Feminist Philosophers

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The new pope on women in politics? March 14, 2013

Someone please tell me this didn’t really happen. (Seriously, if anyone knows more, please do say so in the comments.)

Women are naturally unfit for political office (…) The natural order and facts teach us that man is a politician par excellence, the Scriptures show us that woman is always the supporter of man, the thinker and doer, but nothing more than that.

From here and here (in Spanish), among other places — all seemingly in Spanish, so if you find it in English, please post that, too, in the comments.

UPDATE: This is probably not a real quote. The only reference I can find (until the last few days, that is) online is the one in the yahoo answer forum Kathryn linked below. My guess is that the comments here are correct, that the quote was fabricated in 2007, and is being picked up now. See swallerstein’s comments below for more pressing concerns regarding Pope Francis’s history.


24 Responses to “The new pope on women in politics?”

  1. Matt Drabek Says:

    I guess he didn’t vote for Fernandez.

  2. Justin Grey Says:

    I can’t say I’m surprised by this, I’m surprised anyone would expect otherwise.

  3. Kathryn Says:

    I found this, which is six years old. If this is a hoax of some kind, it’s pretty elaborate: http://es.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070704182350AAKKkk4

  4. annejjacobson Says:

    Apparently he is at loggerheads with the (female) president. I do shudder to think about the many lines of connection between that antipathy and his views on women as political leaders.

    I think Jenny might offer him some discussion time at the implicit bias workshop coming up. Actually, his bias does not seem to be implicit at all. Sigh!

  5. philodaria Says:

    I still haven’t been able to find the original source. I’m not sure what to think.

  6. swallerstein Says:

    Something about the quote seems exaggerated. I’m not at all sure that’s church doctrine these days. Would the new Pope have problems with Angela Merkel?

    As for his conflicts with Ms. Fernandez, they are political. He had lots of conflicts with her husband too, Nestor Kirchner. In fact, according to La Tercera (Chile),
    Pope Francis had an even more hostile relationship with Nestor than with Cristina.

    I’m not going to try to explain Argentinian politics, because I don’t understand them myself.

    However, there are more serious accusations about the new Pope’s ties to the murderous Argentinian junta (1976-1982). It is clear that he did absolutely nothing to
    oppose it nor to stand up to it; in addition, there are accusations, which have not been proven, that he is involved in the disappearing of some people.

  7. philodaria Says:

    It’s certainly not Church doctrine.

  8. philodaria Says:

    For more on what swallerstein wrote in his last paragraph see, e.g., http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/14/pope-francis-argentina-military-junta

  9. swallerstein Says:

    I generally figure that if anyone gets as far up in the world as Holy Father, he (in this case, the male gender pronoun being necessary) always says the right thing, given the circumstances. Besides Berlusconi and maybe Putin, you don’t find many chiefs of state letting the world know their real thoughts on many issues. So it seems strange that the new Pope would stray so far from Church doctrine in his statements, unless the statement comes from his schoolboy notebooks, written 60 years ago or was recorded while the new Pope was drunk. I’m not denying that Francis has lots of machista and implicitly machista attitudes, but I suspect that he keeps many of them to himself, especially since he has risen in the Church hierarchy.

    I mean, this is a bit off topic, but imagine a world where Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and Francoise Hollande begin saying in public what they really think about things.

  10. rixi (@qx) Says:

    Slightly different wording and a little more information re. context:
    In the Pope’s home country of Argentina, there were media reports that the new Pope, previously the Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, said in 2007 while President Cristina Fernandez was still a candidate, that “women are naturally unfit for political office,” and that “the natural order and facts teach us that man is an excellent politician; Scripture shows us that woman always supports the man who is the thinker and doer, but nothing more than that.”
    Souce: http://insidecostarica.com/2013/03/14/while-most-of-cr-celebrates-new-pope-one-lawmaker-boycotts-calls-church-misogynist/

  11. carol Says:

    No original sources anywhere in English or in Spanish. I have emailed the supposed original source of the report, Argentinian paper Telam, and await a response. I’ll let you know what I find out.

  12. philodaria Says:

    Thanks Carol!

  13. @carol: Thanks for your effort!
    Please, update this post when you get that email reply from Télam.

    There’s a similar investigation going on over at Google+:

    It seems to everybody that the original source of the controversial quote is that suspicious “Yahoo Answers” article mentioning the (probably non-existent) article from the Télam agency.

  14. swallerstein Says:

    This seems like a good summary of the new Pope’s position on human rights during the junta years and of his personality. The article stresses that he is very careful about what he says.


  15. feimineach Says:

    Oh, praise the gods (pun intended). My heart sank.

  16. he must have never read the story of deborah

  17. Yarden Says:

    The man who denies and says its “urban legend”, is a priest…Maybe just trying to do some damage limitation???

  18. thesensualgoddess Says:

    Wow as shitty as the new pope is I really hope this ends up being fake, that’d be just another level of terrible.

  19. Joan Callahan Says:

    I sent a query in to Snopes. They say this is false; see http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/francis.asp

  20. K Says:

    Not true spread through Facebook check further. I’m not catholic and I got this on face books so I checked it out. There is no factual evidence that he ever said this. Go to snoops.com —


    And get all the details

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