Does the Catholic Church need to “man up”?

Does the Catholic Church need to “man up”? April 24, 2015
Image via K.Jo.Bristian.Aarvaag.CC)

 

The Catholic Church is too feminine – according to Fox Guest

Rachel Campos-Duffy, best known for her stint on MTV’s “The Real World: San Francisco,” appeared on Tuesday’s episode of Fox News’ “Outnumbered” to discuss the recent arrest of six people in Minneapolis and San Diego who were plotting to join the Islamic State.

Might be interesting.

Campos veered into weird territory though, when she stated:

The real problem is that Christianity has become too “feminized,” and it’s Pope Francis’s job to address it. “Christianity needs to offer a more robust, manly, not feminized version of Christianity,” she argued. “It’s a very interesting topic that I hope our pope will address when he comes to that joint session of Congress in September instead of climate change, which is what I understand he wants to talk about.”

I don’t get how she went from ISIS to a “manly” Christianity, but whatever. As a former Catholic myself, I tend to see the Church as very patriarchal, repressive towards women, children, and the poor. Sure “the church” helps people, but it also has a track record of helping itself first. Her choice of words “too feminized” struck a nerve with me.  What exactly does that mean? It was obviously a pejorative. But, when I think feminine, I think strength, kindness, love, compassion. I think of my independent single or married  friends, mothers, daughters, and those that choose to define themselves as feminine in their own ways, regardless of societal norms or gender. I think of my grandmother, who could probably still kick my ass if still alive.  And

I don’t find the church “feminine”, unless she was really talking about the church becoming less aggressive, especially towards the atheist or Islamic onslaught.

Feminine = weak. Masculine = strong.

In that specific context, I get it. We don’t like the weak. We are a nation that rejects evolution (only 35% accept it as fact according to Pew Research 2015), yet subscribe to the old mantra of  only the strongest survive.

Strength! The Marlboro Man.

Clint Eastwood. RAAR! Hypermasculinity. Get em!

(Image via Bixentro.CC)
(Image via Bixentro.CC)

America likes aggression and we love War.

We may not like the consequences of war, but WAR is big business.

The U.S. military budget is $786.6 billion for FY 2016. That makes military spending the second largest Federal government expenditure, after Social Security ($938 billion). Military spending is greater than Medicare ($583 billion), Medicaid ($351 billion), or the interest payment on the debt ($283).

Its not the first time we’ve heard the term too feminized in regards to the Catholic Church. In January, Cardinal Raymond Burke blamed the “feminization” Catholic Church for sex abuses by clergy and its declining numbers.

“Apart from the priest, the sanctuary has become full of women,” Burke told Matthew James Christoff of the Catholic men’s ministry, “The activities in the parish and even the liturgy have been influenced by women and have become so feminine in many places that men do not want to get involved.”

It Started with Eve

Wait – blaming Eve wasn’t enough for tempting man, now you want to blame women in general. I’d really like to have a conversation with a female Cardinal or Priest about this feminization stuff, but wait – they don’t ordain women. The church is run by men, but it blames women.

From the beginning, women have been identified as temptresses, property, “to blame”,  etc.. Adam couldn’t just say “nah. I’m good”? Sounds pretty weak to me.  If you can’t take responsibility (or blame God), then I suppose why not just blame women.

With that said, “manning up” means something different to me. In the context I was raised, it was about taking responsibility for your actions. You didn’t run away from your consequences, regardless of what those were, and you owned your mistakes. In that right, maybe there is something about manning up the church might learn from, but I doubt they’d accept my take on it.

 


Browse Our Archives

TRENDING AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment