Saturday, January 10, 2015

Quote of the Day

Cardinal Raymond Burke [pictured at right getting his ring kissed] thinks young boys need to be raised with a strong sense that the roles open to them [in the church] are open only to them because of their incipient manliness; I think it is bad to impose arbitrary gender-role boundaries on children before they've had any chance to develop a sense of self based on their individual gifts and inclinations. Burke, or his fellow traditionalists, would reply that the boundaries they value are not arbitrary. But if so, why do they require such effortful reinforcement? Burke points to the pernicious influence of "radical feminism," but he seems to mean just "feminism." I don't deny that there's any significance to gender or sex in personal development. But I have faith that the non-arbitrary boundaries that will guide my sons into their future lives as men will assert themselves without much help from me. It's the assumptions they will make about where women fit into the picture that I'm worried about.

In short, I don't want them to look at the world the way Cardinal Burke seems to, as though women were not worthy of much consideration at all.

. . . What undergirds [Burke's] arguments is not so much a conviction that women don't need as much from the church as men do; it's a confidence that the church, properly constituted, doesn't need as much from women.

That perspective says something frightening about how Burke and others like him understand women's participation in the body of Christ. But it says something even worse about what they think of men. If it's true that male egos are so fragile that having to share space with women will naturally drive them away from God, then the church that depends exclusively on their service and leadership really is in crisis.

– Mollie Wilson O'Reilly
"Cardinal Burke's Vision of a Manly Church, and What It Leaves Out"
January 8, 2015

Recommended Off-site Links:
Cardinal Raymond Burke: ‘Feminized’ Church and Altar Girls Caused Priest Shortage – David Gibson (Religion Dispatches, January 7, 2015).
Cardinal Burke: Serving at Mass is a 'Manly' Job – Michael McGough (The Los Angeles Times, January 9, 2015).
Does Catholicism Have a ‘Man Crisis,’ or is Cardinal Burke Paranoid? – Kaya Oakes (Religion Dispatches, January 7, 2015).
Jesus, Please Send Us More Manly MenQuestions from a Ewe (January 9, 2015).
Ministry, Not Maleness, is the Theological Starting Point for the Priest – James Moudry (The Progressive Catholic Voice, February 18, 2009).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
"Spiritual Paternity"
More on "Spiritual Paternity"
“We Are All the Rock”: An Interview with Roman Catholic Womanpriest Judith McKloskey
The Real Crisis
Officially Homophobic, Intensely Homoerotic

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