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What do Catholic traditionalists and extreme feminists have in common?

Quote of the Day:

In every age there are people for whom history does not exist…Curiously, the Catholic restorationist who identifies the Gospel with certain vestments from the 1880s, with one biblical translation, or with a vessel from the fifth century or the fifteenth century has somewhat the same mind-set as the extreme feminist who rejects the past three millennia of cultures because their attitudes toward women in public life were limited. Both fixate on one time -whether that is in the past or today – and reject variety and progress. … The deepest enemy of every fundamentalism is history.

Thomas P. O’Meara, OP, Theology of Ministry, (New York: Paulist Press, 1999), 86

[Between the number of friends i count among both feminists and traditionalist Catholics, i trust everyone is equally piqued.]

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4 Comments

  1. John says:

    Never mind that the greatest threat to human culture in this time and place is the extreme anti-feminism of the current “catholic” hierarchy which is now in control of the ultra misogynist Opus Dei and similar so called “traditionalist” outfits.
    The origins and all-encompassing cultural implications of this dreadful situation is desribed in great detail in the recent book by Mattew Fox titled The Popes War Against the Church.

    But how can you even begin to talk about “Christain unity” when there are now over 30,000 different and differing Christian denominations, sects and sub-sects, most of which quite rightly deny the “authority” of the “catholic magisterium” (which of course has nothing whatsoever to with what Jesus taught and demonstrated while he was alive)

    • A.J. Boyd says:

      John, i think that is exactly why we must talk about Christian unity. How can we not? Did Jesus found 30,000 denominations and congregations? Or did he pray with his last prayer as a free man that his followers be united just as he is united to the Father? Unity does not mean submission or uniformity, but it must be sought – clearly, teaching authority and the role of the bishop of Rome are central issues in this quest for unity, both historically and ecclesiologically. Working for unity means holding up a self-critical lens too, and finding what sins we need to repent before others will join with us, as we move towards closer union with God.

      • Mary says:

        John and A.J.,
        I view the diversity of Christian expression as an individual response to how God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit have been revealed to any individual person or groups of people through their own history, their own cultural experiences and cultural filtering system. Much the same as what makes a flower garden beautiful, each expression offers an insight into a complex Triune God. We must share that perception of our Triune God with diverse groups of Christians so that we can learn from each other.

        Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer was writing in the early 1900’s. I have read one of his books. Opus Dei means the work of God. The concept is that all the things that we do in our very ordinary lives should be done as a work of God. In our daily work we encounter that of God…. An organization, called Opus Dei was formed based on Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer’s philosophy. The foundational principles are sound. Otherwise, I know very little about the organization other than it has been mentioned in some books of fiction. Unfortunately, the book of fiction may have made a greater impact on our thinking than the actual thoughts of Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer have. Otherwise, I know nothing about Opus Dei.

        Sometimes in the study of other religions, we can gain an insight into our own religious beliefs. I believe that the Hindu religion has a single God, but that they found it so difficult to describe that of God that they depict symbolically the many forms of God.

        Buddha was profoundly affected by the pain and suffering in the world that he saw. He found the process of completely emptying himself to be able to allow the divine spirit ( or whatever he called it) to enter in. This is similar to contemplative practices; Thomas Merton had discovered this similarity, and set out to learn more about it.

        At the foundation of every major world religion, there is a form of the Golden Rule that we should treat others the way we wish to be treated.

        A.J. wrote:”Working for unity means holding up a self-critical lens too, and finding what sins we need to repent before others will join with us, as we move towards closer union with God.” In every situation, our role must be factored into the mix of what is going on. I think that the most difficult thing is for us to ascertain how our presence impacts any given situation. Think of a stone archway where all of the stones hold the one next to it in place, and we are one of the stones. If we removed one of the stones from the stone archway, it would collapse and it would have to be put back together again. In the human context, perhaps it would be that we simply need to step back and remove our own ego, our own need to win and to be right which is a very human thing to perceive some kind of a threat to who we are when we hear contradictory statements. The emptying process asks us to remove those things that get in our way from being able to find God at work in any given situation.

        Christian Diversity is an opportunity. It may be viewed as a challenge, and it is, but the reward from carrying on such dialogues is the foundation for being able to build a better world, perhaps to finding peace in the world. The world doesn’t have to be a winner takes all and the loser must suffer. The world can be a win-win situation for all of humanity and creation. At the very foundation of many of the world’s problems is this same challenge. Therefore, dialogues across traditional boundaries and barriers must happen. If this kind of ecumenical and interfaith dialogue can happen; it will set the tone and create the foundation upon which many of the world’s problems can be resolved.

        The biggest challenge may perhaps be in finding out how we can love and be loved by all of those Others. Given the fact that our history is filled with war, Loving and being loved may be one of the most difficult tasks that we are ever asked to do, and yet there is every indication in the examples given to us by Christ that this where we should be focusing our attention. Perhaps another way to express this concept of “Loving and Being Loved” is the need for mutual respect and compassion for the diversity of the gifts found in the world all around us, but primarily in all of humanity.

        I will have to read the book by Mattew Fox titled The Popes War Against the Church. I am not familiar with it so I cannot comment on it.

  2. Michael Ullom says:

    This quote is rather misleading…”past three millennia of cultures because their attitudes toward women in public life were limited.” While I do not wish to be throwing stones in your blog, one big reason I feel more comfortable in an Episcopal Church rather than in a Catholic Church is the different perspectives towards women today. It is not that I begrudge the Catholic Church its past, it’s that I abhor its present.

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