Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Over at National Review Online Kathryn Jean Lopez interviews Sister Mary Prudence of the Religious Sisters of mercy of Alma. A very good interview which you should read.
One part which I found enlightening was the result of a question by Lopez:
And you did this of your own free will? Chose to be subservient in a patriarchal church?

Sister Prudence: The first part of this question is important. A simple answer is: “Yes.”

The sister then continues:

The second part of this question is framed within a feminist political ideology. As we say in Catholic philosophy, the mind receives according to the mode of the receiver. If the mode of the receiver is a political feminist ideology, then that is how he or she will perceive the Catholic Church. The word “subservient” as used in your question seems to imply serving in an inferior way, which is not what we do. We serve as Christ, who came “not to be served but to serve.”

The difficulty is that, throughout history, there has been a struggle between basically three different positions about the relation between women and men: 1) traditional gender polarity, which viewed men as naturally superior to women, and its modern counterpart, reverse gender polarity, which views women as naturally superior to men; 2) unisex positions, which claim that there are no significant differences between women and men; and 3) complementary positions, which argue for the simultaneous fundamental equality and worth of women and men and their significant differentiation.
Sister Prudence has a PhD in philosophy, and it shows. Read the whole article and you'll understand why, while some orders are dying others prosper.