Even the oldest continuously existing institution in the world, the Roman Catholic Church, has felt the need to revise its teaching under the restless pressure of Western feminism. The Pontifical Biblical Commission is a body established by the Vatican to ensure the “proper interpretation of the Bible”.
In 2014 it produced a learned and handsomely bound document entitled The Inspiration and Truth of Sacred Scripture which I am reading (and why not?). I was a bit surprised at how much Biblical teaching it found difficult to accept in the context of the Weltanschauung of our secular west. For example:
1 Corinthians 11 clearly teaches a divine hierarchy rooted on the objective order of things, not mere human custom: God – Christ – man – woman. It exhorts its readers to understand these things:
‘I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
At the top of page 152 (see my photo below) the Pontifical Biblical Commission expresses “regret” that Paul does not advocate the modern secular preference for gender ‘equality’ in his letters. It authoritatively suggests this Biblical teaching can be dismissed as merely the product of Jewish cultural practices from 2000 years ago (see top of page 151 below).
If Paul’s teaching on gender hierarchy is regrettable and culturally bound (and can be safely left behind in the past) why not make the same move with regards to homosexual acts which Paul also condemns (see 1 Cor 6:9)? The same hermeneutic surely applies. And indeed this is precisely the hermeneutical move by taken by liberal theologians in all the churches.
If in the future a powerful movement arose in the West calling for the absolute social equality of animals with humans and advocated giving them the same rights as us (after all they are living beings like us so why not?) will a future Pontifical Biblical Commission document regret that the Bible “does not clearly assert equality of social status for animals such as chimpanzees and orangutans” (to misquote page 152)?
To follow on the coattails of the West will lead the Church into madness.