Even the dogs
- Jesus to his disciples: "This woman has taught me that my message is for the Gentiles as well. If I can learn, so can you." (Jesus)
Thinking of the Canaanite woman and the dogs today ...
Jesus left that place and went away to the district of Tyre and Sidon. Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting, ‘Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon.’ But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, ‘Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us.’ He answered, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.’ But she came and knelt before him, saying, ‘Lord, help me.’ He answered, ‘It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.’ She said, ‘Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.’ Then Jesus answered her, ‘Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.’ And her daughter was healed instantly.
What brought it to mind was reading what Pope Francis had to say about women being cardinals ... "It's a sound bite and I don't know where it came from. Women in the church must be valued, not 'clericalized.' Whoever is thinking about women cardinals suffers a little bit from clericalism."
From all I've read of Francis' views of women and their place in the church, he appears to see us as something akin to high-functioning pets rather than fellow human beings with men. I've tried to be hopeful about him - God knows I'm grateful we finally have a pope who seems humble, who seems to care about economic justice, who is ecumenical, who seems less antagonistic to LGBT people, who notices there's a sex abuse problem. But his goodness in these areas doesn't excuse his sexism - it only makes it more painful.
Further reading - We are at a crossroads for women in the church, Joan Chittister