Pope Geraldine would make good pontiff, I bet

Columnist Bill Hall
Columnist Bill Hall

Should sisters be nun of that?

If I were a woman and I belonged to a church, I might want to work my way up and become the head church official one of these years. That would be possible if the church in question would accept me in that role.

Fortunately, I would not want to be a woman leader of a church. I would prefer to crawl off in a corner and write yarns like this one rather than ruin some nice church by trying to run the place.

And no offense, but I wouldn’t want to be a woman either. I have noticed women my whole life and, believe you me, I would make an incompetent and tremendously ugly woman. I would feel silly in that role, especially with all that makeup and weird, uncomfortable clothing.

I’m sorry, but I would shudder at the very thought of becoming a woman or the leader of a church. I know that’s rude, but I was born this way.

Nonetheless, I wish those strange men and women who love the idea of running a church or a company or a country all get their turn at the controls. It’s an odd aspiration, but distorted people get high on supremacy, and somebody has to do it.

Meanwhile, I call your attention to the potential liberation and elevation of women that appears to be getting closer in the Roman Catholic Church and in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — or more simply, the Catholics and the Mormons.

Both of those unfinished denominations seem to be inching toward a day not so far off when they will make their women fully equal in religious leadership. Of course, the male dominance of the Mormon and Catholic churches has already been beaten to that goal by several enlightened Protestant churches that have admitted women to the highest ranks of leadership.

Mormons, Catholics and backsliders like me are accustomed to attending somebody else’s church for a wedding or a funeral and noticing that the preacher up in front is a woman. She’s running the show, and the sky isn’t falling.

But the two most prominent foot-dragging churches do seem to be leaning a bit more lately toward steps that could eventually put women on equal footing with the men, just as so many other churches already have done.

This will eventually happen. One day fairly soon, I am guessing, we will look back and laugh with Pope Geraldine at how backward Catholic men used to be.

Both churches seem to be dropping hints of more progressive possibilities. Taking so long to declare equality for women while other churches have long since gone down that road will hardly be something to shout about. That’s like being the last churches to let women drive and run for president.

On the other hand, I’m wondering which of the two churches will win the race, the Mormons or the Catholics. Of course, it would be poor taste for casinos to be taking bets.

The most conspicuous mistake in the Catholic Church is that it has a shortage of priests while still ignoring the deeply developed abilities of nuns to do the same jobs every bit as well as male priests if the masculine monopoly ever ends.

As for the Mormon hierarchy, top leadership doesn’t yet exist for women either. That church will seat only “elders” at the top. And women aren’t eligible to be elders — yet.

Catholic nuns and active Mormon women are, if anything, more likely to be religious than men and more nurturing on the whole. And yet men alone are allowed to rise to the top.

That’s like choosing nothing but short people to play basketball.

Columnist Bill Hall may be reached at wilberth@cableone.net or at 1012 Prospect Ave., Lewiston, ID 83501