An apology for the Catholic Church’s patriarchy

Interesting post over at First Things by Dominic Burbidge:

If it is the case that we reach perfection in our lives by loving others, there does indeed appear to be a dramatic inequality between the two genders that is irreconcilable. Women are able to give birth and, in that process, share in the very being of another for about nine months: physical interdependence, mutual suffering, mutual nourishment. Bearing and giving birth to a child is a deep act of love, attested to by the intimacy of relationship that so often results between mother and child.

This is very unequal indeed. Merely by the fact of their sex men are locked out of this dialogue of love, a dialogue so often scorned by our age and yet so akin to perfect love.

Christ’s Incarnation as a man and his creation of a royal priesthood among men makes present in the second gender the deep capacity for sacrificial love constant in motherhood. We are all called to sacrifice ourselves and we are all called to love, and yet God makes special vocational demands according to our characters and biographies. Our genders also have a certain biography through which God’s plan has unfolded and become known. Just as some men are called to the priesthood and others not, so too are some women called to motherhood and others not. In both genders, God demands a special example of sacrificial self-giving that provides definition and depth to the capacity of all to love.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to An apology for the Catholic Church’s patriarchy

  1. Rev22:17 says:

    Deborah,

    From your quotation: Christ’s Incarnation as a man and his creation of a royal priesthood among men makes present in the second gender the deep capacity for sacrificial love constant in motherhood.

    Argh! The problem here is that, in so far as baptism incorporates us to the three offices of our Lord — that of priest, that of prophet, and that of king — it must do so for both genders. Anything less, and we have two baptisms — one conferred on males and the other conferred on females.

    This is, of course, without prejudice to the distinction between the “priesthood of believers” and the “ministerial priesthood” as articulated by the Second Vatican Council.

    Norm.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s