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Gender and the Roman Catholic Church

            This research paper critically analyses the controversies surrounding the politics of power in gender relations within the Roman Catholic Church. Historically, the unequal power structure between the different genders (male and female) in the Hebrew Bible relegated women and placed them in positions of objective powerlessness. And despite God's plan for equality between men and women through Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:28) and the fight for women's emancipation by various advocacy groups and individuals, which has led to a huge progress in the liberation of women in the religious, cultural, political and socio-economic spheres. .
             The Roman Catholic Church has refused to move with the shift. Instead, it continues to uphold its conservative beliefs in the traditions of men that oppress and discriminate against women in the Church. Thus, women in the Roman Catholic Church are denied positions of religious authority which excludes them from clerical positions in the church.
             Elizabeth Cady Stanton, in her article, "The Degraded Status of Woman in the Bible"" (2006), discusses this view of the superiority of men over women in the Roman Catholic Church. Stanton stresses that woman's degradation and oppression in the Roman Catholic Church stems from the "Canon Law ""the religious dogma of the Roman Catholic Church." Stanton States "When the canon law with its icy fingers touched the old Roman civil law, it robbed woman of many privileges she before enjoyed"." This seems like a case of icing on the cake, which would seem that the Canon Law is the ratification of the Roman civil law in the Roman Catholic Church in order to continually dominate women. Thus, Stanton asserts that the Canon Law consists of different moral codes for men and women. She further stresses that the Canon Law endows man with political freedom and all the rights that belongs to a citizen of a republic and sees woman as a slave, a subject and a mere outcast in the State.

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