Aug 22, 2009

Roman Catholic Women Priests

Here is a short comment I posted on The Progressive Catholic Voice regarding Roman Catholic Women Priests:

I find the whole phenomenon deeply moving and inspiring. Do labels really matter at this point in time, or tribal distinctions. I'm not sure. I can see a problem with the designation, "Roman Catholic priests." They are not quite there yet. Perhaps it is best to see them as inhabiting a space in the future for a church that has not yet been born and to which they are pointing the way. And until such time as they are fully accepted, they must bear the burden of a certain ambiguity of status. On the edge, neither within nor without. As a brilliant scripture scholar, Fr. Edward Malatesta S.J., once told my novitiate class years ago, 'Spirit precedes Law.' And such 'precedents' are usually messy with human frailty and miscalculation and must be tested for the fruits of the spirit. Speaking for myself only, and I don't wish to privilege my own intuitions over others, every time I contemplate this new phenomenon I feel a deep sense of interior peace. It just feels 'right' to me, however difficult it may be at present to justify or explain theologically. I also think it's greatest significance is that it has broken through the psychological barriers. We now see women priests on the altar who insist on their connection with the Roman tradition and it just seems so perfectly ordinary and unsurprising.

And today, I'll add these short reflections:

I found their liturgies (they are linked on their website and You Tube) to be deeply moving and quite biblical in their language, substituting "Wisdom Sophia hear our prayer" for "Lord Hear Us". At the moment of Consecration, the entire congregation recites the words, "This is my body..." emphasizing the common priesthood of all and signifying that the women at the altar do not consider themselves imbued with a sacred power denied to the rest of the congregation. One cannot miss the sense of radiant joy and peace that flows through this community during their celebrations.


Michael J. Bayly said...

Hi Jayden,

Thanks for leaving your thoughtful comment on the PCV, and reprinting it here with additional reflections.

I want to alert you to a comment left by "Liam" here on the Wild Reed which contains this link. I think you'll find both of interest and perhaps may wish to write about them.