The Inquirer’s coverage of women claiming to have been ordained priests is unfortunate and unbalanced. The headlines for the ceremonies ("Act of defiance," Aug. 1, and "Female Catholic priest has first Mass," Aug. 7) were inaccurate and misleading. An "organization" may have "ordained" the women, but the church did not. A "female Catholic priest" is not a validly ordained Catholic priest. Whatever words may have been spoken, they did not constitute the celebration of a valid Mass.
The church encourages women and all the faithful to use their gifts for the good of the community. But the church is not authorized by Christ to confer holy orders upon women and cannot do so, no matter how ardent a person’s desire may be.
While the former story was placed on Page One and the latter on the front of the B section, The Inquirer offered scant coverage for two significant events in the archdiocese. A mere six sentences were printed for the July 26 episcopal ordination Mass for Philadelphia native Bishop Daniel E. Thomas. Not a single word was printed for the July 28 emotional farewell service for Bishop Michael F. Burbidge prior to his installation as bishop of Raleigh, N.C.
The contrast between invalid ceremonies given strong emphasis and valid ones given little is an offense to faithful Catholics within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
Director of communications
Exactly right. The press goes all gooey-eyed over invalid ordinations and ignores or hardly notices valid ones.