Men becoming marginalised in 'a feminised Church'

Cardinal Raymond Burke (pictured), newly appointed Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, has stirred things up again with an interview for The New Emangelization, arguing that “the radical feminism which has assaulted the Church and society since the 1960s has left men very marginalised”.

Over at Patheos, Kyle R. Cupp says that “If women pursuing their rights, fighting systematic oppression and marginalisation, and gaining influence in the Church makes men reluctant to become religiously active, that speaks poorly of these men”, who, he says, need to grow up but won’t do so if fed overly romanticised notions like the “powerful manliness of the Mass”. 

Furthermore, he adds, “pushing back against the service and influence of women in the Church, particularly by catering to immature men with unrealistic ideals of masculinity, will do women no favours”.

Simcha Fisher, also at Patheos, warns against “making the mistake of assuming that all the most notorious bad fruits of Vatican II are actually feminine.” Citing a host of issues, she says “these things are no more authentically feminine than porn is authentically masculine” and concludes that we “ought to be able to talk about what does and does not belong in the Mass without pitting men and women against each other, or reducing each other (or ourselves!) to offensive stereotypes of masculinity and femininity”.

Writing for The Catholic Herald, Madeleine Teahan points out that “the problems that Cardinal Burke identifies are an obstacle for women as much as they are for men”, and that a serious problem in his analysis is that he paints men as “passive victims of radical feminism, bad liturgy and poor catechesis”.

“It’s as if,” she says, “they are a sex who are done unto; totally enfeebled and powerless to fight back”. Observing how many Catholics are taking the initiative and deliberately seeking out decent catechetical and spiritual instruction, she says such initiative requires and builds maturity, and should be expected from both women and men.


Call for faith and reason after the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris

Paris-based Paschal-Emmanuel Gobry, having followed the ideas of the philosopher Rene Girard (pictured), used the story of the woman caught in adultery to argue that the exposing of our natural scapegoating tendencies offers our best hope for avoiding internet outrage and mob, violence turns in The Week to tragic events in his home city.

Explaining that he was raised to hate Charlie Hebdo as a magazine of France’s anticlerical left, he describes how he came to admire Charlie Hebdo’s cartoonists and comments on how many of those criticising the magazine from an Anglophone standpoint simply don’t understand French humour. 

He hails how, following last week’s attack, a sorrowful André Cardinal Vingt-Trois, archbishop of Paris, sent a message supporting Charlie Hebdo’s right to mock his faith. 

Admitting that few of the Cardinal’s predecessors would have done likewise, he celebrates how, in Vatican II, the Church recovered what he describes as its “more authentic Christian teaching, accepting religious freedom and pluralism”.

Maintaining that his faith has made him “a man of Enlightenment liberalism”, Gobry says attacks on people with whom he disagrees on almost everything are attacks on his own most cherished values.

The tragic events in Paris have sent others back to Pope Benedict’s 2006 Regensburg Address, with Tim Stanley writing in the Telegraph that, although Pope Benedict did not say so explicitly, one of his points was that “Europe cannot speak to Islam because we find ourselves talking two completely different languages – one of aggressive secularism and the other of aggressive religiosity”. 

Andrea Tornielli, writing for Vatican Insider, points out that though the Regensburg Address invites Muslims to use the language of reason, its purpose, as much as anything, was to remind Europeans of the language of faith.