MEN!!! Pt. 1: (Missing) in Catholic Action - Chivalry!
In case readers of this blog haven't figured it out yet, I'm a Catholic woman. One who simply considers herself a Catholic...but it appears I'm also one whom others consider a "rad Trad" due to my staunchly Catholic approach to very serious subjects.
On the other hand, I've heard from other women, also considered "rad Trad" (aka Tradosaurus Regina!) who get very annoyed with a few of my more light-hearted posts or go into a state of shock upon meeting me and seeing that I wear jewelry (!) and...<gasp>make-up.
Seems we Catholics today are a motley-crew. Sad but true.
The fact is: A person can't please everybody all of the time... and one shouldn't try. To paraphrase Shakespeare: To God and thine own self be true.
That said, I can guarantee this post is going to irritate, annoy, and tick off a lot of men and women who, for reasons unfathomable to me, possess a heretical, Calvinist, legalistic Puritanistic attitude which cunningly pretends to be that of traditional Catholicism. This is especially true in regard to the alleged traditional Catholic view of women and their roles - at least, as explained to us by a number of our contemporary "traditional" Catholic men.
In the interest of fair play...
Isn't it time the Catholic audience heard a traditional Catholic woman chime in on the subject of men? (And I freely admit I plan to have some fun with this.)
A reader of almost all things Catholic, I've gone through phases, so to speak, throughout my adult reading life. Always looking for meat in Catholic papers, I often received pablum. As a result (and as a mature, well-catechized Catholic), I’ve mainly focused on traditional Catholic papers these past seven years. For the most part, I greatly enjoy them. Yet it cannot be denied there is a serious flaw continually displaying itself as an "integral" part of the mindset of most (but not all) traditional male authors.
Say what? you may ask. Please allow me to explain.
In almost every article bewailing the disastrous changes in the Church, I began to notice that the first thing mentioned or listed by a traditional male author will always, consistently, and without fail have something to do with women or girls.
Now, it isn't as though I was looking for that pattern; it's simply one that came to my attention.
And an interesting pattern it is...but what does it mean?
Something about "splinters and beams" comes to mind.
While some trad men authors harp on a woman's role, place and behavior in the great scheme of things, we never read an article in which a traditional man reminds his brothers in Christ of their collective duties toward God, wife, children and society. Seriously - have any of you ever read a carefully researched article on that subject? Or an article that touched on the subject even momentarily?
I wondered why some "trad" men just can't let any opportunity slip by without even the slightest, off-hand remark about women and their "rightful" place. I even discussed it with a few trustworthy "trad" lady friends. As one of them wrote to me:
"The men who are doing right are too dam' busy to write about it, that's why! The 'writers' are generally on a power trip."
Hmmm. Now that's a thought. I can't say I like it, but it's a thought. C'mon, now...are most trad male writers on a power trip? Really? If true, one would also have to consign the majority of all male Catholic writers (be they trad, neo, or whatever label is in vogue at the moment) to the same pitiful little dustbin. On the other hand, one can't deny that modernist male writers who think they are members of the Kool Kathlix Klub are prone to a different kind of arrogance than their trad counterparts.
At any rate, as a traditional Catholic author in my own right, I've often pondered writing an article on this quirky, bizarre attitude of some trad men that seemingly appears to lean-toward-misogynism, especially in regard to Catholic women.
But then what?
Would I place it on the KIC website or submit it to be published in a "paper"? And to whom would I submit it? Would my favorite trad papers take me for a radical feminist posing as a traditionalist woman, due to what I wrote? I think so. Would a few seriously consider what I wrote and change their minds, even a wee bit? I hope so.
So the question remains: Why do most trad male authors who write any kind of list outlining "What's Wrong with The Church" think it their duty to whine and gripe first about women, whether trad or Novus Ordo?
I'll tell you why: Men - even trad men - are no longer chivalrous. Very few of them even pretend to be. What these men need are lessons from the "Catholic Code of Chivalry" (a beautiful piece by Syler Womack, published in my Catholic Study Guide on The Return of the King)!
Sad to say, too many "trad" men consider it their obligation to zoom in on the symptoms of the Church's decline (and lo, they are many) and transform one of the more recent symptoms into the seeming "Queen of them All."
What is that symptom?Women-in-the-Sanctuary (serving as EM's - e.g., Extraordinary Ministers), but that term also includes "Altar Girls" (too often disrespectfully spelled "gurlz" or "gurls" - as though the problem should be laid at the feet of the poorly-taught, badly-led little girls and teens who have been wrongly led to believe they can and should serve at the altar.)
Seriously...These men blather on about the splinters in the eyes of both little girls and grown women, never once considering the beams in their own eyes. But let's take another step or two. I am serious here, and I ask in all sincerity:
Who is responsible for the infiltration and decline of the Church?
Who allowed the Rhine group and liberal "periti" to take over Vatican II?
Men - from the pope right on down to the liberal cardinals and bishops.
Who within the Church of the past 40+ years is responsible for the rape of ALL our children, body and soul, and who tenaciously connived to keep those sins "under cover"?
Why did most religious orders go down the proverbial hell-hole?
Through the example, admonition and insistence of MEN with authority in the Church.
So where do so many traditional men get the idea that their subjective viewpoint/mindset/opinion/whatever on women is "traditionally Catholic," anyway? Heck if I know, but it didn't issue forth from true traditional Catholicism.
Thanks be to the good God, I've been graced to marry a true Catholic gentleman. I've also had the fortune to know a small (very small) number of men like him. But all in all, I'm not impressed by most males posing as men today. Where have all the real men gone?
Sadly, my husband and I have had the misfortune to meet lay "trad" men who think they can admonish any woman he pleases, simply by his "virtue" of being born a male. (Can you tell my tongue-is-firmly-implanted-in-my-cheek?)
Or "trad" men who are extremely ungallant but think the facade of a smiling face fools an intelligent Catholic woman just because she is a woman.
There are even "trad" men who think they can spank their wives! I kid you not. (Talk about perverted Puritanism!)
And there are "trad" men who - not going so far as their more vicious brothers - are still very keen on "keeping a woman in her place."
(As one lady friend says, "I like knowing my place. It means I have one. Not everyone does, you know...But I don't need some document dork in a suit to tell me what my place is.")
What is a woman's role in the Church and, through Her, society? If anything, the true Catholic woman is the mainstay and heart of the family and of society. A woman's role as mother - whether physical or spiritual - is a high vocation and one that should be loved, honored and cherished. (Btw, married ladies and gents, do those last 3 words sound familiar? It's what a man promises to his wife for all the days of his life!)
To return to my point - most trad Catholic male authors will inevitably first list among the Church's most severe problems either "women in the sanctuary" or "altar girls."
I'm not saying that either fact isn't a huge concern. But whose FAULT is it that lay men and women are in the sanctuary, or that little girls or teen girls are serving at the altar?
Now understand - my purpose is not to finger-point. It's to MAKE a point.
Of all the travesties in the Church, do the majority of traditional Catholic men really consider "women in the sanctuary" or "altar girls" to be the worst of them all?
-What about the altering (and often the renaming) of every single Rite in the Church - from Baptism to Extreme Unction? That's correct - it's not only the Mass that was changed, but each and every Rite, thanks to the "spirit of Vatican II" (whatever that means!).
-What of moving the Blessed Sacrament in the sacred Tabernacle to the side, the basement, or anywhere other than its rightful place on the High Altar? Our Lord and Savior is no longer honored as He deserves to be.
-What about Communion in the hand? Our Lord, hiding under the appearance of bread, is popped in the mouth and chewed like a common potato chip.
-What about the forced absence of kneeling during the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God in the Novus Ordo) and the reception of Holy Communion? (We no longer need to genuflect or kneel before Our God...we are "enlightened" now.)
-What about that atrocious hand-holding? The Kiss of Peace? (Be sure to keep what should be Divine Worship totally horizontal and focused on the community.)
-How about "Extraordinary Ministers" - male and female? (They were not seen before Vatican II, either.)
-What of the almost Church-wide demise of the First Friday and First Saturday devotions?
-Who is responsible for the decline of the Rosary in our days?
-For that matter, who is behind the eclipse of the true, entire Fatima message?
-Who decided that a mere 30 minutes of Confession shall be allotted per week to the entire parish?
-What of the seemingly prevalent number of sodomites who are now either our priests, bishops, or cardinals? And because of them, true priests of the Catholic Church are shunned and disrespected everywhere they go.
-And what of the number of Catholic men from all walks of life - from holy orders to layman - who abrogate their responsibilities, in countless ways, every single day?
-What of the Catholic lay men who live just like pagans? So many men do not want to marry but prefer to live in sin with women or other men. If they do marry, so many do not wish to sacrifice for their wives and children, do not see to the Catholic education of their children, do not even want to accept children, barely participate in the raising of the few children they have or, even worse, do not remain faithful to their marriage vows.
When traditional men point out the true or alleged failings, misdemeanors or sins of women, they only reveal themselves to be true Sons of Adam. They do exactly what our first father did. Instead of accepting responsibility for his own actions, good ol' Father Adam actually had the gall to petulantly complain to God the Father Himself: "The woman YOU gave me..."
Guess what? All of Adam's sons have been doing the same ever since - pointing their fingers at women instead of taking responsibility for their own actions or at least admitting that it is men in the Church who failed all of us.
And, dear Catholic reader, in case you don't know it, the human race did not fall until the moment FATHER ADAM consented to the first sin. Each one of us inherited Original Sin and all of its effects (even after baptism) through this one man, the first FATHER, Adam.
I don't know about you, but I feel sorry for him....what a load with which he had to live for almost 1,000 years! Because of his sin, the first baby ever born grew up to be the first murderer. Because of his sin, he and his wife and all their children throughout time (including our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ) suffer and die.
If today's traditional Catholic men want to see the Church partially restored (because total restoration is not going to happen until we all see the happy day of the collegial consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary), it's about time they take a good look at all of their collective duties and responsibilities.
Once they honestly do that, they just might finally "get it" that real Catholic women are looking for real Catholic men to lead by example. We would dearly love to see our men as true Catholic knights...complete with the truly beautiful and manly virtue of chivalry and its self-sacrificing love.
'Nuf said. For today, anyway.
Posted by catholic_homeschool
at 12:52 EDT
Updated: September 29, 2007 23:19 EDT