Page 5, 27th June 1969

27th June 1969
Page 5
Page 5, 27th June 1969 — be considered equal
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Organisations: Tnternational Alliance
Locations: Bath, London

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be considered equal

not do without a server at Mass in a convent, he must bring a boy with him. In such circumstances, at least, could not the women and girls assist him?

In the present shortage of priestly vocations and the scarcity of young men. many of whom are absent from parishes because of higher education, surely it is only sense to let those women who are willing and able help our overworked priests to a greater degree.

I feel it has led to a lot of misunderstanding when in the translation of the Bible the words "man" or "men" have been used instead of "mankind" or "the human race." Clear up this point and in a hundred years Catholics will view the position of women today with amused amazement —provided, of course, that man (sorry, mankind) has not exterminated our species.

With respect, I would suggest that the example of Our Lady suggested by all three of your correspondents of June 13 does not apply in this case. As the Mother of God, Mary is unique; but even had Jesus been a mere prophet she would not have been permitted to come forward and assist him publicly. It was not the custom of those days. The example is (to borrow M r. Young's phrase) 'a red herring."

A. M. °Shaughnessy (Mrs.) Bath, Somerset.

MARY OWEN (June 13) is "off-put" by the thought of a woman exercising the function of reader behind the rails (altar, not prison). Another correspondent (same issue) uses scriptural texts to support his objection to woman's promotion in the Church.

Is it not time that this serious question should receive serious and charitable treatment instead of exciting levity or the mere repetition of isolated scriptural quotations—a practice against which we have often been warned?

When a man receives a call to the priesthood we say that he has a vocation. There are women also, both nuns and laywomen, who receive a similar call they believe to be from God. Some are now old women who have waited all their lives for a change in the Church's law; others are young women who ask the Church, now, how they can answer God's call to them.

Dr. F. Mackenzie Shattock Vice-President, St. Joan's Tnternational Alliance.

London, W.I.




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