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Catholic Nuns and Canonization

To: alt.magick
From: Peggy Brown
Subj: Catholic Nuns and Canonization
Date: 49921109 

Quoting: >Lorenzo Farris and |tyagi nagasiva (

>[Lorenzo Farris:]
>However, there is one point in its defense. Catholicism is
>the only established religion I am aware of (please correct me if
>there really are others) in which there is an opportunity, and has
>been for centuries, for women to pursue spirituality to its fullest

Gack!  Excuse me for not feeling honored, but I remember women 
not being allowed on the altar except to clean it, and having to 
keep our unworthy heads covered to even enter a church.

At one time the convent was an escape from the unpleasant 
alternative of being traded into marriage like a brood mare, but 
IMO this was an "out of the frying pan into the fire" solution.

>As a nun, of course. No temporal authority, no secular
>goodies, but at least there women have the opportunity for what is
>considered in the church to be the highest pursuit. 

The highest pursuit?  People can develop their spirituality 
without a church.  The highest pursuit in the Catholic church 
is to say the mass.  Women aren't allowed to do that.

My Aunt has been a nun for over 35 years.  She can't say the mass 
or perform any other sacraments.  But a man can be trained as a 
deacon and then can stand in for a priest.  At my cousins wedding 
recently a deacon said the mass and performed the marriage.  (My 
aunt read a quote.)  In the sermon he kept referring to his wife 
and marriage. 

|If you have not already done so, I recommend that you take up a
|study of the ACTUAL experience of nuns in modern and historical
|Catholicism.  My limited reading leads me to think that your words
|here are VERY far wrong.

Very.  Also, I've never understood why females would support an 
organization that has always treated them like sh*t, but that's 
just me.

|Men run the convents on the whole.  If they are not actively involved
|with its affairs, they keep a very tight rein on the power relationships
|within the convent-system.  Men receive the adulation (Jesus is, after
|all, considered to have had a penis, and so did all his disciples - oh
|wait, nah, Mary Magdelene was a whore, never mind :>).

Men DO set the policies that the convents follow.

>And I don't know
>what other groups do to respect the accomplishments of women, but
>women do get canonized as Saints, and I don't think there is any
>higher recognition of accomplishment in what the church 'says' is most

St. Peggy, hmmmmmm......

|I hope I'm wrong about this, but my impression is that the 'canonical'
|process is a political ploy designed to serve the needs of the men who
|wish to influence various aspects of society (whether ecclesiastical or
|no).  They 'find evidence' which allows them to come to the conclusions
|that they find useful/meaningful, much as modern Science does, which is
|really not very surprising.

Try reading a little about women who were canonized.  Typically 
they spent a lifetime in self-denial, and they excelled at self 
flagellation.  I've read of them sucking puss from leper's sores 
and licking the walls of their cells - eating the cobwebs and 

One of the most common methods of self-flagellation in the middle 
ages was starvation.  A woman's period was viewed as evidence of 
her sinful and lusty nature overflowing.  Women saints (and nuns) 
were frequently anorexic.  When their period stopped (due to mal-
nutrition) they were thought to have purified themselves.

The point is, women may have been canonized, but it was done in 
spite of their being women and they were exemplary at following 
rules set up by men.

- Peggy -

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