petition is attempting to surface " spontaneously " once more.
The Vatican ought to be deprived of international diplomatic representation
because it is not " secular ". This is a modern version of
an old tactic of oppressing and getting rid of those who think differently.
The oppressors wish, not only to impose their will or their ideas, but
also to have them unanimously declared right.
Henry VIII of England for example, was not content to be the pompous
king enlightened in accordance with the criteria of the Renaissance.
For him, it was not enough to change wives ; he wanted everyones
approval of his behaviour. And if the Pope did not approve, then it
was a case of scandal and treason. In order to resolve this conflict
Henry VIII declared himself Head of the Church of England. He made himself
Pope so that he could grant himself approval. Was this a good idea ?
In the beginning, things went quite well. All the noble English Lords,
who were normally so proud, bowed to his wishes and swore their oaths.
And all the bishops too, except one. In the end only two men were to
be found in the whole of England who refused to swear an oath of allegiance
to Henry VIII and thereby approve his waywardness ; one was in secular
society and the other in the Church. They were Bishop John Fisher and
the Lord Chancellor Sir Thomas More who resigned.
Two men, two witnesses. Two witnesses too many. Henry wanted to maintain
his spotless reputation while at the same taking Anne Boleyn illegitimately
as his legitimate wife. He had these two witnesses put to death so that
their voices should be heard no more ; voices that prevented him, the
King and new Pope, from being recognised rightful by all.
After their deaths, he became absolutely legitimate by general and obligatory
recognition. The petition was signed under oath by all. The silence
of the objectors gave the king the assurance that he could define the
Good. The resulting Good of women was soon evident ; Henry VIII-Blue
Beard had eight wives who all enjoyed the title of legitimate Queen
; but few of them escaped execution. The Good ruled.
This story deserves to be brought out from the shadows in order to be
compared with the attitude of certain people who imagine that by silencing
the Vatican in the world meetings of the UNO they will be able to triumph,
not relatively but absolutely. They think that their singleness of vision
will ultimately be recognised as the Good. This petition in the name
of so-called secularism is admittedly not new, and it naturally gets
nowhere, in spite of the efforts of the initiator Mrs. Kissling and
certain ultra feminist organisations. She is piously brought out of
the cupboard whenever there is a new world conference or a session of
the UNO like the one to be held 5 to 9 June next on the theme "
Beijing +5 ", the estimate of steps taken, inspired by the Beijing
Platform on Women.
Stifling the voice of the Vatican will no more serve the cause of Women
than did the execution of Thomas More and John Fisher. Hundreds and
thousands of Catholic organisations in Dioceses, Congregations, humble
Communities and groups of Christian layfolk are fighting for the education
of women, against violence, against the selling into prostitution of
young girls in Nepal and other countries in Asia. They organise economic
aid cooperatives for women in situations of extreme poverty with families
to care for ; one could fill hundreds of pages with lists of all these
works. What is more, some States take over these achievements as national
contributions to report to UNO. It would be fairer to give the credit,
if not to the Vatican, at least to those Christians who have worked
in accordance with the principles promoted by the Vatican.
Please have pity on women, all you Feminists, all you Feminist extremists
! Its not enough to " declare rights " ; you must truly
grant them, put them into practice, dedicate yourselves to implementing
the rights of others. Let the true witness speak, the one who suffers
for the cause he or she is promoting and speaking for.
to Questions on Life