Last week Salon ran a hatchet piece on Pope Francis by Anna March. In one of the most ludicrous article I’ve ever read it was suggested that Pope Francis’ nice guy image is nothing more than a PR stunt run by a sinister conservative member of Opus Dei… I commented on March’s piece here.
Today Patricia Miller–a pro-abortion Catholic lets rip about Pope Francis.
At the Huffington Post she declares that Pope Francis has let women down in three ways. Her article is here.
You can predict what three ways the Pope has let women down: First he has not allowed women’s ordination:
Francis said early on that he wouldn’t challenge the teaching of Pope John Paul II that women can never be priests. “The church has spoken and says no… That door is closed,” he said. But many Catholic scholars disagree with John Paul II’s assessment that the church can’t ordain women. It’s more a matter of church tradition, which is itself shaky because there were women priests in the early years of the church, than doctrine. They also disagree with the move by Pope Benedict, when he was still Cardinal Ratzinger and head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to declare Pope John Paul’s pronouncement essentially infallible.
I love those bald, unsubstantiated statements: “Many Catholic scholars disagree with John Paul II’s assessment…” No names, no reference, no quotes, but Pat says so so it must be true. Of course it could be true that many scholars disagree. Many scholars disagree with lots of stuff. Let’s move on.
Then the most amazingly bald lie of all: “There were women priests in the early years of the church.” Whaaat?! Where’s the evidence? Where did such a flat lie come from? Oh I know…there’s a picture of what might be a women wearing what might possibly look like a chasuble standing with her hands in the orans position…Pat goes on to say that the majority of Catholic in the US support women priests. Even if that were so, do we need to remind Pat that there are more Catholics than those alive in the United States today? The Catholic Church considers the views of all Catholics not only everywhere in the world today, but down through the ages. When you consider that vast number of Catholics the so called majority in favor of women priests is not even miniscule.
Pat goes on:
Ultimately, it’s about who gets to make the rules of the church. If women can’t be priests, they can’t become bishops and cardinals and have a say in formulating church doctrine.
The problem with articles like Pat’s is that they pack so many half truths, utter ignorance and propaganda pieces into one short piece that it’s breathtaking. Pat. Bishops and Cardinals don’t sit around “formulating doctrine” to start with. Neither do priests and bishops. Neither do feminists. The doctrines of the church are already established. Nobody makes them up or formulates them. The pope and the bishops have the simple task of defining and defending doctrine. Where there is confusion they clear it up. Where there is false teaching they correct it.
Pat argues that if women can’t be priests and bishops they have no power. Check Mother Angelica for a woman with no power. Check Mother Teresa for a powerless woman. Check a whole army of brilliant writers, spiritual directors, apologists, evangelists, superiors, artists, theologians and saints who were female and who had great power. Do we need a list? Teresa of Avila, Catherine of Siena, Clare of Assisi, Edith Stein, Flannery O’Connor, Hildegard of Bingen, Etheldreda of Ely…and the list goes on.
The second way Francis has let down women is because he hasn’t budged on artificial contraception and abortion. Pat doesn’t seem to get it that Pope Francis can’t do much about this even if he wants to. This is because the Catholic Church’s teachings on these matters are not “formulated” according to some utilitarian principle, but according to natural law. The Catholic teaching on artificial contraception and abortion isn’t’ determined according to “what seems like a good idea” but according to the way things are. We’re the first to admit that the teachings are difficult, but we don’t change them because they’re impossible.
It’s like the ten commandments. Lying is wrong because it is an absence or a distortion of the truth. In other words, it is not wrong because someone somewhere thought they would “formulate a doctrine”. It’s wrong because it is intrinsically wrong. Same with abortion and artificial contraception. Abortion kills an unborn child. Therefore it’s wrong and we can’t change that anymore than we can change the fact that the sky is blue and water runs downhill. Artificial contraception is wrong because it separates sexual union from making babies and that’s un natural. The pope can’t change that anymore than he can say rain falls up not down.
This seems very easy to understand, so I don’t know why Patricia who is smart and writes books doesn’t get it.
The third one is that Pope Francis has allowed mean old Cardinal Muller to pick on those nice old ladies the weird sisters at LCWR.
Pat says Cardinal Muller was on a witch hunt…
…I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.