Will Fashion Help Challenge America's Catholic Bishops?

This editorial ‘Pagan Something’ on Flamboyant Magazine is a discovery via Vogue Italia’s Talents focus on photographer Marco D’Amico and stylist Italo Pantano.

The editorial begins with a quote by Theda Kenyon, author of ‘Witches Still Live’:

The blackest chapter in the history of Witchcraft lies not in the malevolence of Witches but in the deliberate, gloating cruelty of their prosecutors.

You might think that the entire subject of witchcraft is long behind us, but this is not so. As theologians use archaeology, cultural anthropology and a host of new discoveries about early Christians to examine the critical question ‘Is God male?’,  activists like Sister Elizabeth A. Johnson, a Fordham University professor, are under attack.

American bishops have issued a 21-page critique governing the future of theological study in the United States, writes the NYTimes.

Many on the left and the right agree on one point: The bishops, who have already shut off discussion about ordaining women, are signaling that other long-debated questions about gender in the church — the choice of pronouns in prayers, the study of the male and female aspects of God — are substantially off-limits as well.

I restate my position that fashion is not separate from politics, and especially now. Karl Lagerfeld doesn't agree with me, but that is just fine. This editorial ‘Pagan Something’ reminds us that the majority of witches burned in history have been women. While precise numbers are not known, estimates are that well over nine million persons — largely women — have been burned for beliefs (often not even true) that undermine the authority of the religious patriarchy.

America is entering such a period of intellectual darkness, as evidenced by the intention of American bishops to reject as ‘the work of witches or the devil’ (my words) in 50 years of religious scholarship about the lives of early Christians and especially women. It is a well-established fact that women’s history has been rewritten by monotheism, and the factual misrepresentation will only become worse.

This fashion editorial would NEVER appear in American Vogue. Under Carine Roitfeld, it might have appeared in Vogue Paris, but fashion rarely seeks to rock the boat. With new Vogue Paris editor -in-chief Emmanuelle Alt at the helm, I don’t expect much intellectual challenge to existing hierarchies, or even intellectual ideas period.

I fear that the loss of Carine Roitfeld at Vogue Paris will be felt in ways we are only beginning to understand. At the very time we need her Carine’s bravura, she is gone as an intellectual voice for the advancement of women internationally. Anne

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