Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I was going to leave this alone. I really was. I thought I'd made my peace with the Catholic church long ago. More to the point, I realized there was no place in it for me, so I left. My own atheism is obviously at the heart of this. But, even if I were a believer I couldn't in good conscience be a member of an organization where women are disqualified for leadership positions solely because they are women. You can cover that pig in as much lipstick as you got,* but that's how it is.

That said, I'm a big time believer in the first amendment. The Catholic church has a right to its own orthodoxy and I have a right not to be a part of it anymore.

But driving home today, I listened to the story of the Phoenix nun who was recently excommunicated. She was serving on the ethics boards of a Catholic hospital, where abortions are strictly verboten. A woman, 11 weeks pregnant, was brought in with pulmonary hypertension. Without an abortion, this condition carried a mortality threat of nearly 100%. That is to say, without an abortion, this 27 year old mother of four ex-utero children, would die. At 11 weeks, it's fair to assume that the fetus wasn't making it either.

The ethics panel on which the nun served, decided that the abortion was necessary and should be performed.

The nun was then excommunicated and removed from the ethics panel.

In the meantime, that priest who molested upwards of 200 deaf boys? Not excommunicated. Not even defrocked.

So, here's the thing. The problem isn't this priest or that bishop or this newish pope. The problem is institutional. I understood that as I listened to the medical ethics director of the Phoenix diocese on the radio. This joker couldn't even be bothered to explain why this nun needed to be excommunicated, but the punishment for child-rape seems to be relocation and shhhhh. Who seemed, even, to find the question a little wearisome and kind of silly. And I found myself seething over the Catholic church the same way I seethe when I hear about those asshole mullahs telling us how god doesn't want girls to go to school.

If men could get pregnant, they'd be selling take home abortion kits at the Vatican Gift Shop. The Catholic church traffics in obscene patriarchy, where women's lives are only valuable as vessels for fetal pre-Catholics. No doubt, individual churches and priests and nuns do good works. But they do them from an organization that is more committed to hating women than it is to loving god.

*I asterisked that because whenever I talk about how women are disqualified from positions of power in the Catholic church, I'm reminded of the argument I had with a friend's dad. He told me that I was wrong about all this. He's been in positions were women had power of him. Where? Grade school. Seriously. Grade school. This fellow honestly thought he was proving me Q.E. motherfucking D. wrong because a nun was authorized to give his be-penised self a B- when he was 11. One wonders, of course, what would have happened if the resident priest told her she'd better bump that up to a B+.