If I were younger, the issue of women priests would be the issue causing me to walk out the door of the Catholic Church (”The day of Catholic women priests is coming,” Oct. 27). I am sure I would find a happy home in the Anglican or Lutheran churches. The degradation of women by my church is so very offensive not only to women but to the men who love and respect them.
The claim that women cannot be ordained because Jesus selected only men to be the first apostles is so very irrelevant. We are told that Jesus began his public life when he was 30 years old. Prior to that, Jesus was a carpenter. Should all priests have a background in the manual arts? Jesus did not wear a Roman collar or wear expensive majestic vestments or wear a miter or episcopal ring. Jesus did not live in a rectory or palace. Jesus instructed his apostles to live simply. In the time of Jesus, the earth was thought to be flat. Disease was a fact of life as the miracles of modern medicine had not been discovered (”Women should be ordained as priests,” April 11).
This mindset that denigrates women is pathetic and disgusting. I’ve worked alongside women. I’ve supervised women, and I’ve been supervised by women, and I’m still here and better off. We were told that women were too delicate to perform the work of men. We were told the brains of Black people were too undeveloped to perform work requiring intellectual acuity. We were told a lot of lies, and many people believed them. We are in the third decade of the 21st century and it’s time to get real about the challenges of today’s world. We need the gifts that women bring to confront these challenges.
It appears that this issue has been placed on the back burner as usual. So what can be done? I believe that this issue needs to be put front and center in every parish and diocese. We have seen how successful the survivors of clerical sex abuse been in organizing against a very entrenched opposition in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. We have seen how poorly these Catholics have been treated. The Archbishop William E. Lori public relations machine was working overtime. Proponents of ordination for women can expect the same pushback.
How many decades or centuries should we wait? I believe the time is now. It could start with a financial protest. One week per month could be designated as the day to withhold contributions. If there is no response more weeks per month could be added. I hope that men and women will rise to the challenge. We have been told that we are all children of God. We need to prove that we really believe that statement. The torch has been passed to a younger generation who will lead the crusade that will give women the respect and decency they deserve.
— Edward McCarey McDonnell, Baltimore
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