From our readers – November 24, 2016

| November 22, 2016 | 46 Comments

A Christian agenda

When I read James Guldan’s letter in the Nov. 10 issue (“Immigration rhetoric”), I wondered if we had attended the same presentation made by Archbishop Tobin in which the archbishop spoke about refugees. At no time did I hear him talking about open borders. His emphasis was on Catholic social teaching that is based on Scripture. As noted in Leviticus, “The alien among you, you shall love as yourself,” which is re-echoed by Jesus who emphasized the second commandment, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Jesus, with his parents, was a refugee in Egypt. Archbishop Tobin reiterated the message of Pope Francis of welcoming refugees not because of a political agenda but a Christian one. I left the archbishop’s talk re-energized to be more involved in the problems of our conflicted country and world, many of which are addressed in Catholic social teaching, realizing that being a Catholic is more than saying my prayers and going to Mass on Sunday.

Mariah Snyder
Lumen Christi, St. Paul

Rethinking women priests

Last week, in Germany, Pope Francis reiterated the old argument that, since Christ had only men as Apostles, women are forever banned from the priesthood (“Pope: Women’s ordination not likely,” Nov. 10). He buttressed this assertion by quoting St. John Paul II.

So, let’s parse these two things, here in the 21st century: First of all, Christ and his apostles were products of their culture. It would have been unthinkable and extremely dangerous for women to go abroad preaching the Gospel in those days, on foot or on horseback. Just not feasible. We do not travel much on foot or on horseback today. We do it largely on Facebook and Twitter, by plane or automobile.

Second, the fact that Pope John Paul, not one of my personal favorites and one whose canonization was pushed through in unseemly haste, made an outrageous and blatantly sexist statement only proves that even saints have made mistakes in their lives. Mother Teresa once claimed that there cannot be too many people, asking “How can there be too many flowers?” A rather naïve and unrealistic world view, most would agree.

In the same issue of The Catholic Spirit in which Francis was quoted, there was an article about how men are made to look like buffoons in so many TV shows and movies, which portray women as the strong and logical ones (“The trouble with the ‘You Go Girl’ culture”). Do we want to look at the guy who just won the presidency? Women run Catholic hospitals, schools and several corporations in our country and around the world, and yet they are not capable of being priests? Our hierarchy need to get over themselves and realize that women are needed in great numbers in the priesthood to give it balance, wisdom, compassion and insight into family life, just for starters. It is beyond regrettable that so much talent is being tossed aside and ignored in the name of male pride, jealousy and fear.

Carol Larsen
St. Stephen, Anoka

Editor’s note: Scripture and Catholic tradition has held that priesthood is reserved for men. Pope St. John Paul II stated in his May 1994 letter “Ordinatio Sacerdotalis” (“Priestly Ordination”): “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, I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.”

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