Vatican Faces Modern-Day Suffragists, Demanding Right to Vote
By Elisabetta Povoledo
Oct. 26, 2018
VATICAN CITY — Two modern-day American suffragists had a plan.
I have to wonder if there’s any portion of the liberal Catholic (aka media on Catholic life support) or mainstream media who understand that a good portion of us do not want women to vote at a synod, be ordained anything, be in the Church hierarchy, etc. Consequently, the same women don’t feel marginalized by the Church or jealous of the all-male clergy. Do you think they’ll ever interview us for a different point of view?
During this month’s Synod of Bishops, an international gathering at the Vatican, Deborah Rose-Milavec and Kate McElwee, who lead groups dedicated to advancing women in leadership roles in the Roman Catholic Church, made sure that Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, the synod’s general secretary, was presented with a hefty pink folder.
Pink? Like in the shade of the Women’s March pink? Were they wearing their little pink hats when they delivered it? Seriously nauseating to the rest of us strong, Catholic women.
Inside was a petition with more than 9,000 signatures and one specific request: Allow female religious superiors at the synod to “vote as equals alongside their Brothers in Christ.”
Wow! A whole 9,000? Staggering. Might they stopped to wonder why they couldn’t get a few more out of the millions of Catholic women around the world? Might be because more than a few of us would like to hit them upside the head and knock a little common sense into them.
The petition’s request, said Ms. Rose-Milavec, the executive director of Future Church and Ms. McElwee, who holds the same post at the Women’s Ordination Conference, was a minor volley in what has seemed to be an insurmountable battle to get the male-centric Catholic Church to pay serious attention to women, who represent about half the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics but count for little where it matters.
Here’s a little clue for you ladies. You do not represent me and representing half of the 1.3 billion Catholics is in your dreams, ladies. Time for you to understand that the gray-haired feminist movement is on life-support and those of use who love St. Catherine, St. Teresa, St. Hildegard and St. Therese have always had more influence on the Church than you and those numbers are on the rise today.
Vatican synods are held every few years. Women have emerged as a major concern of this one, which opened earlier this month and focuses on how the church can better minister to today’s youth in an era of emptying pews.
Interestingly enough, the numbers in the pews in a church seem to depend on the orthodoxy of the parish. Those with those who embrace Church teachings and doctrine are far fuller than, say, most of the churches in Germany.
“The presence of women in the church, the role of women in the church,” has been repeatedly raised, in the synod’s plenary meeting and within smaller working groups, said Sister Sally Marie Hodgdon, the superior general of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Chambery, and a synod participant. “The youth bring it up, as have some of the bishops and cardinals.”
And those same bishops and cardinals drag youth of their bent to the synods. Sorry. Again, this isn’t the vast concern of the youth. They’re just trying their hardest to fight against the current of secularism and feminism isn’t helping. It’s just making harder.
“Clearly,” she added, the issue of women will be in the final document, which will be voted on Saturday.
And, clearly, letting you vote wasn’t in their periphery. It’s the one thing they got right.
But women, who make up about a tenth of the 340 or so synod participants, won’t be among the voters. Until this synod, only ordained men were allowed to vote on recommendations to the working document, whose final draft is given to the pope, who can include as much as he wants in his own post-synodal reflection.
As I’ve said before, synodality means different things to different people. Clearly the feminists in the house want their definition to be included. Why the heck not? Everyone elses’ seemed to be accommodated in the ridiculous final draft.
This year, though, two men who are not ordained but are the superiors general of their respective religious orders have been granted the right to vote. Sister Hodgdon, too, is a superior general, but she has no voting rights.
Awwww…Poor Sister Hodgdon.
Pope Francis with Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, left, general secretary of the Synod of Bishops, at the Vatican this month. Francis has spoken often of a more-incisive presence for women in the church, but critics say he needs to do more.
Who are these women? Are they the same women who need a title or their feelings will be hurt? Poor them. They were at the synod, they weren’t my woman picks for sure, but if they couldn’t influence the synod fathers, maybe the onus is on them, not their voting power.
For some Catholics, the difference clearly smacks of the sexism that “underlines the grave marginalization of women in the church,” said Lucetta Scaraffia, the editor of a monthly insert on women in the Vatican’s newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano. “It’s a clamorous injustice. It demonstrates that the criteria they use is not between priest and lay people, but between women and men,” she said.
I assure you, the vast majority of us are not whining about our vocations like these babes. We don’t feel marginalized and we don’t feel helpless because we are not the correct matter for a certain sacrament or because we don’t have voting privileges in a synod. And we certainly don’t think it a “clamorous injustice.” I don’t think Sts. Catherine, Therese, Teresa or Hildegard had voting privileges or were the proper matter for the sacrament either and they all had invaluable influence on the Church during their time. I’m sorry you haven’t figured out a way to make your dreams come true but that’s really the sum total of it. They are your dreams and career goals, not our wish for the Church.
The cover of the October insert, “Women, Church, World,” depicted a woman shouting angrily. The intent of the issue, Ms. Scaraffia said, was to encourage debate and to get women “to protest every time there is a reason to protest.”
Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. I think you get the point.
“What are they afraid of? One woman voting, honestly!” said Ms. McElwee, of the Women’s Ordination Conference, who helped to draft the petition and was an organizer of a protest that coincided with the synod’s opening, on Oct. 3.
Frankly, a good many of us would just be afraid of the likes of YOU voting, Ms. McElwee. You’re, well, kind of a narcissistic man-hater.
Standing outside the gates that lead to the synod hall inside Vatican City that day, several dozen women and men chanted: “Knock, knock.” “Who’s there?” “More than half the church.” The protest was peaceful — “a prayer groups is more disruptive,” Ms. McElwee said — but still drew the attention of the police, who brought the protest to a halt, identified all the protesters and forced some to delete footage of the demonstration from their mobile phones.
And you’re kind of demonstrating why I wouldn’t want you to even remotely represent me. Like I said, you sound like the foaming at the mouth chicks who attend the Women’s March. No, you don’t represent me, or my friends, or my daughters for that matter. You certainly don’t represent my sons because, well you’re kind of jealous of them. It’s an illness and it all leads to hate, hate and a little more hate.
The petition to allow female superiors general a synod vote was a “strategic” move toward their more equal participation in church matters, Ms. McElwee said, adding that she realized it confirmed the “ultimate fear” of some clerics who see it as a step down a “slippery slope that could eventually lead to women’s ordination” as priests.
Well, yeah. It would be a false promise that can’t ever happen but most of all, the fear comes from the fact I wouldn’t like you and your buds representing me, my daughters, nieces, sisters or friends. Blech. We’re just fine influencing the Church all on our own. We don’t need you.
Such ordination, Ms. McElwee said, was “the last door that’s closed to women,” though there are many doors in between. Church teaching says that women can’t be priests because Jesus chose only men as his apostles.
Oh my gosh. So stupid. It goes a little deeper than that but you go ahead stomping your feet.
Various studies of religious affiliation in the United States show that young people are leaving the Catholic Church in greater numbers than before for many reasons. Women have traditionally been the bedrock of the faithful, but a study last year by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) of Catholic women showed that they are less engaged than in the past.
That has little to do with the babes for priests movement and everything to do with a lack of formation and explanation for our youth. Oh, and the endless scandal. How do I know, I asked youth who actually still practiced their faith but live in quite a secular world. Their answer was that they wanted the truth and they didn’t think we should assume they knew it. Now there’s some valuable insight!
Those numbers have not raised the loud warning bells in the Catholic Church that they should have, critics say.
Because the numbers of angry women in regards to their lack of entrance to the priesthood were small potatoes. A minority.
“For the first time in history women are leaving at greater rates than men,” said Ms. Rose-Milavec. “That is a deep dive.”
Geez. You don’t think the abuse by priests might have a little something to do with it? Hypocrisy is a killer. Or how about honest teaching of Catholic doctrine? Nah, that couldn’t be it.
Pope Francis has spoken often of a more-incisive presence for women in the church, and six women occupy senior roles in the five dozen departments that make up the Catholic Church’s governing body, the Holy See. Critics say he needs to do more.
Hey, Holy Father, how about I give you the names of a few dozen solidly faithful Catholic women who don’t want to be ordained to fill some spots? I’m sure it won’t appease the whiners but you can point to them anyway. Let’s be real. Short of women’s ordination, most of the whiners aren’t going to be happy.
In 2016, Francis appointed a commission to review the place that female deacons had in the early church, a move seen by some as possibly opening the way to female deacons in the modern era. But the commission has not made its finding public, and the cardinal who heads it made clear last June that advising the pope on modern-day female deacons had never been on its agenda.
??? Please. I’m quite familiar with the women on this commission. They are ALL about women deacons. Should they ever get some traction, I will relay some of my interactions with those members. It’s embarrassing.
“Through his positive statements, Pope Francis has really raised women’s expectations about the changes that he plans in order to bring more women into leadership roles,” Petra Dankova, the advocacy director of Voices of Faith, replied in a written response to questions. “But concrete actions have followed slowly and without an overarching plan.”
You can say that again. The Holy Father seems to throw these gals a bone when it suits him but when the women on the Papal Commission for the Protection of Youth advise him to release people from Pontifical Secrets it’s, how should we say, uncomfortable.
Voice of Faith, based in Liechtenstein, is pushing for women to gain full leadership roles in the Catholic Church. It has urged the close-knit group of cardinals who advise the pope on various issues that it should establish a special advisory board for women, Ms. Dankova said.
Wait. Lichtenstein? The country with roughly 30,300 Catholics and presumably “Voice of Faith” represents a small margin of those? Let’s go back to this. 1.3 BILLION Catholics but let’s just imply “Voice of Faith” represents a group that we should pay any attention to at all. Sigh. You’re stretching, Times.
The question of their involvement in the church, she added, “is too complex and it cannot be expected to be somehow solved on the side without a concentrated attention and without the collaboration with women themselves.”
How did the Church survive 2,000 years without the chicks in charge? Gag!
That suggestion has fallen on deaf ears, although some top prelates at the synod have been vocal in their support of women.
I would hope all priests, everywhere, are in support of women. That would kind of be the mission in the Church. You know, support the faithful.
On Wednesday, speaking to reporters at a daily Vatican briefing, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, chairman of the German Bishop’s Conference, said that the issue of women’s roles in the church was “important for the entire church,” which must understand the evolution of women’s equality as a gift from God.
“Evolution of women’s equality???” Oh my gosh. Please, let us all listen to Cardinal Marx because the Mass attendance in Germany is a whopping 10% or so. He knows how to get people in the door. However, let’s not listen to those out of touch Africans whose attendance rate is 70% or more. Cardinal Marx is sooooo in touch. He’s so cool. Everyone is clamoring to attend Mass in Germany. Oh, wait…
“We would be foolish not to make use of the potential of women,” Cardinal Marx said. “Thank God we are not that stupid.”
MUST. NOT. COMMENT. Picking jaw up off keyboard and putting eyes back into head. Oh, I can’t resist. I think you might be the definition, dear Cardinal Marx.
Male religious superiors at the synod have also been supportive, and the umbrella groups of both male and female superiors general have drafted a concrete proposal to allow women superiors to participate as voting members in future synods. If ratified by their respective boards, the proposal would be presented to the pope, Sister Hodgdon said.
Let me guess. She’s pals with Cardinal Marx? Sigh.
After living in Rome for eight years, Sister Hodgdon, an American, said she has learned that the ways of the Church took time. Female superior generals were not likely to get the right to vote in this synod, she conceded. “But do I believe it will happen for the next one? Yes, I really do believe that.”
Prayer and fasting people. It can work miracles. Look! No “LGBT” in final document and we can stop the rabid feminists too.
The next synod is scheduled for October 2019, and will focus on issues related to the Amazon region.
Oh, goodie. Can’t wait. Oof.