Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Zee on Francis on Women

My friend, the good Fr Zeee has a new sub-heading to his blog:: reading Francis through Benedict, I hope he keeps it up. He has this very insightful post up on the Pope's catechesis, which took place today on the women witnesses to the resurection. I reproduce the relevant section here the heavy type is Fr Z's and the red his "fisking" (sorry it looks a bit of a mess). I like Father's repeat mention of angels as the first witnesses, the Incarnation and resurrection are first witnessed by Heaven.
Another element. In the professions of faith of the New Testament, only men are remembered as witnesses of the Resurrection, the Apostles, but not the women. This is because, according to the Jewish Law of the time, women and children were not considered reliable, credible witnesses[See what he is doing?  See?!?] In the Gospels, however[!]women have a primary, fundamental role[There it is!  The GOSPEL account is NOT culturally-conditioned, locked into a woman-repressing mentality.  The Gospel, the Christian message, breaks with that.] Here we can see an argument in favor of thehistoricity of the Resurrection: if it were a invented, in the context of that time it would not have been linked to the testimony of women. Instead, the evangelists simply narrate what happened: the women were the first witnesses.[Actually, the angels were the first... but let that pass.] This tells us that God does not choose according to human criteria: the first witnesses of the birth of Jesus are the shepherds,[again, the first were really angels... but let that pass...] simple and humble people, the first witnesses of the Resurrection are women. This is beautiful, [this is fantastic!! Now wait for it...] and this is the mission of women, of mothers and women[MOTHERS!] to give witness to their children and grandchildren that Christ is Risen! Mothers go forward with this witness![MOTHERS!] What matters to God is our heart, if we are open to Him, if we are like trusting children. But this also leads us to reflect on how in the Church and in the journey of faith, women have had and still have a special role in opening doors to the Lord, in following him and communicating his face, because the eyes of faith always need the simple and profound look of love[By being MOTHERS.  He isn't talking about Church ministry.  Far from suggesting anything about leadership positions in ecclesiastical structures, Francis is talking about having babies and being strong Catholics.] The Apostles and disciples find it harder to believe in the Risen Christ, not the women however! Peter runs to the tomb, but stops before the empty tomb; Thomas has to touch the wounds of the body of Jesus with his hands. In our journey of faith it is important to know and feel that God loves us, do not be afraid to love: faith is professed with the mouth and heart, with the word and love.
I think that one of the hopes of some people, that the new Pope will condemn heresy and sin, it is unlikely, what he will is simply to present orthodox Christianity as the better way, as did Benedict. This, and his allegorical style of preaching is very much in the style of his predecessor. The difference is that at the moment the secular media have not been attacking him from the very beginning


John Hails said...

Reading Francis through Benedict is a strange notion in my opinion. I understand that some people are really missing Benedict, but surely we should read Francis as Francis, formed as a Jesuit who is now pope and his own person. (I really believe the Jesuit part is important. When one realises the formation Jesuits go through prior to ordination and following ordination you can't take the Jesuit out of him)

Francis will bring his own character to to the papacy, he is a different type of theologian and has more pastoral experience than Benedict. This is neither positive nor negative. He is different and will give the church something new, what is is we will have to wait!
John Hails

Supertradmum said...

As a woman, I need protection in the world which is getting more and more hostile to women. Many of us women have been discussing this of late-abusive husbands, predators males making comments on the street or acting rudely even towards modest, traditional women, a lack of protectors for many women who want good Catholic husbands but are surrounded by men who do not want to grow up. I wish a pope would address these problems. Even trad nuns have recognized this problem in the way they are now regarded in some places.

One trad priest did so years ago at a TLM I attended, but no many priests recognize how vulnerable we ladies are. There is a reason why the Catholic culture began to honor and protect this has passed. I hope it is addressed at some point.

DrAndroSF said...

When you do copy and paste in Blogger, right click and it will give you the option of Paste as Plain Text. If you do that, all the background color will be left out.

blondpidge said...

I've picked up on this also, but think we do have a challenge in terms of apologetics, to present this in a positive way to women who are not physical mothers.

We need to be careful of fetishising physical motherhood, whilst at the same time promoting it as a good.

It's something I'm probably very guilty of, because becoming a physical mother was a total transformation that brought so many graces. Motherhood brings about so many renewed vocations and spiritual blessings, it brings women back to God, the Catholic Church, it can be no surprise that its one of the reason why the devil loves and promotes the culture of death.

viterbo said...

RE: what supertradmum said: that's it. to be a young woman growing up in a world where bars give lapdancing lessons to teenagers and can exist legally on any highstreet in the country...A good friend once owned a bar - she's a woman of the world, has 'lived' by the world's standards, but was saddened by the default whoredom by which young women are expected to live which she witnessed in her club night after night. How does one raise up strong Catholics? as Fr Z said "having babies and being strong Catholics" does one do this? Amos 8: Behold the days come, saith the Lord, and I will send forth a famine into the land: not a famine of bread, nor a thirst of water, but of hearing the word of the Lord. And they shall move from sea to sea, and from the north to the east: they shall go about seeking the word of the Lord, and shall not find it. In that day the fair virgins, and the young men shall faint for thirst.

when the Church once again becomes preoccupied with that which ONLY the Church can do, then we'll have a Church capable of nourishing men and women who can 'raise up strong Catholics'.

Crux Fidelis said...

As you say, the media have not attacked Francis from the outset as they did with his predecessor. But it will come.

Fr Ray Blake said...

I suspect that a great deal more emphasis will be placed on identity and meaning through relationships from the Pope.

As the world grows poorer this might be a more welcome message.

GOR said...

Supertradmum: I hear you and it angers me when I hear young men loudly swearing and using vulgar language when women are present – as in restaurants where the wait staff is female and are treated as if they were not there. It shows little respect and would never have happened years ago.

That said, I blame radical feminism for contributing much to this lack of respect. When women seek to be ‘one of the boys’ in their language and manner it lowers the respect men would have for them. When you get indignant or disparaging looks after holding a door or giving up your seat on public transportation for someone, you hesitate before doing it again.

But it didn’t start yesterday. Many years ago on a crowded bus in Rome I got up to give my seat to a nun who had just boarded. She gave me a look and promptly fled to the front of the bus! I was taken aback – but this was the 60s and things were already changing then.

John Fisher said...

I saw over at rorate caeli the Pope met with Marini today../getting worried about the liturgy!

Amfortas said...

I'm very happy to read Benedict's wonderful books - full of wisdom - without pondering their meaning in relation to Pope Francis. I know this is not what Fr Z means. We must just pray that Pope Francis is just what the Church needs just now.

gemoftheocean said...

Don't stop by "Fr. Z" very much. I don't think a man who refers to his female blog readers as "readerettes" really respects them very much.

I give him an occasional look in, but he doesn't do my blood pressure much good. Despite his sometimes lip service, I've seen him let male readers on his blog insult women and he doesn't call them on it.

One reader, for instance said a particular girl serving mass walked like "T ReX" and that giggles were made. No comment from Fr. Z. A male server would not have been allowed to be mocked like that without something being said about "charity" and "they should be ashamed of themselves."

Kristin LA said...

This readerette likes Fr. Z's blog very much.
Here in the bucolic, conservative region of south central Pennsylvania, men of all ages still step lively to open a door for a woman. I always say thank you with a cheerful smile.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Gem I think you have made your point. If you want to carry on, do it on his site direcrtly, not behind his back here.

Anonymous said...

I give him an occasional look in, but he doesn't do my blood pressure much good. Despite his sometimes lip service, I've seen him let male readers on his blog insult women and he doesn't call them on it.

Of the many priest blogs out there, Fr. Z's is easily the most heavily trafficked. It is very likely that he isn't going to catch everything unless it is gravely egregious and persistent. Now, if one chooses not to go there because the moderation is not tight enough, so be it. But to characterize Fr. Z. as at best indifferent to misogyny is rash judgement in my opinion.

Patricius said...

So "Benedict has spoken through Francis...!"