Last Saturday I noted how the On Faith feature in the February 9 Washington Post celebrated Muslim modesty while trashing American Catholic bishops as being prudish on sex and stubborn in their opposition to the ObamaCare contraception mandate. Well this weekend, the Post continued its hypocritical attack on the Church by complaining that it doesn't listen to women while, well, squelching the op-ed piece of a conservative Catholic woman.
The February 16 On Faith section published two items related to Pope Benedict's announcement on Monday that he was abdicating the papacy at the end of February. Editors ran Lisa Miller's column headlined "Some nuns hope new pope will listen to women," in which the Post religion writer highlighted the calls of feminist nuns for, among other things, an openness by the Church to female priests. Also featured on the page B2 feature was a 7-paragraph item by one Annie Selak, headlined "The church young Catholics want," which included a call for the Church to "dialogue concerning the ordination of women and church teaching on homosexuality." Yet On Faith editors declined to feature in print an excellent piece by a conservative Catholic woman that was published online earlier in the week.
In "The Catholic Church can't change," one Ashley McGuire (pictured below, photo via The Catholic Association) explained why calls for women priests and a watering down of biblical sexual ethics is not going to, nor should happen in the Catholic Church (emphasis mine):
In layman’s terms: What the church’s critics, especially those now giddily wondering if Pope Benedict’s successor will shake things up, just don’t seem to understand, is that church teachings on these issues are unchangeable.
[N]ot only will the church remain orthodox with Pope Benedict’s successor, it should.
Our call to live counter-culturally is as old as the church itself. We believe in a God who lived among us, died for us, and showed us the way to live lives of courage and conviction--whatever our culture. Catholics are called, yes, to engage with the society around them, but not to adapt ourselves to the popular sentiments of our time. Instead, Catholics are called to live in radical service to our God. This includes loving our neighbor as ourselves. This also includes letting go of pleasure as the path to happiness (spoiler: it’s not). There’s nothing modern --or moderate --about that.
And besides, a quick scan of the world shows: suffering, suffering, and more suffering. Men using women for sex and leaving them to hold the bag. Children without fathers. Mothers killing their babies. The definition of marriage sold to the highest, or most aggressive, bidder.
Many are already rushing to exclaim, “Maybe we will get a pope who will respect women’s rights!”
We have a pope who respects women’s rights. A woman’s right to be born, despite a world that values women less than men. A woman’s right to preserve fertility equality with men as a part of the sexual experience. A woman’s right to be respected for the socially cheapened roles of mother and wife.
Thankfully, the next pope will defend these women’s rights as well.
The Catholic Church has an Old Man River thing going on. She just keeps rolling, she keeps on rolling along. You can stand on the shores. Or jump in. It’s your choice. But she’s not changing course. Thank God.