“Afternoon light bathed the spacious interior of the Church of Our Lady of X. A new batch of Eucharistic ministers stood before the altar, quietly waiting to be blessed by the parish priest and the mostly middle-class congregation.
As I gazed at them, stiff in crisp barongs, somnolent in the heat of the retiring day, I felt unsettled, not knowing why.
Then it hit me. All of them were men.
Non-Catholics and desultory Catholics may wonder what the fuss was about. So what if only men can give out communion? Devout Catholics may understand the fuss, though they might not question the practice. The Eucharist is the central sacrament of the Catholic faith. To exclude women from assisting at thissacrament suggests they are unworthy to administer the body and blood of Christ. Even those who deem the Eucharist merely symbolic—I am not one of them—must appreciate the symbolic power of that exclusion.”
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