Here we are again…International Womens’ Day 2018. The women of Voices of Faith once again address the matter of womens’ place in the Roman Catholic Church. For the fifth year the group, funded by the Gotz Foundation, met in Rome, hoping against hope that they will be heard by a patriarchal church. Once again they invited leaders of the male hierarchy to “dialogue fearlessly” with them. So far, less than a handful of clerics have accepted the invitation in the past 4 years.
This year to add insult to injury, Cardinal Farrell (recently appointed Vatican Discatary of Laity Family and Youth) would not grant approval to three of the women on a list of panelists scheduled to speak at the gathering in the Vatican. (One of these women was the former president of Ireland, the country that educated and fostered Cardinal Farrell’s vocation to the priesthood.) After several attempts to discuss the matter were ignored, rather than eliminate the censored women, Gotz elevated them from panelists to keynote speaker and featured speakers. The foundation also decided to move their venue to a Jesuit facility outside the Vatican.
Jesus met with similar treatment from religious leaders of his time, so this fact should encourage Voices of Faith to not be deterred from their important mission to the church and the world.
An inability to hear has been a weakness of Jesus’ chosen male followers. It seems that Jesus himself had to grow beyond a long inherited misogynist view toward women. Comparing Jesus’ attempt to dialogue against a healing request from a Syrophoenician Gentile woman with his instant response to a Roman Centurian’s similar appeal indicates some innate gender conflict.
When the church insists with “infallible certainty” that Jesus would never have ordained a woman or had not invited women to his Last Supper the church only succeeds in portraying Jesus as gender compromised. Fortunately Christian women have managed all these long years to believe otherwise, in spite of the idolatrous heresy the church continues to preach.
The Syrophoenician woman would not accept being treated like a dog being fed crumbs under the table, or being dismissed at the suggestion of the apostles. She persisted and argued her cause. Jesus demonstrated his human capacity to change his mind and granted her request with a miracle. The women at Voices of Faith persisted too. Yet Catholic women are forced to talk among themselves until they are Blue in the Face. Sadly Jesus’ church is so shackled by “divine infallibility” that now even the mind of God is incapable of change.