Vatican officials appeared Monday before the United Nations Committee on Torture to discuss the sexual abuse of children by priests, claiming the Holy See lacks juridical power to combat the problem on an international basis.
Based on Thursday’s UN panel, we were given additional reasons to believe that the all-male hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church must not be entrusted to come up with a program that will resolve and redress sexual crimes within its flock.
In his defense of the faceless poor, the pope misses the fact that women are more likely than men to be in poverty—because of the very kind of structural inequality that his church models for the world as an image of holiness.
This week, a study says testosterone replacement therapy may increase risk of cardiac issues; the pope asks Catholics across the world to weigh in on contraception, same-sex marriage, and divorce; and San Francisco lawmakers make it very clear that there is to be no sex in massage parlors.
While Pope Francis’ comments last week on abortion, contraception, and homosexuality are an important (and long overdue) first step for the Vatican, it’s hardly time for advocates of gender, reproductive, and sexual justice to rest on their laurels.
It is simply unjust that one religion is allowed to act as a state, and use that power to block rights rather than protect them.
Pope Francis said he objects to “laboratories” where out-of-touch people in power develop solutions to problems they don’t understand. Yet it seems those efforts don’t include a willingness to try and understand actual women’s lives.
In a wide-ranging interview, Pope Francis said the Roman Catholic Church spends too much time talking about abortion, contraception, and homosexuality and suggested that these might not be the most important aspects of church doctrine.
The church fathers’ refusal to ordain women priests or to sanction the use of contraception suggests that contempt for women drives the draconian abortion doctrine they’d like to put into law across the globe.
St. Francis was a non-violent reformer who gave up inherited riches to live, work with, and advocate for the poor. With the new Pope, I am hoping that there is something in a name.