Highlights from the week online

The lowdown on genuflection in church

Should you always genuflect when entering a Catholic church? Not necessarily, says Philip Kosloski at Aleteia.org, who has written a handy guide to genuflection etiquette. He explains that genuflection comes from court etiquette, where it was “a sign of respect as well as a pledge of service”. The left knee “was always used to give reverence to a king and so to distinguish the Christian usage of the custom, Christians would genuflect in church on the right knee to God.”

He notes that Catholics should only genuflect “when there is a tabernacle present with the Precious Body within it”, as indicated by the red sanctuary lamp.

For example, there is no need to genuflect on Good Friday as the tabernacle is empty. “A simple bow is substituted whenever the Eucharist is not present.”

I’m not a trial run, says married priest

Fr Joshua Whitfield, of St Rita’s in Dallas, is a married Catholic priest with four children who doesn’t believe that married men should, in general, be ordained. In fact, he writes in the Dallas Morning News, he thinks it would be a bad idea. Fr Whifield, a former Anglican minister, says people “assume I’m in favour of opening the priesthood to married men.” Not so. “Because the Catholic Church believes Christians should be united, it sometimes makes exceptions from its own, even ancient, disciplines and norms, in my case celibacy. My family and I are not test subjects in some sort of trial run put on by the Vatican to see whether married priesthood works. Rather, we’re witnesses to the Church’s empathy and desire for unity. “That’s what we married priests wish people would see, the Catholicism we fell in love with and made sacrifices for.”

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