Beattie on being a Catholic feminist

It’s not easy being a feminist and Catholic, writes British theologian Tina Beattie in an essay in The Guardian titled “Sex, marriage and the Catholic church.”

Beattie, no stranger to wrangles with local bishops and the Vatican’s doctrinal watchdog, answers the question: why would a feminist stay in such a male-dominated institution where progressive liberalism is repeatedly thwarted?

Her answer:

Progress is a dubious concept, and our rights and freedoms are daily corroded by the politics of greed, power and wealth. The Catholic church has a rich tradition of social teaching and solidarity with the poor which challenges these neo-liberal corporate values and offers a different way of living. It is a rich and diverse tradition, weaving together a vast multicultural family that defies the growing xenophobia and exclusivity of modern western societies. It offers a perspective from which to evaluate our muddled values and short-term goals against a more enduring and hopeful outlook on what it means to be human.

In short she says, “It is surely worth struggling for.”

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Focusing on the unfolding Synod on the Family, Beattie writes: “A battle is raging for the soul of the Catholic church, with influential cardinals increasingly open in their opposition to Pope Francis over issues including divorce, remarriage, contraception and same-sex relations. … The power struggles being played out suggest these two factions might be heading for a messy divorce.”

Read the full essay here


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