Thomas Aquinas

Even though she disagreed with Thomas Aquinas at times I am sure she would have agreed with this quote of his shared from the book “However Long the Night: Making Meaning in a Time of Crisis” by Annmarie Sanders.

“St. Thomas Aquinas was so convinced about the necessity of acting upon one’s conscience that he insisted that one must follow one’s conscience, even if it errs. He debated Peter Lombard on this matter, stating that we ought to die excommunicated rather than violate our conscience.6”

From the Sun article…

Akers: For most of its history, women have been seen as having a complementary role to that of men, not an equal one. In the early Church, women actively participated in religious rituals and served as deacons under the priests, but the writings of the Church fathers take a misogynistic view of women. Saint Jerome, for example, said that women are a “pathway to hell,” and Saint Augustine viewed women as intellectually inferior and as a moral threat to men. This view of women was consistent through the Middle Ages when Thomas Aquinas wrote in Summa Theologica that women are “misbegotten males.”

When I first heard that in theology class, I expressed my disagreement, and the teacher — a young Dominican priest — said, “You don’t disagree with Thomas Aquinas.” I remember sitting there thinking, But I do. I couldn’t imagine how Aquinas had gotten the idea that women were inferior. I just couldn’t get over it. Of course, Aquinas was raised on the teachings of Augustine, who was raised on Aristotle, who was the original source of that misogynistic concept. Aquinas certainly wrote many wonderful things, but to think that he was the theologian in the Catholic Church until the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s is sad.

About the book – “However Long the Night: Making Meaning in a Time of Crisis” – This is the story of what was learned by a large national organization, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), during a six-year crisis (2009-2015). A high-ranking and very powerful Vatican office suddenly and very publicly confronted the organization with forceful questions and negative assumptions about the foundation of the lives of Catholic sisters. The conflict grew more intense midway through those years. The Vatican office threatened the autonomy and even the existence of the organization, an organization on which the great majority of US Catholic sisters rely for many kinds of resources, supports, and connections. The experience rocked LCWR’s officers, its hundreds of members, and the approximately 60,000 sisters who belonged to member congregations at that time. Yet the ultimate resolution benefitted everyone. How did that happen?