Prof Tina Beattie attacks Pope Emeritus Benedict and hopes the new pope will change the Church’s sexual morality

Prof Tina Beattie, who recently delivered a lecture in the Archdiocese of Westminster’s Year of Faith series, has attacked Pope Emeritus Benedict and expressed the hope that the new pope will change the Church’s teaching on sexual morality.

Prof Beattie in The Guardian:

Tina Beattie, professor of Catholic studies at Roehampton University, is not surprised by his [Pope Francis] past pronouncements. ”He’s conservative on sexual issues but they all are,” she said. But, she added, Francis’s personal experiences of, and commitment to, the marginalised might yet lead him to confront some of the issues that Benedict XVI was simply unable to grasp. If he is listening to the voices of the poor, he will hear things about women’s lives that the last pope was totally deaf to and unaware of,” she said. “Any pope who listens to the poor and struggling people will hear women’s voices if he really wants to.”

Prof Beattie in The Tablet:

Any theologian today who aspires to work in the Catholic university system must engage in the kind of self-censorship that has already blighted the
hierarchy. No priest or bishop who speaks out in favour of women’s ordination or who appeals for an honest debate about issues of sexuality and procreation is likely to be promoted, which is why the papal candidates all seem so dismally like-minded about such issues.

The restoration of theology’s intellectual credentials must include the contribution of lay theologians and biblical scholars, especially women. The new pope must show that he is willing to engage seriously with women’s theological voices and moral perspectives in a way which is broadly representative of the diverse experiences and aspirations of women, and not just with a few carefully selected theological handmaids.’

Protect the Pope comment: In Prof Tina Beattie’s world Pope Emeritus Benedict’s upholding of the Depositum Fidei against agitation from her and fellow heretics is dismissed as ‘total deafness’ and lack of ‘awareness’.  She cannot comprehend the idea that Pope Benedict was totally aware of calls for the ordination of women and demands for the acceptance of abortion, contraception, and homosexuality, and had rejected them as either impossible, evil or harmful to the dignity of human beings.  In the heretical lexicon ‘listening to women’ and ‘listening to the people’ means changing the Church’s doctrines to accommodate  sin.  It is really important that our bishops are aware of the fact that when they use the phrase ‘we must listen to the concerns of people’ the horde of heretics in the Church will take this as meaning they support their calls to abandon the apostolic faith.

49 comments to Prof Tina Beattie attacks Pope Emeritus Benedict and hopes the new pope will change the Church’s sexual morality

  • Karla

    I have really had enough of hearing the opinions of dissenters like her. They need to get a grip. Church doctrine is not going to change on contraception, the priesthood, marriage or divorce and in many cases the Pope does not even have the authority to change the teaching because it is infalliable so Tina Beattie and those like her that share her views need to stop with this nonsense

    • Michael Sheridan

      I would suggest that if you wish to comment of infallibility you research it. I am not aware that all of the Church’s Teachings are infallible. My understanding is that there have only been two Infallible Statements; the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption of Our Lady.

  • “Prof Tina Beattie… expressed the hope that the new pope will change the Church’s teaching on sexual morality.”

    Right on! Because, one supposes, God should have given Moses only eight commandments and only three sins will cry to heaven for vengeance! Funny old Church getting it wrong for so long!

  • Francis

    Let’s hope Pope Francis doesn’t have the obsession with sexual morality that Popes Benedict and John-Paul 11 did! We want more about justice and peace. That might bring people back into the church.

    • Spesalvi23

      We should ask the porn / sex industry to donate to the poor!!
      Free love and social justice combined. Hurray!

    • savvy


      Sexual morality is not separate from social justice. It’s part of the vision of the human person, is what you fail to understand. Why are people so surprised that the Pope is Catholic?

    • peter

      Hi Francis
      In general terms i believe society has become preoccupied with sex in a way that is not healthy and the church must respond. Justice and peace is about the dignity of the person; and the over sexualisation of culture can destroy the dignity of any one of us.

      However I believe Tina Beattie is correct when she calls for a greater engagement with woman’s experience on matters of gender and sexual morality, it is part of the conversation that is rather muted at the moment.

  • Rifleman819

    Francis ,
    Is that coda for useless meetings of over-salaried, dissident laity who have just had their wings nicely clipped in the dioceses of Portsmouth and Shrewsbury?

    • peter

      I find it heartbreaking to hear fellow catholics call brothers and sisters in these terms. Even when we disagree, surely our faith calls us to more than this.

  • Michael Petek

    The face is the face of Tina Beattie, but the coice is the voice of Beelzebub.

  • Rifleman819

    With Tina’s now heretical call for female ordination made public and explicit…one presumes that she has now excluded herself from any further involvement in the Catholic church?
    I know the last Boat Race was cruelly disrupted but I’m sure she can swim from the banks of the Tiber to her natural home-Lambeth Palace without too much angst.

    Only a matter of time.

  • Spesalvi23

    Well, we need a parallel site: protect the pope emeritus.
    He’s been bashed up left and right.
    And it seems as if nobody gives a d***.
    I think he might be above all that; but it’s very painful to those who still mourn his absence.

    • Deacon Nick Donnelly

      Spe Salvi, Protect the Pope will continue to defend Pope Emeritus Benedict as long as liars and scoundrels outside and within the Church attack him. Deacon Nick

  • Genty

    She’s going to be mighty disappointed. Right into old age.

  • Daniel

    How sad for her to be Catholic in name but non-Cathoic in belief.

  • James Hughes

    Einstein said that ” insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result “. That’s precisely what Beattie does ! Maybe we should pray for her and her ilk but in my less charitable frame of mind I would rather she was burnt at the stake for being a heretic or more precisely to get her off our back. why hasn’ t ++nicholl simply banned her for her efforts in attempting to lead the faithful into error and ultimately hell. I would sure like to watch her last judgement though I suspect I will be somewhat pre-occupied with my own. Oh well back to the prayers!

  • Andrzej

    While the elites can engage in “free love” and have the financial means to live comfortable “alternative” lifestyles, the true victims of the elite’s ideology of promiscuity are the poor who lose the family and are thus pushed further into an under-class.

  • James M

    I really can’t see any action more appropriate to Ms Beattie than excommunication.

  • Nicolas Bellord

    The Guardian wrote: “He was also fiercely opposed to liberation theology, which, with its radical elision of Christ’s teachings and economics, attracted so many of the priests ministering to the poorest people of the Latin America in the 1970s and 80s.”

    Not very surprising if liberation theology “elided” (cut out) Christ’s teachings and economics. I am not sure that it went that far but perhaps the Guardian would have approved if it had!

  • peter

    A strong and challenging homily by Pope Francis – very challenging.

    Placing Matthew 25 so prominently in his homily suggest that many Christians may find him difficult to listen to and that includes me.

  • rifleman819

    Indeed we are to help and and acknowledge our brothers and sisters but not bloated church bureaucrats of dubious loyalty to the teachings of the church.
    The Catholic faith is not pick and mix-you accept it whole.

  • Peter

    Nowadays, and not like i used to think as a young man, the catholic faith is more than a series of teachings. At its heart is a intimate relationship with Christ that calls us to love. When some of us disagree with church teaching it is usually with a heavy heart. And I only know for myself, I ask who’s kingdom am I proclaiming, my own or Jesus’?

    • Peter, you are quite right to state that that Catholicism is an intimate relationship with Christ. But that radical, loving, intimate relationship is built on loving Him exactly as He is, for who He is and for what He reveals to us. It doesn’t mean remaking Him in our own image or remaking Him as we would like Him to be – that would be to love an idol of our own making.

      He taught us that if we would love Him, then we must keep His commandments. He taught us that those who reject His apostles and their teaching reject Him and the Father who sent Him.

      It was His choice and will to leave us an infallible, dogmatic Church which would mediate both Him and His teaching to us. We can moan and protest about that as much as we like, but if we really want an intimate relationship with Him, then we must fully embrace His Church, the successors of the apostles He has given to lead us, and all their teaching too. We can’t change what the apostles have bequeathed to us as the Deposit of Faith – all we can change is our attitude towards it with the help of His grace.

      • peter

        there are so many ways of proclaiming dogma and doctrine and helping people to ‘put out into the deep’ and engage with them. I have spent my last 40 years exploring these possibilities with others and it has been a wonderful experience. The ‘aggiornamento’ and ‘ressourcement’ John 23rd called for is still essential in my opinion.

        John 23 understood error and that the deposit of faith should be protected, but he called for a pilgrim church searching for the signs of the times.

        From John 23 opening address to the council
        At the outset of the Second Vatican Council, it is evident, as always, that the truth of the Lord will remain forever. We see, in fact, as one age succeeds another, that the opinions of men follow one another and exclude each other. And often errors vanish as quickly as they arise, like fog before the sun The Church has always opposed these errors. Frequently she has condemned them with the greatest severity. Nowadays however, the Spouse of Christ prefers to make use of the medicine of mercy rather than that of severity. She consider that she meets the needs of the present day by demonstrating the validity of her teaching rather than by condemnations Not, certainly, that there is a lack of fallacious teaching, opinions, and dangerous concepts to be guarded against an dissipated. But these are so obviously in contrast with the right norm of honesty, and have produced such lethal fruits that by now it would seem that men of themselves are inclined to condemn them, particularly those ways of life which despise God and His law or place excessive confidence in technical progress and a well-being based exclusively on the comforts of life.

        The deposit of faith is one thing but not everything the church teaches is infallible.

  • rifleman819


    You are missing the very point that the Centurion saw instantly 20 centuries ago-you accept the authority of the Church’s teaching and the communion with Peter.

    Even Christ was taken aback when the soldier spoke about authority-”I say unto one come…and he comes…I say unto another …go …and he goes”.

    Disobedience is the key downfall………..none of us has “takes” or versions of the Catholic faith…we have simply ….er….the Catholic faith.
    For instance -to try doing it the other way as Justin Welby will soon discover,as Rowan Williams discovered before him., the Anglican communion the lack of central authority and ecclesial discipline tends to mean that everyone goes their own way.Is it freedom or anarchy?
    But as a Catholic you must accept that discipline.

  • Gurn

    She has got her head in the clouds, why is sex always at the top of her mind anyway?

  • peter

    Francis Sullivan in a wonderful book Creative Fidelity: Weighing and Interpreting Documents of the Magisterium. writes that different teachings carry different weight. As a catholic i can live happily with this. I don’t know of any catholic that believes the whole of the magisterium.
    There are “different takes” on the catholic faith. It is worth remembering St Thomas Aquinas OP dissented from church teaching and was excommunicated, his strength and belief changed the way the church thought. Both Yves Congar OP and Marie-Dominique Chenu OP and John Courtney Murray SJ were condemned by the Holy Office prior to the Council but were welcomed back and their theology influenced the 2nd Vatican Council. There different take on catholic theology gave us Vat 2.

  • Rifleman819


    I’m not trying to be beastly or horrid or upsetting…it’s not Rifleman’s “take” on the Faith , anymore than yours , or Deacon Nick’s or the other 1.2 Billion of us out there……it belongs to all of us as a living faith simply because it was preserved and handed down through the generations.

    For that to happen it means sadly that in every generation there will be the “pickers and choosers” ie heretics who will try to wean away God’s people from their salvation.That means in every generation they must be resisted.

    Many of the Reformed denominations are in real trouble because they have sadly lacked that inherent discipline that Catholicism expects.And Catholics have allowed themselves to dilute their own message since the 1960s in an effort to be “nice” at those excruciatingly contrived ecumenical events.

    The Catholic church must never confuse mildly damp Congregational Digestives for the syncretism they might herald….social events fine ….converging doctrine is a different thing altogether.

    The root problem of Tina and Ed Stourton and cohorts is a very simple one -a mixture of vanity and arrogance.
    Their problem is simple as well-they are not Catholics.But they pose to the wider world as if they are.

  • peter

    Francis Sullivan in a wonderful book Creative Fidelity: Weighing and Interpreting Documents of the Magisterium. writes that different teachings carry different weight. As a catholic i can live happily with this. I don’t know of any catholic that believes the whole of the magisterium.
    There are “different takes” on the catholic faith. It is worth remembering St Thomas Aquinas OP dissented from church teaching and was excommunicated, his strength and belief changed the way the church thought. Both Yves Congar OP and Marie-Dominique Chenu OP and of course John Courtney Murray SJ were condemned by the Holy Office prior to the Council but were welcomed back and their theology influenced the 2nd Vatican Council. Their different take on catholic theology gave us Vat 2.

  • Rifleman819


    “I don’t know any Catholic that believes the whole of the magisterium”.

    Sorry to rain on your parade but there simply are not different “takes”…on the one True Faith …..the CDF will put you right.

    What you are saying is quite literally heresy-a picking and choosing. So what takes your fancy then? A dash of Pelagius on Wednesday….a soupcon of Jansenism for Sunday…..a flavouring of Arius for Saturday?

  • peter

    Sorry Rifleman but i disagree, our catholic faith develops and deepens. Without new ways of doing theology we would never have had a second vatican council.
    Please read Unam Sanctam from Boniface 8th and you will see how much has changed.


    • Nicolas Bellord

      But Peter the Second Vatican Council requires us to obey and accept the magisterium of the Church vide Lumen Gentium. You may have difficulties with some of the teaching but you still have to obey it.

  • Rifleman819


    But of course you must be right and know better than the rest of us.

    When will you be starting your new church then?

    You urge me to read “Unam Sanctam”-I already have because I read medieval and early modern history at Manchester University-it was one of our set texts actually….but so what?

    I urge you likewise to read and reflect on the Catechism of the Catholic Faith….it contains a lot about someone called Peter…but perhaps not you ….another Peter, maybe?

  • Ioannes

    Beattie was interviewed on the BBC World Service on the day Benedict stepped down and lost no time accusing both him and his predecessor of inflicting great damage on the Church. There was even a snide comparison between his so-called authoritarianism and pre-war fascism, which is a bit rich when you consider that JP II and B XVI had first-hand experience of totalitarianism, and she wasn’t born until 1955.

    As for the Vatican stifling debate on her pet issues (contraception, abortion, female ordination, homosexuality) it can’t be doing much of a job since she’s readily given a platform, not only by the secular media, but also by the Catholic establishment.

  • peter

    Hi Rifleman
    “But of course you must be right and know better than the rest of us” no not at all, i just view tradition differently, I was taught philosophy and then theology at the Nijmegen school and this has informed my way of being a catholic. I love the church.

    If you understand Unam Sanctam you understand how church theology has changed over the years. No one in the church today (except followers of Fr Leonard Feeney) would accept Unam Sanctam, yet at the time it was part of the church’s magisterium.

    I don’t need to set up a new church, i am a happy catholic but i view catholic tradition differently to you.

    The quote from Blessed John Henry Newman helps me –

    “I should look to see what theologians could do for me, what the Bishops and clergy around me, what my confessor; what friends whom I have revered: and if, after all, I could not take their view of the matter, then I must rule myself by my own judgement and my own conscience.”
    From Newman’s Letter to the Duke of Norfolk

  • Rifleman819

    This is , sorry , bizarre. You say you uphold tradition but only “your”interpretation of tradition ….what sort of Catholicism is this?
    JH Newman you recall…was a born and bred Anglican -and perhaps unlike Manning (in my view a much greater figure) some of those cultural attitudes never left him.I’m not a huge lover of Newman actually-Newman wrote but Henry Manning did.
    So …are you saying then that your individual interpretation of doctrine trumps that of the Universal Church?
    If so -then you must admit that you are in the wrong organisation.

    • Peter

      For clarity, I can happily proclaim the creed and accept the doctrines thereof. Theologians, as part of the church, never cease exploring these teachings for deeper meaning, they do so as part of the church.

      And for further clarity, my theological position is that revelation is mediated via the experience of human beings and this interpretive experience is both communal and personal. Theologians apply this experience of mediated grace to tradition which in turn becomes extended to the wider church. And to be as clear as i can, there is an interplay between Tradition and new methods of theology (a good example would be the ‘Nouvelle Theologie’ of the 1950‘s which engaged with Tradition in a new way and paved the path to the second Vatican Council) that helps us interpret and develop .

      It is not my individual interpretation of doctrine that trumps anything. I am merely part of a long tradition that believes that thinking is sacred. I would never interpret doctrine by myself, even though I have studied philosophy and theology at post graduate level i am not a theologian. When trying to understand doctrine i first look to the church, then my experience and then look to theologians. This deepens my faith. All of this is done in prayer, as prayer is sacred.

      I am a sinner,
      i don’t agree with everything the church teaches,
      I am a happy catholic,
      I am in the right organisation.

  • Ioannes

    Perhaps those who quote Newman out of context to justify their own dissent would benefit from further study of his life and works.

  • Rifleman819

    OK then -if I may ask you …….what do you think of Professor Tina Beattie?

    • Peter

      Hi Rifleman
      I don’t know Tina Beattie, i have met her a few times and she seems a really nice person. In my opinion she is not a heavy weight theologian and i wouldn’t read her without checking her against other theologians. I don’t know her work well enough to offer any real critique, but I gratefully welcome her contribution on gender and theology.
      If you look at her way of ‘doing theology’ (a very simple explanation) you may get an insight into her methodology and she believes that her work fits within the framework set out by Paul 6th in Dignitatis Humanae, whether or not Tina accepts Cardinal Ratzinger’s Donum Veritatis I’m not so sure.
      To be clear, catholic’s should not follow the thoughts of individual theologians, nor are theologians a second magisterium.

  • Rifleman819


    I think theologically you are trying to have your cake and eat it.”Causa finita , Roma locuta” might sort it , I feel.

    As for Tina…is she heretical/schismatic in your book?

    • Peter

      Hi Rifleman,

      as for your view on Tina Beattie,
      quidquid recipitur recipitur ad modum recipientis recipitur :-) [Whatever is received is received according to the manner of the receiver. Trans from Deacon Nick]


  • Rifleman819

    Semiotics as well!

  • peter

    Sorry Nick I should have translated it!

  • peter

    BTW the quote is from Thomas Aquinas

  • cedric

    hi peter!

    it is truly unfair that people are quick to judge us if we have a unique take on certain church teaching. like you, i agree that constant discourse and dialouge, though how uncomfortable at times, are necessary for an ongoing renewal of the Church, the “ecclesia semper reformanda” aspect of the Church.

    i just feel sorry that those who claim to be “authentically faithful” to the church easily justify themselves by labelling those who disagree with them, and pronouncing anathema on their persons.

  • [...] gossipers will pipe down now. There are also some other gossipers and grumblers voicing concern over false prophets and teachers teaching false doctrines in the spirit of the Antichrist in some of our educational establishments [...]

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>