Last night I escaped my confines and went to a colleagues retirement do, analgesia, padding to sit on, plus a couple of glasses of wine and I had an enjoyable couple of hours. Before I started writing I was musing on what to say about this colleague when I realised that I could find myself in trouble for not being PC in my description, she is from the Caribbean and has a much darker skin colour than myself. Do I say ‘black’, ‘brown’, ‘dark skinned’ or ‘of colour’? I really don’t know. Does it matter how I describe a person’s skin colour? When chatting to other ‘white’ people I don’t worry that I may offend by commenting that they are ‘fair’ skinned, ‘sallow’ or ‘olive’. If my darker skinned friends make a comment which involves something along the lines of ‘you white people’ I don’t take offense, this whole debate is really to do with context I suppose. An argument here may be that, as I’m white, I have never been subject to discrimination, but that’s not true as I’m female and apparently we are discriminated against. I’m also a Roman Catholic and we can be discriminated against, never experienced that but I have experienced abuse concerning my faith, inadvertently and by friends who hadn’t realised I am RC. Was I concerned? No. Everyone is entitled to an opinion and it hasn’t affected our friendship.
Dwelling on religion I suddenly remembered something that really wound me up during the week, the Pope’s latest edict (yes, religion and sex discrimination in one). I just erupted when his pronouncement regarding the ordination of women came on the news. I actually have no desire to be a priest, I can’t logically see why women can’t be priests but logic aside I assume that there is some tennant within the church’s canon law which preclude it, so live with it. Be a nun if you want to dedicate your life to God and remain a Catholic. No, my argument isn’t with the decision not to ordain women, it’s with the overkill, the real slap down to those women who had harboured a wish. All El Papa had to do was say ‘Look, we have discussed it but it’s a non-starter for these reasons, this, this and this. Sorry and all that but Roman Catholicism just doesn’t allow for women priests’. But no, Ratzinger and his conclave decided to –
- Discuss the heinous crime of women priests alongside paedophilia
- Rate female ordination as one of the worst crimes which can be committed within the Church.
Both crimes would be subject to investigation by ‘The Inquisition’, not called that anymore but still the same thing, and whilst sex crimes by priests would lead to de-frocking, but not automatic referral to outside agencies, attempting to ordain a woman would result in ex-communication and de-frocking for the ordainer and ex-communication for the would be priest and was a ‘ grave crime against the sacraments’ , which equates it to heresy and desecrating the sacrament. Talk about cracking a nut with a sledgehammer, a woman attempting to serve God is as foul as a priest, in a position of trust, sexually abusing a young child? Sorry Pope Benedict you are so wrong.
I bet that God’s representative on earth, if you’re a rat catcher (Ratzinger, hmm), is not at all happy about the Pope Joan issue being topical again. Crickey, if he can’t tolerate the idea of a woman being a priest he must go into apoplexy at the thought that there might once have been a female Pope.
Anyway. Lovely evening yesterday. Really sad to see this colleague leave as she was often a ray of sunshine in the frequently dark mood of our office. When life would get the better of my happy, cheerful personality* she would always take the trouble to offer support and help me shrug off my woes. For the students and ‘new to community midwives’ she would be a strong advocate and a font of knowledge. She has promised that she will come back and do a few hours here and there for us, I truly hope that she does as her retirement has left a huge space which will be extremely difficult to fill.
*Happy, cheerful personality. Yesterday I received a card and pressies from the G.P’s surgery I work with and one of the messages used those words to describe me. Lovely.