In Praise of Radical Feminists

Just posted online, Kevin McCardle of the UCLA School of Management explains why "radical" and "feminist" are descriptors Christians should aspire to, not condemn:

In an interview with John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter, Cardinal William Levada, the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, expresses the opinion that the Doctrinal Assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious is “effusive in its praise” of American women religious. All Catholics should join Cardinal Levada in this effusion.

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I was fortunate to be taught in elementary school by Franciscan Sisters, and in high school by Benedictines, Sisters of St. Joseph, School Sisters of Notre Dame, and Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. My children have been taught by Sisters of St. Joseph and by Daughters of Mary and Joseph. I owe much to these women.

One point of contention in the Doctrinal Assessment, and one for which the L.C.W.R. receives a reprimand, is the prevalence of “radical feminist” themes in some programs sponsored by the L.C.W.R. An alternative view, however, is that it is exactly their radical feminist nature for which American Catholic women religious should be praised.

A radical is an extremist, someone who maintains strong principles and acts on them. What makes Catholic women religious so radical? Nothing more than the fact that they gave up their former lives and followed Christ.

Read the full article here. 

Tim Reidy

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Tim O'Leary
6 years ago
It all depends on what one is radical about. Hitler was a radical anti-Semite, Hugh Hefner a radical pornographer, and Margaret Sanger a radical abortionist and eugenicist. If people mean that the term ''radical feminist'' means one who is fundamentally opposed to abortion, including the repugnant ''war on women'' known as sex selection abortion, or, like St. Francis or Mother Teresa, radical in their care and concern for the poorest of the poor (born and unborn), then I think the Church would be strongly supportive of them. Unfortunately, the witness of the radical feminists has tended to be the opposite. Still, we can live in hope that a new group of radical feminists-for-life will emerge to replace the decline in vocations. One such new order of radical sisters is already attracting relatively substantial vocations. http://www.sistersoflife.org/ 
Chris Sullivan
6 years ago
I agree. Mary the great mother of God is the ultimate radical feminist and her Magnifcat is about as radical a feminist manifesto as one will find anywhere.

That some are criticising radical feminism indicates their disconnect from the radicality of the gospel and from a deep Marian theology.

God Bless

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