The Collaboration of Men and Women in the Church and in the World

by Daniel Murphy on July 31, 2004

Share Button

Zenit News Agency – The World Seen From Rome: “The first text (Gn 1:1-2:4) describes the creative power of the Word of God, which makes distinctions in the original chaos. Light and darkness appear, sea and dry land, day and night, grass and trees, fish and birds, “each according to its kind”. An ordered world is born out of differences, carrying with them also the promise of relationships. Here we see a sketch of the framework in which the creation of the human race takes place: “God said ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness'” (Gn 1:26). And then: “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Gn1:27). From the very beginning therefore, humanity is described as articulated in the male-female relationship. This is the humanity, sexually differentiated, which is explicitly declared “the image of God”.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, led by Cardinal Ratzinger, has just released a Letter to the Bishops on the Church’s view of the role of sex and gender in the world. As with every document coming from Cardinal Ratzinger’s office, this one is lucid as glass, and probably going to invite some baseball bat-carrying critics. (Notice how frequently these folks refer to him as German–read: “Nazi”–and mention in passing that his Congregation was formerly known as the Inquisition.)

As for myself, having just read the first few sections, I’m already in love with it. I just wish it had been around thirty years ago when, seeing that something was terribly wrong in the relations between the sexes, I first turned to the likes of Mary Daly and Shulamith Firestone to figure out what was what. Fortunately, a couple of books espousing (oh, that word!) the almost gnostic conception that a demiurgical Nature, which had given us sexual difference, was the culprit, and that the only way to get out of the mire was to overhaul Nautre into a unisexual construct in which science could be manipulated so that women could conceive (girl children only) without the benefit of men, not even their sperm (“parthenogenesis”), convinced me that so-called second wave Feminism was way off base. And would continue to be so as long as it insisted on clinging to its faulty original premises, born of Hegelian dialectic, I dare say, suggesting that wherever there are differences there must be enmity and a power struggle. Same old same old.

Leave a Comment

Next post: