Catholic women rising

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Okay, so this is a bit of an experiment, but I’d really like it to catch on and would also like the support of the entire Catholic blogosphere, certainly in the UK and what an amazing thing if this could go global.

Inspired by Deacon Nick Donnelly, who has such an inspirational apostolate with his Protect the Pope blog, my blood pressure rose when I saw that a certain ‘Catholic’ theologian is once again hinting at doctrinal changes, seemingly misunderstanding that these are simply not possible. This isn’t meant to be a personal attack on Tina Beattie herself, I can understand that it must be unnerving to feel constantly besieged by a group of bloggers on the internet, but in a recent interview in the Guardian she states:

The new pope must show that he is willing to engage seriously with women’s theological voices and moral perspectives in a way which is broadly representative of the diverse experiences and aspirations of women, and not just with a few carefully selected theological handmaids.

The Church is not a democracy. Furthermore doctrines cannot change, Catholicism is based upon the truth that was revealed to us by Jesus Christ and handed down by the apostles to their successors. Revealed truth cannot change, the deposit of faith is comprised of this revealed truth expressed in Scripture and sacred tradition and thus cannot change. The church does not have the power to change or remove anything that has been given to us by Christ and His Apostles.

It is beyond annoying being told what the Church should do in relation to women, by people who are either not Catholic, or want the Church to change her doctrine in order to accommodate their own personal agendas, whether that be to allow self-destructive behaviour, to validate their own insecurity or to give them more ‘power’, which is never a healthy thing. None of us should crave positions of power or leadership.

Many faithful Catholic women are fed up of being told that they are not representative of the Catholic faith, that they are somehow brainwashed or marginalised, that their Church hates them and that most Catholic women are against the Church’s teachings, especially with regards to contraception, abortion and the male priesthood, most of which is based on dodgy poll data.

Here’s what I’d like to do. I’m not sure if this blog is the best forum for it, but then again it is run by a married mother of 4 young girls, who is passionate about female equality and empowerment, it’s just my definition of what that looks like, is very different to that of militant feminists or unrepresentative politicians and journalists, who think working women is all about a high-powered job in a nice city office somewhere on mega-bucks, or perhaps a well-paid newspaper column working from home, whereas the reality for most working mothers and children is entirely different.

I’d like to get as many Catholic women as possible, to sign up in the comments box below, to say that they agree with the following statement.

I am a faithful practicing Roman Catholic woman, who attends Mass at least once a week and who believes in and practices the Church’s teachings, specifically pertaining to matters on sexuality, contraception, abortion, marriage and the ordination of women. I believe that the Roman Catholic Church is sympathetic to and representative of the needs and concerns of women and their children, wherever they may be in the world. I would like to offer our new Pope Francis, my prayers and support and thank him for his continued protection and support of mothers and their unborn children. I fully endorse Church doctrine in relation to women’s issues. 

This could be an amazing gift for the Year of Faith. Imagine if every single faithful Catholic woman were to pledge their solidarity to our new Pope and Church doctrine in one place. What a gift, blessing and comfort, not only for Pope Francis, but also for ALL the Catholic clergy, Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops, Monsignors, Priests, Deacons, as well as those members of the laity, who are engaged in catechesis. How heartening for them to see the fruits of their work and how loved, supported and appreciated they are by Catholic women everywhere.

Also, what an opportunity for catechesis this could be, in terms of promoting the New Feminism. If you do see this and you are a Catholic women who feels in good conscience that she cannot sign up, don’t leave a comment on this post, I’ll open up another sticky and we can get debate going there, or better still, discuss it with your priest, or someone you know who can sign in good faith.

What a message to the Pope, to the Church and to the world and media at large. We, the undersigned Catholic women, have a love for Christ and his Church burning in our hearts and we do not wish to alter or change doctrine one little bit. We are empowered by a beautiful teaching that recognises us as having an equal dignity and sets us free to live in love.

32 thoughts on “Catholic women rising

  1. While I totally agree, wouldn’t it be better to start a new website, even a free one, totally dedicated to this. That way, everyone can see the support given at any time, without having to scroll for this particular post? And it would be easier to link to?
    I just wish we could find a secluded island somewhere nice, like off the coast of Siberia, where Tina Beattie and Hans Kung can go and retire, and debate to their hearts content with each other and leave the rest of us alone.

    1. Good point, Terry, I have put this post as a sticky on the front page, so it’s the first post anyone sees. It’s finding the time to design and set up another website, although it could be another wordpress blog.

  2. Yes I agree. God bless and protect our Holy Catholic Church. Save us from all falsehood and deceptions that constantly attack the truth we profess. I love our Church and the Church loves me. Glory and praise to you Lord Jesus.

  3. I agree. I love the last line. Sometimes we spend too much time trying to defend the Church and our faith that we forget to teach the beautiful vision of womanhood and of human dignity in general that comes through the Church via the Bible and Tradition. This is a vison that Pope Francis articulated in his homily today. Wonderful.

  4. Totally agree with you!! We women have a very VITAL role in the Church and in the world…we certainly don’t need to be ordained to do it! Raising Catholic children, teaching, praying, loving Jesus Christ, and being a loving example to our families and beyond.

    I’m IN!!!!

  5. Yes, I totally agree and I’m in. One important thing though.

    We have a duty to help people UNDERSTAND the teachings of the Church and that takes compassion, intelligence and research. Research? Yes, to understand and unravel how the disasters of the comtemporary world became mainstream. There are ideologies to unearth and reveal for what they really are.

    To this end I am steering a research blog called http://www.thehildegardgroup.wordpress.com
    to research and investigate the following questions –

    1) what is the Zeitgeist (the contemporary culture like) really like for women?
    2) what are the philosophical and historical roots of the different brands of feminism?
    3) what is the teaching of the church and what is Personalist catholic feminism?

    The group is called the Hildegard Group because Pope Benedict XVI made her the 4th female Doctor of the Church last year. So, as she was passionate about 1) Christ and His Bride the Church,
    2) passionate about Creation and the fact that it emerged from God
    3)passionate about beautiful music and poetry which she composed
    4) an artist who also wrote the first Musical Play on record
    4) a dynamic preacher endorsed and blessed by Pope Eugenius III who sent her out to preach against lax and failing clergy as well as anti-popes and
    5) an expert in all contemporary medicine and healthy eating, ie a Wholisitic and Holy Woman, inspired by God, passionate about people and obedient to the Church, we thought she’d do as a role model! Oh an she was a visionary too who had visions from the age of 3 but we can’t emulate that charism, but it’s inspiring none the less.

    I’d dearly love to see your comments and responses to the articles and investigations we have on the blog which also holds monthly meetings in London, because all brands of Feminism often raiss important and real issues for women, and we as Christians must (as we generally have) been responsive to those needs but in the right and healthy spirit. Indeed the more you research the history, the more you see that Christian and Catholic women in particular have always been those on the front line of serving women in need.

    Well done Cassock Loving Catholic… let’s keep making history with Love

    Here’s that url again http://www.thehildegardgroup.wordpress.com

    Sarah

    1. Darling Sarah, I’ve added the link to the blogroll lovely lady. Can you direct folk to sign there.

      Alice contacted me, I’m dying to be a part of this, it’s just a bit tricky juggling the London meeting right now, but I do aim to be coming along.

      You are a massive inspiration too xxx

  6. This is the same thing that made me and Joanna Bogle start up the Chrism Mass “demo,” first at Southwark and then Westminster. We handed out prayer cards from “faithful Catholic women” supporting the priests. Sadly, the Southwark one sopped because the Chrism Mass was moved from Maundy Thursday.

    Great idea.

    1. Brilliant thanks Mac, could you sign up there. I want to collate support in one place.

      I’ll also try to do a blog badge later.

      Plan is, briefly, to leave the opening post as a sticky where anyone can sign up and pledge support for the Pope and Catholic teaching.

      Then to have separate posts/tracts outlining Catholic position on various issues such as abortion, contraception & IVF. Lapsed or curious women are invited to state objections or difficulties in a spirit of genuine enquiry.

      Then a hopefully fruitful debate can ensue, no aggression, no ad hom, no hectoring and no judgementalism. If a woman wants to say that she’s using contraception or had an abortion, clearly no-one is going to say “hooray” or validate sin but neither will we berate, the aim being to convert hearts and minds with reason & gentleness.

      Can you imagine if we could get as many signatures as say the marriage petition? That would bust the media myth wide open.

      1. This sounds wonderful Caroline, and as long as the Truth is gently shared, welcoming everyone, but in a spirit of debate allowing enquiry and tolerance, the results could be very fruitful. Women will not find condemnation in this, only freedom as long as we are able to be gentle and helpful yet strong and knowledgeable about our stance.

  7. One – you are not ever going to get every Catholic woman to sign that. Unrest withing the Church IS definately there and not jsut based on “dodgy opinion polls” as you say.
    Secondly, I think you completely misunderstand that quote. It is not saying “Let’s ordain women” but that the Church – and society – still fails to actually take account of the problems women face in the world.

  8. What a great post and blog – I’d love to be able to sign it more than once! I really resent people telling me what my Church should and shouldn’t believe and do in relation to me! I love it just add it is, in all its wisdom and struggles. Thanks so much for this!

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