PopeWatch: Candida Moss



Professor of Theology Candida Moss at Notre Dame is disappointed with Pope Francis:

News emerged last week that Pope Francis has strongly criticized modern theories of gender, comparing them to the educational policies of Hitler and the destructive possibilities of the nuclear arms race.

In an interview included in a new book by Andrea Tornielli and Giacomo Galeazzi, Pope Francis: This Economy Kills, and released in part in the Italian daily La Stampa, Francis compared gender theory to nuclear arms: “Let’s think of the nuclear arms, of the possibility to annihilate in a few instants a very high number of human beings. … Let’s think also of genetic manipulation, of the manipulation of life, or of the gender theory, that does not recognize the order of creation.”

In using the term “gender theory,” Francis is denouncing the academic perspective that sees gender identities as a spectrum rather than as binaries. Gender theorists argue that the way people identify themselves is the result of social and cultural constructions of gender.

This has important ramifications for how we think about biology and sexuality. While the point may seem academic, its ramifications are not. The recognition that gender exists on a spectrum has provided part of the intellectual foundations for both LGBTQIA advocacy and women’s rights.

In the interview, Francis recalled how a public education minister was given funding for new schools for the poor only on the condition that school textbooks taught gender theory. Francis described this as “ideological colonization” and added that “the same was done by the dictators of the last century. … think of Hitler Youth.”

In his comments on gender and creation, Francis was alluding to the Catholic notion of natural law: that moral and theological principles are encoded in the created world, there to be seen and studied and learned: “The design of the Creator is written in nature.”

But in invoking creation, Francis unavoidably invokes the first chapters of Genesis, where the Bible lays out “the order of creation.” This is where the confluence of tradition, biblical text, and gender runs into some difficulty.


Moss ends her post with this:


But whether he means to or not, when it comes to placating conservative elements in the Church, Pope Francis consistently sells women down the river. For Francis, the go-to issues for establishing his conservative bona fides are his opposition to women priests, contraception, and his scathing judgment of childless families. He may just be rehearsing traditional Catholic perspectives, but when you add to this his tendency to use negative and mildly chauvinistic imagery to describe women a pattern emerges. Even if Francis were a closet liberal, he’s a liberal who ranks women’s interests at the bottom of his list of priorities. And if we take Francis’s position on gender theory and the “natural order” seriously, then we give up certain kinds of gender equality, as well as the possibility of creating a fully welcoming environment for same-sex couples or trans-individuals.

Francis’s interests in poverty and the environment are welcome, exciting, and sorely needed. His comments on women are not. And at the end of the day it’s possible to recycle cardboard without recycling centuries of misogyny.

Go here to read the rest.  Moss is a poor historian and a doctrinaire liberal.  Go here, here, here, here and here for prior posts regarding her antics.  Her reaction shows the inherent intolerance of the contemporary left.  The Pope is with the left on various issues, but because he is not a hundred percent with them, at the end of the day he is still regarded by most on the left as an enemy.

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  1. Pope Pius XI in Casti Connubii is her polar opposite ( e.g….wives are really …really to obey husbands in section 74 of Casti C.) but John Paul II was halfway between both ends of the spectrum in that in hisDignity of Women and in one section (89) of Theology of the Body, he laser focuses almost strictly on Ephesians’ in its “be subject to one another” to such an extent that five other NT passages are never cited by him in their heavy lean toward general husband jurisdiction ( for JP…” customs of the times” cf 89-5 of CC) and the CDF therefore, perplexed, never mentions any wifely obedience in the catechism despite the NT referencing it six times. Vatican II likewise never mentions the wifely obedience of section 74 of Casti Connubii. Similarly on the death penalty, John Paul never mentions the scriptural verses that opposed him in Evangelium Vitae. Conservatives were so enamored of his conservatism in other areas, that they never noticed he was liberal ( verse skipping) in the areas they weren’t watching.

  2. “Be fruitful and multiply” appears six times in Genesis. In the first case, God blesses living creatures allowing and requiring them to procreate His creation.
    The second time (Genesis 1: 28), the Lord issues the order to mankind. After the flood, God repeats His blessing on animals (8: 17) and twice upon mankind (9: 1 and 9: 7).

    God chooses Jacob for His last such blessing: “I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins” (Genesis 35: 11).

    I didn’t need more proof that Mz. Candida doesn’t get that blond hair out of a bottle.

    It is curious how out of touch with reality/truth are pinko academics. They live in a world all of their own, and there has never been anything like it, and never can be. It is entirley too brilliant, and everywhere they tried to set it up it went to pieces. Some confounded fact real people have been contentedly living with since Creation starts up and knocks over the whole thing. (See Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness.)
    Anyhow, regardless of what nonsnense Mz. Candida and hordes of other dreamers, opinionators and speculators may dream up, God Almighty created the man and the woman. He did so that they and all His creations could comply with His first commandment which He issued to all living beings.

  3. God created man as a PERSON. And as a person, man and mankind, all women, are treated as persons first and gender, male and female, second. The Constitution and our Declaration of independence treats sovereign persons who constitute our government as persons, first, the citizens, secondly, and thirdly, gender related issues, male and female. Crime itself is genderless, that is, all crime can be committed by male and/or female.
    Women demand to be ordained priests because of personhood. Jesus Christ is a Person, I am a person, therefore, I must be allowed to be ordained as a priest, or as a woman, but not as a person, I am being discriminated against. These same women reject the fact that Christ is a man, the perfect man, the Son of God. It appears that the woman wants to be the Son of God, jealous of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
    The Catholic Church is a person Who is a woman. This, the militant feminists reject. Serving God as mother is repugnant to them as all serving is repugnant to the them and to the devil. Serving “I will not serve” comes easily for the militant feminist. Salvation does not concern militant feminists.
    Man is created as Person. Gender is a gift to accommodate and realize a vocation. If God intended to call a person to Holy Orders, God would have created that Person as a man, the gender of male.

  4. Moss just might be the most frivolous commenter on the Catholic scene today. She’s also one of the most superfluous–if one wants to know her views, one can consult the salons of received progressive wisdom directly, avoiding the veneer of lightly-worn papism.

  5. I hate the modern “like/dislike” mentality. People with different paradigms will agree on some things, disagree on others. It’s just stupid to look at a pope in terms of one country’s political parties and tick off which of his “policies” are “welcome, exciting, and sorely needed” and which are not. The effort to do so is maddening. As a rule, if 50% of your results don’t fit your theory, you can’t blame the test subjects. You have to look at your theory. The Church is intellectually consistent. Gender theory is intellectually consistent-ish. They have completely different starting assumptions and fields of interest. Of course they’re not going to track 100%. To expect they would, or to write an angry column about the places they don’t, is to display ignorance.

  6. She’s also one of the most superfluous–if one wants to know her views, one can consult the salons of received progressive wisdom directly, avoiding the veneer of lightly-worn papism.

    Yes, but those of us in states of arrested development can get a chuckle that one of the institutional parasites infesting the Church has a name which sounds like a disease.

  7. Art Deco: “Yes, but those of us in states of arrested development can get a chuckle that one of the institutional parasites infesting the Church has a name which sounds like a disease.”
    Glad you said that Art Deco.

  8. Prof Candida Moss was made and made female by God; made in His image to know, love and serve Him in this world, to be happy with Him in the next. I pray she is conscientiously seeking the truth and that she finds it. This is perhaps a new paradigm for South Bend-seeking and finding truth at Notre Dame. What better place for such a journey than a university named for The Lady who carried Truth within her? Irony-for me I will not be surprised if persons like Candida are in the Church Triumphant, after successfully coming to [or coming back to] the Truth and they help me, serving in the Church Suffering, to get to Heaven. Off to Mass to pray for her and y’all. Guy McClung, San Antonio

    [for the unenlightened: “y’all” is Texian for “all you all”-and it pretty well sums up the Mystical Body Of Christ

  9. Every time I read something of this individual comments I leave with the impression that she is addicted to poison. The academic in the twenty-first century (as well as most of the past three or four) seems only to have a feigned interest in discovering the Truth. Tenure! Tenure through publication. Publication of popular excuses for deviance, lest one have an unsuccessful book and risk poverty.
    Candida Moss is surely in the running for first place in the race to exemplify the adage “…theology was once an occupation of the knees, but has become one of the seat of the pants…”

  10. Moss is one of those persons who finds reality unstatisfactory ( two genders) and thus attempts to reorder it to her own standards There is a diagnostic code for this and is found in most Psych 101 texts. It also raises questions as to the author’s own makeup as far as gender normative behavior and ability in this area that might affect her views on the subject. Any deficiency in this area can also be addressed by competent professionals.

  11. When I read things like this that come out of academia I woder if the folks in the humanities and social sciences are so envious of the hard sciences and feel so inferior to them, that they purposely invent the most Unobvious and twisted around plots of logic just to seem as deep thinking as their colleagues in physics who have quantum theory, string theory and multiverses. How else do you explain something so overtly nonsensical ?

  12. How else do you explain something so overtly nonsensical ?

    The intersection between Tenure and the “Publish or Perish” mentality. Oh, and I suppose the fact that the academy is a buzzing hive of left-liberal groupthink.

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