Since stepping up to the papacy last year, Pope Francis has enjoyed the popularity (with a grain of salt) that comes from making a few reasonable statements (and some balls to the walls take downs). Despite his reputation for saying progressive things (that, as Anna March at the Weeklings points out, is undermined by his actions), he missed the opportunity to talk about the status of women in the church and instead practiced some of his comedic material.
In an interview with Franca Giansoldati (in Italian),his first with a woman journalist since his election, mind you, he certainly praised women and the concept of femininity. Giansoldati pointed out that when he spoke of women, it was usually in the context of marriage and motherhood.
When she asked about women's roles, he replied by saying that women were "the most beautiful thing God has made." Awww Pope! Thanks for helping me see the real beauty within me! But when pressed for an answer regarding underlying misogyny in the Catholic Church he deftly avoided a real answer.
Via the Guardian:
"The fact is that woman was taken from a rib." Giansoldati wrote that he then laughed "heartily" before saying: "I'm joking. That was a joke."
The 77-year-old pontiff went on: "The issue of women needs to be gone into in more depth, otherwise you can't understand the church itself." But did he envisage, say, appointing a woman to head a Vatican department?
"Well," replied the pope cryptically. "Priests often end up under the sway of their housekeepers."
OH GREAT LOL ROFLMFAO. If women want to have influence in the church, all we have to do is become a housekeeper for a priest! I'll get my Swiffer ready!
Last week on the article about how the pope was excommunicating mobsters, commenters pointed out that the Pope's progressive statements is more about PR and not about actual progress. Pope Francis still seems like a more reasonable pope to me, but it's also pretty damn important that we see actual movement in the church, or, you know actually talking about women beyond them being wives or mothers.