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Maureen Dowd Compares Catholic Church's 'Hostility' to Women to Saudi Arabia (Again!)

Another day, another vitriolic attack from Times columnist Maureen Dowd on the Catholic Church comparing its treatment of women to Saudi Arabia. The Vatican has recently censured a 2006 book on sexual ethics by Sister Margaret Farley as “not consistent with authentic Catholic theology." According to a Times report Tuesday, the book, Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics, "attempted to present a theological rationale for same-sex relationships, masturbation and remarriage after divorce."

Dowd responded in her Wednesday column, "Is Pleasure a Sin?" Ignoring questions of theology and Catholic teaching, Dowd simply called it another "thuggish" attack by a rigid male hierarchy against women, including the now de rigueur comparison to Saudi Arabia.

Just the latest chapter in the Vatican’s thuggish crusade to push American nuns -- and all Catholic women -- back into moldy subservience.

Even for a church that moves glacially, this was classic. “Just Love: a Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics,” by Sister Margaret Farley -- a 77-year-old professor emeritus at Yale’s Divinity School, a past president of the Catholic Theological Society of America and an award-winning scholar -- came out in 2006.

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, which seems as hostile to women as the Saudi Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, spent years pondering it, then censured it on March 30 but didn’t publicly release the statement until Monday.

The denunciation of Sister Farley’s book is based on the fact that she deals with the modern world as it is. She refuses to fall in line with a Vatican rigidly clinging to an inbred, illusory world where men rule with no backtalk from women, gays are deviants, the divorced can’t remarry, men and women can’t use contraception, masturbation is a grave disorder and celibacy is enshrined, even as a global pedophilia scandal rages.