Note: Click on this link to see the Criterion Article about St. Rose's 150th Anniversary!

 

                                
The Pastor’s Corner
                                    Epiphany
                              January 6, 2019 
        



2018-2019

A Year of Prayer, Discernment, & Planning


“Continuing the Mission of Jesus 

By Walking the Way of Jesus

Listening to The Lord, Sharing the Gospel Message, 
And Walking Our Talk
Inviting, Welcoming, and Serving God and All Creation!

 

“Making the Connections” – “Should Catholic Women Be Ordained As Priests?” 

Dear Folks,

 This is a difficult question to address because of intense feelings by people on both sides of the question.  This is a complicated issue with a host of concerns that need to be addressed.  Today, I would simply like to lay out or frame some of these concerns and questions with the hope that this will help your personal reflection.

Some of the critical questions


Should women ever be welcomed into the priesthood (and therefore as bishops, and as Pope)?

If so, on what theological or pastoral basis does one make this change?

When would be a pastorally sensitive time to make this change?

How would you go about such a change in a pastorally sensitive manner?

What are the ramifications of making a change?  What are the ramifications of not making a change?

What are the effects for not only women but for all the people of God? – positive and negative

 

A few observations

        The church probably does have the authority to make this change if it desires to make such a change.

        We will not settle this question by pretending to have full knowledge of what Jesus intended.  No one knows fully the mind of God.

The basis of a true discussion is “How would the ordination of women fulfill the Gospel mission?”

        The arguments against ordaining women seem to be based more on past practice rather than on Gospel theology.  At one time or another I’ve heard each of the following.  There’s little if any precedent.  We’ve never done this before.  Jesus didn’t choose women.  Women don’t look like Jesus.  Ordaining women will destroy Church unity.  Truth isn’t a popularity contest.

        There does seem to be some theological reasons for ordaining women.  Namely, the inclusiveness of Jesus and the Gospel message.  Jesus consistently broke through the cultural barriers that separated people.  In Luke 4,18 in his first public sermon, Jesus quoted the passage from Isaiah “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, 19 and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.”

        What has been the pastoral experience of our Protestant sisters and brothers?  Over the last half century, we have seen women become accepted and integrated into the pastoral ministry of nearly every Protestant denomination.  For them the practice of ordaining women as ministers and priests appears to be a universal blessing.  This is true for our Episcopal (Anglican) brothers and sisters for whom there is no significant theological difference in their creed and beliefs with our own.

        Like our Protestant sisters and brothers, there might be some hidden blessing for us in ordaining women.  This would help alleviate the loss of vocations.  We would be able to maintain a Catholic presence in the many small urban and rural parishes that are threatened with closure.  The existence of women priests (along with married priests) could alleviate some of the deleterious effects of an all-male celibate priesthood that has come under fire as a corrupt old boy network.  We certainly need to build in some checks and balances to the patriarchal and hierarchical structure of the church.  The lack of transparency and accountability created the scandalous cover up of sexual abuse within the church.  Far beyond mitigating the negatives, a female and male priesthood might be fertile ground for growth in our theological understanding of what it means to be human – to be a child of God.

With these thoughts in mind, I would like to say something about the evolving nature of our understanding of God, the Gospel message, and of what it means to be human (a child of God).

        When we look at the history of the Judaic-Christian tradition.  We see a slow but inevitable process of an evolving understanding of faith, theology, and morality.  Once, might made right.  Then an eye for an eye put a limit on revenge and retribution.  Then the 10 commandments called for a higher level of justice.  And in Jesus we see an infinitely higher raising of the bar of morality with “love your enemies”, “go the extra mile”, and “do good to those who harm you”.  (The church is against slavery.  Yet there was a time when the church tolerated and at times even benefited from the existence of slavery.)

        When we look at creation through the eyes of modern science, we become increasingly aware of the continually evolving nature of the universe.  God is infinitely creative and diverse. 

        We’ve heard the full story of the 7-day week of creation.  We seem to assume that we’re in the 7th day of creation.  The scientific evidence would suggest, that from God’s point of view, we might still be in the first days of creation.  It is certainly clear that God isn’t finished with us yet.  In Matthew 5,48, Jesus says So be perfect,* just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

        I will close my reflections with a reference back to Pope Francis who has invited the church to dialogue about the possibility of ordaining women as deacons.  This is a part of our historic past.  Just as ordaining married men as deacons is teaching us a great deal about shared ordained ministry, the acceptance of married Episcopalian priests into the church is teaching us much about both marriage and celibate priesthood.  I think that there is a great deal that we can learn from both the dialogue about and the potential ordination of women as deacons.  Faith, not fear; patience, not flying off the handle; dialogue, not monologue; listening, not shouting; humility, not pride, these and many more virtues mark the road to a true discernment of God’s will for us.  In God’s time, not our time, questions such as the ordination of women will be resolved.

Fr. Steve

 

Going On 

Many Thanks To All For A Great Christmas Celebration This Year!

To Our Lectors, Eucharistic Ministers, Greeters, Servers, Choir, Cantors, Musicians, and Decorators

May God Bless You!

A Personal Thank You For Your Generosity To Reba & Myself!



Progress Report On Donations For the Eucharistic Prayer Chapel Window

$2,740 - Total Needed - $10,000

The quality of the glass and the artistic craftsmanship will be the equivalent of regular stained-glass windows.  There are very few craftspeople that can do this work.

Consider supporting this project to provide a special place for prayer and the reserved Eucharist.

  

Mass Schedule This Week:  I will be at a conference this week sponsored by the Office of Catholic Schools – “Framing A Catholic Response – Sexual Identity Conference”.  It is two full days on Wednesday and Thursday.  There will be mass on “Tuesday at 6:30 pm and Friday at 8:30 am but none on Wed & Thurs.

 

“Stewardship is a spiritual way of life that defines who we are in relationship to God
And everyone and everything we ever encounter”.
                Stewardship -  January 6, 2019 - Epiphany

Many Thanks For Your Generosity This Year!

                           “Our inherited Catholic Legacy is what our Catholic forebears have done for us.  Our stewardship is the means by which we will hand on our Catholic Legacy To those who will follow after us.”

 

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Fr. Steve Schaftlein,
May 26, 2017, 6:02 AM
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Fr. Steve Schaftlein,
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Fr. Steve Schaftlein,
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Laudato si_ A Map _ America Magazine.html
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Fr. Steve Schaftlein,
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Fr. Steve Schaftlein,
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Fr. Steve Schaftlein,
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Fr. Steve Schaftlein,
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Fr. Steve Schaftlein,
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