Monday, October 27, 2008

Catholic Church Takes Another Step Towards Women's Ordination

The Synod of Bishops that recently met in Rome to discuss the Bible voted 191 to 45 in favor of officially installing women as lectors. In the 1970's, Paul VI opened this up to lay men, but excluded women because it had traditionally been a step for seminarians on their path to ordination. While I'm not under the delusion that most of these bishops support women's ordination, I think that this is a step in the right direction. I'm not aware of any diocese that installs laymen as lectors because it would be demeaning for the women who could not be installed.

Technically, lay people that read the Scriptures at mass are temporary lectors, which is why they can read without being installed. While the bishops made this recommendation to the pope, it is in Benedict's court if he will act on it. In either case, I think it is positive news that the bishops gathered in Rome realize the hypocracy of only allowing men to be installed as lectors. Hopefully, this is another step towards realizing the hypocracy of not ordaining women.

A Faithful Catholic

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bishop Oblivious to Church Teaching

Many of the US bishops seems to be up-to-date on magisterial teaching on gays and abortion, but in these hard economic times, Bishop Joseph F. Martino of Scranton, Pa., is following Wal-Mart's lead by union-busting.

Even though the right of workers to organize is clearly spelled out in Leo XIII's Rerum Novarum, John XXIII's Pacim in Terris, and numerous documents of John Paul II, Martino has refused to recognize his teacher's union, which had been recognized by bishops in Scranton for over 30 years. And to add insult to injury, the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education, which the group had appealed to, responded by saying that Martino did not break canon law. If that is not a sign of the legalism which infects our Catholic Church, then we need a new definition for legalism. It's simply shameful.

A Faithful Catholic

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Economics of Gays

Open any newspaper almost anywhere in the world and the big topic and worry of the day is the economy. But what seems to be really worrying some Connecticut bishops is gay marriage. You would think at a time when this world is possibly having the worst economic meltdown in its history, that bishops might choose to address that issue. Other than gay marriage, which is a good thing (because marriage is a good thing), our world's capitalistic system seems to be a having a meltdown. This would seem the perfect time for pope and bishops to be chiming in with their words of wisdom regarding the evils of capitalism and how this could be an opportunity for real change. Instead, the hierarchy is eerily silent (maybe they are only really good at talking about abortion and gay marriage) at this time when rethinking our economic system is perhaps more in order than throwing trillions of dollars at it on a global scale.

A Faithful Catholic

Monday, October 6, 2008

Not Much to Celebrate 40 Years Later

According to, Benedict gave an address to an international congress in Rome dedicated to celebrating Humanae Vitae - the birth control encyclical. Benedict wants the clergy to find ways to make Catholic couples see the beauty of not using birth control and asked why so many people do not understand the papal teaching on birth control.

I think people understand it, it's just that the teaching does not make any sense. There is a fallacy here that Humanae Vitae represents what the church has always taught. Those like Augustine, thought that sex was always sinful, but that it was a little less sinful if the purpose was procreation. There is not a lot of beauty there. In the middle ages, there was finally a push to say that procreation sex was beautiful. In the 21st century, it is about time that we find the beauty in non-procreative sex - a beauty that Benedict, for some reason, has difficulty seeing.

A Faithful Catholic