The Pope’s Wishful Thinking

by Joy Tomme

I am reposting here, a Facebook post of mine from January 26, 2014.

Yesterday, Pope Francis had an audience with a group of Italian women. The Associated Press reported that he “insisted” that women take on “greater responsibilities in the church as well as in professional and public spheres”. He said he has been heartened that “many women share some pastoral responsibilities with priests in looking after persons, families and groups” and he said he had hoped that “the spaces for a more diffuse and incisive presence in the church be expanded.”

In some parishes, Pope Francis said, “women visit parishioners too frail to come to church, run prayer groups and outreach programs to the poor, as well as help distribute communion to the faithful at Masses, especially in churches with large congregations.” He read from a document he had written last November that made it clear women would never be ordained in the Roman Catholic Church because Jesus was a man. But he praised women for their “sensitivity and intuition” toward the “weak and unprotected” Francis said women’s presence in a domestic setting turns out to be “so necessary for the transmission to future generations of solid moral principles and the very transmission of the faith.” He said we cannot “forget the irreplaceable role of the woman in a family…families benefit from women’s gifts of delicateness, special sensitivity and tenderness.”

If ever there was a man out of touch, that man is Pope Francis.

His remarks reminded me of the mouthings of Home Ec teachers in the 40’s and 50’s. Or the blather of Phyllis Schlafly who opposed feminism and counseled women to dress up when their men came home from work and cater to them like geishas. Pope Franny thinks the little woman is delicate, sensitive, tender and intuitive and she needs to stay at home and look after her children and her husband and be a tool for the Roman Catholic Church.

The Pope has chosen to ignore the fact that women run countries now, women fight in wars, women are the CEO’s of large companies, in addition to being mothers and wives. The Pope also seems to choose to ignore the fact that his view of how women should comport themselves and take on “greater responsibilities” is simply the old RCC view of women when it encouraged them to be unpaid cleaning ladies and cooks for priests, breeders of babies, uncomplaining family slaves and compliant sex objects for husbands.

How many metaphors are there for what Pope Francis is trying to do and which can’t be done? A bell can’t be unrung, toothpaste can’t be put back in the tube, this ship has already sailed, and you can’t keep them down on the farm once they’ve seen Paree. The fight not to be barefoot in the winter and pregnant in the summer has been fought and won by women, Pope Franny. Now you and the RCC are the ones who have to change or content yourselves with being a religion run by liars, dissemblers and fools, with parishioners who pay no mind whatsoever to the Holy See in Rome but respect and pray to God in the way they see fit.

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