Sunday, January 22, 2017

Fr. Longenecker on the Women's March

10 Reasons why it will come to nothing.*

I was really impressed by the massive crowds gathered to protest in major cities in the United States and around the world.  When I read Fr. L's take on why it will come to nothing, I thought he was being naive and a bit reactionary.  I still think that.  (Fr. L's post here.)

The one point Fr. L makes which I agree on is that this protest is indeed about abortion - the 'sacrament' which is the source and summit of women's rights and equality.  No doubt about it.  Fr. Longenecker, in the eyes of the protesters, demonstrates how he is actually part of the problem (their POV) they are determine to end:  The end of structural patriarchy.

And that is exactly why it is naive to say the Women's March will come to nothing.

The Atlantic has an interesting article on the Women's March titled When Protest Fails, suggesting the Women's March will go the way of the Moscow demonstrations on December 10, 2011 when around 50,000 people came out to protest fraudulent parliamentary elections.  The author makes excellent points and very convincing arguments comparing the two events, but she seems to discount the global dimension of the protest and how sacred women's reproduction rights are to the Women's Equality Movement.  Likewise, on some level, the 2011 Moscow protest might have been a sort of precursor to what is happening now?  I don't know, of course.  I'm no expert, just an observer.

Major and relentless demonstrations can indeed topple governments.  I think it is important not to be so dismissive of what is happening.  I'm very much reminded of St. John Paul's precaution so many years ago:
"We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has ever experienced. I do not think that the wide circle of the American Society, or the whole wide circle of the Christian Community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-church, between the gospel and the anti-gospel, between Christ and the antichrist. The confrontation lies within the plans of Divine Providence. It is, therefore, in God's Plan, and it must be a trial which the Church must take up, and face courageously." - Cardinal Karol Wojtyla

Predictions and news reports and commentary which upset, which attempt to guess or predict the outcome of civil unrest, distract and worry us.  For me, the Women's March demonstrates the very deep division in society and culture, as well as the diabolic delusion which has pervaded popular culture, making idols of so-called pop stars and Hollywood celebrities - who have become spokeswomen for the Culture of Death.  The dividing line is becoming more distinct as we go forward.   Yet we need faith, we need to believe what St. John Paul said: "The confrontation lies within the plans of Divine Providence."  We need to trust that... therein lies our hope.

This is why I find Don Dolindo Ruotolo's prayer of surrender so helpful and so consoling ... it seems to me it is more than just a novena.
Day 2
Surrender to me does not mean to fret, to be upset, or to lose hope, nor does it mean offering to me a worried prayer asking me to follow you and change your worry into prayer. It is against this surrender, deeply against it, to worry, to be nervous and to desire to think about the consequences of anything. It is like the confusion that children feel when they ask their mother to see to their needs, and then try to take care of those needs for themselves so that their childlike efforts get in their mother’s way. 
Surrender means to placidly close the eyes of the soul, to turn away from thoughts of tribulation and to put yourself in my care, so that only I act. Saying “You take care of it.” 
O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (10 times) - source

I may be wrong of course.

*Ultimately we know the plans of men come to nothing.  It just seems to me this battle has entered into a new phase and cannot be so easily dismissed.  


  1. You may find this interesting:

    1. You find the best articles! Hard to argue with that. I liked his last line:
      "Which leads me to a final point -- people who demonstrate all the time should consider they risk morphing into a collective version of the boy who cried wolf. When there's something really worth protesting, no one believes them anymore."

      That could work for the prophets of doom as well.

      Thanks Adrienne - it's starting to make sense.

    2. I remember reading a Sci-fi novel many years ago about women who came to power after having rid themselves of the "structural patrimony" only to find themselves living in a cold sterile environment where "everything was dying." The warmth of love, of family, of children laughing had all died after the men had been stripped of the freedom and denied their voice.
      I remember reading that in this new world where women ruled, birth control was enforced, babies born with any defects were terminated, male infants were taken by the state, their fate never to be revealed.
      Anyway, that novel left me depressed.

      At my age, if something like that should ever come to pass, well, I will be a very old woman or in my grave but for the sake of man, may it never be because truly then will we die.

  2. Great post and you've got me reading Sr. Ruth Burrows now.

    1. Yes - she has a refreshing spirituality I think.


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