Blessed is the Womb By Dawn DiPrince

Dawn, jpgAs a Catholic, a feminist, and the grown-up version of my third grade self who dreamed of being a priest (and eventually Pope), I am simultaneously elated and deflated by the promise of Pope Francis. His bold criticisms of capitalism and inequality are breathtaking. 

Yet, much like the eager waiting that marks the season of Advent, I (naively) hold my breath awaiting the papal inclusion of women on the altar — not merely as servants — but as leaders and interpreters of scripture.

Whenever women’s ordination is raised, the Church trots out the dusty and inadequate argument that men are priests because Jesus was a man. This seemingly irrefutable based-on-biology conclusion is really a simple argument based on a difference of body parts. This ideal — something I’ve labeled the St. Peter Principle — suggests that our penislessness means that women (by natural law, of course) are to be denied priesthood. Continue reading “Blessed is the Womb By Dawn DiPrince”

What About Contraception in Pope Francis’s Promise to the Poor? by Dawn DiPrince

Pope Francis, at nearly every opportunity – including the choice of his name, has symbolically expressed a commitment to the poor. In just a little over a month, he has declined the customary gold papal cross, the ermine-trimmed red velvet cape, and the showy red loafers worn by his predecessor. He has refused the palatial papal penthouse apartment and is currently living in a two-room suite among the Vatican’s cardinals.

In additional to a more austere lifestyle, Pope Francis has spoken out about the world’s poor. His namesake is St. Francis of Assisi, who famously worked for the poor and for peace. The Pope claims he was inspired to take the name Francis when remembering a friend’s urging to “not forget the poor.” More to the point, Pope Francis has stated that he wants “a Church which is poor and for the poor!” Continue reading “What About Contraception in Pope Francis’s Promise to the Poor? by Dawn DiPrince”

Feminism + Catholicism = ? By Dawn DiPrince

Oh, so many people cannot figure out why/how in the hell I can be a feminist AND a practicing Catholic. And, I must admit there are days when I, too, am perplexed.

For example, one recent Sunday after Mass I waited outside the Cathedral while my children ran and climbed and smelled flowers around a statue of St. Therese. After a few minutes, two modestly dressed women with clipboards walked up to me and asked: “Would you like to sign a pro-life petition?” I snappishly said no. (Still wishing I would have asked more questions. How do you define pro-life? What good will a petition do?)

I sensed a little surprise from them. I’m sure I was the picture of Catholic motherhood, if you didn’t notice the electric blue toe nails. Only about 30 minutes earlier, I was on the altar reading Scripture to the congregation — something I’ve done since I was 17, when I realized that was likely the closest I would get to priesthood. Also during Mass, my two older children were altar servers (the gender-neutral of “altar boys). And, we were waiting outside because my husband was washing chalices as part of his duties as Eucharistic minister.  So, I certainly appeared to be someone who would gladly sign their petitions. Continue reading “Feminism + Catholicism = ? By Dawn DiPrince”

LGBT Activism and the Holy Spirit By Dawn DiPrince

Last Sunday before Mass, I was in the sacristy preparing for the First Reading that I would later be sharing with the congregation. The music director and Monsignor were there too, discussing Church-related matters. When they saw that I was there, the music director (who is really informally in charge of all operations) says: “Oh, Dawn, I saw you on TV the other night.” I responded with a smile and a subtle nod of my head. Monsignor asked: “Oh really, what for?” And, she answered for me: “She was at the City Council meeting talking about same sex partners.” Monsignor quickly walked away without further comment. And, I just sheepishly shrugged my shoulders. Continue reading “LGBT Activism and the Holy Spirit By Dawn DiPrince”

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