Women and the Church (letter)

Women and the Church (letter)

Maureen Federico

Congratulations to the Perth Record for publishing the topical issue by Anne-Marie Langdon on Humanae Vitae (13 June), which was an address to the Commission for Catholic Women, and the first positive reaction to that recently formed body that I have yet seen.

To add to Anne-Marie's excellent article, there is no "career" on this earth that can match the enduring importance or challenge of a new little life coming into yours, and the well-being of both mother and child is crucial before, during, and long after birth for as long as it takes. This goes with a future of happy, well-balanced family and social life.

By contrast, the letter on the Commission's role in the same edition by Geraldine Hawkes was just another plethora of chosen words strung together to look like a reply to the many criticisms of their performance by interested readers. Ms Hawkes' method is favoured by politicians (I have often been a recipient) when they feel obliged to say something on an issue, but actually say nothing! It is a pity that the chairman of a spiritually-based organisation opts to use these questionable techniques. It never comes over with true veracity and it is unwise to underestimate people in the pews - we are not as thick as all that.

The Church has a different mission in the world. One meeting I attended with the "Woman and Man: One in Christ Jesus" followers was enough to convince me that I am not in the Church to find out how we can give birth to a splinter group of aggressive feminists vs. tremulous bishops.

In financial terms, if we are asked to fund the priests' retirement program or such, we do this willingly; so why were we not asked to fund this Commission for Australian Catholic Women? From where does the money come? I cannot imagine it comes out of the bishops' own pockets! Is the Church so flush with funds that we have money to spare?

I might remind Geraldine that I, as a Catholic woman, have never felt that my dignity or gifts were ever in jeopardy under the sole shepherding of the bishops. Nor did I ever feel the need for a few career-minded women to tell me that they want a nice, cosy, well-paid job so that they can tell the bishops what I'm supposed to "want".

MAUREEN FEDERICO
Frankston, Vic

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