The Southern Baptists have been ousting all their female pastors. It’s been a long-standing policy in the Southern Baptist Church, which is the largest protestant denomination in the US, that women cannot be leaders, but some churches, including a few powerful and prominent ones, have bucked the teaching. But this year, presumably in response to recent culture wars over gender and gender roles, there has been a crackdown, and the organization voted to expel some churches that hadn’t been following these guidelines.
I haven’t been following this news closely. I don’t think I know any Southern Baptists, except on Twitter and such. But I have been hearing snippets of their genuine struggle, and it’s gut-wrenching to hear people make arguments that boil down to: God says women cannot teach men, and God says women cannot be in authority over men, and God says women need to understand their place.
I thought to myself, “These poor women. They should get the heck out of that church and come be with us Catholics.”
And then I realized, “Oh, that’s what most people think Catholics are like.” They see the all-male priesthood and think that we also teach and believe that women can’t be priests because they need to be subservient to men; that they need to learn from men, and not teach; that they need to cede all power to men; and that all men are born leaders and all women are born followers. They think women can’t be priests because men are more like God than women are…Read the rest of my latest for The Catholic Weekly.
Image: baptism in Järfälla via Pxfuel
This is the connection that we need to hear over and over again: we’re not here, in this world, to get ahead. We’re not here to prove how useful we are, and we’re not here to use other people. We’re not beloved by God because of how useful we are to Him! We’re useless. We’re beloved in our uselessness, because God is too big to fit into a simple equation of cost and benefit, debits and credits, loss and gain. We’re beloved because we exist, and that’s it. And if we want to meet God, we will find Him in service to others who can do nothing for us, because He came here in service to us, who can do nothing for Him.
Read the rest at the Register.
Great question from a reader:
I appreciated your article in Catholic Digest about worthwhile charities
. I was wondering if, in your research, you may have come across any charities that encourage families to get involved? I am desperately looking for an organization that encourages families to come, maybe for a week or two during the summer, to engage in service in a supportive Catholic environment. I used to volunteer with such a group in rural Appalachia (the Passionist Volunteers, but they don’t exist anymore) and I think it would be great for my kids. Any thoughts? Any local groups even that I could try to get my kids involved with? I’ve tried a few things, but nothing has worked out. It is hard to find something where you can take a wide span of ages (my 4 kids are 13, 11, 4 and 2) but I know my family needs to find something where we are doing for others and not just hanging out at home.
Anybody? If you can (and I know it’s not always possible), please leave comments on this post, rather than on Facebook, so that future readers searching for this information can find it! Thanks.
And if you’re looking for someone to give alms to this Lent, do check out that article, which describes 33 wonderful charities, some of which you probably never heard of.