Sunday, November 19, 2006

I totally see his point

This blog showed up in my Google Blog Alerts ... Flos Carmeli: Catholic Manicheeism. To use St. Paul's famous line from Ephesians (4:15), "Speak the truth in love," he's concerned about those who're so "into" the "truth" of things, that they forget the "love" part of the equation. The other end, of course, is "all compassion" so that the "truth" gets eclipsed ... In my extreme, it tends to be either one or the other. It's rare to find places that are really committed to the tough work of figuring out the balance between the two. Maybe that's really unfair. Still, worth reading!
One of the difficulties I have most often with the Catholic Church and with the people in it is not a lack of intellect, but a focus so intense on the intellect that one would think that people are mere disembodied intellects wandering about without either sense or emotions. This comes up most often in the question of response to certain church teachings. I was reading a really fascinating book by John Allen, and he happened to mention Sister Joan Chittister--a person for whom I cannot summon up a lot of sympathy or empathy in many ways. However, the attitude I hear most Catholics take with regard to her central issue is not one of compassion for the hurt and sense of disenfranchisement it entails, but rather a "It's the law, get over it."

I'll be first in the line to enthusiastically trumpet that I believe it to be an infallible teaching of the Church that women cannot be ordained. I'll also be among the first to admit that I'm not certain I follow the reasoning entirely. My reasoning is drawn from Camille Paglia, of all places. Her observation that the female "cultus" is nearly always "transgressive" is argument enough for me. In facing the eternal, I don't particularly need transgression. However, that said, what does one do about Sr. Joan and thousands or hundred of thousands of women who feel this sense of disenfranchisement and a sense of being second class citizens?

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