Sr ANNE LYONS PBVM, writes a letter in today’s Irish Times. She suggests that women don’t boycott Mass on the 26th September, as suggested by the monk’s mother from Cork. Sr. Anne is also from Cork. She intends to send a postcard to the Cardinal!

Her issues:

A cluster of issues needs to be addressed collaboratively: the church’s style of governance, its use of power, decision-making, the role of women, and the use of inclusive language.

i.e. woman priests.

She goes on to say:

Although women are moving into positions of leadership and collaboration in our secular institutions, the Catholic Church lags behind. It preaches equality, but practises exclusion. Pope John Paul II apologised to women and spoke passionately about their inclusion, but women have no place at the table where decisions are made that shape the church and their own lives. It has been said that if the sin of men is pride, the sin of women is passivity! I can no longer be passive or silent regarding systemic injustice to women in the church.

I have been an active member of the RCC for quite a while now and have never suffered an injustice as a woman. I have always felt included and when decisions are made in the parish, all parishioners are invited to take part at parish councils etc and parish meetings. If some women choose not to take part, that their choice. But to say we suffer an injustice is absolutely untrue. What does she want? To live in the presbytery?

Finally, she says that she longs to be more fully respected, valued and included. She says:

Years of patient study have made us ready to play our part in nourishing the impoverished soul of the church but offers of service are met with rebuff or deafening silence.

What exactly has she offered to do? Say Mass? There are great religious sisters all over the country doing tremendous work and are greatly appreciated for the work they do: just to name a few areas they work in – Addiction Centres, Formation, Catechetics, Healthcare, Chaplaincy, Justice, Prison Ministry, Counselling/Psychotherapy, Refugees/Advocacy, Education, Spirituality and Family Ministry. That’s pretty included.

Finally, she says

As long as the official church ignores women, it will continue to fly on one wing and to flap round in endless circles, and its soul will wither. – Yours, etc,

With all due respect to Sr. Anne, it is some of the nuns who are flying around on the wings of new age angels and flapping round in endless ‘circles’ of new age dancing on airy fairy notions of a false spirituality of ‘Sacred Circle Dance’ and the ‘Dances of Universal Peace’ as advertised on one religious sisters website. Oh, and Cosmology. Sorry what? that’s right – Cosmology!

I hope she reads this.


Filed under Church, Ireland

11 responses to “Cosmology!

  1. Jean Rolt

    What about those women in your church who are called to the priesthood. Do you recognize such a possibility ? In the C of E it took many many years for the call of women to be seen as valid. It meant that women were at last able to answer the call. I have many Roman friends who know the value we bring to our parishes and for myself I can say that finally living the life I was called to has fulfilled me in a way that benefits all those I minister too. There are no barriers in my faith. I have great friends who do not share my belief. Many of them are Roman Catholics.

    • Hi Jean, no I don’t recognise such a possibility. You see, in the RCC we have a special love of Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Mary is the most blessed of all women. She is our tainted nature’s solitary boast. So, we should be proud to be women of grace, beauty and love and not try to imitate men. Let the men be men and let the women be women and together they can do something beautiful for God.

      When I speak of no women priests I refer to the RCC only. Other communites and churches have different ways and that is what they want to do, but it is not my affair.

  2. Sha’ll have to write pretty small to get all that on a postcard.

    “Sacred Circle Dance” and “Dances of Universal Peace”? I’d love to see them . Or maybe I wouldn’t.

    The Catholic Church is reasonable, and reason is best expresssed in words. Can they possibly think that they can save souls and change the world (the mission of the Church) by DANCING?

    Could men also change the world through dance? Yes I know David danced before the Lord, but he did some pretty bad things too.

    God help us!

    • Sr. said she’s sending a super size post card. Now I know why.

      Well, we all know what happened when Salome danced. Poor St. John the Baptist suffered the consequences! Can’t imagine him dancing.

  3. Catherine Darcy

    I respect the no doubt well intentioned comments regarding Sr Anne Lyons. However, I suggest that the contributors deal with facts. E.g., there is nothing in the letter about dancing. Why not contact Sr Anne and find out what she wants to do rather than making comments that are at best mere speculation and at worst are untrue and nothing to do with the letter. Come on – clean up your act. The alternative is to be branded in the same category as the bad media guys who publish untruths about the church

    • No, but she did say:

      “As long as the official church ignores women, it will continue to fly on one wing and to flap round in endless circles, and its soul will wither.”

      1) what is the official Church? I thought there was only one.
      2) the Church is not flapping around in circles on one wing.
      3) the Church is not ignoring women.

      Women have a very important role in the Church, and in fact Pope Benedict is dedicating his Wednesday messages to women – where he highlights the special contribution women make to theology –

      “Hildegard especially opposed the German Cathar movement.”

      “The Cathars – their name literally means ‘pure’ – supported radical reform of the Church, principally to combat clerical abuses,” he explained. “She reprimanded them fiercely, accusing them of wanting to subvert the very nature of the Church and reminding them that the true renewal of the ecclesial community is not obtained by changing structures so much as by a sincere spirit of penance and a fruitful journey of conversion.

      See full article here.

      The reference to dancing etc is to do with all the religious orders in Ireland especially, who have converted to Celtic spirituality with all the ritualistic dancing. Check out some of their sites and you will see. Perhaps you are a sister yourself, I don’t know. There are fantastic sisters in this country that do great work, but many have gone astray.

  4. “A cluster of issues needs to be addressed collaboratively: the church’s style of governance, its use of power, decision-making, the role of women, and the use of inclusive language.”

    Very droll. Lay involvement and inclusive language seems to be a preoccupation of middle-class chatterato, but it’s really a distraction from the crisis at hand. The Church is certainly in need of radical reform but in an entirely different direction. Sr Lyons and her ilk should decamp to the Anglicans.

  5. What genuinely motivated u to create “Cosmology! | From East to West”?
    I reallygenuinely appreciated the blog post! Many thanks ,Nilda

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