Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Sonja Corbitt

1/28/2010 (4 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

What I found in the Catholic Church was the unique dignity of 'woman' for she is personified in 'The Woman', Mary, the Mother of the Lord.

When I converted - or as we are encouraged to say, came into the full communion of the Catholic Church - I was bombarded by well-meaning Protestant wives who rebuked me for stepping out from under my “husband’s authority” and following my conscience into the Catholic Church.

When I converted - or as we are encouraged to say, came into the full communion of the Catholic Church - I was bombarded by well-meaning Protestant wives who rebuked me for stepping out from under my “husband’s authority” and following my conscience into the Catholic Church.

Highlights

By Sonja Corbitt

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/28/2010 (4 years ago)

Published in Living Faith


BETHPAGE, TN (Catholic Online) - May I say that I am utterly disgusted with inane TV sitcoms that habitually present men as dazed, beer guzzling, bosom scrutinizing oafs who can hardly string two intelligent sentences together, and progressive female politicians who claim to speak and fight for me as a woman?

Granted, Ive had my feminist difficulties with religion and church, my insecurities stemming from male domination in childhood. I understand that baby boomer women have an inherent suspicion of some authority structures and the men who crafted them. I get that.

I appreciate their tirelessness in providing me with the luxury of the vote, the sight of the horizon above the glass ceiling, a job that earns my own money and an education consisting of more than the minutiae of home economics. I celebrate those accomplishments on my behalf and try not to take them for granted.

Woman Oppressed

I remember the perceived insult of what is sometimes called the Scriptural idea that woman was somehow a creative afterthought to man. The claim was that I seemed to exist to assuage his lonely fear and to merely help him while he alone has the capability and right to do all the doing that gets done.

Its proponents misquote this verse from the first book of the Bible, Then the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him (Gen. 2:18). I remember wondering why I must always be a helper rather than a doer in my own right.

Additionally, when teaching the Galatians about one of the most important events in salvation history, St. Paul called the mother of Jesus woman rather than by her name, "Mary." "When the time had fully come, God sent forth his son, born of woman" (Gal. 4:4). This once bothered me. I thought he was only following Jesus example: When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to him, They have no wine. And Jesus said to her, "O woman, what have you to do with me?" (Jn. 2:3-4). This sounded like marginalization of women to my sensitive ear.

I heard the argument that the Catholic Church oppressed women all the time. As a convert to that Catholic Church the only response I have ever been able to manage to that is simply What?! However, I knew from my own experience that there are strains of Protestantism that are simply archaic by comparison to the Church.

When I converted - or as we are encouraged to say, came into the full communion of the Catholic Church - I was bombarded by well-meaning Protestant wives who rebuked me for stepping out from under my husbands authority and following my conscience into the Catholic Church. Pauls exhortation, intended to deal with a pastoral problem in Ephesus, was misused as a weapon against me. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord (Eph. 5:22) In fact it was wielded against me like a club until I was sorely bruised.

As a Protestant teacher, I had been constantly reprimanded by curious men who found themselves in my religion classes for the very fact that I was teaching the Bible, until one precious pastor defended me. After all, some evangelical Protestants claim that women can only teach other women or children, should not voice opinions in church, and when they want to know something about God they should ask their husbands.

Woman Raised

Conversely, what I found in the Catholic Church was the unique dignity of woman, for she is personified in The Woman, Mary, the Mother of the Lord. The previous examples from St. Paul and Jesus echo Genesis 3:15 where the woman is first seen at the center of salvation: I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel."

The God who previously spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days has spoken to us by a Son" (Heb. 1:1-2), fulfills the prophecy and comes as a man "born of woman," a final, eternal, saving revelation. The final Word, came from a woman.

This is the eternal and definitive Covenant in Christ, in his body and blood, in his Cross and Resurrection. Precisely because this Covenant is to be fulfilled "in flesh and blood" its beginning is in the Mother (Mulieris Dignitatem, On the Dignity and Vocation of Women, John Paul II).

Rather than intending an insult, St. Paul indicated the profundity of this feminine unique mission with these words, in the fullness of time." God revealed the extraordinary dignity of "woman" and restored her to the elevated place lost through Eves sin, her wrong choice against love. By using the Genesis terminology when speaking of Marys role in the Incarnation, St. Paul hearkens back to the beginning of creation, a beginning that illustrates woman as she was first created to be, in the center of the heart and mind of God and in the communion of the Trinity, and illustrates an intentional new beginning for every woman.

Mary becomes one with God, without a sexual act, but in the deepest possible way, the way of complete self-giving. As both Virgin and Mother, this self-giving, without which one cannot fully find him- or herself - speaks to us women whether celibate religious, consecrated virgins or married, whether we give birth to physical children or spiritual ones. This is why the fathers of the Church so lovingly referred to her as the Second Eve.

This is properly called radical feminism. It gets back to the root, which is what the word radical means. This is the path to authentic power and provides the dignity all women want and some who call themselves feminists simply grasp at. Mary retains her utter uniqueness, because she alone can be one with her Son in the way of a mother and child, and a disciple. At the same time, it opens up a oneness we can all receive by entering into Marys yes as The Woman. We come into the communion of love communicated through a Man, the One who gave Himself up for her (Eph. 5:22) and for each of us, even unto death on a Cross.

I find myself increasingly moved to pity when I hear the ramblings of those of the Barbara Boxer, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, and Camille Paglia ilk, especially those who are Catholic and stubbornly assert that what they call the rights of women should include such things as aborting a human person, whether through a surgical procedure or ingesting a chemical weapon.

In his prophetic letter on the Gospel of Life, the Venerable John Paul II wrote: In transforming culture so that it supports life, women occupy a place, in thought and action, which is unique and decisive. It depends on them to promote a "new feminism" which rejects the temptation of imitating models of "male domination", in order to acknowledge and affirm the true genius of women in every aspect of the life of society, and overcome all discrimination, violence and exploitation. (The Gospel of Life, Pope John Paul II, Par. 99)

To my fellow sisters joined in what is the real feminist mission, the Mission of the Redeemer of all men and women, let us get to work, the future cries out!

-----

Sonja Corbitt is a Catholic Scripture teacher, study author and speaker. She is a contributing writer for Catholic Online. Visit her at www.pursuingthesummit.com and www.pursuingthesummit.blogspot.com.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Living Faith

Christians shouldn't badmouth others, Pope warns Watch

Image of People are

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Speaking at his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square this week, Pope Francis says that Christians must set a good example lest they drive people away into atheism. "How many times we've heard in our neighborhoods, 'Oh that person over there always goes ... continue reading


'Structural causes' of poverty must be dismantled, Pope tells activists Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a wide-ranging speech to activists, Pope Francis urged the gathered to join the fight against the "structural causes" of poverty and inequality, calling for a "revolutionary" program drawn from the Gospels. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "The poor no ... continue reading


God's existence does not contradict the discoveries of science, Pope Francis says Watch

Image of The pontiff reassured that the Big Bang theory, as well as the theory of evolution do not eliminate the existence of God.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

God remains the one who set all of creation into motion, Pope Francis told the Pontifical Academy of Sciences this week. The pontiff reassured that the Big Bang theory, as well as the theory of evolution do not eliminate the existence of God. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Yesterday's Faith is Not Enough: How We Can Overcome Pride Watch

Image of Monks in prayer

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Jesus continued to do what the Father had sent Him to do, in spite of opposition from apparently religious people. We are invited to follow his example. He will give us the grace to do so, if we ask Him. St Josemaria Escriva used a phrase to refer to the kind of ... continue reading


Christian rapper comes out of the closet --as straight Watch

Image of Jackie Hill-Perry is living testament to the power of God to change those who are willing to accept Him.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Christian rapper, Jackie Hill-Perry has come out of the closet --as straight. Hill-Perry says she experienced gender confusion after being sexually abused as a child and sought same-sex relationships until she says God helped her to change for the better. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


Every Christian is 'to create unity in the Church,' Pope Francis declares Watch

Image of This creating of unity in the Church, the Pope said, recounting the reading from Saint Paul to the Philippians,

By CNA/EWTN News

In his homily for Mass at the Santa Marta residence on Oct. 24, Pope Francis reflected on the call of Christians to perpetuate unity in the Church by being "living stones" built upon the "cornerstone of Christ." Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - This creating of ... continue reading


Abolish death penalty and life imprisonment, Pope Francis declares Watch

Image of The Vatican recently eliminated life imprisonment from its own penal code, Pope Francis noted.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Calling for the abolition of the death penalty as well as life imprisonment, Pope Francis soundly denounced what he called a "penal populism." The world's prescribed cure for crime - punishment, should never overtake the pursuit for social justice, he says. LOS ... continue reading


Making a Difference - Newly beatified pope championed justice and peace

Image of Pope Paul VI addresses the UN during his 1965 appeal for peace.

By Tony Magliano

With numerous armed conflicts raging in various parts of the world, and the Vietnam War worsening, Pope Paul VI on Oct. 4, 1965 proclaimed before the U.N. General Assembly: "No more war, war never again. It is peace, peace which must guide the destinies of peoples and ... continue reading


'War does not begin in the battlefield. Wars begin in the heart,' Pope Francis says Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Speaking at his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis addressed the topic of war. With the majority of the world engaged in some sort of battle, and it's up to the individual to realize that major conflicts begin with little things. LOS ... continue reading


Finding the Path to Peace Through Forgiveness Watch

Image of For he (Jesus) is our peace, he made both one and broke down the dividing wall of enmity, through his Flesh, abolishing the law with its commandments and legal claims, that he might create in himself one new person in place of the two, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile both with God, in one Body, through the cross, putting that enmity to death by it. He came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near, for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father- St Paul

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

In 1999 I was a part of Project Reconciliation led by a true peacemaker, paralyzed police officer Detective Steven McDonald. This trip was a part of Steven McDonald's mission of preaching peace through forgiveness. It had the goal of helping to heal the wounds ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Philippians 1:1-11
1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 111:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 Alleluia! I give thanks to Yahweh with all my ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 14:1-6
1 Now it happened that on a Sabbath day he had gone ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 31st, 2014 Image

St. Wolfgang
October 31: Wolfgang (d. 994) + Bishop and reformer. Born in Swabia, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter