This little spat between the Inquisition and the slightly disobedient (but not disobedient enough) nuns reminds me of something that we generally don’t focus on sharply enough. It’s certainly obvious, yet it kind of fades into the background of the taken-for-granted.
The something is:
Women are the only category of people who can’t ever be Catholic clergy no matter what they do or don’t do. The only one. Atheists can change their minds. Buddhists can convert. Convicted felons can repent. Gay men can be closeted.
But women, and women only, are barred, completely and finally; barred as such, barred from birth, barred because of what they are. Trying to unbar them is an excommunicable crime, while raping children is not. Raping children in the performance of priestly duties is not an excommunicable crime – but
ordinating ordaining a woman as a priest is.
It’s very interesting, if you think about it. There are no Chinese or Brazilian disciples of Jesus, but that doesn’t make Chinese or Brazilian men ineligible for the priesthood. Yet the explanation for the ineligibility of women is that there were no female disciples. That’s a transparently feeble reason.
No; it’s just that the church and its all-male staff share the age-old bigotry about women and they’re authoritarian and vicious enough to refuse to abandon it. They think women aren’t good enough to be priests. They think women are too dirty, and stupid, and sluttish, and weak to be priests. They don’t want women stinking up their club house. And because religion is Special, they get to act on their bigotry.