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I actually laugh out loud every time one of these men says the words "entitlement programs. This galvanization of bishops is nothing new where women are concerned. That's because the Catholic hierarchy, men for whom reproduction is as alien as menstruation -- another fully human process they have no part in, really believes that women's bodies are the living manifestation of their inferiority and the way in which God choses to punish them for their original sin.

This is not unique to Catholicism and this post is not an indictment of the faith -- just to its leadership's insistence on misogynistic interpretations of how that faith is to be manifested. I could say the exact same thing of any of the Abrahamic faiths in their conservative orthodoxy. It is hard to describe exactly how cognitively disjunctive being Catholic and female can be. In the first place, you are expected to accept your female second-class status, an all male priesthood and complementarianism, as good for you.

Second, you are supposed to pretend that that gendered hierarchy has no influence or implicatons for life outside of the church, which of course it does.

Why I am not a Catholic or Eastern Orthodox - Jesus Creed

Third, any in-depth study of Church doctrine reveals the degree to which biblical hermeneutics and theologies codifying attitudes of virulently anti-female Church Fathers continue to inform the Church now. In this way, even if priests know not to quote St. John Chrysostom or St. Jerome in Sunday masses, women are still an "inescapable punishment, a necessary evil, a natural temptation Clement of Alexandria, "should be filled with shame by the thought that she is a woman.

These men lived during various dark ages, but they could just as easily be shacking up in the Vatican today. Very little has changed since in that sense, and virtually nothing since , when Mary Jo Weaver wrote, " New Catholic Women ," about Catholic women "defecting in place. What do girls and boys about them learn about about their abilities, their roles, their spiritual characters, their inherently weaker souls, their tempting sexuality, their handmaiden-ness? Girls and boys know that dangly bits, compared to compassion, honesty, divinity and humanity, can't be that important.

Until we teach them that they are. What are the effects on girls and boys when they see that women are considered not fit or allowed to mediate sacraments? Some believe they can offset these messages through their own example. Kids might indeed do what you do and not what you say, but I think it teaches them that girls are "equal enough," should be obedient and should stop asking for more. It also teaches them to operate in personal ways that keep women's decisions "private" and not political and public.

Enough with the adapting, peace-keeping, silent majority. The Pontifical Biblical Commission, composed of ordained biblical scholars, found no scriptural justification for banning women from the priesthood. But churches that systematically strip the feminine from the divine have little interest in welcoming serious feminist theological scholarship and exegesis regarding Marian devotions, women religious figures or the authority of Christ.

They'd rather fetishize early Christian doctrine formulated by men, obsessed by dualism, who hated women and despised their own sexuality. It goes without saying, even though I'm about to say it, that the church hierarchy's misogyny is the foundation of its homophobia and that its fixation on a twisted, fourth century understanding of sexuality is the root of its abuse of children.

Somehow, I am supposed to ignore the horrific aspects of church history, doctrine and theology while simultaneously revering its traditions and submitting to a deeply corrupted authority. Damn that Enlightenment. But seriously, how obviously violent do things have to get before we learn the lesson that powerful, all-male environments with perverted notions of sex, sexuality and gender have damaging and corrosive effects on the whole society?

I have no doubt that the same could be true if the genders were reversed, but that's not the world we live in. For me, it's simple. Why on earth would I continue to pay any attention to men -- and they are all men, even when they have conservative lay women fighting their battles -- who expect me to not only believe wrong, perverted, ideas about me, my gender and sexuality, but also ask me to transmit that information to my children? To stick with the pre-modern theme at hand, I'd sooner flay myself. It is entirely possible to worship in environments that do not either actively or tacitly marginalize, subjugate and demonize you.

I have close and dear friends and family who do not feel the same way as I do and continue to work within and around the parameters set by the church. I respect their decision to do that. For them, the issue is of equality before God and on Earth, is negotiable. For me, it isn't.

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I’m Not Catholic – I’m Protestant, Evangelical, or Another Faith

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My church loyalties: Why I am not yet a Catholic

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