Boycott Church Housework

By Cockburn, Lyn | Herizons, Winter 2013 | Go to article overview

Boycott Church Housework


Cockburn, Lyn, Herizons


It is what some people in the Vatican are calling "Müller Time." That s because Pope Benedict recently appointed fellow German Gerhard Ludwig Müller, 64, head of the Roman Catholic Church's doctrinal watchdog, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Because Müller has ties to liberation theology - that quaint idea that the Catholic Church should pull its arthritic being into the 19th century and in another 200 years or so, the 20 th - some of the faithful thought he might lift some of the bans on women's participation in church operations, particularly the one on women becoming deacons. After all, say advocates, this position does not involve saying mass, and, in the book of Timothy, Paul makes a reference to "deaconesses." Opponents huffily point out that the Greek word for deaconess also translates as "servant."

Our Gerry put an immediate stop to any such nonsense. In an interview published by Catholic Online, he said all three clerical offices - bishop, priest and deacon - are reserved for men. "If the deacon, with the bishop and presbyter, starting from the radical unity of the three degrees of the orders, acts from Christ, head and Spouse of the Church, in favour of the Church, it is obvious that only a man can represent this relation of Christ with the Church."

This is proof that the Catholic Church is an equal-opportunity unemployer. It does not say, for example, that no black women need apply to become a deacon, or that no lesbian need petition to become bishop, and it does not preclude childless white women from aspiring to the priesthood. For once, the Church does not care about homosexuality, abortion or birth control.

The point here is that no women need apply. None. No racial bigotry. No homophobia. No ridiculous social strictures. Gerry doesn't give a damn whether or not you wear underwear under your miniskirt, nor does he care if you lust after a man on Monday and a woman on Wednesday. He cares only that you not become a deacon, priest or bishop.

Müller can quote scripture and church law all he likes, but the truth is that this is a simple issue. The whole thing comes down to one word: housework.

Men, especially those in religious hierarchies, instinctively know that if women do less housework they have more time to aspire to be doctors, lawyers, truck drivers, dentists, plumbers and, worse yet, deacons. …

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