The Feminization of the Church?

The Feminization of the Church?

The Feminization of the Church?

The Feminization of the Church?

Synopsis

Explores the extent and nature of changing roles in the Church. How has feminization impacted language, ethics, ministry, and leadership? Is the Church responding to the involvement of women? Timely, balanced, and fair.

Excerpt

Joan Chittister, O.S.B.

The French philosopher Blaise Pascal wrote three centuries ago what may well be the real effect of a book like this. He said, "It is true that force rules the world, but opinion looses force." It is an ominous insight. It rings with a clamorous truth. When the credibility of an institution is eroded, the power of the institution disintegrates. Only the skeleton of force remains. Only the ability to restrict continues to operate in that system. Its ability to energize, people discover one morning, has been long gone. Then the signs of such change appear everywhere. Public criticism begins. Internal dissension erupts. The institution dies from the inside out.

At the same time, such places seldom disappear. They may stay in place, ghosts of their former selves, sites of some kind of private and pious consolation, perhaps, but for all practical purposes stripped of effect in the public arena, They simply lose their power to influence.

But if that is true, and social history is rife with the bones of once-vibrant systems now defunct -- monarchies leveled, economic systems felled, religions reduced to the level of quaint custom -- then at this very moment there are termites in the foundation of the Roman Catholic Church. Where more and more women are concerned, the church has lost its claim to moral purity. And they are saying so. Some stay . . .

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