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Who is Pope Francis? A Reply to Joel Baden and Candida Moss

What to say by way of response to Joel Baden and Candida Moss’s latest article? One could begin in many ways, but all roads lead to the same conclusion: apart from trumpeting its sensationalist headline—“Pope Francis’ woman problem”—their argument in Sunday’s LA Times op-ed dissolves into irresponsible caricature. Here I pursue the route of examining the piece’s central claims considered sequentially.

Like their September joint journalistic adventure, Moss and Baden’s LA Times piece is poorly researched; it suggests that these two scripture scholars have missed the mark in their exegesis of Francis’s statements relevant to their complaint that he has doused their “progressive enthusiasm” over the role of women in the Church. Their concerns are many. First:

Instead of a more compassionate and understanding take on the standing of women in the church, Francis has repeatedly embraced the traditional Catholic view that a woman’s role is in the home.

Has he? Francis has often praised the necessity of the mother’s presence in the family. He has also called for more female theologians; called for a more profound theology of woman; speaks fondly of the female religious (a mother of a different sort) who first catechized him; called for the “feminine genius” to animate the life of the Church in every way; cited favorably, in Evangelii Gaudium, the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church’s section 295 (titled “Women and the right to work”), which begins: “The feminine genius is needed in all expressions in the life of society, therefore the presence of women in the workplace must also be guaranteed” (original emphasis); and delivered many other remarks to the contrary.

Baden and Moss continue:

The religious teaching of complementarity holds that men and women have very different roles in life and in marriage, with men outranking women in most areas.

Whence the latter half of this claim? Is it the fruit of a bad misreading of St. Paul’s statements about marriage? Or perhaps the authors have this instruction from the Catechism in mind:

Physical, moral, and spiritual difference and complementarity are oriented toward the goods of marriage and the flourishing of family life. The harmony of the couple and of society depends in part on the way in which the complementarity, needs, and mutual support between the sexes are lived out (2333, original emphases).

Or this passage from Familiaris Consortio:

This conjugal communion sinks its roots in the natural complementarity that exists between man and woman, and is nurtured through the personal willingness of the spouses to share their entire life-project, what they have and what they are: for this reason such communion is the fruit and the sign of a profoundly human need (19).

Francis on many occasions has affirmed similar articulations. The latter half of Baden and Moss’s claim is groundless.

Does their next claim enjoy more textual support?

Last week, in chastising the European Parliament on the subject of immigration policy, Francis provided another alarming insight into his attitudes toward women, this time in his choice of metaphor. He described Europe as a “grandmother, no longer fertile and vibrant,” but instead “elderly and haggard.” At 77 years old, presumably Francis still thinks himself relatively vibrant and useful to society. Women of his age, however, have apparently outlived their utility.

Searching Francis’s November 25 remarks to the Parliament—which concern Europe’s cultural identity and crisis thereof, not immigration—douses this fire:

Despite a larger and stronger Union, Europe seems to give the impression of being somewhat elderly and haggard, feeling less and less a protagonist in a world which frequently regards it with aloofness, mistrust and even, at times, suspicion […]

In many quarters we encounter a general impression of weariness and aging, of a Europe which is now a “grandmother”, no longer fertile and vibrant […]

Then too, stressing the importance of the family not only helps to give direction and hope to new generations, but also to many of our elderly, who are often forced to live alone and are effectively abandoned because there is no longer the warmth of a family hearth able to accompany and support them.

“We have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we,” Chesterton wrote. Francis too, like Benedict XVI before him, is diagnosing the crippling sterility—reproductive and spiritual—that has “aged” Europe and threatens to render her lifeless and hollow, “no longer fertile and vibrant”; malaised or “elderly and haggard” in spirit, a longstanding linguistic idiom in the Tradition that expresses the crushing weight of hopelessness and lifelessness of which the Pope has spoken before. Francis’s many statements about the elderly disqualify from plausibility the Baden-Moss interpretation of his alleged disregard for elderly females once they advance past childbearing capacity, thereby “outliving their utility.”

So too do the many statements that Francis delivered that same day to the Council of Europe, which further situate his invocation of the metaphor of aging and further remove it from Baden and Moss’s line of attack:

Throughout its history, Europe has always reached for the heights, aiming at new and ambitious goals, driven by an insatiable thirst for knowledge, development, progress, peace and unity. But the advance of thought, culture, and scientific discovery is entirely due to the solidity of the trunk and the depth of the roots which nourish it. Once those roots are lost, the trunk slowly withers from within and the branches – once flourishing and erect – bow to the earth and fall […]

To Europe we can put the question: “Where is your vigour?” […]

My hope is that Europe, by rediscovering the legacy of its history and the depth of its roots … will rediscover that youthfulness of spirit which has made this continent fruitful and great.

The Holy Father also spoke of the “cultural aridity” that “effectively cuts off the nourishing roots on which the tree grows,” and said of Europe that “a trunk without its roots can continue to have the appearance of life, even as it grows hollow from within and eventually dies.” At this point, should they maintain their reading, one wonders whether Baden and Moss would object to any metaphor or idiom that trades on physical phenomena (such as aging) as being insensitive or dismissive. It wouldn’t be the first time that theologians have advocated such an impracticable policy.

Baden and Moss again:

Francis has made it clear that he sees childbearing and child rearing as crucial womanly roles.

Childbearing is an inescapably and exclusively “womanly role”; child rearing, inescapably but not exclusively so, as the countless magisterial and papal articulations of the co-equal complementarity of man and wife in marriage express. The authors continue:

[Francis] seems to have trouble articulating that role [of women in the Church] in non-maternal terms, or at least in terms that are not circumscribed by the familial.

This, too, is untrue. Francis spoke beautifully just last Friday on the need for more female theologians, in an address delivered to the International Theological Commission—which under Francis now boasts more female appointments than in the past 10 years. In my translation:

In this light, among the ever more diversified composition of the Commission, I would like to note the major presence of women—now not enough … they are like strawberries on the cake, but there should be more!—a presence that becomes an invitation to reflect on the role that women can and must have in the camp of theology. In fact, “The Church acknowledges the indispensable contribution which women make to society through the sensitivity, intuition and other distinctive skill sets which they, more than men, tend to possess. I see with pleasure how many women … offer new contributions for theological reflection” (Evangelii Gaudium 103).

So, in virtue of their feminine genius, the [female] theologians can uncover, to the benefit of all, certain unexplored aspects of the unfathomable mystery of Christ, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and of knowledge” (Col 2:3). I invite you all therefore to take advantage of this specific contribution of women to the intelligence of the faith.

In any event, women, like men, are essentially familial, as daughters and sisters if not as mother and wives; and in often (not always) employing the vocation to motherhood as a theological hermeneutic for exploring the broader role of women in the Church—which is mother, is bride, as he stressed this summer on his return trip from World Youth Day—Francis neither reduces women to mothers (or their childbearing “utility”) nor exhausts their contributions to the Church.

Baden and Moss save their most scandalous claim for last:

It is too much to expect, even with Francis at the helm, that the church would decide to admit women to the clergy. But it would be no violation of doctrine to recognize women as contributing to the life of the church, as being intrinsically and equally valuable, regardless of their familial role or fertility. Francis has had many opportunities to express these sentiments, yet he hasn’t. It’s hard not to conclude that he sees procreation as the end goal — and the functional utility — of a woman’s life.

The second statement is manifestly true, hence the Church constantly teaching it as a matter of doctrine; the third statement is manifestly false, as even the most cursory investigation into our Pope’s published writings and addresses reveals. The final statement is childish in either its ignorance or calumny, being leveled against a man who impassionately said this summer that “a woman’s role in the Church must not end only as mother, as worker, limited. No! It’s something else!”

But the first statement of this frightful paragraph is the most telling. For, in a delicious twist of irony, it reveals that Baden and Moss are the ones mired in “traditional” ways of thinking about women in the Church. While they continue to confuse function and holiness, Francis has been pontificating about the need for the whole Church militant to progress out of a medieval association between miter and might. This summer he pleaded that the Catholic understanding of women in the Church should not be associated merely with the prerogatives of function, but “must be more, profoundly more! Even mystically more, with what I’ve said of the theology of woman.”

Ultimately, as the Pope remarked pithily one year ago this week, “Women in the Church must be valued, not ‘clericalised.’” Would that Baden and Moss lived up to Francis’s progressive enthusiasm for his flock: “Whoever thinks of women as cardinals suffers a bit from clericalism.”

 

Readers are invited to discuss essays in argumentative and fraternal charity, and are asked to help build up the community of thought and pursuit of truth that Ethika Politika strives to accomplish, which includes correction when necessary. The editors reserve the right to remove comments that do not meet these criteria and/or do not pertain to the subject of the essay.

  • Surely, there cannot be a single woman of Christian faith, let alone Catholic, who would pay a moment’s notice to such folly. All faithful women are long since on notice of the imperialist/ mainline’s project of divide and conquer in order to yield an atomized, but the imperialists cannot see, dead world.

  • Joseph McDonald

    (Full disclosure: I am Argentine as well as a US citizen). The picture of Francis and Madame Kirchner, Argentina’s president, sharing a mate, is especially fetching, for all of Kirchner’s wrong headed and sometimes unprincipled policies. The relationship between the Holy Father and La Presidenta (both of whom are to some greater or lesser extent, Peronistas) illustrates what Americans, including, perhaps,Their Sillinesses, Baden and Moss, have a hard time grasping: the complicated and sophisticated connections among men and women, Catholic or not, in and of power in Europe . . . and Argentina is a thoroughly European country.

    It is obvious, as Bradley observes, TS Baden and Moss have not read or understood or both what the pope has repeatedly said about the “place” of women in the Church and the family. One need only think of Maria Montessori’s enormous contributions as a Catholic educator or Dorothy Day’s engagement with social justice to understand the pope’s deep and heartfelt commitment to the tradition of female equality, rightly understood, in the Church. For heaven’s sake, Mary, she of sinless perfection accorded to no mere man, is a woman. One hopes they attended mass yesterday.

  • kag1982

    Francis has an odd fixation on the fertility of women and has used that imagery again and again. He used it again today when he spoke of the Church as a mother, not an old maid. Lots of single women have done important things throughout their lives. Jane Austen never married nor did Elizabeth I. A women’s only role shouldn’t be based on motherhood nor do her individual gifts derive from her reproductive abilities.

    As for his discussion about female theologians, he only sees value to them because they possess “feminine genius,” a certain amount of tenderness and fluffiness because they are women. Women can be in the workforce because we sprinkle mommy dust on these situations and make everyone happy. I wonder how Francis would react to a tough as nails female CEO or politician that possessed “male traits,” not the kindness and sweetness he thinks that all women possess.

    • Well, thank God you had a mother!

      True feminists are not intent to find new roles for women, they are intent to be supportive of all women, including those who are satisfied with their traditional (and yes for most women if they remain unswayed by latest imperialisms) God-given lives. As you note, lives should be naturally intended lives, not “roles” for other people to define, assess, and determine.

      • kag1982

        No. Most women don’t feel satisfied having a gazillion kids, doing dishes, and waiting on their husbands hand and foot. They want meaningful adult lives in addition to that. Ever read a Doll’s House by Ibsen? This is an ongoing condemnation about traditional roles of women. And most men want to play an active role in their children’s lives and to support their wives. There is nothing wrong with a father playing a larger role in his children’s lives and in the household and a mother having a career. There are two parents.. Motherhood and fatherhood. Both need to be involved with the family.

        • I appreciate what you are saying, and of course fathers are equally important at home. At same time I want you to know that our Holy Father would never wish to control your life choices, only that you stay with your life as the life of love from God, demonstrated by Jesus Christ and enabled for you at any time you open your heart, by the Holy Spirit. Do not fall prey to any false promises, ambitions or imperialisms, even if it purports to have your interests “as a woman” or any other generic category, in mind…. God Bless..

          • kag1982

            Our Holy Father devalues my life choices by his fixation with women being stay at home mommies and his weird language regarding women. I’m really tired of learning that I’m a fruitless old maid because I didn’t marry the first man I met and have millions of kids.

          • Well, he is reminding of what you rarely hear lately, and what the Church knows… Life passes quickly. I can tell you myself, it is much harder to find a mate, marry, and start a family later in life, I barely made it with all of my silly work ambition. In the end my business is likely not long-term profitable anyway, my technology has gotten replaced. So this is the type of loss Pope Francis does not want people to endure. In any event, the Pope does not devalue anyone by implication, by celebrating someone else.

          • kag1982

            Yes.. I know. I should just marry the first slob who appears and care for his kids despite the fact that he isn’t a good provider and I can make more money. But hey.. we should deal with traditional family positions because of Jesus!

          • Plofo

            You misunderstood what has been said, and give christianism very bad credit. Nothing is black or white; christianism doesn’t condemn women to anything. I think it’s more a subjective thought of yours.
            For example: here in my country (Argentina) feminism is very widespread, like the “kirchnerismo”, and you just can’t think different to them about aborting, women working at construction sites, etc, etc. I’m not saying women shouldn’t do that; in my opinion, they shouldn’t, but we all are allowed to think and do differently, so..
            I think that what Pope Francisco did is emphasize the place of women in life in general; women have breasts to feed, and an uterus for giving birth, and that just “is”, no sense thinking about it in any other way; but that doesn’t condemn them to being “home mommy slave machines”, it just stresses the role a woman has in life, apart from studying, working, etc, etc.
            I suggest reading less internet articles and more travel/personal investigation, no offense.

          • kag1982

            I’ve traveled extensively and investigated this situation personally but thanks for being condescending about someone you don’t know! And Francis views all positive traits of women as based on their fertility and as associated with traditional femininity. So a man cannot be loving and caring and a woman cannot be tough and decisive. We each have individual gifts to offer and I wish he would focus on those rather than trading in stereotypes.

          • John Doe

            I think you misunderstand what Pope Francis means to say about the virtue intrinsic to motherhood. Not a single statement he has made carried with it the intent to consign women to a life of domesticity, the Holy Father merely stresses the importance of devoting one’s life in part to one’s family rather than in whole to one’s personal ambitions.

          • kag1982

            There is nothing intrinsically virtuous about having a child. Kim Kardashian was pregnant because she wanted a baby fashion accessory. There are people, both rich and poor, who shouldn’t be having kids. What is virtuous is raising a child; this is the work of both mothers and fathers (or even guardians in some cases) and isn’t specifically tied to the mother.

          • Plofo

            It seems there’s no potato good enough for you. What you’re posting is an opinion, and opinions don’t justify anything. If you want to take what Francis said as what you think, do it; but then don’t come here looking for answers you don’t want to hear.

          • kag1982

            Extolling the virtues of motherhood makes it difficult for women to be seen as individuals so yes I think debunking the Church’s position on this is important. Women want their voices heard in the Church; they don’t want to be congratulated for having babies and then get told to get back into the kitchen and make sandwiches while the men discuss things.

          • Plofo

            I can see the virtues of motherhood of Marissa Mayer and at the same time admire her as an independent individual with her own work. Not being able to discriminate one fact from the other is a matter of misunderstanding or lack of it in the person who thinks (“to be seen..”).
            Your second sentence says you’re familiar with chauvinist environments, or you live/lived in one; but that’s your case, not everyone’s; so don’t generalize, because applying your situation to a global scale may solve your issues, but worsen others’.

          • kag1982

            I’m fine with women being mothers and men being fathers and think that parenthood can be part of a person’s identity. But each person is an individual and should be discussed in these terms; by discussing women only in terms of their fertility and motherhood, Pope Francis is devaluing women as individuals. Each woman has unique gifts that should be respected.

            And yes, I’m familiar with chauvinist environments; I’ve dealt with one known as the Catholic Church for my entire life. And I think that respect for women as individuals would help all women, especially women in the Global South.

          • Plofo

            It’s clear you’re assuming that Pope Francis talking about women in terms of their fertility and motherhood derives only in devaluating women as individuals, and you don’t leave some room for the fact that he’s the Pope, the head of the Catholic Church worldwide, and therefore he must talk with an agenda.
            Second paragraph. Again..don’t say Catholic (Apostolic Romanic) Churches are chauvinist, because you’re generalizing..and that’s always a mistake one wishes not to make.

          • kag1982

            I certainly think that Pope Francis is a kind hearted and pastoral priest who doesn’t mean to offend women so I’m willing to assume that this comes from his background. And if this is Pope Francis’ agenda, then it is quite offensive because it reveals an attitude toward women that suggests that they should shut up, have more babies, and get back into the kitchen.

            And the Catholic Church systematically excludes women from the conversation, so yes it is chauvinistic.

          • Plofo

            Hahaha, and if you are going to start with the speech about “women in the Global South” you just put your feet in the mud..because I am from Argentina, travelled throw all Southamerica (with the Church and friends that have nothing to do with it), study Arts and Sociology, and am very familiar with feminism around here. You should have deleted that part..

            And try not to edit your comments please. This is a serious website.

          • kag1982

            So you think that women are too uppity in Argentina and would like the Church to help get them back into the kitchen and out of your hair (and university classes presumably.)

          • Plofo

            Do not insult my hair. (jajaja)

            Whatever. The thing is that here is full of feminist groups ( I was part of one, ‘Cronopios’, related to ‘Patria Grande’), and it’s not as many say. There has been some changes (at some point history is a social construction, that’s why feminism has made its impacts), but it doesn’t cover it’s many bad points.

            This can go on and on, and we still won’t have an answer, because you’re not looking for them. But I do want to recommend you Jacques Le Goff, and Karen Straughan (look for her in YouTube). They helped me see things from another perspective.

          • Plofo

            The fact that he said that doesn’t mean he actually thinks of them as only “mothers”. I thinks it’s more a strategy than a “point of view”.

          • kag1982

            I think that this is his worldview based on spending over 50 years in an all male profession and coming from a culture where women are devalued.

          • Plofo

            You’re basing your opinion on assumptions and subjective ideas..
            And in my country women are, if not all, the majority of the administrative and teaching section in churches and catholics schools; so they can almost yell inside churches if they feel like…

          • Plofo

            With all due respect, try not coming again with some half-baked pseudo justification of your ideals: you’re insulting my years at college.

          • kag1982

            Yes.. So the Catholic Church allows women to file papers and teach school children. How nice of them to get women to do all the dirty work while the priests make all the decisions.

          • Plofo

            Decisions like..what the next weekly seminar will be about? Building more rooms (according to the WOMEN administratives’, teachers’, mothers’/fathers’, and students’ needs)? At what time will the next mass service start?

            Edit: and there are also male administratives and teachers “doing the dirty work”. Everyone does dirty work, even the priests.

          • Plofo

            What do you think, that they control the world? Are you joking? Come on, whatever I say, it just won’t be enough..
            I invite you to my city (La Plata) to show you how different things work.

          • kag1982

            I think that they have very little input into Church decisions and any input they have is based on the benevolence of the local bishop.

          • Plofo

            Stop thinking, and visit Argentina’s churches.

          • kag1982

            No, I’m talking about the following sorts of decisions. How about which programs will be given priority in the dioceses or parish budget? What the pastoral or social justice programs are allowed? What are the guidelines for such programs or partnerships? How much should be evangelization and how much should be tangible charity work? How about the process for something like annulments? What sort of religious education should children get in school? Etc.

            Another thought in a parish the priest has absolute authority. If the priest wants to ban women from participating in the liturgy as altar servers and lectors and implement a dress code (women can only wear skirts and must cover their heads in Church) and fire the “uppity” lady school principal, he has the right and the laity have the right to shut up and pay, pray, and obey.

          • Plofo

            What would you expect from a Church or catholic school? Support for the jews? Let’s help the Femens? Every institution has an agenda.
            Catholicism and feminism, the two of them have advantages and disadvantages.
            The important thing is to not think that every catholic school make women cover their heads and hit them with a rule when they do wrong; neither think that every feminist org is about girls with a chauvinist father and a hard childhood yelling for abortion.
            We can go on and on. But the important thing is to comprehend that one must not judge in advance, generalize, and automatically give a bad tone to what is being said.

          • kag1982

            How about a group of sisters wants to minister to prostitutes and partners with a secular organization that provides prostitutes with condoms at their clinics? The bishop can prohibit the sisters from engaging in this ministry. Also, what is your fixation on the Jews? Of course, the Catholic Church supports interfaith dialogue with the Jews.

            And the fact that a priest or a bishop has the absolute ability to do what I pointed out and some priests have without any recourse is the main issue. Women should be provided a seat at the table because they make up 50% of the Church not just because a bishop got up on the right side of the bed today and that right shouldn’t be taken away because another bishop has deep-seated issues relating to women.

          • Plofo

            About that, it depends on the Pope. As far as I know, there has been cases with pedophiles and prostitution organizations within the Church where Papa Francisco has intervened. It depends more on the morals of the ‘head’ of the organization, like in every institution, including feminists’.

          • kag1982

            This has nothing to do with the child sexual abuse crisis. This has to do with which organizations that Catholic offshoots like religious sisters can work with. This issue pops up quite a bit in American dioceses. I remember reading that when Burke was still in Wisconsin, he barred Catholic parishes from participating in the local hunger walk because in his paranoid mind the organization was somehow promoting population control. In such a case, who gets to decide? Should the organizations, like the religious sisters, be allowed more flexibility and to provide input?

          • Plofo

            Thought you were talking about something else. About Burke, that’s a local, specific problem. If my feminist chief raped me at work, I won’t blame and yell at every feminist group I cross on the street for the rest of my life..

          • kag1982

            It is a global Church problem because women should have a seat at the table regardless of whether the bishop is nice or a crab.

          • Plofo

            That problem doesn’t justify the case you mentioned above. If you want a woman at the table because of equality, say it, don’t hide behind an unlikeable priest.

          • kag1982

            The practical reason as to why women should have a seat at the table is because right now those rights are granted and removed based on the whims of the priest or bishops.

          • Plofo

            I don’t mind having women in the Church. But the same happened with the lgbt marriage. It seems more a whim or political propaganda than a solution.
            Religions are based on mantaining an order, and in many it resulted in men being at the top, because of the way they handle their capital and contacts, and the push they can make around the way they think. If women couldn’t and can’t, what do you want me to say? Go elsewhere and think up your own religion.

          • kag1982

            That is one of the most ignorant thing that I’ve ever heard. The Church actually prevents women from having a seat at the table by canonically placing all the power in the hands of ordained men who don’t know how to relate to women.

          • Plofo

            I congratulate you on finding one of the most ignorant things you’ve ever heard.
            It’s obvious it’s prevented by very few men at the top (chocolate for the news!).
            Now the thing is: you, feminists, and anybody else who want women to have a seat in there: think of a way to have it, because from all I’ve seen, nothing really convinces me.
            I said I wouldn’t mind women with seats in the Church. But at least, in my local Church, everything works fine. Even for women. The only ones yelling are the teens dressed up like hippies doing protests for things that will help the ‘liberation of women’. Come on..

          • Plofo

            How do you want me to be part of something ‘global’ (?) if I don’t feel part of it, because it doesn’t happen here?-“Because we need everything to be 50 an’ 50!!” But why? Women here are happy with their jobs and families and whatever. You don’t have any reason to bring up your problems elsewhere.

            Edit: maybe the 50 and 50 you don’t see in the church is elsewhere, and you don’t see it. For example, even though both men and women in my family where catholic and worked, both my grandma and great-grandma tended more to administrate (economically) things in the house, while they had a husband that loved them and took great care of them and their child.
            You know, sometimes you have to put books aside and think more personal and simply.

          • kag1982

            In La Plata? Isn’t the bishop there an ultra-conservative who tried to undermine then Cardinal Bergoglio on numerous occasions? (Basically the Argentine version of Ray Burke.)

          • Plofo

            Yes exactly! Monseñor Aguer.

          • kag1982

            And you think that he is a good bishop (which I think that Pope Francis disagrees with)? If so, then I think our idea of women’s participation in the Church is quite different.

          • Plofo

            No, you guessed bad.

            Whether the Church or a feminist group has some freak running around and being selfish (be it Aguer, Burke), you can’t blame it all on the rest of the institution. And that’s where the speech about women from Pope Francis enters: he’s not being chauvinist; he’s talking to men and women in general that are aware of how some feminist actions are changing them, specially locally. Even more: consider that he’s talking exclusively about women, not men (remarking the importance of women for men).
            Then comes the part of seats for women in the Church, and I don’t really care about that, because despite what Aguer may say, ‘franciscanos’ still rule here, or at least their mentality still lingers in La Plata. And that’s why women are ok here. It’s different from EEUU and Europe in here.

            Edit: when I talk the way I talk about the ‘feminists’ here, it’s because they aren’t that good, not even for collegues and professors of mine who are from the ‘old real left-wing’; call it ‘anti kirchneristas’, less bureaucratic.

          • kag1982

            Francis’ speech is offensive because it only infers that women can be housewives and mothers. He thinks that mothers should be valued, but this is different from celebrating women as individuals. As an unmarried 30-something woman who doesn’t want children, his rhetoric doesn’t speak to me.

          • Plofo

            Are you trolling or something?

          • kag1982

            I’m trying to have a conversation with you about why a women who isn’t baring her breasts in public and advocating late term abortions might find Pope Francis’ words concerning.

          • FatherZsBestFriend

            She’s a far-Left feminist who blames the Catholic Church for everything that has gone wrong in her life.

            She goes out of her way to attack others who disagree with her.

            My friends and I tried to extend a hand, she slapped it.

            Oy Vey !

          • CorvetteKid1969

            Who wants to relate to someone like you and other feminists ?

          • FatherZsBestFriend

            She seems to go out of her way to attack people.

            I fell sorry for her.

          • Plofo

            And who told you women make 50% of anything? Because they’re in quantity? Too much arguing in what you say. On paper looks great, but when on court, not that good. You need the degree, contacts, experiences, capital, recomendation.. and then the nomination. It’s not that easy.

          • CorvetteKid1969

            Iron my shirts !!

          • CorvetteKid1969

            Kag, keep going after our members and we’ll go after you.

    • Sam Schmitt

      So it seems that women only have value if they’re like men – they’re tough, they’re in the workforce and do “important things,” etc. What makes them distinctive from men – what makes them good mothers (whether in a family or otherwise) – must be dismissed as so much “mommy dust” and “fluffiness.”

      I have to wonder who is the real champion of women here.

      • kag1982

        Face Palm.. Why cannot guys be tender and nurturing and women be tough and take charge? I know a father who is a stay-at-home dad and freelance writer who is the gentlest and sweetest man that I know. And I know women who are tough as nails business woman. I think that children need a gentle and sweet presence and I think that both men and women need to be assertive in the workforce. Are guys who are loving and tender to be dismissed and are women who are tough leaders to be dismissed? Both qualities should be valued. The issue is suggesting that women are fluffy nurturers and men are take charge leaders. Men can be wonderful nurturers and women can be wonderful leaders.

        • CorvetteKid1969

          Kag1982 is a self-hating feminist who blames the Catholic Church for every ill in her life, including the Chicago Cubs not winning a World Series.

    • CorvetteKid1969

      I know it’s tough with your obnoxious personality, but keep trying.

  • Elisabeth

    Michael, well done. Thank you for refuting these lies.

  • lyle

    You, the writer of this trash of critism of the Pope, have the mind of a child, ignorant of history. You are ignorant of the worlds history has time and again defys the wisdom of the Catholic Church founded on not the Bible alone, but on Jesus himself that was passed down in Sacraments for ages till the Church put together a written account composed from letters written that were inspired directly often by accounts of Jesus directly. , that were composed by a group that worked in the Holy Spirit to make an spoken word come to be written..and continues to look not to fools as yourself, but to past history and realizes in your child mind fails to recognize the wisdom of past history that defys your simple minded desires… It was at one time recognized, in fact of history the greatest asset of nation is the family structure, and that a vibrant civilization has a Truth of paying a worker a fair wage of existence that one can support the family, with the family working together, that a women can stay home and raise the children, nurture them, praise and support them, and contributing to a strong civilization of moral and virtue.. A great ignorance now rules that both the Mother and the Father must work and not have a large family that we can have a fictional economics of today, of borrowing for war to spread hate and revenge.. ignorance, the mind of a child to call for and condon the war of stupid today, and to sacrifice the family structure to maintain an economy of ruin and defeat, that makes debt slaves of the people… shame on you..

  • CorvetteKid1969

    Candida Moss is a left-wing feminist. She is to theology what Marxists are to economic common-sense.