Re “No one had ever done a comprehensive survey of Catholic women. So we did.” by Matt Malone, S.J. (Of Many Things, 1/22): I am so glad that the views of Catholic women are finally being studied! We cannot move forward without understanding where we are. Thank you.
Black Catholics Exist
Re “A Portrait of Black Catholicism,” by C. Vanessa White (1/22): It is so interesting to see some people say that pointing out that black Catholics exist constitutes racism. Perhaps Jesus’ pointing out that poor people exist throughout the Gospel is “class warfare”?
Re “Catholic Women and Natural Family Planning,” by Leah Libresco (1/22): It is worth noting that the majority of women surveyed are not practicing Catholics. Many of the women surveyed identify as Catholic but do not go to Mass more than once a year or really believe in Catholic teaching at all. The fact that only one in five women who had ever been married or were living with a partner said they had practiced N.F.P. is no surprise then, surely.
Not Conservative or Liberal
Re “When Catholic Women Vote, by Megan Sweas (1/22): I struggle with the political realities we face. I do not identify as conservative or liberal but as a Christian in the Catholic faith. I appreciate this quote from the article: “At its heart, Catholic social teaching is not about following rules but about being disciples, Ms. Clark said, quoting Matthew 25—whatever you did for the least of these, you did for Christ.”
Communicating the Faith
Re “Models of Faith,” by Kerry Weber (1/22): This is an outstanding article that brings to mind memories of the many women who influenced me as a man growing up in the Catholic faith. As I grew up, it began to occur to me that some of the women I was taught by and interacted with at my church were far better at communicating the faith and its many nuances than many of the men trying to do the same thing. You bet it is their church every bit as much as it is the church of any cleric, titled or not.
Re “A Catholic Woman Discovers Her Priesthood,” by Nancy Small (1/22): This is a beautiful article. I do not think it is so simple as “the Catholic Church teaches women cannot be ordained,” and I am grateful to read this story, which is more complex than that. I feel blessed to hear the author’s insight about being part of the “priesthood with all women and men baptized into the Catholic community,” especially about her lifelong relationship with God and her ministry.
Beauty and Power
It is funny that this entire article is about the author finding the beauty and power of her lay ministry, but the comments online are full of people talking about how “women are highly regarded in the church, too! This author must not know about the power of the lay priesthood!” Folks: Read the article.
Many years ago, a non-Catholic friend of mine asked me how I could be so devout in a religion that does not allow Mother Teresa to be a priest. I said the answer is simple: No priest could ever be Mother Teresa.
Re “Taking Singleness Seriously,” by Emily Reimer-Barry (1/22): I was a single adult in the church for 25 years. I was pretty much invisible within my parish, and yet I was an active member of the parish. They offered programming for every other demographic; the single people were assumed to take care of themselves.