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Patriarchy’s Role in Shielding Pedophile Priests

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.”

Georgia Platts

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Doctors Let Woman Die to Protect Fetus

A Polish woman named Edyta died because doctors refused to provide medical care. Each physician she approached worried that treating her colon condition could lead to miscarriage or abortion. Eventually her disease worsened until she miscarried, anyway, not long before her death.

Recently, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe failed to pass a resolution meant to keep incidents like this from happening. Unfortunate, because if she had lived in Italy, Hungary, or Croatia she could have expected the same outcome. Doctors in any of these countries can refuse medical care on moral grounds.

Apparently, letting a person die is not a part of their moral compass. At least not when a fetus is involved.

Meanwhile, the Vatican censored their top bioethics official because he defended doctors who aborted the twin fetuses of a nine-year-old child who was raped by her stepfather. He felt that saving the girl’s life called for mercy. The Vatican thought otherwise.

This is what happens when fetal rights come before human rights. Are a fetus and a human being really equivalent?

My brother-in-law was completely against abortion until his wife’s life was threatened by her pregnancy. When the doctors told him he may have to choose between his wife and his unborn baby he knew he would choose his wife. He talked about how his wife was someone who he loved, who he had strong connections to. Losing her would be too great an emotional loss. And, she is an actual human being.

Meanwhile, many think that embryos and humans are equivalent, and protest stem cell research. Yet if a research center caught fire and you had to choose between saving a one-year-old child or a vat of stem cells, which would you choose – thousands of “lives” or one child?

I wonder if doctors and governments would prioritize a fetus or an embryo over a human being if men were the ones who had babies.

The doctors’ refusals remind me of the Arab guards who forced girls back into a burning building to save themselves from seeing women who weren’t properly covered. In each case women were forced to die to preserve men’s moral sensibilities.

Whatever that means.

Georgia Platts

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