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The Same Old Song & Dance

America magazine, published by the Jesuits, has an editorial (April 25) called “Challenges for the New Pope.” America calls for an “open discussion” of issues such as these: “birth control, divorce, women priests,…homosexuality….” America claims there are “no simple answers to these issues,” but surely this is disingenuous. These issues are settled Catholic teaching; so why would America want to open them up for discussion? Obviously, because America wants the Church to modify or reverse her teachings on these issues.

You don’t call for “open discussion” of things you’re firmly committed to. Would America call for an open discussion on attacking nations without just cause, of terror bombing innocent civilians on purpose, or of the merits of Jansenism and anti-Semitism? America certainly doesn’t want an open discussion of these issues. Perish forbid!

America’s pet peeve is that priestesses are not allowed in the Church. Says America: “The pope will…face a growing population of educated Catholic women who feel alienated from the church…. Losing educated women in the 21st century will be…problematic, since it is most often women who pass on the faith to the next generation as educators and mothers…. Women’s ordination must be open for discussion.” There’s a simple answer to all that. If educated Catholic women feel alienated, let’s un-alienate them. All we need to do is teach what the Church teaches. Will America do that? Fat chance. As for losing educated Catholic women, such women have very few children, so any loss of the young would be quite minimal. There’s no point in catering to such women. And why this preferential option for “educated” women — i.e., affluent, careerist women? America is always telling us about the preferential option for the poor, and the poor are uneducated or ill-educated.

The Church should be catering to traditional Catholic women, whether educated or ill-educated; they have lots of children, and those children will fill up the parishes.

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