Haha. The dry season is upon us and my three little ladies and I are stocking up on moisturizer.
I had the opportunity today to join with three other thoughtful and opinionated Utah women to talk about the 24/7 Wall Street report I discussed in my last post. Thanks to Radio West, our conversation was hosted by Doug Fabrizio of KUER. The comments online and on the air poured in throughout the hour. I'd love to know what you readers here thought of the show. Please do let me know.
On an entirely different front, I reacted with interest to an op-ed piece in the most recent Sunday New York Times because I think its subject has implications for our own conversation about women in the Church. In the op-ed, Ross Douthat, one of the Times' more conservative collumnists, expresses concern over the Catholic Church's most recent synod, or assembly of ecclesiastical leaders including the Pope, which apparently "watered-down" the Church's official language around homosexuality and divorce. Douthat's concern stems from the Pope's seeming acknowledgement that the Church has misstepped in the past on these key social issues, and that by revising the Church's stand, the Pope is essentially admitted the falibility of past popes, whose infallability is a doctrinal absolute. After emphasizing the fact that there are certainly ways that the Church could be "more understanding of the cross carried by gay Christians" and more welcoming to divorced couples, Douthat states:
But going beyond such a welcome kind of celebration of the virtues of non-marital relationships generally, as the synod document seemed to do, might open a divide between formal teaching and real-world practice that's too wide to be sustained. And on communion for the remarried, the stakes are not debatable at all. The Catholic Church was willing to lose the kingdom of England, and by extension the entire English-speaking world, over the principle that when a first marriage is valid a second is adulterous, a position rooted in the specific words of Jesus of Nazareth. To change on that issue, no matter how it was couched, would not be development; it would be contradiction and reversal.
This is a remarkable paragraph. Its inherent conservative stance aside, I'm struck by the reminder that the Catholic Church seems to lack a mechanism for acknowledging and embracing divinely mandated change. The Pope's efforts to widen the Church's embrace and doctrine are met here with an evocation of Henry VIII, revealing a striking lack of precedent or framework for revisitng the Savior's teachings in light of a changing world. I have Catholic-envy on many fronts -- I'm a musician and art lover, remember -- but this article reminded me how useful it is for us in the LDS Church to have a mechanism for any change at all. While many complain that change isn't fast enough for keeping up with the world around us, I appreciated the reminder that actively anticipating, hoping for, or enacting structural, policy and even doctrinal changes in our Church -- as many of us are accustomed even subconsciously to do in today's church -- is a gift not to be taken for granted.