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.
One week into the annual UN Commission on the Status of Women meeting, it seems possible that the negotiations will once again end at an impasse.
Michelle Bachelet, the head of UN Women, has indicated that she’s willing to compromise with the world’s most conservative regimes and water down the UN’s commitment to women’s rights. She shouldn’t.