I am a recently retired Lutheran pastor who is now serving in a small Episcopal parish. I began reading The Catholic Messenger while I served a congregation in Davenport and have continued to do so since I left the Quad Cities.
I find appalling a pair of statements by William Grothus in the Reader’s Opinion section of The Catholic Messenger Sept. 22. Mr. Grothus discusses celibacy for the priesthood and argues that if Jesus had wanted women to be priests, Jesus would have chosen his mother Mary as one. No, she was to remain a mother which, as it appears that Mr. Grothus suggests, is the prime role for women. I find more offensive his suggestion that “maybe” the move to ordain women “is NOT the nudging of the Holy Spirit but someone from the dark side.” Really!
Ordained women have been a significant part of many Christian denominations for decades. Many are also mothers, who like male pastors are able to serve at home, in the community and the parish with selfless dedication and ability. Is this from the dark side? No! It is a sign of the prompting of the Holy Spirit that tens of thousands have experienced.
Since Mr. Grothus likes to proof-text an all male clergy based on the actions of Jesus, I wonder therefore, why Jesus then chose a married man named Peter to be the first head of the church and, in good Catholic tradition, the first pope. It was neither Jesus’ idea nor plan to have a celibate clergy.
The Rev. Dr. Mark Holmer