Sister Mary Cecily Boulding, OP (March 23) suggests that the role of the man is to give, of the woman to receive, nourish and foster the seed of new life. Unhappily, this is bad biology, which makes it (according to the analogy from procreation employed) even worse theology.
Woman is as much of a procreator as man. The "seed" by itself can fashion no offspring, no matter how carefully nourished and fostered.
Sister Boulding also suggests — albeit inconsistently — that the specific feminine charisma is that of response, of answering a need. Yet surely this is an argument in favour of women priests?
To ordain at least missionary sisters, who in the face of a world shortage of priests are permitted to perform virtually every priestly function short of saying Mass and ,hearing confessions, would be the most logical "answering a need" possible.
I do not understand what Sister Boulding means when she maintains priests should be male because priesthood is a "particular sharing in Christ's priestly work on Calvary' .
It does not seem to me that Christ is essentially male in his redeeming capacity. The important thing is that he is at once human and divine.
The trouble with saying that male. initiative while female-receiving and responding is that in the real world there are men who arc much better at "mothering" and even housework than their wives, just as there arc women in business (and politics) whose natural drive causes them to be much valued by their firms (or parties).
I agree with Sister Boulding that there is nothing very Christian about the "unisex" craze. But I believe that, in God's plan, human life is much richer and stranger than mere malefemale role-playing,