Fishwrap: The Church is evil for having different roles for women, so we might have to leave.

I wonder if most of the writers for the Fishwrap (aka National Schismatic Reporter) – deep down – hate the Church.

That’s a horrible thought, but how else can one explain this sort of thing?

An article about how evil the Church is and whether or not women should leave.

A sample:


Posed by presenter Barbara Hilkert Andolsen, professor of applied Christian ethics at [Jesuit-run] Fordham University, the question was prompted by the U.S. bishops maintaining that the inclusion of birth control in the Affordable Care Act results in material cooperation with evil, despite attempts by the Obama administration to distance employers from directly contracting or paying for those services.

It struck Andolsen as ironic, given the remoteness of the contact in the Affordable Care Act, compared with active participation in a sexist church. She first established that the “benevolent sexism” of the church is indeed sinful, even evil. [“established”… okay, the writer accepts the premise…] Benevolent sexism differs from the “hostile sexism” of the past, which overtly made women less than men, pointing out their spiritual weakness or propensity toward sin.

Instead, benevolent sexism, seen in the church’s teaching of complementarity, asserts that women are only different from men, often using positive language, praising their roles as mothers or identifying them as more nurturing than men. Women are the “strawberry on the cake,” if you will. [That’s a quote from Pope Francis, btw.]

“The benevolent sexism of the church is not harmless,” [Remember, the premise was accepted.. now we drive to a conclusion….] Andolsen said. “It is detrimental to women and undermines the ability of women and their allies to mobilize and improve the situation of women.”

Which leads Andolsen to wonder: “What moral responsibility do I have as a woman who remains active in the church?” More pointedly: “Are we morally responsible, because remaining active in the church constitutes complicity with evil?


Here’s how the argument runs, more or less.

  • Different roles in the Church for men and women is evil.
  • If the Church condones this, the Church condones evil.
  • We cannot cooperate with evil.
  • Thus, we have to leave the Church.

Mind you, the writer doesn’t go on to refute this argument.  She seem to accept it.

I respond….

  • If that’s what you think, sorry… feel, then get out.
  • We’d rather see you stay and be faithful and happy.
  • Please don’t wait.
  • Take the Jesuits with you.

Keep in mind, perhaps daily, a prayer I offered some time ago HERE.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. LarryW2LJ says:

    Perfect response that cannot possibly be topped!

  2. revueltos67 says:

    This is the second post I’ve noticed recently where you wish the Jesuits gone. Something tells me a lot of people feel the same way. God bless ya! Bravo!

    A suggestion — you need some Z-Swag on this. How about some bumper stickers or coffee cups saying, maybe

    Resuppress the Jesuits
    or (with apologies if the Latin is bad)
    Jesuito delenda est
    or even
    Ceterum autem censeo Jesuitem esse delendam

    Just sayin’

  3. GypsyMom says:

    Bye!! Bon Voyage!! Have a nice trip! We’ll pray for your safe return!!

  4. brhenry says:

    The truth of the matter is that the Church must return to the so called “hostile sexism”(not hostile in reality) of the Church Fathers. as the so-called modern “benevolent sexism” is based on psychology and sociology and not Natural Law and Theology, and will not hold water in the long run. The Church Father and Doctors clearly teach that men are superior to women, by nature.
    The infamous female German “theologian” Uta Ranke-Heinemann has written the definitive book on the subject of “sexuality in the Church”(and the place of women etc) as seen through the lens of the Church Fathers and Saints. Of course, she wrote the book to utterly impugn and discredit the Truth, but she includes numerous direct quotes that are invaluable for those of good will who can read the book and come away with the perennial teaching of the Church. Here is the Amazon link (Perhaps will want to use Fr. Z’s Amazon Smile)

  5. MrsMacD says:

    The problem with feminism is that femenists deny themselves the power strength and Holiness that God offers them namely Charity and humility. “The greatest among you will be the servant of all.”. “Christ was obedient, even unto death.” Motherhood, femininity, virtue, grace, femenists have no place in the church because they reject the cross and the glory that comes with that Holy Cross

  6. MrsMacD says:

    A little punctuation goes a long way.
    The Church encourages Motherhood, femininity, virtue, grace. Femenists have no place in the church because they reject the cross and the glory that comes with that Holy Cross

  7. Suburbanbanshee says:

    First off, if you want to know the teaching of the Church on any subject, it’s a lot easier to read the _actual_ Fathers, than to read some idiot talking about them.

    Second, it’s amazing how many people quote sermonizing about the wickedness of women without quoting the equivalent sermonizing about the wickedness of men. Moralizing sermons are directed at people being wicked, amazingly enough, and both sexes are wicked enough for most purposes. The same guys who blast Eve will usually also blast Adam twice as hard.

    Third, you haven’t seen sexism until you’ve read Gnostics being sexist. So if you want to read patristic paeans to the beauty and goodness of sex, marriage, bodies, the material world, birth, the existence of children, and the wonderfulness of women, all you have to do is read anti-Gnostic comments from the Fathers. But heck, secular pagan comments about women weren’t very nice, either. Even the most woman-hating Fathers could not deny that women had thoughts, feelings, and souls, and they had to read about good women in the Bible.

    Fourth, it is pretty obvious which of the Fathers and Doctors had a good home life, and which did not. St. Albert the Great spends a fair amount of time explicating how man is the head and woman is the rib; and that therefore she is neither above nor below the man, and should always be held closest to the man’s heart (and vice versa for the woman). The Venerable Bede, who was sent to the monastery at a young age and then saw almost everyone he knew die of plague, also has beautiful homey things to say about the Valiant Woman of Proverbs. Even some of the grumpy Fathers and Doctors have good things to say about women; and Jerome’s friends and students were mostly ladies whom he treated with respect. (The writers who don’t have anything good to say are usually quite open about the fact that they are talking against concupiscence and lust, or the temptation for monks who’ve taken their final vows to break vows and leave.)

  8. scotus says:

    In Scotland we have a Fishwrap-style magazine called Open House. In one of its editions it gave space to a Sister living in Scotland to write an article in fulsome praise of the LCWR and the Nuns on the Bus. In another article a graduate in Women’s Studies offered the following gem of wisdom:
    “Today, Christian feminism is critical of Patristic Mariology, while at the same time acknowledging the enormous respect owed to the Mother of God incarnate. At its most extreme, Mariology was evolved by men with a latent fear of Eve’s rampant libido: a projection of their longings for the ideal woman whose virtues the daughters of Eve cannot attain. The accolades heaped on Mary, though deserved, mask and perpetuate a misogyny aimed at controlling women’s sexual behaviour.” So now you know.

  9. Benedict Joseph says:

    The only modification I would offer to your just shy of flawless response is, “Take all the Jesuits with you.”

  10. iamlucky13 says:

    I’m not very comfortable with answers that tell people they should leave the Church. I can’t see how it is acceptable to advise somebody to further distance themselves from Christ, regardless of how radically misguided they are.

    And boy is she ever one of the most misguided I’ve encountered. Effectively, she’d identifying Christ Himself as a sinner by establishing a male clergy. I’d tear my clothes in protest, except even if she was present to see it, should wouldn’t understand.

  11. The Cobbler says:

    ?We’d rather see you stay and be faithful and happy.

    ?Take the Jesuits with you.

    Implying that someone needs to take the Jesuits with them on their way back to being faithful and happy?

    [Ummmm… yah… right… that’s it.]

  12. Former Altar Boy says:

    “Better that only a few Catholics should be left, staunch and sincere in their religion, than that they should, remaining many, desire as it were, to be in collusion with the Church’s enemies and in conformity with the open foes of our faith.”
    –St. Peter Canisius (1521-1597)

    [I’d very much appreciate a full citation for this quote!]

  13. Joseph-Mary says:

    If feminist women want to leave the Church in a hyssy fit because they are not getting what they might perceive as ‘power’, then in essence they already have. Would such a one go to a male priest to humbly confess her sins? If not, does she still approach the altar/table with hands out for communion? Does she believe It is the Body of Christ? Does she love Our Lord more than herself? These people do need our prayers as they have been fomenting division and heresy within the Church for years. Why, sine even refer to God as ‘she’ or ‘mother’…

  14. Pnkn says:

    Hello Benedict Joseph –

    There are some outstanding Christians who are Jesuits. All the Jesuits that I have personally come into contact with have been good folk and devoutly orthodox.

  15. Joe in Canada says:

    “Take the Jesuits with you.” While I understand your take on “the Jesuits”, as a Jesuit I found it particularly sad that you wrote this on the feast of St Francis Xavier SJ. St Peter Canisius SJ, pray for us.

    [The day itself certainly wasn’t on my mind. However, now that you mention it, let’s all ask St. Peter Canisius and St. Francis Xavier to pray for their Jesuit brethren. May they ask God to defend and help faithful Jesuits and to covert or thwart all the rest.]

  16. Charles E Flynn says:

    The quotation from Saint Peter Canisius appears without a cited source on page 608 of the book Saint Peter Canisius, by John Broderick, S.J.

    If you search inside this book at (ISBN 0829410481 ) for the word “staunch” and choose the second hit, you see the quotation in context. Despite three other footnotes on the same page, this quotation has no source on the page on which it appears. Not good scholarship, even for 1935.

    [Alas, I can’t find or see that page.]

  17. Mojoron says:

    There’s a new sheriff in town in KCMO. Maybe he’ll tell the Fishbait to stop calling themselves Catholic.

  18. Joe in Canada says:

    thank you.

  19. Semper Gumby says:

    This feminist “professor of applied Christian ethics” wonders if participation in the Church is actually “complicity with evil.” I doubt she wonders the same about the “enlightened” people today such as Elaine Pagels et al who sing the praises of the Gnostic Gospels. This professor should take a look at, for example, the misogynistic last line of the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas before mindlessly repeating feminist propaganda that is hostile to the Church and pleasing to Satan.

    Her ideological commitment to Socialist politics and the ACA overrides her concern for her own soul. As the military saying goes: This is not the preferred method.

  20. JARay says:

    I see that Regina Caeli blog is objecting to the Pope’s reference to God as both Father and Mother. They do indeed note that Julian of Norwich calls God this. The basis of Julian’s revelation is that God both made us and loves us just as a mother loves her child. I find that I cannot fault the Pope on this notion. Of course there are many disappointed mothers who cry their eyes out at what their child has become, but who can deny the all-consuming love that any mother has for her child. Surely God is equally loving of all His children and also equally hurt by the rejection that so many hurl back at HIm.

  21. benedetta says:

    This is a sort of alter fundamentalist Catholic group wherein they believe they are in possession of the ultimate truth, and that their mission is to make everyone adapt to their belief systems and dogmas, for their own good. This is a group which preaches that it is their job to save the Church from itself. They have prioritized and value forcing others to adapt to their worldview and belief systems rather than a live and let live symbiosis. They feel in a sense that the Episcopalians or the unitarians or whichever groups are already “saved” and that they would not get any conversions there if they went over. So, they call others evil and say they are about reforming. They cannot just call the Church evil and get out because their mission is to recreate the world in their narcissistic image.

    Not all feminists think that shooting one’s self up with artificial hormones is a great thing, for women, for others, for the planet. So I for one question her premises. It’s easy to accuse others of being evil.

    The sad thing about people like this is that they get published, tenure, the hype and the salary and all the goodies, but really the young people who listen to that garbage wind up leaving the Church in total discouragement. It happens over and over and over again. So who does she really care about — if you ask me this is just someone trying to make a big hype name for one’s self with inflammatory statements. There are academics who care deeply for our communion, and for individual Catholics, but they don’t get the big splash I guess, sadly.

  22. Charles E Flynn says:

    You must be signed in to your account in order to use the “Search Inside This Book” feature.

  23. Imrahil says:

    Dear JARay,

    slightly offtopic, but while God is indeed “as a mother” (and in itself there’s nothing wrong with what the Pope said and, also, what many theologians now say), you can’t deny there is a modern tendency around that strives against appropriating distinctly male attributes to God… It is rather this tendency, and the danger of fostering it, than the thing itself which the Rorate authors seem to speak out against.

    That said, I think we associate the idea of an (obedient but) grown-up child, the idea of a mature son of a parent (and the like) rather with the Father than with the Mother.

    The coolest phrase that tackles this issue is, in my view (nod to the dear Masked Chicken), this Johnny Cash verse alluding to Christ’s words about Jerusalem:

    the Father Hen will call His chickens home.

  24. Art says:

    Re: “Take the Jesuits with you.”

    I do suggest that when they do, they take the fine publications from the Jesuit-founded Ignatius Press advertised on the side-bar for their conversion and edification.

  25. pannw says:

    “For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature.”

    While that full passage appears to be talking about homosexuality, I don’t think that is the only way women change the natural use.

  26. Pingback: FRIDAY LATE EDITION – Big Pulpit

  27. jdskyles says:

    Bye Felicia.

  28. rdb says:

    Let me add though that there are some very good young Jesuit priests in the US. While they have not yet made a name for themselves or risen to places of authority, they are exceptional men of orthodoxy, sanctity and intellect. I would name names but it wouldn’t be prudent. They even celebrate the Mass in accord with the rubrics!

  29. Ferde Rombola says:

    iamlucky13, there’s a very good reason for encouraging heretics to leave the Church. Several, in fact.

    Joseph-Mary says: …they have been fomenting division and heresy within the Church for years.

    When you see poll results in a secular newspaper telling the world that x number of Catholics support abortion rights or homosexual ‘marriage’ or other heretic beliefs, you can bet your house the pollsters found people just like those you think ought not to be asked to leave the Church. They are a disgrace and a scandal. Pray they will go, and go soon. And take unfaithful Jesuits with them.

  30. Michael_Thoma says:

    I want to implore orthodox Jesuits like Fr. Pacwa to restore the order with the Strictioris Observantiae Orthodox Societatis Iesu (Society of Jesus of the Strict Orthodox Observance). Let the current group fall by the wayside and/or join theosophical Episcopalian Unitarian-Universalism

  31. Grumpy Beggar says:

    MrsMacD says:
    ‘The problem with feminism is that femenists deny themselves the power strength and Holiness that God offers them namely Charity and humility. ‘The greatest among you will be the servant of all.’ ‘Christ was obedient, even unto death.’ Motherhood, femininity, virtue, grace. Feminists have no place in the church because they reject the cross and the glory that comes with that Holy Cross.”

    A truly profound post MrsMacD . . . gets right to the root of the cause.

    The power and strength of a woman’s heart , when attuned to God’s grace has a particular dimension – a capacity to love which is not found in the heart of her male counterpart. As Venerable Fulton Sheen explains in Love, Marriage and Children “Woman has to bring the Divine to the human; otherwise she is not happy. If she is denied, or denies herself the fulfillment of this spiritual mission of giving and surrendering herself to others, she has a far deeper sense of inadequacy and emptiness than a man can have, because of the greater depths of her fountain of love.”

    Bishop Sheen expounded much more upon women’s gifts in that particular book, and The Femininine Gift has a beautifully written article which focuses on them entitled Women and Careers : The World According to Fulton J. Sheen.

    Several excerpts:

    “ ‘The man is much more concerned with action, the woman with the inspiration to action. She does not so much help man, as inspire him to help himself. …Woman, inasmuch as she is dedicated to life and is a symbol of rebirth and renewal, is personal.’ Woman brings her focus on persons.

    ‘…woman is concerned with love and concrete reality…her intuition is rather immediate, like the eye when it instantaneously measures distance or dimension. She arrives at conclusions without taking intermediate steps, discovering undertones of character. Her knowledge comes through identification and co-naturality with others.’ Woman brings her intuition.

    Men are more apt to be heroes through some great passionate outburst of heroism. Whereas a woman is ‘capable of more sacrifices than a man. A woman’s love makes a thousand small sacrifices, sprinkling them through the days and the months; their very repetition gives them the character of commonplace.’ Woman brings her ability to sacrifice for the sake of love.”

    The entire article is well worth the read – Women and Careers : The World According to Fulton J. Sheen.

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