How Feminists Feel ‘Left Out’ by Pope Francis
Once plastered on the pages of The New York Times in a favorable light, the paper decided to remember Pope Francis’ anniversary with an article by Elisabetta Povoledo titled “Women See Themselves as Left Out Amid Talk of Change in Catholic Church”. Much like the way the media fawned over the coronation of Obama’s presidency, they too had hopes and dreams that Pope Francis would forge ahead with a new kind of Catholic Church – one, they felt, which would reflect the current so-called “norms” of today’s society, not the traditional Catholic Church that it’s always been.
In her piece, Povoledo builds the excitement for Pope Francis by beginning:
“In the first two years of his papacy, Pope Francis has stirred great expectations for change among Roman Catholics who believe that the church has not kept pace with the social transformations of secular society. Nowhere are those hopes felt more keenly, perhaps, than among women, often the driving force behind local church communities, but who say that their voices remain marginalized”.
Povoledo gives credence to the pontiff’s own “acknowledgment that women need to play a more incisive role” and “the importance of women” in the Catholic Church, and then zings him on the subject of women and their role in the Church, saying he was “strikingly tone-deaf toward the sensitivities and needs of women”.
You can almost feel what’s about to come, that Povoledo is “honoring” Francis’ anniversary not with writing an article about his accomplishments and adoring love from many Catholics (and others) around the world, rather, she has decided to “celebrate” his anniversary by writing an article lambasting him on women’s issues when it comes to the Catholic Church. In the tenth paragraph, Povoledo’s motive is revealed:
After Francis “opened the door to discussion of women’s status to growing hopes”, he squashed them when he wouldn’t budge on the issue of women priests. And so “any debate on the role of women…is curtailed by one irremovable premise: There is no place for women priests. Pope Francis has rejected such a change outright”.
Tina Beattie, a professor of Catholic studies at the University of Roehampton in London, says: “This is the most sensitive issue in the Vatican, more difficult than so many others because it is fundamental to so many others…We need to make him understand that this is a make-or-break issue for the church…It would be an unbearable blow if he left papacy as he found it with regards to women”.
Interesting concept, but considering the Catholic Church is the first and oldest denomination of Christianity…. and has lasted …oh…around 2,000 years, it’s hard to say that women priests are a make-or-break issue.