November 26, 2013

Francis: pope of surprises

It seems that Pope Francis is a different kind of pope -- but maybe not different enough. Here are two outtakes from an AP story:
[Pope Francis] went even further Tuesday, saying some of the church's historical customs can even be cast aside if they no longer serve to communicate the faith. Citing St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, Francis stressed the need for moderation in norms "so as to not burden the lives of the faithful." 
Don't get too excited, though. The article says opposition to abortion is non-negotiable, and women will not be ordained as priests. Drat. On the other hand, he remains a refreshing character.
In the frank and often funny style that has come to define Francis' preaching, the Argentine Jesuit chastised priests for their complacency, giving them a lesson on preparing homilies that don't put the faithful to sleep. He reminded them that confession shouldn't be "torture," and told them to get out of their sacristies, get their shoes muddy, get involved in the lives of their faithful and not be defeatist "sourpusses." 
I can't help but like the guy. Nonetheless, this is sad news for women on two important fronts -- reproductive rights and inequality within the church. He needs to "evolve" on those points, both of which coincidentally concern women.

Hey, American nuns. Go wake Francis up on these issues. I know you can do it. Personally, I refuse to give up hope. The Roman Catholic church will remain a sexist, women-oppressing organization unless it notices that women are as worthy as men, and that it is women who should make reproductive decisions -- not men, governments or an anonymous church.

This seems obvious. So once again I find myself asking, "what makes priests so sexist?" I still have no clue, other than the custom of male privilege -- a sickening thing in itself. Nothing in the church's belief system, as far as I can see, actually requires the oppression of women. It's just habit and custom. They seem to have dreamed up the women-oppressing rules from whole cloth. Why? I really don't get it and I don't think Catholic women get it, either. Why, why, why?

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