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Rabbi Rami: What's a Horrified Catholic Mom to Do?

Roadside Assistance for the spiritual traveler

Rabbi Rami - Genesis 12:3: You Shall Be A Blessing To All The Families Of The Earth

Author and teacher Rabbi Rami Shapiro is encouraging Perennial Wisdom to lead us beyond alienation and isolation to integration and unity, based on Genesis 12:3: “You shall be a blessing to all the families of the earth.”*

I’m a Catholic mom horrified by both priestly abuse of children and the Church’s cover-up of that abuse. My priest told me to have faith and remain loyal to the Church. I told him my faith is in God, not the Church. He told me God and Church are one and the same. I suggested that we should allow priests to marry and women to become priests, but he said this is contrary to God’s will. I am so angry. What is the solution? Rabbi Rami: Clerical abuse of children (in your Church and elsewhere) is an evil rooted in masculine power, patriarchal hierarchy, and the male God who supports and is supported by both. The Father–King–Lord–Shepherd God reduces us to children, vassals, slaves, and sheep. This asymmetric power relationship demands that we surrender our autonomy to God and God’s representatives, almost all of whom are men. Such surrender makes abuse of all kinds inevitable.  While I support married priests and the ordination of women, neither will solve the problem. The problem is the God who buttresses asymmetric masculine power and patriarchy; who demands absolute obedience to Himself and His …

Rabbi Rami Shipiro

Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award-winning author, essayist, poet, and teacher. His spiritual advice column, "Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler," addresses reader questions pertaining to religion, spirituality, faith, family, God, social issues, and more.

His newest book is Surrendered—The Sacred Art: Shattering the Illusion of Control and Falling into Grace with Twelve-Step Spirituality.

He has this to say about religion: “To me, religions are like languages: no language is true or false; all languages are of human origin; each language reflects and shapes the mindset of the civilization that speaks it; there are things you can say in one language that you cannot say or cannot say as well in another; and the more languages you know, the more nuanced your understanding of life. Judaism is my mother tongue, yet in matters of the spirit I strive to be multi-lingual. In the end, however, the deepest language of the soul is silence.”

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