Last Sunday night I watched Wolf Blitzer’s discussion of the pope’s upcoming visit to the US with the president of the Catholic University of America. The conversation was cordial. The “crisis” in the church caused by priests raping children was mentioned, but immediately swept under the rug. Not one other controversial item of Roman Catholic doctrine, practice, or political activity was discussed. The pope was presented as a nice old man, shy and reserved, and a scholar. It was not pointed out that at the time of his election as pope he was Cardinal Ratzinger, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (formerly known as the Inquistion), and that in this position he played crucial roles in “closing” the window that the Vatican II conference “opened” to the world.
In specific, Ratzinger silenced theologians--including Hans Kung and Matthew Fox--for their liberal ideas, insisted that professors at Catholic universities not be allowed to teach anything contrary to Catholic doctrine, called for the discipline of nuns and priests who advocated contraception and abortion, disenfranchised liberation theologians in Latin America, and issued the statement that women could never become priests because male priests are a symbol of the male savior. Nor did Blitzer mention that Cardinal Ratzinger as Dean of the College of Cardinals influenced the previous pope not to appoint any cardinals whose theologies might be considered liberal, thus insuring that his hierarchical, authoritarian, and male dominant understanding of the church could not be challenged.
Blitzer also did not bring up the political role of the Vatican in denying access to birth control and abortion and the condoms that might help to prevent the spread of AIDS. In a recent article in Feminist Theology 16/2, Roman Catholic theologian Rosemary Radford Ruether documented the role of the Vatican in denying reproductive rights and thus directly and indirectly causing deaths around the world. Ruether noted that there is now an international campaign organized by SeeChange that questions the Vatican’s Non-Member State Permanent Observer status at the United Nations which gives it the power to speak and vote at UN conferences. SeeChange points out that no other religious group has a similar position. Roman Catholic reproductive rights activist Frances Kissling, President of SeeChange, asks, “Why should an entity that is in essence 100 square acres of office space and tourist attractions in the middle of Rome with a citizenry that excludes women and children have a place at the table where governments set policies deciding the very survival of women and children?” A good question indeed!
I have another one. Why is the press afraid to cover theological dissent and disagreement regarding issues of human justice in the Catholic Church?
Today, the DC metro board took down an ad for subway usage that offended the catholic church. I have had all the "pope visit" I can stand and the assclown is still wearing his Prada shoes back in Rome.
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."