New York Times columnist Frank Bruni, who seems to have replaced Frank Rich on the pro-gay, anti-Catholic beat, continues to carry his newspaper’s water in its ongoing campaign to destroy the Church as founded, and replace it with a newer, gayer and more feminine Vatican:
Like a Pringles vendor sounding an alarm about obesity, Pope Francis fashioned himself a feminist last week… [but] neither Pope Francis nor any other top official in the bastion of male entitlement known as the Vatican can credibly assert concern about parity between the sexes. Their own kitchen is much too messy for them to call out the ketchup smudges in anybody else’s.
Francis actually went beyond concern. He vented outrage, calling it a “pure scandal” that women didn’t receive equal pay for equal work. He left out the part about women in the Roman Catholic Church not even getting a shot at equal work. Pay isn’t the primary issue when you’re barred from certain positions and profoundly underrepresented in others.
Pay isn’t the primary issue when the symbolism, rituals and vocabulary of an institution exalt men over women and when challenges to that imbalance are met with the insistence that what was must always be — that habit trumps enlightenment and good sense. Let’s be clear. For all the remarkable service that the Catholic Church performs, it is one of the world’s dominant and most unshakable patriarchies, with tenets that don’t abet equality.
No, Frank, let’s be clear about this: transient secular notions about “equality,” especially as defined by a newspaper that proudly stands foursquare against the Church, are not the concern of the Vatican, no matter how much you might wish it were so. The Church is not going to change its tenets on abortion (or birth control, for that matter), or on homosexuality, or any of the other genital-gazing obsessions the Times is constantly fretting about. Believe it or not, religion is about more than sex.
But the church’s refusal to follow some other Christian denominations and ordain women undermines any progress toward equality that it trumpets or tries. Sexism is embedded in its structure, its flow chart. Men but not women get to preside at Mass. Men but never women wear the cassock of a cardinal, the vestments of a pope. Male clergy are typically called “father,” which connotes authority. Women in religious orders are usually called “sister,” which doesn’t.
Gee, that’s too damn bad. But, hey, fight the patriarchy of the Whore of Rome! It’s not like you have more important things to write about.