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The Federalist’s recent disappeared article ‘Theology Of The Clitoris?’

24 Dec

It seems the Federalist Magazine has disappeared an article I linked a couple days ago.

No problem; Bing has cached it, at least temporarily; here it is, minus graphics (BTW, if you want to keep it, make sure you save a copy for yourself, and hey, feel free to repost it yourself if you like; it’s all good, surely):

 

Theology Of The Clitoris?

A Catholic university linked with the Vatican will hold a conference on women’s G-spots that features ‘hands-on’ demonstrations and an audience with the pope. It’s not a joke.

By Maureen Mullarkey

December 21, 2015

Move over, secret of Fatima. Rome’s Patristic Institute Augustinianum, established in the fourteenth century to study the early church fathers, is welcoming a conference that promises to reveal a much older secret: female orgasm.

I blush as I write. But it has to be done.

It is hard to know how to interpret some Vatican-related news these days. They are getting on in years, those red zucchettos. So is it dementia or depravity driving this madcap bunch? Are we reading real broadcasts or a spoof from The Onion or Eye of the Tiber? For the first time ever, I do not know how to begin. I grope for a suitable angle of approach to this headline in The Daily Mail: “Secrets of the G-spot unraveled . . . by the Vatican: Catholic university overseen by the Church to host conference on the secrets of the female body.”

So much depends on inflection. How to comment without smirking? What tone to take? Several openers suggest themselves. First up, there is the instructional mode, one that offers relative neutrality: Ladies, have you taken inventory of your genitalia recently? Do not be bashful. If the Vatican is interested, you should not disdain to look. Make an honest appraisal. You do not need a speculum. An ordinary compact mirror will do.

Or, something sprightly might be better: Lighting up St. Peter’s was just the beginning. Now, my sisters, the Vatican is accommodating a professional group adept in ways of lighting you up, too.

Then there is the high road: After prayerful attention to development of doctrine and, guided by the Holy Spirit, Vatican scholars are placing under the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary a much needed codicil to the Theology of the Body.

Take a ‘Hands On Course’

Truth to tell, sweet reader, I am totally at a loss. It is a dog’s breakfast, no matter the introit. Better to send you to the article itself, which appeared in the paper’s online edition December 11. Herewith:

A Catholic university linked to the Vatican will host a conference of gynaecologists who claim to be able to ‘amplify’ women’s G-spots to kickstart their sex lives. The Augustinian Patristic Institute, near St Peter’s Square in Rome, will host the first meeting of the European Society of Aesthetic Gynaecology in April next year. The society is headed up by Dr Alexandros Bader, a world renowned surgeon, who boasts of being able to ‘enhance’ a woman’s G-spot on his website. Topics covered at the landmark conference are said to include the lifting, tightening and bleaching of female genitals. Delegates will also discuss the amplification of the G-spot and the O-spot, a point behind the surface which experts claim is more sensitive to pleasure than the G-spot. The delegates will also be greeted to an audience with Pope Francis and a walk with in the Vatican gardens, the Times reported. They will then take part in a ‘hands on course’ which features operations on ’14 live cases’.

A hands on course. Live cases. Think that through. As written, it means 14 women will spread their legs (on a Renaissance library table?) for this “simple, non-intrusive and painless procedure that takes about fifteen minutes.” Is there anything in the Didache about this? What would Justin Martyr say?

The writer’s byline made me wonder if the article was a specimen of psychological jihad, a mischievous concoction to confound the faithful. But no. Jay Akbar, graduate of the University of Kent, is a standing journalist with the Daily Mail. This is a real news item. (Likely placed by Dr. Bader’s publicist, but let me not digress.)

The good Dr. Bader is a real plastic surgeon. Licensed in Greece, he developed his specialty—and presumably did his field work—on a fellowship in Laguna Beach. His expertise includes the increasingly popular labiaplasty, a nip-and-tuck for the private parts of women who want to advance beyond Brazilian wax. But there is more here than just cosmetics:

On his website, Dr Bader wrote: ‘G-Spot Enhancement is a revolutionary method which is based on magnifying the G-spot up to four times.’ He claims this is done by injecting the spot with a special collagen filler which increases sensitivity and the ‘intensity, duration and frequency of female orgasms’.

Please God, may someone takes notes during the conferees’ audience with Francis.

The Catholic Church Enables Pornographic Sensibilities

Why is a pontifical house of scholarship lending itself to a showboating (“world renowned”) plastic surgeon whose practice adds fresh dimension to the term bottom feeding?

It is a safe bet the Institute is renting itself out in the same way that the Sistine Chapel was rented to Porsche last year.

Most probably, the conference is part of the Vatican’s recent entrepreneurial foray into leasing facilities for deep-pocket corporate events. As a premier event location, all premises aligned with the Vatican top the Pasadena Convention Center or—this is Europe, after all—Berlin’s Estrel. It is a safe bet the Institute is renting itself out in the same way that the Sistine Chapel was rented to Porsche last year.

We can hope so, though it really does not matter much. What counts here is the lunatic abandoning of discernment by director Fr. Robert Dodaro and every Vatican official involved in assenting to host the program. Did no one in the Congregation for Catholic Education, a branch of the Roman Curia, object to this panty raid on its own prestige?

The issue here is neither gynecology nor plastic surgery itself. Both are humane, beneficent disciplines. But on show in this conference is the promotion of cosmetic gynecology, a burgeoning sub-field—with spiraling rates paid largely out of pocket—that has less to do with medicine (e.g. correction of congenital conditions or gynecological disease) than with a porn aesthetic. In effect, the Patristic Institute is assenting to the advancement of a non-medical enterprise that exploits anxieties and fixations induced by X-rated fantasies of female genital perfection.

***

We look at the world and mourn the West’s descent into the dark. Nostalgic for confidence in the truth of what Christianity proclaims, we grow wistful for lost certainties. Little by little, trust in the reality of transcendence—of a world unbound by created time, redeemed, and sanctified—recedes in favor of its mirror image: contemporary society, with its immediate material concerns and ideological obsessions.

Christians gaze at the sinkage only to rationalize the decline of the church as a victim of this inversion. Perhaps it is time to attend more carefully to the church as an agent and accomplice of its own subversion.

Maureen Mullarkey is an artist who writes on art and culture. She keeps the weblog Studio Matters.
 
[Note: supposedly the Patristic Institute has denied the event is taking place there. But the Daily Mail story has not been changed or retracted, as of the time of this writing; compare the link given with the screencap:
 
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3 responses to “The Federalist’s recent disappeared article ‘Theology Of The Clitoris?’

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