Sunday, May 5, 2013

Celibacy Cookie Crumbles

For the second time in 2013, a Catholic leader has called for review and revision of the Roman Catholic Church's policy that priests are not allowed to marry.

Fr. Anthony Musaala, a charismatic priest and evangelist in Uganda, wrote to the Archbishop of Kampala and reported his own abuse by priests as a 16-year-old as well as cases of priests who keep secret wives and have abused children of both genders.,0,4578310.story

For being honest and calling for an end to required celibacy, Musaala was suspended from his ministry as an evangelist traveling through east, central and south Africa.

Scottish Cardinal Keith O'Brien told the BBC last February that he feels priests should be allowed to marry.

Soon afterward he admitted sexual misconduct and resigned as a cardinal.  Pope Benedict had known about O'Brien's misconduct since December, but he was not asked to resign until he spoke out against mandatory celibacy.

In Austria Fr. Helmut Schueller led some 300 priests last year in a "Call for Disobedience" to press the Catholic church toward ordination of women and allowing priests to marry.

For his trouble, he was stripped of the title "Monsignor" and another title but not defrocked.

Also last year Fr. Roy Bourgeois was defrocked and forced out of the Maryknoll Missioners after participating in the ordination of a woman priest and calling for an end to celibacy for priests.

We have turned a corner.  The Vatican is like some giant swatting at flies, but eventually its leaders will be forced to return the church to the policy of the first thousand years, when marriage was an option for priests.

When the happens, ordination of women will be not far behind.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Women & the Boston Marathon

For 70 years women were not allowed to run in the Boston Marathon.

In 1967 one woman had a bigger impact on the Marathon than the two bombers had on April 15 of this year.

Kathrine Switzer, then a student at Syracuse University, entered the all-men's race without revealing her gender, and the Marathon's director, Jack Sempel, literally tried to push her off the street.

"He grabbed me and screamed at me 'Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers!'" she remembers.  

Her boyfriend, however, running with her, was an ex-All-American football player and gave Sempel a cross-body block.  

From that moment on, Switzer was determined to finish the 26-mile race, which she did in 4 hrs., 20 min.

Her fellow runners cheered her on, but later people asked, "Are you a suffragette?  Are you a crusader?"

"I'm just trying to run," she would answer.  "I often say that I started as a girl, but I finished the Boston Marathon as a grown woman."  

Today's young women take for granted their right to run marathons, but once upon a time it was an all-men's event.

See the opening scenes of Makers: Women Who Make America, where Kathryn Switzer is highlighted.