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Friday, September 03, 2010

The death of trust, respect, and love

I read a post today at US Catholic - Boycotting the Mass. Here's a bit of the post ....

Jennifer Sleeman from Clonakilty in Cork said she wants 'to let the Vatican and the Irish church know that women are tired of being treated as second-class citizens.' She has called on the Catholic women of Ireland to 'join your sisters on Sunday, September 26th. On that one day boycott Mass. Stay at home and pray for change. We are the majority. We may have been protesting individually but unremarked on, but together we have strength and our absence, the empty pews, will be noticed.'

Some women in the U.S. are taking notice of this protest as well .... is it worth it to willfully take a week off? But even if you do, will enough women boycott that you'd actually be able to see a difference in the pews? Would it make any difference?


Is protesting something you consider unjust worth the effort if you believe it won't actually bring about change? I think it is.

For some reason this reminds me of living with my mother just before she died. She and I had terrible arguments and there was no way for me to win one of them because she had all the power in the relationship - it was her home and she could make me leave if she wanted to, but even more, she didn't care about damaging the quality of our relationship. That didn't stop me from arguing with her of course :) but what it did do was it eroded any trust, respect, and maybe even love I'd had for her. It's been eight years since she died and I'm still so upset at her that it's almost impossible to remember anything good we ever had between us.

In the relationship between the church hierarchy and we women the hierarchy has all the power. Yes, women who wish that we were treated equally can complain, as long as it's not too loudly, and we can walk away, saying we have anywhere else to go, but we can't really do the one thing we might want to - we can't get the hierarchy to trust us and respect us and love us enough to be willing to consider change.

Oh, for those who will say the women's ordination thing isn't about trust and respect and love, but about Jesus only wanting men to be priests, read Did Jesus Exclude Women from Priesthood? by Sandra M. Schneiders.


20 Comments:

Anonymous Henry said...

OMG, you mean to tell me that all these years I should have been following Ms. Schneiders profound opinions instead of the teachings of the Vicar of Christ! Everything makes so much sense now - thanks Crystal.

Well, the devil certainly is trying to destroy the One True Church with his (oops, sorry sexist language) HER minions. After all there’s no proof the devil is “male” so I am going to float the idea that the devil is female and I will work on writing scholarly articles on that with friends.

I grew up with 3 sisters and I was married for many years and I am positive that I will never understand women, so I have stopped trying. However, I will forever argue against trimming the Truth so that it fits today’s ideological fashions. The wolves in sheep’s clothing should should just be honest and declare that they are trying to destroy the Church from within.

If you are interested in reading another point of view, take a look at this: http://www.ewtn.com/library/issues/whywomen.txt

Yes, Crystal, I’m in a bad mood and yes I am sick of those who try to reduce the Church to something She is not.

OK, end of rant!

5:09 AM  
Anonymous coolmom said...

Yes, I AM going to boycott-not that I expect the Institutional Church to care-but it will make a difference to ME to stand up and be counted as one of those tired of being treated rudely and condescendingly. I deserve better and Jesus would want us all to be treated better!

7:45 AM  
Blogger Mike L said...

I believe that since Jesus selected only male Jews as apostles, the only valid ordinations are those of Jewish men. To support this I will claim that the only difference between men and women is genetic, and at that a small genetic difference. There is also a small difference in genetics between Jewish people and gentiles, and this is sufficient to keep any gentile from being ordained. After all this is what Jesus did.

Oh well, sometimes I just have to be sarcastic. Yet I think this argument is the same as what the Church is using to exclude women.

Hugs,

Mike L

PS Hope you feel better soon, Henry.

8:03 AM  
Blogger PrickliestPear said...

Henry,

Not everyone evaluates positions based on the perceived personal authority of the individuals proffering them. The arguments underlying them are what ultimately matter. The official position of the magisterium is supported with a number of demonstrably bogus claims. The fact that Jesus did not ordain women is rendered meaningless when we recognise that he didn't ordain men, either.

The Church is being destroyed from within, but those like Sr. Schneiders are hardly responsible for this. It is the official authorities who are either unwilling or incapable of recognising the difference between safeguarding an important truth on the one hand and preserving a chauvinistic custom, rooted in a primitive anthropology, on the other.

8:59 AM  
Anonymous Henry said...

I wasn't going to reply but what the hell I just don't care today because everything is black anyway.

Crystal - I apologize for the rant - delete it, and this one too, if you want.

Mike - I like the sarcasm very much and yes, I hope I feel better soon too. Not a day for me to be around people and so I stayed home. Cute argument.

PP – “demonstrably bogus claims,” “Christ didn’t ordain men,” give me a break. Like Humpty Dumpty, anyone can make facts mean what they want. Who is going to free us from this predicament? A scholar? An intellectual?

“Arguments.” A joke. I’ll give you an example about the usefulness of arguments. I was a juror on a drug case a few months ago. The dealer kept the drugs in a glove compartment of an abandoned car. The police video taped him going to the glove compartment to remove the drugs every time he made a sale. They showed the video tape in the courtroom. When the dealer was arrested, the police found the car keys in his pocket and a gun in the glove compartment. No lawyer argued that the car didn’t exist, that the gun didn’t exist, etc. Ok, the dealer’s lawyer argued that the keys belonged to the other guy and his client was holding them, etc., etc. We start deliberating and two people argue that the cops framed the guy because the car never existed. “The car never existed” – I couldn’t believe it! And their reason, cops lie. No matter how much we tried, no one could persuade them. One of the jurors was a Philosophy professor with the patience of a saint and she tried to persuade her, no luck. So, yeah, arguments might work if we were free from Original Sin but since we’re not they can be as useful as a used diaper.

Ok, I’ll stop now before I move from sarcasm to nasty. No more blogging for me today!!!

My dear Crystal I hope you and the others are having a good day. Talk to you another time.

10:10 AM  
Blogger Deacon Denny said...

I too hope you feel better soon, Henry. I usually enjoy your comments so thoroughly!

Well. I am not going to boycott Mass that day, but I might SAY something at Mass about the boycott. I enjoyed reading that article, and find it personally compelling. I don't consider myself in a position to assess something like "wide consensus among reputable New Testament scholars," but I do know a fair amount of Church history, and it seems to me that Ms Schneiders treats it fairly and accurately.

I won't see it in my lifetime, alas, but I'm confident that one day the Catholic Church will allow women to be priests.

Crystal, speaking to me even more loudly than that article, however, were the words about your experience with your mom. I'm so sorry that even all these years later, that memory hurts you.

12:28 PM  
Blogger PrickliestPear said...

You, too, have reasons for believing what you believe, Henry.

There is a reason why you believe the magisterium is an infallible authority rather than believing something else. It might not be a very good reason, and if so, you would do well to avoid critically examining it if maintaining that belief is important to you. But unless your believing it is merely arbitrary, then you must have some reason for it.

The fact that some people are irrational does nothing to diminish the importance of being able to provide arguments to support what you believe.

1:04 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Henry,

I hope you feel better soon.

I'm sad you don't understand women - I think all other people are hard to understand, men and women :) but I don't think men and women are all that different that we're so mysterious to each other.

I can't help thinking that the church has some reason other than the purported one for allowing only men to be priests, because their claim tht they cannot make women priests, that Jesus won't let them, just seems on the basis of NT scholarship to be inadequate.

2:06 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Mike,

Heh - I like your argument :)

2:09 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Coolmom,

Thanks for your comment. I agree. I do think it's worth making some kind of gesture, whether it makes a difference in what the church does or not.

2:11 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

PrickliestPear,

You wrote very well what I believe too - I couldn't have put it better.

2:12 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Denny,

Sandra M. Schneiders is a respected professor at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley - I think she does know her stuff and she's not shy about speaking up. She had a good article too about the visitation of US women religious recently.

Thanks :)

2:15 PM  
Anonymous henry said...

Well, the storm has subsided for a bit and so I am going to try to write a sensible comment.

Deacon Denny is so right because it is truly heartbreaking to read this sentence in Crystal’s post: It's been eight years since she died and I'm still so upset at her that it's almost impossible to remember anything good we ever had between us.

I am not sure when my anguish will pass but I offered all I went through today and whatever I will go through tomorrow for you Crystal - for you and your sister. I know it’s not much but I gladly offer for you and all those with wounds in their heart.

Perhaps the writings of Jean Vanier as well as the book *Making Peace with Yourself* by Kathryn J. Hermes would be interesting for you to read - or maybe your sister will read the book to you.

Regarding women’s ordination, which I now see is a somewhat secondary issue compared to the human pain you expressed, Sister Sara Butler, M.S.B.T., S.T.L., Ph.D., who teaches dogmatic theology at St. Joseph's Seminary in New York, wrote a great book on the topic: The Catholic Priesthood and Women: A Guide to the Teaching of the Church and I highly recommend it. (I also believe that Crystal once cited a discussion she had with Robert J. Egan.) Has anyone involved in this conversation read it? If yes, I’d like to have a discussion about it with them.

Of course I have reasons PP, and yes, I examine them often. In fact, I think the only strength of the book we read together was that it made a person think.

But, you seem to imply that my belief in Christ is about as *reasonable* as Linus’ belief in the Great Pumpkin - OK... I think it’s only fair that you throw a dart or two at me since I was a real pr**k today. But if you think that you are the only person enlightened enough to question their beliefs then you really live a sheltered life my friend.

And yes, I’ve read the books by the darlings of the *liberal/progressive* crowd and all I can say about them is, why do they bother staying Catholic? I often wish I could sit with some of them and ask them a simple question: Do you think it is worth it to be Catholic? Why?

Sure, their writings have some interesting things but they generally start with doubt and end with doubt. Well, I know that some enjoy following that *alternate Magisterium* but I don’t. So why do I read that stuff? Because in the classes I teach for the Diocese some Adult inevitably starts to quote those books, those authors, etc., as if they were Sacred Scripture. And it’s for that reason that I am beginning to think that it’s vital that I teach a class on the Modernist Heresy - something that people do not even realize exists. Reading what he wrote, it’s clear to me that Pope St. Pius X was indeed a prophet. (N.B., I am using the word prophet in the sense of *one who speaks for God*.)

Well, this turned out to be longer than I thought it would be.

8:48 PM  
Anonymous Henry said...

Well, the storm has subsided a bit and so I am going to try to write a sensible comment.



Deacon Denny is so right because it is truly heartbreaking to read this sentence in Crystal’s post: It's been eight years since she died and I'm still so upset at her that it's almost impossible to remember anything good we ever had between us. 

I am not sure when my anguish will pass but I offered all I went through today and whatever I will go through tomorrow for you Crystal - for you and your sister. I know it’s not much but I gladly offer for you and all those with wounds in their heart.



Perhaps the writings of Jean Vanier as well as the book Making Peace with Yourself by Kathryn J. Hermes would be interesting for you to read - or maybe your sister will read the book to you.



Regarding women’s ordination, which I now see is a somewhat secondary issue compared to the human pain you expressed, Sister Sara Butler, M.S.B.T., S.T.L., Ph.D., who teaches dogmatic theology at St. Joseph's Seminary in New York, wrote a great book on the topic: The Catholic Priesthood and Women: A Guide to the Teaching of the Church and I highly recommend it. (I also believe that Crystal once cited a discussion she had with Robert J. Egan.) Has anyone involved in this conversation read it? If yes, I’d like to have a discussion about it with them. 


continued in next comment

8:52 PM  
Anonymous Henry said...

Of course I have reasons PP, and yes, I examine them often. In fact, I think the only strength of the book we read together was that it made a person think. 



But, you seem to imply that my belief in Christ is about as *reasonable* as Linus’ belief in the Great Pumpkin - OK... I think it’s only fair that you throw a dart or two at me since I was a real pr**k today. But if you think that you are the only person enlightened enough to question their beliefs then you really live a sheltered life my friend.



And yes, I’ve read the books by the darlings of the *liberal/progressive* crowd and all I can say about them is, why do they bother staying Catholic? I often wish I could sit with some of them and ask them a simple question: Do you think it is worth it to be Catholic? Why? 



Sure, their writings have some interesting things but they generally start with doubt and end with doubt. Well, I know that some enjoy following that *alternate Magisterium* but I don’t.

So why do I read that stuff? Because in the classes I teach for the Diocese some Adult inevitably starts to quote those books, those authors, etc., as if they were Sacred Scripture. And it’s for that reason that I am beginning to think that it’s vital that I teach a class on the Modernist Heresy - something that people do not even realize exists. Reading what he wrote, it’s clear to me that Pope St. Pius X was indeed a prophet. (N.B., I am using the word prophet in the sense of *one who speaks for God*.)



Well, this turned out to be longer than I thought it would be.

Good night Crystal - it's almost midnight here and I am going to try to get some sleep.

8:55 PM  
Anonymous henry said...

Don't know why but my comments reversed. This is part one.

Well, the storm has subsided a bit and so I am going to try to write a sensible comment.



Deacon Denny is so right because it is truly heartbreaking to read this sentence in Crystal’s post: It's been eight years since she died and I'm still so upset at her that it's almost impossible to remember anything good we ever had between us. 

I am not sure when my anguish will pass but I offered all I went through today and whatever I will go through tomorrow for you Crystal - for you and your sister. I know it’s not much but I gladly offer for you and all those with wounds in their heart.



Perhaps the writings of Jean Vanier as well as the book *Making Peace with Yourself* by Kathryn J. Hermes would be interesting for you to read - or maybe your sister will read the book to you.



Regarding women’s ordination, which I now see is a somewhat secondary issue compared to the human pain you expressed, Sister Sara Butler, M.S.B.T., S.T.L., Ph.D., who teaches dogmatic theology at St. Joseph's Seminary in New York, wrote a great book on the topic: The Catholic Priesthood and Women: A Guide to the Teaching of the Church and I highly recommend it. (I also believe that Crystal once cited a discussion she had with Robert J. Egan.) Has anyone involved in this conversation read it? If yes, I’d like to have a discussion about it with them.

8:58 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Henry,

Thanks for the kind words and book recommendations. I'll look for them. Actually there really isn't any pain, just left-over anger, and my sister is ok because she had a much better relationshop with my mother. I guess it's unrealistic to think every relationship will befixed before one of the people dies.

9:00 PM  
Anonymous Henry said...

There must be something wrong with my computer because this part keeps dropping out - strange.

Well, the storm has subsided a bit and so I am going to try to write a sensible comment.



Deacon Denny is so right because it is truly heartbreaking to read this sentence in Crystal’s post: It's been eight years since she died and I'm still so upset at her that it's almost impossible to remember anything good we ever had between us. 

I am not sure when my anguish will pass but I offered all I went through today and whatever I will go through tomorrow for you Crystal - for you and your sister. I know it’s not much but I gladly offer for you and all those with wounds in their heart.



Perhaps the writings of Jean Vanier as well as the book *Making Peace with Yourself* by Kathryn J. Hermes would be interesting for you to read - or maybe your sister will read the book to you.



Regarding women’s ordination, which I now see is a somewhat secondary issue compared to the human pain you expressed, Sister Sara Butler, M.S.B.T., S.T.L., Ph.D., who teaches dogmatic theology at St. Joseph's Seminary in New York, wrote a great book on the topic: The Catholic Priesthood and Women: A Guide to the Teaching of the Church and I highly recommend it. (I also believe that Crystal once cited a discussion she had with Robert J. Egan.) Has anyone involved in this conversation read it? If yes, I’d like to have a discussion about it with them. 


9:04 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Strange, I think some of the comments are disappearing.

9:04 PM  
Blogger victor said...

As Children of God, "IT" sure is great that after our fill of frustration, we can find the strength to come back to LOVE.

God Bless,

Peace

7:23 PM  

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