Monday, November 30, 2009

The Catholic Church and Women

The Christian Bible was put together after the life of Jesus was over. Between Jesus's life and the creation of the Bible there were many people who wrote about Jesus and his teachings. Not all of these writings, also called gospels, made it into the Bible.

Recently, I read one such non-canonical gospel called the Gospel of Thomas. It's supposedly a collection of things which Jesus said. Now, before going any further, I have to point out that this is a gospel which has been translated through multiple generations, and we cannot prove 100% that anything written inside the gospel is actually true. However, there are a number of quotes found in the Gospel of Thomas which are also in the gospels of Matthew and Luke.

The point of this blog is about the Catholic church and it's treatment of women. The Catholic church is loudly against abortion, loudly against sexual education, loudly against contraceptives, loudly against women's sexuality. On top of that, women are not allowed to be priests or bishops, and seem to be wholly silent (or silenced?) in the Catholic church.

So when I ran across a quote at the end of the Gospel of Thomas, it struck a nerve with me.

"Simon Peter said to them, 'Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of life.'"


Simon Peter, I have confirmed, is the same St. Peter who became the "rock" of the Catholic church. Which means the Catholic church came into being by someone who thought women were "not worthy of life."

Now I understand that men were the center focus in Biblical times, and women were most certainly not considered the same as they are today. But to go so far as to say they are not worthy of life? Whether this is physical life or spiritual life, it is still a huge deal.

Unfortunately, this history has not disappeared. The Catholic church is still fighting against women. They fight to stop women from being able to make choices about their body and their life. They fight to make abortion illegal, which causes it to be unsafe, in turn making more women die and face irreversible damage to their bodies.

The Catholic church cannot be pro-women if it started out against women and continues to be against women.


  1. This post presents the author's opinion as fact. Please refer to my twitter post for my reason for believing so.

  2. I'm sorry if you misinterpreted my post. I never assumed it was a fact. As a blog post, it should be very clear that this is my opinion and not a scholarly document. I also stated in the beginning that we cannot prove this gospel to be factual.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.