Wednesday, 6 October 2010
How To Be Patronising, In One Easy Lesson...
A little bird told me that a few priests commented unfavourably on the Holy Father's visit to the UK.
"Oh yes, it was a success... but it was too dominated by men... there weren't enough women involved..."
My first response was to utter "What the..." and then realise that the rest of that phrase was unsuitable... I was reduced to spluttering incoherently. What I wanted to say was that the statement was unbelievably patronising. On several counts.
Firstly, if it was a reference to the fact that the concelebrants were all male, well durrr! That's what happens when you have an all-male priesthood. Why should women be up there on the sanctuary if they are not fulfilling some liturgical function? Are you trying to suggest that there should be a few "token" women there, so that we don't feel left out??
Secondly, did you not notice all the serviettes, women readers, women bringing the gifts for the Offertory, women accompanying celebrants who were distributing Holy Communion? Is Carol Vordeman not a woman? (I believe she was a compere for one of the events, I forget which.) Do all those women not count?
What about all the women who helped in the background? The ones who washed and ironed the altar linens, the ones who ironed the concelebrants' vestments, the ones who organised pilgrim groups, the ones who worked with the children for the Big Assembly... Don't they count? Or, does the fact that they worked behind the scenes mean that they are unworthy of notice?
What about all those women who turned up to the events, often with their families in tow, just to catch a glimpse of the Holy Father on this historic occasion, who did nothing but show their love for the Holy Father and for the Church through their presence, their penance and their prayers? I guess they don't count either!
Which patronising idiot decreed that you had to be up there on the Sanctuary or you weren't "involved"?
It makes me soooooo mad.
There are only two types of people who would make that sort of statement: the hard-core feminists, who didn't turn up to the events anyway and the wishy-washy men who hope to curry favour with them by parroting politically-correct phrases without thinking them through...