Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Maureen Dowd on Religious Institutions that Marginalize Women

Negating women lies at the heart of the abuse of children by Catholic priests, writes Maureen Dowd in the New Year Times. In a hard hitting article, published April 10, the columnist notes that the Church appears to have been more concerned with its own reputation than with protecting children.

In Worlds Without Women, Dowd pulls no punches in her criticism of religious groups that marginalize women in defiance of the teachings of their prophets.

Read the full article here.

Some excerpts from Worlds Without Women:

To circumscribe women, Saudi Arabia took Islam's moral codes and orthodoxy to extremes not outlined by Muhammad; the Catholic Church took its moral codes and orthodoxy to extremes not outlined by Jesus. In the New Testament, Jesus is surrounded by strong women and never advocates that any woman — whether she's his mother or a prostitute — be treated as a second-class citizen.

Negating women is at the heart of the church's hideous — and criminal — indifference to the welfare of boys and girls in its priests' care.


As in so many other cases, the primary concern seemed to be shielding the church from scandal. Chillingly, outrageously, the future pope told the Oakland bishop to consider the "good of the universal church" before granting the priest's own request to give up the collar — even though the bishop had advised Rome that the scandal would likely be greater if the priest were not punished.

The Vatican must realize that the church's belligerent, resentful and paranoid response to the global scandal is not working because it now says it will cooperate with secular justice systems and that the pope will have more meetings with victims. It is too little, too late.

The church that through the ages taught me and other children right from wrong did not know right from wrong when it came to children. Crimes were swept under the rectory rug, and molesters were protected to molest again for the "good of the universal church." And that is bad, very bad — a mortal sin.

The church has had theological schisms. This is an emotional schism. The pope is morally compromised. Take it from a sister.

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