It will be interesting to see the outcome of the big meeting playing out in the Vatican, especially on the point about whether the Catholic Church will allow women priests. 

Pope Francis approved changes to the norms for the meeting, which is charting out the church’s future. It now allows women to hold 54 of the 365 votes.

If they should vote on allowing women to be priests, I wonder how the vote will turn out?

On a deeper level, the meeting is a battle involving one of the world’s four oldest prejudices: male domination.

Other prejudices, of course, are religionists over humanists, Christians over non-Christians, Catholics over other Christians, etc.

The prejudice that allows male dominance over females might go back to Paul’s letter to the Ephesians 5:22: “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.”

However, there are many prejudices lined up behind this statement:­

  • That Paul knew what he was talking about
  • That the version of the Bible that gives this quote is accurate
  • That the Bible itself is an unerring guide to human behavior
  • That Christians have the best interpretation of the Bible­
  • That the Catholic sect of Christianity are the true followers of Jesus
  • That the Catholic leader, the pope, has the authority and right to dictate what Christianity is about
  • That Christians know better than other religions
  • That male religionists know better than female religionists
  • That religionists know better than nonreligionists

We are all entangled in a myriad of prejudices, of beliefs, of, literally “pre-judgments,” judgments that we have ahead of time, from before — earlier judgments.

It is annoying to have to unentangle all that. To question is, to borrow Paul Tillich’s phrase, “the shaking of the foundations.”

When one has been “trained” to listen to and do what others have told him, it is difficult to break the mold.

It is difficult to break out of “This is what we do because we men do this.” It is difficult to break out of the mold that says, this is what we Catholics, or we Christians, or we Americans, of we Democrats, or we Republicans, etc. do.

The point of all this is things are good when they are good and bad when they are bad, not whether they are old or new, or whether “we have always done it this way,” or that’s what my team says.

How does one decide? To me the answer is: It is up to each individual at each moment to decide.

That is, to look inside and ask: What seems fair, what seems right, what seems good to me here and now in this situation?

The “do unto others” rule is about the best universal rule I can think of for decision-making. Why?

It doesn’t come from without — from what others say. It comes from within.

It is difficult to do that when everybody around you — cardinals wearing red dresses, or people wearing red MAGA hats, or red army in their fed uniforms — says one thing, and you want to say another.

Harder still, to discover and step out of your own redness!

And yet, that is why they are having the meeting in the Vatican. It is the commitment not just to “modernize” the church. To go with what’s “new” is just as dumb as to stick with what’s “old.”

Each man — oops, excuse me — each person must look inside and ask, not “What would Jesus do?” but “what do I say to do”?

It will be interesting to see what some of the outcomes are.

Frank Sanitate is a Santa Barbara author of three books: Don’t Go to Work Unless It’s Fun, Beyond Organized Religion and Money - Vital Unasked Questions and the Critical Answers Everyone Needs. He was a monk and high school English teacher before starting a successful seminar business. Over his 40-year career, he presented seminars throughout the United States, Canada and Australia. He can be reached at The opinions expressed are his own.