Anonymous: As a protestant, I know many missionary organizations that help feed the poor and fight human trafficking. Is there any way I can learn about Catholic involvement in missions? Do lay-Catholics get involved in missions as well, or only the religious?
Yes! Lay Catholics are heavily involved in both local and foreign mission work!
I know that Lauren, Haley, Carly, Angelo, Megan, and a few others here on tumblr have done mission work this summer both locally and in more foreign places. I’m sure they’d be willing to talk to you about their experiences! Lauren did work with Catholic HEART Workcamp.
CHALICE is an organization that comes to mind when I hear “Catholic” and “feeding the poor” in the same sentence. I also think of the Missionaries of Charity, who are a Catholic order of sisters founded by Mother Teresa, and who rely on laypeople for donations and physical help in their care centres. I have two friends who spent a few months in Calcutta helping the Missionaries of Charity. If you’d like, I could track them down and get them in contact with you!
If anyone would like to add to this list, please do!
As a quick side-note, I think it’s general practice for a group of laypeople who are doing mission work in foreign areas to have a priest accompany them. At least, that’s what I’ve encountered!
Also, I recommend calling the Outreach Ministry Office of your local Catholic diocese to see what programs they have.
“The rule that only men may receive Holy Orders in no way demeans women. In God’s sight, man and woman have the same dignity, but they have different duties and charisms.
The Church sees herself as bound by the fact that Jesus chose men exclusively to be present at the Last Supper for the institution of the priesthood. Pope John Paul II declared in 1994 ‘that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.’ Like no one else in antiquity, Jesus provocatively affirmed the value of women, bestowed his friendship on them, and protected them. Women were among his follows, and Jesus highly valued their faith. Moreover, the first witness to the Resurrection was a woman. That is why Mary Magdalene is called ‘the apostle of the apostles.’
Nevertheless, the ordained priesthood (and consequently pastoral ministry) has always been conferred on men. In male priests the Christian community was supposed to see a representation of Jesus Christ. Being a priest is a special service that also makes demands on a man in his gender-specific role as male and father.
It is, however, not some form of masculine superiority over women. As we see in Mary, women play a role in the Church that is no less central than the masculine role, but it is feminine. Eve became the mother of all the living. As ‘mothers of all the living,’ women have special gifts and abilities. Without their sort of teaching, preaching, charity, spirituality and guidance, the Church would be ‘paralyzed on one side.’ Whenever men in the Church use their priestly ministry as an instrument of power or do not allow opportunities to women, they offend against charity and the Holy Spirit of Jesus.”
Jesus chose men to communicate His message after He left (we didn’t decide this, He did).
God has chosen certain women (Eve, Mother Mary, Mary Magdalene, and others) to do very special and very holy things. In the same way, God has chosen certain men to do very special and very holy things. So there’s no discrimination here, because if it is discrimination, then it’s discrimination against the holy and different, yet equal bodies that God has given to man and woman. And along with these unique bodies come unique gifts and potentials.
God uses man and woman based on their unique and inherent gender roles in order to bring others closer to Him. For some men, this means becoming priests, for others becoming married, and for others, staying single. For some women, this means becoming nuns, for others becoming married, and still others this means staying single.
And remember: Feminism =/= (women= identical to men)
Feminism = Doing God’s will as a woman of God.
Masculinity = Doing God’s will as a man of God.
And there are different ways (some overlap, some do not) that each gender can glorify God.
uvgt2bkdnme: so i know that a priest hearing a confession is bound to keeping the confession confidential. and i know that this means that if someone confesses to a crime, even if the penance calls for a confession to the authorities, the priest still cannot be the one to tell anybody anything. what i have trouble with is articulating why this is . . . "ok" (not the best word to use, but as you can tell, i have a tough time articulating this in the first place).
There’s most likely some sort of complicated theological answer that makes very little sense unless you’re well versed in that sort of thing. If that’s the answer you want, just check a Catechism. There’s a searchable one courtesy of KofC here.
But there’s also a very simple answer: The Church wants people to be freed from their sins. The way to do this is via Confession.
“If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained’” (John 20:21–23)
Would you confess a serious sin that is also a crime (for example, murder) if you knew that the priest would report you to the civil authorities while you’re saying your Hail Marys? I wouldn’t. The priest’s responsibility is to grant absolution and proscribe a penance. Although a sin may have temporal consequences such as an arrest and a sentence, it is not the priest’s responsibility to bring any temporal consequences about. I hope that clears things up a bit. If anyone else has anything to add to this, please do so.