What it means to be a Catholic feminist and why the church must embrace it

2018 Women's March in Missoula, Montana. Image via Wikimedia Commons

For over a decade, I have taught a writing class on the intersection between music and social movements at the University of California, Berkeley, where the Free Speech Movement was born. On the first day of class, we talk about the history of protest music, and I give the students the etymological definition of the word “protest”: from the Latin pro testari, to protest means to witness and then go forth and testify.

Two years before the #MeToo movement sprung up, I added Rebecca Solnit’s book Men Explain Things to Me to the syllabus so my students could explore the connections between music and a resurgent feminist movement. Ms. Solnit, a highly prolific historian, activist and social critic, did not coin the term “mansplaining,” but in the title essay from her book, she talks about a time when a man she met at a party refused to believe she was the author of one of her own books. Mansplaining is just one example of the ways in which women’s expertise and experiences are devalued, doubted and silenced. It is also unfortunately rife in the Catholic Church.

Advertisement

One of the questions I’m most often asked as a writer is how I can be a Catholic and a feminist.

One of the questions I am asked most often as a writer is how I can be a Catholic and a feminist. My usual response is to ask how I could be Catholic and not be a feminist. I was raised in the church and nurtured in catechesis by women, educated in Catholic schools by women, and my writing is inspired by the work of towering Catholic theologians Elizabeth Johnson, M. Shawn Copeland and Sandra Schneiders, activist Catholic laywomen like Dorothy Day, and contemporary Catholic writers like Natalie Diaz, Toni Morrison and Rebecca Brown.

Yet the most frequent responses to my work in Catholic publications often ring of bias against my gender. A male reader once told me it was not my job to question the church; it was my job to “get down on my knees” and be thankful to belong to it. That is one of the printable comments I have received. We will skip the unprintable ones. The irony is that weekly, I do get down on my knees in church and give thanks. But that does not mean I shouldn’t occasionally stand up, too.

Feminism is not about women being better than men. It is about women being recognized as equals, about men and women working alongside one another.

I write this a few days before the feast of St. Mary Magdalene, who is referred to as the “apostle to the apostles.” But Mary Magdalene is more than that: Chosen by Christ to be the first witness to the resurrection, Mary Magdalene goes forth and testifies about the good news. And the reaction of the male apostles is telling. They do not believe her. They doubt her testimony. She is my patron saint, chosen when I went through confirmation, but she is also the patron saint of the mansplained.

Feminism is not about women being better than men. It is about women being recognized as equals, about men and women working alongside one another. That means recognizing our accomplishments as well as the struggles we face. Believing the testimony of women is what makes the #MeToo movement so crucial. For Catholic feminists who are regularly told we should just quit the church or that we should quiet down, it also means bearing witness to the beauty and grace of being Catholic women and to the challenges as well.

The Catholic “both/and” is useful here: Feminism is both necessary for being a Catholic woman and one of the reasons you will be tested as a Catholic feminist. Platform is privilege, and those of us with a public role to play in conversations about women in the church are called to use it to challenge outdated notions about the inferiority of women. We are both Catholic and women. God created us to be our full, authentic selves, and God sees us as our full, authentic selves. And sometimes we have to stand up and say this: We hope the church can do the same.

J Brookbank
1 week 4 days ago

Magnificent! Thank you, America, for publishing this woman.

Phillip Stone
1 week 4 days ago

Please give me a succinct but academic summary of how feminism is able to be derived from the Old Testament, the New Testament or the traditions of the institution of Catholicism.

I ask this because it is in the public domain that feminism is one of several liberation movements based on the atheistic social theories of Karl Marx.

Hint, women are equal to men ... in?

Marianne Gallagher
1 week 4 days ago

Genesis 1:27

Catherine Rogers
1 week 4 days ago

Galatians 3:28

J Brookbank
1 week 3 days ago

Phillip, please explain what you mean when you say feminism is "in the public domain as....."

Rachel Keeney
1 week 2 days ago

The Gospels. Jesus treats women as fully human, capable of being disciples - not only did they follow him on his travels, but those who were wealthy provided his living. (Stop imagining only twelve men when the text says "disciples." They were chosen and named to represent the totality of salvation for Israel.) He takes women's questions and challenges in life seriously. He does not draw back in disgust when the "women with the issue of blood" touches him, he doesn't call her polluted or demand that she stay isolated until she dies. He doesn't value traditional roles (Martha) over their desire to learn (Mary). He describes God as a woman in the story of the lost coin. He sets women free from male "ownership" when he says that people in heaven neither marry nor are given in marriage - meaning a woman's relationship to God is her own; she is a person, not just property.
In the rest of the New Testament, women preach, prophesy, open their homes to serve as house churches, and serve as deacons and apostles.
Please, stop reading what you expect to see, and look at what's actually on the page.

Bev Ceccanti
1 week 4 days ago

Given the gruesome reality of the ongoing slaughter of millions of innocents in the womb, and given the relentless support of this culture from women who proudly wave the ' feminist' banner, I beg to differ. I am Catholic educated woman myself and I find the pseudo intellectual whining from mostly white suburban women to be exceedingly trite, narcissistic and shockingly insensitive to millions of vulnerable pre- born babies facing imminent and savage destruction by 'abortion on demand'. I've never heard a single 'feminist' voice raised in defense of these innocents. I am grateful for the precious truth that is still visible in the Church Who will pass it forward to all humanity. There are plenty of 'religions' that have been started by those who wished to reshape what Jesus left us to fit their own issues. Do you recall the teaching that the least shall be first? Feminism has no humility!. How can anyone buy into tripe that insists that a woman's accusation, sans evidence, is enough to ruin a man's life! Also........... how can self respecting men get suckered in by tripe, to the end they are effectively muzzled on issues critical to all of society, Some are being led astray but Jesus said the gates of Hell would not prevail against the Church... I'm counting on that promise.

J Brookbank
1 week 3 days ago

Bev, i would wager that more Catholic women (and men) than not identify as feminists, when feminism is used in its most common meaning: advocacy for the rights of women based on the equality of women and men.

I believe it likely you will find that significant numbers of Catholic priests and a majority of Catholic sisters would identify as feminists if the term were NOT misused as synonymous with "abortion on demand".

I know many Catholic women (and men) who are feminists AND who are deeply troubled by the aborting of pregnancies. One can simultaneously believe that men and women are equal in their shared humanity and thus must have equal rights in all human systems AND believe that the existence of life (its beginning and its end) is God's realm, not ours.

My experience is that most Catholic feminists (male and female) understand that the goal of equal rights for women and the goal of a significant decrease in aborted pregnancies can be met through one strategy: safe and universally affordable and accessible contraceptives.

As to humility. Remember when slaves and African Americans were described as "uppity" when they communicated, explicitly and subtly, theirc equality and advocated for their human and civil rights? They were being told "slaves/African Americans have no humility". And if that didn't work, they were asked "Haven't you heard, the least shall be first"? They were told anything that would keep them from having THEIR share of human dignity and equality.

You are doing the same to women who identify as feninists.

It is not prideful to expect and advocate for - for oneself, one's daughters and women all around the world - the human and civil rights granted without question to male human beings.

To suggest that one lacks humility when one advocates for one's own equality and dignity and rights is to deny people their humanity, Bev.

Bev Ceccanti
1 week 3 days ago

As a sociology major, and as a woman who has worked in the sales industry since 1964, I have yet to witness the pro-life feminists you describe. It seems the 'brand' was co-opted long ago by something less than holy. It should not be ensconced in the Catholic Church.

J Brookbank
1 week 3 days ago

Bev, it sounds like you have a solid education and a long career as a working woman.

Check out "Feminists for Life" and the Susan B Anthony List. You will find tens of thousands of women who identify and are active in the world as pro-life feminists.

(Like this author, I am a pro-choice Catholic feminist.)

Here is an article which provides links to a bunch of prolife feminists organizations.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2018/05/23/opinions/pro-li…

Linda Cleary
1 week 3 days ago

Maybe we need to stop dividing women into categories. We are simply women many of us believing in both pro-life and equality for women.

J Brookbank
1 week 3 days ago

Linda, I agree with you, with the caveat that "feminist" is merely a descriptor, an adjective, language that has been distorted for the purpose of the division you so rightly reject.

Dolores Pap
1 week 2 days ago

Beautiful defense of the article..and a wonderfully spirited, authentic and humble response to Bev's diatribe..

Julia Ashenden
1 week 2 days ago

It was not a "diatribe". It was an opinion which I think needs to be heard.

Jim Lein
1 week 3 days ago

Since 1973, politicians have been able to strip away programs that support pregnant women and their unborn by claiming to be the pro-life party. Here we are 45 years later, and the stripping away continues and the law has been unchanged. In the mean time, other countries with adequate programs to support all, including pregnant women and their unborn, and where abortion is legal, have the lowest abortion rates. Our country has had periods of time during depressions of the 1890s and the 1930s, when abortion was illegal and when we had higher abortion rates than now. Starving families could not support another child; the birth rate dropped during these times.

Relying on a cold hard impersonal law change seems futile and is relying on Caesar's impersonal way rather Jesus' personal way of meeting needs, including those of the unborn by providing sufficient nutrition and medical care, before satisfying our wants.
And of course there are us guys, who are responsible for all unwanted or problem pregnancies. Shouldn't we change our behavior and not hide behind law change as a way of reducing abortions?

J Brookbank
1 week 3 days ago

Jim, yours is a very important and honest response. Thank you.

Julia Ashenden
1 week 2 days ago

I agree with you Bev, insofar as the word "feminist" (or "feminism") brings up pictures in my mind of women demonstrating - often angrily - for abortion.
And always women from the western world, the world that is capitalist, where women demand entitlement. It doesn't make me think of St Mary Magdalen or many other great female saints like the three Saint Teresas, or Catherine of Siena . I've been a working woman all my life and have a family which had to be balanced with work, but I just got on with it. I don't feel the need to bang on about feminism.

Bev Ceccanti
1 week 1 day ago

Your life lifts us up.

James Riley
1 week 4 days ago

All good points in a well written essay. But the piece fails to touch one of the “third rails” of Church matters and governance and for that reason the impact or import of the article is weakened to a significant degree; In short women should be ordained as priests and the sooner the better for all.

Gino Dalpiaz
1 week 4 days ago

THE FEMININE “PRIMACY OF LOVE”

The feminine “primacy of love” is far superior to the masculine “primacy of jurisdiction.” In the words of Pope Francis, “the grasping for a priestly role is the very essence of clericalism.”

In her book, The Eternal Feminine: Mystical Women (2004), the French theologian, Janine Hourcade, aptly writes: “Woman has no need to be a priest or have hierarchical power to carry out an important role in the Church and in the world.”

When asked about women priests, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon, France, said the same thing: “The only thing that counts in the Church is not priests and bishops, but holiness. This is the real hierarchy” (Zenit March, 5, 2004).

James Riley
1 week 4 days ago

All good points in a well written essay. But the piece fails to touch one of the “third rails” of Church matters and governance and for that reason the impact or import of this article is weakened to a significant degree; In short women should be ordained as priests and the sooner the better for all.

Anne Chavez
1 week 3 days ago

Women and men were created to be equal and complementary, Neither should dominate the other. Both have crucial roles in the Church. Our society wrongly equates the ordained priesthood and hierarchy with power. Ordination bestows the duty of service, not dominance to the Church and to others. All the baptized are tasked with the duty of evangelization. We take the word of God to all corners of society: the home, the workplace, the schools, the playgrounds, any place where we encounter each other. We preach primarily through our way of life. Sometimes we're asked to verbally explain our faith. Woman's status doesn't need to be raised; it needs to be recognized.

Bev Ceccanti
1 week 3 days ago

Wonderful and sensitive reply.

Linda Cleary
1 week 3 days ago

This article brought tears to my eyes. It is the first time I have 'heard' my voice in an article in a Catholic religious magazine. I too, chose Mary Magdalene as a confirmation name and was told to change it to Marie. After the Confirmation liturgy, my parish priest asked why I wasn't smiling as it was supposed to be a happy occasion. (Smile all the time is another expectation of women.) I told him I wasn't sure I was going to be able to be able to be a Christian my whole life even though I just committed to it. I wasn't sure I was going to 'make it.' Even then I didn't feel I fit in. I am 60 years old and this is the first time I have heard my experience acknowledged in a public forum in the church. Yet I know there are thousands of thinking Catholic women like me who have lived a life filled with put downs and dismissivness because we are honest about our faith. We do not 'pretend' to be like anyone other than our true selves just to be accepted. We are still here.

J Brookbank
1 week 3 days ago

Linda, I share your experience.

SUSAN ABBOTT
1 week 3 days ago

Thank you for this. And, there is a group called Feminists for Life. It exists. And, in paragraph 99 of Evangelium Vitae - Pope Saint John Paul II wrote: "99. In transforming culture so that it supports life, women occupy a place, in thought and action, which is unique and decisive. It depends on them to promote a "new feminism" which rejects the temptation of imitating models of "male domination", in order to acknowledge and affirm the true genius of women in every aspect of the life of society, and overcome all discrimination, violence and exploitation. "

Randal Agostini
1 week 3 days ago

Based upon this article I would have to agree with Ms. Oakes - a good and enlightening article.

Timothy Kunz
1 week 3 days ago

Neither feminism nor its opposite (I might just call it the status quo) should have any purchase among Christians.
Walter Ong, of St. Louis University, recognized that the potential of the woman's movement to restore Christianity to itself. Human beings are the utterly and essentially relational animals for whom the relationship between men and women are paradigmatic. It can only be a paradigm when the inherent equality and interdependence is celebrated and lived. This does not devalue the present alternatives to heterosexual marriage, but places each alternative in relationship to what should be a paradigm.
The Roman Catholic Church is the primary offender in celebrating this human reality from Anthony of Egypt through Augustine to, sadly to say, Pope Francis.
Paradigms are very hard to transscend!

Michael Cardinale
1 week 2 days ago

Nowhere in here do I see what “Catholic feminism” is. What does the author want the Church to embrace? The article implies that there are modern notions about the equality of women that update the old notions of their inferiority. The reader is left to guess what they are. The author says they are told to be quiet or quit the Church, but we have no idea what she is writing about. Gossiping during Mass? Asking for ministries to be better wives and mothers? Asking for Church supported abortion? Providing child care during liturgical services? Giving Communion to divorced and secularly “remarried” couples? Forming a dicastery for feminist doctrine? The list goes on; we don’ know.
There is a hint for one thing, however, in her wanting the Church to embrace the #MeToo movement. I am not sure why #MeToo is “crucial” to Catholic feminism, or why the Church should embrace it, since the Church’s “old notion” of chastity already warns women to avoid these occasions. But here is a short history from my personal observations. I can say I saw its early development in the late 60s/early 70s, and while it included jobs, it was predominantly about sexual freedom and "free love". Given today’s “hookup” environment, I would say it’s still partially successful. Women feminists do not like the outcome of their early movement; so, they blame men (who, I admit, are not innocent, but are also not solely guilty) and won’t admit that that aspect of feminism is a disaster. Today’s new feminist movement, #MeToo, owes its existence to that earlier movement.
So back to the beginning. What does Catholic feminism want to say or do? I have some suggestions, but if it is being told to shut up, I suspect it would not be interested in them.

Bev Ceccanti
1 week 2 days ago

Thank you. Words count. And when they become a brand, they take on specific meaning. The link highlighted in a comment herein to substantiate the existence of 'pro-life feminists' provided the following caveat "Often, these women ignore or even abjure the "feminist" label because it is automatically associated with the primacy accorded to legal abortion by groups like Planned Parenthood.."

J Brookbank
1 week 2 days ago

Bev, I am grateful to now you read the information to which I linked.

For the sake of clarity, I believe it important to place the quote you excerpted in relationship to the preceding paragraph, which identifies "these women" referred to in your quote. The preceding paragraph states:

"At the same time [that the above organizations explicitly identify as "prolife feminist" organizations], pro-life feminism is visibly flourishing in the daily lives of millions of women in the US who don't often talk about it. They just do it."

Taken as a whole, this statement supports Linda's comment that "we are simply women many of us believing in both pro-life and equality for women".

I agree with you that language can be co-opted and seem to become a "brand", with the result that certain words can be misconstrued, seeming to communicate allegiance with something other than the word's most fundamental meaning. I know I am deeply dismayed by the decision of the USSCB to create "Fornight for Freedom". I see that as RCC branding and, immediately, what comes to mind is an image of Cardinal Dolan which accompanied an article about the FfF. He is wearing a huge green foam hand in the gesture of "We're Number 1" at a Fortnight event, and I am repulsed. I want nothing to do with that obnoxious, boastful, exclusive and political branding of my spiritual and church life. I am ashamed of being Catholic when I think of that image and that event. So I get it.

I also know that Catholicism is not a brand, and I am not going to quit using that language just because there ars Catholics who think of the Church as a winning football team or political party which trounces its competitors.

Just as I know that feminism is not a brand, and I am not going to quit using that language just because some people insist it means things it doesn't mean. Feminism means "a belief system and movement which advocates for the equal rights of women based on the equality of women and men".

Some feminists are pro-choice; some feminists are pro-life.

Interestingly, i remember reading several articles about the value of persons concerned about abortion working first to find common ground with all others concerned about the issue, whatever their fundamental identification is (anti-abortion vs prochoice, etc), with the idea that common ground would focus everyone on reducing the possibility a woman might consider an abortion. A shared commitment to equal rights for women seems a powerful and, in all likelihood (I believe), the most effective common ground for persons interested in eliminating the possibility that a woman might consider aborting a pregnancy.

Thus, reclaiming the word "feminist" from any who would define it as anything other than what it is seems wise and worthwhile. Just I know it has been wise and worthwhile for me to reclaim the word "Catholic" from the Timothy Dolans and Fortnighters of the world.

Bev Ceccanti
1 week 1 day ago

You said "Like this author, I am a pro-choice Catholic feminist". The article you referred me to doesn't' refute the premise that the popular understanding of ' 'feminism' today includes a pro abortion stance. I wouldn't care if it did. The evidence is prima facie, obvious on its face. Verbosity and waxing philosophical belies the horrific nature of the sin you impute to the Catholic Church when you call yourself a pro-choice Catholic, as though that is an option in the Faith.. Would you have called yourself a pro-Nazi Catholic in Hitler's Germany if some of the politics suited you? Pretending abortion is condoned by the Church confuses the unwitting, turns the 5th commandment on its head, abuses the Body of Christ and flies in the face of the Holy Spirit.

J Brookbank
1 week 1 day ago

Bev, I am not pretending or suggesting the RCC condones abortion when I say I am a pro-choice Catholic. It quite obviously does not.

I am not aware of any other pro-choice Catholics who pretend or suggest the RCC condones abortion.

Bev, there are all kinds of "popular understandings" that distort language and its meaning. One goal of education is to challenge popular understandings when they distort language and meaning with the consequence that language is less and less able to facilitate meaningful communication.

"Feminist" does not mean "person who is pro-abortion".

"Feminist" means "person who advocates equal rights for women based on a belief in the equality of women and men".

Increasing numbers of feminists identify as anti-abortion while significant numbers of feminists identify as pro-choice. Among Catholic women you will find both kinds of feminists.

I personally celebrate the diversity. I believe communities are always stronger and healthier and headed toward deeper truths where there is dissent.

I suspect we are writing from two different generations. You were already a professional woman when I was a newborn girl.

Tim O'Leary
1 week ago

Bev - you are so right. The use of the word feminist has been destroyed by its association with the mass killing of the unborn, by the millions of girls killed by gendercide while the feminists looked the other way on the Chinese one-child policy, and by its rejection of the Christian teaching of equality with complementarity. Communist wouldn't have been such a bad word (to believe in community) if it hadn't come to be associated with an atheistic ideology that killed a hundred million and destroyed every culture it touched. National Socialist might not have been too bad until it became synonymous with the Nazis. Words do matter. Brookbank assumes the author is "pro-choice" like her, which means it contradicts the moral law and cannot be Catholic. Supporting abortion incurs automatic excommunication, so a "pro-choice" feminist is ipso facto no longer a Catholic.

J Brookbank
1 week ago

Catholicism might have been a good idea until it was associated with the buying of black bodies; the beating of red bodies; and the raping of children, teens and nuns.

Tim O'Leary
1 week ago

Brookbank - do you know that blacks are disproportionately killed by abortionists and Sanger was a eugenicist? Feminists boast about their abortions (see ShoutYourAbortion.com), It is a core teaching of theirs. Even Oprah supports this (http://www.oprah.com/inspiration/how-one-woman-became-an-activist-with-…). Nazis boasted about their imagined superiority, Communists about their atheism and class warfare. There is a big difference. Catholicism has always taught that the sexual abuse of anyone, children and adults, is evil - it is always seen as a sin and repudiation of Catholicism (that is why evidence gets priests defrocked, etc.). Anyone can know what Catholicism is about by reading the Catechism. I might believe feminism has changed when they defrock those who support abortions.

J Brookbank
6 days 14 hours ago

Tim, here is a scoop for you. Feminism is not an organization or an institution; It is a belief system and, because advocacy is part of that belief system, it is also movement. Its core is the belief that women are entitled to full human rights, which means that every right society grants men must also be granted to women as well as the belief that achieving this will require conscious, deliberate and tradition-disrupting action precisely because it has been tradition that men had/have rights women did/ do not.

As with every other belief system and movement known to civilization, there are branches of the belief system and movement. Feminism is no different. People get "defrocked" within institutions, not movements or "belief systems".

(I know that the institutional Church and conservative Catholics think they hold the membership cards for "Catholicism" but, Joe, it just ain't so and huge numbers of us are lifelong and full participants in the sacramental life of the Church. That is why Brookbank and tens and tens of thousands of Catholics identify as Catholic without your consent, Tim.)

It is puzzling to me that some of you seem to want to reject the hundreds of thousands of anti-abortion women who are making their presence known in the feminist movement. https://www.yahoo.com/news/horse-saves-itself-california-wildfire-falli… The Susan B Anthony List has more than 350,000 members. And, as is always the case, the "joiners" are likely just the tip of the iceberg of the hundreds of thousands of women who share their ideals and goals without declaring that through this organization.

Why would you deny the existence of powerful, politically active, very often faith-based anti-abortion feminist women? Why would you refuse to embrace them as activists partnering with other activists who are focused on improving the lives of the women whom the anti-abortion activists pray will choose to carry to term every single pregnancy?

I think you are cutting off a lot of noses to spite your ideological face.

Get it? Anti-abortion feminists are infiltrating feminism, and they are powerful.

I personally think that is a good thing, and I am pro-choice.

Tim O'Leary
6 days 10 hours ago

Brookbank - Once again you are dissembling. I donate to the fully pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, as I too fully support real women's rights, as the Church does. Most abortions in the world are of girls (see "stop gendericide link below and "Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men" by Mara Hvistendahl), Men and women have a right to conceive a child, but neither should have a right to kill her after she is conceived. Abortion is the ultimate child abuse and it is hypocritical to be outraged against child abuse and then support pro-abortion politicians. I welcome the self-described feminist who is pro-life, just as I would have the ex-Nazi fighting on the allied side of World War II, or the communist who has found God. But, as the Woman's March showed, most pro-life women are repudiated by the feminist leaders and powers.

see Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men by Mara Hvistendahl
https://stopgendercide.org/new-cqc-report-into-marie-stopes-clinics-sug…

J Brookbank
6 days 6 hours ago

Tim, good to know you know that there is diversity among feminists.

Bev Ceccanti
6 days 18 hours ago

...so why does Brookbank call herself Catholic?

Carol Crossed
1 week 1 day ago

I have come to believe that there are inherent inconsistencies in the word ‘pro-choice’ feminist. It is kind of like picking and choosing with whom one is equal to. I love the definition the author of this article believes in.
My (archaic?) definition embodies non-violence. But contemporary feminism celebrate being combatants in war. Celebrates destruction of the child in the womb. Celebrates individualism of autonomy over community. Abortion and war celebrates patriarchal qualities of domination and power.

J Brookbank
1 week ago

Carol, you misrepresent feminism. It is wild to that Catholics, so many of whom are committed to challenging misunderstandings of Catholicism, are so prone to misrepresenting others.

Tim O'Leary
1 week ago

Pot calling kettle black! Brookbank - you are forever misrepresenting Catholicism (abortion, contraception, priestesses, and everything sexual) and now you try to misrepresent feminism. The small dissident group "feminists for life" only get any attention because they repudiate the central tenet of feminism, like the even smaller and totally duplicitous "Catholics for choice," who get all their money from secular anti-Catholics.

Mark M
1 week ago

Ah yes, another leftest telling the unschooled masses what we “must” do. Yes, mom, right away.
“Must embrace”, no. Offer a rational, reasonable argument to “consider”?
Well, maybe.

Advertisement

The latest from america

Something that happened more than 2,000 years ago will draw all of time, all of the longings of the human heart, into itself.
Terrance KleinNovember 21, 2018
The only Americans under review for canonization to attend a public university, Day’s indiscretions and confusions, those awkward discoveries and repeated failures of youth, are our own.
Nathan TyeNovember 21, 2018
Father Keating left us a powerful but unlikely solution to our current national crisis: centering prayer.
Tim ShriverNovember 21, 2018
Pope Francis eats lunch with poor people

This week on “Inside the Vatican,” Gerry and I look into some new developments in the stories surrounding the U.S.

Colleen DulleNovember 21, 2018