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As my friend Mary-Claire would say, “Open mouth, insert foot, turn sideways.” Cardinal Raymond Burke, who would be laughable if he didn’t have adherents, recently delivered the following opinion on today’s Church: It’s too girly. This from a man who celebrates Mass in lace, satin, gloves and jewelry. (Clearly, he doesn’t mind womanliness when it comes to looking FABUUULLOUUUS!) Specifically, all those women up on the altar (female altar servers, lectors, Eucharistic ministers) are “turning off” men from becoming involved in the Church — and worse, from becoming priests. This “feminization” of the Church, Burke claims, has repelled men who “respond to rigor and precision and excellence.” (What do women respond to, you may ask? Apparently, slovenliness, imprecision and a sense of “meh, it’s good enough.” Maybe we’re just cranky because we’re on our cycles.) He also says men are afraid to marry because: Feminism.

I really shouldn’t dignify this guy with any more attention than he’s already received. (Although can’t you just picture Burke as Yosemite Sam, shooting indiscriminately and bellowing, “Dadgum wimmin! What with their fooferalls and lady parts!” While nearby, Bugs Bunny chuckles, “What a maroon”?) There are some (few) folks who’d like to turn the Church into the He-Man Woman-Haters Club, complete with a sign on the Vatican that says, “No Girls Allowed” (only the “S” in “Girls” is backwards because awww…who can stay mad at those mischievous scamps?). Well, Ray (can I call you Ray?), I hate to tell you, but women in the Catholic Church are here to stay.

Who do you think gets the kids to come to Mass on Sunday? Who makes them go to Catholic school? Who keeps the local parishes up and running? Who do you see at Perpetual Adoration? In the Church Office? At the fundraisers? Without us, there would be no Church. Frankly, Raymond Burke is the best argument I’ve heard in a long time for the Catholic Church allowing women priests: Surely, we could not do worse than this.

In better, brighter news, a consortium of bishops in the state of Kansas are working to review the practices of “payday loan” shops, who so often end up victimizing the poor they claim to help. This move is right in line with Pope Francis’ message: We must tend to the disenfranchised, the marginal, the oppressed. That is what God wants from us and what Jesus came to do. Good for them! This is what the Church should be up to.

Finally, I’d like to express my sadness over the recent terrorist attack in France. And I want to say this: My God can take a joke. If yours can’t, maybe you have the wrong god. Consider it.


Have a Mary Little Christmas

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