More than 1600 years ago, in the waning days of the Roman Empire, Augustine Aurelius, Bishop of Hippo declared himself a sex addict. His classical 13 book treatise Confessions of St. Augustine, one of the foundational texts of Catholicism was written “to remind myself of my past foulnesses and carnal corruptions”. Augustine was the first theologian to equate sex with sin.
"But dissenters may also have been concerned that allowing women to control their bodies could be a slippery slope leading to a re-evaluation of the entire role of women in the Church. As one of the authors of the minority report, Stanislas De Lestapis, a Jesuit sociologist had warned a few years before allowing women the freedom to regulate when they got pregnant would lead to a “confusion between the sexes.”
This is the crux of the issue and it's not "confusion between the sexes." It's a THREAT to the institutions forged upon the purported superiority of the male in all things from physical strength, to purported courage, to intellectual depth, to spiritual grace. It is a VAST and long-lasting deceit.
While there have been some attempts to atone for slavery, the miserable treatment of Indigenous Americans, the Japanese internment camps, and the treatment of the Vietnamese, nothing is ever said about the centuries of abuse of women.
It's not that big a leap between the Vatican's attitude that women must be controlled (starting with their bodies' reproductive destinies & capacities) by men--husbands/fathers, or the top-down male centered church establishment, and that of Arab nations where women must be chaperoned by male relatives, are not allowed to drive, etc.
UNTIL the imbalances... not just between men's rights-status and women's rights-status, but also in the equivalent (and intended as counterbalancing) value of masculine and feminine natural inclinations are recognized and corrected... every injustice of racism, capitalism/the class system, and rule by domination CANNOT be truly overcome. The paradigm founded upon asymmetric privilege(s) remains in place. Male superiority is its unexamined cornerstone.
(Honest thinkers surely must understand that for any woman to get ahead in just about any field from medicine to theology, she must prove proficient in replicating what's considered valid and valuable to the status quo that patriarchy--and key patriarchs--built. That means that in the same way that the MIC now accepts gays and women, the Establishment Power seeks to subsume Other into itself. But when this Other becomes part of the existing bodies of power, conformity to existing protocols is part of the package... and process. Thus genuine change is foreclosed against.)
Just as I look past those arenas that Bernie Sanders has not taken on and notice all the good that he is doing, I am inclined to--for the moment-- give this Pope a pass on the sad fact that women's rights are not even a bleep on his radar.
So steeped in patriarchy are many intellectuals, too many spiritual "leaders," and the usual array of warriors that they don't even understand, notice, or recognize how they make women--along with the unique complementary role designed for the female gender--invisible. This, in turn, reinforces the paradigm built wholly on masculine drives, preferences, and MASSIVE design flaws!
Additionally, the ban on contraception could have been a result of the lack of treatment and prevention of STD's that necessitated a curb on promiscuity. It may also have origins in a male dominated culture afraid of female infidelity and men's desire to control women's bodies.
The Pope is no dope. He must realize that the best way to prevent abortions is to practice contraception but to say so would be going against Church dogma. And that the best way to prevent narco trafficking and the imprisoning of minorities is to legalize drugs, educate and treat addiction as a medical problem.
He has been careful not to alienate right or left, so he speaks in broad terms and lets us fill in the blanks.
Siouxrose, you confuse me. You give convincing defenses of women and yet this:
I am inclined to--for the moment-- give this Pope a pass on the sad fact that women's rights are not even a bleep on his radar.
[quote="CommonDreams, post:1, topic:13595"]
"Augustine was the first theologian to equate sex with sin".
Thereby proving that he was utterly confused.
Contrary to bifurcated minds and related mindsets, I appreciate the Pope's important words about the state of the Earth, the ravages of unchecked capitalism, and the plight of the poor. He also "gets it" about the global trade in armaments and its direct influence over so much internecine violence. He may not be ready to touch Patriarchy's sacred cow--the unexamined assertion of masculine superiority based on the notion of a male god--but these other arenas are very significant.
Another analogy: I love chocolate but that doesn't mean if I buy an assortment I will necessarily eat all "flavors." I'll take what I like and leave the rest. Since no human being has a monopoly on Truth in all the arenas it expresses; it makes sense to applaud the good and truthful emitted by those who have enough limelight to get messages out that counter today's deadly (pro-war, pro resource extraction to the point of species' extinction, and pro a financial pyramid that allots far too much to a few and far too little to the vast majority) status quo.
In other words in lieu of "with us or against us" framing, one learns discernment. Appreciate the good and valid and toss the rest.