Many people believe that because Pope Francis has a gentle demeanour and reaches personally to people that the church may move away from its conservative stance on women and other aspects of human rights.
Not happening.Pat Gohn writing in the blog A Word in Season, explains the ‘Theology of Women’ as explained by Francis.
A church without women would be like the apostolic college without Mary. The Madonna is more important than the apostles, and the church herself is feminine, the spouse of Christ and a mother.
This almost sounds reasonable, however, there is still only the one women, and she is “The Madonna” pure and virginal and not indicative of women in the world. This one women, also only had, and continues to have, one identity as the mother of Jesus. The apostles have been imagined as having much more three dimensional lives as fisherman or tax collectors with doubts and character flaws. Mary is still just virginal and pure.
The role of women doesn’t end just with being a mother and with housework
But it begins there…..
In the theologically grounded tradition the priesthood passes through man. The woman has another function in Christianity, reflected in the figure of Mary. It is the figure that embraces society, the figure that contains it, the mother of the community. The woman has the gift of maternity, of tenderness; if all these riches are not integrated, a religious community not only transforms into a chauvinist society, but also one that is austere, hard, and hardly sacred.
The priesthood passes through men. This means that all of the hierarchical positions in the organization can never be held by women. The role of women is defined by that of Mary: mother and nurturer, characteristics that are not held by men. There is nothing about personal or bodily autonomy, and don;t expect anything.
So this “Theology of Women” is just a rehash of women as second class citizens expressed a bit more gently than in the past.