Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Holy Week Weirdness pt 2

Today's weirdness is an old classic. The womynzzzzzz groups that protest outside of Cathedrals on the Mass of Chrism in defiance of the Church's male only priesthood. This story comes from Canada. But it happens all over.
Womyn protesters for ordination in stoles, Lilith Fair tshirts and Andre 3000's hairstyle.
Why on this particular day? In the past, the Chrism Mass was held during the morning of Holy Thursday. The bishop would bless and consecrate the oils to be used in the parishes throughout the year (oil of the sick, oil of catechumens and oil of Chrism). The Mass in most dioceses is now held on Tuesday due to, among other reasons, the long distance priests have to travel from their parishes to the Cathedral. The Mass' relationship to Holy Thursday still remains. As on Holy Thursday Christ mandated the apostles to spread the Gospel, so at the Chrism Mass, priests are called on to renew their vows/promises to the bishop and be faithful to their promises.
So, the protests begin because somehow it's all about civil rights. A case can be made for a "civil rights" violation. Just as much as the idea that gays cannot marry in the church and divorce is not permissible can be seen as violations of civil rights. However, in the Church, there is another sense of order. This order is established by Christ. It's not a power play or an oppression but a deeper challenge to service and...get this...OBEDIENCE.

In Jackson, we don't have any protests scheduled this evening at our Cathedral. Not that I'm aware. Either we don't have a body of dissidents so large to protest. Or perhaps our people accept and abide by the Church's traditions. Or maybe, with the many roles women have in the diocese, especially as "pastoral administrators", what's to complain about?