Interesting article in Catholic Insight on the Women’s “Ordination” Worldwide Conferences by a woman who has attended the conferences since 2001. Though she was only covering them and has no agreements with their agenda. Here is what she had to say about the Dublin Conference.
The event was held at University of Dublin, and the sight of a Crucifix, holy picture or statue that would usually identify a conference held in the Catholic tradition, was missing; instead there were four dominant altars to the elements of nature: earth, water, fire, and air. There was also a large linen-covered table with a display of loaves of bread, sheaves of wheat and grapes.
Approximately 300 people attended the conference, most of whom were older women. The largest group came from North America, many from the U.K. and Western Europe. The handful of men who attended were ex-priests, plus a few husbands of delegates. Sadly, there were also two priests in good standing with the diocese who took an active part in the liturgy and events of the conference. We were identifiable as orthodox Catholics, wearing small gold papal keys and pro-life lapel pins. This resulted in angry challenges from some participants, and media interest.
The conference was opened with a welcome hopping dance. The participants linked arms and danced in a chain around the hall chanting, “Earth my body, water my blood, fire my spirit….” This went on for some time before the talks began. During the two days of the conference, we sat through one speaker after another seriously distorting the teachings and doctrine of the Church and her history, and expressing anger and sometimes hatred toward the Pope and cardinals, especially Cardinal Ratzinger. We did not engage in their discussions however – until one of the speakers, John Wijngaards, a former priest and “theologian” from the Netherlands, and a frequent contributor to the London Tablet, stated that the Pope was a dictator worse than Hitler because Hitler only killed the body. When a statement of that nature is made against the Holy Father, silence on our part would have implied consent. When asked to retract his statement, he reluctantly did so, and that retraction was recorded on the conference tapes that were distributed.
The conference liturgy was dominated by New Age and occult practices; many of the delegates wore purple stoles, and some were dressed in full priests’ vestments. The most disturbing liturgical practice took place on the Sunday before the conference closed. It was listed as a “eucharist”. Our group left the area and returned just as they were finishing this celebration. The room was filled with incense, drums were beating, and each of the participants held an earthenware chalice and paten with the bread that had been displayed on the table, and the grape juice that had been used in the ritual. The two dissident priests from the diocese had taken part in the ceremony.
I would love to see video of a welcome hopping dance, though seeing all of these silly dissidents might make me hopping mad. The main thing about these events is that they show they are not made up of women who mostly accept the Catholic faith, but just disagree on this one topic. They are made up of women who have a deep rooted misunderstanding of what the Church is and their ecclesiology is taken more from Ms. Magazine than the Gospels.
I recommend reading the rest of the article as it describes the last conference in Ottawa and then ends with a summation and answers to common objections pertaining to the ability of the Church to ordain women.