Hierarchies of mainstream organised religions have always considered women to be second class humans, which is embedded in their doctrines and permeating the minds of male devotees. In Christian bibles, there is a plethora of religious laws designed to control women’s lives. Other mainstream religions are no better and perhaps worse.

No religious law is more outrageous and cruel than the Judaic, barbarous Exodus 22:18 law used by the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy for centuries, to torture cruelly and murder unknown numbers of women.

The 1487 Malleus Maleficarum (Latin: Hammer for Witches) was the murderous guiding principle for Roman Catholic clergy to torture and murder women based on Exodus 22:18: “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” The Roman Catholic Church was founded on superstition and myth.

The Second Vatican Council (1964 on), resided over by John Paul ll, apart from declaring evolution as fact in 1967, altered the horrific Hebrew Exodus 22:18 law in 1969. It now reads: “Put to death any woman who practices magic.” The infamous Hebrew religious Exodus 22:18 law in the Roman Catholic Church bible still carries a death penalty for women who practice magic.

Another version of the Hebrew Exodus 22:18 law in Roman Catholic Church bibles is: `You shall not permit a female sorcerer to live.’ Thus, the horrific religious Exodus 22:18 was used as an authorisation by the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy to torture and murder women, remains non-rescinded and can still threaten the lives of millions of Catholic women.

The Roman Catholic Church doctrine has not left the Dark Ages. In a most ridiculous manner in this age of developing enlightenment, the Roman Catholic Church discriminates against women, which is against the UN Human Rights Charter.

So be warned all female magicians and David Copperfield’s female assistants, Malleus Maleficarum still exists albeit, perhaps in a different form as embedded religious law in Roman Catholic doctrine, and ratified by Pope John Paul ll.

Apparently, the Pope can alter his god’s word (law), but not rescind his god’s law. This is risible, but these pathetic religionists are really serious. The Exodus 22:18 cruel horrific Hebrew religious law that is still part of Christian dogma should be declared illegal.

Exodus 22:18 is a Hebrew law and similar to or plagiarised from many religions in the pre-Christian period. These so called laws are not the word of any god, but of men, who want total control of women. Religious laws prevailed as laws of the State in Christendom until the 1800’s. From this period, secular laws have become predominant in some countries such as Australia.

Roman Catholic Church witch hunting, torture and murder lasted for approximately six centuries until 1832 when the last act of the infamous Holy Inquisition ended in Spain. Witch hunting was outlawed in 1834.

The infamous Holy Inquisition shifted to the Vatican in 1836, and was given a new name: “The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith” of which, Australian Cardinal George Pell the Archbishop of Sydney is a member. Apparently this is not commonly known by Catholic women.

“The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith” is structured for hierarchy on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church, to invoke bans and excommunications in efforts to stifle freedom of expression and dissension in order to maintain its world status.

Roman Catholic Church centuries of persecution of women led by the Holy Inquisition, brought women of Christendom into line as obsequious members of the Roman Catholic Church, which coerced them to live in a world of self-deception (belief in an imaginary misogynist god, angels and demons). History is full of religious populations living a life of self-deception.

Most Catholic women strongly defend their belief because they have been mind conditioned to do so from childhood, and consider it unthinkable to challenge their belief. But the PILL has defeated the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church.

Within Christendom, women were and are coerced to acquiesce to man made religious laws. There are no religious laws made by women. Lying theologians teach that man made religious laws are the word of their god. Their god in reality is a construct of ingenious abstract imagination.

There is no empirical or natural law evidence to support the notion of any of the thousands of gods that have come and gone over the millenniums. The fact that there are so many is indicative of their invention. All ancient and not so ancient humanity thought that gods in the image of humans were responsible for creation.


Such non-rescinded barbaric religious laws as Exodus 22:18 sitting as the foundation of so-called Christian ethics and morals make absolute mockery of the Pope’s apologies, for `past’ sins of the Roman Catholic Church, which continues its sins against women.

The phallocratic attitude held by the Catholic hierarchy promotes Sexism, Discrimination and Denial of Equality and Equal Opportunity. These are sins against half of humanity.

The Pope should apologise to all women of the world for the existing Roman Catholic Church hierarchy phallocratic attitude (unchanged for millenniums and virtually misogynist).

It is not possible to forgive Pope John Paul ll’s private, profit making religious hierarchy, when it will not rescind barbarous laws and cease its discrimination against women in the name of its ethereal gods.

If the Pope rescinded all Roman Catholic barbarous religious laws, this would probably give some credibility to his apology for past and present sins of his organised religion. However, apologies are too late for thousands of victims who suffered so much under the terrorist organisation calling itself the Roman Catholic Church. To remove the terrorist status, it must totally rescind inhuman religious laws.


From the Second Vatican Council (1964-), the Roman Catholic Church appears to be moderating its stance on several issues. It is inexorably being coerced to change or modify its dogma.

In 2004, the Roman Catholic Church began moderating its disapproving of women having careers albeit, perhaps reluctantly. The Roman Catholic Church has always insisted the women’s place is in the home and nurturing many children. For centuries, this discriminatory policy kept millions of families in a state of poverty.

The severe absence of people going to church and lower birth rates has caused the Roman Catholic Church to realise, that millions of Roman Catholic women have been defying it for decades and opting for careers rather than poverty. In several Roman Catholic dominated countries birth-rates have fallen dramatically.

The Pope should demand further change, so that he and his acolytes meet anti-discrimination criteria as a paradigm of modus vivendi set by the UN Resolution 36/55 – November 1981. It states: “Declaration on the: Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief”. Perhaps Cardinal George Pell should study this UN declaration.

Cardinal Pell’s wishful thinking of a future union of Catholics and Muslims resisting secularism, could mean, that based on past and present religious history, the use of violence, fear and threat of murder, if not mass murder.

Pell is opposed to secularism and wants a theocratic State. He does not realise Australian Secular Democracy and Governance has helped significantly, to maintain modus vivendi between religionists of differing beliefs.

If Pell’s organised religion was in the majority, he would not be making such statements, he would in fact, be endeavouring to impose theocratic rule.

A United Nations Universal Basic Human Rights Platform should be designed to suit all races with their different traditional cultures and religions. George Pell should note this; if it is possible for him to overcome his prejudice.

Discrimination in various forms is still rife in Australia and somewhat displayed on the census form.

Although UN Human Rights Declarations can be improved, in their present form, they are a basis for establishing Human Rights as a fundamental global social order, without the need for stultifying organised religion pursuing its own interests, mainly profit. Organised religion is a massive investor in the global profit making system.

Each group, with their traditional cultures and religions should be encouraged to act of their own volition to adopt as a basic principle, the UN Human Rights Declarations, and perhaps, have them ensconced in a Bill of Rights as a basic element of their culture.

Australia should lead by example in eradicating its discrimination problems of which some are religious based. A country being a signature to such declarations does not guarantee their implementation.

To expose the fact, that Pope John Paul ll and his hierarchy still promote the Roman Catholic Church sexist doctrine regardless of his apology to women, the Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc. of S.A., in its – “Atheist Newsletter” April 2000, reprinted a snippet written by Victoria Coombe of “The Weekly Telegraph” – Wednesday, March 2000: – “Sister Lavina Byrne (feminist theologian) said she was leaving her religious order after 35 years of service because of alleged bullying from the Vatican.

The conflict began over Sister Byrne’s book “Women at the Altar”. She argued that women should be allowed to become priests and that married Catholics should be permitted to use contraception.”


Although after centuries of banning and censoring of books by the Roman Catholic Church with “Index Librorum Prohibitorum” which ended “officially” in 1968, “Index Librorum Prohibitorum” is apparently alive and well with Cardinal Pell, a member of “The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith” the modern name of the old infamous Inquisition body, albeit, it does not use red-hot pokers, racks and burning victims to death anymore, even on dissenting Priests and Sisters.

Dissent is not tolerated by Sydney Catholic Archbishop and Cardinal George Pell. He `banned’ a book written by one of his priest’s based upon fact.

But, clergy can be asked to “explain” unless they leave the church and ignore the command of the “The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith” or the “Catholic Church Tribunal”. Some priests have.

Incidentally, was George Pell’s appeal on a TV news segment to “keep it in the family,” a veiled threat to his dissenters. He was publicly referring to the divisions within his ranks over the “Safe Injection Rooms” for drug users. Pell suggests there are other ways of dealing with the problem. He may be right.


Critique of the Pope’s apology reveals little has changed regarding the status of women in the Roman Catholic Church. A woman as pope? Perish the thought! The apology barely referred to “women.”

Sydney Anglican Archbishop, Peter Carnley, has caused division in his Church because of his progressive thinking (theologically speaking) towards women, whom he apparently respects as equals, at least in church jurisdiction. He has ordained 10 women priests.

His contemporary, Anglican Melbourne Archbishop Watson, recently filling the position vacated by Keith Raynor, also agrees to women priests.

The outcome of equal opportunity struggles for women may not necessarily lead to equality status in the dollar driven materialist society, controlled by the global corporate sector. Organised religion still perpetuates inequality.

Christian hierarchy has a history of closely collaborating with the rich and powerful, including despots. Organised religion rarely supports ordinary people, particularly women, of whom it usually demands absolute obedience from.

Today’s Australian social environment for women tends to be symbiotic with Secular Democracy. The efforts of many Australian women over decades have assisted to create such a sociological environment that organised religion execrates.

Australian women have to overcome male mentality fixed in ancient misogynist religious dogma that regards women as chattels.

In the somewhat Australian `Secular Democratic’ society, women need not submit to men using religious based ploys to prevent them making personal decisions concerning their bodies, family planning and intellectual expression.

The “Promise Keepers” syndrome is foreign to the fledgling Australian egalitarian society. Article 1 of the 1981 UN Resolution 36/55 begins with: Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Archbishop George Pell would probably not agree.

As Australian women assert themselves as equals in the sociological sense, priests and religious dogma continue to be less influential in women’s thinking and lifestyles. Emancipation is steadily overall, gaining women equality of opportunity and justice.

Their struggle is not over yet; they still meet strong resistance from the religious male fraternity. But they have much to do in the parliamentary arena as the banning of contraceptive RU 486 indicates. Most parliamentarians are religious men.

The chattel status of women is no longer `officially’ tolerated in Australia , nor is violence or the threat of violence against women by men, who use it to maintain control over women.

Millions of women live with the threat of violence hanging over them like the sword of `Damocles’ and because of it, tend to be compliant to avoid hurt. Their subservience becomes a way of life.

Religious and non-religious Australians can be grateful that Democratic Secular Humanist Law and Ethics largely prevail over the plethora of existing religious laws. For example; the ultra conservative Catholic, George Pell tried to legally invoke a `blasphemy’ charge against Andre Serrano, the “Piss Christ” artist and failed.

The MORAL drawn from all this, is that more Australian women need to become “field warriors” to assist promoting and establishing their social equality status.

Women’s emancipation and anti-discrimination struggles have given themselves unprecedented opportunity of achieving equal sociological status. Men, especially religious men did not hand it to them. They pretend women have equality or it is not their right.

Women still need to be cautious and not completely rely on technology to continue creating a level playing field for workplace equality. Social justice and discrimination is still on their fix it agenda as ongoing activity.

To attain ultimate freedom, women need to discard `faith based belief systems’ founded upon irrational, ancient superstitious notions that coerce them to live a life of self-deception and remain anaclitic.

This unhealthy mind-set potentially neutralises half the human race. This is one reason why so many women do not determine their direction in life, and are encouraged to think they need priests. All men and women need to take stock of their sociological relationships.

Women need to realise that as partners in the production of a nation’s wealth, and intent on creating a viable, egalitarian caring and sharing society, that together with men, they can eliminate unnecessary antagonistic gender competition, and forge a society based upon Humanist Principles and Ethics that will strive to eradicate greed and induce altruism.

Secular Humanists believe gender co-operating coalition is achievable.

There is little need today for closed religions to operate their inhibiting dogma influence that creates sexism, sociological schisms, estrangement and xenophobia.

The Atheist Foundation of Australia, Newsletter, No. 67 March 1997 – printed a feature – Women without Superstition. It is worth having a copy.

By Peter Plane