Tuesday, May 21, 2013

THE ESSENCE OF THE PROBLEM IN A NUTSHELL


The National Chismatic Reporter has an editorial on progressive, professional nuns/sisters and hits the nail on the head without really knowing that it did so:

"At the same time, (Pope) Francis, who spoke to and received the women, disappointed more than a few with some tired metaphors, viewing the women as primarily mothers and sisters, seemingly anything but the professionals they are. The misrepresentations in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s findings against LCWR have pushed many women religious to a precipice. It is not clear if Francis yet understands this."

My comments: These two sentences capture the problem. Nuns and sisters of some orders see themselves within the context of feminism and empowering women to make their lives into careers, where motherhood and sisterhood are quite secondary and viewed as denigrating. That's the problem! That's the problem! That's the problem!

Women in general in our society believe that motherhood and being wives is a problem. They want to be men. They want to have professions. They want to have careers. They see motherhood and being a wife as denigrating. Thus artificial birth control and abortion are needed to prevent what natural law expects. Children are a problem.

Pope Francis knows the diagnosis and is prepared to offer a cure. It isn't progressiveness. It is back to basics and seeing motherhood as the highest calling for women and for Holy Mother Church! It is back the traditional Catholicism and the means for the Church to move forward with true renewal. The Church is a family, starting with Holy Mother Church being the Bride of Christ by which God generates new children for the kingdom through adoption, by water and the Holy Spirit. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ, but some acting as mothers and fathers to promote this image of Christ as Bridegroom, Church as Bride and Mother!

8 comments:

Gene said...

"...pushed many women religious to a precipice..."

"...and Jesus asked him,'What is your name?" He replied, "My name is Legion for we are many." Now, there was a great herd of swine feeding there on the hillside; and they begged him, "send us to the swine..." And, the unclean spirits entered the swine, and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea."

Notice also, in these early days of Jesus' ministry, that the demons and unclean spirits recognize Jesus and call Him by name, "Son of God" and "Holy One of God," and fear His power long before the doubters and skeptics, even among His followers do. Satan and his minions never doubt His person, His presence, His purpose, or His Incarnation. I guess they did not read Bultman, Tillich, Kung, Teilhard, or Margaret Nutcase Ralph...

rcg said...

Some folks aren't listening: got news last week that one of my daughter's friends is aspires to be a Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist and has been accepted to begin after she graduates high school this month.

As far the LCWR being pushed to a precipice: Poor Pope Francis. He must have lost his breath with the effort, one lung and all. Let me know if I can help.

Marc said...

Good post, Father!

Thankfully, the faithful witness of many women religious counteracts the propaganda of these women.

Marc said...

That's good news, rcg. There is a Dominican cloister about 20 miles north of me where they are known for their Latin Gregorian chant.

I think these young women recognize the beauty of their vocation and, in fact, are rejecting the worldiness of the outspoken portion of the LCWR.

Anonymous said...

Tired old picture of nun out of order. Why not post pictures of pedophile priests and their protectors with the same frequency?

WSquared said...

I agree with Pope Francis, and I agree also with you, Father. But I think that what you've written needs a bit of nuance.

"Women in general in our society believe that motherhood and being wives is a problem. They want to be men. They want to have professions. They want to have careers. They see motherhood and being a wife as denigrating."

Profession and career are not necessarily antithetical to motherhood and being a wife; they do not define a woman any more than they define a man. It's just that the career and profession has to fit into, complement, and enhance being a wife and mother, which the Church understands as being spiritual as well as biological: St. Gianna Beretta Molla is a good example. As is St. Edith Stein. And in the here and now, Dr. Helen Alvare. It speaks to what Pope Francis has been saying about the vocation of women as wives and mothers: it's about taking the Church out into a broken world in order to nurture it. And we don't need the stupid pill to do and be any of the above, and the difference is between serving one's self and serving others.

There is a connection between teaching and mentoring students and the Catholic worldview: if you will the best for your students, what is the true metric of "best," and how does teaching students raise the issue of how you would teach your own children (and vice versa)? To whom do our and other people's children truly belong? Do they belong to us, or do they belong to God? What responsibility do we have to them, and to what end do we raise and educate them? In any profession or career at all, how do we bring the best out of others? Is it a form of service, or is it just a means of earning money to buy stuff? It's all about how God will use everything He's given us in order to make us a gift to others.

WSquared said...

The problem is when we separate wife and motherhood out from the nurturing of God-given gifts and talents and pit them against each other. I know that your original post was about the LCWR, but we layfolk often don't help any.

The way our culture views motherhood (and parenthood in general) is very materialistic. This can be problematic in Catholic circles when some think they can determine how "truly" Catholic anyone's family is by mere size. God may not be calling everyone to have one, and the gifts and talents that He gives both husband and wife are some of the ways in which He provides for us, and should be discerned, instead of squeezed into any stereotypical box our culture has of "husband" and "wife," "mother" and "father." A priest friend's mother is a doctor. His dad looked after him and his brother while she did her residency abroad. Both brothers were called to the priesthood. The Ratzingers only had three children, and we all know what happened there.

We live in a culture where we don't see having a career and having a profession as needing to fit into fatherhood and being a husband, either. Many men think they're already doing all they're supposed to be doing by working. But money is not the only way in which a father and husband provides and sacrifices for his family, and it isn't the primary reason why he's its head. Men are to lead as Christ did, by laying down their lives and obeying Him. Many men aren't the spiritual leaders of their families that they're called to be: they work, so most of the burden of holiness and "all that emotional religion stuff" falls to the woman, whereas men take care of the "real world" stuff.

Many women don't want to submit to their husbands, because they're afraid of being lorded over and taken advantage of (note how both men and women misread Ephesians 5). Women have duties; men can do whatever they want. Submission asks for a high level of trust, and frankly, the average American male has not shown that he deserves it, whether his being homo econonomicus is clothed in religiosity or liberal secularism. It all begins in the intimacy of the home, and many women become feminists because the very men who were supposed to love and protect them betrayed their trust. Way too many men and women don't know the difference between stewardship and control.

So I agree wholeheartedly that there has been a failure of motherhood in our culture. But there is an equal failure of fatherhood in men that also needs addressing. One of the reasons why I came back to the Church: Pope Benedict's example. He's brilliant, and he himself knows what it means to obey and submit. In fact, the two go together. And supposing I earn a bigger salary than my husband does. He's still the head of the family, not me: it's a matter of stewardship, not dominion. I would not even think about it this way were it not for the Church, and the Catholic view of spiritual parenthood is precisely why I don't agree with the priestess thing, or whatever "beyond Jesus" drivel, and never will.

A woman may not frequently sacrifice her family for this, that, or the other prestigious position or paycheck. But neither may a man do the same. Feminists have a point when they decry a man's absence and lack of reliability on this front. But they propose the wrong solution: i.e. if a man can put his career and profession before his family, then a woman should be allowed to, also.

By no means am I saying that they're right. They ask some legitimate questions; the Catholic Church provides the better answers. Perhaps this speaks to Pope Francis's decrying of careerism in the Church: here, too, some priests and women religious are seeing their vocations as "careers," and putting those careers before being mothers and fathers, husbands and wives.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

As far as homosexual abuse of adolescent minors (pedophilia is miniscule in the priesthood), I don't think any of the enablers, whoever they are, are trying to change church teaching to make it acceptable. Not so with feminists who are nuns, they want the Church to embrace the pro-choice agenda and they want abortion legal and safe. Have you heard of any bishops seeking to make the abuse of minors legal and safe???????