Monday, September 19, 2005

Papabile Takes Issue

Well, today's death by a thousand parsings victim is Fr. James Wehner, rector of St. Paul's Seminary in Pittsburgh.

From his quotes in a piece from yesterday's Post-Gazette, everyone's seeming to savage Wehner for something. Papabile, for one, isn't happy about his statement that
"Eighty percent of the church is run by women, so we have to be able to work with women, and those relationships have to be healthy and appropriate."
Um, call me contrarian, but what's there to quibble with? Admittedly, I once miserably failed to appreciate the history and significance of the role of women in the church and, candidly, I got my ass handed to me for it. And rightly so. Some are still fuming about it, and it's been a good while. Nevertheless, I'm eternally grateful for the lesson.

Thank God for my errors; I've learned much from them.

To name just a few areas, think about the unsung, selfless service-leadership of women in parish schools, high schools, RCIA, health care, social services, homeless shelters, all charity work, much of youth ministry, most of contemplative religious life, the orders of apostolate (the Paulines particularly come to mind), support services and, in recent decades, positions of leadership in chanceries and the institutional bureaucracy. And what about EWTN?

To quote John Mayer, the church "would be gone without warmth from a woman's good, good heart." The manifestations of that warmth in the passion to serve, think and give their all to the well-being of the Catholic people is a priceless inheritance from the countless women, lay and consecrated, who have given so much through the centuries, often at great cost and with little recognition, but always with the utmost of devotion and the greatest of faith. If anything, it's the churchwomen who have consistently saved Catholicism from those churchmen in history who, were they left to their own devices, would've brought the whole enterprise to the gates of hell.

What John Paul II called the "feminine genius" needs to be respected, cherished and encouraged for the church to be fully alive, genuinely young and, most of all, true to itself -- and the next generation of priests sure as hell needs to be imbued with that. The role of women in the church is a life-giving gift, and God knows where we'd be were it not for the goodness of our sisters in faith who, from the very beginning to our our own time, have given their lives in service.

Think about it.



Blogger Jason Cardona said...

The hand that rocks the crade rules the world...

19/9/05 18:22  
Blogger Jeff said...

Yes. Mary is the Type of the Church and the Church is a "She" (Please Capitalize!) The Marian dimension of the Church is deeper and more vital than the Petrine dimension. The mothers, the nuns, the teenage martyrs...where would the Church be without them?

But what's all that got to do with administration?

19/9/05 19:04  
Blogger Drew said...

Thanks, Rocco, well said.
Andrew of the Holy Whapping

19/9/05 19:10  

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