Duluth, Minnesota (OpEdNews) January 30, 2014: Pope Francis continues to receive favorable media coverage. Now Rolling Stone features a cover story about him.
But certain Roman Catholic women have not been exactly thrilled with Pope Francis.
For example, at the National Catholic Reporter online, columnist Phyllis Zagano has published ""Humanity for All: A Pastoral Letter on Men' (draft)" (dated January 29, 2014).
I gather that she would like to see Pope Francis issue a pastoral letter on men along the lines she sets forth in her draft. But I don't think he's likely to do that. Nevertheless, I'd like to discuss something she says.
In the paragraph that she has numbered 1 in her draft of a proposed pastoral letter, she makes the following statements:
"1. Men are called to follow our Lord Jesus Christ and proclaim his Gospel in the midst of a complex world. This reality poses both opportunities and difficulties. Men must be measured by how they protect or undermine the dignity of all persons. Their decisions have consequences and moral content; they help or hurt people, strengthen or weaken family life, advance or diminish the quality of justice in our land. Yet many men do not understand what it is to be human. They do not know who they are."
For the moment, I want to skip over all of her sentences leading up to the last sentence.
In her last sentence she says that "many men" "do not know who they are."
Now, if this is indeed the case with many men, then we might wonder, on the one hand, why many men do not know who they are and, on the other, what can be done, if anything can be done, to help them know who they are.
DAVID BAKAN'S TESTIMONY
Next, I want to switch our attention from her indictment of "many men" who supposedly "don't know who they are" to David Bakan's book The Duality of Human Existence: An Essay on Psychology and Religion (1966).
David Bakan focuses on two dimensions of human psychology:
(1) agency and
In terms of well-known stereotypes, agency is stereotypically masculine, and communion is stereotypically feminine. But he says that all human persons must develop both of these dimensions of human psychology.
If we develop our agency dimension reasonably well but our communion dimension is seriously under-developed, then we are out of balance.