Over at Fishwrap (aka National Schismatic Reporter) our old pal, and promoter of women’s ordination, Phyllis Zagano has another knee-slapper.
She has a penchant for over-the-top moral equivalencies. Let’s see her latest cringe-worthy claim: Because the Catholic Church doesn’t ordain women, the Catholic Church is like a superstitious Islamic mob that beats a woman to death.
Obvious, no? Let’s see how Zagano paints the scene:
Things were pretty much unchanged for women in 2015. In Afghanistan, a 27-year-old female theology student was lynched by a superstitious mob. Elsewhere, a few Catholics continued to argue that women cannot image Christ.
Sticks and stones can break your bones, and words can really hurt you.
One day last February, on the Shah-Do-Shamshira shrine’s Wednesday “women’s day,” Farkhunda Malikzada challenged a fortune teller. She said his lucrative practice of selling tawiz — small pieces of paper with writings — to women hoping for husbands or male children, was superstitious and not Islamic. It turned out the fortune teller was trafficking in more than bits of paper. Months later, investigators found his trade included condoms, Viagra, and quite probably prostitutes.
Elsewhere during the year, a few writers encouraged the notion that a woman cannot image Christ. First proposed in 1975, as an opinion of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith regarding women’s priestly ordination, the so-called “iconic argument” fell from John Paul II’s 1994 edict Ordinatio sacerdotalis. But in 2000, Cardinal Gerhard Müller wove the concept into his book Priesthood and Diaconate, parts of which crept (without attribution) into the 2002 International Theological Commission’s study document on the diaconate.
What they did to Farkhunda is metaphor for what the Church does to women.
She goes on to describe Farkhunda’s horrific death at the hands of members of the Religion of Peace. More…
That is how it is for Afghan women, derided, despised, abused and sometimes killed for speaking truth to even the most insignificant of power — a fortune teller with a shady business.
How similar is the place of women in Catholicism. To say a woman can image Christ is to risk derision by angry defenders of some imaginary “faith” and genteel avoidance by pampered princes of the Church. Or worse.
Swap a few things out and see what happens.
If you, a female theology student, say that women can be ordained, you are the brave Farkhunda, defender of true Islam, pointing out the unpopular truth to ignorant, untheological men (= bad) peddling superstition (= “Christianity without ordained women”). But, when brave, innocent female Farkhunda – Zagkhunda – just tries to be helpful and points out the truth to those men (= bad), she is treated with unspeakable brutality by the blinkered superstitious male (= bad) mob.
No, no. Not at all self-important.