VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican’s spokesman came to his press briefing Friday bearing flowers for female journalists to mark International Women’s Day. “On behalf of all of us men, congratulations and happy Women’s Day!” said a beaming Rev. Federico Lombardi.
A heartfelt gesture, to be sure, but one that came a day after an awkward acknowledgement: The upcoming election of the pope will be an all-male affair — except for the women who cook for, clean up after and serve the 115 cardinals who will pick the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, half of them women. Nichole Winfield, Associated Press
Seriously? The quote above is taken from Winfield’s article titled, “Vatican Brings Flowers Amid Debate on Women’s Role.” (Here in Saint Louis, the local paper ran the article under the headline, “Women can sew, not vote for pope”) An “awkward acknowledgement”? Is there anyone, anywhere in the world who’s surprised that the Conclave, made up exclusively of Catholic Cardinals, is “an all-male affair”? Which part of the 2,000 + year of Church history has Ms. Winfield missed?
Later in the piece she describes “Lombardi’s admission” , and refers to women’s second class status in the Church. She offers further insight by quoting a woman who is a member of the Roman Catholic Women’s Priest movement who says she was ordained as a priest in 2008.
Let’s set the record straight. In an earlier post we looked at Papal Infallibility. We, as Catholics, believe that once a doctrine is definitively stated by the Holy Father in accord with his bishops, that matter is settled once and for all. It cannot change. The all-male priesthood has been affirmed on more than one occasion. It ain’t gonna change, ladies. Quit wasting your time.
This radical feminist view of the Church goes beyond male priests. The Church opposes artificial birth control, therefore She must hate women. The Church opposes abortion, therefore She must hate women. It goes on and on. For those with an anti-Church bias, everything the Vatican does must support their view. But here are the realities.
First, the pronoun used in reference to the Church is the feminine. She is the Holy Mother Church, not the Holy Father Church. The Church is the Bride of Christ. It follows, then, that when a man “marries” the Church in ordination, he is giving his life to a female institution. (Remember, the Church also hates gays, so there’s no way a priest could marry a male Church.) 🙂
Second, in the trenches, at the parish level, I’ve never known a Catholic church that wasn’t run by a female office manager. Like any business situation, a good administrative assistant is worth her weight in gold and really runs things. In my case, I have such a female assistant who knows more about what’s going on than I ever will. I also have a female pastoral council president. If I leave things will go on just fine. If Sue leaves, I don’t know what I’d do.
Third, and most important, is that we Catholics are often accused of worshipping Mary. I’ll deal with that in a later post but for now, I’ll just say this. There is no human being in all of Church history who is more adored, more venerated, more loved than the Blessed Virgin Mary. She is second only to God Himself in our eyes. Other than Jesus, no one is the object of more paintings, more statues, more religious medals than Mary. Countless Catholic Churches are named for her, definitely more than for any man. Most of us speak to her on a daily basis, asking her to intercede for us with her Son.