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Grant Gallicho February 15, 2007 - 3:06pm
BustedHalo recently published a favorable take on the play by a young woman religious. And Bill Cork doesn't see why it shouldn't serve as a jumping-off point for a discussion of moral theology.
I see the article by this nun as quite powerful, relevant and possibly leading to a paradigm shift. The fact is that the official church has been an aid in the violence against women. Until the 60's priests regularly spoke of how the woman must be subject to the man and how whe was a force to be subdued, wink wink, caveman style. Cfr. Tertullian's view of woman as the temptress Eve. It has been better but the younger clergy are reverting. This is why it is so gratifying to hear a fully habited nun speak with some sense and courage, albeit incognito.Violence against women has a clear linear history from ancient times and we have a lot of evidence especially in the time before Christ till now. Yet we still find ways to deny it and decry the excessive feminism of our age; as the cause of moral decay.In a related matter B16 made some statements about women that are really revolutionary to come out of Rome. www.zenit.org.english ZE07021405The direct quote is the words of Paul about women being silent and subject to men has to be "relativised." This I find a lot more enlightening than Karol W's theology of the body which is very poor theology. Both the nun and B16 have begun something that can be very good. No doubt it will be a problem for those who prefer drummed dogma over the movement of the Spirit.As leaders become more imbued with the Spirit, they will have less time for things like this. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1590435,00.htmlWhich keeps them from doing what is right.
Bill's comment is very much to the point - the Church was very late in coming to this topic.If memory serves, the first US pastoral on this came out of my state of New Mexico in the late 90's.Still, here in the best educated (and richest) county, the only time this topic has been breached from the pulpit was when one of our many deacons was allowed to speak on it ( the pastor usually preaches 98% of the time) and mainly offered a few statistics to say there was a problem about domestic violence.(Folks in the counselling buisness here, however, know there's a large problem that is frequently hush-hushed.)Part of the issue is the "cultural" overlay in coming to grips with the problem and the long jistory of women being second and third class citizens in society and in the Church.As to BXVI, now that he's placed a woman in a significant curial office, at least we can hope that the curialists may possibly insight that a woman can be their equal.
When we first addressed the Vagina Monologues on this blog the discussion was extensive. We considered how the present President of Notre Dame limited the appearance on campus, many rightist bloggers chimed and on the left there was even agreement that the Monologues were not art but should be engaged.This habited nun differed with everyone and asked that we address the real problem of violence against women. Maybe the nuns still have that great power. Neither the right nor left here challenged her.
Grant, this is just an educated guess, but this young woman religious you refer to, she doesn't exist.
Grant Gallicho is an associate editor of Commonweal. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
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