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May. 26th, 2006

Catholics all believe exactly the same thing. There are no feminist Catholics. They all accept every single ruling of the Catholic church.

This may be news to some of us who live in a 95% Catholic country and know plenty of practicing Catholics who use contraception, support gay rights, and are pro-choice, But it's news to the Guardian. And if anyone can see anything but ignorance and anti-Catholicism in paragraphs like this:
However, given that her faith is explicitly anti-abortion and anti-contraception and that its very highest level of priesthood is open only to men, is she really the best-placed person in government to speak up for women's rights?

...then I wish they'd explain it. Now, it does seem that Ruth Kelly is not a liberal Catholic - she's in Opus fucking Dei, after all. However, that doesn't meant that liberal feminist Catholics don't exist - indeed, Kelly considers herself a feminist, despite some possibly noxious personal views on sexual and reproductive issues - and Natalie Hanman's piece is seemingly based on the assumption that they don't, that all Catholics are automatically conservative and that therefore they shouldn't be allowed into any position in which human rights are at stake. That there's no need to examine Kelly's personal beliefs because, as a Catholic, she's automatically a pro-life gay-hating wingnut. I may not be a practicing Catholic, but I know that all Catholics don't believe exactly what the Pope tells them, and I can't express how offensive I find this.

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
nwhyte
May. 26th, 2006 10:24 am (UTC)
It's not just the Guardian. This is one issue where otherwise entirely sensible English people often just don't have a clue. (Another example of the same: Oliver Cromwell - good or bad?)
hfnuala
May. 26th, 2006 10:30 am (UTC)
I've actually been told that people make too much of a fuss about what he did in Ireland.

See also, the 'Glorious Revolution' when William of Orange became King bloodlessly as long as you ignore Scotland and Ireland.
nwhyte
May. 26th, 2006 10:49 am (UTC)
Perhaps you saw my debate with Ken MAcLeod last year about the latter?
hfnuala
May. 26th, 2006 11:19 am (UTC)
I remember reading it at the time. I like the way you honestly admitted the context of your views and try to do the same myself.

There's definitelty a left wing myth about UK-exceptionalism versus church benighted Europe, which can be very difficult to discuss because it's such an axiom that having a catholic monarch automatically leads to loads of other social inequalities. I also find it hard to think of the 18th century UK as so wonderful for the common man, even if I do have a weakness for Regency romances :)
daegaer
May. 26th, 2006 11:08 am (UTC)
Oh, come now. Don't you realise that the sort of people statistically more likely to have M(a)c as a prefix on their name aren't, well, really people? I mean, they're practically Johnny Foreigner.
cangetmad
May. 26th, 2006 10:29 am (UTC)
that its very highest level of priesthood is open only to men

Erm, because the Church of England, to which scads of the Cabinet including the Prime Minister belong, has female archbishops? Or bishops, even? Wait, no.

It's stupid and simplistic and casually racist (because this is also about anti-Irish and anti-those-other-over-breeding-Europeans sentiment, I think), and the Guardian does it again! Are you writing a rageous letter?
stellanova
May. 26th, 2006 11:20 am (UTC)
I know! It's not like many other religions automatically suggest radical feminism. And I think you're totally right that it's also about racism and fear of the over-breeding religious maniac Micks. And it's extraordinary that people feel free to assume that Catholicism - the biggest single Christian denomination in the world - is so totally monocultural.
hfnuala
May. 26th, 2006 10:31 am (UTC)
Clearly the Guardian is worried that the Indo was making a move on the casually anti-catholic market, so has decided to make a counter move.
daegaer
May. 26th, 2006 11:13 am (UTC)
Gah! Fucking hell. Why not just get rid of the polite language and say what they mean: Who does she think she is, with her fucking Mick surname? Sod off back to priest-riddled Éire and stop taking Anglo-Saxons' jobs.

Fuckers. I think we should all write to them and call them on their anti-Catholicism.
stellanova
May. 26th, 2006 11:15 am (UTC)
Who does she think she is, with her fucking Mick surname? Sod off back to priest-riddled Éire and stop taking Anglo-Saxons' jobs.

Exactly. It's not very thinly disguised, is it? And yes, I think some letter writing is in order.
enoneoftheabove
May. 26th, 2006 04:44 pm (UTC)
I almost yelled at the computer when I read your first sentence! I used to be Catholic, and I was always pretty liberal.
I gave it up partly over reasons of dogma, but also partly because I figure if you're going to be part of an organized religion you should follow that religion's rules, and I just couldn't, so I kind of get the whole "all real Catholics believe a, b, and c" thing. On the other hand, organized religion is a cultural thing more than a spiritual thing, and if most of your family has been Catholic since the word existed, and come from a country where you're Catholic or you're a foreigner, it's hard to identify yourself as anything else.
Yeah, I guess I still haven't really worked all this "should I be or shouldn't I be" stuff.
theodicy
May. 26th, 2006 07:25 pm (UTC)
Dear Guardian,

Allow me to express my oversimplified but curiously satisfying take on your staff: YOU ARE ALL STUPID.

Sincerely,
Theodicy
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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