Nature is an omnipotent badass who’s not mad, just disappointed
by Megan Townsend
Staff Hex Girl
Aboard his flight to Sweden, Pope Francis told reporters that Pope John Paul II had the final word on women’s ordination, and it was an issue considered closed. Pope Francis cited the consolation prize for women, stating that women have special gifts and vocations within the Church and should look to the model of the Virgin Mary. But are all women in the Church supposed to aspire to be Mary? As Fordham’s own Sister Elizabeth Johnson suggests, maybe a perspective on Mary as our sister in the struggle for liberation - loud in her suffering, strong in her community - rather than a demure virgin mother would force the Church to stop silencing women. In reaction to Pope Francis’s statement, women expressed disappointment but not surprise. Really, the female narrative put forth by the Church affects Catholic women. When I was little I thought the greatest thing I could be was a martyr because it seemed to be the quickest way for women to achieve sainthood - through violent death.
But, back to the facts: On October 30, an Earthquake with 6.6 magnitude was felt in Rome. This proves nothing if not that God is a feminist. We have all known this for centuries. God is a moveable, spiritual force: Mother Nature herself. And she is rightfully angry. She is angry that her sisters are not allowed to represent the body of her Son on the altar, that they cannot be leaders in the same way as men can be. She is angry that Her people are being denied liberation.
Our Ecofeminist Savior was felt in Standing Rock, as well: as protesters faced off with riot police and national guardsmen, a herd of American bison - a greatly revered, life-giving animal to the Standing Rock Sioux - came stampeding through camp and drove away the attacking forces while protesters cheered.
You may think that these instances are unrelated, and you might be correct. But we can all agree that 1.) women are amazing; and 2.) we are hurting our Earth deeply. Of course God reveals Herself through the Earth. Women and the Earth are sisters in solidarity against male dominion. Women can feel a special connection to the Earth because of their bodily vulnerabilities, which the Church and State continually wages war on. She might be fighting back.
Bottom line: The Church is a human institution that feels it can speak for every corner of the Earth and its inhabitants. God, our Mother and Sister, is proving that this is not so. The Church needs to change the way it defines women and allow them the tools for empowerment that can help them reach the altar, if they so choose to go there. But God, the Ecofeminist, will continue fucking things up until then.
Maybe this began as an unnecessary reminder that the patriarchy still rules in yet another facet of public life. But I hope now that you, reader, might feel more connected to our sister and mother Earth, and the divine in Her and yourself. Together we have a lot of work to do, but at least She is on our side. So maybe a herd of fine American buffalo, or a tide of clean drinking water on its way out west, will carry Donald Trump out of the White House before January 20. We can only pray.