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TIME article: Ratzinger's views on women - Page 2

post #21 of 78
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylark
I also find it condescending to people in developing countries that you would characterize them as somehow unable to question teachings for themselves.
Condescencion has squat all to do with it. It's about how the average citizen of a developing country has limited access to facts and viewpoints. It's about how access to facts is about the single most essential requirement for true choice. People and establishments with agendas to press limit free access to facts for this very reason. If your only source on information about condoms, for example, is the local parish church -- no internet, no library, no TV, no radio -- then you are stuck believing whatever dangerous untrue crap the parish church might choose to tell you about condoms.

It appears you cannot, in fact, think of a context that could possibly excuse that description of gays. Ah, well, neither could I
post #22 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by stafl
you got links?
I'm working on it. What I meant wasn't that, hey, if you just read this article written by Ratzinger, you'll totally agree with him. (which is probably unlikely ) My point was - Catholic moral theology is complex, and understanding Catholic teaching on the immorality of sexual acts between two persons of the same sex requires understanding all of the theology of the body, the nature of Church authority, and some other stuff, too. LOL I'm working on finding things that will concisely give context to the quotes selected by Andrew Sullivan without providing too superficial an overview. I also don't have a copy of any of Ratzinger's books on hand, although I read them a few years ago...darned libraries! They convince you you don't need to pay for the books! I'm waiting to get the ones I ordered.

Kristin, you're clearly really angry at the Catholic Church. Are you interested in dialogue with Catholics, or did you just post the article in the first place to vent? If you're interested in dialogue, perhaps you could tone down the rhetoric.
post #23 of 78
The Catholic church is a large, wealthy and politically powerful organization that attempts to influence public policy in many, many areas of the world. The Pope is as much political figure as he is a spiritual leader. As such, his attempts to influence public policy on a host of issues makes his actions of great interest to many who are not of his faith, but who also have to live with the consequences of his actions.

As for the ever ready cry of "Catholic bashing..." I am not Catholic, but was raised Catholic and most of my extended family is Catholic. I will occasionally provide transportation for an elderly relative to get to Mass if she needs it. I have on more than one occasions heard priests exhorting the congregation to scream "Catholic bashing" every time any criticism of the organization is raised. So honestly, I chuckle every time I hear the phrase.
post #24 of 78
"motherhood and virginity"

'Cause those go hand in hand.

:LOL

But really, his views as presented in that article (and some of it is quoting the pope's writings):
post #25 of 78
Quote:
A woman has "roles inscribed in her own biology," he says. And what would those be? Motherhood and virginity, "the two loftiest values in which she realizes her profoundest vocation."
Once again defining women by their sexuality. It really gets old.
post #26 of 78
Thread Starter 
I am angry at all those who would use ancient mythology to oppress and limit other human beings. I am angry at any organization which keeps its power by way of "morals" that have essentially not evolved since the Middle Ages. I am absolutely furious that there could be any excuse for the demonization of homosexuals or the continued minimization of women in this day and age.

I am no longer interested in "dialogue" with supporters of the Catholic church, because I have no interest in "dialoguing" about the reasons why it is supposedly OK to oppress women, vilify homosexuals, and embrace policies set by wealthy white men which amount to genocide of brown women, children and gays.

EFmom,
post #27 of 78
Quote:
and I suggest again that you read what he's actually written rather than a smattering of quotations.
If it's a quotation, then it is his own words.
Disagreeing with Ratzinger is not Catholic bashing. Or are you all suggesting that the Pope Is the Church?

I think it is sad that a religious organization that can be so rational (especially when compared to other Christian denominations) when it comes to science, that can help so many with its charitable branches and teachings, can be so medieval and hateful when it comes to women and/or homosexuals.

Why aren't men being defined and limited by their sexual characteristics?

As we are teaching our children: if it cannot be questioned, then there is something seriously wrong with it.
post #28 of 78
The author of the article didn’t tell us what he would say in his desired dialogue with the Catholic Church. Does he want the Church to recognize his right to have sexual relations with another man? Would he have to be married to this man? Would he have to be monogamous? Can he be promiscuous? Would he want to Church to tolerate with him things that it doesn’t tolerate on a moral level with heterosexuals?

Regarding Ratzinger’s remarks on women, of course this would look to Americans like he was harking back to barefoot and pregnant days. But in America, individuality is primary, probably more than in any other society. Progressives don’t want to make any distinctions between men and women, or, in general, between individuals as such. But what about societies where the family if primary? This would include most of the people living on earth today. People for whom the family is primary look primitive to us and the individuals of these families strike us as oppressed. But we strike them as selfish, classist and ethnocentric. Further, since our individualist capitalism is busily destroying the bases of their communal lives, we look like greedy arrogant predators.

In the current context of societies oriented around the family as primary (and as the primary thing that “identifies” individuals) Ratzinger’s remarks take on a different meaning. I am not defending what he says, but I am saying that there is a context to what he says and one needs to be aware of the context to understand what this is. In societies where the family is the primary production and the primary social unit and where it provides the only real defense against the state, women are the cornerstone of the family and men are expendable in a way that even we can recognize. Ratzinger’s statements on homosexuals should be looked at in this context as well.

So it could be that Ratzinger is talking about something that he is opposing to individualist capitalism. We who are products of individualist capitalism value our individuality as primary and want as much liberty as possible, which means that we want to be entirely free to establish our “identity”. But we still see some problems with individualist capitalism. If we are on the current left, we like our individualism, but we don’t see why we should have so much capitalism with its tendency to favor hierarchies based on wealth. If we are on the current right, we like our capitalism, but we don’t see why we should have so much individualism, with everyone doing whatever they want and “moral values” being pretty much whatever anyone wants them to be.

The Church sees both of these as two sides of the same rotten coin. It sees modern (radical) individualism and modern capitalism as interlinked. What their argument is is hard for Americans to understand, but most Americans with and without the Church don’t bother to try. It’s much easier to believe that one has, from one’s privileged place as an American, come upon a world view that is simply natural, logical, and self evident and complete and that people holding an opposite view are either cynical power vultures or stupid and deluded and blindly following medieval dogma. And of course, there can be no dialogue.
post #29 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllyRae
So, is it ok for Catholics to start threads on why they feel other religions are awful? No, that would be disrespectful and it's never really ok to sit there and bash another's belief system. I can assure you that I probably disagree with many parts of your spiritual/religion, but I don't start thread after thread bashing it... I have more respect for people whose beliefs I don't share...because I know that spirituality/religion can be an important part of someone's life. You don't have to agree with something to be respectful enough to not bash it.
I think it is perfectly appropriate for us to discuss the moral and political climate that we live and are raising our kids in. I don't think discussing is "bashing" at all. I was raised Catholic and have lots of Catholic family and it it is important to me to understand what their leaders are teaching. I don't think any of us expect the Pope not to be Catholic, but within Catholicism, as I'm sure you know, there is quite a spectrum of beliefs.

I, for one, was hoping that the new Pope, within the framework of Catholicism, would be a more liberal, open-minded person, capable of leading the church down a more progressive, less discriminating path.
It is deeply saddening and disheartening to hear some of the new pope's view are seemingly so archaic and oppressive.
post #30 of 78
I just wrote out a long reply but chickened out--I don't feel like dealing with any negative energy today. But I really agree with what Ally has said. I am a liberal but also a Catholic--and know that the Pope is going to stick with the original Catholic doctrine, and I have respect for him.

I find it interesting that there are a few posters here that are admittedly not Catholic, yet I often see posts from them that are very anti-Catholic. Anytime there is a person posting negative views on the church or the Pope they are next in line to agree with that person and express their negative views of the church. It is very perplexing to me, because there are many religions (or religious leaders, for that matter) that I don't agree with, but that is fine because I am not that religion. I don't spend a great deal of time online posting about those other religions--trying to back up my negative views on them. It would be insulting to people who devote their lives to that religion, and be a useless waste of energy I would think. Maybe there is something I am missing here.

Thanks for listening,
Lisa
post #31 of 78
Unagidon, I think that suggesting that we are either individualists or family-oriented is setting up a false dichotomy. Speaking for myself, I am NOT solely defined by my biology, as this pope and the previous one would have me be, but I am Extremely family oriented.

I see what you're getting at with economics and how this country is percieved, and probably agree, but that has nothing to do IMO with women's roles being limited to only their reproductive functions.
post #32 of 78
Thread Starter 
Respectfully, Lisa, I think you are missing something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtsunshinemama
I think it is perfectly appropriate for us to discuss the moral and political climate that we live and are raising our kids in.
And that is exactly it.

I have, um, strong feelings about Scientology, for example, but you won't see me wasting my energy drawing attention to its freaky views very often because let's face it, Scientology is not a threat to those of us who aren't Scientologists. There is no concerted push to make government morals Scientologist morals. There are no huge Scientologist-funded programs to "educate" the masses in 3rd world countries about Thetans and auditing or to "care for" the sick with touch therapy. Scientologist parents don't sue school districts for teaching non-Scientologist concepts in public school.

Catholicism, and its sister Evangelical Lutheranism, aren't content to live and let live; they want the world to live by their morals and beliefs and that is absolute anathema to me. And when their religious agenda enters the political arena, as it has, it becomes open season for criticism from non-Catholics.
post #33 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by girlndocs

Catholicism, and its sister Evangelical Lutheranism, aren't content to live and let live; they want the world to live by their morals and beliefs and that is absolute anathema to me. And when their religious agenda enters the political arena, as it has, it becomes open season for criticism from non-Catholics.
I'm not sure that's true, from a Catholic viewpoint. I think the media has gotten totally out of hand with this. The RC Pope deals with issues of faith and morals for Catholics *only*. If you are not Catholic, it does not apply to you. However, the US media and the neocons are using the Church for their respective agendas. I'm not totally sure what those agendas are, but I'm squicked out, nevertheless.

By the way, I think Ratzinger is a jackhole and the quicker he's out the better. I could easily leave the Church as I live far from my FOO and my SO is atheist. But to me that would amount to abandonment of my beloved home, my family. I can't/won't let the foul vitriol spewed by that man undermine my faith. I believe, the Holy Spirit works in mysterious ways. Maybe She wants to stir things up a bit, in an effort to move the Church forward.

Much as some like to believe, the Church is not a completely fixed entity. It absolutely changes. However, the foundation remains the same. No matter how many rooms are remodeled, torn down, or added on, the foundation is firm.

Few things have been consistently believed by the Church for 2000 years. Only those who haven't explored the history of the Church would believe that. The good: Married priests, democratic selection of Popes, women presiding over Mass. The bad: aristocratic politicking for the papacy; Holy Wars; the torture and execution of innocents.

The Church has to change if it is to grow - just like everything, and everybody, else.
post #34 of 78
Quote:
Unagidon, I think that suggesting that we are either individualists or family-oriented is setting up a false dichotomy. Speaking for myself, I am NOT solely defined by my biology, as this pope and the previous one would have me be, but I am Extremely family oriented.

I see what you're getting at with economics and how this country is perceived, and probably agree, but that has nothing to do IMO with women's roles being limited to only their reproductive functions.
The family thing is difficult to talk about, because when we are "family oriented" in the United States, we are family oriented as individuals. When someone in an actual family oriented country is family oriented, they are defining their individuality in terms of their membership in the family. We don't really have anything like this in the US, despite the claims of the religious right about "family values". Maybe the Amish would approximate this.

In this context, the role of women and men is more complex than it appears to us looking through our own cultural glasses. This is not to say that one thing is better than the other, only that one thing is really different from the other. It is not a "definition by biology" exactly in some sense that women only have a reproductive function or men only have a reproductive function or whatever. The thing is, one can reject this out of hand through our individualistic lens, or one can perhaps at least see what the total context is for the remarks. For example, they may contain within them a better critique of capitalism than other kinds.
post #35 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by suzywanII
Few things have been consistently believed by the Church for 2000 years. Only those who haven't explored the history of the Church would believe that.

The Church has to change if it is to grow - just like everything, and everybody, else.
post #36 of 78
Let me see if I understand this correctly. It's okay for those who haven't actually read the Catechism and the writings of our current and previous popes to criticize the Church, because the Church plays a role in world affairs, and thus, what the Church teaches affects more than just the community of believers?

I think that's what some of you are saying, at any rate.

While I understand the logic behind this statement, I would again caution you against painting our faith with such broad strokes. Still waiting on my books to get here. My basic point, I suppose, is that you can't take one piece of Church teaching and say, "this is ridiculous and medieval" without looking at how it fits into the whole framework of Catholic teaching about the nature of marriage and the family. And, even if you disagree and see the Church as some kind of force for evil on the world stage (despite the incredibly large scale of Catholic charitable work), I would say that yes, it is degenerating to the level of "Catholic-bashing" to say, "I'm not going to read anything the Church says, but I'll happily tell the world that the Church is archaic and oppressive."

How is it, Kristen, that you believe that the Church, in particular, is wielding its political authority in a way that threatens you? By opposing the government funding of contraception? Couldn't I argue that secularists are wielding their political authority in a way that threatens me by extracting money from me via taxation to pay for things that I find immoral? We aren't lobbying to make contraception illegal. Just teaching that it is wrong. How does that threaten your ability to live your life as you choose? Similarly, the Church is not lobbying to make sex between two persons of the same gender illegal. Just teaching that it is wrong. Andrew Sullivan is perfectly able to choose to reject this teaching. Admittedly, it is a very difficult one, and counter to our society's "sex can never be wrong, if it makes you feel good" ethos. But there are Catholics who face these challenges and are able to overcome them. And the Church does not teach that same-sex intercourse is a greater sin than, for instance, fornication or contraception. Or that homosexuals are to be reviled. I know you've heard, "love the sinner, hate the sin," before, and probably you don't buy that line of reasoning. But the Catechism itself condemns acts of violence against people for reasons of sexual orientation. (somewhere...must. locate. catechism...)

Anyway, that's what I have to say in my current sleep-deprived state.
post #37 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllyRae
Excuse my vent, but if you aren't Catholic, noone's expecting you to suddenly believe this stuff and join the church.
Well, see that's where the problem lies. The church isn't asking us to believe it, but they are lobbying quite hard to have their doctrine entrenched in secular Law. And I'm not talking "don't eat meat on Fridays during lent". The issues (gay marriage, abortion, sex education) are huge, affecting peoples' very lives and health and freedoms.

I would be SO happy if the Church would just focus on it's own members. By trying so hard to push their views on secular society I think the chuch opens itself up for criticism by those who are not catholic, but who are feeling their very freedom to NOT be catholic threatened.
post #38 of 78
How hollow would the Church's teaching on abortion be if she were to say, "but keep it legal, folks, because not everyone agrees that it's murder?" The reason that Catholics lobby for governmental restrictions on abortion is precisely because it affects other people - namely, the unborn. Now, I recognize that not everyone agrees that the unborn child is a person deserving of protection. But, if I believe that the unborn child is just that - a person - why on earth would I not work to restrict the practice of abortion?

My faith also informs my feeling that rape is wrong. Should I not work to make sure it remains illegal, just because my beliefs about the issue are grounded in my religious background?

And the issues of gay marriage and sex education affect people's lives and health and freedoms no matter where you stand on the issue. If my children are taught in schools things that are contrary to my values, isn't that a case where your values are impinging upon my freedom? Or does that not count, because my values are "medieval?"
post #39 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piglet68
Well, see that's where the problem lies. The church isn't asking us to believe it, but they are lobbying quite hard to have their doctrine entrenched in secular Law. And I'm not talking "don't eat meat on Fridays during lent". The issues (gay marriage, abortion, sex education) are huge, affecting peoples' very lives and health and freedoms.

I would be SO happy if the Church would just focus on it's own members. By trying so hard to push their views on secular society I think the chuch opens itself up for criticism by those who are not catholic, but who are feeling their very freedom to NOT be catholic threatened.
I'm sorry, but I will never believe that the Catholic church is the sole reason for those things... If these issues needed to be voted on, perhaps more people that disagreed with them should get out and vote! 51% of the country is not made up of Catholics, so if only the Catholics believed those things, then they would not really be issues because they could easily be voted against...

The problem with the whole "the Catholic church influences secular life" stuff is that it's just not true. The Catholic church is not the only church against Gay marriage, abortion, etc. In fact, many non-Catholic denominations are against the same things...it's not just the Catholic church. In addition, there could possibly be people who are not affiliated with the Catholic church and who aren't influenced by the Catholic church and have just come to conclusions on their own (for example, I became Catholic when I turned 19. However, I was anti-abortion from the time I was 15 or 16, and had absolutely NO exposure to any Christian denomination. I made my own decisions regarding the issue without ever hearing a word of Christian belief).

So, the whole arguement that the Catholic church determines policy is just not true... Yes, there is a vocal and prominant central figure, but it's not the only influence... A person can come up with a belief outside of any church. In addition, Catholicism isn't the only form of Christianity, and there are very very few denominations that are extremely liberal in their beliefs.

And I hate to tell you this, but I've had MORE religious propoganda from non-Catholics than I ever had from the Catholic church. For example, the Mormon sect has a zillion tv commercials, missionaries that go from door to door a LOT, people that pass out little Bibles all the time (I've gotten them at public school, at the grocery store, even passed out in parades). I've never once had a Catholic come to my door (before or after I joined the church) and try to convert me or explain their views...I've never once seen a Catholic commercial (except for the Annual Bishop's Appeal, but that's usually just on local channels). So, it's not just the Catholic church...it's just the easiest target for a lot of people. The honest truth is that there are other influences, and you can choose to listen to them or ignore them.

Noone can force YOU to believe something you don't want to....and people can actually come to a conclusion, even one you don't agree with, without it automatically being traced back to the Catholic church. Some people are just conservatives. Not everyone is liberal until they are "warped" (not my word) by Christianity...
post #40 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylark
How hollow would the Church's teaching on abortion be if she were to say, "but keep it legal, folks, because not everyone agrees that it's murder?" The reason that Catholics lobby for governmental restrictions on abortion is precisely because it affects other people - namely, the unborn. Now, I recognize that not everyone agrees that the unborn child is a person deserving of protection. But, if I believe that the unborn child is just that - a person - why on earth would I not work to restrict the practice of abortion?
You know, there are plenty of people who believe that abortion is morally wrong and who would never chose to have an abortion themselves (I am one of those people).

But who also recognise that there are is a HUGE grey area in the abortion debate, and who realise that it is not as simple as making abortion illegal and all abortion will end.

I believe that war and poverty are both immoral - wrong. I would guess that the Catholic Church (as well as many other Christian denominations) shares my position on these two issues.

However, there is a recognition that these two problems are complex, and it is not as simple as just outlawing them and they will end (if only that were so).

Instead, those of us who are concerned to end war, poverty and - yes - abortion - need to work to address and 'fix' the root causes of these three things.

Have you seen 'Vera Drake', Skylark? I'd challenge you to watch it and not recognise that there are grey areas in this debate.

And there have to be better solutions than to criminalise desperate women who feel backed into a corner with no other options.

And, unfortunately, Catholic teaching (and particularly political activism, which is one of the main things posters here have issue with - and I have the same issues, for the record, with fundamentalist Christians working for the same goals) on things like abortion, contraception, condoms, etc, contribute to the problem, rather than working towards finding a solution.
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