by Bil Aulenbach

Neutered Old Men

A friend gave me What Pope Francis Really Said (Servant Press, 2016). Interesting book! Now, mind you, I like Pope Francis. He’s a breath of fresh air and an inspiration, especially compared to the last two popes who were trying to move the church back to the fourteenth century.

However, for me, the jury is still out on whether he’s a game-changing pope or not. Up to now, he has made some very nice little changes—but until Pope Francis demands that women and the LGBTQUI community become full-fledged members of the Roman Catholic (RC) Church with all the rights and privileges of all other laity and clergy, I’m holding back on my endorsement—if anyone cares.

I suspect all of you understand that neutered old men refers to all the leaders who run the RC Church and select the pope. I do know that they are not neutered physically, but their sexual feelings have been suppressed psychologically and emotionally. If the Vatican hasn’t noticed, the policy of clerical celibacy is not working—just think of the billions the church has paid in court settlements because priests sexually abused parishioners!

How long it will take Rome to stop requiring celibacy of priests and nuns? Change that rule and married men will be waiting in line to be ordained. At the same time, if these neutered old men would grant full rights to women to be ordained, you’d see a longer waiting line. I’ll bet if Rome opened ordination to the gay community, not only would that line be longer but a rather sizeable group of ordained clergy could finally come out of the closet and be who they really are.

If ordination were opened to women, a few other issues might be dealt with quickly, such as birth control. It has to drive population control advocates half crazy to have the pope fly to a third world country and tell the women to have more children. I also think women would put birth control policy on the list of badly needed corrections. Women know that they are much more than baby-making machines. Does the RC Church?

This brings up abortion. My guess is that there are very few people in the world who advocate for abortion—anytime, anyplace, for any reason. My issue here is not abortion but this group of neutered old men deciding for women. Abortion needs to be a woman’s choice. I have no problem with these old guys providing opportunities for a woman to make an educated decision; however, the final decision is a woman’s right—not Rome’s.

Good theology demands that every human being needs to be responsible for him/herself. There is no good theology that says all of life’s decisions are to be made by a male-dominated hierarchy that knows almost nothing about women and their needs.

Let’s be honest. Abortion and birth control are not the real issues here. It’s really about rich versus poor. The rich know they can buy birth control and abortions, if desired. The poor can only use coat hangers and prayer. Unfortunately, prayer usually produces another baby.

My question for this week: Why do women attend and become involved in a church that suppresses them and doesn’t allow them to have the same rights and privileges as men?

Image courtesy of Aletela Image Department. CC by-sa 2.0

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