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Switch to Forum Live View Sr. Joan, women homilists etc.
9 years ago  ::  Jun 23, 2008 - 11:37AM #1
WaveringCC
Posts: 5,164
Moving the conversation to a different thread to "preserve' the intent of Ave Maria Cafe.

cove52 wrote:

Is it a call to the priesthood or the desires of ones own ambitions?

This is something that is frequently said when the subject of women being called to the priesthood comes up - and I can't help but wonder why it's made only in regard to women who feel called to the priesthood and never men? Perhaps you could explain why some think that it's personal ambition that calls women to the priesthood (all women?) but it is a genuine vocation for men (all men?)

it more important to have "Reverand" before ones name or dedicate ones life to the work of God? Of course not. That is not the issue. I wonder if it is a misguided notion that women religious have to be priests to fully share their special gifts and talents.

I agree that women religious have their own unique gifts to contribute to the church. As do non-ordained brothers. But, why bar the gifts of women from parishes in the persons of the priests? As I said, it is not "either/or" but "both/and" Why do you think that only men have the "right" gifts to be priests?

As a practicing Catholic, I am not exposed to most of our talented religious men and women in the Church. Most of my opportunities seem to come in the form of retreats and parish missions. Are religious sisters like Sr. Joan banned from conducting retreats or missions at parishes? Since you know the answer to that already, it seems this statement is just meant to be argumentative. This isn't the issue.

If one is teaching in a university they have more of an opportunity to shape lives than the priests who give weekly sermons, imo. A tiny percentage of Catholics go to Catholic colleges and universities. And since the number of women religious had declined even more dramatically than the number of priests, they are very scarce on college campuses these days. Few Catholics have the opportunitiy to have the kind of brilliant women religious as professors that Jane and I had.

Women are very much involved in the daily operations of the parish life and the diocese ...My bishop has a religious sister who is his right hand man. ...she is a force to be reconed with, lol. If women were priests what would the men do??? Do you believe that if the priesthood were opened to women, they would be so dominant that the men would have nothing to do? ... Women do the administrative work, the support work, the nurturing work. They have no input into high level teachings. In medicine, it would be as though the system said to women - you can be a neurologist but you can never be Chief of Neurology and make policy . It's as if our Constitution said to Hillary - You can be a Senator but you are not allowed to be President and be Chief of the Armed Forces and have veto power and be able to make diplomatic agreements on behalf of the US.

...But, do women interested in a religious vocation need to be priests in order to proclaim the word of God, shape or touch lives fulfilling their full vocation as "Christians"?

No - but some are called to the priesthood rather than to be sisters.

Are there Episicopal nuns? Yes. There always have been, and Episcopal monks who are vowed to celibacy. Most are Benedictine.

I have not experienced any Catholic women leaving the faith in order to become priests in other denoms.

. Studies of recent ordinations and candidates in EC seminaries show that many are former Catholics, and some are former Catholic nuns.

We have not "lost" Sr. Joan. I wonder what her thoughts for herself are regarding priesthood. What are her reasons for not leaving?

I suspect that if she wanted to be a priest she would have left. II don't know her, nor can I read her mind. But, to speculate (partly based on a conversation I had with one of my former profs - who left the religious life, but stayed at the university to teach), I would guess it's because of what you say here - she actually has more freedom in some ways than she would as a priest to do what SHE wants to do. Vatican II dramatically changed the lives of religious sisters - they have more freedom - even to the point of not being physically slowed down by the heavy and cumbersome habits they had been forced to wear. They could "design" their own ministries in many orders - live outside the community for their work, etc. This is more freedom than the average parish priest has.

...There was a time when I would have jumped on your band wagon regarding this topic. I am constantly discerning my faith and the Church. Over time I have come to a different realization. One only needs to do God's work. Consecrating and giving sermons is really a small part, imo. I appreciate the women I see on a daily basis who imo run the show (Church) ...talent is not wasted, imo.



Once again, this is not a "put-down" of the contributions of women religious - which is what you imply. It is simply a statement that those women who have a call to the priesthood are denied, and thus the church is denied their priestly gifts - in an era when the number of parishes that have been closed is pushing 4000 and climbing. And it is also because that the church has laws preventing women and laity from preaching - even though many are better qualified than your average deacon or associate priest. This is a law that could be changed with the stroke of a pen, just as mandatory celibacy could be changed. Why isn't it? Clericalism perhaps?

Women do run the show on the ground. But women have no influence at the top, and its desparately needed - in the magesterium especially.

Women are needed in the priesthood so that Catholic teaching will evolve into a more wholistic, and healthier, body of teachings. It says in Genesis, that God created them, male and female, in God's image. It is not only the male who is in God's image. The significance of this in practical terms - to reflect God one needs both male and female - didn't hit me until I'd gone to a few Episcopal masses with a woman priest as homilist. For a while I couldn't put my finger on what was so different about the homily - finally, it dawned on me that the homily, based on the same scriptures I've heard read at mass my whole life, as interpreted through a female mind, had spoken to me in a way that most homilies had never done. I would sit there mentally saying "Yes, Yes!). Finally, I connected the dots. We know that the male and female brain are somewhat different (left-brain, right-brain dominance) and we also know that males and females communicate very differently (Mars and Venus -and homilies are a form of communication for teaching puposes) - but all communication within the church is male-dominance and is, therefore, missing some important elements. I also realized this when studying the roots of many church teachings - especially those related to gender and sexuality and marriage. The teachings are very non-wholistic because they are the product of celibate males, dating to patriarchal times when women were literally seen as the property of men (first fathers, then husbands). For example, this was the reason a married woman caught in adultery was stoned to death, but a married man was not if he committed adultery with an unmarried woman (who was not some other husband's property. It had to do with the issues of succession - and if a wife couldn't produce a male heir, then a concubine was used. Perfectly legal then. If a wife is caught in adultery (or a daughter), the property rights of the male had been violated (daugher caught in extramarital relations was useless thereafter as someone a father could marry off to get a useful alliance with another family in the tribe. We see this up to the present day in some Hindu and Islamic cultures). The church's teachings STILL reflect much of the mindset of its ancient origins.

I would guess that no more than 5% of Catholic adults ever receive any adult religious education beyond the Sunday homily. As a result, they are never able to hear the insights and understandings brought to Jesus's teachings by women.

Frankly, I could care less about who stands on the altar and leads prayers. If the church would find a way to incorporate women into the highest teaching levels of the church (the magesterium) and allow any qualified person to preach on Sundays, I would be content. All women are not good homilists, just as all men aren't. One of the worst homilists I've ever heard is the pastor (a woman) of an EC near my home. But, several of the best I've ever heard have been women, just as I've heard several male priests who are outstanding homilists. As Jane says, the parishes should tap the best homilists - if it's the DRE rather than the associate pastor, then why waste those gifts on the handful who can hear the DRE at some parish function that a tiny fraction of the parish actually goes to?

The church reserves the pulpit to priests, which means it automatically excludes women. The magesterium is the result of the thought-processes of males in Rome, primarily, celibate males in Rome, and this is very, very easy to see in many church teachings. Right now, anyone who is not a priest (male or female) has little chance to have their study, wisdom, insights etc incorporated into church teaching. Women are only allowed to teach what men have developed and what men ALLOW them to teach.

I too will stop now, because this is one of those subjects that upsets Sandy, especially on the Ave Maria Cafe board.

Sorry, Sandy.

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9 years ago  ::  Jun 23, 2008 - 1:02PM #2
Shaner
Posts: 1,596
" too will stop now, because this is one of those subjects that upsets Sandy, especially on the Ave Maria Cafe board.
Sorry Sandy"


Hi Wavering,

No, that's not true.  There's nothing wrong with the Topic, the problem is though, can it be discussed without it degenerating into a Debate? 

Sandy
"Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the Words of Eternal Life"
"Philippians 4:13. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
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9 years ago  ::  Jun 23, 2008 - 1:07PM #3
jane2
Posts: 14,295

WaveringCC wrote:

Moving the conversation to a different thread to "preserve' the intent of Ave Maria Cafe.



Once again, this is not a "put-down" of the contributions of women religious - which is what you imply. It is simply a statement that those women who have a call to the priesthood are denied, and thus the church is denied their priestly gifts - in an era when the number of parishes that have been closed is pushing 4000 and climbing. And it is also because that the church has laws preventing women and laity from preaching - even though many are better qualified than your average deacon or associate priest. This is a law that could be changed with the stroke of a pen, just as mandatory celibacy could be changed. Why isn't it? Clericalism perhaps?

Women do run the show on the ground. But women have no influence at the top, and its desparately needed - in the magesterium especially.

Women are needed in the priesthood so that Catholic teaching will evolve into a more wholistic, and healthier, body of teachings. It says in Genesis, that God created them, male and female, in God's image. It is not only the male who is in God's image. The significance of this in practical terms - to reflect God one needs both male and female - didn't hit me until I'd gone to a few Episcopal masses with a woman priest as homilist. For a while I couldn't put my finger on what was so different about the homily - finally, it dawned on me that the homily, based on the same scriptures I've heard read at mass my whole life, as interpreted through a female mind, had spoken to me in a way that most homilies had never done. I would sit there mentally saying "Yes, Yes!). Finally, I connected the dots. We know that the male and female brain are somewhat different (left-brain, right-brain dominance) and we also know that males and females communicate very differently (Mars and Venus -and homilies are a form of communication for teaching puposes) - but all communication within the church is male-dominance and is, therefore, missing some important elements. I also realized this when studying the roots of many church teachings - especially those related to gender and sexuality and marriage. The teachings are very non-wholistic because they are the product of celibate males, dating to patriarchal times when women were literally seen as the property of men (first fathers, then husbands). For example, this was the reason a married woman caught in adultery was stoned to death, but a married man was not if he committed adultery with an unmarried woman (who was not some other husband's property. It had to do with the issues of succession - and if a wife couldn't produce a male heir, then a concubine was used. Perfectly legal then. If a wife is caught in adultery (or a daughter), the property rights of the male had been violated (daugher caught in extramarital relations was useless thereafter as someone a father could marry off to get a useful alliance with another family in the tribe. We see this up to the present day in some Hindu and Islamic cultures). The church's teachings STILL reflect much of the mindset of its ancient origins.

I would guess that no more than 5% of Catholic adults ever receive any adult religious education beyond the Sunday homily. As a result, they are never able to hear the insights and understandings brought to Jesus's teachings by women.

Frankly, I could care less about who stands on the altar and leads prayers. If the church would find a way to incorporate women into the highest teaching levels of the church (the magesterium) and allow any qualified person to preach on Sundays, I would be content. All women are not good homilists, just as all men aren't. One of the worst homilists I've ever heard is the pastor (a woman) of an EC near my home. But, several of the best I've ever heard have been women, just as I've heard several male priests who are outstanding homilists. As Jane says, the parishes should tap the best homilists - if it's the DRE rather than the associate pastor, then why waste those gifts on the handful who can hear the DRE at some parish function that a tiny fraction of the parish actually goes to?

The church reserves the pulpit to priests, which means it automatically excludes women. The magesterium is the result of the thought-processes of males in Rome, primarily, celibate males in Rome, and this is very, very easy to see in many church teachings. Right now, anyone who is not a priest (male or female) has little chance to have their study, wisdom, insights etc incorporated into church teaching. Women are only allowed to teach what men have developed and what men ALLOW them to teach.

I too will stop now, because this is one of those subjects that upsets Sandy, especially on the Ave Maria Cafe board.

Sorry, Sandy.



Wavering

This opens so many questions. Not all but many in the clergy are somewhat afraid of women on different levels. Their seminary training tends to imprint this. Women to some clerics are lackeys, temptresses or put on some weird pedastal: they are not real people. I remember JPII's snappish response to Sister Theresa Kane because she dared to ask him a question he didn't want asked.

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9 years ago  ::  Jun 23, 2008 - 1:13PM #4
WaveringCC
Posts: 5,164

Shaner wrote:

" too will stop now, because this is one of those subjects that upsets Sandy, especially on the Ave Maria Cafe board.
Sorry Sandy"


Hi Wavering,

No, that's not true. There's nothing wrong with the Topic, the problem is though, can it be discussed without it degenerating into a Debate?

Sandy



I don't know, because sometimes it's hard to figure out definitions. 

Is it possible at all to have a discussion of any kind here where people have different opinions?   I moved the post because I had understood that the Ave Maria Cafe thread is not the preferred spot to discuss differences of opinion - whether on the liturgy or anything else, including the role of women in the church.  But you now imply that the Ave Maria board itself is not open to discussions involving differences of opinion - which you call debate.  Your use of the verb "degenerate" implies this anyway.  And I am very interested in what Catholics themselves have to say about different issues - and why.  I would love for Cove to expand on her thoughts - she says she is not against women's ordination, but that she has changed in recent years, but her post comes across as being against women's ordination and she doesnt' say why she has changed in recent years.  I would love to learn more, but she never posts on the Catholic Discussion board.

It had been my understanding that the Catholic Discussion board was a debate board about Catholic issue for all comers - whether they are Catholic or not.  But, that the Ave Maria board served a similar purpose for Catholics talking among themselves - without the "input" of non-Catholics.  Which presents the opportunity for a  very different type of "debate" than does the Discussion board.

But, if you do not want to have even internal "debates", I will stay off this board except for discussing books or wahtever.

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9 years ago  ::  Jun 23, 2008 - 1:50PM #5
jane2
Posts: 14,295
I enjoy discussions among Catholics here. I even enjoy the different presentation styles. Even discussiing our reactions to books can get gnarly at times and should.

Sandy, I'll be interested in your response the Wavering.
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9 years ago  ::  Jun 23, 2008 - 2:56PM #6
Shaner
Posts: 1,596
Hello Wavering,

You've misunderstood what I said......you know there's a big difference between discussion and debating.   Look at all the topics here, where there's discussion, not always in agreement with each other, but none have turned into debates. 

I think I've hit upon the perfect solution to make you and all happy!  I'm going to move this to the Retreat Forum, which will give you and others interested in this subject far more latitude than is possible on this Forum!! 

I'll also post a link so others who are interested know to go there to discuss and even debate a little!! 

Just trying to please all and i think its a wonderful idea, if I do say so myself, :)

Peace,
Sandy
"Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the Words of Eternal Life"
"Philippians 4:13. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
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9 years ago  ::  Jun 23, 2008 - 3:10PM #7
WaveringCC
Posts: 5,164

Shaner wrote:

Hello Wavering,

You've misunderstood what I said......you know there's a big difference between discussion and debating. Look at all the topics here, where there's discussion, not always in agreement with each other, but none have turned into debates.

I think I've hit upon the perfect solution to make you and all happy! I'm going to move this to the Retreat Forum, which will give you and others interested in this subject far more latitude than is possible on this Forum!!

I'll also post a link so others who are interested know to go there to discuss and even debate a little!!

Just trying to please all and i think its a wonderful idea, if I do say so myself, :)

Peace,
Sandy



I realize I am very dense at times, but, to be honest, I really don't see the distinction you draw. 

However, I have noticed a pattern now -   there are one or two of discussion topics that seem to be totally off-limits here, regardless of whether individuals involved in them see them as discussions reflecting differences of opinion or as "debates".   The subject of women's roles in the church, and the historical reasons for these, seems always to meet an unwritten definition of unacceptable debate, no matter how carefully I try to phrase my posts.  I don't think Cove has any problem with the discussion - whether or not it's called a "discussion with differences of opinion" or a "debate."

I don't see how one can discuss the topic of women in the church - at least in a discussion that involves differences of opinions,- without also discussing the reasons each person holds that opinion.  In my case it is a topic of great importance to me (I realize many don't care about this issue at all, so they don't need to participate.  I don't participate in every discussion - far from it) and I know it is to some others too - including those whose opinions are the opposite of mine.   

If you want to move this, that's obviously your decision to make.  In the "olden" days Retreat House was the board I most frequently visited besides the Catholic Debate board (now Catholic Discussion).  But since the change, it seems that the Retreat board, and Cloisters, don't get much activity.

I would truly like to know how you define the difference between "discussion with differences of opinion" and "debate" because it's not at all clear to me.

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9 years ago  ::  Jun 23, 2008 - 4:05PM #8
jane2
Posts: 14,295
Sandy

I wish I understood any of this.

Perhaps we could have a list of taboo subjects and methods of posting on the Ave Maria Cafe.
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9 years ago  ::  Jun 23, 2008 - 4:46PM #9
cove52
Posts: 999
"As a practicing Catholic, I am not exposed to most of our talented religious men and women in the Church. Most of my opportunities seem to come in the form of retreats and parish missions. Are religious sisters like Sr. Joan banned from conducting retreats or missions at parishes? Since you know the answer to that already, it seems this statement is just meant to be argumentative. This isn't the issue"

As far as I can see this is the "issue".  It is about reaching the multitudes with one's God given talent of teaching and preaching and fulfilling such a vocation.  The opportunitties are not absolutely closed to Catholic women.  We have many examples to support this.  There is a Catholic college in my hometown that was started by an order of religious sisters. 

"Women are very much involved in the daily operations of the parish life and the diocese ...My bishop has a religious sister who is his right hand man. ...she is a force to be reconed with, lol. If women were priests what would the men do??? [COLOR=#0000ff]Do you believe that if the priesthood were opened to women, they would be so dominant that the men would have nothing to do? ... Women do the administrative work, the support work, the nurturing work. They have no input into high level teachings. In medicine, it would be as though the system said to women - you can be a neurologist but you can never be Chief of Neurology and make policy . It's as if our Constitution said to Hillary - You can be a Senator but you are not allowed to be President and be Chief of the Armed Forces and have veto power and be able to make diplomatic agreements on behalf of the US."[/COLOR]

No, it was just a little joke.  The examples you give are taken from the secular world.  I don't have to tell you that the Church is not a secular or democratic institution.  I can't look at this issue from that view point because I would come to the same conclusion as you.  Rather to discern this topic I must look at it from the confines of my understanding of the Catholic faith.  What is really important in the eyes of God?

Obviously this is a topic that you are very passionate about.  I apologize for not addressing everything you have posted.  I appreciate your knowledge and what you bring to the table. Personally, I can't see why women can't have more influence in the decision making at the top. Catholic religious women who follow the same faith as the hierarchy would probably make the same choices and decisions as the men in the end. Their spin on it of course would have a female point of view and maybe as women we could relate to it better but I can't see how the teachings would change.  Are powerful women any better than powerful men?



A girl from my neighborhood became a Nun.  She went to school with one of my older siblings.  She is about 10 years older than me.  When I was in my late teens she was asked to come before the congregation at our hometown parish and give a brief  "homily" (yes she did this during the time the homily is said) about vocations.  I was soooo thrilled to hear her and see her on the altar.  She added a vibrance and spark that was sorely missing for me in my faith practicing experience.  That was the moment my eyes were opened to the possiblity.  I will never say never but I doubt it will happen in my life time.  Do I sound resigned??? Probably.
"I yam what I yam and I yam what I yam that I yam / And I got a lotta muscle and I only gots one eye / And I'll never hurt nobodys and I'll never tell a lie / Top to me bottom and me bottom to me top / That's the way it is 'til the day that I drop, what am I? / I yam what I yam."
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9 years ago  ::  Jun 23, 2008 - 5:11PM #10
newsjunkie
Posts: 5,750
[QUOTE=cove52;582339]"As a practicing Catholic, I am not exposed to most of our talented religious men and women in the Church. Most of my opportunities seem to come in the form of retreats and parish missions. Are religious sisters like Sr. Joan banned from conducting retreats or missions at parishes? Since you know the answer to that already, it seems this statement is just meant to be argumentative. This isn't the issue"

As far as I can see this is the "issue".  It is about reaching the multitudes with one's God given talent of teaching and preaching and fulfilling such a vocation.  The opportunitties are not absolutely closed to Catholic women.  We have many examples to support this.  There is a Catholic college in my hometown that was started by an order of religious sisters. 

"Women are very much involved in the daily operations of the parish life and the diocese ...My bishop has a religious sister who is his right hand man. ...she is a force to be reconed with, lol. If women were priests what would the men do??? [COLOR=#0000ff]Do you believe that if the priesthood were opened to women, they would be so dominant that the men would have nothing to do? ... Women do the administrative work, the support work, the nurturing work. They have no input into high level teachings. In medicine, it would be as though the system said to women - you can be a neurologist but you can never be Chief of Neurology and make policy . It's as if our Constitution said to Hillary - You can be a Senator but you are not allowed to be President and be Chief of the Armed Forces and have veto power and be able to make diplomatic agreements on behalf of the US."[/COLOR]

No, it was just a little joke.  The examples you give are taken from the secular world.  I don't have to tell you that the Church is not a secular or democratic institution.  I can't look at this issue from that view point because I would come to the same conclusion as you.  Rather to discern this topic I must look at it from the confines of my understanding of the Catholic faith.  What is really important in the eyes of God?

Obviously this is a topic that you are very passionate about.  I apologize for not addressing everything you have posted.  I appreciate your knowledge and what you bring to the table. Personally, I can't see why women can't have more influence in the decision making at the top. Catholic religious women who follow the same faith as the hierarchy would probably make the same choices and decisions as the men in the end. Their spin on it of course would have a female point of view and maybe as women we could relate to it better but I can't see how the teachings would change.  Are powerful women any better than powerful men?



A girl from my neighborhood became a Nun.  She went to school with one of my older siblings.  She is about 10 years older than me.  When I was in my late teens she was asked to come before the congregation at our hometown parish and give a brief  "homily" (yes she did this during the time the homily is said) about vocations.  I was soooo thrilled to hear her and see her on the altar.  She added a vibrance and spark that was sorely missing for me in my faith practicing experience.  That was the moment my eyes were opened to the possiblity.  I will never say never but I doubt it will happen in my life time.  Do I sound resigned??? Probably.[/QUOTE]

There is only one time I have heard a woman preach in the church in the 4 or 5 years I've been back in the church -- at a lenten retreat at my parish back in NY. She was a young sister and her very brief talk was terrific, very inspiring. She also led an enthusiastic youth choir. It's sad that the church doesn't take advantage of the gifted women who are in its membership, but I don't see a lot that can be done about it.  Catholics with resources can go on retreat (at typical costs of hundreds of dollars for a week) to hear some of these women, but folks who just go ot sunday mass wil be out of luck.

sorry for hte typos. this keyboard has a bad t key.
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