Showing posts from April, 2010

Sex, pope, power 2

A pious soul goes to heaven and gets to visit with Mary. He asks, "Why do paintings always show you sad? Is everything OK?” Mary reassures her visitor, “Oh, everything’s great. No problems. It’s just ... it’s just that we had always wanted a daughter.” I guffawed when I read this in Nicholas Kristof’s column, A Church Mary Can Love . And his serious points mesh completely with mine. He compares the “old boys’ club in the Vatican” with the boys clubs trading on Wall Street who get “similar results.” But there’s more to the picture than that. In my travels around the world, I encounter two Catholic Churches. One is the rigid all-male Vatican hierarchy that seems out of touch when it bans condoms even among married couples where one partner is H.I.V.-positive. To me at least, this church — obsessed with dogma and rules and distracted from social justice — is a modern echo of the Pharisees whom Jesus criticized. Yet there’s another Catholic Church . . . the grass-roots Catholic Chur

Sex, pope, power

April 15, 2010 Lisa Miller in Newsweek argues that inclusion of women could have checked the Catholic Church’s sex scandal: Studies show what we intuitively know: without checks and balances, insular groups of men do bad things. . . . In the Roman Catholic corporation, the senior executives live and work, as they have for a thousand years, eschewing not just marriage, but intimacy with women and professional relationships with women—not to mention any chance to familiarize themselves with the earthy, primal messiness of families and children. George Weigel in a Newsweek counterpoint, What went wrong , concedes the beneficial role of women: There may be a grain of truth in the suggestion that women’s perspectives on these issues would have helped mitigate the Catholic crisis of clerical sexual abuse and Episcopal misgovernance; in the past the male clerical culture of Catholicism seems to have blunted in some Catholic clergy a natural and instinctive revulsion at the sexual abuse of