Wednesday, January 28, 2009

More On Bishop Williamson, Anti Semitism and Misogyny

SSPX Bishop Williamson being inspired by Holy Conspirators.

I see where the Vatican is now in full spin control regarding the lifting of the excommunications of the four SSPX bishops. Not very successfully either. This is too reminiscent of Regensburg and seems to imply that the learning curve in the Vatican is not just slow, it's glacial. Orrrr, Benedict is bound and determined to say and do what he wants. He wants SSPX in the fold and damn the consequences, SSPX will be in the fold.

The blatant anti semitism of SSPX is well chronicled, and usually the official spin is that they are concerned for the soul's of their Jewish brethren. Jews must be evangelized into the one true Church in order to be saved. Jesus says so. Nostra Aetate , promulgated by Paul IV in 1965, says something different, and this line in particular causes difficulties:

"Indeed, the Church believes that by His cross Christ, Our Peace, reconciled Jews and Gentiles. making both one in Himself."

In my research on this story, SSPX leadership is quick to point out that there is room for discussion on this and other issues because Vatican II is a "pastoral" council and therefore exempt from notions of infallible teaching. I'm sure they are right and this is the kind of Canonical thinking which will rule the day. It is about the letter of Canon Law, and not the 'Spirit of Vatican II'.

My issue with SSPX is not just confined to anti semitism, it's includes the over the top misogyny which is receiving very little press coverage. Here is a pastoral letter from Bishop Williamson on why women should not attend universities.

The deep-down reason is the same as for the wrongness of women's trousers: the unwomaning of woman. The deep-down cause in both cases is that Revolutionary man has betrayed modem woman; since she is not respected and loved for being a woman, she tries to make herself a man. Since modern man does not want her to do what God meant her to do, namely to have children, she takes her revenge by invading all kinds of things that man is meant to do. What else was to be expected? Modem man has only himself to blame. (revenge? invading? words of a true male warrior.)

In fact, only in modern times have women dreamt of going to university, but the idea has now become so normal that even Catholics, whose Faith guards Nature, may have difficulty in seeing the problem. However, here is a pointer in the direction of normalcy: any Catholic with the least respect for Tradition recognizes that women should not be priests - can he deny that if few women went to university, almost none would wish to be priests? Alas, women going to university is part of the whole massive onslaught on God's Nature which characterizes our times. That girls should not be in universities flows from the nature of universities and from the nature of girls: true universities are for ideas, ideas are not for true girls, so true universities are not for true girls. (Hang on, it's gets even stranger. I skipped the part on the nature of universities, but it is worth reading. I guess.)

For a sane grasp of woman's nature, let me appeal to the Church's Common Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas, distant now by three-quarters of a millennium from our own disturbed times. The three reasons he gives in his Summa Theologiae (2a, 2ae, 177,2) why woman should not teach in Church in public can all be applied to why she should not teach or learn in a public university.

Firstly, he says, teaching is for superiors, and women are- not to be superior, but subject, to their men (Gen III,16). Secondly, women stepping up to teach in public can easily inflame men's lust (Ecclus IX,11). Thirdly, "Women are not usually ("communiter") perfect in wisdom".

To grasp these three reasons, let us back up another five millennia, to Adam and Eve. Since the word "nature" comes from the Latin word for "being born", then to study a thing's nature one goes back to its birth. Eve was created by God to be a "help" to Adam (Gen. 11,18). She was to help him, says St Thomas Aquinas elsewhere (1a,92,1), not for any other work than that of generation (or reproduction), because for any other work man could be more suitably helped by another man. It follows that woman's nature is intrinsically geared to motherhood, so that in all things pertaining to motherhood she is man's superior, in all else she is his inferior, and in none of all the things in which the two sexes are complementary are they equal. (I'll give Williamson some credit here, he at least states the true underlying philosophy behind this whole notion of sexual complementarity.)

Now to attract a man so as to marry and become a mother, to nurture and rear children and to retain their father, she needs superior gifts of feeling and instinct, e.g. sensitivity, delicacy, tact, perspicacity, tenderness, etc. by which her mind will correspondingly be swayed, which is why no husband can understand how the mind of his wife works!

For to do the work of generation, i.e. to ensure nothing less than the survival and continuation of mankind, God designed her mind to run on a complementary and different basis from her man's. His mind is designed not to be swayed by feelings but on the contrary to control them, so that while his feelings may be inferior to hers, his reason is superior. And reason being meant to rule in rational beings, then he is natured to rule over her (Gen. III, 16), as can be seen for example whenever she needs to resort to him for her feelings not to get out of control. (I must apologize and appeal to some man to save me from my feelings as this is making them get out of control.)

Correspondingly, while she senses family (and loves to talk about it), he responds to the world around and wants to master it (Gen II,15,19,20). While she is people-oriented, he is reality-oriented. (How often will a woman pull an idea or a question of reality back to family! - "You're against drink? You're attacking my husband!" This is in woman's nature. One does not mock her for it.) So while she is queen of feeling within the home, he must be king of reason over the home. So while he must love her and listen to her, at the end of the day she must obey him, because he is natured to take the broader view and to be the more reasonable. (Lest we forget, this is faith shaped by reason!)


I'm not going to comment on Bishop Williamson's thinking directly, but I do want to reitterate a point I made in a posting two days ago. I think a real case can be made for anti semitism being directly linked to mysoginy. Judaism has historically been a feminine religion concentrating on relationship. Here again is Rabbi Boteach's response to the question, Is Judaism sexist:

"No, Judaism is a deeply feminist religion. It believes that the feminine nurturing model is the way all people should live. Our great men throughout the ages were feminine figures, teachers, scholars, rather than warriors."

Virtually every single hot topic in the Church today is some form of male projection regarding the role of the feminine in the world. It doesn't really matter what side of the political spectrum one is on as evidenced by Barack Obama reaching out to Republicans by his invitation to Rick Warren and his excluding the proposed medicaid funding for birth control from his recovery package. It's almost like he's saying, "Hey, trust me, I'm really one of you real GUYS."

Benedict's rapprochement with SSPX is just another example of the Vatican championing yet another right wing group which espouses Bishop Williamson's definition of sexual complementarity. I guess we women will just have to face it, until we get out of colleges and back into the nursery and kitchen, the world will continue to circle the drain.

That very same world created almost exclusively by those men ruled by reason. Men who are represented at their best by Wall Street and the Taliban. Speaking of the Taliban, their latest crusade in Pakistan is bombing girls schools. Apparently these are the kind of men Bishop Williamson would approve. Real men protecting the real world of reasonable men from revengeful and invading and excessively emotional women--and gays--and Jews. It's their male God's will, don't we know.

Actually it's not.


  1. I am seeing very little in the public forum about the bishop's opinion of women. Jewish groups are complaining to the Vatican. Are we women so accustomed to being treated with contempt by the Church that we just let it pass? Or do we figure no one is listening anyway?

  2. This is exactly why I wrote this post, and it also has't gone unnoticed by Bill Lyndsey. He posted on this same topic on Bilgrimage this morning.

    My hope is that as time wears on more and more mainstream blogs and media outlets will bring his notions of 'true feminism' to the forefront.

    Benedict may not agree with Williamson's take on the Jews, but I don't think there is any question he buys into the same notions of sexual complimentarity.

    I truly believe that as long as the battle about the place of women centers on the priesthood, the kind of thinking espoused by Williamson will be given short shrift.

    Here's a prediction. George Mitchell will appeal to women's groups in Palestine and Israel precisely because they put their families ahead of the irrational emotional ideoligical hate of their male populations. Just like in Northern Ireland.

  3. Colleen. . .NPR had a interesting report by Sylvia Pajoeli (sp) this morning on this subject. . .Much of it could of come from your blogging. .

    "nowworsh". . .now worsh they gonna do?

  4. Colleen, synchronicity is wonderful as always. Before I read your post I posted a new topic into ethical debates, briefly outlining the prophesies Jesus made about the contemporary magisterial authorities. I decided to finish it and post it today after watching the video about women and pants.

    I dont know which I find more disturbing, the comments themselves, or the knowledge that there are far too many catholics and others in the world who believe the crap he is pontificating.

  5. Colleen, another insightful blog here. I just loved this quote from Bishop Williamson, who no doubt has never had a close enough relationship with a woman who was superiorly more intelligent than himself to make such a statement that "no husband can understand how the mind of his wife works!" He surely would not and would refuse to understand a brilliant woman, or any woman for that matter, because he already presupposes that all women are lesser than himself. Ah, the old sin of pride enters the stage.

    If, as Williamson says, man were truly superiorly gifted with reason above and beyond what God has given to all women then the husband would be able to understand how the mind of his wife works.

    He really has put his own foot in his mouth with his own pride.

  6. I was trying to come up with something scathing and sarcastic, something that would demean and marginalize the magisterial authorities, and I realized, I really dont have to. They keep doing that to themselves every time they open their mouths.


    God always provides for every need, and this is no exception ...

    the verification word is "demen"

    the source of most of the problems in the world today ... de-men

  7. Oh, this is just toooooo good to pass up .....

    first, one of the comments reminded me of something I've always wondered about:

    Why do womens pants need zippers? Why are they always on the left?
    Why are mens zippers on the right side?

    Is it because zippers in womens pants are just wrong, therefore they have to zip from the wrong side so that some of the more poorly endowed (mentally) of the male gender will not get confused and wear womens pants by accident?

    Why is it wrong for women to wear pants, but we see bishop "i am such an idiot" wearing a silk dress and trying to look like superman?

    I had to get at least one deragatory and insulting comment in here to get my day started off right, however, I just had a really horrible thought ... what would I do if the magisterial authorities actually started acting authentically pastoral and sincerely following Jesus teachings...


    nah, never happen!

    now, back to the too good, the verification word on this one really is, not making this up ...


  8. Well Carl there's always the current version of the Republican party.

    I was thinking this morning about how avid a republican I used to be. Well, that was a long time ago, when the party represented thinking from other places besides Appalachia.

    Ooops, is that me being an intellectual elitist? I better pass it by Sarah.