by Prof. Marco Corvaglia
The community Caritas of Birmingham (Alabama) has gained much publicity and visibility in the U.S. by hosting many times (162 from 1988 to 2011), year after year, Marija Pavlović's, the Medjugorje visionary, daily apparitions.
So it is particularly interesting and significant to know the doctrines that are observed in the community and are spread by its founder and owner, Terry Colafrancesco.
He published in the mid-nineties, under his usual pseudonym of Friend of Medjugorje, the book How to Change Your Husband [Caritas, Sterrett (AL), 1996], printed by the community itself and now also downloadable from its official website.
Reading the book one is astonished by the male chauvinism, sometimes grotesque, that seems to characterize it: for example, he writes that the devil, in order to hide to people the potentially destructive nature of women, got persons to quit the right habit of giving female names to hurricanes that each year lash the shores of the Atlantic.
Actually, this isn’t simply absurd male chauvinism, but rather adhesion to well-known religious ideologies.
Among the morals most often cited in the book are those of Elizabeth Rice Handford, wife of Baptist pastor Walt Handford, and authoress of the book Me? Obey Him? The Obedient Wife and God's Way Of Happiness and Blessing In the Home.
Therefore, not surprisingly, the doctrines set out in the book printed by the Caritas community (based on an extremist interpretation of the Bible) are typical of Protestant fundamentalism and, among other things, are in stark contrast to the current positions of the Catholic Church, as stated in the encyclical Mulieris Dignitatem ("The Dignity Of Women"), issued by Pope John Paul II in 1988.
It is worth noting that these are central doctrines of the Caritas community, which wants to present itself as specifically dedicated to the rebirth of the family.
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