Wednesday, October 18, 2006

secret authority?

i finally talked to someone in my class the other night (i'm shy and when i'm cranky -as i often am in that class - i don't feel much like talking, anyway). i got there a few minutes before class started to look over the style manual before the midterm; one woman was already in there. we ruefully admitted to each other the humble pie we'd been forced to eat because of the class. she asked me what i did. i gave her the quick schpiel, theology and art, yadda yadda yadda. to my surprise, she nodded in recognition and said that she also studied theology, in fact, she had studied to be a roman catholic priest for a while.

now you're wondering, isn't it only men that can be catholic priests? that's what i wondered too. at that point some other woman had arrived and they carried on the conversation. turns out she's part of some group that is working towards the ordination of women as priests in the catholic church. apparently she just got elected president or this group. and some women actually have been ordained. only it's all in secret because any person involved gets excommunicated. i don't really understand how they serve then, if this is all done in secret. she mentioned that she went to a home church, so in that setting it would be allowed. today i found a story NPR did about this movement. it's a pretty hot topic.

and i thought some of my friends had encountered resistance in their own denominations as they pursued a vocation of ministry. the woman breezily (with an steely undertone in her voice) described their goal to "just change one word in the canon." from "any baptized male can become a priest" to "any baptized person can become a priest." yeah, good luck with getting the church to changing the CANON. dang. and apparently her subcommittee was named the "ministry of irritation" (the monty python sketch jokes immediately leap to mind) that actively was speaking out to demand church reform.

don't really know what i think of all this. there's this big wide world out there.

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