Reflection following the AGM of the Association of Catholic Priests 2013

Reflection following the AGM of the Association of Catholic Priests, 2013

The ACP is three years in existence. It is a miracle that it came to be and a further miracle that it has achieved such significance. Destiny was crying out for its emergence. The wheat grew on barren ground from a wizened seed. The great seed sown by Vatican ll was trampled upon with the heavy boot of those who abhorred a fresh growth. Let us rejoice in their failure. We have a new Pope and a new hope that may bring us back to the creative promises that flourished in the time of John XXlll.

The influence that crippled our search for a healthy Christianity was the turning of our backs on the people whom Christ cherished. The lost factor was the absence of women as a guiding influence in the Church. Why did we write them out through the ages and confine them to menial tasks? The woman who went to the tomb was not a menial woman nor was she on a menial mission. She was the first that hurried to announce the News.

What did we lose by isolating the women during the long story of Christianity?

1. Is it not possible that women, if they were allowed, could have greatly enhanced the theology of the Church? Could they not have added vitality to the teaching magisterium of the Church that stands so barren today and so vulnerable against analysis? Would a healthy faith need to constantly have recourse to the pathetic remnants of the Inquisition; excommunication, silencing and expulsion from ministry? How farcical it is that Christian faith has to be protected by enforced silence.
2. Women have an ability to be great theologians. Their intuitive powers make them natural theologians. A combination of men’s sometimes cold rationality and the loving perceptions of women would have produced a magisterium more human and inspiring. The female mind and heart is clearly what is missing in the theology of the Church.
3. What else did we leave behind when we isolated women? Women have a great power to prevent evil. In the early days of the Church women were considered dangerous, evil and carrying the virus of sin. They contained an irresistible temptation potent enough to drag the holy saints away from their desire to love God above all things. Men seemed to be unaware that women had a capacity to love God that was often greater than their own; that they contained the strength to resist evil; to protect others from it and to imbue their children with zeal to live a good and holy life. Jesus cherished the women of his time in whatever way they presented themselves to him. It is sad to reflect that even in this day women do not have an authoritative role in the Church; that their mental strength is shunned in the Vatican. The male mentality works alone in the CDF and it uses every dubious device to protect its own fallibility. Women today sit in high courts of many lands and they are there because of their ability to make good judgements. Let us accept the strength of women, their sensitivity, their intelligence and their determination, to enlighten Christianity.

(This reflection was sent to me by a priest who wishes to remain anonymous.)