Today’s Vatican culture is still stuck in the past
So, an all-male Vatican culture is not unique.
Women, however, have begun to rise to the top of secular institutions. This is especially true of institutions in economically advanced nations. In most cases, the ground-breaking women themselves have been formed by female societies, groups and clubs with their own strong feminine cultures.
Across the broad biological spectrum, females form friendships and bond with one another. These female bonds and friendships strengthen a female way of being that is different from how men interact and how they are formed by the cultures in their clubs and associations.
Strong sister bonds and friendships create strengths that males and their groups cannot match.
There is a lesson here that seems to be missed in the Catholic Church’s male culture and by the bishops formed in it. Some of the least insightful bishops reprimanded Sister Carol Keehan for standing with and protecting pregnant women whose lives were threatened by a developing fetus.
These bishops were theologically unsophisticated, but even worse was their naivete in thinking that they could push around Catholic sisters and child-bearing women with their reprimands and threats to withdraw Catholic status from hospitals if abortion is permitted when a fetus puts the mother’s life in danger.
The level of naivete demonstrated by those bishops could come only from celibate men who have had no close experience with women.
Catholic laypersons who thought that such foolishness would not be repeated were quickly disappointed. Some even more naive bishops are now trying to bully the entire community of American sisters (Leadership Conference of Women Religious).
Their crackdown on American nuns is to make them withdraw from the social-justice work that they do for poor people.
Instead, the bishops insist that they redirect their efforts and focus on opposing gay marriage, contraception and abortion. The concerns mentioned by the bishops were with radical feminist themes at their conferences and widespread dissent from the church’s sexual teachings within religious congregations. [More]
James F. Drane/PennLive