Friday, December 10, 2010

Culture Notes: La Mujer del Papa

What is the next Pope came from Spain? What if he came to the Vatican with a woman by his side? This is the premise of a new novel by theologian and writer Rafael Paz Fernandez, "La Mujer del Papa" (Lobo Sapiens, 2010). The book combines fiction with real issues of church reform, liberation theology, the celibacy debate, etc...

Paz wrote the novel in part to protest the current treatment of women in the Church. In a recent interview, the author said: "The institutional Church is the biggest chauvinist club in the world. Women are still considered unequal and inferior to men, and their roles and functions are third place. The recent visit of the Pope to Barcelona was a case in point: four nuns cleaning the altar, while a thousand or so men in Roman vestments presided at the liturgy..." He added that the institutional Church is fearful of the true message of Christianity and only sees women as temptation, as sin, as those through whom evil entered the world.

4 comments:

Ralfi said...

This is a very valid and courageous approach to start changing things in the Catholic church, and changin in the direction wanted by the Gospel as per 1Tim. 3-5. The bishop must be 'a husband of one wife'. The Pope is Rome's Bishop, ergo...
This novel describes the world's and church's whereabouts since the last 50 years.
The novel poses too the unresolved questions about the essence of religion, the diversity of cultures, the other's mind question. Why did the Vatican wait 45 years to accept and recognize the State of Israel...? They both are brothers and sons of the same father..., then why it took so long...?
Is it the rule of love the one ruling Catholic and Vatican's life...?
Why the women continue to be repressed and reduced to third class persons in the Catholic church? Why are they denied their right to be a priest?
Women in the Catholic church are still considered the person through which the evil came into the world? That seems to be still the case. The woman can be 'spouse of Christ' in as much as she professes total chastity. The Vatican seems to be more interested in this 'negative picture' of the women than in the picture of a normal, mature and responsible female. Then, the Vatican uses this symbol -the 'negativity' of the woman- as a symbol of the victory over the evil. But, in reality, the Vatican uses this symbol as the proclamtion of its power.
This novel proposes a re-reading of the christian teachings based on love and freedom, based on mutual respect and solidarity. And a Christian daily life in which women and men as equals .
The time is ripe!
YES WE CAN!
Amen.
Santino Nikitecan

Ralfi said...

Even Wikileaks reflects these days how the Vatican is an anachronistic institution dealing with aspects of human reality. Problem is crude enough, but crudest is that the Catholic Church suffers because of Vatican's lack of adaptation to the XXI century realities. They probably believe that their way is a backway into the past. Are they heading to convert to the Concile of Trent? Are they marching back in history of humankind? Clearly, they attemp to dismantle the few things —the novelty!— remaining of the Vatican II. Such a denial of the very teachings of their Founder!
Elvira Madigan

Ralfi said...

Even Wikileaks reflects these days how the Vatican is an anachronistic institution dealing with aspects of human reality. Problem is crude enough, but crudest is that the Catholic Church suffers because of Vatican's lack of adaptation to the XXI century realities. They probably believe that their way is a backway into the past. Are they heading to convert to the Concile of Trent? Are they marching back in history of humankind? Clearly, they attemp to dismantle the few things —the novelty!— remaining of the Vatican II. Such a denial of the very teachings of their Founder!
Elvira Madigan

Annette said...

Hi. I have read this novel and many of the problems encountered by thousands of priests are very well reflected here. The novel run from council Vat. II til our days and the contents and dialogues cast light on conflicts, hopes and and other common situations related to priest´s daily life. The Catholic Church still tries to neglect these situations all too common to their priests. It took 500 hundred years to admit Church´s mistake condemning Galileo; it took over 30 year to admit the existence of paedofilia in all too many members of the church; it took over 30 years to speak up and admit the 'validity' of the use of condoms to prevent HIV and other dangerous diseases... Such a ludicrous and senseless way of practising charity... This novel shows the inside of this Institution apparently blind..., and trying to guide other people into light. The famous cardinal Baggio says in the novel that the Catholic church is in great need of a Pontifex, a person able to open the way, to build up new bridges and paths for the crowd, a crowd needed of these new ways as ever before in history.
A. Axie