Traditional Catholicism Keeps Real Men From Joining Football Religion

There is this article by Nicholas Frankovich at National Review about men worshipping at “Stupid Bowl” Sunday.  Here is the best part of it.

pic_giant_013115_SM_Football-Player-DTPhoto by Alessandroguerriero/Dreamstime

“Traditional Christianity, before the Reformation, needed men, or manliness, in two ways that it has begun to think it no longer does. It needed priests to offer the sacrifice of the Mass, a continuation of Christ’s self-sacrifice on Calvary, the more perfect sacrifice of which the blood sacrifice performed by the Levitical priesthood in the Temple in Jerusalem was the type, or foreshadowing. It was gory and not very ladylike. Then traditional Christianity needed men to exorcise demons and do battle in what Evangelical Christians call “spiritual warfare.” Satan was not going down without a fight. Women, too, were expected to join in the struggle for the Church Militant, but not necessarily alongside men in frontline combat.

Protestants renounced the understanding of Mass as sacrifice half a millennium ago, and Catholics themselves half a century ago finally began to follow their lead somewhat, reconfiguring the altar to make it a table around which the faithful share a meal. Around the same time, the Church retired the expression “Church Militant” and, in the spirit of the age, elevated peace rhetoric over victory rhetoric.

The fit between men and the Church as currently constituted is awkward, and more men than women choose not to belong. The loss is not the men’s alone. It’s primarily that of the Church as a whole, insofar as any mixed-sex society needs “the spinal cord of male bonds” to structure it, to borrow a controversial phrase from the controversial anthropologist Lionel Tiger.

Unwittingly or deliberately, who knows, Pope Francis has encouraged Catholics who advocate women’s ordination, which would dissolve the fraternal character of the priesthood and confirm the Church in its identity as an essentially feminine institution, or at any rate one in which traditional masculinity is discouraged. Those who support that development should be mindful that bishops continue to board up churches because people don’t go to Mass on Sunday in the numbers they used to. Super Bowl Sunday is the perfect occasion to ponder the question why.”

— Nicholas Frankovich is a deputy managing editor of National Review.