Raping children is better than using contraception? Raping children is better than ordaining women priests? Raping children is better than using fertility treatments? Raping children is better than aborting a child to save a woman’s life? And priests raping boys is better than homosexuality and gay marriage?
It appears the Vatican thinks so, raising a furor over everything but child rape. That’s right, a nun was excommunicated for saving a woman’s life by allowing an abortion while pedophile priests were simply transferred to new parishes to abuse new children or were, at best, defrocked. Pretty sad when Vatican officials, including the future Pope Benedict, failed to defrock a priest who had molested a couple hundred deaf boys.
When the crimes of pedophile priests are investigated a nation may be rebuked for stifling church autonomy, as happened in Belgium. Or church leaders become defensive, as when Cardinal Timothy Dolan begrudged a global shaming, since only a few priests were involved in the scandal.
Most recently the Vatican admonished nuns for spending too much time caring for the poor, supporting health care reform, confronting bishops and questioning teachings on male-only priesthood — and not spending enough time fighting abortion and homosexuality.
Interesting that, as the Times’ Maureen Dowd put it, “Church leadership never recoiled in horror from pedophilia, yet it recoils in horror from outspoken nuns.”
Most anyone would find the moral priorities outrageous. Nonsensical even.
Yet one thing makes sense of it all (logically, not morally) and that is patriarchy: rule of the fathers, or here, church fathers.
In its earliest manifestation patriarchy meant the rule of old men over young men, boys, girls and women. This is the world that now stands behind Vatican walls. Old men do as they please and young boys take what they get. Old men who know little of the lives and hearts of women allow them no power over parishes, their bodies, or even their own lives should they become threatened by pregnancy. Anything that imperils the patriarchy must be battled. Anything that sustains the patriarchy is just fine.
Old men control all. And in a manner that is not very Christ-like.
Vatican Warned Bishops Not to Report Child Abuse. Vatican Shielded Dublin Priest Until He Raped Boy in Pub, Inquiry Says. Pope Lashes Out at Belgium After Raid on Church (investigating sexual abuse by clerics).
All are New York Times headlines revealing Vatican efforts to shield pedophile priests – and itself. I could go on.
Odd that the Church, which incessantly preaches morality to the masses, is so unconcerned with its own.
In stark contrast, a Catholic nun was immediately excommunicated for saving a woman’s life. Sister Margaret was senior administrator of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix when a 27-year-old mother of four arrived, suffering from pulmonary hypertension. Doctors determined the condition would likely kill her. So Sister Margaret okayed an abortion in the eleventh month of pregnancy to save her life.
Even when priests are defrocked for pedophilia they are not normally excommunicated, remaining able to take the sacrament.
The Vatican shielding pedophile priests while excommunicating life-saving nuns seems nonsensical. Confusing.
Yet one thing ties it all together: a rabid support of patriarchy. Really, patriarchy in its old sense: “rule of the fathers.” Or in this case, church fathers.
In patriarchy’s origins, old men ruled young men and women. Such is the case here. Old men are free to do as they will, while young boys must take what they get. Women are not allowed to control their bodies, or let their lives be saved. Old men control all.
Even Mel Gibson’s staunch rejection of birth control and Vatican II liberalization had seemed odd to me, given the many movies he appeared in promoting sex and violence. Not to mention real-life adultery and battering. Until I realized that the consistency in his life is patriarchy, as well. Men doing as they please, sleeping with whomever they wish (despite church prohibitions). But not allowing a wife to control he own womb (suddenly he cares that the church prohibits birth control). And feeling entitled to lash out and “discipline” women at will.
Vatican patriarchy has certainly not been good for women or children, inflicting suffering upon the “minions.”