downton abbey and the church

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Here is my latest column for the Prairie Messenger…

The days of maintaining pomp and grandeur at all costs are over. The days of patriarchal superiority are over. The days of claiming exclusivity over wisdom and decision-making based on titles and privilege are over. The days of oppressive hierarchical structures built on the backs of subservient and obedient people are over. The days of women working only behind the scenes with no access to proper leadership positions are over.

Days of Upstairs Downstairs in the Church are over

I had great fun writing this piece It also helped me rationalize the too many hours spent watching TV over the Christmas holidays. I was doing research! 😉

6 thoughts on “downton abbey and the church

  1. What a great way to show the Church structure mimicked in Downton Abbey. It helps to understand the motivations of various stakeholders in the Church.

  2. Thanks Isabella for your column. Pray and hope that those days in the church are over! May the sun shine into our church! Love starting the day reading your message.

  3. Thank you for this opportunity to dialogue. However, I have a hard time relating to all the negative excesses mentioned that are to be rooted out of the Church – sorry. I see our parish priest, who is from Africa, working very hard serving 4 parishes involving long distance commuting over Manitoba winter roads; at the same time being cowed by over bearing parishioners (not trained in Church teachings, scripture or theology) who dictate how long his homilies should be and what he should or should not say; and who maintain absolute control of the parish finances keeping parish funds in separate bank accounts out of the reach of the parish at large; I see our bishop walking with us on our pro-life marches, and visiting our parish and relating pretty well with us in “the choir”. I am sure that there is clericalism in the Church and clergy who are guilty of the other excesses mentioned, but there are also other negative influences at work that don’t all originate with the clergy .

    • And thank you for joining the dialogue! I hope that the excesses are a thing of the past. But, as in all things, you have your good souls and your rotters. Yes, sadly, clericalism is still present in our church. Thankfully we have a pope who recognizes this and isn’t afraid to name it for what it is.

      And, as you rightly mention, sometimes the problem is with the people not the priest.

      We must rejoice in and affirm all priests and bishops of integrity. They surely need our support. It is good to hear their stories, like that of Fr. Michael Doyle in the next blog post. Thank you for sharing your good story. May you and your pastor be blessed in your good works. 🙂

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