After (I imagine) completing a rock-solid thirty minutes of intense theological studies and drawing on her vast experience as a stationary biker—where you spin your wheels, to emphasize the cliché, and go nowhere—Angela Bonavoglia gave Huffington Post a list of must dos to the Pope.
His Holiness is undoubtedly putting the machinery in place as I write to implement these items, since the list was from a Western journalist, so it behooves us to peruse it.
- Please stop talking about the role of women in the church. Amen to this. You can’t open most Catholic publications, such as National Catholic Reporter, and even secular ones like Huffington Post, without hearing about how women should “share” “power.” I mean, golly, the Church managed 2,000 years running on a natural separation of the sexes. Why change what works? One thing nobody emphasizes, though: that darn medieval Church still bars men from becoming nuns. If that isn’t sexist, I don’t know what is. Who’s for a Vatican sit-in?
- Recognize women’s God-given moral authority. In this bullet which talks about the role of women in the Church, she means women should have abortions without blushing. “[W]hat if she didn’t regret that abortion? What if she said it was the right thing for her to do? What if she knew in her bones that she could not be a mother then?” Science is still working on the mystery of women’s pregnancies—alcohol and listening to NPR have been linked to maternal status—so how can we blame women who want to “get rid of” what she didn’t want in the first place? What’s clear, though, is that knowing “in your bones” is the new test of sinfulness; as in, “Judge, I knew in my bones I should rob that bank.”
- Study feminist theology. This bullet only seems to be discordant with the first. Actually, Bonavoglia wants Frankie (I use the familiar) to “highlight biblical passages where Jesus portrays God as female.” (That would explain the moodiness, come to think of it. Floods one year, droughts the next.) She warns against viewing self-labeled feminists as “chauvinists ‘in skirts'”.
- Bless the use of contraception. A papal line of prophylactics? No, but Bonavoglia claims “every major health organization maintains that [‘artificial contraception’] is crucial the health of mothers and babies.” If they claim that, they are nuts since being pregnant is not an illness. My knowledge of medicine might be laking, but just how is contraception “crucial” to the health of a baby? This bullet also sees Bonavoglia’s first use of “medieval.”
- Leave behind the Virgin Birth. Miracles are rather embarrassing, are they not? Especially when you dogmatically assert, as most materialists do, that they are impossible. No, what really irks Bonavoglia is that St Mary “is a sterling, unattainable emblem of womanhood.” And who needs that? Who needs to aim at something higher and better than themselves? The heroes we emulate should be deeply flawed, so that when we screw up, we can point to their example and say, “How can you blame me?”
- Appoint a woman to the College of Cardinals. We’re back to not talking about the role of women in Church, I guess. She implies, relying on a Biblical passage I don’t recall, “Jesus saw male genitals as integral to priestly ministry,” Her confusion does highlight the only difference between the sexes that moderns are capable of recognizing is that of intercourse. The argument seems to be: appoint women priests (but still no male nuns) because women are the “same as” men (except in genitals). If that’s true, then women would bring nothing special to the priesthood that men aren’t already offering. But if women are different (besides in their plumbing) then the way the Church has made use of the disparate talents of its members, given its long success, already appears to be ideal.
- End compulsory celibacy. Surprise: back to sex. She argues that, somehow, celibacy was instituted “based on the belief that women are inferior.” The chip on Bonavoglia’s shoulder is bigger than it appeared.
- Hold your brethren accountable. She means outing whoever is left of the many priests who were ‘oriented’ mostly towards teenage boys. Amen to this.
- No more meetings about women without women. Just like those academic and political feminists who never have meetings about their ever-expanding list of grievances without inviting a few token yes-men, men should always have a woman. After all, somebody has to serve the coffee. Kidding! I’m kidding! Humor!