The above, as I recently discovered, is the name of my site translated into Spanish.
It’s so much more evocative than boring old ‘Secret Storm’s Secret Site’. I picture an idealized version of myself (my bangs have grown in properly and I’m wearing a pair of high-heeled black slingbacks I’ve had my eye on for months) writhing in exquisite anguish… sort of a cross between the heroine on the cover of a gothic romance (all heaving bosom and wild eyes) and cranky Medusa – just without all the snakes and bitterness of course.
Why so tormenta-ed Secreta? Is it because you’ve just read about the letter issued by the Vatican (and approved by the Pope) written by chief papal advisor Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, blaming women for everything from original sin to homosexuality?
Why yes, come to think of it, that’s exactly what vexes me!
The Vatican would probably disagree with my characterisation of the document titled “Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Collaboration of Men and Women in the Church and the World”. No doubt they’d emphasize the positive nature of the title and the few sections paying lip service to the notion of equality of the sexes, but the central message, the res ipsa loquitor – the full, flaming implication of the letter, is that feminism is at the root of all evil – surpassing money and war, not to mention testosterone, as factors in the equation.
The (no doubt unintentional) irony of comment on the missive - as interpreted by the church’s Toronto office – was the sex of the spokesperson designated to deal: Suzanne Scorsone, representing Archbishop Aloysius Cardinal Ambrozic in the religious imbroglio.
Scorsone (who hopefully did not abandon her children or husband in order to nip down to the diocesan headquarters to deliver the message) points to the ‘lethal effects of feminism’; the thinking that the more drastic arm of the feminist movement has made it less about equality in human rights, and instead that “…male and female relationships became all about the domination of one or the other.” She further elucidates (using the charming if decades outdated phrase ‘A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle’ to back up the contention) that women began to equate getting married with “…wimping out.”
And get this: Scorsone further extrapolates that this way of thinking “…could be what led to many homosexual relationships.”
I have to say right off the top that I am almost 100% certain that homosexuality pre-dated bra-burning by at least a few million years – to be fair though, I’m speaking without the searing scientific proof of ‘A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle’.
(Actually, women need men like homosexuals need the Pope – without love and acceptance and equality, it’s about as incongruous as a trout in the Tour de France.)
It’s hard to know where to begin. Perhaps with the date – July 31st, 2004. In case you were wondering, this letter isn’t some sort of amusing historical document, pulled from the dusty Vatican files and shared with the public as a sort of “ha ha – look how wacky and backward we were back in the 70’s”. No. This is a discussion paper, issued to church officials the world over, pointing out the inherent dangers of a movement created to lift women out of virtual societal bondage.
It seeks to identify (and vilify) what are referred to as two current strands in feminism: One that “…emphasizes a radical rivalry between the sexes, and the other that seeks to cancel the differences between the sexes”.
It’s propaganda like this that incites rivalry. Identifying the most radical element of an organization and characterizing everyone within it as supporting that agenda. (See: Muslims = terrorists.)
Feminism is at the root of divorce. Feminism is at the root of single mothers. Feminism is at the root of unemployment… impotence… crime… Athlete’s Foot.
Feminism is at the root and is the cause of men being forced to turn to homosexuality. If only we’d known that men were that malleable!
To be lectured on the evils of feminism by a group that eschews females in every way from marriage to ordination, is a bitter pill indeed. It’s bitter because it’s divisive. It’s bitter because of the decidedly strained quality of mercy the Catholic priesthood has traditionally distributed among those it has so horrendously abused – from buggering alter boys, to denying poverty stricken third world women access to birth control, to ignoring the starving, diseased children they later bear – offering instead blessings and bibles and laminated photographs of the Holy Father.
I could (as ever) go on. But what really makes Secreta Tormenta-ed is the fact that all this crap about feminism and the destruction of family values and the bewildered subjugation of men is nothing more than a red herring - with or without a two-wheeler. This isn’t about women. This isn’t about feminism - this is about same sex marriage.
This is about the traditional family, living in obedience and obeisance to the church – the family being the currency of the Catholic church, it’s continued propagation the continuation of the faith. Altering that image, creating a new definition that includes virtually any type of loving adult relationship raises fears of bankrupting the spiritual account, a situation the church is loathe to allow.
So in the end, this isn’t about women at all. It’s what it’s usually about - men and power.
That’s the sitio secreto that torments me.