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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

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 :)

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