Vatican devalues Catholic women

The Catholic Church has a new controversy regarding the standing of women within the church. This comes on the heels of the contraception debate.

In that issue, various polls claimed that 92 to 98 percent of Catholic women use birth control. I have blogged in this space in the past suggesting the church might be a tad out of touch with the feminist movement.

Now I am certain of it.

I touched on the new controversy a bit Sunday, but it goes like this:

After an official investigation, the Vatican reprimanded the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), the largest representative group of all the Catholic sisters orders, for not adhering to church’ teachings and doctrines and paying much more attention to issues like poverty and health care than to abortion, homosexuality and male-only priesthood.

There are concerns with “a prevalence of certain radical feminist themes” and they have been taken to task for “occasional public statements” that disagree with the bishops, “who are the church’s authentic teachers of faith and morals.”

The LCWR has been put under the control of some bishops who are to “reform” them, change the group’s statutes and programs, and approve who will speak at their events.

Condemnation has been fairly universal, with the WaPo’s Sally Quinn calling the crackdown, a “war on women.”

An op-ed in the National Catholic Reporter goes farther, calling the men in charge at the Vatican “misogynists.”

It’s an interesting issue. My feeling is this: while I respect the belief that church doctrine doesn’t change and right is always right and wrong is always wrong, reality is also reality. And the reality is that women are every bit as capable as men of leading and contributing as equals. And they are — crackdowns or not.

Just like the reality is that 90+ percent of practicing Catholic women use contraception. The church can ignore reality and cling to doctrine, but time marches on and change happens.

To ignore reality makes one look foolish and out of touch.

What do you think?

About John Hilton

I grew up in Susquehanna County, Pa. and graduated Syracuse University with a dual degree in journalism/political science in 1998. After working for nearly three years for a weekly paper in upstate New York, I came to southcentral Pennsylvania. I spent 13 years as a reporter and editor for The Sentinel in Carlisle and joined the York Daily Record as religion reporter in September 2011.
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One Response to Vatican devalues Catholic women

  1. Dennis Mahon says:

    Here’s a little reality for you:

    Not just crazy – weapons grade crazy: Exhibit A for Explaining the LCWR Report

    Kathryn Jean Lopez demolishes media attempts to spin Vatican investigation of American nuns as misogynist persecution:

    Nuns Gone Wild: A Trip Down Memory Lane

    Oh, and that “90% of Catholic women use contraception” myth? Blown out of the water the day after the Guttmacher Institute made it:

    Statistics, Obamas, and Internet Memes

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