Taking the reins

Taking the reins

This isn’t what the Vatican had in mind when it said in the recent document on women in the Church that the world needs to recognize and accept the unique gifts of women:

Beneath the Roman Catholic Church’s glass ceiling, a gathering crowd of women is gaining power and loosening the rigid structures of a centuries-old, male-centered hierarchy.

On Sundays, a divorced mother of two grown sons helps conduct Mass at St. Julie Billiart church in San Jose. Standing side by side with the Rev. John Pedigo, Jeanine Jensen leads prayers and joins in accepting bread and wine brought to the altar for the consecration. It’s just one of her many duties as paid pastoral associate.

Leads prayers? Accepts the gifts? Sounds like she’s doing the priest’s job. This isn’t about accepting women for their unique gifts; it’s about giving them the “work” that men, i.e. priests, do.

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  • I attended St. Julie Billiart for a while since it was within walking distance of my house and can confirm a woman lead many of the prayers.  Also, the music for theSaturday vigil mass included electric guitars, and besides being bad from my perspective, it was too loud.

  • I will add St. Julie’s is a small church in size and, from my recollection, Masses are not well attended.

  • As far as non-sacramental duties go, it’s almost shruggable to me.  The work has to get done, and we don’t have four priests per parish these days.  As long as the people who do the job are faithful and don’t use it as a CTA pulpit, no skin off my nose.

    But the liturgical stuff really, really rankles.  What you see in San Jose has become a common phenomenon in Saginaw.  It’s borderline concelebration, where the PA holds the chalice aloft, does much of the prayers and always preaches the homily, marginalizing the priest as effectively as if he wore a placard saying “Superfluous.”  It could even be concelebrating, but I stopped going to Saginaw parishes as a matter of principle so I can’t recall precisely what the PA was doing when. 

    Whatever else it is, it’s not exactly an advertisement for holy orders.

  • Sounds like Spiritus Christi in Rochester, NY.  The CDF took action against them, and consequently, a huge proportion of the parish just walked off to celebrate pseudo-celebrations in the basement of a protestant church down the road.  The “ladies” in question who were attempting concelebration later attempted ordination with a schismatic group.  They’re still around, still on the net.  Schismatics, but no longer Catholic. 

    Here’s the website: 
    http://www.spirituschristi.org/

  • Some months ago I attended a weekday Mass in a neighboring parish. It happened to be a Mass for the grade schoolers. Just before Holy Communion an CDATA[michigancatholic]]>
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    2004-08-28 14:55:02
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    I’ve walked out of “communion services.”  I won’t attend one.  I live in a part of the country (Michigan) where churches are tops 20 miles apart and I have a car.  There is NO REASON for me ever to accept this as a substitute for anything.  Period.  That probably holds for 90% of the Catholics in the USA.

  • Not too long ago I intended to go to a scheduled Mass at a local Church. When I got there, I saw a lady who was leading the prayers from the altar and there was no priest in sight. When it came time for the Communion, the lady took a Chalice with previously consecrated Hosts from the tabernacle, and after saying a prayer, she gave out the Holy Communion. I thought that there might be something irregular about it, but when I asked, I was told that this type of service had been approved by Cardinal Ratzinger when there was no priest available.

  • It’s a Communion service. It’s not that it’s been approved by Cardinal Ratzinger, but that it’s not a Mass. The Church has a ritual for such an occurrence, but it’s only for extreme circumstances and the bishop must approve it first.

  • “Martha, Martha, Martha, you are worried about so many things, Mary has done the better part.”

  • Thomas,
    It’s not about women-no lay person should be doing what they are doing.

    But the deeper things are not being said here:  Men and women ARE different, each with their own geniuses.  Casti Connubii (On Christian Marriage byPius XI)  is brilliant in it’s instruction on Christian Marriage:  That both the husband and wife bow to each other’s God given gifts.  Wives, yes, obey your husband as the Church is called to obey Christ, but MEN, you are called to lay down your lives for us, as Christ did for the Church.

    The feminist movement did give us women some good things: Voting privilages, recognition of pay equality, (we’re still working on that) amongst others.

    Unfortunatly it’s seedier “accomplishments” have krept into the Church, convincing women that we need to be men in order to be Christians.  Do they forget that it was a woman who gave Divinity flesh?  While they insist on being priests, do they forget that the Church is seen as the feminine and that Christ DIED for his BRIDE the Church?

    Oy-there is so much to do in educating the people of God on how he made us male and female and the joy and beauty that comes with that.

    *gets off soapbox*-Can you tell it’s a passion of mine?!

  • I’ve walked out of “communion services.”  I won’t attend one.  I live in a part of the country (Michigan) where churches are tops 20 miles apart and I have a car.  There is NO REASON for me ever to accept this as a substitute for anything.  Period.  That probably holds for 90% of the Catholics in the USA.

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