Melissa Harris-Perry | February 16, 2013
>>> we are back and continuing the conversation about the future of the catholic church . joining me now are father james martin , jesuit priest and editor at large at american magazine and also with me is sister camille de'arienz soshgs president of the women e's coalition and also joining me are ari melber, and so we were joking at the break, we need the black folks and the jewish folks at the table to talk about it. but this is part of the letter, because the catholic church is one thing for the believer, but the fact is that the catholic church is a global institution that impacts all of us that are in fact not part of the catholic faith per se , so does the church in some way take that into account as it begins to think about the new directions?
>> well, completely. they you need somebody and the cardinals know that you need somebody to speak to the world and not simply catholics, but more importantly to speak to the catholics in other cultures. the center of the church is going toward africa and latin america and asia and if we do get a pope from the developing world , which i hope we do, and that will further influence the world.
>> and so if we have a pope of more tolerance of social issues and in other words, we see more conservativism among the leadership of the african catholic traditions.
>> and yet more progressivism on some issues. ca cardinal turkson is hugely popular on the world human rights .
>> not so much on the lgbt.
>> and also birth control which runs against the catholic principles, but i am not a catholic , but i think that it would be a great thing if somebody could introduce the idea that maybe women have a right to control their reproductive rights and i don't think that is particularly scandalous.
>> and those who work for catholic organizations, but who are not themselves catholic plooefr believers. talk to me, sister camille, about the difference of the chur churches because when i was a kid, we didn't have girl altar boys , and tell us about the history of the church .
>> well, i have been fighting for more than 40 years for qualified unordained preachers, male and female, and i don't see it happening very quickly, but i do see it happening slowly. i think that perhaps we should go back to jesus for a little instruction on this and i'm thinking off a story of marks' gospel where jesus was hurrying with a very powerful man by the name of jirus to heal his daughter and woman with a hemorrhage and no status at all said that if i would touch the hem of the garment i would be healed and she succeeded to do that and jesus said stopped and said, who touched me? he could have gone on, but he gave this woman complete attention and allowed her to speak for herself in a public place, and had the more important person wait, and this is a sign to us that to jesus , women and men are equals. it has nothing to do with status.
>> how did that get buried somehow? why isn't that story like right at the top of the catholic 's greatest hits? i want to know.
>> and there's another story, that i want to know, that i took theology with who was a catholic sister at ctu and the widow who is pleading with ton just king and she says that our problem is that if we imagine that god is the unjust king with whom we are constantly pleading, then god is a remove and regal figure, but what if god is the widow and god is in fact the pleading woman, and just the ability to reimagine the divine as in fact something that is requiring not the power that we think of, you know, human power or world power , but instead, the kind of power that might in fact come through women and the provisions that women hold.
>> well, there is a linkage here because you said that you are not catholic and neither am i. i wanted to get that out there. but there is a connection of the scripture and the way jews study and the beautiful document with amazing values, but imperfect one many people feel, and part of the struggle i think of any pope or any religious lead ser to stay true to the values that we believe are eternal and fundamental, but also try to give leadership and thought and interpretation in a modern and changing world. the area of equal rights for women and people who have different sexual orientation is a fundamental struggle for many religions and catholicism and judaism included. i am reminded of the myth of the owl of minerva but says it is flies at dusk, but flies to late to help anyone, and the question for the pope is he is the owl of m minerva, and that he was not ultimately able to conquer to the satisfaction of many people, and he has done something that myself have many issues with the pope, but he has done something very important that he is a sort of modern george washington here that he has stepped back as someone who has worked in politics and watched a lot of people who never know when to say when and have no humility, but that to me strikes me as a fundamentally humble act.
>> and it shows a lot of spiritual freedom, too, and rare is the person who will relinquish power voluntarily these days. so it is interesting that jesus points to this both backwards and forward and as sister was saying that the jesus is always going out to the marginalized and if jesus were here today --
>> okay. here we go.
>> father, that is a great way to start a sentence on television, and works for me every time.
>> and to whom would he be going?
>> to the poor and the women and the gays and the lesbians and the people who feel distant from the church and sex abuse vick sims and so that the church is called in a sense to return to the roots, but look at the root s to try to impel us forward.
>> thank you, father martin , i am so pleased that you took us to the moment of what would jesus do. it is a great wristband and a great question. thank you, both. continuing up, my one-on-one interview with senior adviser valerie jarrett to the president, and we will come back and in fact not talk what about jesus would do.
>> hey, melissa, it is thomas here, and i tell you that the nerdland is the best set, and it is because you have made it like a tiffany's box. much