My Dearest Rock Princess,
First of all,
I hope you don’t mind my calling you "rock princess."
I just figure that since you are married to "the Rock"
I should really honor that.
And I didn’t want folks to confuse that
and think I was referring to the actor
named Dwayne Johnson.
And, being that your husband was the first Pope and all,
I just consider you as sort of royalty.
it never occurred to the scripture writers to call you by name.
So.. .I call you"Rock Princess."
I’ve written to your husband, San Pedro, a couple of times.
But you know,
I just thought it was high time I contacted you.
Tell me, Princesa, tell me the truth.
What role did women play in the early church?
I’d rather ask you than read it in some theology text book.
I’ve studied formally at seminary.
But I would just rather hear it
from a woman who was there.
What happened to the role of deaconess
that we read about in Romans?
And why did the so called "scholars"change the text?
Does not the original Greek say "deaconess?"
What happened to them?
And does it bother you
that people don’t recognize you as the first Pope’s wife?
Did you and San Pedro have any children?
What are there names?
Can you tell me something about them?
Did you and the pope have any grandchildren?
And tell me,
how active a role did your mother play
in helping to form the early church?
And the child of Talitha Koum,
was that a relative of yours and Pedro?
And tell me, Princesa,
What do you think of what has happened to Sister Louise?
I fully understand that the church must guard her teachings,
protect what’s important.
But what is important?
"Christ has died.
Christ is risen.
Christ will come again."
Isn’t this the truth we must guard?
Isn’t what happed to Sister Louise
nothing more than Ecclesial Espionage?
Where will the hidden cameras be next?
Who will we see praying with whom on camera?
And then condemn them for it. . .
It just doesn’t seem right.
The church says " don’t do this. Don’t go there."
And then, the church goes and does it.
And what is going on in St. Louis anyway?
I, for one, truly admire Fr. Bozek.
I cannot say that I agree
with everything he has said or has done.
But I admire him.
you can’t have dialogue
unless and until someone first speaks.
When someone speaks or writes something
and those words make you think,
its like activating brain cells.
Whether you agree or disagree is irrelevant at first.
The point is that you form thought
triggered by the words of another.
If someone speaks or writes
and it makes another think
I believe that those words serve a purpose.
For once brain cells are activated action is certain to follow.
And if the reader or listener
can offer a comment or challenge,
well, only then do we have dialogue.
I admire Fr. Bozek because he makes me think.
Something that I dare say
the church has historically not expected of her members.
for Fr. Bozek and Sister Louise there was no real dialogue.
It would seem excommunication is handed out
like free parking passes lately.
And I dare to say
that it has lost its power.
My apologies, Princesa, if my sarcasm is showing.
But you know,
The nopalito will never flower
without the espinas to protect her.
Anywy, my point is
that Sister Louise and Fr. Bozek. . .
. . . .Their words and their actions
all somehow make me think of you.
I wonder. . .
If you were on this earthly plain today. . . .
Would the church spy on you with a hidden camera?
Would the church consider you a harlot
because you had an intimate
marital relationship with a Pope?
Would the church condemn all of your comadres
via guilt by association?
Would the church consider you a rezadora,
pastora de la comunidad?
the church doesn’t even bother to remember you by name.
But I remember you
and I think of you often.
And I am inspired by women like you.
give my "hello" to all of the Gospel Girlfriends that,
like you, were never given a name in scripture:
Girlfriend at the Well, The Comadre from Cana,
the woman bent over,
and give my greetings to the gals of the Old Testament:
Ruth, Miriam, Hanna, Rebekah, Hosea’s Wife,
Lot’s wife, Tamar, Judith. . .all of the girls.
Please remember me to those ladies
the lectionary places in brackets
as women optional to our story:
The Prophetess named Ana, The woman with a hemorrhage.
the woman who anointed Jesus on the head.
For the fact is,
they are not optional to me at all.
And send my greetings
to those women whose stories
are completely omitted from the lectionary:
Shiphrah and Puah, Deboraha, Huldah the Prophetess,
Phoebe, Lois and Eunice.
It would seem that some women
are still being cut from the story.
Finally, and most importantly,
please remember me to Lupita in a very special way.
Let Her know that when difficulties arise
I remember Her words,
"Am I not here, I who am your mother?"
Let Her know that when I remember Her words,
I feel inspired, encouraged and accompanied
in all of life’s difficult moments
and joyous moments as well.
You are so lucky, Princesa.
You got to know Her in person.
Thank you, Princesa, for taking the time to read my letter.
I admire you more than you may ever know.
Tell me, Princesa,
when are you going to start your own blog?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
A Letter to St. Peter's Wife
(c) 2008, Rubi Martinez-Bernat.
About the author:
Rubi works in the area of music and liturgy in the Archiodese of Detroit and has several blogs and websites, including: LiturgyHouse.org. Permission is given to use this writing on websites or blogs as is in it's entirety provided that: 1) Author name and copyright are included; 2) this paragraph must be included with clickable link in this paragrah; 3) Nothing may be deleted or added. All other use in all other media prohibited.