This One Wrote Itself

Oh my gosh!  You have to read this one.  This is so, I don’t know, blonde. (I know my blonde love a good blonde joke.) It’s like a Saturday night live skit. I couldn’t make this up if I tried, AND believe it or not, it’s not a BabylonBee or Eye of the Tiber post, either.  This was passed around in all seriousness by America Magazine (in fact, I think they actually pay her) and the Fr. Martins of the world. I was reading it to my husband who immediately started laughing hysterically when I hit a few phrases (I’m going to be good and not spoil it yet.) One Mad Dad said “I’m going to bed because I know what you’re doing for the next hour or two.”  If you need a good laugh, do yourself a favor and read this.

So you are a Catholic mother bringing up daughters, and as soon as they are old enough, you have some explaining to do.

‘splaining how people can be soooo incredibly bubbleheaded, perhaps?

Because even though Jesus wasn’t sexist, the institutional church is, right? It is a given for women. When an entire sacrament is denied you solely because of your gender, that is textbook sexism.

Biology is such a pain, isn’t it?  I mean, women can’t be priests and men can’t be sisters, nuns, or mothers.  God, you’re such a sexist.  What were you thinking?  Oh, that men and women are complementary? Silly you.

I’ve separated this next part because I ran around reading it to my several amazing children and young female relatives and, after the hysterical laughing subsided, they were all like “What the…?!?!”

I say this with love, as a Catholic mother who is not leaving, as a faithful dissenter, as an imperfect follower of Jesus.

Yes, it’s rather pathetic that people are so ignorant of the English language that they don’t realize that “faithful” and “dissenter” kind of mean the polar opposite. So is she faithful to dissent? Faithfully dissenting? No matter.  Whatever her meaning, it isn’t in the Catholic lexicon.

I was recently chafing on Jesus’ behalf

(More hysterical laughter ensues at the Mad Mom home.) No, it’s not satire. She’s also no spring chicken so I’d have to conclude the use of “chafing” is meant to connect with the cool younger feminists.

at the inherent sexism lurking behind some dress code notes in a parish bulletin. The text implied that women and girls who come to Mass in skimpy clothing—and we have all seen them—are responsible for causing sinful thoughts in the minds of “others” (meaning: men). Apparently, men cannot ever grow up or be trusted to treat women like fellow human beings. I am not a fan of cleavage in church, but it occurred to me that female rape victims are the only victims of crime who are ever asked, “What were you wearing?”

Some call this common decency and some call it a sexist dress code.  Note that she didn’t actually include the text of the dress code, but last time I checked, St. Peter’s, you know, THE Catholic Church, employs a dress code.  Now, considering that God is present in every tabernacle in the world, I’m pretty sure that a dress code is not out of order here, there, or anywhere.  In fact, Christ even states it.

So, let’s table the differences between men and women  for a second and look at this:

But when the king came in to look at the company, he saw a man there who had no wedding-garment on; My friend, he said, how didst thou come to be here without a wedding-garment? And he made no reply. Whereupon the king said to his servants, Bind him hand and foot, and cast him out into the darkness, where there shall be weeping, and gnashing of teeth. Many are called, but few are chosen.

Yes, yes.  This story of Christ is about the soul but, he used the example of a proper dress code to do it!  Christ most certainly didn’t say “Oh dude!  Those dress codes are so lame and sexist!”

 Why didn’t the pastor’s notes admonish men not to wear tight T-shirts, the kind that might outline a pair of broad shoulders and a righteous six-pack of abs, thereby causing impure thoughts in many an ovulating woman? That sounds ridiculous only because we unthinkingly accept the rut of sexism into which our human church has fallen.

And here’s the usual “Heaven forbid they point out the mistakes of the biggest class of offenders without pointing out everyone’s!” It’s akin to “Well, Mom, they do it too!”  It didn’t work for my children and it’s not going to work for you. Please.

I’m assuming you’re married with kids because your bio says so.  Any woman who’s been married for more than five minutes knows that men are far more visually attracted than women.  Personally, yay for that design because when we don’t look our best, t they’re still attracted.  Seriously, the design was amazing.  Maybe Valerie spent too many years quashing those female hormones more than she should with birth-control her feminist buddies are so fond of, but women’s drive comes from the brain.  We need far more than just the visual. And, really, the narcissist dude who wears the custom fitted shirts isn’t usually at Mass because their brain focuses more on them far more than Our Lord. I have NEVER looked around and seen one guy I thought was provoking me to impure thoughts. The worst I’ve seen is a guy wearing a tank top which looked sloppy and showed his “look at me” tats, but that’s it.  And, if there are such men that I haven’t noticed, they’re probably doing it because of the scantily clad babes around them.  Geez.  I’m not a clueless woman. What is the point to wearing the short shorts and boob tubes?  Please. Don’t bother playing the martyr card.  Women dress to get a reaction out of men. Deal. With. Reality.  They’re not victims of the mean ol’ pastor.  They’re just victims of stupidity.  I would think you, the devoted feminist, would channel  your inner Gloria Steinem and tell them they’re causing women to be objectified but the older feminists are trying to keep up with the newer club of feminists seem to go with the “I can look as stupid as I want because it’s my right!” take.  As a woman, it’s embarrassing.

This example of small-scale sexism in the Sunday bulletin cannot, of course, compare to the deeper pit of the sex abuse scandals in which the church currently sprawls. I am sickened to the depths of my soul by the recent grand jury report in Pennsylvania, detailing episodes of pedophilia, sexual assault and rape committed by 301 members of the Catholic clergy on over 1,000 victims, along with the by-now-familiar cover-up of criminal behavior by the church hierarchy, perhaps even more sickened than I was in the past by similar reports from Boston or from Ireland or from Los Angeles—the archdiocese I contribute to—or from Chile or from any other Catholic diocese, because it is a cumulative illness. Most infuriating, it is a preventable illness.

Oh, and predatory homosexuals. Don’t forget them.  The majority of victims are not women and pre-pubescent children.  The majority are post-pubescent boys and men, so again, please don’t make this a sexist issue.  I will agree it’s infuriating and often times preventable, but not if you don’t identify the problem.

It is high time for us to understand how this keeps happening and to stop it.

This is when Jack Nicholson shows up and says, “You can’t handle the truth!”  It’s the “faithful dissenters” stupid!  It’s certainly not the guys trying to uphold the Church’s teaching on sex.

But as long as we continue to treat clergymen as though they are somehow more angelic than us inferior lay people, as long as we expect them to be asexual super-humans, as long as we do not monitor them as we do any adults who interact with our children, we will suffer sexual predation. As long as we shy away from any honest discussions of sexuality and cloak sexuality in shame-filled secrecy, as long as we refuse to allow women to occupy positions of real authority within the church, we will bring these revolting abuses and subsequent headlines on ourselves.

Oh, now you want honesty??? Please.  For all of the righteous indignation you and America Magazine throw out there, you surely must admit that these abusers are just putting forth another version of “faithful dissent!”  I know!  Sick, right?  But pot, meet kettle. If you get to dissent from the teachings of the Church, why don’t they? You’re part of the problem, not the solution.

Nobody is angelic. Angels and humans are of separate worlds. Holy and evil are a better way to describe what’s going on, and I know you’ll find this sad because it doesn’t fit your narrative, but most of this has nothing to do with females at all.  You fail to meet the actual burden of proof in your assertions.  If men, who are natural protectors, are failing, the nurturers are not going to do any better.  In fact, they will probably collapse the whole system by further trying to neuter masculinity and the natural inclination to protect. That inclination was stripped away from the sexual predators a long time ago.

Jesus relied on women to get it right. From his own mother to the women who questioned or challenged him to the women who befriended him to the women who braved the crucifixion to the women who proclaimed the resurrection, Jesus treated women as equals and as holy. We have been there with him. That is our historical and spiritual birthright. Over the centuries, we have tended to the sick and fed the hungry and taught the children and laundered the linens and staffed the offices and offered our envelopes and witnessed our faith and kept the church’s home fires burning, but we have not been in power. We have not been empowered. And maybe that is partly on us. We allowed generations of societal norms to obscure Jesus’ example.

I don’t remember the greats – St. Catherine of Siena, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Hildegard, St. Joan of Arc, St. Teresa of Calcutta, St. Bernadette, Mary, the Mother of God – EVER saying there was “sexism in the institutional Church.”  And likely they would have been tad more blunt than the pastor who asked the women not to dress in skimpy clothes.

Jesus talked to men and women about loving God and loving your neighbor and not being afraid to follow God’s will. Jesus also taught us to love our enemies and do good to those who persecute us. These predators hiding in priestly vestments among us are surely our enemies. They surely persecute our children. While we mothers might like to strangle these monstrous manipulators ourselves, we are called to forgive them. Just as certainly, however, we are not called to enable them. They and the official protocols that protected them have lost our trust.

We are also called not to reject Church teachings nor Her priests simply because a small minority of them have been shown to be Judases.  You don’t leave Christ because of Judas.  I am all for taking the Judases in the bunch down and have spent a good deal of time trying to do so without promoting my own private agenda while ALWAYS trying to be faithful to the Church, not faithful to dissent.

We women are being called to shake things up, to redesign and repurpose this church of Jesus, our beloved one, holy, catholic, apostolic church.

This ain’t Pinterest, sweetie.  We are called to follow the Church’s teachings.  You seem to want to turn the Church into your own crafting shack.  Sorry. It’s not about you.

It is hard to think of the Holy Spirit in the same thought as sex offenders, but we are experiencing a radical call to get our act together.

Yes! Yes! Yes!

The male-centric church and its ordained ministers may only truly heal when women—lay and religious—apply the salve.

And No! No! No!  The Church is not “male-centric”, it’s Christ-centric.  We do have some awesome female doctors of the Church, by the way, yet you fail to even acknowledge them.  They would likely give you a nice tongue lashing, which is probably why you fail to mention them AND Mary, Most Holy. Not one of them was as full of herself as you.

 It is sometimes our tendency as women to let the professionals—the men in charge—sort out the problems, but that is obviously not working. We can choose to leave this corrupt and stinking edifice and find another house of worship, but that is not helping. We can withhold our time, talent and treasure, but that mostly hurts us.

In case you missed it, 30,000 plus women (and more everyday) just fired off a letter of charges they wanted answered.  Do I appear to you to be a helpless woman? Please.  You are hardly the be all and end all of strong Catholic women. In fact, Catholic women don’t fear men nor see them as rivals to be feared.  We’re quite comfortable with them as our complements in this life.  Where we are weak, they are strong and vice versa.  This goes for our husbands, sons, brothers, priests, etc.  Only the ridiculous and narcissistic see each other as rivals.

What are we to do? What would Jesus do? Maybe Jesus would agree with Mr. Rogers’s mother, who advised Mr. Rogers, in times of confusion and tragedy, to “look for the helpers.” We are the helpers. We women, the proven and time-honored helpers, must stand for the littlest ones, the injured ones, the vulnerable ones. Regarding church personnel and practices, we must keep the best and throw out the rest, the sexism, the clericalism, the dishonesty, the hypocrisy. We must welcome the fresh and feminine breath of the Holy Spirit. That is exactly what Jesus did.

Oh, really?  I’ve been fighting for 16 years now to fully address the issues that led to this abuse crisis, while people like you sought to advance their own personal agendas.  So, please, peddle your wares someplace else.

“So what might Jesus hashtag? Maybe, in lay terms: #timesup.”

Sorry.  Can’t fit Christ into a hashtag, but I can throw out this little tidbit.

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and everyone who humbles himself will be exalted

 

 

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9 thoughts on “This One Wrote Itself

      1. It’s painful.

        Her point seems to be that Only Women Can Save Us Now, And That Is What Jesus Would Do If He Was Here.

        She is, in the immortal words of Rahm Emmanuel, trying to not let a crisis go to waste, in advancing her pet causes, especially women’s ordination.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Dress codes do apply to men too. Many overpriced paper pants have been sold to men who want to get into St. Peter’s.

    Still, boys and girls violate them in different ways.

    Boys tend to wear inappropriate t-shirts and wear whatever they pulled out of the hamper. Older men are not much better. Girls usually do dress up, but, especially in warmer climates, their clothing may be more revealing than is appropriate for mass.

    Still, young women are very sensitive to double-standards and older people need to be aware of this. If you are going to get on the girls for wearing spaghetti straps, then you need to be on the boys for wearing flip-flops.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Women can’t become priests, but likewise priests can’t become women. An attempt in either direction results in something getting mutilated.

    Like

  3. Oh my gosh you know how to form the words I am unable to when I need them the most. I mostly don’t comment, but I love your blog for the unminced words of truth. I am very disappointed in my own generation of hippy liberals, so I am thrilled that someone is out there to take up the torch after we not only dropped it, but kicked it across the street. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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