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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 2/13/15

On Gender, Pope Francis Is an Old-Fashioned Roman Catholic Reactionary

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Duluth, Minnesota (OpEdNews) February 13, 2015: The boys in the Vatican gang are notorious, at least in certain Roman Catholic circles, for publicly criticizing what they refer to as "radical feminism." But it has never been clear exactly what they mean by "radical feminism," except that they don't like it, whatever it means.

Of course St. Thomas Aquinas said nothing about all men and women being made equal in the eyes of God. For the boys in the Vatican gang, the idea of all men and women being made equal in the eyes of God is a radical idea. Perhaps it is a radical idea whose time has come for recognition. But the boys in the Vatican gang don't think that this is the case.

But now their gang leader, Pope Francis, has spoken out publicly about gender. Unfortunately, his comments appear in a published interview in a book published in Italian. The book is by the Italian journalists Andrea Tornielli and Giacomo Galeazzi. The published interview with Pope Francis appears toward the end of the book.

Fortunately, however, Joshua J. McElwee has translated the relevant parts of the pope's published interview in his article "Francis strongly criticizes gender theory, comparing [it] to nuclear arms" published online at the National Catholic Reporter website and dated February 13, 2015. McElwee is a NCR reported based in Rome.

Basically, Pope Francis prefers the gender theory of the Roman Catholic Church as expressed in the Catholic tradition of natural-law moral theory. The Catholic tradition of natural-law moral theory derives mostly from the thought of the medieval theologian St. Thomas Aquinas. According to the Catholic tradition of natural-law moral theory, there is a certain "order of creation" (Pope Francis's words, as reported in English by McElwee). And the bishops of the Roman Catholic Church that they have a God-given monopoly on figuring out and adjudicating exactly what the "order of creation" is -- and also what it is not.

In the Catholic tradition of natural-law moral theory, whatever the bishops say is not in compliance with what they say the "order of creation" is, is deemed to be unacceptable and supposedly objectively sinful. (Like our American civil law, the Roman Catholic tradition of morality recognizes the importance of the subjective dimension of a person's intentionality in committing a supposedly objectively wrong act.)

Because the Roman Catholic Church is a multi-national imperialistic religion business with franchises around the world, the Catholic tradition of natural-law moral theory being sold by Pope Francis and the other bishops represents their attempt to colonize cultures of the world through all their franchises. Pope Francis and the other bishops refer to their mission to colonize cultures and enslave Catholic converts to their rule as "evangelization" and "inculturation."

In his article McElwee quotes Pope Francis as saying that every historical period has "Herods" who "destroy [who] plot designs of death, [who] disfigure the face of man and woman, destroying creation" (I have added the bracketed words here).

In my estimate, the imperialistic designs of cultural colonization and enslavement to the rule of the bishops destroy cultures and people, disfiguring the face of man and woman.

McElwee quotes Pope Francis as saying the following in his published interview:

"Let's think of nuclear arms, of the possibility to annihilate in a few instants a very high number of human beings. Let's think also of genetic manipulation, of the manipulation of life, or of gender theory that does not recognize the order of creation.

"With this attitude [of gender theory that differs from Roman Catholic gender theory] man [and woman?] commits a new sin, that against God the Creator. The true custody of creation does not have anything to do with the ideologies that consider man [and woman?] like an accident, like a problem to eliminate.

"God has placed man and woman [at] the summit of creation and has entrusted them with the earth. The design of the Creator is written in nature" (I have added the bracketed material here).

So there you have it -- Roman Catholic propaganda straight from Pope Francis's mouth.

McElwee also quotes Pope Francis as saying something else that I would say conveniently overlooks all the so-called "evangelization" and "inculturation" to spread Roman Catholic ideology.

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Thomas James Farrell is professor emeritus of writing studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). He started teaching at UMD in Fall 1987, and he retired from UMD at the end of May 2009. He was born in 1944. He holds three degrees from Saint Louis University (SLU): B.A. in English, 1966; M.A.(T) in English 1968; higher education, 1974. On May 16, 1969, the editors of the SLU student newspaper named him Man of the Year, an honor customarily conferred on an administrator or a faculty member, not on a graduate student -- nor on a woman up to that time. He is the proud author of the book (more...)

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