while she continued to dress as a man, clergy approved of her practice, including Jean Gerson, a theologian.
She was executed anyway.
Within 25 years of death, she was declared as a martyr and a saint. So essentially what we have here is one corrupt “religious” man who called Joan a heretic when in his heart he was trying her as a prisoner of war, and a Church that not only supported her throughout her trial, but then took almost no time to say that he was wrong. Think of how little time 25 years really was back then. The Church undermined the authority of all of those men to say, “you know what, no - that man was corrupt and wrong. Joan of Arc was not crazy, the voice she heard was truly the voice of God. She died for her beliefs and is now a saint in Heaven.”
As for the modern claims made, sure, of course there are movements against women in the Christian and Catholic faiths. There are even women involved in them! That does not mean that these movements are supported by Church teachings. Do not look at bad Catholics and blame the Catholic Church for them. We are blessed to have something called the Catechism of the Catholic Church. We’re even blessed enough to have all of these doctrines on the internet for easy access. If you have any questions about whether someone is following Church teaching with their actions, look it up.
A white army man just killed six Sikh members in their temple yesterday. Does that mean that all white people are racist? Or all men? Or all military personnel? Better yet, the Westboro Baptist Church says he was fulfilling God’s will by doing this. They claim to be Christian, so are all Christians like this?
No. Of course not. Saying that Catholics who start movements to oppress women are acting in line with the Catholic Church is the same as saying that the Westboro Baptist Church is acting in line with Christianity.
I agree with many of the examples then men do not understand what women go through. I know good-hearted men who think I’m silly for not wanting to take a walk around the block at night. It’s unfortunate that they don’t realize how different the world is for women, and I do my best to educate them, but you cannot blame the Church for “especially trying to erase women from history.” In America, slaves were granted freedom and the right to vote before women were. Whose fault is that?
Humanity. For whatever reason, humanity tends to revere men as more important. Throughout history. Throughout religion. If you would really take the time to research it, the Church was much more woman-friendly than the rest of the world. What we tend to forget it is that no matter how in-line with the Holy Spirit our teachings may be, we are still made up of people. All people. We accept the rapist, the misogynist, alongside the feminists. We can accept them as our own but that does not mean that every action they make will magically be in-line with Church teachings. We have to meet people half-way.
The Church points out the teachings of the Holy Spirit. It’s up to humanity, men and women together, to fight for equality among the sexes. Saying the Church is heavily involved with misogyny is not only not fixing anything, but it’s just plain incorrect.
Tumblr Catholics do have a problem when someone presents as a Catholic priest who is not one. I realize this blogger changed his website to clear some of that up (and am glad for it) but when he walks into a Catholic church wearing a collar and allows himself to be called “father” without making a correction, he is still misrepresenting. That’s dishonest.
The problem is that it isn’t up to you to decide how valid I am anymore than it was up to the Pharisees to decide how valid Jesus was. You can’t say, “Oh, well God didn’t really call you. You’re not a priest.” How do you know? Did you ask him? Did you sit down and say, “You know, God, I really don’t like that InnerChrist guy. You didn’t really call him to do this, did you?” If you did, did he say anything? I’m betting he didn’t. I am a priest because God made me one, not because people on Tumblr believe it or not.
Further, I have explained to many a Roman Catholic that I am not Roman Catholic, and I am sorry, but they just don’t care. You might. Your little band of conservative Tumblr Catholics might. But most of the Roman Catholics I have personally met don’t care. They know I am from God. They know I know his Word. They know I teach his truth. And they appreciate it. As I’ve said before, many of my followers are Roman Catholics. What’s the difference? They learned how to think for themselves, outside of the catechism.
So no, there is nothing dishonest in what I do. The only way I would become dishonest in my vocation is if I betrayed my calling and pleased you.
Nobody is questioning your vocation. Nobody is calling you out and saying “God did not call you to be a priest.” Or if they are, they should not be.
But by calling yourself a “Catholic priest” you are allowing one to believe that you have been ordained and regularly celebrate Mass, and do all of the other things that come along with being a Catholic priest.
Just like I am a sister in the spiritual sense, but if someone asked me, “Do you have brothers and sisters?” while my earthly mother only produced me, it would be a lie for me to say “Yes.” I would allowing them to believe something that is not true, because they would be meaning “Did your earthly mother produce more than just you as her offspring?” It is as much of a lie to spread a false truth as it is to knowingly allow someone to believe something that is not true.
I truly don’t understand why you cannot get through commenting on things that we say without insulting us. It is disheartening. Even if others insult you, you are supposed to be better than that and not insult them back.
Also, in response to your saying that your followers think outside of the catechism… it saddens me that you would use that as a slam to traditional Catholics. I recently went to Adoration where this wonderful Dominican Sister spoke about her former doubts with the Catholic Church. She asked one of her teachers, while she was in high school, “Why is it that Catholics never think for themselves?”
Her teacher responded by saying that traditional (or, as you would say “conservative”) Catholics believe that the Church is run and led by the Holy Spirit. Official statements, such as those in the catechism, are led by the Holy Spirit, and if that is true, why would you want to think for yourself? We all desire our minds and hearts to be one with the Lord, so why would we try to think beyond his own thoughts?
If you don’t believe that the Church is led by the Holy Spirit, I completely understand and find no insult in it. That being said, we conservative Tumblr Catholics do. Please do not think it to be so ridiculous that this is our way of trying to unite with the mind of the Lord.
Generally speaking, Pentecostals believe that one must have the gift of speaking in tongues in order to go to Heaven. I personally do not believe this, but I do not insult them or lose respect for them because our beliefs differ. You yourself constantly preach that we should respect the differences in our beliefs. This is a very important instance where our differences show through.
I hope what I’m saying makes sense. For us, who truly and entirely believe that the catechism and Church teachings are from the Holy Spirit, to “think for ourselves” and go outside of that would be to think against the Holy Spirit. I wish instead of thinking of us as mindless, you would think of us as obedient, and respect us for that, regardless of if you think we are being improperly obedient. You do not have to agree with someone in order to respect their decisions, and you do not have to be treated properly in order to treat others properly.
Look at the wedding picture under 263. That’s totally the oratory in the middle of my school campus. I’m amazed because this campus is only about 6 years old. Isn’t that cool?