Devirilization of the Church

Two unrelated posts from two sites on the Internet bring to our attention the “devirilization” of the Church, that is, the stripping away of virtuous Catholic masculinity.

The first one — whence comes the word — is from Rorate Caeli, and is called “The Devirilization of the Liturgy in the Novus Ordo Mass.” This ought to be required reading for anyone who wishes to be intellectually serious about his commitment to the traditional liturgy of the Church — especially priests. The author is Fr. Richard G. Cipolla, Ph.D., D. Phil. (Oxon.). Fr. Cipolla is Chairman of the Classics Department at Brunswick School in Greenwich, CT, and parochial vicar of St. Mary’s, Norwalk, CT (Diocese of Bridgeport).

The second one comes from, and is called “Priest: You’ve contracepted our parochial school out of existence.” Its author is Fr. Timothy Sauppé, S.T.L., pastor of St. Mary’s Church, Westville, Illinois, in the Diocese of Peoria. This one shows how the sin of Onanism leads to the demographic death of the faithful, which leads, in turn, to the closings of schools and parishes. Except for its unqualified endorsement of NFP — concerning which read this — the article is highly recommended.

Both men are “priests in good standing” with their respective dioceses.

While these articles treat two different “hot-button” issues, one liturgical, the other moral, they are connected at a fundamental level, for they both consider the stripping away of masculinity among Catholic men. They treat of the demasculinization both of the priesthood and of familial fatherhood. When a man turns to birth control, thereby denying his and his wife’s marital fecundity, and shirking the responsibilities of fatherhood, he has emasculated himself (and dishonored his wife, too). He may not see it that way, but his ignorance is a result of his being blinded by the most blinding thing in the world: habitual sins of impurity.

Read these two articles one right after the other and behold the great challenge of our day: the recovery of authentic Catholic manhood.