When she’s right, she’s right. That would be Maureen Dowd, writing forcefully, directly and without a drop of her customary cutesiness, about the Catholic Church’s wholly unacceptable response to the priest abuse crisis. The church still won’t categorically promise to refer abuse cases to civil authorities. It has equated child sexual abuse with allowing women to be priests. It is a disappointing performance by an institution with much to be proud about in human rights and social justice. Not here.
Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, the chairman of the Committee on Doctrine of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, asserted, “The Catholic Church, through its long and constant teaching, holds that ordination has been, from the beginning, reserved to men, a fact which cannot be changed despite changing times.”
But if it was reserved to celibate men centuries ago simply as a way for the church to keep land, why can’t it be changed? If a society makes strides in not subordinating women, why can’t the church reflect that? If men prove that all-male hierarchies can get shamefully warped, why can’t they embrace the normality of equality? The Vatican’s insistence on male prerogative is misogynistic poppycock — enhancing American Catholics’ disenchantment with Rome.