Francis, women, and Candida Moss' truth problem | Carl E. Olson | CWR blog
A professor of New Testament at Notre Dame apparently values self-promotion and sensationalism over facts and orthodoxy
No one should be surprised that the L.A. Times would run a piece critical of the Church's supposedly unenlightened and backward teachings about women. It's par for the progressive, secular course. But a recent op-ed, "Pope Francis' woman problem" (Dec. 7) is a bit more interesting, as it is co-authored by two theologians, one of whom, Candida Moss, is professor of New Testament and early Christianity at the University of Notre Dame. Moss, from what I can tell, is something of a Catholic Bart Ehrman, intent on two apparent goals: undermining and attacking the tradition she claims to adhere to (Ehrman, it should be noted, is a former Evangelical who now identifies as an "agnostic"), while garnering as much publicity and fame (and income) as can be snapped up.
Actually, she may be more akin to Dan Brown than Ehrman, but suffice to say, Moss likes to take umbrage with the Church when the Church fails to agree with her, and therefore has plenty of material to mine, undermine, and misrepresent. For instance, take the opening lines of the L.A. Times piece:
At first, it was easy to overlook. With all of his statements about caring for the poor, the disabled and immigrants, and all the fanfare surrounding his famous “Who am I to judge?” proclamation, Pope Francis seemed like a breath of fresh air for a
church stuck resolutely in the past. The fact that he never commented on the longstanding marginalization of women in the Catholic Church, and asserted quite plainly that there would be no ordination of women, did nothing to dampen progressive enthusiasm for the new pope. There has been a hopeful sense that he would get around to it eventually.
You know what they say about assumptions, right? Well, they are on full display here:
1). The Church is "stuck in the past," which means, obviously, that the Church's teaching about women is wrong. Period. No need to argue it. No need to even describe what the Church actually teaches. Which is convenient, since Moss and her co-author, Joel Baden, professor of Hebrew Bible at Yale University, don't seem to know what the Church or Pope Francis actually say about women.
2). Francis has indeed said quite a bit about women, as Michael Bradley of Ethika Politika readily demonstrates. Anyone who has followed the many (many!) public utterances of the Holy Father knows he had said much about the role and place of women in the Church, society, etc. But, of course, the authors are fixated on "the longstanding marginalization of women in the Catholic Church," which, again, simply assumes that such is an established fact.
3). And that is apparently founded on the fact—this one an actual fact, not a "fact" fact—that the Pope has not yet signed off on the Moss-Baden Plan for Progressive Faith Communities and begun ordaining women. The line—"There has been a hopeful sense that he would get around to it eventually"—tells me everything I need to know: that Moss and Co. not only think they are right (of course), but that the Pope will (of course) follow suit. I'm not sure which is more revealing: the lack of theological knowledge when it comes to this particular matter or the surplus of progressive hubris about the same.
Remarkably, the piece goes downhill after that opening paragraph, probably because once the authors courageously threw themselves over the cliff of their progressive assumptions, there was only one direction to go. For instance: