Sunday, March 16, 2008

So...that's what it's all about!

The Parish Priest, advertising for "homestay" volunteers for World Youth day, mentioned this little tid-bit in the Catholic Weekly. The director of the Sydney archdiocese’s Liturgy Office, one Father Tim Deeter, has made plain Rome's and - a fortiori - our Cardinal's view of the creeping infection of "political correctness" in the administering of sacraments with the Roman Catholic Church in this country. Most particularly in Baptism it appears.

Fr. Tim decried the use of words in baptism that replace masculine terms such as "Father" and "Son", stating that words other than these are "not valid". Fr. Tim prefaced his remarks with the following from the Catholic Catechism:

The ordained priesthood guarantees that it really is Christ Who acts in the sacraments through the Holy Spirit for the Church. The saving mission entrusted by the Father to His incarnate Son was committed to the apostles and through them to their successors: they receive the Spirit of Jesus to act in His Name and in His Person.

I am therefore, right. Furthermore, I am male and am thus extra-right.

Words such as "Creator" and "Redeemer", apparently being used in some sacraments, will render the child un-baptised and forced to undergo the sacrament properly and with suitable male lingo. Further, were you baptised with such language, any other sacrament (Holy Communion, reconciliation, etc) are too invalidated for you are the un-baptised.

It's not about the meaning of these sacraments, it's about the right gender forms. In an all-male church this is of significance. In the end Fr Tim is correct in that changing the wording of a ritual alters that ritual. And, I am as much adverse to "political crrectness" as the next bloke. It's just the ultra-sensitivity to gender that intrigues. That Christ's church has become so hide-bound to ritual and forms would, in my opinion, appall him as did the Jewish hierarchy of his day.

Much of this began because of the patriarchal society in which this religion was formed. The Judaic tradition is utterly male and the early Christian tradition followed suit. There is only one acceptable form of clergy in these religions ( as with Islam) and that is male.

I wonder, each time I hear the calls to register and pay for WYD, just what Jesus would make of his church. What he would make of the pomp, the courtly attire of power and the strict power structure that accrues to the top.

There seems a gradual loss of the original plot.


Blogger Caz said...

OK, my comment on the previous thread only took about 15 minutes, and 15 or 18 shots at the word verification.

Nothing wrong with my literacy or typing either, I'm neither tired nor emotional.

This one didn't take after 10 or so goes.

Let's give it another whirl here, shall we?

16/3/08 7:56 PM  
Blogger Caz said...

Ah, great, that was only a dozen tries.

You'll forgive me if I become silent. Don't really have the time to be typing in random letters for entire years of my life ... friggin' Blogger!!

16/3/08 7:58 PM  
Blogger Father Park said...

Keep trying girl! Try clearing your "stored cookies" thingo in internet options. Works for me when blogger does that.

16/3/08 8:08 PM  
Blogger Caz said...

Only cleaned out cookies last night.

Cookie free territory here.


16/3/08 8:47 PM  
Blogger Kathy Farrelly said...

Ultimately, though, we women hold the power.
We are the ones that gave you guys life..
And you'd better not forget it eh?
( Expecting nice big box of quality choccies come Easter Sunday!)

16/3/08 8:53 PM  
Anonymous jo said...

Kath's right you know. It's women who gave us guys life.

It follows that Adam's life was created by a woman, his mother and not his father commonly known as God.

God is therefore a women.

I've started believing this about the same time I reached puberty.

I have since had no desire to change my mind.

God is women and death is a lady.

16/3/08 9:04 PM  
Anonymous Jacob said...

"I am as much adverse to 'political correctness' as the next bloke."

Don't you mean "as the next person"?

Er, hang on... um...

Mike, I'm not sure I quite understand what either you or Father Tim are saying here.

Seems to me that the 'Creator' and 'Redeemer' labels are terribly 'functionalist', thus depriving the Big Guy and His Son of 'context'.

The context being that the Son demonstrably referred to the Creator as His "Father".

Bottom Line: They're all blokes. And it couldn't have happened any other way in the historical 'context' in which Judaeo-Christianity emerged.

The context being that Yahweh was conceived or constructed very much in a keep'em-bare-foot-and-pregnant patriarchal anti-women setting.

Eve tempted Adam, therefore women are unfit for decision-making capacity, etc. etc. etc. That sort of thing.

Then, whoah... a Son of God prevented Mary Magdalene from being stoned to death.

Weird, eh?

16/3/08 11:57 PM  
Anonymous Jacob said...

Almost forgot to mention, yesterday my brother's wife was telling us about a young woman they'd met who was unhappy about the intrusion of religion into public festivals such as Easter.

Makes you wonder just what she reckons Easter's all about. Rabbits?

And no problem, apparently, with the intrusion of commercialism (e.g., choccie manufacturers) into the great secular Festival of the Bunny. What's Easter without choccie eggs?

Hey Caz, are you still having trouble posting comments?

17/3/08 10:18 AM  
Anonymous Dylan said...

"Makes you wonder just what she reckons Easter's all about. Rabbits?"

Couldn't read this without adding that the French have a rather more sensible Easter symbol. No rabbits wandering about the place distributing eggs - we've got the hens to do that! :)

While the chocolate rabbits are about the place in the shops, the symbol of Easter (and most of the chocolate figures) are hens. Makes a little more sense than rabbits, I suppose, though the 'Easter Chicken' doesn't quite have the same ring to it as 'Easter Bunny'.

17/3/08 5:48 PM  
Blogger Caz said...

Easter chooks is waaayyy logical, unlike the whole bunny thing.

In addition, the rabbit is an introduced and rampantly feral, destructive species on Australian shores, so it's somewhat offensive that the little beast should be subject of a PR-con job every year.

17/3/08 8:32 PM  
Blogger Caz said...

That woman must get really pissed-off about baby Jesus trying to gate-crash Santa's party.

17/3/08 8:34 PM  
Blogger Caz said...

This one is just a test ...

17/3/08 8:35 PM  
Blogger Caz said...

OMG - I'VE WORKED IT OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I tend to automatically hit the space bar when I finish typing in "word verification" ...

Guess fucking what??!!

Blogger reads the space at the end as a MISTAKE!!!

Bloody hell !!!!!!!!!!!!

17/3/08 8:36 PM  
Blogger Caz said...



17/3/08 8:37 PM  
Blogger Father Park said...

And......I intended none of the above.

But that's just me....

17/3/08 11:39 PM  
Anonymous Dylan said...

OT but the Liberal Party's re-design of its website is a HUGE improvement. Having spent much of the last week reflecting on the wonderful 'Kevin07' site (as well as its complete lack of influence on youth voting intentions) I was happily surprised to see that Brendon Nelson has whipped the IT Dept into line and come up with a pretty reasonable site. Link

Back on topic (sort of)...

Just before our wedding it was explained to us that it was the only sacrament of the Catholic Church that did not involve the celebrant. Apparantly the sacrament of marriage is between the couple and the bloke upstairs.

I wonder, then, how people who write their own vows which choose the wrong word (Creator over Father, for example) go here. Are they really married? Will the Big Fella forgive them for accidentally using the feminine descriptor instead of the masculine because their French gets a little confused after a couple of pre-wedding beers?

As for:

I am therefore, right. Furthermore, I am male and am thus extra-right.

...I couldn't help but think of a scene from The Simpsons:

Lisa: It's awful being a kid. No one listens to you.

Grampa: It's rotten being old. No one listens to you.

Homer: I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me - no matter how dumb my suggestions are.

18/3/08 3:01 AM  
Blogger Father Park said...

Yes, yes, I know the Son of man referred to his Father. As I said, the changing of the wording alters the ritual and all.

It's just the power thingy that resonates. The "ordained priesthood" which must always, of course, be male etc.

Christ spent much of his time in "public life" - near all of it - tilting at the rigidity of the Jewish hierachy and its penchant for nitpicking about the "law". The organised, anal nature of Sanhedrin and the Pharisess and their pedantic, power driven nature tasked him greatly.

That he tilted so just create an even more hierachical church were power devolves down to a male elite beggars belief.

Good Catholics - like me - attend mass each Sunday. Why? Because a religion needs ritual to exist. To have ritual one must have an empowered caste: Prists. We do this because those that wish us bonded to the Church are obeying Jesus' suggestion "do this in memory of me". They couple this with "keep holy the sabbath" and read it as "do this in memory of me each and every seventh day or you are grievously sinning".

Lawyers at their best...

18/3/08 12:43 PM  
Blogger Father Park said...

What on earth is a "Prist"?

18/3/08 12:45 PM  
Anonymous Jacob said...

Back when I was 'in' the Church, people who died never having been baptised were said to go to a place called Limbo (maybe somewhere off Lygon Street).

I seem to recall the Church may have changed its position on this point, and moreover that Limbo was actually a construct created by the Church for their own, I guess, administrative purposes.

So where do the unbaptised go these days? As you say, if someone's status hangs on the form of words, then this could be a rather important question.

And yes, what a pity the ministry of Jesus was bequeathed to an arcane bureaucracy populated by power-hungry zealots.

JC had no such bureaucracy, but he did have a Treasurer of sorts. And look how well that turned out.

A prist? Perhaps some prick who enters the priesthood only to become a bureaucrat?

18/3/08 2:31 PM  
Blogger Caz said...

I thought you may have thrown in some art commentary, just for fun: "prist" potentially being an abbreviation for Piss Christ.

In truth, my first thought was that it was a noun, specifically to name and capture the essence of Father Park. It seemed entirely obvious, and not at all a mistake.

18/3/08 9:41 PM  
Anonymous Dylan said...


18/3/08 10:45 PM  
Blogger Father Park said...

Yes...that rings true enough. Father Park, a practising prist.

19/3/08 1:12 PM  
Blogger Caz said...

A can of Prist?

The Father has been commercialized?

Holy moly!

19/3/08 9:00 PM  

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