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Is it any of our business?

Is it any of our business?

Rabbi Arthur Waskow, writing for the Shalom Center, reflects on whether it is appropriate for Jewish authorities to call Pope Francis and the Roman Catholic Church out over the inequality of women in the church.

Should rabbis who strongly support the Pope’s strong stand on the climate crisis be silent about his failure to address the question of women in a similarly deep and serious way?

Or is it a matter for the church alone?

Waskow has a few reasons for thinking that his first reaction – that this is a matter of justice for all people – was well-founded, and he finds that he has a particular responsibility as a rabbi to address the matter.

Th[e] male-chauvinist theology of the Church has its roots in misinterpretation of Torah 2,000 years ago among some in the emerging rabbinic community that included Jesus himself and some of his early followers, even before “Christianity” existed.

To the extent that ancient rabbinic misinterpretation contributed to that result, rabbinic thought and action in our own day is obligated to correct the mistake — among Jews and among Christians.

From Genesis to the Song of Songs and the commandments of the Torah, Waskow argues that he and his fellow rabbis have no choice but to offer their criticism. Read the whole story here.

What do you think: is it any of our business?

Picture: The Shalom Center logo


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Bill Ghrist

Rabbi Waskow makes the point in the article that the Roman Catholic Church has been “putting a great deal of money and political effort into subordinating women and gay men in American society way beyond the borders of the Church.”

So yes, as long as they are trying to impose their ideas about the roles of women and gays on the rest of us through our legal system, it IS our business.

JC Fisher

^This. In December 2004, I demonstrated outside the Detroit (RC) Archdiocesan headquarters, not for the homophobia the RCC practiced (practices) INSIDE their church, but for the $1 million they donated to ban same-sex marriage OUTSIDE their church (that is, banning civil marriage in the State of Michigan).

If an authoritarian religious group wants to keep their coercion within their group (see re the Amish, the Hasidim, a few others), then for the most part, that’s their business (violent crimes excepted!). But, as most do, if they turn their authoritarianism outward, then it IS my business.

Geoff McLarney

My own parish includes many weekly and daily worshippers who remain, canonically, Roman Catholics not in good standing with their bishops by reason of their family situation. I do not believe they yield their voice because of the jurisdictional voices they have found themselves obliged to make.

Nancy Platt

I think you can offer criticism. However changing the role of women by permitting ordination in the Roman Catholic Church will require a canonical change and I suspect none of the Curia is rushing to do that. Women who feel called to ordination can change denominations and in fact some come to the Episcopal Church for just that reason.. Nevertheless keep speaking the truth.

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