Dawn Eden on the homily she experienced yesterday.
I went to the 7:30 Mass last night at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola and was treated to a homily by the Rev. Mark Hallinan S.J. on the gifts the Holy Spirit has poured onto the Church in the wake of Vatican II. The pews were filled with women, outnumbering men by more than 5 to 1. I found out why.
Father Hallinan described how this same Holy Spirit that made the Church put its Mass in parishioners’ native tongues could well call upon the Church to reexamine its celibacy rule — after all, he said, why shouldn’t it allow married priests?
The Jesuit then namechecked those priests who had influenced his call to the priesthood — but another great influence upon him was his mother, he said, a point which led into a call for the ordination of women. Isn’t it a tragedy, he suggested, when a woman who is called by the Holy Spirit has to leave her church in order to follow that call?
In other words, in Father Hallinan’s view, the Holy Spirit calls certain women to leave the Church. Put another way, it calls the women to a vocation which it has not authorized those in the Vatican to enable. What a pathetic thing the Holy Spirit must be, in Father Hallinan’s view, that it has only enough power to sway the odd female here and there — and has such weak and occasional influence over the Magisterium. Perhaps those groovy feel-good gamma rays emanating from Father Halloran’s hippie-dippie vision of the Holy Spirit just aren’t strong enough. Or perhaps they are, only they can’t get through, because the cardinals’ hats are lined with tin foil.
One thing on which I do agree with the Jesuit: I can see why a woman might believe that she was moved by the Holy Spirit to be a Catholic priest. After all, who wouldn’t want a job where you can tell hundreds of women whatever you please — and not have to listen to some old man in Rome?