Cherie Blair attacked the Roman Catholic Church last night for its failure to promote women.
The Prime Minister’s wife voiced her disappointment that, although the Pope talked about acknowledging women, she noticed little feminine influence in the Vatican when she visited Rome this year with her husband.
What was she looking for, a giant bow atop St. Peter’s dome or missalette doilies? If I was to walk into your average parish for daily Mass I would assume by the people there that the church is dominated by mainly older women and that as a man if you wanted to come into the church you would have to be elderly and wear a polyester habit kept up by suspenders. If I would look at the names of the people involved in the parish I would find it mainly dominated by female names. If anything the church in it’s devotions and practices are more in the feminine direction. If men ran devotions we would have rosaries comprised of little baseballs/footballs and devotion to the Sacred Hands that knocked about the tables of the money sellers.
While there was greater involvement by lay people, Church leaders still ignored women’s intelligence and leadership qualities, she said in the annual Tyburn lecture.
You know she’s right, the institutional male dominated patriarchal church would never canonize someone with great intellectual abilities like Edith Stein – oh wait I guess that’s St. Edith Stein. The Church is scared to death of brilliant women and fears female leaders and would never recognize women as Doctors of the Church, except of course St. Therese, St. Teresa of Avila, and St Catherine of Sienna. The most famous and recognized religious person in the world this last century was of course a man, Brother Teresa – though why people called him Mother and he looked like an old women is beyond me; but that male dominated church put him on the fast track for sainthood.
Her forthright comments will fuel the growing criticism that the Church’s leadership is too conservative and will encourage liberal campaigners for the ordination of women as Catholic priests.
You just know they wouldn’t be classified as forthright comments if she was presenting an orthodox view.
“There is still a sense in which some in the Church see women as the ‘praying Church’ and the ‘working Church’ but not the ‘thinking Church’,” said Mrs Blair.
“They are embraced as handmaidens but not as thinkers or leaders. Women are still seen as progressing the ideas of the masculine other in the Church rather than being acknowledged for what the ‘feminine genius’ can contribute in its own right to the Church.
This last two paragraphs are like a anti-mandelbrot set. At first looks it appears profound but as you zoom in closer for more detail the less intelligible it becomes.
“On my recent visit, I thought there could be greater scope for active female participation.” Mrs Blair, a practising Catholic, made an historic trip to Rome earlier this year for a private meeting with Pope John Paul II.