Fishwrap, Pill, and Sister Kunigunde

The Fishwrap is one in being with The Pill in a defense of women deacons.

Austrian sister calls for ordination of women deacons
by Isabella R. Moyer on Jun. 14, 2012

NCR Today

The Catholic church in Austria made international headlines with the Austrian Priests’ Initiative, founded in 2006, and last year’s “Appeal to Disobedience.” The April 30 NCR article “For a year now, Austrian Catholics debate obedience” provides an excellent summary. [Fishwrap is for the disobedience.]

Today, The Tablet published a short article titled “Leading nun calls for women deacons”: [Which isn’t possible, so the Fishwrap is bound to be for it.]

The leading voice of women religious in Austria has called for the ordination of women as deacons. [Well!  If she’s a leading voice…. okay then!]

In an interview in the June issue of the Austrian monthly Kirche In, the President of the Association of women religious in Austria, Sr Kunigunde Fürst (a Franciscan Sister of Vöcklabruck), [I don’t think there are nearly enough sisters names Kunigunde these days.] said: “Why should it not be possible to ordain women deacons? Why are they being excluded from performing deacons’ services?” [Because I am pretty sure the argument that the Church doesn’t have authority to ordain women to the priesthood also applies here.  We can’t just make things up as we go.] She went on to suggest that the Catholic hierarchy were afraid of women’s advancement. [HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!] “Could it be that the hierarchy is afraid that women will get too close to the priesthood and then perhaps even move on to becoming bishops?” she asked. “That is not a good kind of fear,” she added. [Yah… the bishops and Holy Father are real a-scared!]

To lean more about this question, I recommend Martimor’s book on Deaconesses.

Meanwhile, Tabula delenda est.

 

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Magisterium of Nuns, Our Catholic Identity and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

81 Responses to Fishwrap, Pill, and Sister Kunigunde

  1. Cathy says:

    All these years I thought Sr. Kunigunde was a mythological character!

  2. Bea says:

    If the “Magisterium of Nuns” is causing so much trouble,
    what would the “Magisterium of Deacon(esse)s” do?

  3. tzard says:

    Brings me back to my schoolyard days – bullies always played the “fear” card.

  4. Johnno says:

    Women can only ‘advance’ by being more fully women. They don’t advance by emulating and pretending to be men. The Church is the only institution that actually acknowledges that gender exists. The more we erase the lines and roles of gender, the more we lose touch with the reality that God created gender as a reflection of Him and His nature and His relationship with us. If we lose that, we know God less. When we know less about God, we endanger ourselves to reject the factual God out of want for a false one of our own imagining and desires; due to misunderstanding the creation and ourselves and our gender roles, and thus choose hell when we die because we’ve fashioned ourselves to reject reality itself.

  5. Imrahil says:

    Well, I’ll just somewhat say what I think unqualifiedly now.

    It’s never a good feeling to give in to pressure, but give in. Give them a dogma and be done with it.

    For despite some flickering fires here or there, haven’t we actually seen how successful a dogma (or, well, quasi-dogma) is? Hasn’t the call for women priests suddenly gained the aura of an impossible, comical thing which even the most feminist movements in the Church (some flickering fires excepted) do not want anymore?

  6. jbosco88 says:

    We could really confuse them by sending a picture of a Pre-Concilliar Abbess in her get-up.

  7. Supertradmum says:

    Why don’t they just leave and start their own little Church of Sr. Kunigunde? As the Pope said a few months ago, “the enemy is within” the Church.

  8. Subdeacon Joseph says:

    The order of deaconess still remotely exists in the Orthodox Church where fully professed nuns, usually past the age of menopause, are blessed (not ordained) to serve as deaconesses for the priest at the Divine Liturgy and other services as needed in a convent . They can also serve as a sacristan with this blessing too. Only male altar servers, readers, subdeacons, and deacons assist the priest in a local parish.

  9. irishgirl says:

    @ Johnno: Well said!
    @ Supertradmum: I’m with you that, too!

  10. William Tighe says:

    This book:

    *Priesthood and the Diaconate: The Recipient of the Sacrament of Holy Orders from the Perspective of Creation Theology and Christology*, by Gerhard Ludwig Muller (Ignatius Press, 2002), is also very good and cogent on the “non-ordaniability” of women to the diaconate, as well as to the presbyterate and episcopate.

    Muller is now Bishop of Regensburg (Germany) and a possible successor to Cardinal Levada as Prefect of the CDF.

  11. Indulgentiam says:

    “The leading voice of women religious” well that explains it. The leading voice for ALL Catholics is the Pope. Did the fishwrap not get that memo? Where is this rag based and why oh why does the Bishop of the place allow them to use the name Catholic?!? Reporting on every malcontent in the Church is like reporting on every kid in every household who whines about eating his/her veggies. It’s not news! Whining is NOT NEWS!

  12. Chrysologus says:

    I like how your response to concerns about opposition to feminism (women’s advancement) among the hierarchy is met simply by “HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!” Very persuasive, Father. [Glad to be of help!]

  13. rcg says:

    If you are debating obedience, you are being disobedient. What silly people.

  14. Brad says:

    Imagine most beloved BVM, on the evening of the Holy Supper as she watched the twelve, or in the first months after the Resurrection, as she watched even more, or in the remaining years of her sojourn here, nursing the early Church, before her assumption: did she covet the priesthood, the diaconate? Nothing could be more repulsive to the sensus fidelium. She is the model for not only humanity, but for lay humanity and for female humanity. She, who deserves it all and yet shuns all of it, puts all ambition and will-to-power in its proper, gross light. Doubly so when that ambition comes from her own sex. That is why she is sitting on the throne of the Holy Trinity and the rest of us aren’t. Hail, Immaculate Heart!

  15. heway says:

    I could be wrong and heaven knows I have been told that before…but does Paul address St. Phoebe as the ‘deaconess”” in Romans?
    Haven’t time to look; cooking for big Sacred Heart church fiesta tomorrow…

  16. FrJLP says:

    @heway: Yes, he does. I wrote my dissertation about this matter, and disagree with the assessments of Martimort. The Church has yet to make a definitive ruling about the matter…and I think it a bit forward, as intimated in Fr. Z’s comment above, to declare it “impossible” when the Church Herself has made no such assessment…

  17. Indulgentiam says:

    @chrysologus—feminists are NOT interested in “women’s advancement” so much as they are interested in redefining the meaning of femininity. They are so busy chasing their ill-conceived notion of equality that they have abandoned all reason. I know several women who bought into the “you can do anything a man can do! You can do it better!” Crock, shoot I was one. You wake up one morning and realize your not a man. Fact is your not much of a woman b/c you kept dropping vital pieces of your femininity in order to compete. Looking in the mirror you don’t know what you are anymore let alone who. So exhausted and lost you turn to your Creator, who better has the right to define you. I figure it this way; if you make it out of nothing then you get to name it and define what it is. Feminists, the ones I’ve met, are generally dissatisfied, depressed and disgusted with all around them. They are happy to steamroll over any female who disagrees with them. So the one for all and all for one “women’s advancement” thing is a lie.
    @frjlp–“as intimated in Fr. Z’s comment above, to declare it “impossible” when the Church Herself has made no such assessment” Fr. Z didn’t intimate he was pretty darn clear that we do NOT get to make it up as we go along.
    Fr Z: [Because I am pretty sure the argument that the Church doesn’t have authority to ordain women to the priesthood also applies here.  We can’t just make things up as we go.]

    @Brad–thank you that was absolutely beautiful. I really needed to hear it right now. I’m going to keep it on my phone and read it often. God bless you

  18. NescioQuid says:

    Hear Hear Johnno. That’s what I was getting at in my much longer rant yesterday.

    @Indulgentiam. I think at one time Feminists were certainly doing good things. The suffragettes were feminists of a different order. Earlier feminists fought for basic rights such as access to education, voting etc. Many good things came out of it. Somehow modern feminism has taken some strange twists, a lot of it, under the guise of “gender studies” is really sexuality centric, and not in a wholesome way.

  19. Indulgentiam says:

    NescioQuid: “at one time Feminists were certainly doing good things. The suffragettes were feminists of a different order”
    I respectfully disagree. Many suffragettes used violence and vandalism to sway public opinion. Sound familiar? Of course that’s no surprise considering some of them had very communist leanings. They attacked government officials and even went so far as to burn down a mans home in 1913. Many women who were already successful, in many male dominated arenas, where bitterly resentful of their tactics and for good reason. There where many successful women way before the suffragettes began their very public tantrum. To name just a few:
    1650 Anne Bradstreet’s book of poems, The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America, is published in England, making her the first published American woman writer.
    1707 Henrietta Johnston begins to work as a portrait artist in Charles Town (now Charleston), South Carolina, making her the first known professional woman artist in America.
    1766 Mary Katherine Goddard and her widowed mother become publishers of the ProvidenceGazette newspaper and the annual West’s Almanack, making her the first woman publisher in America. In 1775, Goddard became the first woman postmaster in the country (in Baltimore), and in 1777 she became the first printer to offer copies of the Declaration of Independence that included the signers’ names. In 1789 Goddard opened a Baltimore bookstore, probably the first woman in America to do so.
    1767 Anne Catherine Hoof Green takes over her late husband’s printing and newspaper business, becoming the first American woman to run a print shop. The following year she is named the official printer for the colony of Maryland.
    1790 Mother Bernardina Matthews establishes a Carmelite convent near Port Tobacco, Maryland, the first community of Roman Catholic nuns in the Thirteen Colonies. (The Ursuline convent established in New Orleans in 1727 was still in French territory.)
    1792 Suzanne Vaillande appears in The Bird Catcher, in New York, the first ballet presented in the U.S. She was also probably the first woman to work as a choreographer and set designer in the United States.
    1795 Anne Parrish establishes, in Philadelphia, the House of Industry, the first charitable organization for women in America.
    1809 Mary Kies becomes the first woman to receive a patent, for a method of weaving straw with silk.
    1809 Elizabeth Ann Seton establishes the first American community of the Sisters of Charity, in Emmitsburg, Maryland. In 1975 she became the first native-born American to be made a saint by the Roman Catholic Church.
    1849Elizabeth Blackwell receives her M.D. degree from the Medical Institution of Geneva, N.Y., becoming the first woman in the U.S. with a medical degree

    don’t buy into feminist revisionist history.

  20. FrJLP says:

    @indulgentiam: The Church has made no definitive magisterial declaration about whether women can be ordained to the diaconate. And the issue is NOT the same as that of priesthood or the episcopacy, which HAS been made abundantly clear in magisterial teaching. Yet, neither Inter Insigliores nor Ordinatio Sacerdotalis speak at all of the diaconate. Then there is that distinction that the Holy Father highlighted in December of 2009 that the deaconate does NOT share in the priesthood of Christ nor do deacons act “in persona Christi capitis.” You err when you say that “I am pretty sure the argument that the Church doesn’t have authority to ordain women to the priesthood also applies here”.

    This is not a matter of the Church making something up, but the Church of today honestly investigating the REALITY of what has happened in the past…and there is abundant evidence of deaconesses. What they were, and whether they were ordained in the same manner as male deacons is still under investigation. And WE DO NOT GET TO MAKE IT UP AS WE GO! We have to investigate what was there without anachronistically reading our own opinions back into history…

    So, until the Church makes a dogmatic assessment of the matter of the proper “matter” for sacramental ordination to the diaconate, and until She declares such through her Sacred Magisterium, it is not possible for Fr. Z. (or for you) to say that such a thing is “impossible”.

    Be careful of overstepping our Mother, Holy Church…

  21. NescioQuid says:

    Indulgentiam, I don’t condone violence but I can understand why some people were driven to such actions. I don’t think it is fair to equate the history of feminism solely with the more militant aspects of the struggle. There were many who marched and leafleted and took on courageous active working roles in the World Wars as feminist stands, frownedbecause it was.frowned upon for a woman of goodgood standing to work. I respectfully say that I think you have a rather narrow definition of feminism. Having said that, in today’s world I would very much be disinclined to align myself with feminism.

  22. NescioQuid says:

    P.S. Excuse the typos, I am typing on my phone.

  23. robtbrown says:

    FrJLP says:

    @indulgentiam: The Church has made no definitive magisterial declaration about whether women can be ordained to the diaconate.

    Agree. There are two problems.

    1. There have been deaconesses, but their function was different than that of deacons. Carthusian nuns had/have deaconesses whose lone function was to read the Gospel at Matins. And it seems in the early Church there were deaconesses who helped in the Baptism of women.

    2. Deacons are grouped with priests and bishops as clerics even though they are not considered sacerdotes. They are considered to have received a Sacramental character at ordination, despite the fact that they have no Sacramental power.

  24. Supertradmum says:

    In the history of the Church, there have been any roles for women which have been lost in modern times. For example, the great double monasteries of the early Middle Ages were frequently ruled over by women, such as my patroness, St. Etheldreda and Hilda of Whitby, among others. These nuns had great influence and exerted not only spiritual authority, but political and physical authority, as in taking care of lands, etc. St. Bede refers to some of these types of monasteries.

    Also, one cannot underestimate such saints as St. Catherine of Siena and St. Brigitta of Sweden, who influenced either the Pope directory, in the case of the former, or indirectly, as in the case of the latter.

    Women have been respected and seen as leaders in the Church for ages. As to deaconesses, the word used in Scripture may mean one who has duties over the poor and widows, and not one who held a particularly liturgical role. This, of course, is debated among scholars on both sides of the feminist divide. Reading the Gospel could have been one duty, even in the early Church, but we have scant evidence as to what exactly these women did. This type of leadership is not what the nuns or feminists have in mind. This morning, there were four altar girls, one holding the cross, in the procession and recession. No wonder people are confused. The oldest one was high school age and the others were middle school age. What is this custom teaching them about the proper, clerical roles of women in the Church?

  25. Supertradmum says:

    apologies for typo–directory is actually funny, but I meant directly, of course…

  26. robtbrown says:

    Supertradmum says:

    Women have been respected and seen as leaders in the Church for ages. As to deaconesses, the word used in Scripture may mean one who has duties over the poor and widows, and not one who held a particularly liturgical role.

    I know of no reference in Scripture to deacons having any liturgical role. In fact, it is one of my complaints about the bunged up introduction of permanent deacons. A deacon is a cleric 24-7. Thus, IMHO, any permanent deacon should have a Church oriented profession, e.g., teaching philosophy or Church history at a Catholic college or seminary or working as a DRE, rather than being, say, a lawyer during the week, then assisting the celebrant at a Sunday mass or leading the Rosary at a wake.

    I also think that any permanent deacon, being a cleric, should wear clerical clothes, with a modified collar to distinguish him from a sacerdos, and should have the same obligation to the Divine Office as other clerics.


    This, of course, is debated among scholars on both sides of the feminist divide. Reading the Gospel could have been one duty, even in the early Church, but we have scant evidence as to what exactly these women did

    The Carthusians were founded by St Bruno, who died at the beginning of the 12th century. Thus Carthusian deaconesses reading the Gospel did not happen in the Early Church.

  27. NescioQuid says:

    Supertradmum, do you feel that altar girls paves the way for confusion? Didn’t quite get your point. Interested to hear…hitherto, I saw no problems, but I haven’t given this much thought. I have accepted the Church’s position of there being a distinction between Church and Apostolic tradition.That is, women cannot be ordained to the priesthood because of Apostolic tradition. This constitutes the law passed down by Christ, and is therefore Divine in nature. The gender of altar servers is not prescribed by apostolic tradition as I understand things. Please do correct me if I am wrong.

  28. Indulgentiam says:

    @frjlp–” You err when you say that “I am pretty sure the argument that the Church doesn’t have authority to ordain women to the priesthood also applies here.” —I didn’t say that Father Z did. Re-read the article and his comments in red. I happen to agree with him.
    also–“The Church has made no definitive magisterial declaration about whether women can be ordained to the diaconate.” True but then they don’t have to make a “magisterial declaration” about every nonsensical thing that the laity comes up with.

    @ NescioQuid —“I don’t condone violence but I can understand why some people were driven to such actions.” That’s a very slippery slope. They were arguing for the right to vote, VOTE, not breathe. Wanting to write your name on a ballot should not make you so crazed that you set fire to a mans home with his family still inside.
    NescioQuid—” I don’t think it is fair to equate the history of feminism solely with the more militant aspects of the struggle.” They never denounced their more militant counterparts in fact they used those instances as a stick “see what can happen if you don’t give us what we want?” People incapable of conforming to the demands of civilized society are frightening precisely because you never know what else such individuals are capable of. Read the actual history not the crud put in the public school texts or “women’s studies in lies” courses given in colleges.

    and as for altar girls yes it does cause more than just confusion and this Priest explains exactly why—-http://www.realcatholictv.com/share/watch.php?vidID=ciax-2010-08-01-b

    pop some popcorn sit back and enjoy! This Priest is like a breath of fresh air

  29. FrJLP says:

    @robtbrown: The functioning of a minister does not indicate the “be-ing” of the minister or determine if the “ordination” is a sacramental one. Male deacons in the New Testament, for example, were not liturgical. They were ordained to the diaconate to preside over the “corporate works of mercy”. In some Churches, by the Fourth Century, deacons had attained roles at the Divine Liturgy…but, incidentally, these liturgical roles were associated with their “corporate works of mercy” role. So, they would chant the litanies of petitions for the faithful, and they would prepare the altar with the elements (emblematic of their care for the sustenance of the poor). In many places the deacons would act as “comptrollers” of their dioceses, overseeing finances and temporal goods. It is rather late that the deacon becomes known as the liturgical assistant of the priest or bishop. And, it is very NEW that deacons are ordinary ministers of baptism and ordinary witnesses of matrimony. We have to remember the old Latin adage that “agere sequitur esse” (“doing/function follows being”). So, everything from service to the poor and financial stewardship to liturgical roles have been the “function” of the deacon, who’s “being” is made as such in ordination. We can not, therefor, look at the roles of male deacons and female deacons and say “There, male deacons did clerical things and female deacons did other things; therefor, female deacons were not sacramentally ordained.

    The role of female deacons in the Early Church was varied, as well…but it included caring for the sick and poor, bringing Communion to sick women, conducting the female choir at Divine Liturgy, assisting in the Baptism of women, and, in some places, loftier roles in liturgy and of governance. Very similar, if not identical, to what male deacons were and did. So, this is the reason why 1) if deacons do not share in the priesthood, 2) the roles of female deacons were not all that differentiated from their male counterparts, and 3) the term of “deacon/ess” and “ordination” were applied to both……it becomes difficult to determine whether female deacons were “sacramentally” ordained or not. And to read modern notions back into the experience of the early Church is foolhardy at best. So, to say that it is “impossible” when Holy Church has not made such a determination is unfair and irresponsible.

  30. FrJLP says:

    @indulgentium: This isn’t some “nonsensical thing that the laity comes up with”. This is something that is attested to in the Scriptures and in many of the Apostolic Churches and present in the life of the Church at least through the Eighth Century, if not longer… And the Church has not made a determination as to whether these deaconesses were sacramentally ordained or not. We would be wise not to make a conclusion where Holy Church has not.

  31. Indulgentiam says:

    ok i’ll bite. why is the question of “deaconesses” so important? and why in the world when the Church has so many different battles on so many different fronts would you want to take up her time with this. Use a little perspective please.

  32. Indulgentiam says:

    frjlp: “The role of female deacons in the Early Church was varied, …in some places, loftier roles in liturgy and of governance. ” examples please or at least point me in the direction of were you found this information.

  33. FrJLP says:

    @indulgentium: Well, it is important because there is a debate going on about women’s ordination and this gets tossed into that debate. The problem is, the debate about women’s ordination to the presbyterate and episcopacy is one matter and the debate about women’s ordination to the diaconate is another. They should not be lumped together. They deal with separate historical and sacramental issues and can n0t be lumped into one issue or argument. So, my concern was Fr. Z’s lumping this issue in with the other stuff the sisters are up to and the insinuation that the Church’s judgment on women and the priesthood is applicable to this matter. Father can not yet authoritatively claim that the ordination of women to the diaconate is impossible…and since the Church has made no decision about this matter, the matter can not be used to judge somebody’s fidelity or orthodoxy.

    The other reason that this is important to me is that I just spent three years of my life researching the topic and writing about it for my doctoral dissertation at the Angelicum in Rome; and so it’s nice to be able to comment on it when the topic arises! ;-)

  34. FrJLP says:

    @indulgentium: Here is a small bibliography to start…though the Zagano text is fairly biased.

    Aubert, Marie-Josephine. Des femmes diacres: un nouveaux chemin pour l’Eglise. Paris: Beauchesne, 1987.

    Canonical Implications of Ordaining Women to the Permanent Diaconate, The. Washington, DC: Canon Law Society of America, 1995.

    Eisen, Ute E. Women Officeholders in Early Christianity. Translated by Linda M. Maloney. Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1996.

    FitzGerald, Kyriaki Karidoyanes. Women Deacons in the Orthodox Church: Called to Holiness and Ministry. Brookline, MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 1999.

    Gvosdev, Matushka Ellen. The Female Diaconate: An Historical Perspective. Minneapolis, MN: Light and Life Publishing Company, 1991.

    Madigan, Kevin and Caroline Osiek. Ordained Women in the Early Church: A Documentary History. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005.

    Martimort, Aimé Georges. Deaconesses: An Historical Study. Translated by K. D. Whitehead. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1986.

    Zagano, Phyllis. Holy Saturday: An Argument for the Restoration of the Female Diaconate in the Catholic Church. New York: The Crossroad Publishing Company, 2000.

  35. acardnal says:

    “Zagano Watch”!

  36. FrJLP says:

    @acardinal: HAHAHAHA! As my grandpa would have said: “She’s a pip!”

  37. Indulgentiam says:

    frjlp–“The problem is, the debate about women’s ordination to the presbyterate and episcopacy is one matter and the debate about women’s ordination to the diaconate is another. ” No it really is not. The problem is that women have been telling each other for so long that men are stupid that they have actually started believing it. If i, who am a barely educated no one, can see through this thinly veiled facade then i assure you that the highly educated CDF can too. It didn’t take me long to research just a couple of the names on your list and in doing so i came across a familiar theme, namely; FitzGerald, Kyriaki Karidoyanes–“I noticed that women faithfully are the backbone of the Church.” — Really? i’m a woman. i have read a lot about women in the church and while their contributions are varied, many and great, i would not call them the backbone.
    Your mention of Zagano as “fairly biased” is the understatement of the century. The woman is delusional and that is being charitable. In all the research for your dissertation did you not come across anything written on the subject prior to the 20th century?
    You know my grandmother who was married off at 13 at a time when women were defenseless without men taught me much. she became a tailor in a male dominated Spanish society. she built up such a reputation for excellence that she was requested more than the male tailors in her shop. she used to tell me “do good work and God will open the door. don’t look for it, don’t force it. God gives more than we deserve. and if we don’t have it, it’s b/c we don’t need it.”

  38. Supertradmum says:

    NescioQuid , if young women take part in actions on the altar which are connected with the Sacrifice of the Mass, such as serving, a role which used to be part of the minor orders for seminarians only, previously discussed on this blog and other blogs, girls do think that their presence is merely an extension of the priesthood. Bad practice and confusing for girls who should be considering vocations to the religious life instead.

  39. FrJLP says:

    @indulgentiam: Your personal biases and opinions do not determine dogma or dogmatic investigations. Yes, the LCWR should be investigated and the CDF is right to do so. And, if some are arguing for the ordination of women to the diaconate as a stepping stone to the presbyterate, then they err.

    But your feelings about the matter mean little to nothing regarding Scriptural citations of “deaconesses” and the myriad attestations to the same in antiquity. The Church is in the slow process of investigating the matter to recover, fr0m antiquity, what the Church intended to do when She called women to the ancient order of “deaconess”. And until the Church determines that this calling and this ordination was non-sacramental, then we can not overstep Her…even if it might be convenient to our argumentation against the “militant feminism” of our day.

  40. Supertradmum says:

    robtbrown, I was not referring to the Carthusians.

  41. NescioQuid says:

    Indulgentiam: First of all thank you for the link. I wasn’t even aware of this TV channel or Michael Voris. I found it very interesting to watch, and I could sympathise with the viewpoint put forward by Fr Paul Nicholson, namely, the excess of female religiosity, and the erosion of male roles. In many London parishes, typically you will see few to no men saying the rosary after Mass, but instead a preponderance of females usually aged 50+. There are also huge numbers of female Eucharistic Ministers, not to mention the presence of women in so many other areas of the church operations.

    Having said all of this, I would like to add that I think it is always helpful to discuss ideas and issues, but at some point, one must question how far all of this is polarising or divisive. I mean, if the Church has deemed certain things as acceptable, would not any rejection of this be tantamount to the kind of dissension we are seeing amongst nuns and clergy – the kind of dissension that we here in this forum seem to abhor. Granted, the issue of female ordination carries more gravity, but, dissension usually begins by swelling from a spring into a river. In other words, it starts with small matters and has a domino effect.

    On the matter of early feminism. Quite honestly, in my position as a historian (albeit not feminism/gender studies) I do feel you are massively over-simplifying the matter. There are different forms of protest, not all are bloody or violent. When I said I understand why people did certain things without condoning the violence, I was distinguishing between aims and means. Besides which, it is highly problematic to dismiss the peaceful and ethical protests of women who did not adopt a violent approach. I also do not think you can dismiss the importance of gaining the female vote. It has much wider significance than simply casting the ballot. It stood for gaining the right to speak, political representation and all the associated rights (including fundamental rights of motherhood) that came with parliamentary changes of law. I am pretty sure that without some kind of organised, collective movement, I would not have the wherewithal to defend my faith to other atheist intellectuals, for instance. God bless my education!

    To understand the significance of political representation, we only need to look at histories of the abolition of slavery, apartheid, colonial oppression.

    Finally, you wrote above about your grandmother. Great that your grandmother had such a strong work ethic, and positive attitude. However, the facts remain that more rights for women have meant that women ought (by law) to be paid the same rate as men for equivalent work. (Even now, in practice this isn’t always the case.)

  42. Athelstan says:

    Hello Nescio,

    “Supertradmum, do you feel that altar girls paves the way for confusion?”

    It quite clearly paves the way for confusion.

    Which is why it was a grave mistake for John Paul II to permit them.

  43. Athelstan says:

    Hello Fr. JLP,

    There have been deaconesses, but their function was different than that of deacons. Carthusian nuns had/have deaconesses whose lone function was to read the Gospel at Matins. And it seems in the early Church there were deaconesses who helped in the Baptism of women.

    Exactly.

    And Martimort’s study clearly confirms this (unlike Gryson’s). And it’s the explanation that makes the most sense by far.

  44. Indulgentiam says:

    frjlp–“Your personal biases and opinions do not determine dogma or dogmatic investigations.” Exactly right!…Neither do the ” myriad attestations” of those who cherry pick Scriptural citations to advance their cause. As has been said by someone else on this blog the Blessed Virgin Mary never demanded title or position in the church or anywhere for that matter. And if She did not then there is not a female alive who should dare.
    NescioQuid”. I mean, if the Church has deemed certain things as acceptable, would not any rejection of this be tantamount to the kind of dissension.” I do not see where i have dissented from any established Church teaching. Please point out where i have done that.
    “It stood for gaining the right to speak” women had the right to speak before the suffragettes. please see the list above of all the very accomplished ladies who succeeded even before the suffragettes where an idea.
    “(including fundamental rights of motherhood)” i admit i have never heard of this law. and googeling it produced nothing. i am familiar with the 1948 human rights act which enshrines some procreative rights but…cite please

  45. Indulgentiam says:

    oops forgot one—NescioQuid: ” I am pretty sure that without some kind of organised, collective movement, I would not have the wherewithal to defend my faith to other atheist intellectuals, for instance.” seriously?!? woman have been defending the faith up and down the bible from old testament to new. they had no need of an “organized collective” of feminists, the Holy Spirit more than sufficed.

  46. Imrahil says:

    Then there is that distinction that the Holy Father highlighted in December of 2009 that the deaconate does NOT share in the priesthood of Christ nor do deacons act “in persona Christi capitis.”

    No, the Holy Father did not. He changed the text of the Code to more literally represent what is in the Catechism; and back in the time the Catechism apparently left the topic out because it was already dealt with in the then-Code. At any rate this does not qualify as a formal abrogation of what was once taught in the Code.

    Albeit the deacon does not specifically act in persona Christi capitis (but there are good grounds to say that when allowed by law to baptize, he does), he does share in the special priesthood of Christ (that he shares in the priesthood of Christ is self-evident: he is baptized and confirmed…). Otherwise, I see no systematical way how the deaconate could be part of the one Sacrament of Orders.

  47. Imrahil says:

    Of course: share in the special priesthood is the term. He does not hold it in fulness; otherwise we’d call him a priest.

  48. NescioQuid says:

    Indulgentiam: I am typing from my phone so this must necessarily be brief.

    You have critiqued the Church’s acceptance of altar girls. Presumably this means you do not accept the Church’s acceptance on this

  49. FrJLP says:

    @Athelstan: But, as I stated earlier, function does not determine being… Male deacons have had varied “functions” in the history of the diaconate. At first, none of those roles were liturgical. And just recently, the “function” of being an ordinary minister of Baptism and an ordinary witness of matrimony was added… The “functions” of the diaconate have evolved over it’s 2000-year history. So, that deaconess read the Gospel at Matins or assisted at baptisms of females is neither proof nor negation of whether they were sacramentally ordained. It is a difficult thing to determine, and this is why the Church has not made a hasty determination. Even when the Pontifical Theological Commission wrote their 2003 assessment in “From the Diakonia of Christ to the Diakonia of the Apostles” and seemed to implicitly side with Martimort’s assessment, they still stopped short of “answering the question”.

    @indulgentiam: It’s not a matter of cherry-picking at all. There is this evidence, which begs the question: “What are deaconesses?” This is both an historical and dogmatic question that has yet to be answered and is still under theological scrutiny. And to ask the question of whether such a thing is dogmatically possible is distinct from asking if such a thing is prudent…

  50. Athelstan says:

    P.S. Fr. JLP: “The problem is, the debate about women’s ordination to the presbyterate and episcopacy is one matter and the debate about women’s ordination to the diaconate is another. They should not be lumped together.”

    They shouldn’t, as a matter of abstract principle. But we don’t live in the abstract. In the current environment, it’s quite impossible to see how most Catholic laity, especially in the West, wouldn’t do precisely that. They will perceive, they DO perceive, that deacons are in some sense in orders, and they’ll be even more inclined to ask why women can be deacon(esse)s but not priests. Not only won’t they have read Martimort, they’ll most likely have had almost no real theological formation, and much of what little they do have might be dubious. In short, even if it is determined to be a valid idea, it would be highly imprudent to declare as much (let alone implement it) at this time.

    P.P.S. I don’t agree with him, but why no mention of Gryson?

  51. Athelstan says:

    Hello Fr. JLP,

    But, as I stated earlier, function does not determine being… Male deacons have had varied “functions” in the history of the diaconate. At first, none of those roles were liturgical.

    I don’t really dispute any of that.

    And, of course, the PTC, nearly as much as the Magisterium, is reluctant to define what it doesn’t absolutely have to.

    My own sense is that Martimort is correct: deaconnesses, such as they existed in the patristic world, had narrowly defined functions related to ministry to women, and no sacramental character, such as that would have been understood at the time (let alone such as we would understand now). But I concede that that broader record and functions of deacons over the centuries seems more complex than that of presbyters.

    In any event, for the reasons of prudence I alluded to in my last post, I don’t expect any magisterial definition on this question for the foreseeable future.

  52. NescioQuid says:

    My longer response just got swallowed by my phone aargh! In short then:

    Indulgentiam: organised collective to defend the faith: yes, the Church and its Magisterium, not to mention its body of philosophers and theologians would constitute this. I was not talking about needing feminism to defend my faith, I was demonstrating that real change is instituted through organised collectives. The first apostles were such a collective, if we must put it in very sparse human terms (devoid of supernatural meaning).

    Point of law: I was referring to women’s right to access their own children if a man divorced his wife.

    You have a decidedly rosy vision ofthe history of women’s rights. You seem to have cherry picked a few notable women and seen this as representative of women’s position in the past. It’s like reading a revisionist history. One need only look at the status of women in certain countries in the East, to understand the position of women in the West just a century ago. Would I like to live in such countries? Forget it!

  53. Indulgentiam says:

    “And to ask the question of whether such a thing is dogmatically possible is distinct from asking if such a thing is prudent…” absolutely agree. Do you think that, just maybe, it would be a really good idea to resolve the prudence issue first? and honestly, no disrespect intended, doesn’t the Church have more pressing issues to resolve?

  54. robtbrown says:

    FrJLP says:

    @robtbrown: The functioning of a minister does not indicate the “be-ing” of the minister or determine if the “ordination” is a sacramental one. Male deacons in the New Testament, for example, were not liturgical.

    It does in presbyters and bishops. See below.

    They were ordained to the diaconate to preside over the “corporate works of mercy”. In some Churches, by the Fourth Century, deacons had attained roles at the Divine Liturgy…but, incidentally, these liturgical roles were associated with their “corporate works of mercy” role.

    I have no problem with deacons having a liturgical role. My point is that acc to Scripture deacons functioned for corporal works of mercy. The tendency, therefore, of the past 40 years of ordaining deacons for little else than liturgical participation is not supported by Scripture.

    Also:

    I’m sorry, but you don’t understand agere sequitur esse. The phase means that esse is proportioned to the power of the existent, i.e. the existing thing. Thus, that men have rational power but brute animals do not indicates that the being (esse) of the two is different–the former having a power of the soul that does not exist in the latter (NB: any power of the soul is in some way in potency and in another way in act). To put it another way, the rational creature has more being than the brute animal, the brute animal more than the plant, the plant more than inanimate things.

    Applying this to the sacerdotal question, we can say that the action of the priest in transubstantiating bread and wine means that the sacerdos has by virtue of ordination Sacramental power that is not had by laici. Agere sequitur esse: The priest has being not had by the laici. That is why it is said that presbyteral ordination ontologically changes a man. He has a power not found in a laicus, just as a man has a power (rationality) not found in a brute animal.

    Whatever duties, liturgical or otherwise, that a deacon performs, do not necessitate the presence of a Sacramental power. Thus, there is no agere that demands a change in esse. Actions of a deacon are not consequences of any ontological change–they are deputed. And anything that a deacon does can be done in emergency by a Baptised laicus.

    The Church, however, is fairly clear that a character (res et sacramentum) is imprinted at the ordination of a deacon, which means that there is ontological change. Which change, however, is not that of a Sacramental power.

  55. Indulgentiam says:

    well then i’m sorry to have misunderstood your collective reference.
    i did not present those ladies in order to put a rosy hue on the history of woman’s struggles but to rebut the argument that nothing of substance was accomplished before the suffrage movement. women of substance have been opening doors without feminist antics for centuries and that was my point.

  56. robtbrown says:

    One other point:

    Although the history of the Early Church is important, Scripture is the true guide. I agree with St Thomas that the Sacraments have to have originated with Christ, either by Him performing them or as manifestations of His Salvific Will. The diaconate is of Apostolic origin, but by its association with Orders, it can qualify under St Thomas’ criterion.

    BTW, there was a medieval theologian who tried to fit all seven grades of Order into the Actions of Christ.

  57. Indulgentiam says:

    NescioQuid: “You have critiqued the Church’s acceptance of altar girls. Presumably this means you do not accept the Church’s acceptance on this” that’s a heck of a presumption. i believe the question as you posted it was “Supertradmum, do you feel that altar girls paves the way for confusion?” my answer was that i agree with a Priest i heard speak on the subject and i posted the link to his discussion. If your going to accuse everyone who critiques things in the Church of dissension your going to be pretty busy on this blog.

  58. Indulgentiam says:

    @robtbrown–in reading your post i have become very interested in the finer points of this argument. i must confess that what you posted is going to take me several readings to digest. where can i read more on what you posted please?

  59. robtbrown says:

    Indulgentiam,

    What points?

  60. Indulgentiam says:

    These—–“I have no problem with deacons having a liturgical role. My point is that acc to Scripture deacons functioned for corporal works of mercy. The tendency, therefore, of the past 40 years of ordaining deacons for little else than liturgical participation is not supported by Scripture.

    Also:

    I’m sorry, but you don’t understand agere sequitur esse. The phase means that esse is proportioned to the power of the existent, i.e. the existing thing. Thus, that men have rational power but brute animals do not indicates that the being (esse) of the two is different–the former having a power of the soul that does not exist in the latter (NB: any power of the soul is in some way in potency and in another way in act). To put it another way, the rational creature has more being than the brute animal, the brute animal more than the plant, the plant more than inanimate things.

    Applying this to the sacerdotal question, we can say that the action of the priest in transubstantiating bread and wine means that the sacerdos has by virtue of ordination Sacramental power that is not had by laici. Agere sequitur esse: The priest has being not had by the laici. That is why it is said that presbyteral ordination ontologically changes a man. He has a power not found in a laicus, just as a man has a power (rationality) not found in a brute animal.

    Whatever duties, liturgical or otherwise, that a deacon performs, do not necessitate the presence of a Sacramental power. Thus, there is no agere that demands a change in esse. Actions of a deacon are not consequences of any ontological change–they are deputed. And anything that a deacon does can be done in emergency by a Baptised laicus.

    The Church, however, is fairly clear that a character (res et sacramentum) is imprinted at the ordination of a deacon, which means that there is ontological change. Which change, however, is not that of a Sacramental power.”

  61. robtbrown says:

    Indulgentiam,

    I don’t think there is one book or article on this. I have been at this 40 years, from about the time I converted. Lots of reading, e.g., Jacques Maritain, Etienne Gilson, Henri Renard, Garrigou LaGrange, and St Thomas himself. To that add 8 years at the Angelicum, 5 of which were classes, making myself a pain in the neck by asking questions to those who were obvious experts, writing a doctoral thesis, etc. Also some time spent reading the likes of De Lubac, Rahner, Galot, etc.

    Add hours spent exchanging ideas with fellow students with the same interests. In fact, during my Roman years, a young Argentinian transferred to the Angelicum from Santa Croce and lived down the hall. I met him on a Saturday, and we sat up until 2:00AM, mostly talking about the Theology of Grace. BTW, he later worked at the Congregation of Bishops.

  62. Supertradmum says:

    NescioQuid, the preponderance of females in Church of a certain age is not new. I grew up in the Pre-Conciliar Church and the churches were always visited at times of the Old 40 Hours Devotion, rosaries and the later daily Masses with women. The men in my dad’s generation, and he is 89, went to very early morning Mass, 6:30, to get to Mass before the workday. I blame parish priests for having Mass so late that no one but retired men and the ladies at home can come. Most parishes in England have daily Mass at 9 or 10, where I have been, and no early morning Masses for working folk.

    I know all of this, because as a child, I sang in a Gregorian Chant choir at 6:30 a.m. for years, and then again at 8:00 a.m. The earlier Mass was attended by men, the later by moms and kids and the school. We went daily and some of us, twice daily.

    The feminist movement has nothing to do with daily Mass or rosary attendance, let me assure you, having been in academia most of my life and finding out that the feminist actually do not like the rosary, Marian devotions, and are not the ladies in the pew over 50. By the way, Europe is worse and has always been like this, especially in Italy, Spain and other places, where daily Mass attendance is primarily made up of women. In Malta, where I attended daily Mass for three months, the majority of attendees at three parishes which I went to, were women. Only the lunch-time Mass was attended by men, who obviously, could get away for those Masses. Again, however, most men at the daily Masses were of retirement age.

    I suggest that priests seriously consider getting up earlier and promulgating Mass before work. I just attend 7:30 Mass here, a new departure from the daily 10, this 10 one is only attended by old people and a few moms with babies and a student or two.

    To look at liturgical and prayer forms and use those in connection with the feminist movement is not a correct correlation. Most feminsts avoid the male dominated Mass of the patriarchal hierarchy, as they would say.

  63. NescioQuid says:

    Indulgentiam: I have no desire to point fingers. I am merely asking the question: at what point does “critiquing” the Church become dissension? Surely that is a valid question? You spoke of slippery slopes… It applies here. The nun I spoke to who accused the Church of being too patriarchal, might also turn around and say she is simply critiquing the Church.
    So I’m genuinely.curious to understand, what is the difference?

  64. NescioQuid says:

    I meant to say, there are those who have adopted the term feminism for their own poor ends. This has happened to such an extent that you and I month find it hard to reconcile the actions of those who engendered real good and positive change with the word as it stands today.

  65. NescioQuid says:

    The message I wrote earlier prior to the last punlished one, got eaten up. I said again that your notion of feminism is patently too.narrow, and that’s why we’re having this discussion. You have maligned the word feminism because you equate it with radical feminism. I too distance myself from this variant. One could argue that the notable women you mentioned are feminists, albeit of a different order, with a very different set of principles and ideals. Please have a look at this link:
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminism-topics/

  66. heway says:

    @FrJLP Thank you so much for your input.I feel that Our Blessed Mother never demanded anything, only accepted – but did not hesitate to open the way to miracles ie. Cana. Our little church has no children. We have one or two people in their 40s’ but for the most part we are all elderly. When men do not appear to assist the celebrant, I have done so with much trepidation. Our priest has told me that in his country(mission land) the catechist (and I am one)does everything and therefore I should not feel hesitant when needed. In my professional life (nurse), I was never paid what my male counterpart was. And as a NICU nurse, I baptized hundreds of abortus and infants in danger of death. I don’t consider myself a ‘feminist’ but a Christian, educated, serious woman of the church. I hope they do examine the female diaconate, as the Orthodox church has. This is quite an interesting subject considering all the entries…..

  67. Indulgentiam says:

    Perhaps it’s best if we clarify dissent –to disagree with or reject the doctrines or authority of an established church.
    We can disagree and have dialogue about some minor points in the Church i.e. altar girls or the Church being too patriarchal, which by btw you should tell your nun friend that, that is the way the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity laid it out. Anyway we can have dialogue about those minor points Holy Mother Church is not a tyrant. However neither is she a democracy as long as we understand that yes we can dialogue till the cows come home. I agree that dissention often creeps into disobedience so we just have to watch ourselves. I think we can dialogue and still remain respectful and obedient.

    In looking at large and complicated matters that span a long period of time I find it helpful to find a common thread and work from there. The common thread that I have found in researching the feminist movements is “End male domination!” incidentally that’s mentioned 4 or 5 times in that link you provided. The organized feminist movement has done more harm than good. For an example let’s take your—-“Point of law: I was referring to women’s right to access their own children if a man divorced his wife.”
    Caroline Norton, the person who initiated the tender years doctrine in the 1830’s was no where near the suffragette movement. And though she has been co-opted by the feminist movement her own diaries negate that notion. She married for money and quickly found that she had made a really bad deal. She used her writing skills to appeal to the Queen of England in a letter, great read btw. In it she states, “it (her writing skills) was meant for a higher and stronger purpose,–that gift which came not from man, but from God. It was meant to enable me to rouse the hearts of others to examine into all the gross injustice of these laws,–to ask the “nation of gallant gentlemen,” whose countrywoman I am, for once to hear a woman’s pleading on the subject.”
    The Tender years doctrine was later found to violate the equal protection clause in this country and was replaced by the “Best Interest of the Child”. Unfortunately the pendulum has swung so far in the other direction, aided in no small part by feminist lies and attacks on male roles in general and fatherhood in particular, that fathers are rarely awarded sole custody. Studies done in the U.S and Canada show that 80% of all divorce cases award Sole Custody to the mother. Even to the untrained eye that figure demonstrates a huge bias.
    The feminist mantra and movement pits woman against men and that is not how the good God intended it to be.

  68. Supertradmum says:

    Indulgentiam, your statistics regarding women and child custody are not connected to this argument, nor to the feminist movement. The reality of a male hierarchy in the Church has nothing to do with dads who do not want their children, nor will support them, nor even show up for custody trials. The real truths of statistics are not in numbers, but in the societal evils behind men not taking responsibility for children. The arguments against feminism do not belong in divorce or custody statistics, as almost all the feminists I have known are not married, do not have children and are not interested in these workings of the real world. Feminism in the States is an academic and professional movement, not one of the 54% of poverty stricken single moms who get custody because at least they try and raise the kids. Most feminists would have aborted these unfortunate children. When you argue a point, stick to the issues, such as the fact that the feminists in the Church, like the nuns and sisters in question, belong to an elite group of women who have managed to get an inordinate amount of power within the Church. The feminist movement has done very little for women outside the circle of this elite group.

  69. Supertradmum says:

    NescioQuid, come back later, as I have a comment for you languishing in moderation above….Some of your arguments, like the above person, are based on faulty observation.

  70. Indulgentiam says:

    supertradmum: too much coffee this morning? ok let’s take this one at a time.

    “your statistics regarding women and child custody are not connected to this argument, nor to the feminist movement. The reality of a male hierarchy in the Church has nothing to do with dads who do not want their children, nor will support them, nor even show up for custody trials.” you just proved my point about how feminist lies have infected the minds of many woman. Yes there are many dead beat dads but that goes both ways. Sit in Family Court for an hour and then you’ll have a better understanding. This has been an evolving conversation touching on many aspects of feminism which has infected the minds of many Nuns. Nescio has brought up points and i have answered and vice versa. Please don’t jump in at the tail end of a conversation and start swinging. and for the love of pete switch to decaf ;)

  71. Supertradmum says:

    Indulgentiam, I have read the comments here; always do read all of them.

    I taught at risk, minority students for many years. I can assure you that the feminists have nothing to do with these young persons who have been abandoned, and decided to keep their babies.

    The hierarchy of the Church established by Christ cares about all women, not merely those in academia, who are verbal, and not just the rebellious nuns. Sadly, we have a society which does not do so still. I can state easily that the men who do not take care nor want to take care of their children is linked to other problems, such as the “peter pan syndrome” I write about on my blog and have just today again. That men have not taken responsibility for their actions is a story as old as Adam.

  72. Indulgentiam says:

    supertradmum says:”The arguments against feminism do not belong in divorce or custody statistics, as almost all the feminists I have known are not married, do not have children and are not interested in these workings of the real world. Feminism in the States is an academic and professional movement, not one of the 54% of poverty stricken single moms who get custody because at least they try and raise the kids. ” Sister you couldn’t be more wrong. I would argue that the feminist ideology taught in the schools and pushed on our young has contributed GREATLY to the condition of “poverty stricken single moms.” I know i’ve spent my days trying to get these females government aide. Where do you think they got the notion that men are ridiculous and replaceable “sperm donors”? That they can sleep around with impunity ? b/c hey “my body my choice!” step back and take a look at the big picture feminists academic has a very REAL consequence.

  73. Indulgentiam says:

    “That men have not taken responsibility for their actions is a story as old as Adam.”
    and that women want to make choices ALL on their own but then want to give men an equal share of the blame is a concept as old as Eve.

  74. Indulgentiam says:

    @ robtbrown– thank you for the authors. And thank you frjlp i really appreciate the bibliography.

  75. NescioQuid says:

    The feminism under discussion in this forum is a radical form as mentioned previously. I do not class myself as a feminist, I have no axe to grind. I am merely pointing out that is incorrect to lump all forms of feminism into this one category, and to particularly dismiss various historical developments.
    I think I’ve made enough points, so I shall respectfully withdraw from that particular discussion.

    As for the matter of female alter servers. You are entitled to your own opinions. You might well regard something as unpalatable or disagreeable, and there may be very good reasons for it, but I do not think that publicly airing such criticism is any more beneficial than dissenting religious members. I must apologise for even asking the question about female alter servers. I didn’t realise it would open a can of worms. Quite frankly, it wasn’t until I saw the Michael Voris’s channel, (and I’m sure he is well-intentioned) that I realised even Orthodox members could potentially undermine the Church’s position. We should be working towards unity, not rancour and disagreement.

  76. NescioQuid says:

    P.S. I do think there is an excess of female religiosity, but this is not a critique of the Church, but rather an observation of a phenomenon. I mean in the sense that women seem naturally inclined to be “religious” and there are so many manifestations of this, and in contrast where are all the men? But perhaps this has more to do with intrinsic gender differences than anything else.

  77. Indulgentiam says:

    nescio–no apologies necessary you did not open a can of worms and you are as entitled to your opinion as anyone else. I believe that mature adults can have open discussion without rancor. Not all conversations lead to disunity. For the most part, in my experience, conversations foster greater understanding between divergent points of view. Thank you for the very interesting conversation :)

    nescioquid says:”I mean in the sense that women seem naturally inclined to be “religious” and there are so many manifestations of this, and in contrast where are all the men?” I just think that men tend to be religious in different ways not easily recognizable by women. That’s why i really enjoyed Fr. Nichols talk he really gave me a better understanding of the male mind.

  78. Indulgentiam says:

    Sorry–Not all conversations lead to disunity.—should be—Not all conversations aimed at critiquing some aspect of the Church leads to disunity. For the most part, in my experience, most of these conversations foster greater understanding between divergent points of view.
    sorry about that.

    and correction to—
    and that women want to make choices ALL on their own but then want to give men an equal share of the blame for the consequences is a concept as old as Eve.

  79. NescioQuid says:

    Indulgentiam: Agreed, there has to be dialogue to “foster greater understanding between divergent points of view”. I do not like critiquing the Church, I feel it is damaging. When others (outside the Church) look upon our fractiousness, they see division not necessarily dialogue. I have been put in the position of defending the Church amongst lay (and now God forbid religious) Catholic members more times than I care for. Fed up with it all, but overwhelmingly disappointed. These are people I know and like quite often. I always feel burdened when I perceive their rejection of Church teachings. The Cafeteria mentality is a horrible form of lukewarmness. It’s a kind of apathy which makes no effort at reconciliation, and is perhaps all the more damaging.

    It is so refreshing to see people here writing so passionately, however divergent the viewpoints are.

  80. robtbrown says:

    NescioQuid,

    However, the facts remain that more rights for women have meant that women ought (by law) to be paid the same rate as men for equivalent work. (Even now, in practice this isn’t always the case.)

    Equal pay for equal work is a good idea, but it’s incorrect to think it is only violated in men vs women. The US govt and many corporations give automatics raises simply because of years of service. They don’t represent any improved quality or quantity of productivity. From my experience equal pay for equal work only exists in entrepreneurial companies.

  81. NescioQuid says:

    Point taken Rotbrown, but this situation of unequal pay within the sexes has historically been more widespread for women, as indeed it is today. However, you are quite right, sexism is not the only ism out there.