Friday, July 16, 2010


Dear heavens! At the risk of offending the Catholic community marginally less than the papacy, can anyone tell me why so many people, in particular women, remain affiliated to the Catholic Church?

Some of their celibate male clergy in various parts of the world have been in trouble for a long time, amusing themselves at the cost of the good physical and mental health of the children that they are supposed to care for and cherish. Sexual abuse has been extant and swept under ecclesiastical carpets.

Now, anyone who aids and abets women to take a leading role in the clerical echelons of the Catholic Church will be committing a crime. This is the same language that the Papacy has used for the sexual abuse scandals with its male clergy that it is, clumsily, attempting to diffuse. The papacy has been pushed, kicking and screaming its resistance to dealing with the crimes that it has been instrumental in hiding, mishandling, and colluding with, for longer than we probably know about.

This is the church that is supposed to venerate the mother of Christ as an example to women, and is supposed to be a means of showing the church's respect for women. Yet women who want to participate more than at a subservient level, like scrubbing the stone steps of the church entrance and cleaning the alter, or keeping the priest contented, are what...accessories to crime?


TG said...

Excellent questions. I guess women like men in uniforms and authority, even if that's a bit laughable in this case. :P Kidding.

ZACL said...


As an outsider to the Catholic debating forum, I think it is a highly offensive pronouncement, it is also quite schizoid.

Why do many churchmen wear dresses and skirts; any ideas?

TG said...

No idea! And I'm sure there will be better commentators on the issue here than me. I just wanted to throw the first stone and see, whether I can stir the debate back to the men to find the answer to your questions regarding women.

ZACL said...

Thanks MKL,

What are your thoughts about this, from a male point-of-view?

A French male friend I have, is very upset about the papacy, this one and two previous popes. He says, he is a Catholic and is ashamed of all that is happening.

Anonymous said...

i'm not a Catholic so am also outside looking in but as far as i can see, the church would benefit enormously from including women in roles of authority.

after all, the males haven't made much of a job of it these last 2,000 years or so...but why they remain loyal? i'd say they view the failings as human weakness rather than a failing in the original concept.

ZACL said...

Hi Ax,

Your thinking as to why people stay with the church is a particular perspective. I wonder if people do think so charitably about their affiliations to the Catholic church. It is a big rationalisation that's for sure.

Could there be a large element of 'better the devil you know...'?

Anonymous said...

certainly, better the devil...i'm sure that's a big part of it, people do like to uphold tradition, after all, and the thinking often tends to be that if something's survived for that long then it can't be all likes change.

ZACL said...

Elements of fear there, I should think. There's a lot fire and brimstone in religious orthodoxies.

On the other hand, I can see some parallels with banking and utility providers. You leave things unchanged because of inertia.

Vincent said...

"Why do many churchmen wear dresses and skirts; any ideas?"

Perhaps to hide their excitement which might arise at surprising moments.

Vincent said...

More soberly I should point out that your heading is misleading, in the best tabloid traditions. We use "crime" to refer to the criminal law of a sovereign state. An act within the Catholic Church which results in some religious sanction such as excommunication should not be confused with that.

I thought you were going to say that some country had decided to criminalise actions condemned by the Catholic Church!

It seems to me that if we are not Catholics, we have little to fear from the Papacy.

ZACL said...


You have me rolling hysterically in the metaphorical aisle!

Of course, you could be absolutely correct in your assumption.

ZACL said...

On the more sober front Vincent:

The Vatican does view itself as a sovereign state, with the Pope at its head.

It's the head of the sovereign state who has used the language of criminality in his latest pronouncements. Any attempts to promote the elevation of women to an active ministry role, therefore priestly authority, will be viewed as a crime.

It is therefore, the papacy that is pronouncing in the best media headline traditions and with a deep, dark, agenda.

zewt said...

hmmm... dont seem to get your context... am i missing something?

Endi said...

Hypocrisy is crippling the Church and turning away people from's a general problem.

ZACL said...

HI Zewt,

If you haven't heard the Pope's announcement creating it a crime to assist women to take authority in the religious activities of the Catholic church, you won't understand this situation. If you do not have any knowledge of Catholicism, it would make it difficult for you to appreciate the arguments here. This same criminality has been applied to the acts of paedophilia committed by Catholic priests (internationally) that the church, till now, has hidden. It has been forced to bring the abuse out into the open

Underlying all of this, is keeping women subservient in the Catholic Church and whipping up the antagonism that exists with small groups of men in the Church of England who don't like women ordained in the ministry. It's all very offensive.

ZACL said...

Hi Endi,

Thanks for visiting my blog. Your point is very important. How can religious leadership inspire its community when there is so much hypocrisy, abuse, controlling and offensive behaviour to a large proportion of its congregation...women.