Recent weeks have brought several perspectives on women’s roles in the Catholic Church — a commentary (“The sisterhood, still marginalized,” Nov. 6), and a responding letter to the editor (“Avoid gendered God-talk,” Nov. 13). I would like to add a third woman’s opinion on this subject, focusing on two points the letter brought up.
First, let us deal with the “HeHimHis God-talk the Vatican forces … all Catholics to use in liturgies.” The letter writer wrote “that Father and Son are not facts.”
I should like to know how she figures that. The Bible gives us numerous examples of the Father and the Son. Jesus often spoke of His Father in Heaven. A few examples: “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be Thy name” (Luke 11:2); “and thy Father who seeth in secret will repay thee” (Matthew 6:4); “My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me” (Matthew 26:39); “did you not know, that I must be about my Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49). And Jesus was referred to as Son. Again, a couple of examples: “thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus” (Luke 1:31); and “a voice from Heaven saying, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’ ” (Matthew 3:17).
According to the gospels then, Jesus, the Son of God, referred to God as Father. And the Father referred to Jesus as Son. Being the writers of the gospels were there, and I was not, I take their word for it, and view it as pretty decent fact.
Secondly, the letter writer claims that “never praying to Her … insidiously conditions people to accept male as dominant, female as subordinate.” The Catholic Church gives all members a “her” to pray to — Mary, the mother of God. Mary, the one person Jesus was subject to.
Once again, the Bible furnishes us with a lovely example. Read of the wedding at Cana — the woman won. Time and time again, the Catholic Church has recognized Mary as an incredibly powerful individual. For Catholic women out there, I urge you to read what the church has taught on Mary. St. Alphonsus Liguori wrote an entire book dedicated to Mary, our most powerful advocate. What a place of honor, and God reserved it for a woman.
The Catholic Church recognizes the differences between men and women because there are differences. God made it that way. He made man and woman to complement one another. Personally, I would find reason to take offense if the church didn’t recognize us with a “theology of women” and talk of “women’s role.” Why do we take this as a bad or demeaning thing? To me, it proves that the Catholic Church realizes women are special. Different from men, yes, but just as worthy of note.
The simple fact that we are not allowed to be ordained priests takes nothing away from the roles God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost intend for women to play in this world and in the Catholic Church.
Brittany R.V. Huebl lives in Jordan.