Stuck in the past
Will Erickson | Monday, October 5, 2009
Reading the recent debates over women in the priesthood, one is disappointed to see how many at this University are simply stuck in the past. They seem boxed inside a narrow, ossified way of thinking that we had all hoped was about to give way to a fresh breath of reason and openness. They appeal to the ideals of a time they really don’t know – a time they certainly were not around to see. From their nostalgic tone, one would think this one epoch of Church history had been the definitive instantiation of Catholicism, an epoch from which progress and advance were unnecessary, if not harmful.
I’m speaking, of course, about the 1970s. An intolerance toward two millennia of teaching and tradition; a blind obedience paid to the tenets of the feminist movement; an almost servile drive to keep up with the rest of the world in its indiscriminate concept of “equality” â€¦ one would have hoped that we had left these behind along with mullets and bell bottoms. How is it that so many good-hearted young people have been sheltered within the teachings proceeding from that one decade? Just because those hundreds of other decades are different doesn’t mean they’re bad. Now of course, for some it isn’t easy to let go of the past. But at the same time, this is an institution of research and learning, and at some point we need to make way for the future.
I don’t mean to rant. It’s just disheartening to see well-intentioned colleagues shy away from the overwhelming justification of the male priesthood simply in order to follow the rigid banner of decades past. People. It’s 2009.