The Chairman of the traditionalist Latin Mass Society, Joseph Shaw, has written an interesting piece on the history of seating in Catholic churches being segregated by sex. Here is an extract. Read the article in full here
Readers need not panic that I’m about to start a Quixotic campaign to restore the tradition of segregated seating. What I am concerned about is the defence of our traditions, even those which have died out, if they have been deeply embedded in the tradition as a whole. The attack on these traditions is ultimately an attack on Tradition. Segregation by sex was practiced in the West from the very earliest times until, in historical terms, yesterday; in some places it even survives to this day. It is still found in at least some of the Eastern Churches, such as the Coptic Church. It is insisted on by Fathers of the Church, such as Cyril of Jerusalem. If we concede that it is wrong, and that the practice is only explicable by contempt and hatred of women, then we are conceding that the Church has been wrong in her most sacred and intimate moments, in her worship; that her worship, over centuries and even millennia, and all over the world, has been invaded by stupidity, hatred, and prejudice. We can’t make that concession and expect people to take seriously the importance of maintaining any of our traditions. As traditional Catholics, we are toast.