I'm all pooped out, or shall I join the millions who probably professed that they were all "Poped" out by last night.
I amazed myself at how much viewing time I invested. I'm not one to sit and watch CNN for any length of time, ever. But I was very much engaged and I don't know, maybe I was being "vigilant" as if I were part of the Secret Service, watching the crowds, waiting for a gun shot. What would I do? Call the president?? Anyway, by the time he flew off last night, I was ready for him to leave but also very glad that he had come in the first place.
I was over joyed when he was elected, thrilled to say bye bye to Benedict. I felt for the new guy, he obviously didn't want the job. But, the decision was not his. It was HIS and turns out, it was one very good decision. He's just what the doctor ordered, an incredible driving force for all humanity at a time when forces can't be driven fast enough. Everybody loves him, evidenced by the millions and millions who turned out to see even the tail end of the tail end of his plane as it flew off into the sky or down onto a tarmac. Momentous is the word that comes to mind. Occasion is the other. Opportunity joins them. So, now comes the bad part.
Where were the women???
Talk about "missed" opportunities. Biggest celebrations of Mass ever. One million faithful attended in Philadelphia alone. Could have called it the Final Judgement and saved a lot of angst for anyone who was ever born. Madison Square Garden in New York. Huge. Lots of room for everyone but....
Not one woman on the altar. Not one woman acting as Eucharistic Minister, at least not that I was able to find and I did look. The only women I spotted doing anything other than singing in a choir were those who carried the yellow and white umbrellas, accompanying the men who distributed Holy Communion, some three hundred and fifty-strong in Philadelphia. Why weren't there any "altar women"? God forbid that there might have been a female priest up there (they do exist....again....the Vatican thought they had killed them off centuries ago when they were important in the Roman Catholic church). Pope Francis talked about women, alluded to their importance in the family but unless I seriously missed it, I didn't hear him say too much about their importance beyond that. Damn. What amazing statements could have come out of his mouth. Think of the impact. Think of how many people would have heard him. This would have been the time but.....
Instead, I honestly was embarrassed about the fact that the bishops all got dressed up in their fancy clothes, told jokes to the Pontiff, and filled the altars with men. It made me feel as if women did not even exist, affirmed the total lack of acknowledgement that has gone on since the silly Canon Laws were altered to take remove them from any position of power or authority in the church. In one of the last commentaries, a female journalist finally raised the question. It could have been me. She voiced my concerns beautifully, her voice strong with reason and authority, but I don't think she got an answer. Where were the women? Holding umbrellas.
Missed opportunities, big time. Come on Francis. Get with the program. You can do it if anyone can. Just remember that your namesake had one best friend back there in Assisi. One pretty great friend and she was, indeed, a woman. Her name was Clare. He loved her and together, well, you know the story. So, Holy Father, when you ask me to pray for you, you better deliver because I'm expecting big things from YOU!!