The following is an excerpt from the post which struck me as especially astute (emphasis mine):
The need for manly devotion in the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy
The feminization of the Holy Mass is a serious problem in the modern Church. It is not that the Liturgy must be utterly masculine, especially if this be understood in such a way as to exclude women from participating (remembering, of course, that the truest and most active participation is spiritual and internal). Nevertheless, there is a growing recognition of the fact that the sanctuary is becoming a place where men (and boys) are losing their manhood and becoming more like women – this may then have the odd counter-effect of making some women act like men, but that is a problem for another article.
What are some indications of this feminization of the Liturgy and, together with it, of the men (and boys) who serve at the Sacred Rites? Consider, for instance, the hyper-relational emphasis of the modern Liturgy (rather, of the Liturgy as it is often celebrated in modern times). The focus is all too often turned from sacrifice to salutation, from worship to welcome. Obviously, greeting and welcome have their proper place in the Liturgy, but adoration and sacrifice must not be ignored. This movement from offering adoration through sacrifice to greeting and welcome is certainly an indication of a movement from a masculine to a feminine perspective – not that all men want to offer sacrifice, nor that all women want to build community; but these are certainly underlying drives in each gender, respectively. Nor do we say that one is bad and the other good – it only need be emphasized that the male priest (and the altar boys) are very often pressured to deny the masculine sacrificial focus in order to accentuate a more feminine form of community-building. Indications of this would be the use of modern hymns and modern musical instruments, increased “commentary” and ad lib speaking, the placement of the altar closer to the nave, and (above all else) facing the people throughout the Liturgy.
I couldn't agree more! Please go on and read the rest so as to get the full context.
This section was especially striking to me because I've touched on this topic before and of course with my own growing understanding of sacred liturgy, it is one of the modern problems that absolutely makes me crazy when it comes up at deanery meetings and the like. All too often, it seems like the (generally female) laity "in charge" of various parishes are in favor of stripping beauty, making us "more like other faith traditions" and push female "participation" in various liturgical roles.
Sadly, instead of highlighting the proper gifts of women, it seems to turn well-meaning and faithful women in to puppets for those with an agenda of power and the result, which we witness every day, is the "feminization" Reginaldus describes.
The reality is that the Mass NEVER needed to be "feminized".
Certainly some abuses needed to be curtailed and some development needed to occur, as it has, organically throughout the centuries, but the average person never foresaw the destruction and the "wrath of woman" that has done so much damage to our sanctuaries, our architecture, our patrimony...and therefore our sacred liturgy.
The Church as Bride
The Liturgy is, quite literally, the face of the Church. When we speak to non-Catholics, they know us by the Mass we attend every Sunday, and maybe every day. I've known many people who have attended Catholic weddings, funerals, and that was their only real contact with Catholicism. When they look at a Catholic, they are less likely to see our beliefs, but recall vividly our liturgy.
(Never mind there shouldn't be that kind of disconnect - but there it is.)
The Church is already feminine - deeply, deeply feminine. The Church as a whole is the Bride of Christ, and Holy Communion, the consummation of that Holy and Eternal Marriage. In the Mass, the Bridegroom offers Himself as an immolation for His Bride, and the Bride approaches, open to receive Him and offer fully of herself in sacred union.
This is why many Cathedrals and other churches built in the traditional style have a canopy (Baldacchino) over the high altar; it represents this spousal relationship between God and His people.
Look around you in a beautiful parish: there is stained glass full of symbolism pointing to the purity of the Saints, the sacrifices they made, colors representing universal understanding of things like martyrdom, betrayal, royalty, purity, chivalry...the list goes on. The light of the sun falling through the glass is an adornment upon the Bride, reflected through the jewels created by human hands for the Glory of God. The statues of Mary, Jesus and the Saints are breathtaking, often adorned with floral arrangements, and established within a parish to give proper significance to them in relation to the people, the parish, and the Church as a whole. These things point to eternity and speak volumes of the sensuality and intuitiveness proper to the nature of women.
The clothing worn by the priests and altar servers are made often by women - nuns who have given their lives to their Lord -Brides in the individual sense, with Him, laying their lives down in sacrifice proper to a spouse. The chausables from any time in history therefore have a woman's touch, a sense of beauty that both pleases the eye and guides one to meditate upon eternity.
Consider the architecture of a great Cathedral or beautiful Church, and compare it to the beauty of a woman, perhaps as described in the Song of Songs. People of many faiths, and none at all, visit Catholic Cathedrals, Basilicas, and Churches as tourists, in awe of the magnificence. One cannot help, when entering these buildings, but to recognize the feminine nature of our ancient decor.
And then contrast it with the more "feminized" buildings, vestments, and "art" of the modern culture - and wonder if someone drank too much kool-aid and decided to take up the hobby of the destruction of beauty.
The Masculinity of the Priesthood
As Reginaldus discusses, St. Joseph is the epitome of masculine worship. He is a protector, he knows about sacrifice, suffering, and in all that, was a compliment to his spouse and a father to Our Lord.
The nature of the priesthood is both one of service and sacrifice. There is a hard practicality to that sacred Vocation which is informed by the feminine nature of the Church as a whole, yet reinforced with a solid foundation so as to stand as a bulwark against the winds that try to buffet her about.
The Church needs BOTH of these natures, the masculine and feminine, in order to bear fruit, and do so abundantly.
The disorder we've been both witness to and suffered from in the last 50 years or so has confused the nature of the liturgy and has caused great divisions among the faithful. I truly believe that this is one of the reasons John Paul II wrote the Theology of the Body, and that this series of Wednesday Audiences was the harbringer of Pope Benedict XVI's liturgical reforms.
I have no solutions to offer, but post this only as an observation. I don't speak for any particular faction within the Church, but only as a faithful Catholic woman who has found freedom in the privilege of being a woman through understanding the true nature of the Church and her relationship to her head, the Bridegroom, Jesus Christ.