Women and the Catholic Church


Madam, - Father David O'Hanlon (December 18th) attempts to rubbish Heidi Good's friendly letter to you. She suggested that women who feel unappreciated and thwarted in their ambitions to minister the Holy Sacraments to the people of God, should consider joining other Christian Churches where their ambitions would be more likely to be realised than in the Catholic Church.

No doubt Father O'Hanlon is well meaning and one can only marvel at the depths of his obvious orthodoxy. The Pope is bound to notice him some day soon - if he has not done so already!

I must admit that orthodoxy is not my strong point. I feel, however, that orthodoxy is no longer a sign that one is on the side of the angels (if it ever was). However, I am determined not to succumb to prejudice and begin imagining that all other conservative, orthodox fellow members of the Catholic Church are automatically reactionaries - even if they can appear somewhat smug.

Surely Father O'Hanlon could benefit himself and the Church we both love by ceasing to try to distance men from women the way it seems to me he is doing - hinting that, of course, women are special but different. Nowadays, few women are keen to be seen as different, no matter how special you make us.

Surely women want to be seen as real people, with feet of clay like all men - not as icons!

Women, nowadays, are looking, surely, to find men who are generous - fellows who are content (or even glad) to work together with women, shoulder to shoulder, in ministering unto others as Jesus Christ urged us to do.

I hasten to add that, personally, I feel no ambition to be a priest - nor have I the talent. However, there are many women who would make excellent priests. Sister Stan is a name that springs to mind! - Yours, etc.,


Granville Road,

Dun Laoghaire,

Co Dublin.