Male Headship in the Catholic Tradition


  Since we're on the topic of Catholic feminism, I want to take up this post that a friend recently tweeted, from the consistently interesting "Women in Theology" blog: "A Church that Changes". The overall argument of the piece is that male headship (or, rather, male headship as signifying female subjection) in marriage was an uninterrupted, affirmed teaching of the Tradition of the Church up until St John Paul II came along (oh, Paul, what hast thou wrought!); and, therefore, that the Church … [Read more...]

“Feminism” Is Not A Dirty Word For Catholics

Jeanne d'Arc au sacre du roi Charles VII, dans la cathedrale de Reims (1854)

There are some words that have become so loaded that it is very hard to use them to convey meaning. They have become Rorschach Tests--the receiver of the word reads his own fantasized meaning into it. They have become shibboleths--to use them, or reject them, is a sign of political or group affiliation. Using them derails the conversation because they elicit an emotional response. I call them totem-words.Take, in Catholic World, "Vatican II". You can be sure that when someone says "Vatican … [Read more...]

Reflections On The Ascension


I love the Easter liturgical season. For the obvious reasons.But I also love the white robes, signifying celebration. We have 40 days of rejoicing as well as the 40 days of preparation of Lent. And also the readings. John, linked with Acts. It's not just chronological--the stuff in Acts happened right after the Resurrection--it is ontological. The Resurrection is and leads to the life of the Church. The Church happened, quite literally, because of the Resurrection. No Resurrection, no … [Read more...]

A Coda On “Morality As Worship”


A sequel to this.Think of St Maximilian Kolbe. In Auschwitz, he offered to take the place of a man who had been marked to death.Now, there are many ways he could have excused himself from making this decision. Even ways you can criticize his decision. Reasonable ones.After all, he was pastoring to people in the camp. Didn't his people need him? Wasn't there many more people who he could have helped if he'd tried to survive just a bit longer? And what about this man? Wasn't he going … [Read more...]

The Liturgy As The Union Of The Three Transcendentals

As y'all know, I care a lot about the liturgy and why we should care about the liturgy and how we should go about it and how we should think about it.An obvious first way to think about it is through the lens of yesterday's post, Morality as Worship. Is "behaving right" is itself a form of worship and the reason why we should do it is that we are called to worship--that our very nature is to worship God--then it clicks into place: obviously the liturgy is the "source and summit of the … [Read more...]