Religious Patriarchy ~ Obsolete Scaffolding
The Patriarchal Gender Binary Perpetuates Fallogocentric Liturgies, Fundamentalist Doctrines, Confusion of the Faithful, and Vocational Atrophy
Luis T. Gutiérrez
21 May 2017
Sixth Sunday of Easter
Every conceivable rationalization is being used to evade facing the nefarious consequences of religious patriarchy, but the bottom line is that all men and women share one and the same human nature, male and female; and integral human development, which necessarily includes worship and liturgical body language, must be integrally male and female. Beyond superficial sentimentality, how can the Church foster devotion to Mary, who is Mother of God, Mother of the Eucharist, and predecessor of the apostles, as long as baptized women are excluded from the church hierarchy?
There are many other legitimate questions: Why should the successors of the apostles, in today's world, image the patriarchs of the 12 tribes of Israel? Why should the Christ-Church mystery be reduced to a patriarchal marriage covenant? Why should the celebration of the Eucharist continue to be a phallogocentric ritual? How can a patriarchal church hierarchy image the feminine genius in Christ? Since the goal of integral human development is integration in Christ, and the ultimate goal of an integral ecology is integration into the cosmic Christ, how can the Church foster such goals without integrally imaging the Eternal Word of God in the flesh?
Acts 8:5-17; Psalm 66:1-20; 1 Peter 3:15-18; John 14:15-21
"If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
And I will ask the Father,
and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always,
the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept,
because it neither sees nor knows him."
Courtesy of Kirk Anderson
CHRONOLOGY & QUESTIONS
The following is a summary of religious patriarchy in salvation history and a chronology of recent Vatican actions with regard to the ordination of women:
Original sin -- Replaced man/woman communion with man/woman contension -- Genesis 3:16
Emergence of the patriarchal culture -- starting 10,000 years or so (agricultural revolution)
Patriarchal covenant of the Old Law -- starting 1000 BC or so... primitive, phallogocentric, etc.
Patriarchal system of the Roman Empire -- "virtue" comes from the Latin "vir"
Sacramental covenant of the New Law -- Council of Trent, 1563 (definition of priestly ordination as a sacrament, no mention of masculinity requirement)
Apostolic Constitution Sacramentum Ordinis -- Pius XII, 1947 (no mention of masculinity requirement for ordination)
About the rite of ordination: "If it was at one time necessary even for validity by the will and command of the Church, every one knows that the Church has the power to change and abrogate what she herself has established."
"Scandal" of women priests in the Anglican Communion -- Florence Li Tim-Oi in Hong Kong, 1944
Response 1 -- Vatican II, Lumen Gentium, "viri probati" can be ordained as deacons
"Scandal" of women priests in the Episcopal Church -- starting 1974 (approved 1976)
Response 2 -- New doctrine, Inter Insegniores, a literalist interpretation of the 12 male apostles chosen by Jesus under the Old Law to represent the patriarchs of the 12 tribes of Israel, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 1976
New biblical exegesis -- Humanae Vitae, Theology of the Body -- sacramentality of human "flesh" -- John Paul II, 1979-1984
Response 3 -- "It's a long way to Tipperary", John Paul II's visit to the USA, 1981
Response 4 -- Code of Canon Law, #1024, John Paul II, 1983
Response 5 -- Recognition of the equal dignity of men and women, but only males can be ordained -- John Paul II, Mulieres Dignitatem, 1988
"Scandal" of women bishops in the Anglican Communion -- Barbara Harris in Boston, and Penny Jamieson in New Zealand, 1989
"Scandal" of women priests in the Church of England -- approved 1992, started 1994
For more info: Ordination of women in the Anglican Communion
Response 6 -- Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1577 (same as Inter Insegniores) and #1598 (under the New Law, the male-only priesthood is a choice made by the Church, not by Christ), John Paul II, 1994
Response 7 -- Pontifical "executive order" to stop further discussion on women priests and bishops ~ Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, John Paul II, 1994
Response 8 -- Pontifical "fake news" dubiously elevating the male-only priesthood to infallible teaching ~ Responsum ad Dubium, CDF 1995
Response 9 -- "The door is closed" -- Francis, interview, 2013
Response 10 -- Women cannot be ordained to the priesthood in order to preserve the image of Christ as sacrificial bridegroom and the Church as bride, thus effectively reducing the mysteriun magnum to a charitable patriarchal covenant (it should be noted that, thankfully, the ludicrous argument about the pre-Easter 12 male apostles is not repeated) -- Francis, Evangelii Gaudium #104, 2013
Response 11 -- Detour about integral ecology -- Francis, Laudato Si', 2015
Response 12 -- John Paul II was "pointing in that direction" -- Francis, interview, 2016
Response 13 -- Another commission about women deacons -- Francis, meeting, 2016
Response 14 -- Another remark about "viri probati" -- Francis, interview, 2016
Response 15 -- Admission that patriarchy has been abusive -- Francis, Amoris Laetitia #54 & #154, 2016
Response 16 -- Integral human development dicastery -- Francis, 2017 (humans are "body-souls," not just bodies)
Quo vadis, Ecclesia?
What is the Advocate telling the Church to do, here and now?
To keep the Risen Christ bounded within an obsolete patriarchal scaffolding?
To keep suggesting that we are redeemed by the masculinity of Jesus?
By his wounds we have been healed, not by his masculinity.
To keep the patriarchal stone blocking the entrance to the tomb?
To keep reducing the celebration of the Eucharist to a fallogocentric ritual?
To keep confusing people by conflating the patriarchal binary with apostolic succession?
To keep preventing the Lord from calling baptized women to the sacramental priesthood?
Based on the opening statements of Inter Insegniores and Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, it would seem reasonable to infer that making clear who is boss takes precedence over "presiding in charity" over all the churches. We are going to Tipperary, because there is no dogmatic impediment and the signs of the times are very clear; but it must be "under me," so at the Vatican they keep inventing distractions, including inventing a *new* doctrine in 1976, adding it to the catechism in 1994 and issuing an executive order to forbid further discussion, and supporting it with fake news such as the dubius Dubium in 1995. While undoubtedly these actions have been well intentioned, seeking "the glory of God and the good of souls," it is also well known that the path to hell is paved with good intentions. Lamentably, in this case, Roma locuta, causa confusa.
Honest questions must be faced and must be answered, and sooner rather than later, if we really want to foster integral human development and a fully integral ecology. It is time for the Church to let go of her culturally-conditioned patriarchal past. It is time to recognize that the patriarchal, phallogocentric Old Law has been superseded by the sacramental, integrally human New Law, and move forward, for the glory of God and the good of souls; else, integral human development is not based on an adequate anthropology, attaining an integral ecology is practically impossible, and the mission of evangelization is compromised. Here and now, for the new evangelization in a post-patriarchal world, we need both viri probati and feminae probatae ordained to act in persona Christi. Else, the mission of the Church is compromised and fostering integral human development and an integral ecology -- integration into the Cosmic Christ -- is impeded.
The patriarchal gender binary perpetuates decadent liturgies, fundamentalist doctrines, confusion of the faithful, and vocational atrophy. There is no dogmatic impediment to reaching Tipperary!
It is time to ordain celibate women to the priesthood and the episcopate!
LINKS TO PREVIOUS MEDITATIONS
Meditations on Man and Woman, Humanity and Nature
Appeal to Pope Francis ~ Apelación al Papa Francisco
The Body is a Sacrament of the Person
Viri Probati and Feminae Probatae ~ The Homogeneous Sacramentality of the Human Body, Male and Female
Viri Probati and Feminae Probatae ~ The Homogeneous Sacramentality of Human Flesh, Male and Female
Habemus Mamam! ~ Religious Patriarchy is an Obstacle to Integral Human Development
Priestly Vocations ~ Religious Patriarchy Compromises the Mission of the Church
Liturgical Fallogocentrism ~ Religious Patriarchy Corrupts the Church as a Visible Sign of Christ's Presence in the World
Institution of the Sacramental Priesthood of the New Law, Council of Trent, 1563.
Apostolic Constitution on the Sacrament of Order, Pius XII, 1947.
Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Second Vatican Council, 1964.
EWTN Website on the Theology of the Body as they were published in L'Osservatore Romano (1979-1984).
Original Unity of Man and Woman: Catechesis on the book of Genesis, John Paul II, St Paul Editions, 1981.
Catechism of the Catholic Church, John Paul II, Liguori Publications, 1994.
The Theology of the Body: Human Love in the Divine Plan, John Paul II, Pauline Books & Media, 1997.
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, 2004.
Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body, John Paul II, translation by Michael Waldstein, Pauline Books & Media, 2006.
Encyclical Letter Laudato Si' on Care for Our Common Home, Francis, 2015.
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