The Canonisation of the Popes

I “watched part of the ceremony on television this morning, but then I succumbed to the beautiful morning and the threat of rain and went for a long walk. What I saw of it left me with mixed feelings. I liked the ceremony, enjoying the singing of the old Latin texts, and Francis’ homily.
But I came to it with major questions about the wisdom of canonising people so soon after their death, and about the serious questions hanging over Pope John Paul, particularly his relationship with the Legionaires of Christ and their founder.
On my walk I met a woman whom I knew slightly, and we stopped for a few words. She asked me had I watched the event from Rome. I said I had seen a little of it. She said: “What did you think?” I knew she was sounding me out, so I answered, expressing my reservations about declaring people saints so soon. That was sufficient for her to open up, and begin to speak freely. I know enough about this woman to know that she is committed to her faith, and that she has served on the liturgy committee of her parish for some time. I asked her: “What did you make of it?”
Her reply was strong: “It nearly made me sick, and I had to turn it off?
“Why?”, I asked.
“The complete presence of men, with only a few token women brought up to say a prayer”, was her answer. “Will they ever learn that is not good enough any more, and they will have to change”.

More and more women, it seems to me, even the ones committed to the Church, will not tolerate this male dominated Church any more. We have got to face up to this, and to do so quickly, or they will just continue to drift away in droves.
I continued my walk with a sadness that the large crowd of clerical gentlemen gathered in St. Peter’s Square this morning were probably largely unaware of how their celebration was being received by many around the world.