Does Catholicism Have a ‘Man Crisis,’ or is Cardinal Burke Paranoid?

Solemn vesting of Cardinal Burke. Image courtesy Phil Roussin/Flickr.

Solemn vesting of Cardinal Burke. Image courtesy Phil Roussin/Flickr.

In an online interview this week, Cardinal Raymond Burke said the “radical feminism which has assaulted the Church and society since the 1960s has left men very marginalized.”

But many women will head to Mass this weekend and note that the priest, bishop, and pope have something in common: They are all men, and the power they hold in institutional church structures hardly looks like marginalization.

In spite of Burke’s paranoid opinion that “rampant liturgical experimentation” resulted in men who were “really turned off” by the Mass, women will stand and recite a recently revised Nicene Creed that states that Christ died “for us men.” They will pray to a God referred to only by male pronouns even as God’s gender remains stubbornly mysterious. Even the language of the liturgy negates the presence of women.

Yet Burke is bewildered by women’s “self-focused attitudes” and “constant and insistent demanding of rights.” Women, he said, “respond very naturally to the invitation to be active in the Church.” And yet, when the sanctuary becomes “full of women,” and the parish activities and liturgy are influenced by them, these become “so feminine in many places that men do not want to get involved.”

The fact that Burke gave this interview to a website whose very name — The New Emangelization — may lead many to question whether it is actually a parody, indicates the level of absurdity in Burke’s claims that women have somehow taken over the Catholic Church.

There is also something disturbing and insulting about his ideas concerning the men already in the church.

English Fashion Designer Launches Updated Clerical Line for Women

Camelle Daley, a London-trained fashion designer, has designed new clerical wear for women. Photo courtesy Jonathan Self

A London-trained fashion designer has launched a new range of clerical wear for women in the Church of England.

Camelle Daley, who founded the label House of ilona, says it’s high time for a shake-up among Anglican clergy who, like Roman Catholic priests, still wear traditional black shirt and collar.

Daley said she got the idea when a recently ordained friend said she wanted a new look for a new age.

The result?

Daley’s collection, now selling briskly, includes peplum dresses and tops, classic black dresses, and a fitted green blouse with chiffon detail.

Church of England to Consider Optional Clerical Robes

Photo courtesy Anglican Communion News Service/The Press Association

Procession in Canterbury Cathedral Photo courtesy Anglican Communion News Service/The Press Association

A well-known Anglican bishop in charge of the archbishop of Canterbury’s campaign to attract young people to the church says he’s ready to put on blue jeans and a T-shirt.

 “There are people for whom vestments are profoundly helpful and those for whom they are a real obstacle,” said Bishop Graham Cray who heads the ”Fresh Expressions” campaign.

His statement follows reports that the General Synod, the Church of England’s governing body, is prepared to debate a controversial motion that would make clerical vestments optional.

In a letter to Synod members, the Rev. Christopher Hobbs, vicar of St Thomas in Oakwood, North London, wrote: “In all walks of life people are less formal. And sometimes informality is good even in a very traditional parish.”