During the scandal of the American Church, perhaps a scandal equal to the Protestant Reformation (according to some), a few Catholic sources have put forward a solution to the crisis: feminism.
In America Magazine’s “As the church faces another crisis, look to women for help”, the author Valerie Schultz states that “…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.”, and that “Jesus relied on women to get it right” and “We women are being called to shake things up, to redesign and repurpose this church of Jesus, our beloved one, holy, catholic, apostolic church.”. [emphasis added]
In other words, if abuse continues it is because we refuse to allow women to lead, and that it is women’s responsibility to redesign and repurpose the Church. Right. Tell me, how do women propose to redesign and repurpose the Church that God Himself has designed and purposed?
The National Catholic Reporter takes it a step further with James Keenan’s article “If we want to reform the church, let’s make women cardinals”, in which he proposes that canon law be changed to allow laity—specifically women—to become cardinals, under the reasoning that it was only since 1917 or so that a prospective Cardinal had to be ordained. He goes on to say “…that is the singular most necessary reform for the church: women empowered and equal to men in authority. If they get the authority, they will lead.” .
First, that is a huge step—no, Olympian leap—towards women’s ordination. And regardless of whether it is even realistic to change canon law to allow women into the College of Cardinals, the artificial forcing of women’s “authority” in the upper echelons of the Church fundamentally misunderstands the beauty of how Christ structured true authority in His Church.
Secondly, having female cardinals with any responsibility whatsoever would de facto give them authority over thousands or millions of priests. That’s a no-go according to, well, Jesus. Take it up with Him.
Let’s momentarily put aside the fact that these Catholic publications could be accused of maximizing on this crisis to further their agenda, and address their claim: that women assuming power in the Church will save it.
This is objectively false by all standards. To be exceedingly clear: feminism is a secular movement that has no place in Catholicism.
Feminism is a movement that (a) emasculates men (b) in large part created the sexual revolution which led to (c) the promotion of abominations such as abortion/contraception and (d) confuses equality with value—all ideas explicitly contrary to Church law and teaching.
Lest we forget, the Catholic Church is the single biggest proponent of women in the history of the world. It has recognized the importance given by God to women from the very beginning. The Church, by Christ’s example and teaching, upholds women and considers them to be inherently prone to virtue; in fact, the Church is in its very nature the bride of Christ.
Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity, the God-Man, was born to a woman.
He was raised by a woman.
He was obedient to a woman (Luke 2:51; John 2:1-12).
He chose a woman to be Mother to the entire human race.
He chose a woman to be Queen of heaven & earth, and to sit at His right hand in heaven for all eternity.
He created woman, from Eve to Mary and thus all women, to be the highest point of creation.
Because of the Church’s recognition and love for Mary’s example of purity, strength, meekness, obedience and faith, it has inspired generations of powerful female saints such as Sts. Judith (depicted in the photo above), Felicity & Perpetua, Catherine of Siena, Catherine of Alexandria, Clare, Joan of Arc, Therese of Lisieux, Gianna Molla and Teresa of Calcutta.
These women were not wallflowers. They were courageous mothers, warriors, philosophers, martyrs and Doctors of the Church.
Does America Magazine and National Catholic Reporter see any value in their contribution to the Catholic Church? Or the contribution of countless women religious who are influencing the direction of the Church every day by their prayers, penance and fasting? Or the contribution of Catholic mothers who are raising virtuous Catholic children?
This effort within Catholicism to solve our problems with feminism, a secular, deeply harmful belief system, will make the problem exponentially worse. Feminism is not the answer to this crisis.