Pastoral Thought

May 12, 2019 

            Hearts and minds are full as our eyes behold one hundred children receiving First Holy Communion...many of them carrying flowers today in the May procession to honor the Mother of God...and seeing on the walls tributes to patron saints by our recently confirmed...and it is Mother’s Day, time for tender remembrance of mothers gone from us, and for honoring those we can embrace and kiss, and thank. Those especially who give their children faith.

            So much to celebrate—and yet within our Catholic Church so much we cannot celebrate. At a time when women are Supreme Court justices, prime ministers, astronauts, professors and CEO’s—within the Catholic Church they do not lead or decide or preach or in any way determine the way the Church shall discern the will of God, chart its divinely appointed path, and reform its failings. All this is done by ordained men who are separated from intimacy with women. It is as if a person should block one ear, cover one eye, and use one arm and leg and claim to be functioning just as capably as the next person.

            What mothers give to children is one measure of what women would give to the Church—if allowed. In past ages, physical necessity put great limitations on women. That necessity is gone, due largely to science and technology. Human nature has changed. Women, both mothers and others, can bring gifts of mind and spirit and soul to human progress and to discipleship. What was different or impossible in past ages is now—I am convinced—God’s will for the Church:  full equal participation of women in its leadership and ministry.

            We need fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters to guide and care for God’s people today and in the years to come. What God does not forbid should not be forbidden by the Church. The Risen Jesus appeared and spoke first to a woman. Mary and the women disciples gathered with the Eleven to receive the Holy Spirit. The Church leadership of today must interpret this reality for today’s needs.

Father John Hynes