Disaffected Catholics Do Not Call for Boycotting the Vatican
By Dr. PHYLLIS CHESLER, PhD

Hezi Aris Borough of The Bronx, Ny, Community, Governance, History, International, Jewish Westchester, People, Politics, Westchester County, NY 4 Comments

Many Catholics disagree with the Vatican, but do not try to delegitimize it. Only American Jews–our precious people, our remaining remnant, launch campaigns against the one-and-only Jewish state.

Phyllis Chesler is an Emerita Professor of Psychology at City University of New York. She is a best-selling author, a legendary feminist leader, a retired psychotherapist and expert courtroom witness. She has lectured and organized political, legal, religious, and human rights campaigns in the United States, Canada, Europe, Israel, and the Far East. Dr. Chesler is a co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology (1969), The National Women’s Health Network (1974), and The International Committee for Women of the Wall (1989). She is a Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow at The Middle East Forum, and a fellow at the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP). Professor Chesler may be reached at her website www.phyllis-chesler.com

Phyllis Chesler is an Emerita Professor of Psychology at City University of New York. She is a best-selling author, a legendary feminist leader, a retired psychotherapist and expert courtroom witness. She has lectured and organized political, legal, religious, and human rights campaigns in the United States, Canada, Europe, Israel, and the Far East. Dr. Chesler is a co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology (1969), The National Women’s Health Network (1974), and The International Committee for Women of the Wall (1989). She is a Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow at The Middle East Forum, and a fellow at the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP). Professor Chesler may be reached at her website www.phyllis-chesler.com

Many Catholics disagree with Vatican policies. Some no longer follow tradition. Many such Catholics still enter churches at times of birth, baptism, marriage, and death. Some Catholics take confession–but continue sinning. Many Catholics celebrate only the major holidays–and many Catholics are either life-long and devoted members of the flock or return to the faithful fold after a crisis or revelation.

Oddly enough, disaffected Catholics–those who mock priestly hypocrisy; expose sexual abuse scandals with relish; and strongly oppose the Church’s stand on many issues, including birth control, abortion, gay rights, divorce, and the Latin liturgy–nevertheless, do not launch full-scale, decades-long, global campaigns against the Vatican and the democratically elected Pope.

Catholics do not call for a boycott of the Vatican nor do they use the UN as a venue to de-legitimize or defame it among the nations. They do not infiltrate the Vatican or work with fifth columnists within the Papal State who also wish to bring the Pope and his minions down. Catholics do not demand that the Vatican end its “occupation” of Italy or turn over global church property and wealth to those who despise Catholic doctrine.

Catholic-Americans have not repeatedly enlisted leading-light academics and celebrities to join them in denouncing Vatican policies nor have they dis-invited, refused to invite or, black shirt style, drowned out the words of Catholic lecturers known to favor Vatican policies. Likewise, they have not helped create on-campus displays that attack the Church–year after year, and at which they physically and verbally assault students and teachers who are known Church-goers.

Most Catholic-American free thinkers, ex-Catholics, and those with major secular “attitudes,” do not bring lawsuits in their own cities to deprive the Church of its not-for-profit status. (A handful have certainly tried to do so).

Victims of priestly sexual abuse have sued and sometimes won closed settlements. So have victims in other religions.

Priests and nuns who’ve left the Church sometimes denounce it. They write articles, they lecture. More often, they continue “good works on earth,” live simply, and explain that they could no longer remain celibate or live within cloistered walls. Some priests and nuns marry each other. I have met them and many are still quite “spiritual,” even as they sometimes undertake radical political work.

Only American Jews–our precious people, our remaining remnant, do such things; only American Jews launch campaigns against the one-and-only Jewish state and they do so year after year and decade after decade. Most live outside of Israel, some are Israeli citizens.

What can one say? Are they suicidal Jew-haters? Do they believe they are saving the Jews by appeasing our enemies? (They do not see it this way).

Do they think they are at least saving themselves in their own countries and circles of influence? (They do and they believe they have the right to do so).

Or, do they believe they represent the “best” ethical values of Judaism? That they are Heaven’s agents, redeeming the rest of us from our provincialism, clannishness, and hard-hearted nationalism? (They believe this).

I meant to include this comparison of American Jews and Catholics in my column yesterday but then decided it was worthy of its own article.

As everyone knows, I was once a left-liberal but am so no longer; however, I have been and remain a radical feminist. I hope that liberal American Jews consider the ways in which they are different from liberal American Catholics. Perhaps this might lead to some self-reflection.

Original publication for Israel National News Arutz 7 on March 17, 2016 By Phyllis Chesler

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Dr. Phyllis Chesler is the author of sixteen books, including the landmark feminist classic Women and Madness, as well as many other notable books including With Child: A Diary of Motherhood; Mothers on Trial: The Battle for Children and Custody; Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman; and Women of the Wall: Claiming Sacred Ground at Judaism’s Holy Site. After publishing The New Anti-Semitism (2003), she published two more books: The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle For Women’s Freedom (2005) and An American Bride in Kabul (2013), which won a National Jewish Book Award. In 2016, she published Living History: On the Front Lines for Israel and the Jews 2003-2015.

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Hezi ArisDisaffected Catholics Do Not Call for Boycotting the Vatican
By Dr. PHYLLIS CHESLER, PhD

Comments 4

  1. Incoherent nonsense

    She tries to compare Christianity, American Catholics, and the Vatican with Judaism, non-Israeli Jews, and the state of Israel. To further complicate the matter, she understands Israel as a Jewish state, despite it being home to many non-Jewish Israelis (i.e. Arabs). In so doing, she sets up a very dangerous and false equivalency between Christian doctrine, which is religious, and the the policies of Israel, which involve national and international laws.

    The reason her comparison is flawed hinges on the fact that the Israeli state carries out the widespread confiscation and resettlement of land, engages in breathtaking acts of violence via its military campaigns, and restricts the rights of non-Jewish Israelis, who are second-class citizens in Israel. The Catholic Church does no such things because it is not a nation state. Comparing Catholic dissent over abortion or whether priests should remain single to American-Jewish dissent over Israel’s use of chemical weapons in Lebanon or illegal Israeli land grabs or inhumane treatment of Palestinians is intellectually dishonest as well as a gross distortion.

  2. Dork Dorkster

    “Many Catholics celebrate only the major holidays–and many Catholics are either life-long and devoted members of the flock or return to the faithful fold after a crisis or revelation.”

    Many Catholics and non-Catholics are shaking their heads wondering what you are trying to say.

    1. Post
      Author
      Hezi Aris

      She is pointing out that even when issues of concern among followers of Christianity they do not hate the Church or cause it harm while many among those who cling to Judaism no recoil from undermining Israel no matter how destructive it is to the Jewish nation or among the Diaspora. Why the self hatred? Dr. Chesler is saying that she respects the discourse among Christians because they are constructive to the better as opposed to too many who are destructive among the Jews. That is how I perceive her perspective.

      Kindly, Hezi

      1. Dork Dorkster

        Look at the use of “many” in that sentence. It covers everyone. It as nonsensical as the rest of her essay.

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