Tuesday, January 13, 2015
MISOGYNY AS THEOLOGY AND OTHER THINGS THAT COULD DERAIL THE "REFORM OF THE REFORM" IN CONTINUITY
My own experience with women in positions of leadership and ministry in the Church, administratively, in various ministries and in the liturgy has been positive not negative and in the two parishes where I have been pastor, not a stumbling block to men's participation or to the priesthood.
While I can understand how a corps of altar boys could be used as a recruitment tool for future priests, there are other ways to accomplish this as well even when girls are present as altar servers. I would recommend that even though the altar boys and girls are allowed to do the same thing during the liturgy, that they are separated outside of the Mass for formation, spiritual and liturgical with the idea of promoting vocations.
In my previous parish of the Church of the Most Holy Trinity in Augusta which has had more vocations to the priesthood over the course of the past 30 years than any other parish in our Provence the presence of altar girls has not had a deleterious effect at all.
The same can be said for female readers and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion.
In my parishes, I have had and still have women who are chairmen of the pastoral council and finance council as well as the stewardship council. In my previous parish a woman was the parish administrator. I've had sisters as pastoral assistants and CCD directors and youth directors, not to mention choir directors.
I thank God that lay men and women are now allowed to bring Holy Communion to the home-bound. This allows them to receive Holy Communion every week and sometimes more than weekly. When I was first ordained, before EMCs brought Holy Communion to shut-ins, our home-bound were blessed if they received Holy Communion monthly. In some places it was less frequently!
I think we can celebrate women in all these roles, liturgically and otherwise and not use it as a pretext for ordination of women to the diaconate or priesthood. And if the appreciation of the Sacrament of Holy Orders as exclusively male was present, this would advance recruitment of young men for the priesthood.
I often wonder if the expansion of the liturgical ministries of the Mass to females had been done organically within the older Order of the Mass and without major tinkering of that Mass by liturgists, if we would be in a better place today?
Now for some what if's which I realize is an exercise in futility, but I will do it anyway:
Only the Liturgy of the Word was revised as we currently experience it in the Ordinary Form of the Mass but within the context of the Order of the Mass in the Extraordinary Form...
girls and women were allowed to be altar servers and EMCs in the EF Mass, but the formal ministries of lector and acolyte were given more freely to young men or older who could be good candidates for the seminary or permanent diaconate?
the vernacular for the liturgy was only for the changing parts of the Mass, not for the unchanging which would remain in Latin? (This would presume the exclusive use of the silent Roman Canon even in the Mass with the slight revisions I am suggesting.)
Holy Communion kneeling at the altar railing remained the norm but with the novelty of both forms of Holy Communion given by way of intinction (as done currently at the Vatican for special occasions).
The three hour fast remained in place.