Raymond Leo Burke is an American Catholic cardinal who was recently demoted by Pope Francis for insubordination. He's now in a largely ornamental job and thoroughly discredited, but seems to be turning his attention to a new foe: Women. The Church has become "feminized," Burke says, and that's what's tearing it apart. Women. Yep. Seems right.
Burke got booted out of his job in the Vatican's Supreme Court back in November, after months and months of criticizing Pope Francis, mostly for the pope's relatively liberal stance on homosexuality. Burke has lots of strident social views, ones that never got him fired before Pope Francis came on the scene: he's ardently anti-abortion and has said that Catholics who support pro-choice candidates shouldn't be allowed to take communion. When he sat on the board of a Catholic hospital, he also pitched a fit when they let Sheryl Crow, who's pro-choice, play a benefit. (He actually resigned from the board over that one.)
But it's always a bad idea to publicly criticize your boss, especially an infallible one, and under Pope Francis' leadership Burke was soon demoted to becoming the patron of the Order of the Knights of Malta, a job with no real meaning or authority.
Burke still has Thoughts, though, and it's important that they somehow be inflicted on the world. Luckily, he's got the help of a website/movement called the New Emangelization Project, which seeks to restore manliness to the church.
The Emangelists are headed by a Catholic blogger named Matthew James Christoff. (He may also be their sole member.) Christoff fears that there's a "man-crisis" in the Catholic Church, with men becoming "disengaged" from it. The reason for that, obviously, is all the women in the church. Not in leadership roles, obviously, or in the priesthood, or really anywhere with any power; Christoff means, literally, all the women physically in church. He writes:
The "face" of the Church is feminine; men are underrepresented in the pews (only 37% of regular mass attendees are men). Further, a Notre Dame study shows that 70-90% of catechesis, service, bible study activities are led by women, causing the authors to suggest that "young males…assume that serious religious studies are a women's business," resulting in greater numbers of younger men being disengaged. Men are needed for healthy and growing parishes; research shows that congregations with greater portions of men are more likely to be growing.[The Church has a significant "Man Crisis" and needs to face the reality of the crisis; unchecked, the loss of men will have a long-term catastrophic impact on the Church.
Rhetoric like that makes Christoff a match made in someone's version of Heaven for Burke. As was first reported by the Washington Post, Burke and Christoff sat down for an interview recently, in which Burke accused "radical feminism" of "assaulting" the church, which is also being sapped by masturbation and The Gays.
Here's Burke on those radical feminists and their infiltration of the church:
Unfortunately, the radical feminist movement strongly influenced the Church, leading the Church to constantly address women's issues at the expense of addressing critical issues important to men; the importance of the father, whether in the union of marriage or not; the importance of a father to children; the importance of fatherhood for priests; the critical impact of a manly character; the emphasis on the particular gifts that God gives to men for the good of the whole society.
On the need for a two-parent home (one where parental genitals aren't matching, natch):
A boy or young man is unlikely to build proper manly identity and the manly virtues unless he lives with a father and mother, where he can witness that unique and complementary interaction between the male and the female in a home life in which human life can be welcomed, nurtured and developed.
I mean, broads are great, don't get me wrong:
Women are wonderful, of course. They respond very naturally to the invitation to be active in the Church. Apart from the priest, the sanctuary has become full of women. The activities in the parish and even the liturgy have been influenced by women and have become so feminine in many places that men do not want to get involved.
It's just that they smear the entire church with cooties and men find it to be a hge turn-off:
Men are often reluctant to become active in the Church. The feminized environment and the lack of the Church's effort to engage men has led many men to simply opt out.
Especially those little girls, when you allow them to be altar servers:
The introduction of girl servers also led many boys to abandon altar service. Young boys don't want to do things with girls. It's just natural. The girls were also very good at altar service. So many boys drifted away over time. I want to emphasize that the practice of having exclusively boys as altar servers has nothing to do with inequality of women in the Church.
Yes, how could women ever think they're unequal in the eyes of the Catholic Church or its earthly representatives like Raymond Leo Burke?
Burke tells Christoff that the solution here is manlier pastors, as well as vigorously shaming young Catholic men who confess to masturbation ("Men have told me that when they were teenagers, they confessed the sin of masturbation in the confessional and priests would say, 'Oh, that's nothing you should be confessing. Everybody does that.' That's wrong.")
If you were ever looking for helpful household hints on manly manhood and appropriate family structures from an unmarried celibate senior citizen who frequently wears a voluminous skirt, well, today was your lucky day.
Image via AP