1. belief in or stress on the practical application of a thing, in particular.

(in the arts) the doctrine that the design of an object should be determined solely by its function, rather than by aesthetic considerations, and that anything practically designed will be inherently beautiful.
noun: functionalism
(in the social sciences) the theory that all aspects of a society serve a function and are necessary for the survival of that society.

Just exactly what does Pope Francis mean by again publicly indicating “he is not considering appointing women to leadership positions in the nearly all-male Vatican bureaucracy, saying to do so would be to promote a ‘functionalism’ of women’s roles in the Catholic church”? http://ncronline.org/news/vatican/francis-again-rejects-women-heads-vatican-offices#comment-2091733234

Is he perhaps referring to the architectural principle (now a cliché), “form follows function,” in that since women are not formed as males their function must follow to be different from (and therefore never equal to males)?

Most likely he is indicating the theory in sociology:

Functionalists believe that society is held together by social consensus, in which members of the society agree upon, and work together to achieve, what is best for society as a whole. This stands apart from the other two main sociological perspectives: symbolic interactionalism, which focuses on how people act according to their interpretations of the meaning of their world, and conflict theory, which focuses on the negative, conflicted, ever-changing nature of society.
Functionalism has received criticism for neglecting the negative functions of an event, such as divorce. Critics also claim that the perspective justifies the status quo and complacency on the part of society’s members. Functionalism does not encourage people to take an active role in changing their social environment, even when such change may benefit them. Instead, functionalism sees active social change as undesirable because the various parts of society will compensate naturally for any problems that may arise.

If the latter is the case then is Francis really saying that woman in leadership roles would encourage them (and therefore others of their sex) to be ‘complacent’ and not ‘change their social (make that religious) environment, even when such change may benefit them” and moreover that ‘any religious changes would be undesirable’? Kinda’ a twisted argument here, wouldn’t you agree?

Hmmmmm…. I can only agree with the commenter on the NCR article
mountain dweller •
If appointing women in the Vatican is promoting “functionalism,” then intentionally not appointing women is promoting “disfunctionalism.” [sic]

1. not operating normally or properly.
“the telephones are dysfunctional”
deviating from the norms of social behavior in a way regarded as bad.
“an emotionally dysfunctional businessman”

“The woman in the church has the same work … that the Madonna had with the Apostles on the morning of Pentecost,” said the pope. “The Apostles without Mary wouldn’t work. Jesus wanted it this way.”

So if Jesus wanted the Apostles to work WITH Mary, why does Francis want the Church to work WITHOUT women leaders?

Yup, sounds very dysfunctional to me!


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