For the past week, we have had two women visiting us from Germany. One of the women, Linda has been connected to my local living community for over twenty years. She studied Pastoral Counseling with one of our sisters. Linda brought along her friend Andrea. It's been nice having them with us and last night they cooked us a delicious dinner of potato pancakes - so delicious and yummy.
We have sat around our dinner table practically each night sharing stories for at least an hour or so. One story that they shared with us deals with a Lutheran women bishop in Germany. She was just recently appointed to the job and people were happy with what she was doing. However, one night she was out at a dinner with friends and ended up drinking a bit too much. On her way home, she was stopped by police for drinking while intoxicated. Of course, it was all over the papers and news in Germany. This woman then went the next day and resigned from her work because she did not believe that she should hold such a worthy title considering what had happened.
People's reactions to this were mixed. Some were very happy and supportive; but others upset because they felt her resignation was not needed. Some even expressed statements that her resignation was accepted simply because she was a woman and that she was being held to a higher standard than a man would be.
This reminded me of a conversation I had with a 6th grade boy name William, one of the students I taught at St. Ignatius in Hunts Point in the Bronx. (www.nynativity.org) One day he mentioned that his 16 year old cousin was pregnant and there was a family shower going on that weekend. William wanted to know why if being pregant at a young age and unmarried wasn't too wise-why was the family having a shower? I explained that yes it can be difficult to be pregnant at 16, but a new life is coming so you want to make sure the baby has what he or she needs.
William then turned to me and said oh I guess this is what a moral dilemma is. I feel the same way about the Lutheran woman bishop in Germany.
What type of moral dilemmas have you come across in your life?