Anyway, earlier today my friend Paula alerted members of the Progressive Catholic Voice editorial team to a local author, Jeanette Blonigan Clancy (pictured at right) and her recently released book, God Is Not Three Guys in the Sky: Cherishing Christianity Without It’s Exclusive Claims.
Jeanette also maintains a blog, God Is Not 3 Guys, and following is an excerpt from Jeanette’s June 8 post, Women Priests Not Cowered.
Since women’s ordination is growing in favor around the world – 70% of U.S. Catholics favor it – I don’t doubt that it’s coming. Hillary Clinton’s candidacy adds fuel to the growing determination of women to achieve equality. The hierarchy of the Catholic Church can’t stand against this tide for long.
What fascinates me is the thought process used to justify the exclusion of women. An Associated Press story quoted a Vatican official as saying, “The Church does not feel authorized to change the will of its founder Jesus Christ.” The article said this was “in reference to Christ’s having chosen only men as his Apostles.”
Remarkable. A secular news organization states a detail of religious myth as fact. Jesus of Nazareth did not commission 12 men as officials of a new religion. Neither did he found the Church, as the Vatican official claimed. [For theologian Hans Küng’s take on this matter, see here.] How thoroughly the Christian myth has saturated our Western frame of reality!
Richard Sipe, a married, non-active Roman Catholic priest, writes about sexual abuse by the clergy, linking it to “the denigration of women” and “the arrogance of religious superiority.” He served as chair of the board for the Interfaith Sexual Trauma Institute in Collegeville. I picked up his book Sex, Priests and Power in Michigan on the bookshelf of my deceased priest brother.
Sipe faults the hierarchy’s “logic that holds that because Jesus was male, men are superior to women.” He writes, “The ultimate justification for this power structure is that God is sexed.” After God Is Not Three Guys came out, someone actually tried to argue to me that God is more male than female. No respected theologian would claim this but, as Sipe indicates, our power structure rests on the assumption.
And I add that Church ritual and language reinforce it constantly. So do our secular media – always “He, Him, His” in reference to God, as if this elusive power were a humanlike male.
See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
• Roman Catholic Womenpriests Ordained in Minneapolis
• Thoughts on Ordination, Intellectual Dishonesty, and the Holy Spirit of which the Prophet Joel Speaks
• Could Christ Have Been a Woman?
• Responding to Excommunication
• Crisis? What Crisis?
• Reflections on The Da Vinci Code Controversy
• Thoughts on The Da Vinci Code
Recommended Off-site Links:
Why Ordain Women? – The Australian Ordination of Catholic Women.
Roman Catholic Womenpriests
Women’s Ordination Conference
“Some Women Seeking Ordination Won’t Wait for Church’s OK” – National Catholic Reporter, January 27, 2006.
“The Defiant Deacon” – Minnesota Women’s Press, December 2005.
• God is Not 3 Guys
• Bridget Mary’s Blog