Women leaders in the church

Regarding Peter McDonough’s Aug. 4/5 article, “The real mission for Pope Francis“: While McDonough seems to want a politically correct Catholic Church, I prefer a church that is doctrinally, morally and Biblically correct. Reforms are fine provided that they never breach that wall.

McDonough says “Catholicism … rests on centuries of sexism,” a curious accusation against a Church that has canonized at least as many women as men, that regards a woman (the Blessed Virgin Mary) as its greatest saint and that has women in many boots-on- the-ground leadership roles.

The Catholic Church runs a lot of things worldwide — schools, hospitals, homeless shelters, social service agencies, service providers for unwed pregnant women. Many are headed up by women. From catechists to school principals, from parish council presidents to diocesan chancellors, women serve a variety of leadership roles. For McDonough to extrapolate from Catholicism’s all-male clergy that the church “rests on sexism” is an exercise in shallow thinking unbecoming a serious scholar. If the Catholic Church were as sexist as McDonough says, no woman in her right mind would be part of it. As it is, there are hundreds of millions!

McDonough claims there’s an “inquisition” of “uppity American nuns.” If they were merely uppity, there would be no problem. As it is, some nuns in the West openly defy certain core teachings of the church that they vowed their lives to serve — on abortion, homosexuality, birth control, you name it.

I’ve even heard of some nuns in U.S. religion classes teaching the kids that Jesus never really rose from the dead! These “uppity” dissidents comprise a small percentage of Catholic nuns, but because their views fit snugly into a secular narrative, they’re often portrayed as mainstream. Thankfully they’re really not.

jennifer kim
obihiro, hokkaido

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

  • kamakiri

    you can say what you want but in catholicism the women always have the serving role. in that perspective it is sexist if nothing else