GUEST COLUMN
A Humble Proposal

January-February 1996By Sheldon Vanauken

Sheldon Vanauken is a writer in Virginia whose books include A Severe Mercy, an award-winning bestseller.

Open Letter to the Holy Father:

Preface: We are all too aware of the tiresome clamour of feminist women and their male fellow travellers for priestesses in the Church. Clearly what they want is power and prominence in the Church and in the Mass. And no less clearly they do not, or will not, understand why the priest -- in persona Christi -- MUST be male, nor understand that the Church, the bride and spouse of Christ, is female.

And yet this must be allowed to them: The relationship of Christ to his bride and spouse -- that the Church is female -- is not made clear in the Mass. If I understand correctly, the priest in persona Christi consecrates the elements that become the Body and Blood, and then he, representing the female Church, partakes.

Proposal: I humbly propose that a girl or woman, distinctively gowned (perhaps all in white), representing Holy Church (conceivably in persona Maria), be standing or kneeling by the altar during the consecration, and that she be the first to communicate.


You have two options:

  1. Online subscription: Subscribe now to New Oxford Review for access to all web content at newoxfordreview.org AND the monthly print edition for as low as $38 per year.
  2. Single article purchase: Purchase this article for $1.95, for viewing and printing for 48 hours.

If you're already a subscriber log-in here.



Back to January-February 1996 Issue

Read our posting policy Add a comment
Be the first to comment on this story!