Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Müller on women

An interview with Cardinal Müller, who I find quite disturbing in his past stated beliefs about love and marriage. The interview begins like this ...

Naturally extroverted, he [Müller] half-jokingly begged that we not talk about women, but rather about Our Lady. Yet he still managed to steer the conversation back to our original topic, chatting about his relationship with women, and especially about the extraordinary affection he bore his mother.

Oh my :( It goes on to list his favorite female writers, none of whom are contemporary, and among them are Hildegard of Bingen and Edith Stein, both champions of extreme complementarianism. And then ...

Müller also found in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith a number of women collaborators whose roles are anything but secondary. He does not hide his esteem for his secretary, Clothilde Mason, and other women colleagues, almost all of whom are married with families. He also says that in appointing women theologians to work at the Congregation, difficulties also arise, because, if they have a family, these women are not prepared to move to Rome. In addition, he alluded that the new International Theological Commission soon to be appointed by the Pope will include a larger number of women than the outgoing Commission: perhaps an increase from two to five or six.

Just to clarify, Pope Francis *told him* to add more women, and even with five or six women instead of just two, we're talking about a group of thirty theologians ... that's like one-sixth being women (if it indeed comes to pass).

With regard to female presence in the life of the Church — which he qualifies as quite different from male presence, even with regard to theological research — the Cardinal recalls a piece Bergoglio wrote on the Jesuits, in which the future Pope stressed that the difference between Catholics and Calvinists lies precisely in the ability of Catholics to take into consideration emotions too — and not solely the intellect — on the path that leads to God.

This is a striking reflection, especially today when Protestant denominations have opened the door for women to serve in ministerial roles, and therefore seem more “feminist” than the Catholic Church. In this respect, Müller emphasized that the presence of women should be recognized in its uniqueness and not as a mere imitation of the male role. For this reason he insists on the need to recall that the Church must primarily be a mother and not an institution; for an institution cannot be loved but a mother can. Moreover the family, the domestic church, is a primary model for the Church and women play a crucial role in it, albeit distinct from the male role.

Wow, he managed to insult both Protestants and women in one fell swoop. "Women as mothers" again .... where's Sigmund Freud when you need him?

The last question was the most pressing. It concerned the conflictual sequence of events concerning American sisters in the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. The Cardinal’s dealings with them have been complex as of late.

Complex? Yeah, that's how most would describe it, I'm sure ;) I won't bother to quote what he said about the nuns ... we all know it by heart now.

It's so depressing that this guy is head of the CDF but not surprising - I think his views of women and family life fit quite well with the pope's, more's the pity.


Anonymous Richard said...

I shall name my next cat Clothilde

4:37 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

You've got to like Clothilde :)

5:34 PM  

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