[And let's define feminism, shall we: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes...many people mistakenly think feminism puts women above men. Not true. Do your homework.]
Here you have an institution STARVING for clergy, closing churches left and right due to lack of priests, failing to keep up with priest-to-congregation ratios. And rather than even considering changes to allow women to be priests, the men in the Vatican Boys Club would rather see the whole Catholic ship go down before they let a human being -- who happens to have a vagina -- conduct mass.
1) A flimsy retort by the church is that men alone are the image of Christ and therefore can only be priests. WRONG. Women, if indeed also created by God (try and prove otherwise), are in the image of Christ, too. In the era of Jesus, if the social strata of the genders were reversed, I bet God would have sent the Messiah in the form of a woman. In that era men could be heard, women just mostly seen. Show me in the bible where Jesus says only men can be priests.
2) Do you think God cares who conducts mass? Or do you think He cares about those in mass and what is in their hearts? I want to ask the Vatican council: Once we shuffle off this mortal coil, do you think there will be gold medal of honor where your penis once was? Faith is every bit as evident and strong in women as in men. What God has instilled as gifts of impassioned faith let no man tear asunder.
3) The suppression of women stagnates any possibility of growth and evolution in the Church. (I know, the "e" word is seen as thin ice for the Church fundies.) Women are still viewed primarily for their baby-making, man-serving functions. Bullshit, I say. Putting the Virgin Mary on a pedestal and canonizing women is not enough to keep female involvement an integrally equal part of the Church.
4) (To those unfamiliar with what pre cana is, this is a type of Church mandated class a couple attends prior to marriage to ensure compatibility, etc.) At the time of pre cana I said I wasn't sure I wanted children. After marriage I then became sure. I do not want children. The Church then advised that I consider annulment (a "church approved" divorce) because the sole purpose of marriage is to procreate. Funny, I thought it was because I love my husband. Would they say the same to a woman who could not physically have children? So, after that experience, the feminist in me put a checkmark under the Axe to Grind column. This is just another goes-to-show-ya that in the Church women's sacramental attainments hinge on their biology, not on their intent, thoughts, intelligence, reason or FAITH.
5) Even though I theologically disagree with Catholicism, if I were a part of it and had the flame of vocation in me to want to spread the word of God -- being a woman, I think the 'threat' of excommunication by the Church would hold such little value in comparison to knowing God's desire for His love to be spread and taught. This religion is supposed to be all about God, not about the administration. Get with the program, Church. Don't you know that it is the message that is important, not the messenger. If the church were a non-exempt institution this would be a civil rights issue for sure. While I believe in the separation of Church and State, I do NOT believe in the separation of gender and vocation.
6) The Church is so hung up on ceremony and tradition it has lost the meaning of its very existence. I have found God to be more evident and more present in the silence and in the winds blowing through a quiet grove of woods on any weekday evening than in the rituals of a stuffy superficial women-oppressed Church full of yawning, daydreaming people who are dressed up for each other on Sunday morning.
Spirituality is not as encouraged in Catholicism as compliance. And if you are a woman in this religion, you'd better goose-step along with the rest of the company or you can bet on being shown the door. Thoughts muted. Mouths shut. Eyes down. Uterus fertile. And Tithe ready.
Vatican sends threat over women priests
From CNN Bureau Chief Alessio Vinci
ROME, Italy (CNN) March 30, 2008 -- The Vatican announced Thursday in a general decree that it will excommunicate anyone who would attempt to ordain a woman as a priest and the woman herself. According to the decree, the excommunications would take place with immediate effect. The decree was signed by Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith. It was not persuasive to Regina Nicolosi, a program coordinator for Roman Catholic Womenpriests (sic), who was ordained two years ago. "We have come not to take that too seriously," said Nicolosi, a 66-year-old married mother and grandmother who lives in Red Wing, Minnesota, and said her group is composed of 40 to 50 women priests, none of whom are recognized by the church hierarchy. "It's one of the very last patriarchal hierarchies in the western world, and I don't know when they will be ready to let go of that." Though she said she wants to reform the church from within, she will continue her work as a volunteer in a nursing home who celebrates mass in small groups even if she is excommunicated, she said. She predicted that the church's resistance will backfire. "This is bringing more and more women into our group, and I think we're getting more support from Catholics who are saying this is getting ridiculous," she said.