Saturday, December 03, 2011

Papal Pedastalizing

From the closing of Vatican II, the address of Pope Paul VI to women:

But the hour is coming, in fact has come, when the vocation of woman is being achieved in its fullness, the hour in which woman acquires in the world an influence, an effect and a power never hitherto achieved. That is why, at this moment when the human race is under-going so deep a transformation, women impregnated with the spirit of the Gospel can do so much to aid mankind in not falling.

Impregnated? Really? Perhaps he thought it was an apt metaphor but it does sound a bit creepy, doesn't it? Maybe it's different in Italian. Despite the exaggerated rhetoric, though, Pope Paul VI does not seem to be embracing a form of feminism here. But this sort of wide-eyed optimism, like so much else that was present in the council and its documents, has been shown to be mistaken? If Western women are allowed to exert an increaseing influence on a wider scale, it has rather been rather baneful, tools for those who actually hold power.

(Can there be a "non-radical" feminism? I read this brief citation in Extreme Makeover. More on these in a bit.)

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