On Addressing the Dignity of Man and Masculinity | Fr. David Vincent Meconi, S.J. | HPR Editorial
How would men today be more able to live out their own unique discipleship and role in both the world, and in the Church, if we were able to articulate how men embody the Christian vocation to holiness in exclusive and particular ways?
Holy Father Francis’ opening World Youth Day, and his first trip back to his beloved South America, were truly victories for Christ and his Church. The trick the popular media oftentimes tries to pull, in the face of such successes as this, is to avoid reflecting and reporting on the actual events, and instead grabbing one or two peripheral (and hopefully incendiary) events or comments. (We see this every January 22, when major networks and papers refuse to report on the thousands upon thousands who march in protest against abortion every year in our nation’s capitol.) That is why most of the news stories coming out of World Youth Day did not focus on the millions who came to pray with the Church universal at Mass on Copacabana beach, or on the many conversions to Christ experienced by the young people (evident in their own blogs and Facebook pages), but rather news reports concentrated on Pope Francis’ answers to two “loaded” questions on his return flight.
One question had to do with his understanding of women’s vocations in the Church today, to which he responded that “we don’t yet have a truly deep theology of women in the church. We talk about whether they can do this or that—can they be altar boys, can they be lectors, or can a woman be president of Caritas—but we don’t have a deep theology of women in the church.” This is the context and the call during which Pope Francis also offered how: “A church without women would be like the apostolic college without Mary. The Madonna is more important than the apostles, and the church herself is feminine, the spouse of Christ and a mother.” The Holy Father thus sees a need to develop a particular theology of women that goes beyond the wearisome and worldly question of women’s ordination—of what women can “do”—and to bring this conversation into something more foundational, more fruitful—of what woman “is” (for a beautiful analysis of this exchange, see: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-faith/wp/2013/08/05/2079/).
The other topic that the media keeps focusing on is Pope Francis’ response to their questions concerning gay men.