Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Addendum: another reason for a theology of women

I was going to post this as an update to the post below this one, about why we need a theology of women in the Church.  But I think this needs its own post: a priest in Phoenix has decided to reinstate the ancient liturgical custom of men and women sitting on different sides of the church during Mass.  Here’s why, from Father’s list:

1) Men can identify with St. Joseph and try to be holy like him.
2) I contend that it is good so that we men are not distracted by the women around them and are not sexually tempted by their sexy clothing in church. (You have no idea how many times men confess sexaul temptations in church by how the women are dressed).One friend of me told me he no longer went to church because he was always distracted by the women in front of him, especially their beautify hair.
3) Boys can identify with their dads and learn how to be a man who prays.
4) Women can identify with Our Lady and be holy like she is.
5) It helps women to be themselves and to not have to show off to get men’s attention. They can pray in peace.
6) Girls can identify with their mothers and how women pray.

Why do we need a theology of women in the Church? Because when a priest who serves a traditional Catholic community, celebrates the Extraordinary Form Mass, and writes blog posts which include charming lines like this: "Thank God Padre Pio died in 1968 before the real immodest dressing took place. Immodest feminist women would chase Padre Pio out of church today...” also seems to think that a big problem at his own Masses (Latin Masses!  E.F. Masses!) are all those immodestly dressed sexy female temptresses with their “beautify" (sic) hair showing off to get men’s attention instead of praying such that putting men on one side of the church and women on the other is a really good idea--well, clearly something should be articulated along the lines that such deep suspicion of the motives of women who are coming to E.F. Masses (often with nursing infants and toddlers in tow) is really not actually Catholic thinking at all.


Gerard Plourde said...

It seems to me that Father needs our prayers. The things about which he complains seem to indicate some unresolved difficulty in his own life.

Elizabeth said...

Stunningly weird. Except that it is not.

Once again women are to blame for what happens in the minds of men.

Erin, are you aware that in 1919, when debates raged over women's attire (hem lines were up and thin fabrics were being used to make women's blouses) a moral argument was made in favor of such change? It went like this: ..."scant clothing left less to men's imaginations an prevented them from doing anything silly to satisfy their curiosity." (The Year Our World Began 1919 by William Klinaman, p. xx of the prologue.)


Shadowfax said...

I really want to see a picture of all those immodestly-attired women who attend his EF masses.

The idea that sitting on the same side of the Church as a statue of Our Lady is going to make women be more holy is rather astonishing (same for the guys and the St. Joseph statue).

And I really hope that this means the men actually have to deal with ALL the male children during mass, and not, as I rather suspect, that the men sit on the quiet side with the older boys while the moms are stuck on the noisy, boisterous side trying to deal with their young babies and toddlers of both sexes by themselves (and given that it is an EF Church, there are probably a good number of large young families).

Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't ancient tradition also that you didn't bring young babies and toddlers to Mass at all? And mothers often ended up at home Sunday morning? So perhaps it would be more accurate if the "Our Lady" side of the Church pretty much emptied out altogether, if he really wants to follow ancient traditions.