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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

August-02-04

Vatican Issues Scathing Attack on Feminism

The Vatican issued a disturbing letter this past Saturday assaulting the feminist movement. The letter attacks the “lethal effects” of feminism, which the Vatican sees as motivated by a desire to “obscure” the “natural” differences between men and women, and thus creating what they see as the most ruinous result, helping to create a movement towards acceptance of gay marriage. Furthermore, the letter criticized feminism’s questioning of the “traditional” family structure, which the Catholic Church views solely as the “natural two-parent structure” of man and woman, as well as claimed the movement is entirely hostile to working with men and “antagonistic” to the opposite sex as a whole.

Reuters quoted Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice, as identifying the serious flaws, she, as a modern-day Catholic woman, feels exist in the document: “Such observations could only be made by men who have no significant relationship with women and no knowledge of the enormous positive changes the women’s rights movement has meant for both men and women.”

The document was likely spurred on by the Church’s desire to prevent the ordaining of woman priests, despite pressures to do so in the face of widespread sexual abuse scandals, as well as re-state its opposition to same-sex marriage at a time when the rest of the world is increasingly moving towards acceptance, reported The Washington Post.

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Media Resources: Reuters 8/1/04, Washington Post 8/1/04, Vatican Radio Interview 7/31/04, Full Text Vatican “Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Collaboration of Men and Women in the Church and in the World” 7/31/04


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