THE US Catholic bishops have reaffirmed patriarchy and-. insulted women's intelligence in their recent pastoral letter on women's role in the church, according to a leading feminist theologian.
"You wish to play the Good Samaritan to victimised women,. but you are worse than the priest that passes by on the other side. of the road," says Rosemary Radford Ruether in an openletter to the bishops. "You are the robbers of women's moral agency that assures that women will ever fall victim along theroadsides of patriarchal society."
Her comments followed the publication of "One in Christ Jesus: A Pastoral Response to the Concerns of Women for Church and Society", a draft paper written as a follow-up to a statement the US bishops made on women's issues in April, 1988 (Catholic Herald, April 20).
The bishops claim to be against sexist language, contends Radford Ruether, yet they draw back from any criticism of what she describes as "the male naming of God".