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Women as deacons

by Marthijn Uittenbogaard


Jorge Mario Bergoglio, better know as Pope Francis, wants to study the idea of ordaining women as deacons. This is very interesting and not only concerning women's rights. Gay people will also benefit from this plan if it will be introduced in the Catholic Church. Let me explain why women's rights and gay rights are intertwined.

When men and women can mix, then sexuality comes around the corner. If you don't want sexuality in the lives of Catholic leaders then you must separate the sexes. Nuns apart from monks. And you must condemn and suppress homosexuality too. If women are allowed to be around men then sexuality is invited and there would not be much need anymore to suppress homosexuality. We saw the same in our society that when women were no longer only housewives but doing the same jobs as men on the same work-floors, then homosexuality became more and more accepted. Traditional conservative Christian families where only the man works still are against homosexuality.

Why the suppression of sexuality? There are I think two mean reasons. Both concerning power in the first place and not the sexuality in itself. A nun or a monk maybe has some money. His or her money will when he or she dies become the money of the Church. They have no partner and no children: they are 'married' to the Church. In The Netherlands a Pastor gets - like everyone else - a state pension when reaching 67. But his money goes directly to the Church and the Church gives a part of it to the Pastor. This is his 'own' choice. Obey the rules of the Church or leave. His elderly home often is a building owned by the Church. Like I said: the Church is his family, it's his life. The Pastor doesn't have a partner saying: stand up for yourself, don't let them treat you like this and that. They don't have a partner saying: please I want to move to another town, because I can get a job there. They don't have children with problems, with wishes, et cetera.

The second reason is that when you suppress someones sexuality, or better said, when he or she is self repressing their sexuality, then you have power over them. The outside world is a dangerous place: women, gay people, pornography. This way you create self repressing people who quite often tend to be very intolerant and frustrated people too. A lot of them are very confused and/or hypocritical. Doing sexual things in a moment of weakness with feelings of shame and guilt. Not the nicest circumstances for the other one involved too... Or they are doing those things without the feelings of guilt but in a hypocrite way: preaching one thing, doing the other.

Are there many gay and lesbian people in the Church? Of course there are. When you were gay let's say one hundred years ago, in a time when people didn't speak openly about this 'horrible sin', then a place where you would not have to fuck a woman - getting married and produce kids - and where only other men 'like you' were around, was an interesting place to be for gays. This for many centuries even until now. Most of those closeted gays where attracted to the Church without knowing why. It's not that the all knew or accepted that they where gay.

The problem the Church - and other religious too - have, is that when you stop suppressing people, then they will taste freedom. They will follow their hearts when they fall in love. They will, in the end, no longer need the Church. The Church usually becomes a burden. Religious leaders that loosen the bridles will see less and less believers in their churches... The sixties and seventies was a reminder of this fact. That's why Popes did not want to give more freedom to their followers.

Will it be possible that the Church becomes tolerant concerning sexuality? I hope so. I wish to see 'a church' not based on religion. One based on humanity but with the weekly meetings for everyone in the community. Our communities maybe need this. We wanna know our neighbors, we wanna gossip, we wanna be a part of something, we wanna exist. We hate being scared of our neighbors who might be murderers, rapists or pedophiles. If we know the people in our community, including the pedophiles, the gays, the schizophrenics and you name it, then why would we still fear them? We fear the people we don't know. It has always been that way.

12 May 2016