Last week’s New York Times had an excellent article by Nicholas Kristof , who, while bemoaning the mismanagement of the sex abuse crisis, went on to point out that Church leaders are not the whole Church. He pointed out that the early Church was inclusive and democratic, including giving women important leadership positions. With the passage of time, authority has been more and more centralized into the office of the bishops, especially the Bishop of Rome.
Kristof suggested that the Church would be very blessed to make even greater use of women at all levels than is currently the case. He described his extraordinary experiences in third world countires where that amazing battalian of caregivers (Roman Catholic nuns) are busy with the orphans, the elderly, the diseased, the ignored, the helpless and the dependent. Hundreds of thousands of such people find their life made a little easier, a little less burdensome every day because of the extraordinary competence and generosity of these heroic women. Kristof’s final line is “they’re enough to make the Virgin Mary smile.” Indeed!