February 16, 2009

Her voice

I've been keeping a running list in my head of things to write about but the time has escaped me lately, but even more so, I'm having my usual trouble in deciding what to write about first. As this blog was meant to focus primarily on religion and patriarchy and how my little corner of the Catholic Church was fighting it, I guess I need to keep my focus there because there is a lot to write about.
Seven years ago when I found the renegade Catholic parish that I am a member of, I was delighted to find a spiritual home that embraced so many of my needs — in particular a parish that had a lay preaching team which allowed women to share their wisdom from the pulpit. I had spent many years trying to heal the wounds that I believe exist for most Catholic women — marginalized and silenced for centuries. I followed the voice of the Goddess and found power and strength in circles of women who honored ancient ways. But I always longed for the Mass and for community. I was blessed to find it in the midst of so many other who heard Her voice.
But now, the voices of women have again been silenced. Our parish received an order from our local Bishop that lay-preaching was to stop immediately. Rather than resist that order and face various punishments, our Pastor has acquiesced. We've had a couple of meetings to discus our feelings and agree on some sort of response, but right now I can't help but feel tremendously let down. The old wound is again ripped open and salted.
As our parish meets to figure out a response, I am figuring out how I personally must respond. In addition to declining to write a check for the Annual Catholic Appeal (I submitted a protest note in my envelope instead), I'm thinking again of my small circles of women and the old ways. I have always walked the line between Christianity and Paganism quite well, sometimes more on one side than the other, and I wonder if another shift is on the brink for me. I won't give up my community, but I can't give up the spiritual wisdom that only women can offer each other. For now, I am patiently listening for Her voice....and I know the way will be revealed to me.

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