Women's March controversy: Part II.The March of Women controversy has shaken and angered many people, especially members of the Catholic Women's League The Catholic Women's League (CWL) is a Roman Catholic lay organisation aimed at women in England and Wales. Through emigration in the past, the CWL may be found in some Commonwealth countries. It is especially flourishing in Canada, Australia, and Hong Kong. (CWL CWL Catholic Women's League
CWL Campus Wide Login
CWL Center for Writing and Learning
CWL Concealed Weapons License
CWL Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom - Cardiff-Wales (Airport Code)
CWL Congestion Window Limit
CWL Crying With Laughter ) (see previous article, June 2000, pp. 8-9). Holy Redeemer CWL in Pickering, ON, for example, not only resolved that the National Executive must disengage dis·en·gage
v. dis·en·gaged, dis·en·gag·ing, dis·en·gag·es
1. To release from something that holds fast, connects, or entangles. See Synonyms at extricate.
2. itself from the March, but also adopted a resolution that if they did not, they would consider cutting off financial support to the CWL's upper levels. In this article I would like to reflect on the heart of the controversy.
Let us quickly recall the basic facts. In February, the President of the Canadian Catholic Conference of Bishops (CCCB CCCB Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
CCCB Central Christian College of the Bible (Missouri)
CCCB Center of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain)
CCCB Child Care Choices of Boston ), Bishop Gerald Wiesner of Prince George Prince George, city (1991 pop. 69,653), central British Columbia, Canada, at the confluence of the Fraser and Nechako rivers. It is a railroad division point and a distribution center for a lumber region. , BC, issued a call to join the World March of Women in solidarity with the objectives of fighting poverty and violence against women. The Executives of the CWL, of the Canadian Conference of Religious (CCR 1. CCR - condition code register.
2. CCR - (Database) concurrency control and recovery. ) and of the Canadian Catholic Organization of Development and Peace (CCODP-hereafter D&P) readily joined in.
Then the pro-life news agency of Campaign Life Coalition (CLC (The Computer Language Company Inc.) The publisher of this Encyclopedia. See About this product. ), Lifesite, and the pro-life monthly The Interim recalled that the March of Women organizers were essentially anti-Catholic, committed to radical feminism Radical feminism is a "current" within feminism that focuses on patriarchy as a system of power that organizes society into a complex of relationships producing a "male supremacy" that oppresses women. . They discovered that D&P, which gets its funding from the collection plates in Catholic churches, had given it a substantial amount of money ($135,000 over five years it turned out to be.)
1. Concerning that matter; upon that.
2. Directly following that; forthwith.
3. In consequence of that; therefore. , charges flew back and forth, with CWL members across the country gradually beginning to hear about it and then refusing to follow their National Executive. This executive, backed by those of the CCCB and the D&P, dug in, refusing to acknowledge that anything at all could possibly be wrong, only to find that those disagreeing were growing in number and now included bishops from Hamilton, Toronto, Vancouver and Yarmouth. The "Executives" in turn, received support from bishops in Calgary and London, and with that backing blamed pro-life organizations for disturbing peace and good order out of sheer, nasty, narrow-mindedness. This is the situation at the time of writing in mid-June.
Not faith and morals
The first point to be made, I believe, is that this disagreement is not a question of faith and morals, of doctrine or church discipline. On this issue, Catholics may disagree with Verb 1. disagree with - not be very easily digestible; "Spicy food disagrees with some people"
hurt - give trouble or pain to; "This exercise will hurt your back" their executives, their bishops and priests without having a bad conscience. Saying this does not mean that the issue is unimportant, but that it falls outside the strict jurisdiction of Canon Law canon law, in the Roman Catholic Church, the body of law based on the legislation of the councils (both ecumenical and local) and the popes, as well as the bishops (for diocesan matters). . It belongs to an area ruled by the virtue of prudence and human reasoning.
A second point is that it is now clear that the executives of the Catholic pro-March groups all acted without consulting their members, taking it for granted that reasonable people would certainly want to agree with them. The discovery that this was not so has irritated them to the point that their original presumption has led them to bad mouth those who disagree, especially groups which could be identified as pro-life.
The first to do so was CWL President Sheilah Pellerin with a derogatory evaluation of Campaign Life in April, ("they are a one issue organization"), followed by CCCB Secretary-General Msgr. Peter Schonenbach's accusation in early May that "pro-life people take everything out of context." The rhetoric increased dramatically with Calgary bishop Fred Henry's public attack on the pro-life movement on May 6. "I'll know we have a genuine pro-life movement, someday," he said, "when a [pro-life] convention like this one includes sessions on occupational safety." He concluded by calling pro-lifers "the rudest people he has had to deal with." This in turn was quickly followed by derogatory descriptions of Campaign Life Coalition in unsigned editorials in the Catholic Register ("Some fringe religious organizations," May 22,) and in the Catholic New Times (which put 'prochoice and pro-life...on the same level of incompetence,' May 14). Finally, Bishop Henry's former superior, Bishop John Sherlock of London, ON, in defen ding cooperation with the Women's March, let it be known that "if the pro-life people had their way, we would all be living in a ghetto, and crying about how unclean the rest of the world is".
Catholic Women's League
The CWL Executives, national and diocesan, were so shocked at having been challenged that in diocesan and provincial meetings they attempted to prevent the issue from being debated or, if debated at all, under a process carefully controlled by themselves. That was the case in an Ottawa valley The Ottawa Valley is the valley surrounding the Ottawa River for the west-east portion of its path through the Canadian Shield from Mattawa to Hawkesbury. Because of the surrounding shield, the valley is narrow at its western end, then becomes increasingly wide (mainly on the regional meeting, and again in St. Catharines where Ontario provincial president Betty Ann Brown Ann Leslie Brown (1943-1999) was an educational psychologist who developed methods for teaching children to be better learners. Her realization that children's learning difficulties often stem from an inability to use metacognitive strategies such as summarizing led to profound castigated members for daring to bring up the issue. To her chagrin, she was shouted down and outvoted.
Still, the procedure seems to be to load up the agenda with speakers, minutes, records and resolutions; then restrict discussion time to the abso- lute lute, musical instrument that has a half-pear-shaped body, a fretted neck, and a variable number of strings, which are plucked with the fingers. The long lute, with its neck much longer than its body, seems to have been older than the short lute, existing very early minimum, and, voila voi·là
Used to call attention to or express satisfaction with a thing shown or accomplished: Mix the ingredients, chill, and , your annual meeting perhaps will never even hear that there was a debate, let alone hear about resolutions passed by diocesan councils such as Hamilton which called for the resignation of the entire National Executive for bypassing the rank and file. As a Toronto diocesan convenor put it in early May, "by September no one will even recall that there was an issue to be debated."
It appears now that her prophecy may not come true though much will depend on whether the "rebels" can influence the agenda of the national meeting to be held in P.E.I. in August. A typical example of upper-level control was perhaps the BC Yukon Provincial CWL convention in Surrey, BC, on June 8. First, National President Sheilah Pellerin was allowed to take her time in reading the May 16 joint statement of the four groups (reiterating their commitment to the March), exhausting the discussion time. However, at a late moment an opportunity presented itself unexpectedly when a member was voted time to read the new statement by Vancouver's Archbishop Adam Exner, opposing support fox the March. Past President Claire Heron spoke against the motion to withdraw, concerned principally with what "the media" might say. The result: 53 votes against the March; 13 in favour; one abstention ABSTENTION, French law. This is the tacit renunciation by an heir of a succession Merl. Rep. h.t. .
At about the same time, in another part of the country, Canada's largest diocesan CWL, that of the Archdiocese of Toronto, also voted to withdraw from the March (68% to 3 2%). The moral of the story: debate the question openly and freely. The opposite will prove disastrous.
Cooperation or not
What, we should ask, is the key issue behind these accusation and this debate? Bishop Henry put it in simplistic sim·plism
The tendency to oversimplify an issue or a problem by ignoring complexities or complications.
[French simplisme, from simple, simple, from Old French; see simple terms--but useful for our purpose--when he told the Alberta Pro-life Alliance in Calgary that there are three choices with respect to modern society: withdrawal, revolution or involvement. He dismissed pro-life as favouring the first; never mentioned revolution (presumably pre·sum·a·ble
That can be presumed or taken for granted; reasonable as a supposition: presumable causes of the disaster. as unthinkable); and himself chose involvement. But this immediately put him at odds with another example of non-cooperation, namely the 1993 decision of his predecessor Bishop Paul O'Bryne, to pull Calgary Catholic Charities out of the United Way fundraising because the latter supported pro-abortion agencies such as Planned Parenthood Planned Parenthood
A service mark used for an organization that provides family planning services. .
This then puts everything in an even broader context: when do we cooperate and when do we not? Are Catholics allowed to have their own identity or not? And if we "cooperate," are we perhaps compromising our integrity or--as it was called during wartime--collaborating with the enemy?
Bishop O'Byrne's creation of the Annual Bishop's Appeal (and therefore, withdrawal from the United Way in Calgary) had been preceded by similar actions by Archbishop Joseph MacNeil of Edmonton, the late Archbishop James Carney of Vancouver and, especially, the initial withdrawal in 1976 by Archbishop Philip Pocock of Toronto and the subsequent creation of Share Life to raise funds for the Catholic Charities there. All four dioceses have come out "on top" financially, that is they have collected more money independently than they would have received from the United Way. The point here, however, is that Bishop Henry now calls this a form of isolationism isolationism
National policy of avoiding political or economic entanglements with other countries. Isolationism has been a recurrent theme in U.S. history. It was given expression in the Farewell Address of Pres. , with the attached aura of contempt which this term carries.
The perceptive reader will see at once that this argument can be pursued further. Should we surrender our Catholic schools because these are "separate" and, as opponents say, "divisive?" As we know, the Quebec bishops went along with their government and now have nothing left, after the last vestiges of "religion" were removed recently. Do not for one moment think that the vacuum left behind in those schools will not be filled. Do we in English Canada want to follow the example of Quebec? I would say not.
One good thing that has come out of this current controversy is the blowing apart of the artificial, stifling unanimity and so-called solidarity imposed on the bishops by the post-1968 CCCB. For 30 years the CCCB has been instrumental in suppressing de facto [Latin, In fact.] In fact, in deed, actually.
This phrase is used to characterize an officer, a government, a past action, or a state of affairs that must be accepted for all practical purposes, but is illegal or illegitimate. (not de iure each bishop's right to be the main teacher in his diocese, to replace him with a flood of oracular o·rac·u·lar
1. Of, relating to, or being an oracle.
2. Resembling or characteristic of an oracle:
a. Solemnly prophetic.
b. Enigmatic; obscure. statements.
One trusts that the CWL too will benefit from this controversy. Like the CCCB, its higher levels of government seemed to have fallen into the trap of mistaking paper declarations from on high with actual work to be done in the local councils. If the dignity of women is to be defended against the assaults of poverty and violence, surely this is to be done locally. One can imagine all sorts of work done by Christian women in the cities and towns across this country, among natives, immigrants, farmers, families, etc.
CCODP CCODP Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace
Lack of space does not permit me many words. Recall that the D&P was born in 1968 out of the flight from birth control. When Church leaders and laity in Canada threw up their hands in the years 1966-1968 of ever getting it right on the Pill, they banished the family-moral issues from sight and decided to concentrate on "social justice," meaning hereby economic-political justice. In their minds, issues such as abortion were never part of that. Both D&P and the Social Justice Commission of the CCCB wanted nothing to do with any family-morality topics. They were going to change the world through economic development. Thus an alienation was born from pro-life groups who considered the killing of the unborn as the social justice issue. The alienation lasts till this day.
It is not surprising, therefore, that D&P personnel in their April and May letters of defence (for having given $135,000 to the March), deny all allegations about anti-life elements among the participants. Theirs is a secular aid program, the more so that the Canadian government often matches their grants, insisting that moneys may not go to primarily religious projects. This is not to diminish in any way the good D&P does. But D&P must not be thought of as an organization that is familiar with issues outside its economic-political scope.
And, yet, perhaps it is but not in a way we like. In a mid-May document ("D&P and the March of Women"), D&P rejects all charges, including that there is anything wrong with feminism or "radical feminism". It calls this "name-calling" and "labelling." Really? And this at the very time when news agencies were reporting an all-out battle at the United Nations' Beijing +5 preparatory meetings in late May and early June between the "feminists" and the pro-life people, the latter including the Holy See. So what ideology does D&P represent?
In 1991 the late Bishop James Mahoney of Saskatoon Saskatoon (săskətn`), city (1991 pop. 186,058), S central Sask., Canada, on the South Saskatchewan River. was scandalized when he discovered that D&P was spending 25% of its funding on education. He called for an end to D&P, first because he thought 25% far too high, but also because he objected to the kind of education D&P provided. Throughout the seventies and eighties the educational literature spread about in Canadian parishes was often antagonistically socialist and frequently anti-American. When D&P therefore, argues that its $135,000 went not to the organizers but to individual women's groups in the Philippines, Peru, Mexico, etc., standing for the dignity of women, one is relieved; yet at the same time one wonders about this "education." Was it about teaching the "clenched clench
tr.v. clenched, clench·ing, clench·es
1. To close tightly: clench one's teeth; clenched my fists in anger.
2. fist" or about something else?
What are we to conclude? As Bishop James Wingle of Yarmouth, NS, puts it in his June 13 release quoting Pope John Paul's 1995 encyclical encyclical, originally, a pastoral letter sent out by a bishop, now a solemn papal letter, meant to inform the whole church on some particular matter of importance. Benedict XIV circulated the first known encyclical in 1740. Evangeliurn vitae: "a century ago, it was the working classes that were oppressed op·press
tr.v. op·pressed, op·press·ing, op·press·es
1. To keep down by severe and unjust use of force or authority: a people who were oppressed by tyranny.
2. , today the assault is on human life, especially of its most defenceless adj. 1. same as defenseless; as, a defenceless child s>.
Adj. 1. defenceless - lacking protection or support; "a defenseless child"
vulnerable - susceptible to attack; "a vulnerable bridge"
members, the unborn". "Anything that compromises or clouds our witness to this utterly essential good of life and the inalienable Not subject to sale or transfer; inseparable.
That which is inalienable cannot be bought, sold, or transferred from one individual to another. The personal rights to life and liberty guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States are inalienable. right to it," Bishop Wingle states, "must be rejected". Consequently, the Bishop believes that to cooperate with feminist groups who all over the world have made the elimination of the unborn a primary right in their programs, is not acceptable. So do I.