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calling all cultural catholics

There's an interesting article about world-wide Catholicism in today's Grauniad that for once managed to write about Catholics without implying that they're a homogenous group who all hate abortion and contraception and gay rights. Nevertheless, it managed to be annoying several times. It made sweeping statements like "Like every nun, she is a fervent fan of the Pope." Really? Every nun? Including the radical feminist ones? Including the liberation theologians? I doubt it. And then there was this:
One striking aspect of the paedophilia crisis is that it has affected what might be called the Anglo-Saxon world - the US, the UK, Ireland and Australia - far more than the church elsewhere.

It might also, with more accuracy and less weirdo imperalism, be called the "English-speaking" world, you fool, as the last time I checked, I wasn't Anglo-Saxon, nor were the vast majority of American (and possibly Australian) Catholics.

ETA: This is probably the best article I've read so far on what the late Pope and his cohorts' stance on certain moral issues has done to the faith of liberal Catholics. And this article (byy Frances Kissling of Catholics for a Free Choice) is an excellent comparison of JP with the other reforming Pope of the last century:
John XXIII opened the church to the 20th century, and John Paul II breezed through the door into the larger world. But John XXIII opened the church to internal democracy and left the church itself a better place; John Paul II, for all the bridges he built to the Jewish community, Islam and the poor, blew up the bridges that spanned the divide between clergy and laity, men and women, right and left, gay and straight. This is a great tragedy. The most important task of the next pope will be to rebuild those bridges....

...Women in the North were told that we were exaggerated or extreme feminists and that our desire for autonomy -- bodily, spiritual and intellectual -- was not shared by the good women of the South. First-world Catholic women who believed in radical equality between men and women in the church were demeaned and caricatured by other women whom he appointed to Vatican commissions.


Apr. 5th, 2005 11:58 am (UTC)
I also find it odd that 'every nun' is a fan of the pope. Em, not including several that I've met. It's also a sexist thing to say, no? Priests / monsignors / bishops / cardinals etc. are portrayed in the article as having a wide range of opinions - diversity in the church being one of the main points the article is making - but women, you know, they have but one opinion between them. Could the Guardian not have found a Catholic to write the article, or at least someone who had actually met more than one nun in their life?

I suppose partly I'm annoyed because I'm beginning to find that I have a lingering affection for the Catholic church, despite the fact that I disagree with much of what it laughingly calls its 'moral teachings', and have never really decided whether god exists, or worried much about it either way. Things I like about Catholicism include the great nuns I have met in Africa (strong, fearless ladies, mostly with a good sense of humour), the comforting power of Catholic funerals, and the fantastic trappings of Catholicism such as hymns along the line of 'Hail Glorious St. Patrick', lines like 'Do you reject Satan and all his works and all his empty promises?', Babbies of Prague and Discount Catholic Online. And what other religion has gone to the trouble of composing a list of 'four things that cry out to heaven for vengeance'? But I still don't care much about the pope, one way or another, except insofar as his teachings have socio-economic consequences in the world. He's irrelevant to most of the proper Catholics (as distinct from cultural Catholics) that I know.


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