NYT Dowd’s Anti-Catholic Piece is Riddled With Errors, Deceptions

By Dave Pierre (Bio | Archive)
October 28, 2009 – 21:33 ET

The New York Times’s Maureen Dowd spent some time in Catholic school as a youth, but judging from her latest rant/column, she didn’t learn too much about actual Catholicism.

Dowd’s anti-Catholic screed reveals that of someone who knows almost nothing about the Catholic faith. She also deceives her readers about a number of topics, including a 2004 letter issued by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger before he became Pope Benedict XVI.

1. Dowd writes:

“In 2004, the cardinal who would become Pope Benedict XVI wrote a Vatican document urging women to be submissive partners, resisting any adversarial roles with men and cultivating ‘feminine values’ like ‘listening, welcoming, humility, faithfulness, praise and waiting.’

Ratzinger “urged women to be submissive partners”? Uh-uh. In fact, Ratzinger opines almost the direct opposite of what Dowd implies. Among Ratzinger’s passages:

“[T]he Church, enlightened by faith in Jesus Christ, speaks instead of active collaboration between the sexes precisely in the recognition of the difference between man and woman.”

“[W]omen should be present in the world of work and in the organization of society, and that women should have access to positions of responsibility which allow them to inspire the policies of nations and to promote innovative solutions to economic and social problems.”

And look at what Ratzinger wrote about the so-called “feminine values” of “listening, welcoming …(etc.)”:

“It is appropriate however to recall that the feminine values mentioned here are above all human values: the human condition of man and woman created in the image of God is one and indivisible.”

In other words, Dowd flat-out lies about Ratzinger’s letter. (By the way, the letter is called, “Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Collaboration of Men and Women in the Church and in the World.” Interested readers should check it out.)

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