Like many my reaction to the National Catholic Reporter endorsing Women’s Ordination was “They hadn’t already?” The positive thing to take away at least is that I would rather someone be forthright in what they believe instead of simply undermining from the edges. I am often more annoyed by the somebody where it is quite evident that they oppose Catholic teaching while not quite coming out and saying so. Still it is always sad when somebody rejects the truth.
As always with progressives they always use two things to buttress their points.
- Make what a committee advises dogmatic and turn the dogmatic into opinion.
- Invoke sensus fidelium.
In regards to their editorial these are both checked off. First off we have an appeal to 1976 Pontifical Biblical Commission with the main conclusion. “It does not seem that the New Testament by itself alone will permit us to settle in a clear way and once and for all the problem of the possible accession of women to the presbyterate.” As if a negative conclusion using scripture alone is definitive. Our Lord’s example is meaningless to them. That the scriptures do not support women’s ordination without gymnastic contortions also does not matter. The fact that the Aaronic priesthood was also male also gets ignored.
Instead they resort to the voting within the commission as being important. This is similar to how the commission that advised Paul VI regarding contraception is treated. In progressive ecclesiology there is simply no room for the pope other than as some symbolic figurehead that rubber stamps progressive ideas. It is the commission that they happen to agree with that becomes the infallible method of guiding the Church. So if you staff a commission with people picked to come to a conclusion I guess you can guide the actions of the Holy Spirit. I don’t seem to recall the scripture passage “On this commission/committee I will build my Church.” In fact when Jesus asked his disciples about who he was, they all got it wrong except Peter who was guided by the Holy Spirit.
They also have a very odd idea about sensus fidelium that can be divorced from the constant teaching and example of the Church. Nobody praises the level of catechesis and understanding of the last couple generations of Catholics and yet an uncatechized sensus fidelium is suppose to trump everything. When the majority of the laity were Arians or Jansenists this did not mean that these heresies became the truth. A sensus fidelium not grounded in Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the Magisterium is no true voice at all. While no Latin scholar by any stretch of the imagination I think the phrase just might have something to do with fidelity. Church documents regarding even the teaching authority of bishops frame it using “in communion with the Roman Pontiff.”
I would also like to know what the difference is between Protestant ecclesiology and progressive Catholic ecclesiology? While it is true there are many strains of Protestant ecclesiology, progressive Catholic ecclesiology has the same sandy foundation. They will talk about a parallel magisterium of theologians, but the members of this parallel magisterium must be progressive theologians to count. But it is true we have a parallel magisterium of theologians of sorts in that as in parallel lines they never intersect and in this case don’t intersect with the authentic teaching authority of the Church. Really though these dissenting theologians make up an anti-magisterium when there are not in unity with the Church. The problems in Protestantism is the lack of authority where each man becomes their own pope deciding what is the truth. Progressive Catholicism has exactly the same problem and becomes an association of like-minded people without any actual authority to define. If I don’t have to listen to the Pope then why would I have to listen to them? It is like the people with “Question Authority” bumper stickers. What authority do you have to tell me to question authority? Next we will have “Dissent is the highest form of theology” bumper stickers.
This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. His mind and will in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking. — Lumen Gentium 25
I’m not seeing much religious submission of mind and will here.
The theology of a false fairness where every member of the body of Christ is the same appendage seems to simply ignore the words of St. Paul and say that all parts can have the same function. I will refrain from pointing out what part of the body the National Catholic Reporter is.