No women need apply

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Mulherin.jpegYou figure the crackdown on women in (some quarters of) American Catholicism has gone pretty far when the popular music director of a major Fairfax, Virginia church is canned for the following paragraph in a WaPo story on the women’s ordination question:

Sylvia Mulherin, 69, a former nun married to a former priest, said that
Jesus was progressive in his treatment of women but that, over time,
men unjustly pushed women out. “Maybe the women don’t have to come in
the back door, but we still have to sit in the pews,” said Mulherin,
who lives in Fairfax County.

Mulherin says she is not among those pushing for women’s ordination. Indeed, she is a conservative who describes herself on her Facebook page as a fan of Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin. In December, she gave Newt a round of Facebook applause for denouncing the “deliberate amnesia of the academic Left” in overlooking the “great men” of the American past.

But she did not take kindly to her pastor’s denial that she had been pushed out of her job, and emailed dozens of musicians at the church that in her opinion “women have not achieved true equality in the Church and this fact
deserves further consideration by the church’s leadership. This
position is apparently unacceptable in the Diocese of Arlington.”

WaPo’s Michelle Boorstein is on the case.

  • just call me a hypocrite

    Nice picture of Sylvia. She’s a nice lady. This is a misunderstanding gone way out of hand. We’re a nice extremely conservative Northern Virginia parish, which finally let girls on the altar last year. That was amazing that it took so long. Father Whitestone is a nice guy though. He inherited a parish which didn’t allow girls to serve…kinda like Obama inherited Bush’s country. Hmmm… I can’t see how this all got so out of hand so quickly, but leave it to the WaPo to stir the pot.

  • Kardinal

    It is interesting that you can tell which side of the issue of women’s ordination a person is on by whether they believe Ms. Mulherin or Father Whitestone. The reality is that none of us were there for the conversation, so when we simply assume one or the other is telling the truth and the other is lying, we show our own prejudices.
    I wasn’t there either, so I don’t know who’s right. It seems likely to me that both think they’re right and both are reporting things as they heard/said them, and it’s a misunderstanding.
    As for the issue at hand, women cannot be priests any more than men can be mothers, that’s been the constant teaching of the Church and it’s not going to change. Those who disagree with the Church on such issues may find their spiritual needs best served in another community of faith.

  • truth

    It’s interesting that you can tell who the Americans are and who the brain washed Catholics are by what side of the issue they fall on. Your clergy lies to you. Wake up! Or are your rules more important to you than integrity?

  • Anonymous

    The opposition to women’s ordination comes from a belief in the innate inferiority of women, period. It is a continuation of the patriarchal bias found in the scriptures. It is interesting and disheartening to me how the scriptures have been interpreted to justify racism, slavery, and sexism. The fundamental message of the Bible is liberation, beginning with Israel’s liberation from Egyptian oppression. Preventing women from full participation in the life of the church is to play the part of the Egyptians.

  • Karen Tyson

    “Those who disagree with the Church on such issues may find their spiritual needs best served in another community of faith.”
    One such community is Unitarian Universalism. We welcome all and stand on the side of love and justice.