The Common Good
June 2012

From the Archives: June 1990

by Maria Riley | June 2012

Women's Concerns

With the publication of the second draft of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops’ pastoral on women’s concerns, One in Christ Jesus, the inherent problematic of the process continues. Simply stated, that problematic is that a committee of men, albeit men of good will, circumscribed by a patriarchal institution, are attempting to respond to the current women’s movement, whose goal is to dismantle patriarchy in all its personal and structural manifestations.

Take Action on This Issue

Circle of Protection for a Moral Budget

A pledge by church leaders from diverse theological and political beliefs who have come together to form a Circle of Protection around programs that serve the most vulnerable in our nation and around the world.

Related Reading

Despite the bishops’ extraordinary effort to listen to women in more than 100 diocesan hearings ... the historic problem remains intact: The men of the Roman Church continue to assume the right and the responsibility to define women and to interpret women’s experience.

Identifying this central problematic does not deny that the bishops on the pastoral committee have tried to respond to the issues women named in the hearings and in the responses to the first draft. They have listened, and they have been able to name many of the critical issues and unjust circumstances that shape women’s lives. They have clearly identified sexism as a sin and have recognized the church’s implication in the perpetuation of that sin. That is a significant admission. ... However, they have not been as successful in charting a direction that will lead the church and the society beyond sexism, because they have not addressed the central problematic—the patriarchy that structures the Roman Church.

Maria Riley, O.P., worked for the Center of Concern when this article appeared.

Sojourners relies on the support of readers like you to sustain our message and ministry.

Related Stories

Resources

Like what you're reading? Get Sojourners E-Mail updates!

Sojourners Comment Community Covenant

I will express myself with civility, courtesy, and respect for every member of the Sojourners online community, especially toward those with whom I disagree, even if I feel disrespected by them. (Romans 12:17-21)

I will express my disagreements with other community members' ideas without insulting, mocking, or slandering them personally. (Matthew 5:22)

I will not exaggerate others' beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. I will always extend the benefit of the doubt. (Ephesians 4:29)

I will hold others accountable by clicking "report" on comments that violate these principles, based not on what ideas are expressed but on how they're expressed. (2 Thessalonians 3:13-15)

I understand that comments reported as abusive are reviewed by Sojourners staff and are subject to removal. Repeat offenders will be blocked from making further comments. (Proverbs 18:7)