On any given Sunday here in Rome, the congregations attending Mass will be mostly women, and most of them will be elderly women. God bless them! What you will almost never see is younger men. Hispanic friars tell me that the same goes for Masses in Latin and South America as well. Church-going is women's work.
Why is that? Not so long ago it was suggested by critics of a modernist Church that the reforms of Vatican Two and the subsequent hijacking of those reforms by feminists had "feminized" the Church (esp. the liturgy) to the point where men felt excluded. Men voted with their feet.
As a student brother in St Louis I once attended a Newman Center Mass at a university in Illinois. Among the 30 or so students in attendance there were exactly three men--me, the priest, and the boyfriend of a young woman who read the readings. Father, unfortunately, was the stereotypical Newman Center chaplain--deeply committed to a 1973 reading of Vatican Two, tied-dyed vestments, syrupy homily, huggy-kissy liturgy, big chunky loaf of granola bread for consecration, etc.
The Center's personnel were women. All of the student officers of the Catholic Student Organization were women. All of the communion ministers were women. All the readers and the entire choir were women. I saw several offices with name plates on the doors. All women.
The building itself was "female" as well! Round building, the chairs arranged in a circle, the altar dressings were "hand-made" in that oh-so-1973 style. Since the chapel was basically a multi-purpose religious celebration space, images of other religions were hung about. The Episcopalians had recently painted the walls and ceiling pink and hung up "art" by their grade school children. The whole place exuded the feeling of a kindergarten classroom.
During the Mass, I noticed that the boyfriend was standing stoically by his girlfriend with his arms crossed. He never opened his mouth. He was especially resolute in his silence when we sung a hand-clapping rendition of the Gloria! When Mass was over, I tried to introduce myself, but he hit the door faster than I could get to him.
I asked the priest afterward about the conspicuous absence of men at the Mass. He just shrugged his shoulders and seemed not the least bit worried that his summer camp Mass might be alienating his male charges.
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