Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Catholic Feminists Speaking for Themselves

Mary Rice Hasson, a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, has an interview on National Review Online that offers a fiery response to Frank Bruni's recent NYT piece, “Catholicism Undervalues Women.” She suggests that "Bruni needs to take off his 70s-style feminist goggles, because they’re distorting his view of women and the Church."  
She continues:

For decades, the Church went silent when liberals ridiculed “outmoded” teachings on the male priesthood or the immorality of contraception, for example. As Cardinal Dolan said a few years back, the Church became “gun-shy” in the face of cultural disapproval and silenced itself, suffering a self-inflicted catechetical and moral “laryngitis.” Because the Church “forfeited the chance to be a coherent moral voice” on issues that matter to women, the Left has controlled the narrative. They define ‘women’s issues’ and ‘what’s good for women’ on their terms. So the average Catholic woman thinks about these issues much like a secular feminist, demanding “equal access” for women to all “jobs” in the Church, including the priesthood. And it doesn’t help when some women, schooled more in secular feminism than they are in Catholic theology, encounter priests who tip over into clericalism — an attitude strongly criticized by Pope Francis.
Hasson invites Bruni to "Come meet the smart, accomplished Catholic women in my world — they love the Church, embrace her teachings, and know that their gifts are deeply important to the Church." 
Hasson just edited a book called "Promise and Challenge:  Catholic Women Reflect on Feminism, Complementarity, and the Church,"  a collection of essays by some of the Catholic women in Hasson's world:  me, Hasson, Helen Alvare, Sr. Sara Butler, Sr. Mary Madeline Todd, Margaret McCarthy, Deborah Savage, Theresa Farnan, Cathy Pakaluk, Erika Bachiochi, Mary FioRito, and Mary Eberstadt.  My chapter is The Promise and the Threat of the 'Three' in Integral Complementarity, addressing some of the barriers to men and women collaborating more fruitfully in the life of the Church arising out of fear of the unknown Church that might emerge from such collaboration, and lingering distrust between men and women created by the sexual abuse crisis and women’s advocacy for abortion.


Schiltz, Elizabeth | Permalink