Is ordaining a woman worse than child sex abuse?

Apologists for the Catholic Church are correct that the Vatican is not equating women’s ordination with clerical paedophilia by referring to them in the same document, Normae de Gravioribus Delictis.

In fact, the penalties in the document suggest that the Vatican actually considers attempting to ordain a woman to be a more grave offence than sexually abusing a child.

A cleric who attempts either offence may be punished by dismissal or deposition, but a person who attempts to ordain a woman is also automatically excommunicated, as is the woman who attempts to be ordained.

These are the moral priorities that one might expect from a church that last year excommunicated a Brazilian mother for helping her raped nine-year-old daughter to have an abortion, without seeking to impose any penalties on the man who raped the child.

Ethical issues should be evaluated on the basis of human rights, compassion, well-being and suffering, not on the basis of theological dictates from people who believe they are getting messages from the creator of the universe.

Atheist Ireland

7 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Yewtree July 22, 2010

    Well said – I agree strongly.

  2. Avatar
    Yewtree July 22, 2010

    I mean I agree strongly with this statement, just in case there was any doubt: “Ethical issues should be evaluated on the basis of human rights, compassion, well-being and suffering, not on the basis of theological dictates from people who believe they are getting messages from the creator of the universe.”

    See also the excellent book Godless Morality by Richard Holloway.

  3. Avatar
    Raithie July 24, 2010

    The Vatican needs to get some decent PR advice.

    This is just fail.

  4. Avatar
    Revelations 0 July 26, 2010

    This kind of thing makes me weep and pretty much pushes me towards a more active standpoint as an Atheist. The Catholic Church is embarrassingly offensive about this sort of thing.

  5. Avatar
    James Smith October 11, 2010

    Why should we be surprised? To the vatican, maintaining the catholic system of lies, instilling fear and guilt, while discriminating against women is far more important than something minor like removing child-abusing priests from the populace.

    If I were a pedophile, I would go into the priesthood where I would be protected and supplied with victims. Wait, someone has already thought of that, haven’t they?

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