Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Pope Francis to Nuns: Be Mothers, Not Old Maids!

This is fascinating advice from Francis the pope to nuns:

In speaking to the sisters about chastity, he said, “Chastity for the Kingdom of Heaven shows how affection has its place in mature freedom and becomes a sign of the future world, to make God’s primacy shine forever. But, please, [make it] a ‘fertile’ chastity, which generates spiritual children in the Church.
The consecrated are mothers: they must be mothers and not ‘spinsters’!
Forgive me if I talk like this but this maternity of consecrated life, this fruitfulness is important! May this joy of spiritual fruitfulness animate your existence. Be mothers, like the images of the Mother Mary and the Mother Church. You cannot understand Mary without her motherhood; you cannot understand the Church without her motherhood, and you are icons of Mary and of the Church.”

Let's try to reverse that.  What would Francis tell the priests of his church?  Be fathers, not bachelors?

That's not symmetric, that reversal, and neither is the way fatherhood and motherhood are treated within the church.  The church is completely masculine, except for the maternal role of women.  Or that's how it reads to me.   And women are reminded of that fact.