I Love the Pope too, but…

By Grace O’Malley. 

In her post “Finally Understanding ‘Alleluia’” Theia echoed the sentiments of many American Catholics since the election of Pope Francis. “Liberal Catholics,” she wrote, “our time has come.”

imgres

And yes, she is right. The fact that we have a Pope even noting social inequality is nothing short of revolutionary. It is a breath of fresh air for liberal Catholics who have disassociated their faith from the Church as institution. That he is addressing climate change, poverty, and mass incarceration is fantastic. The fact that he is incredibly humble is awesome.

But sometimes I have trouble jumping on the Pope-adoring bandwagon. I think that if I could look at him simply as an international figurehead who has moral authority, or maybe if he were Lutheran or Jewish or Buddhist or Muslim, I’d be on board in an instant. How can you not?

Yes, of course we need more people to be advocates for the poor! Yes, we need to do something about climate change! Yes, we need to talk about the prison system! Yes, we need more people urging us to take action on social justice issues! Yes, Yes, Yes.

Continue reading

Finally understanding “Alleluia”

By Theia. 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/24/us/politics/pope-francis-obama-white-house.html

It has been a busy week for me, so I haven’t fully unpacked my thoughts on the Pope’s visit to DC and all of his political commentary, but the overall feeling is joy*. My political views and spiritual views are finally accepted, that these two identities of mine – liberal and Catholic – are no longer repelling magnets but magnets that are attracted to each other. For first time in my life I don’t have to pray to God with doubt, hesitation, or reservations that God won’t love my liberal half. But now I can pray to God with grace, with whole-hearted thankfulness that I was able to witness a Latin American Jesuit Pope in my lifetime.

Liberal Catholics, our time has come.

Matthew 5:6 “6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

Have a great weekend, and don’t forget to help the poor.

*Joy: “While the more secular definition of joy may be simply an intense form of happiness, religious joy is always about a relationship. Joy has an object and that object is God.” James Martin, SJ

Thea Bowman (1937-1990)

By Grace O’Malley. 

I’ve blogged about the Catholic Church and its male-dominance, an experience I am well acquainted with. As a white woman, however, I have had the privilege of never feeling marginalized because of my race in the white-dominated Church. And although I strongly identify with writings of Mary Daly, the “radical” Catholic feminist, I do not want to make the mistake she made by neglecting to acknowledge the experiences and voices of women of color. In light of this, I’d like to dedicate our first #tbt a Catholic woman of color who encountered barriers and prejudices I never have.

Thea Bowman was an African-American Catholic nun, who in addition to be being a religious woman, was a scholar, speaker, and an activist for racial justice.

postulant thea4 3

Continue reading

How the Catholic Church Lost, and Continues to Lose

“A Smaller and More Ardent Church”

That the Catholic Church continues to shrink should come as a surprise to no one.  But I can’t help but think, didn’t they see this coming?

In 1971, Catholic theologian and self-proclaimed “radical lesbian feminist” Mary Daly stated, somewhat prophetically, that,

“The women’s movement will present a growing threat to patriarchal religion less by attacking than by simply leaving it behind.”

Although she was fired from her teaching position at Boston College due to her politics and her refusal to let men into her classes, and although she is still considered by many Catholic academics to be a radical, forty-four years later it kind of seems like she hit the nail on the head. As society has changed for women, and changed in general, the Catholic Church has not budged. Instead of staying in it and fighting for change, many have simply left it behind. The Catholic Church has lost the position it once had in the lives of Americans.

Continue reading