5 thoughts on “Tina Beattie, Professor of being Catholic

  1. This does indeed seem to be a serious miscarriage of justice, and Tina Beattie is within her rights to draw outraged attention to it. She did not, however, go on to admit that this sort of behaviour (serious sexual abuse, followed by attempts to cover it up, followed by getting away with it, with the help of friends in high places) is par for the course for her church. Indeed, it’s mainly because this was bishop-on-nun action that we got to hear about it in the first place. Bishop-on-choirboy crimes often manage to avoid being reported at all.

    Interesting that Tina went on to speculate that, perhaps, the ‘sins’ of women are rather different from those of men, and then to imagine what Jesus was ‘really’ thinking when he defended the woman taken in adultery. If you can think that ‘sins’ might change their nature over the years, it doesn’t take much to realise that the whole idea of ‘sin’ has been completely thought up by men. And if you can imagine what one of the characters in a story might have been thinking, then perhaps the story itself is nothing more than a pious fiction. And from there, you’re halfway towards understanding that the whole kit and caboodle has been made up. Baby steps, Tina, baby steps.

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    1. Good of Tina to attempt a discussion of sexual predation in her church once again going unpunished, but I can’t understand why Catholic women stick with their church?
      See https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/getting-help-for-domestic-violence/ for a list of abusive behaviours and you realise that over the centuries many of those behaviours (“tell you what to wear, who to see, where to go, and what to think”) are what was the norm within the church, and some still are. Tina often discusses women’s issues within the male dominated Catholic church but never seems to think about leaving. “No, the church/my abusive husband loves me really. I’m sure I’ll be able to change it/him if I stick with it/him.” It feels like she and others can’t break free from the domineering father, son and Holy Ghost/partner. Why not just leave and find a church where women can be the equals of men? Why stay and put up with the abuse?

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  2. Very well dissected by StephenJP. For me the salient points were these. In her quoted scripture story of the woman caught in adultery Tina says “the man she was accused of being with isn’t mentioned.” She should, and probably does know why this was so; because (according to Jewish law, as laid out in the O.T.) men are not accused of adultery, it is only the woman that is at fault and liable for punishment. No wonder the notion of woman as temptress, leading a man astray persisted into recent times (and is still believed in some quarters even now). Next Tina suggests that Jesus averted his gaze to avoid adding to her shame, and lastly, Jesus tells the woman to “go, and sin no more.” Tina is evidently comfortable with the idea that the woman has sinned and should be shamed, and doesn’t query whether the man has not sinned too; or think it unfair that the he is not being shamed, or brought before Jesus as well.

    The scriptural story is actually about judgement and who has the right to condemn; that point is more important to the story than the transgression (if such it is) of the accused – women commit adultery; fact.

    But given the law that lies behind the story and the historical injury and injustice it had inculcated over centuries, is it any wonder that the 1960s survey of women’s sins suggests they are related to ‘a lack of self-worth and sense of inferiority’? Since the RC Church has been instrumental in maintaining the idea of women’s inferiority to men, and the necessity of their being submissive, it seems less surprising that the Bishop should be acquitted of misdeeds against ‘a sinful woman.’

    Tina’s concerns are misplaced. She needs to wake up and take a long uncritical look at the real culprit, her church, and the wickedness it is responsible for. She won’t, though.

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      1. “It was “overwhelmingly likely”, their report said, that archbishop Ratzinger was aware of abusing priests in his archdiocese.”
        What’s the chances of him getting a sainthood in 20 years time?

        From the How to Get Out of an Abusive Relationship website with my additions –
        “If you’re trying to decide whether to stay or leave, you may be feeling confused, uncertain, frightened, and torn. Maybe you’re still hoping that your situation will change (will women very become priests?) or you’re afraid of how your partner (the Catholic Church) will react if he (it) discovers that you’re trying to leave (Go and sin no more or you will go to hell!). One moment, you may desperately want to get away, and the next, you may want to hang on to the relationship (Jesus will answer my prayers!). Maybe you even blame yourself for the abuse, or feel weak and embarrassed because you’ve stuck around in spite of it (Jesus, forgive me, I have been weak”). Don’t be trapped by confusion, guilt, or self-blame (I was tempted by the devil).”
        How many women in the Catholic Church feel some of these feelings towards their church?

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