My sister Mile Hi Mama gets a hat tip for pointing out a blog called Taliban Rising. This blog is about heretical, patriarchal ideas being promoted by certain radical members of the traditionalist Catholic movement ("Rad Trads"). As blogger Jeanette points out, these ideas delve into the realm of the distinctly non-Catholic (i.e., heretical) philosophy of religious naturalism. (Before reading further, please be aware, if you are not already, that Leave the lights on is written by a woman.)
In her post "Weaving the Mental Burqa," Jeanette (who writes with more clarity and spirit than I can manage here) quotes a few Rad Trad intellectual leaders, including Dr. Peter Chojnowski and the infamous Bishop Richard Williamson. Bishop Williamson's outrageous comments do not need to be refuted; they fairly refute themselves. Dr. Chojnowski, on the other hand, writes with a style reeking of erudition and opaque scholarship, and I consider his work to be a fair target.
He publishes a blog in which he reprints some of the articles he has written. In the introduction to his recently posted article "Our Lady as Woman and Warrior," he decries "the various writers on the internet who insist on distorting everything I have to say about women." I hope he does not consider this quote from that article to be a distortion:
"On account of the fact that the 'lady,' in all of her various aspects and roles, is commonly accepted to be the model of what all woman, on the natural level, ought to be. Just as the masculine ideal is one of being a 'master'...." (emphasis added)It certainly sounds like much of this writer's philosophy is based on religious naturalism.
I do not mean to say, as some feminists do, that men and women are exactly the same (clearly they are not), nor that mothers and fathers do not have duties particular to their respective roles in the family (clearly they do). But as Jeanette points out, God's plan for men and women is not ordered primarily toward their sex, but rather toward Christ. Our duties arise not from our gender, but from our specific roles in the service of God.
To quote Dr. Gyula Mago, in the article "Feminism as Antichurch" in the Angelus, "[Woman] is subject to man, but not because he is the end for which she exists." The Angelus is a traditionalist publication; this quote is indicative of the fact that the naturalist heresy is not completely pervasive in the traditionalist movement, only in a small number of Rad Trads.
Contrast this statement with the following from Dr. Chojnowski's article "Flesh of my Flesh":
"It will be my contention that women have their being as women actualized only through their relationship with men. Women need men in order to be truly women. Men, however, do not need women in order to be truly men. ... Every convent has its father confessor and the Eucharistic Bridegroom." (emphasis original)
Though Chojnowski states this is based on Thomistic philosophy, I think St. Thomas Aquinas would shudder to think of his clearly reasoned philosphy invoked for such confused, pop-psych drivel. There are two errors in this quote. The first is the statement that "women have their being actualized by men." Nowhere in Catholic theology does one find this sentiment. The second error is the assertion that the presence of priests in convents somehow "proves" the first. It proves nothing of the sort; what it proves is that women, like men, need Christ. The priest is there to bring Christ in the sacraments to the nuns of the convent, not to "actualize their being," whatever that means.
My experience suggests that women have as much of a civilizing influence on men as men have a stabilizing influence on women. Even these observations are only broad generalities, as individual men and women vary widely in temperament.
Dr. Chojnowski can continue writing to encourage men to find women to actualize into being. (I imagine he does not intend women, being mentally inferior and subordinate to men, to read what he writes. I also imagine he has not ever had a real conversation with an actual woman.) As for me and my blog, we will serve the Lord, not the male sex.