Dear heavens! At the risk of offending the Catholic community marginally less than the papacy, can anyone tell me why so many people, in particular women, remain affiliated to the Catholic Church?

Some of their celibate male clergy in various parts of the world have been in trouble for a long time, amusing themselves at the cost of the good physical and mental health of the children that they are supposed to care for and cherish. Sexual abuse has been extant and swept under ecclesiastical carpets.

Now, anyone who aids and abets women to take a leading role in the clerical echelons of the Catholic Church will be committing a crime. This is the same language that the Papacy has used for the sexual abuse scandals with its male clergy that it is, clumsily, attempting to diffuse. The papacy has been pushed, kicking and screaming its resistance to dealing with the crimes that it has been instrumental in hiding, mishandling, and colluding with, for longer than we probably know about.

This is the church that is supposed to venerate the mother of Christ as an example to women and is supposed to be a means of showing the church’s respect for women. Yet women who want to participate more than at a subservient level, like scrubbing the stone steps of the church entrance and cleaning the alter, or keeping the priest contented, are what…accessories to crime?



  1. Grrr. Even when I am really trying to be charitable, I find it hard to understand how any thinking person can put up with it!

    I must admit I did work in a quietly subversive way with some of my Orthodox women friends, who can get very frustrated at all the things that are closed to them simply on account of their gender. Surprising what you can do to scratch away at the niche assigned to you and make it bigger!

  2. Not sure, in the R.C environment where you would expand the male comfort zone in the fortress that is The Vatican City. Bring back Pope Joan, perhaps?

  3. I’m Catholic. But I don’t understand why Pope, is so demoted and archaïc : Celibacy of the priests, no women priests, no French letters (we say “Capotes Anglaises”, etc… Jean XXIII was more modern, it seems to me ?…

    I believe only in a superior strength (God, Allah, Moses, as we want), who created the life from the nothingness… I believe that Jesus existed as moralizer, but his story was sophisticated and arranged… It is everything I believe !

  4. Thank you Nenesse for your constructive contribution. It is enlightening.

    John XX111 seemed to be much more human and real. He was, in Vatican political terms, untraditional, which was not a good position to be in.

    There is much fear, I think, about encouraging acceptable human male behaviour, like marriage, in the Catholic church. We can theorise why.

  5. Catholicism! It’s not a religion, it is a series of cobbled together laws made on the hoof by men who having been to Theology college (Maynooth), emerge as powerful priests with their heads full of ways to threaten people sufficiently to uphold the faith by fear of this god character, whom nobody has ever seen.
    A bit like, “If you don’t be good, the bogeyman will get you.”

  6. It is very confusing. En as un croix, puis, toutes va tombée. These are embarrassing statements from the church for people who think, people who are intelligent, people who live life in their relationships, which include life with their families that include boys and girls, men and women.

  7. Some years ago a woman who had always considered hereself a devout RC had finally had enough and turned her back on the church with the words, ‘They can’t believe in God. if they did they would be wetting themselves.’

    Only she didn’t say ‘wetting.’

    Her words came to mind again when I read your excellent post this evening. 🙂

  8. If the word the lady used was anything like I think it was Tylluan, she was probably right on track!

    There’s a couple of interesting comments on this subject from a French friend, have you seen them?

  9. 🙂 Yes, I did read the other comments and as you say, they are very interesting.

    One thing that amazes me about the RC church is how forgiving its members are. I once lived in a parish that had one child sex abuse scandal after another and even though there had been rumours for a long time about the priest concerned, people still went to his church on Sundays… and even after, when ANOTHER priest was convicted as well (both went to prison) it didn’t seem to make much difference to attendance.

    And then, suddenly, it did. Numbers started tailing off. As though people were suddenly waking up, after a long, dreamless sleep.

  10. ‘A long dreamless sleep’ is a very good description of the reaction of human beings. When a shocking event occurs, in the scenario you describe, for example, people freeze into disbelief and shock, and mechanically continue as before, perhaps hoping, ‘it’ will just be a nightmare and go away.

    The beauty of airing the abuses, hearing that they are not isolated and you, the congregation (or person) are not alone,unsupported, there are others who share the experience, it all gives strength to challenge perpetrator; the offender can be more safely challenged. It is a difficult offender in this case, not only is it the representative of the organisation, but the national and global organisation itself, the Roman Catholic Church.

    To me, the priesthood is a strange social existence. The falling numbers of priests are suggestive of the lack of desire to voluntarily be part of it, unless, for some, it gives a place to hide from society and for others, access to easy prey. Self discipline for the good of the church and purity of faith, is supposed to be at its heart. How many men are asexual beings? Those that are, will not necessarily view themselves as having a religious calling, and will not necessarily be Roman Catholic either.

  11. Anyway, I believe in a God, but i don’t believe in clergy, clergymen, neither church-men… They are humans, with same defect as others humans…

    I had only once impressed by Dominican sisters in a convent behind the Sacred – heart in Paris, where I made works…

    A kindness, a tolerance, a kindness!!! I have never revised it since…

    What a difference between the secular clergy and the regular clergy…

  12. You ask some good questions: being kind, humane, honest to yourself are important elements in our lives.

    Je pense que quelques des les pretes avaient perdu le comprehension des leurs roles; Tes pensieres ils sont tres sincere. Je suis d’accord avec toutes que tu as dit.

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