ARCC Life  

ARCC Board
President's Messages
Online News
ARCC News 2012 ARCC News 2013 ARCC News 2014 ARCC News 2015 ARCC News 2016 ARCC News 2017
25 January 2017 Changing the Conversation (170509) Celebrating More Than 50 Years (170509) Conscience-Based Moral Judgments (170509) Dignitaries Humanae (170509) False Views on Jesus' Views on Divorce (170509) Mission and Human Rights (170509) Jesus and the Ordination of Women (170516) 29 May 2017 How much of Church Doctrine do we really believe? (170602) Trump Pulls Out of Paris Agreement (170602) 05 June 2017 Thoughts on Religious Vocations: An Open Letter to Pope Francis (170605) I can't get the institutional church out of my system (170618) 25 June 2017 Just War? Enough Already (170703) What would Teilhard say? Evolve or be annihilated (170710) Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (170719) Religion's Wax Nose (170726) American Civil Religion (170731) A Heresy of the Times (170807) Cardinal Calls for Global Church (170818) The Price of Being a Prophet (170821) The Implosion of the Roman Catholic Church (170902) Reflection on Racism in America (170913) Who am I? Where am I going? (170918) One Priest's Hopes for the Mass Translation (170925) The Edge of the Inside (171002) Selective Christianity (171016) Theology at the Cutting Edge: Healing the Political and Social Divide in America (171016) Resisting Islamophobia Is The Catholic Thing To Do. (171023) It Started With a Letter to the Archbishop (171030) Why Do We Still Tolerate Mass Stipends? (171106) Their Cross to Bear: Catholic Women Told to Forgive (171113) Papal loyalists become dissidents (171120) Echoes of Theocracy (171127) Will Pope Francis Remove the 'Warning'? (171204) Gumbleton on Nuclear Deterrence (171211) The Scandal of the 2011 Missal (171218)
ARCC News 2018
Prophets of a Future Not Our Own (20180101) 2018: Time to Become Ultra-Human? (20180118) Time for a Bonfire of Their Vanities? (20180122) Until All Are Welcome My House, My Rules: 3 Women "Rejected" (20180208) Policing the Communion Line (20180205) A Time to Judge (20180212) Mary McAleese Being Banned is Embarrassing (20180219) Correct, Don't Complicate Excommunication (20180226) Catholic Tradition, Labour, and Organizing Workers (20180305) Misogyny in the Vatican (20180312) The Unofficial Saint of the Internet (20180318) Francis Invites Change, But We Are the Change (20180325) Rediscovering the Role of Mary Magdalene as Apostle of the Apostles (20180401) Synodality and its Perils (20180409) Get rid of the clergy - But keep Holy Orders (20180415) Renewing the Program of Priestly Formation (20180429) Male and Female, in the image and likeness of God (20180506) Wedding Bans: Why Do Parishes Turn Young Couples Away? (20180513) Christian Humanism, the Path to the Divine (20180520) Mary - Prophet and Priest (20180527) A Wake-Up Call to Liberal Theologians (20160603) Canonization is right for Oscar Romero (20180610) Could the Church take a risk? (20180618) AJC expresses "Profound Concern" over beatification (20180624) The Bible's #MeToo Problem (20180701) 'Humanae Vitae' and the census fidelium (20180715) The Catholic Church wasn't always so against contraception (20180722) 50 years later, scientist's findings on birth control... (20180729) #MeToo, Your Excellency The Catholic Church needs a way to deal with bad bishops (20180812) The Catholic Church is tempted by power and obsessed with sex (20180819) Real change against abuse... (20180826) Pope Francis is facing a crisis of justice (20180829) Catholics Are Facing a Very Real Emergency (20180902) Truth and its violent consequences (20180909) The Third Millennial Catholic Reformation (20180917) Reality in an Historical-Critical Perspective (20180923) Both Prudential & Indisputable (20180930) Catholic Crossroads and Catholic Conflict (20181007) Schism or Evolution? (20181015) Theology: Stones or Bread? (20181028) White Christian America (20181102) Stone Throwing. Or Not. (20181104) Young People, Hope for the Church(es) (20181112) Who Represents the Laity? (20181118) Open Letter to the US Catholic Bishops: It's Over (20181125) From Collegiality to Synodality (20181203) The Birth of the Messiah (20181217) A Non-traditional Blessing for 2019 (20181231)
ARCC News 2019
Epiphany 2019 (20190107) Celibacy isn't the cause of the church sex-abuse crisis; the priesthood is (20190114) How to save Western civilization - again (20190121) Catholic curricula and the invisibility of Native Americans (20190128) Ministry and Power (20190204) A Document on Human Fraternity Our History The Reflection on the Wrath of God (20190224) Read Just One Speech (20190304) Why the Priesthood Needs Women (20190311) "Honest Rituals" argues for sacrament update (20190325) Stop Calling Me "Father" (20190401) The Sexual Abuse Crisis is not a Crisis (20190408) Palm Sunday 2019 (20190414) What Women Want (20190428) Targeting Pope Francis (20190513) Power Sharing Seen As Essential... (20190520) Pde Francis Dithering... (20190527) When the Sky Didn't Fall... (20190603) The Ancient Diaconate of Women (20190609) Bishop Bransfield and the Misuse of Funds (20190616) When it comes to Church reform... (20190624) We asked Catholic Church women if they... (20190630) Women in Christianity - Free to share their wounds (20190707) Can laypeople lead a parish? (20190714) Civility (2190721) Mary the Magdalen (20190729) Faithful America (20190804) Sacralizing Politics (20190811) Tackle Clericalism First (20190818) Failure Guaranteed (20190826) Divorce, Annulment & Communion (20190901) Human Nature & Human Sexuality (20190909) Climate Change Most Important Life Issue (20190915) Being An Open-Minded Believer (20190923) The Laity Hold the Key (20190929) Be Prophetic (20191013) Are You Satisfied With Priestly Ministry? (20191020) Racism - A Challenge to the Church (20191101) Irish Priests Call for... (20191104) McAleese Calls on Pope... (20191111) Top 5 Takeaways from the Amazon Synod (20191111) Thomas Doyle traces the disintegration... (20191202) We've been bishops in 3 Death Penalty states... (20191209) Spirituality (20191223)
Changing Power Relationships
ARCC Courses


Misogyny in the Vatican (20180312)

Misogyny in the Vatican


Contemporary Catholic Belief and Action


Misogyny in the Vatican
Fr Kevin Hegarty

Was St Brigid a bishop? Noel Kissane, in his recent book on the saint, addresses the question. In the pantheon of celtic saints she shares top billing with St Patrick and St Colmcille. In early accounts of her life she is reported to have attended bishops meetings and to have had a pastoral role similar to them. Some illustrators depict her holding what seems to be a bishop's crozier.
Eventually Kissane concludes that it was unlikely she was ordained to the episcopacy. One can almost hear the sigh of relief from those who oppose female ordination in the Catholic Church. He does, however, state the view of Pádraig Ó Riain, the modern authority on early Irish saints, that the rank of abbess which she held was equivalent or superior to that of a bishop.
Whether or not Brigid was a bishop, it is clear that she found a warmer welcome in the leadership of the Irish Church than Mary McAleese found recently in the Vatican. Our former president was invited to be a panel member at the 'Voices of Faith' conference due to be held on Thursday next in the Vatican.
The conference on women's rights has taken place for the last four years on International Women's Day. In accordance with protocol, the organisers submitted the list of speakers to the Vatican for approval.
Mrs McAleese was one of three speakers from whom approval was withheld. She, who as President of the Republic of Ireland was welcomed to the Vatican by the Pope was now deemed unworthy of a seat in a meeting hall there.
It is reported that Dublin-born Cardinal Kevin Farrell, head of the Vatican's department of 'Laity, Family and Life', objected to her presence. He is the main organiser of the 'World Meeting of Families' to be held in Dublin next August. Those expecting a free and honest exchange of views at this event have been warned.
Mrs McAleese is a committed Catholic with liberal views. Two years ago she was a prominent supporter of the referendum to allow same sex marriage. Like many of us she is appalled by the Vatican's description of homosexuality as disordered.  She is in favour of the ordination of women to the Catholic priesthood. In 1994 she joined Basic, an organisation that campaigns for female ordination and spoke at its inaugural conference.
It is not the first time that she has attracted the ire of senior Catholic clergymen. Shortly after becoming Irish President, she met Cardinal Law of Boston on a visit to the city. He was then a formidable figure whose arrogance and petulance rivalled that of Donald Trump. In front of government ministers he castigated her for her 'attitude to women in the church' and deemed her 'a very poor Catholic President'.
In 1998 the then Archbishop of Dublin, Desmond Connell criticised her receiving the Eucharist at a Church of Ireland service in St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin. I first got to know Mrs McAleese when I was editor of 'Intercom' in the 1990s. I invited her to write for the magazine. She wrote a series of columns that were well informed, passionate and thought-provoking on the evils of sectarianism, female ordination and the need for interdenominational education to help reconciliation in Northern Ireland. Many clerics dismissed here contributions as 'angry'. Sometimes anger is necessary as Jesus found when he dumped the traders out of the temple.
This recent controversy highlights once again the density of patriarchy in the institutional Catholic Church. It is the last bastion of exclusive male domination in the western world.  Misogyny in the Vatican is draped in theological abstractions especially in regard to female ordination. Such patriarchy is as insidious and destructive as woodworm in furniture.


Fr. Kevin Hegerty is a priest in County Mayo, Ireland.



Quick Links... 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.