Public Policy Fellow Helen Alvare on Women and the Catholic Church

Author: Stephen Freddoso


In response to this article by New York Times columnist Frank Bruni, Center Public Policy Fellow Helen Alvare recently wrote this piece about women and the Catholic Church.

Frank Bruni’s column on the Catholic Church’s treatment of women could inspire two masters theses in two disciplines. The journalism thesis would take on the shallowness to which opinion writing sinks when the subject matter is religion and women. The pastoral theology thesis would treat women in the Catholic Church today.

Regarding the journalism thesis: Mr. Bruni repeats the endlessly-told facts that all Catholic priests are male, and that Catholic women often use contraception. He reprises Catholic institutional opposition to mandatory contraception coverage in health insurance plans. Naturally, this leads him to conclude that the Church considers women “afterthoughts.”

Enough said.

Regarding women in the Catholic Church: While no one woman is sufficient to be the voice of all, I console myself that I am still dramatically better qualified than Mr. Bruni, and that his simplistic account shouldn’t go unanswered.

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