Friday, December 11, 2015

Commentary on Kristina Keneally

Number of rosaries done in reparation for the desecration of the Eucharist: 19

Number of people signed up for daily rosaries for this intention: 1

I came across this person from a tweet from someone I follow on Twitter (my handle @jamesTScorpio) and read her recent article on "Christian feminism".  Apparently, this has been how she designates herself since she was 9.  Her tweets are ridiculous and I intend to go over her recent article (at the Guardian ((Aussie)), funny enough) as I think it is a perfect example of a recent topic of mine -- how we value things.

 She begins her article with a story of her at a young age with her grandmother and ready to call into a phone interview with her Bishop, the Bishop of Toledo.  She was able to get on the phone and ask a question of the bishop -- why can't girls be altar servers?  In her words,

"He mumbled something about Church tradition and the importance of serving at Mass as a first step towards (the) priesthood - where, again, one obviously had to be male - and moved on to the next caller."

Now, analyzing this article from the metric I mentioned above, this sentence reflects some very clear attitudes of Ms. Kenneally:  Tradition is not something to be respected and considered.

She goes on...

"38 years later, I'm still a Catholic and a feminist.  I've got a degree in religious studies, specializing in feminist theology, and while girls can be altar servers now (take that Bishop Donovan), we've still got a long way to go, baby.

Judging by her chosen fields of study, she seems very interested in "religious" matters and "feminist" matters.  She also shows a certain uncharitable glee that girls can be altar servers now but isn't satisfied with that.  Clearly, that we have a significant shortage of qualified priests suggests that the traditional position wasn't wrong, but to people like Ms. Kenneally, it was inconveniently in the way of a liberalization of the priesthood that feminists would want. The clear value she places on feminism seems at the apogee of her worldview.

"The idea that one can't be a Catholic and a feminist usually starts with a misunderstanding of what it is to be Catholic.  In strict technical terms, a Catholic is someone who the Apostle's Creed and the Nicene Creed...No mention in our creeds of artificial contraception, an all-male priesthood, denying communion to divorced people or excluding homosexuals."

 Wow, lots here.  She starts off good, she can't claim ignorance.  But then she makes a list of topics that clearly, by listing them, are important to her.  These are topics that she values greatly and invests great energy in transforming the Church toward her position. Unfortunately, despite the fact that she has a degree in religious studies and is a Catholic in good standing (presumably), her ignorance of the reason WHY the Church holds the positions it holds seems not believable.  There seems to be more willful disregard than ignorance.  All educated Catholics know the reasons why the Church teaches that birth control is immoral, why there are only male priests, why the Eucharist must be guarded against desecration and why the homosexual activity is inherently disordered, unnatural and sinful.

But based upon the "value paradigm", it seems that she values birth control, female priests, desecration of the Eucharist (which then leads to all sorts of questions regarding her "Catholicism") and homosexual sex.

" Because men fairly exclusively ran the world until very recently, it has been fairly exclusively men in the Catholic church who’ve done the interpreting and applying. Not overly surprising, then, that the result is a set of teachings and rules that exclude and oppress women."

I reread this passage again and again and the circular "logic" made me dizzy.  From her point of view, men are INHERENTLY unfair to women, even Saints.  They seek to exclude and oppress women at every term -- even those who are recognized in heaven, determined worthy to be in the presence of the Lord.  Think about that for a second, because it has huge ramifications for her and women who think like her.  She indirectly said that men who are worthy in the eyes of God to be in his presence and serve Him sought to exclude and oppress women.   Therefore, God approves of men excluding and oppressing women.  God is inherently unfair and biased in favor of men.

So how would she counter my analysis?  Probably by saying that people have evolved and what once was considered "saintly" isn't considered saintly now.  We have evolved and become enlightened as we "discovered" greater aspects of humanity (probably including those thing mentioned in the passage previous to this).

My counter to the counter?  If miracles were the result of intercessory prayers of these men when invoked, then they are in heaven and God saw them as worthy.  Therefore, either God is what I said earlier by the ramifications of this kind of thinking or you are wrong and you are projected modernist thinking and values onto the Church.

Secondly, a Catholic has an obligation to follow her fully-formed conscience, even if it brings her into conflict with church teaching. A fully-formed conscience consults not only scripture and church teaching but also the sciences and human experience.

Conscience is a crucially important aspect of Catholic teaching and was given great emphasis in Vatican II, the reforming and modernising council that took place between 1962-65. Conservative popes – such as John Paul II – have sought to redefine conscience in order to discourage debate and dissent, but the role of a fully-formed conscience in the life of Catholics is significant and cannot be extinguished.

 Does this sound familiar to anyone?  The supremacy of conscience?  Sounds like Ms. Keneally knows Archbishop Blase and likes that kind of man.  First, how can a fully-formed conscience bring you into conflict with divinely-inspired Church teaching?  If a Catholic is properly formed, with the Holy Spirit acting upon them, how would that Catholic have positions that would be in conflict with that same Holy Spirit working through the Church.  Mind you, we aren't talking about the conflicts that many of us have with Pope Francis because we are simply adhering to Church teaching.  Our fully formed consciences tell us that desecration of the Eucharist is completely abhorrent and diabolical.  She is proclaiming that a fully formed conscience may or should bring you into conflict with Church teaching because of the evolving nature of things like science and human experience.

And that last few words from this quote.  Sounds a lot like original sin, huh?

It’s not easy being a Catholic feminist – sometimes it is downright infuriating – but I love the sacraments and the liturgy of the Catholic church, and I love the value it places on scripture and tradition. Why should I abandon my expression of faith to the all-male hierarchy? Why not stay and advocate for a more inclusive church, better theology, and teachings more reflective of the lived experience of women?

Interesting.  In one sentence, she claims to love everything that traditional Catholics believe.  Yet, in the next sentence she talks about "my expression of faith", presumably different from the very same things she loves in the sentence before.  Then she goes on to want a more inclusive church(?), better theology (?) and teachings that reflect the reality of women's experience (?).  Here is where I think her heart truly lies - with the 3 things mentioned last.  If you love the traditional things, how can you ask for the things listed in the last sentence?  How can you love a church that clearly you believe is exclusionary?  What exactly does she mean by a better theology?  And if the Church teaches the Truth, which is what all traditional Catholics believe, how can the Truth be improved?

Overall, I see an article littered with modernist, feminist thought and little Catholic thought.  I wasn't surprised by this when I came across it.  But I think articles by "Catholics" like this are what need to be challenged.  I don't know how you can love Christ and his Bride and come to this worldview unless it has been infected and contaminated by ideas that are, at best, supremely humanist.

The ultimate problem with humanism is that ultimately, the human views themselves and the human being as superior to God.  Christian humanism, in many ways like Christian feminism, is oxymoron at it's most basic level.  Humans, and by that extension women, were created by God in his image and likeness.  But they were made to serve God, not be served by Him.  They are the creation and the creation can never be greater than the Creator.

To read the referenced article, see link below.  All direct quotes come from that article and are the ownership of the writer and that publication.

Referenced article

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