Misogyny and the Catholic church

by Thomas C. Fox

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The Women's Ordination Conference has released a new video worth three minutes plus of your time. However one perceives the question of misogyny in the Catholic church, the issue of the role of women in the church, as second-class members, is not going away any time soon -- and it could end up defining Pope Francis' pontificate more than anyone might expect.

The issue of women and their place in the church has become all the more pressing as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, whatever its reasons, continues to misrepresent the views and importance of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. Incidentally, LCWR has not advocated the ordination of women and, by this measure, is a mainstream, moderate Catholic organization.

Contrary to doctrinal congregation prefect Cardinal Gerhard Müller's portrayal of LCWR, it does not represent a small band of irrelevant Catholic sisters -- as much as the cardinal may wish this were the case. LCWR represents the collective thinking, spirit and aspirations of the majority of U.S. Catholic sisters and some of the best thinking of dedicated, educated Catholic women (and men) in general, especially those who pay close attention to the spiritual and social justice issues facing humanity.

I believe most U.S. bishops quietly support LCWR, especially those who work with U.S. Catholic sisters. I also suspect most would speak up on behalf of LCWR were the Vatican congregation to end its "doctrinal" investigation. Someone in Rome ought to reason there can be more than one ideology, or theological perspective, in the Catholic family. Remember, our church now embraces Jesuits and Dominicans.

And it should embrace thinking women -- or drift into sad irrelevance. ​

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