Friday, September 16, 2005

Friday, September 16, 2005

Women supporting Jesus and the Twelve (Luke 8:3) reminds me of wives and girlfriends supporting their men through graduate and professional school. All of Jesus’ difficulties with his followers seem to have been with men. Even when the mother of Zebedee’s sons asked Jesus about places for them at his side, it seems to have been at James and John’s urging, since Jesus answered, and the ten were indignant with, the two brothers, and not their mother.

The Church has treated women as a “help meet” for men. Perhaps in this millennium she will teach that male and female are created in God’s image, and that women, too, are other Christs.

4. Although the teaching that priestly ordination is to be reserved to men alone has been preserved by the constant and universal Tradition of the Church and firmly taught by the Magisterium in its more recent documents, at the present time in some places it is nonetheless considered still open to debate, or the Church’s judgment that women are not to be admitted to ordination is considered to have a merely disciplinary force.

Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsover to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.
—Pope John Paul II, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, May 22, the Solemnity of Pentecost, 1994

Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
—Matthew 18:18 (cf. Matthew 16:19)

The Church is faithful in not ordaining women, and the Church will be faithful in ordaining women.

There are no priests in Heaven, or perhaps just one.

See also Last and First Supper.


Went to J&S’s after work for a dinner to celebrate A’s 6th birthday. S’s mother E and her second husband, LF, were there. I have known E for 35 years; we met LF for the first time (J's parents P and N arrive tomorrow, when the parents and grandparents will go to dinner while O babysits). Had a long chat with LF, who, though a Jew, graduated from St. Peter’s, a Jesuit college in New Jersey, just before the start of World War II. He had good things to say about science at St. Peter’s but about nothing else there. After graduating he was twice quickly hired—and then not hired when the employers found out he was a Jew. He was then hired as a “Lutheran” and was shocked at the anti-Semitic talk of his colleagues (there had been none at St. Peter’s). The war gave him a chance to go to dental school at government expense, since the armed forces were in need of medics and such. The war ended before he finished his dental education, so he took up to five jobs while completing his studies at Temple (never a Jewish institution, Temple was founded by a Baptist and was completely nonreligious by LF’s time). He told of a little-known draft of doctors during the Korean Conflict: sign up or be drafted as a private. So he entered as a First Lieutenant in the Air Force, but ended up working for the Army at the Presidio Hospital in San Franciso. L was attracted to Redwood City, but at the insistance of his parents he returned to New Jersey to go into private practice. He and E now live on Marco Island in Florida. They have been in the Catskills for a month to escape the Florida heat. I was surprised to hear that they had stayed in a resort called Friar Tuck, where E said they were they only Jews there (“all Italians and Poles”); the great Jewish resorts are apparently all gone (I interrupted to mention to L and E our recent “sighting”—O was afraid even to go up the driveway—at the Hotel Adler in Sharon Springs). On Marco Island, L drives a Cadillac, E a Chrysler. In the Catskills they rented a Toyota; lifelong buyers of their respective brands, they both say their next cars will be Toyotas. L is a big fan of biographies, recommended Denis Brian’s life of Einstein and is now reading Ben Franklin by Walter Isaacson.

+ +

When nuns gave up habits for bought clothes, they gave up a great opportunity to contribute to the culture of the new age. Even now, young nuns might think about how religious should dress in our time. Nuns should be seen as belonging to an order. The notion of every nun her own wardrobe is unsatisfactory.

What punishment would Dante have conceived for publishers of heavy textbooks and teachers and school administrators who daily observe and allow schoolchildren to carry backpacks that injure their shoulders and backs? Every year one sees warnings, and every year the backpacks get heavier. If schools were serious about preventing injury there would be scales at the exits for children to weigh their backpacks. If the backpack weighs more than 10% of the child’s weight it would be lightened. If this happens to many of the children, the teachers and administrators would meet to determine ways to lighten the load. Otherwise, their insouciance is a sin.

The difference between God’s tugging at Moses’s collar and my floundering for meaning. There is not doubt that God plays favorites and that I am not one of his favorites. When I die he will ask me why didn’t I see and show me the myriad ways I should have known. I will answer, I wanted you to tell me: I desired to hear your voice.

If I were to record my sins in this blog, I would stop writing for shame. If I read my blog as others might read it, I would stop writing for embarrassment.

Don’t dote about questions and strifes of words; fight to lay hold on eternal life; attempt truth.

A painter puts white and black on his palette.

When I was asked to make this address I wondered what I had to say to you boys who are graduating. And I think I have one thing to say. If you wish to be useful, never take a course that will silence you. Refuse to learn anything that implies collusion, whether it be a clerkship or a curacy, a legal fee or a post in a university. Retain the power of speech no matter what other power you may lose. If you can take this course, and in so far as you take it, you will bless this country. In so far as you depart from this course you become dampers, mutes, and hooded executioners.

As a practical matter a mere failure to speak out upon occasions where no opinion is asked or expected of you, and when the utterance of uncalled-for suspicion is odious, will often hold you to a concurrence in palpable iniquity. Try to raise a voice that will be heard from here to Albany and watch what comes forward to shut off the sound. It is not a German sergeant, nor a Russian officer of the precinct. It is a note from a friend of your father's offering you a place in his office. This is your warning from the secret police. Why, if any of you young gentleman have a mind to make himself heard a mile off, you must make a bonfire of your reputations and a close enemy of most men who would wish you well.

I have seen ten years of young men who rush out into the world with their messages, and when they find how deaf the world is, they think they must save their strength and wait. They believe that after a while they will be able to get up on some little eminence from which they can make themselves heard. “In a few years,” reasons one of them, “I shall have gained a standing, and then I will use my powers for good.” Next year comes and with it a strange discovery. The man has lost his horizon of thought. His ambition has evaporated; he has nothing to say. I give you this one rule of conduct. Do what you will, but speak out always. Be shunned, be hated, be ridiculed, be scared, be in doubt, but don't be gagged. The time of trial is always. Now is the appointed time.

—John Jay Chapman, “Commencement address to the graduating class of Hobart College, 1900” These words are often quoted; I don’t know if anything came before or after.

Whatever life itself is, that thing must be replenished in us. The opposite of hate is love, the opposite of cold is heat; what we need is the love of God and reverence for human nature. For one moment I knew that I had seen our true need; and I was afraid that I should forget it and that I should go about framing arguments and agitations and starting schemes of education, when the need was deeper than education.
—Chapman, “Coatesville”

What I lack most is love.


Post a Comment

<< Home