Monsignor Charles Pope: A Summons to Men: The Church Needs Men to be Men
Monsignor has written an article that expands on our interview.
When I was a growing up my father would often exhort me to “be a man.” He would summon me to courage and responsibility and to discover the heroic capacity that was in me. St. Paul summoned forth a spiritual manhood with these words: We [must] all attain to the unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the extent of the full stature of Christ, so that we may no longer be infants, tossed by waves and swept along by every wind of teaching arising from human trickery, from their cunning in the interests of deceitful scheming. Rather, living the truth in love, we should grow in every way into him who is the head, Christ. (Eph 4:13ff)
If the ladies will pardon me (for women have their own sort of strength), I want to issue a special summons to men, especially fathers and priests. The summons is simple: Be a man. We need men in these dark days who will heroically speak and act; men who will announce the truth and insist upon it wherever they have authority; men who will stop being passive fathers and husbands; priests who will stop “playing it safe” by remaining silent in the moral storm; yes, be a man.
It has often been observed that men are rather disengaged from eh practice of the faith and attendance at the Sacred Liturgy. Frankly, there is a reason, not a politically correct one, but a reason nonetheless. Most of the men I talk to find the Church rather feminized. There is much talk about forgiveness and love, about receptivity and being nicer. These are fine virtues, all of the necessary. But men also want to be engaged, want to be sent into battle, want to go forth and make a difference.
After years of radical feminism men are shamed for seeking to take up leadership and authority in their families and in the Church. It starts early. Any normal boy is full of spit and vinegar, is aggressive, competitive and anxious to test his wings. But many boys are scolded, punished and even medicated for these normal tendencies. They are told to behave more like girls and to learn to be nicer and get along, etc. It will be granted that limits are necessary, but the tendency for boys to roughhouse is normal. The scolding and “socializing” to more feminine traits continues apace in early adulthood and is not helped by other cultural tendencies such as the “men are stupid” commercials etc.