ACW Review Easter 1992
UNGODLY RAGE. The hidden face of Catholic feminism. by
Published by Ignatius Press. 420pp.
...feminists must assume that Scripture is not the word of God...is
not a container of revelation...
...the myth of the Father God ensured a world of dominance and dependence.
...(I have) gotten over being 'God oriented' and come to live in
the areas of mysticism and feminism.
These startling remarks, all made by nuns, were recorded by Donna Steichen, a Catholic journalist and teacher,
in the course of her extensive research into the hidden face of Catholic feminism. She is writing of the American
scene, but it is not wise for us to be complacent. Already we are encountering in workshops and conferences, books
and pamphlets, concepts such as ''centering'',''weaving'', ''empowering'', ''bonding'', ''self-awareness'', ''rebirthing'' and ''creation
The 'ungodly rage' of the title of this book
refers to the smouldering anger that radical Catholic feminists feel towards religious authority which they seek
to overthrow at all costs.
It is most disturbing to read of nuns and influential Catholic laywomen who turn for spiritual guidance to such
people as Fr Matthew Fox (who was silenced by Rome and by his order, the Dominicans) and Starhawk (an ex nun and
now professed witch) who works closely with him at his Institute for Culture and Creation Spirituality which he
founded in 1977. They also turn to feminist theologians such as Rosemary Radford Ruether (the mother of Woman-Church)
and Mary Hunt who says feminists hope for an ''end to the ordained priesthood
and the emergence of the Church without hierarchy.''
Donna Steichen describes strange liturgies that are devised to stress that there is no need for outside authority
as ''divinity is within you''.
Describing these sessions as ''another way of worshipping'' they seek to involve all Catholics in their activities. Fr Fox says that ''we're not teaching young people about sexuality as mysticism''.
Worship should be ''an oasis where the child can emerge
from the adults''. It should be about ''getting
our hearts together - getting our bodies together''...''to
redeem worship we must get people to dance to drums and take off their clothes in a sweat lodge''. As Donna Steichen says the young have drumbeats, nakedness and sexual freedom in excess. What they
do not have are answers to the perennial human questions ''Who made me?
and ''Why did God make me?''
Fr Fox sees personal sin as a source of growth and calls on his followers to find God in complete sexual freedom.
''The Cosmic Christ celebrates sexual diversity''
he tells his audiences. Lesbianism, homosexual activity, abortion and even incest are all justified by Fr Fox and
his followers. Donna Steichen warns that while New Age involvement may be considered less bizarre than witchcraft,
the two have similarities. Devotees often dabble in both simultaneously.
Radical feminists and their male supporters have reached positions of power in schools, universities
and seminaries. They serve on justice and peace committees and hold diocesan office. They make prolific contributions
to the media in which they discredit Church leaders and ridicule Catholic beliefs. They organise conferences and
Many of these are held on Church property in order to try and establish some credibility by working
within the structures of the Church. Rosemary Radford Ruether says that agencies of the ''spiritual revolution'' must remember that ''unless
we manage to insert what we are doing...back into...main institutional vehicles of ministry and community...it
will have no lasting impact''. These things are happening in America. Many people would
say there are signs of the same situation in this country.
This is a truly alarming book that should be read and studied by all who are worried about the state of the Church
and this devastating assault on the Faith.
Section Contents Copyright © Donna Steichen 2008
Version: 25th October 2018