You had to have lived through the 1960’-1970’s,
as I did, to put in proper focus any woman’s assertion these days that
the Catholic Church oppresses women.

What is significant about those dates?
Those were the years when the feminists in the United States
were pushing the Equal Rights Amendment
to the United States Constitution.

The war over that proposed Amendment, which eventually failed to obtain the necessary affirmative vote of two thirds of the state legislatures and thus failed, was especially bloody and was responsible in many ways for the defection from their vows, or at least from their convents, of so many religious women.

In addition to cries of “oppression” by the feminists, there was the overuse of the term “patriarchy’ as the cause of the oppression of women in the Catholic Church.
And, of course the ‘patriarchs’ who were accused of doing the oppressing were the bishops and priests of the Church, including, or perhaps especially, the Pope.

The adoption of the Equal Rights Amendment would have opened the door to unlimited lawsuits through which feminists would have sought to dismantle the structure of many institutions, including the Catholic Church. Anything and everything would have been claimed to have been discriminatory.

The war over the Equal Rights Amendment was a prelude to the current war being waged by the LBGT activists seeking to overturn existing social structures they deem discriminatory through the use of ‘hate crime legislation.’

The defeat of the ERA was due in large part to the heroic efforts of the members of the National Council of Catholic Women at the national and the local levels.
God bless them!
May they continue to fight for the protection of family life.

The following post by Scipio brought back a flood of memories which prompted this post by me.

by Scipio
27 May 09

Recently I was listening to a radio show on Catholic Answers.
A self-styled feminist-type called in to complain
about the Catholic Church’s ‘oppression of women.’
Her arguments were standard liberal boilerplate:
the Church’s stand on abortion ‘oppresses women’;
the Church’s stand on an all-male priesthood ‘oppresses women’;
the Church’s stand on divorce ‘oppresses women’;
the Church’s stand on homosexuality ‘oppresses women’;
the Church’s stand on Chastity—you guessed it—’oppresses women.’
And so on. She spoke calmly and matter-of-factly, as if her concerns were common knowledge. She seemed to say, “What is the Church going to do about all this oppression?”

Short answer: not a thing. There is no oppression of women in the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is not in the business of oppression. The Catholic Church is in the business of liberation. It seeks to liberate souls from the oppression of sin.

And if it is oppression you want, you have two options: Allow yourself to become infected with sin; or stop paying your taxes. Either way you will get a fine lesson on the full meaning of oppression.

There are over one billion Catholics, half of whom are women—that would be 500,000,000 Catholic women give or take a stray nun or two. All of them—every single one—are in the Church voluntarily. Every nun, every lay worker, every woman in the pews on Sunday can leave the Church any time she wishes. No questions asked, no hard feelings, we wish you well, we will pray for you, we hope you return. Catholic women certainly know this, yet they remain in the Church anyway. Can it be that all those teeming millions are simply deluded slaves who in reality though unconsciously yearn for the liberating ideas of radical feminism? Rather unlikely I would say.

The Church promises much, an Eternity with Christ to be precise. How so? Well, there are rules—all voluntary of course—on how to go about obtaining this free—yes, free—gift. These rules come right from our Lord and are most clearly laid out in the Bible. The Catholic Church can no more rescind these rules than she can rescind the law of gravity. God would not allow it. And we have His word on this.

The Church has some definite things to say about men and women and the roles they are to play in a Godly society. Our feminist clearly hates these rules, but she will be sorely disappointed in her attempts to stop all of this ‘oppression’. What she really wants is for the Church to stop resembling God and to start resembling her. Her argument is not really with the Church, it is with God.

Take a look at abortion. The Catholic Church calls it murder, yet our feminist calls it ‘oppression of women.’ There have been 44,000,000 abortions in the US since Roe in 1973. Around 22,000,000 of these have been females. And nothing so oppresses a female as murdering her. The Church has been one of a few voices—the others being Islam, conservative Protestant Christianity and Orthodox Judaism— defending the rights of all those unborn girls. All those 22,000,000 slaughtered females, never to grow up to be oppressed by the Church—or for that matter, to be indoctrinated into the joys of radical feminism.

Our feminist can certainly find some branch of ‘’Christianity’ that sanctions all of her fantasies. There are many, for example, that have female ‘priests’, that sanction homosexual practices including marriage, and that could care less about pre-marital sex, birth control and abortion. So why pick on Catholicism when her ideals have already been realized? The answer will disturb, but it must be said. She—that is, the master who governs her—is not interested in those counterfeit forms of belief. He, this ‘lord of the flies’, is only interested in destroying the real McCoy—and Catholics will tell you that there is only one game in town, the Catholic Church. The Church is the ‘real deal’, the fullest expression of Christ’s Word, the purest form of Christian Faith and Doctrine—and Beelzebub knows this.

Any Catholic can receive the gifts of the Church without spending one cent. Communion, Confession, Eternal Life, bingo nights—all available without putting one thin dime into the collection plate. Now compare the promises of the Church to the promises of government. The State cannot even deliver on its promises to protect its citizens, the most basic thing it is supposed to do. Not even the USA, the most powerful state in existence, can do this. And by the way, it was the USA that allowed those 22,000,000 abortions of unborn girls. Not even potential future citizens of the State are safe from its evil.

Yet the Catholic Church can and does deliver upon her promises every time, and not even the gates of Hell can stop her. Sounds like a pretty good deal, and at a reasonable price.

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas