Well after just reviewing Catholic Priesthood and Women, here is a unfortunate story.
Sudbury’s Marie Evans Bouclin has become the second woman in Canada to be ordained a Roman Catholic priest.
Bouclin was one of three women called to the priesthood by Bishop Patricia Fresen at an ordination ceremony at West Hill United Church in Scarborough on Sunday afternoon.
I am shocked? Shocked I tell you. Does this person care nothing for tradition? I mean where is the riverboat? Up to now the tradition of women’s riverboat faux ordinations has been quite firm. Though she did manage to keep the tradition of an unbelievably ugly stole.
Along with Bouclin, Cheryl Bristol and Mary Ellen Robertson of the United States were called to the priesthood by Fresen, one of only three female bishops worldwide.
Strange, I though it was Christ’s role to do this calling? I’ll have to check a concordance for Fresen. Bishop Jean-Louis Plouffe had the following comments.
Plouffe is on record recently as saying that, while he respects Bouclin for her faith, ordaining women breaks from the teachings of the church.
Plouffe said he would not consider Bouclin’s ordination valid, because only men can be ordained.
Bouclin is optimistic that will change as a result of Sunday’s service.
The Pope has called an emergency synod at the Vatican because of Bouclin’s ordination. It has forced their hand and now everything must change because of "Sunday’s service." It seems most women wannabe priests see themselves as the Rosa Parks of the Catholic Church, that they are taking a brave stand defying inequality. I do wonder if they make a vow of obedience to their women "bishop?" Not that obedience is exactly their strong streak.
The ceremony was filled with music and prayer. And while the liturgy was virtually the same as that heard every Sunday in traditional Roman Catholic churches, it was startling for some to hear it delivered by women.
Even more unusual was the sight of Fresen breaking bread and presiding over the mass.
Even more unusual was the sight of people receiving only bread and wine for Communion instead of the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ. The women’s priest movement, even though they don’t realize it, are just working to deprive people of the Eucharist.
VisionTV is preparing a documentary on Bouclin and why she has chosen to defy the Vatican.
How about a documentary on how she has chosen to defy the will of Christ and his Church?
Even though women aren’t permitted to wear the Roman Collar, their role in the church is by no means deminished.
In fact I would argue that women have one of the most important roles to provide for the church. Good Catholic God fearing women are one of the many reasons why we have survived so long. This role i’m talking about is the instruction of children. Let’s say for example that mothers didn’t teach their children how to be good Catholic’s, or that women didn’t serve in instructional roles whatsoever. What good would a magisterium be for a bunch of catholics who didn’t know what being Catholic really meant? No matter how many speeches the Holy Father gave, it would make no difference because these unruly catholic’s would go their own way anyway.
So yes, even though women can’t celebrate mass, or the sacraments, their role is no less important than anyone elses. Christ knew all of this, and he knew that these roles are what is best suited for the loving and caring nature of women.
So I thank women for their continuing contribution to church; because with the Lord Jesus Christ and women instructing our children how can we lose?
Now don’t get me wrong, i’m all in favor of gender equality and all, but the church is a well oiled machine that can’t suffer too many breakdowns or else the whole system breaks down, or worse we lose favor with God and he choses another church to represent him. We all have our roles to play to keep the machine running, all roles equally as important as the next. I believe our late Pope John Paul II eluded to this a little bit when he said the priesthood isn’t ‘holier than thou’ than say married life, they are all equal.
As soon as Theoblogger mentioned TST (Toronto School of Theology), Regis College and the many colleges within U of Toronto – I rolled my eyes.
Toronto has an Extreme Liberal/Anti-Hierarchy slant when it comes to Catholic University studies.
The only place that I know of that has a solid program is The Oratory of St. Philip Neri in Toronto.
I consider what those women are doing is the same as when my young son does a mass at home for us.
The ‘Let’s Pretend Mass”.
Except he knows the difference.
Unfortunately this took place just a mile or so away from my home. Had I but known…
A documentary on why Bouclin, et al, have chosen to “defy” the Vatican (sic). Whoa now.
Why not do a documentary on why three-year olds stamp their feet and refuse to to to bed? Or why adolescents often defy their parents? Or why some people feel the need to alert us to “The End Is Near”? Or why hordes of so-called “gays” feel the compulsion to march up and down major city streets exposing themselves and acting like utter fools?
Or why Rosie O’Donnell left a program in a snit?
What defiance? This is but two-bit narcissistic attention getting and fifteen minutes of fame. Does anyone give two cents any more about that faux Episcopalian bishop, what’s his name, Robinson?
John Hetman: unfortunately, the 2-bit, narcissistic Episcopalian Bishop, Gene Robinson, is serving as the camel that broke the Anglican Communion’s back right now, causing untold misery for millions of orthodox, faithful Christians around the globe. It is when said 2-bit, narcissistic, attention-getting heretics don’t get disciplined that their antics become more and more palatable to the general public, and then they become the rule instead of the exception.
I thought the thing with the riverboat was to make unclear which diocese the ordaination was taking place in. I am not sure why that no longer matters. Don’t they need the permission of the local ordinary?
One of three bishops? I don’t think so.
As far as we know, there are NO female bishops in the world.
I hate to seem simplistic but exactly how is this *woman* a Catholic Priest? Rather it would seem to me she has, by her own action, excommunicated herself. Their are no women priests so she isn’t one except in her own imagination.
I don’t believe women’s ordination causes a Latae Sentia excommunication. There is no canon directly punishing the “ordination” of women. In the past they have been formally excommunicated by their Bishops. Canon 1379 which threatens �a just penalty� for the simulation of a sacrament and a Bishop can excommunicate based on this. Canon 1319 also applies.
There is a separate penalty for simulating the Mass. (1983 CIC 1378 � 2, n. 1) calls for an automatic interdict and this can be increased to excommunication by the Bishop depending on gravity.
These chicks should read up on the Anglicans. Their nuttiness will be allowed there.
Sometimes I wonder…if they hate the faith so much as to defy the Church like this, why don’t they just leave?
funny, I’m preparing a flash animation about those who defy the Vatican… Inspired by womyn’s “ordination” hijinxs on the high seas, it’s called “Pirates of the Galilean”
tolkien1138, I hope you’re serious. That would be very, very funny.
That “news” story is what happens when reporters simply repeat what some nut tells them. There isn’t even ONE Catholic bishop, let alone three. It’s not even an easy mistake to make, either.
I notice the story has been taken down.
Jeff, you wrote, correctly, “I don’t believe women’s ordination causes a Latae Sentia excommunication.” And, I agree. Forgive me, I was knowingly being snippy. I think I was trying to say something like JohnathanR said when he pondered why they don’t just go to another ‘church’ that allows ordination of women; Anglicans being the obvious choice in the close to Rome but no cigar category.
I am a man, & I attended the ordination service you are writing about. Funny thing. A professor of mine at Regis College (Jesuit) & Lonergan proteg� describes the refusal to ordain women as a scotosis. In fact, I expect you’ll find that most Catholic academics (and not just Jesuits) are in agreement on that point. There is a disturbing arrogance running through these comments. If these women are liturgical whores, then you are the men casting stones.
Great you and friends can nuance an infallible utterance barring women from the priesthood as a deliberate attempt to block some new area of knowledge — a kind of blind spot.
But are you nuanced enough to understand that calling the Vatican’s refusal to admit women to priestesshood a “scotosis” is merely a criticism and not a reason?
To illustrate, it is like telling a child he cannot borrow the car and then the child yells to the parent: “You’re mean!”
This is not a reason for the parent to change his mind. It is merely a reaction. And a petulant, puerile reaction at that.
Thank goodness the Vatican is not stupid enough to fall for such childishness. It may work on the Oprah-style parents but the rest of us are intelligent enough to understand it is bad parenting.
You might as well say, “A close Jesuit friend of mine has characterized the Vatican’s refusal to ordain women as uncool. He says it is not fair because his Methodist friends get to have women stand in the pulpit and sometimes he feels like he is the only one at seminary who belongs to such a mean church.”
If we are lucky, he will run away from home.
That will show us.
Here is a good podcast:
theblogger, Christ gave Apostolic Succession, not Academic Succession.
He gave authority to apostles, not scholars.
We should listen to the wielders and successors of that authority, not to anyone else who thinks otherwise.
Sad now that these be the times that anyone else who tries to show his brother’s(sister’s) fault is ‘arrogant’ and ‘stonethrower’, ‘pharisee’ and ‘hypocrite’.
Well, I’m a woman not ordained (just like every other woman! Hah!)
It strikes me that these women suffer from Protestant HyperIndividual Trouble, probably as a result of growing up in Western culture. They are throwing a PHIT. They are, in essence, saying “I will serve God in THIS way, on my terms, based on my own personal sense of entitlement”, instead of taking up their cross and saying “Thy will be done”.
An unnamed professor is challenging the Vatican, saying the Magisterium in the last 2000 has not examined the Gospels deeply because they’re afraid of what they might find? Somehow these questions would lead to knowledge best left undiscovered? Puh-lease.
(That’s what I understand scotosis to mean, anyway.)
You’re right. I did not give a reason. And it is easy enough to say that because I am a Protestant, I have no standing in this debate. Still, since I have found myself frequently welcome within Roman Catholic communities, and since Roman Catholic polity does impact upon my life, at the very least I need to understand. I need to understand your reason. So far as I can discern, my reliance upon another academic’s position is no different than your deference to the Vatican. Deference is not a reason either. In addition, my reference to a Roman Catholic academic also serves to point out that the Roman communion is divided on this issue. I grieve when I see division, both when it occurs within my own denomination, and when I witness it in the spiritual life of others. As for Apostolic Succession, they have taken care to ensure that this is honoured. So you have to come up with a better argument than that. You still have to provide a reason why Bishop Fresen’s gender has nullified that succession.
“You still have to provide a reason why Bishop Fresen’s gender has nullified that succession.”
The reason has been provided here several times. God has ordained (excuse the pun) that ordination may only be bestowed on men (males). It’s that simple!
Adn. It’s that simple.
As much as I am a fan of Occam’s razor, this is still NOT a reason. It is still deferring to some other authority without testing against some fundamental indicia. One is experience. Another comes from that bishop of academic succession I mentioned above, Bernard Lonergan. But don’t rely on him, just follow the direction he points in. He grounds all knowledge in the one thing that we can be certain about – the unchanging nature of human cognition.
You seek to ground your claims upon scripture and the magisterium. Their correctness happens courtesy of the Holy Spirit. (At this point, I intervene and invite you to remember Occam’s razor.) I’m willing to posit these things as valid grounds IF you are willing to posit that they are meaningless without the act of cognition. But it is through the act of our cognition that distortion enters. If you cannot first tell me how your own mind apprehends external truths with perfect clarity, if you have never turned your gaze inward to examine HOW you make any claims at all, then I have no choice but to dismiss your account of the Holy Spirit as having no more content than the notion of a tooth fairy. I have no idea how we could give one another such assurances of clarity, but I would invite you to refrain from resorting to the Holy Spirit (or its various manifestations) as a means of putting an end to healthy debate – especially not right after Pentecost.
OF JOHN PAUL II
TO THE BISHOPS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
ON RESERVING PRIESTLY ORDINATION TO MEN ALONE
Some explanation for �theoblogger�
As stated above, the Church only provides for the ordination of males due to Christ�s example in choosing only men to number among his twelve apostles.
It is commonly argued that Christ only called men to this special ministry due to the socio-political environment that surrounded him during his life (i.e. He did not choose women to be his apostles because doing so would be overly shocking to a population accustomed to having only men in positions of influence). However, this argument seems to fly in the face of many, many other �counter-cultural� examples and standards that Christ put forth throughout his lifetime. It seems to me that it would have been far less jarring for Christ to call women to be apostles (which he chose NOT to do) than for him to deliver messages such as �love your enemies� and �the meek shall inherit the earth� (both of which are messages that Christ DID choose to spread). A host of instances in the Bible show that Jesus was totally willing to go against set social standards so as to spread the Truth in its entirety, without watering it down (I do indeed believe that such counter-cultural teachings eventually led to His crucifixion at the hands of His own creation). Christ had many faithful female followers (unintended alliteration) during his ministry whom he loved dearly, yet He choose that only his twelve male apostles be present with him at the Last Supper when He was to institute the sacrament of Holy Orders. If God�s design includes a �priestess-hood�, I am certain that Jesus would have made that point clear through his actions in spite of existing social standards. Historical evidence, however, points to a different conclusion. The Catholic Church has no authority or power to ordain women; the Church�s position on the matter is determined by a humble submission to the will of God and cannot, by definition, be altered.
�My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me. Nevertheless NOT AS I WILL, BUT AS THOU WILT.�
If you cannot access the link in the previous post above try any of these:
EWTN carries every document written recently (measured in church time) in it’s library, see http://www.ewtn.com
http://www.vatican.va is searchable
there are literally thousands of places where the letter is reprinted and discussed available through any search engine. I suggest you use ORDINATIO SACERDOTALIS or
JOHN PAUL II ORDINATION WOMEN
as parameters if you are really interested in why we believe what we believe. He kinda says it all.
EWTN also has several reviews of the document, discussing the key phrases why this document is part of the deposit of faith – the Pope issued it ‘ex cathedra” – that is, binding on us as followers of Christ and members of His Church.
“I don’t believe women’s ordination causes a Latae Sentia excommunication.”
The Bishop of Rochester, Matthew Clark would seem to disagree. Please find some articles on the “ordination” of Mary Ramerman by Fr Jim Callan in the Rochester diocese. Bishop Clark declared Fr Callan had excommunicated himself. I lived in the Rochester diocese while this was unfolding.
here is one.
“If you cannot first tell me how your own mind apprehends external truths with perfect clarity, if you have never turned your gaze inward to examine HOW you make any claims at all, then I have no choice but to dismiss your account of the Holy Spirit as having no more content than the notion of a tooth fairy.”
Such is the beauty of belonging to the Catholic Church!
I, left to my own means, am incapable to analyzing everything in this world in order to determine what is true, good, and in accordance with the will of God (there is simply too much to analyze; it would take uncountable lifetimes to come to a definitive conclusion about the nature of everything). However, the Lord has not left us stranded without a map and compass. Through the action of listening internally to the promptings of one�s own conscience, in addition to a healthy dose of practical experience and critical thinking, one is able to come to the conclusion that the Church has been instituted validly by Christ and, through the action of the Holy Spirit, is protected from doctrinal error (the Church itself NOT its flawed representatives). Hence, one is able to defer to the teachings of the Church when confronted with a problem or question of spiritual significance. That is not to say that one should not seek to dig deeper to understand the inner workings behind the ultimate teachings of the Church (which is the explanation that theoblogger is seeking), but it does allow Catholics to be assured to moral righteousness without having to take a week off from work to sit home and ponder every spiritual question that comes to mind.
P.S. � I do agree with theoblogger that a construct�s simplicity cannot be used as proof of its correctness (it could be considered a sort of symptom of its righteousness, as I do believe that God�s plan is ultimately simple in its brilliance, but a cough alone is not proof positive that one has a cold), however I am not sure that anyone made such a postulation.
Thank you Pat for the links. Earlier this month I had encountered an article drawing upon the Ordinatio Sacerdotalis here http://www.zenit.org/english/visualizza.phtml?sid=107049 and am somewhat familiar with these arguments.
I don’t really know how to address them in a comment forum. So I won’t. But note only that I appreciate the respectful way you’ve treated a relative stranger in your midst. I may have come off sounding a little strong in my first comment. Sorry.
MatthewML – If we both agree that “[T]hrough the action of listening internally to the promptings of one�s own conscience, in addition to a healthy dose of practical experience and critical thinking, one is able to come to the conclusion that” correct understanding will happen, then how do we make the space for that to happen? If truth is truth regardless of our personal stands, how important is it to insist upon the correctness of a position in advance? Again, drawing on Lonergan, counterpositions move to positions as a matter of course, whether we are involved in the process or not. If given the space to work things out, and if given the opportunities for critical reflection, can that not be at least as effective as laying it out and telling people: your reflections will lead you here? Sometimes I wonder if our insistence on getting it all clearly articulated is a function more of anxiety than of faithfulness – the fear of living with a more open-ended approach to belief.
Guys, guys, guys. You’ve missed one important fact. The Bible is a human construct. Ergo, everything based on it is also a human construct. Whoops! There goes the idea of Jesus’ divinity, the Christ, of Apolstolic Succession, of the Vatican, of the latest ex cathedra! Oh! And God the Father!! Gone!! Now what?
�If truth is truth regardless of our personal stands, how important is it to insist upon the correctness of a position in advance?�
A good point. Ideally, it would be great if everyone could and was willing to commit time to investigating spiritual questions in-depth from a neutral perspective, but from a practical standpoint I do not think that such a thing is possible. Sound judgments about such important matters take significant time to generate, and oftentimes require a great deal of research and the like. I do not think that it would be nearly possible for any one person, within one lifetime, to come a fully rounded and encyclopedic understanding of Truth starting from scratch. Like in science, we must be able to build upon the knowledge and progress of others in order to advance in our understanding. The Church presents us with a groundwork of infallible teachings that we can be assured are timelessly true due to the influence of the Holy Spirit. These fundamental teachings have been tirelessly thought through, examined, and elaborated upon by holy men and women throughout history. Thus, we today are able to know the �correct position� concerning what is good and right, and insist upon the correctness of the said position, although we ourselves may not have directly committed a great deal of thought to the subject (we know the �outcomes� of spiritual questions because they have been analyzed throughout history and the Church, through the power of the Holy Spirit acting through instruments such as the Pope, has formally defined true doctrines). Insisting upon the correctness of these positions in advance of studying them seems to me to be the definition of the virtue of faith, and as I am sure everyone can agree, faith is a necessary facet of Catholicism. Indeed, there are many truths that, no matter how long one spends pondering them, will never be able to be explained via our flawed human consciousness (i.e. mysteries such as the Trinity). Additionally, it is important to insist upon the correctness of these positions because I know them to be true, and in charity I do not wish for others to be led into falsehood or make poor decisions that could impact their immortal well-being. It should also be noted that even fully rational agents make mistakes when trying to analyze problems (which is why it is important that the Church is guided by the Holy Spirit), and through hubris we mortals often become blind in our reasoning as to what the Truth is, and what it is not.
�Sometimes I wonder if our insistence on getting it all clearly articulated is a function more of anxiety than of faithfulness�
I can see this statement as being true in some cases; indeed it can be reassuring to articulate one�s beliefs in a concrete way. However, I know that this cannot be true in every case, and I would doubt a majority of cases, because I know that in my case at least I attempt to articulate my faith so as to be �spiritually helpful� to others as I do not wish for anyone to become misled and head down the wrong path (which can happen when one blots out their true conscience and voice of reason). I, and I believe most Catholics, seek to spread the Catholic faith out of charity and true love of Christ and mankind. Moral relativism, though often presented under the guise of being �loving and accepting�, is in fact cold, heartless, and devoid of any notion of true love whatsoever (not trying to lead someone away from falsehood and sin when one knows the potential everlasting consequences is like watching your best friend put a gun to his or her head and you saying in reply, �Go ahead and pull the trigger if you want, I don�t care.�).
* Sorry about all of these long comments � as you can probably tell, conciseness is not my strong suit 🙁
Where is the excommunication for these heretics?
Fresan isn’t a bishop first of all. And I’m not a man “casting stones”… but that’s another matter. Ha ha. She claims that an anonymous bishop “in good standing with Rome” ordained her. That sounds a lot like a teenager’s fake boyfriend/girlfriend who is always out of town, doesn’t it?
By the way, theoblogger, I think you owe everyone an apology. You commented that there’s “a disturbing arrogance running through these comments”, but you’re the one who insists that everyone else needs to explain themselves. But I’m not sure what criterion you’re using. You mention (but have no poll of Catholic academics to back up your assertion) that “I expect you’ll find that most Catholic academics (and not just Jesuits) are in agreement on that point”. So is your argument that if enough adjunct professors of literature at Catholic universities get together and agree on women’s ordination, it should be legitimate? Or is it that the Catholic Church should be a one-person/one-vote democracy? Just curious.
For any sacrament to take place there MUST be proper form and matter. For example potato chips and apple juice cannot be used for consecrating the Eucharist nor can honey wheat bread or any other things that are not simple wheat flour and water and wine. The proper words much be said, etc.
Females, women, are NOT proper matter for the sacrament of Holy Orders. We do not know exactly why God chose only men, in heaven we shall know. We do not know why in the old testament that an unblemished MALE one year old lamb was what was required for sacrifice either. Why not a female? Because God set forth the requirements and that was not the way He desired it.
As a woman, I cannot stand “in persona Christi” and say “This is my Body”.
To find holiness we MUST seek God’s will in our lives over our will. And I know for certain and for sure that those women, outside the Church, are NOT following God’s will. Had God wished me to be a priest, the first thing would have been to create me a male. He did not for it was not His will for my soul and my path to sanctification lay in another direction.
Protestants cam and do make things up as they go along which is evidenced by about 40,000 types of protestant churches. And some Cathoics are protestant wannabes and seek to do the same thing. But it does not work that way. Theblogger, you may not understand and it also may be that you have known
some ‘intelligent’ ‘Catholics’ who are telling you differently. Dissent has always plagued us and always will.
I hope you will seek the Truth. God bless!
MissJean: By the way, theoblogger, I think you owe everyone an apology. You commented that there’s “a disturbing arrogance running through these comments”, but you’re the one who insists that everyone else needs to explain themselves.
Actually I did apologize earlier in the thread. Nevertheless, since I am not a member of the Roman communion, I don’t see the harm in asking for an explanation. How else am I to understand? And I don’t see the harm in poking and prodding either? If nothing else, my poking and prodding will help you clarify your own views.
As for surveys of Catholic academics: I was going by figures listed on a womenpriest website. Since I doubt you will take that as credible, I offer my own experience as a student at the Toronto School of Theology, which is 7 colleges, including 3 catholic colleges, pooling resources within the University of Toronto. It forces everybody to work very hard at dialogue. In that context, I find a broad spectrum of views. I agree that church is not a democracy assigned one vote per person. But I worry when church refuses questions from being asked even in the first instance. Even if my explorations ultimately lead me to occupy precisely the same space you occupy, I nevertheless need to the freedom to ask the difficult questions that start me on that journey. I acknowledge that often Protestantism is equated with a narrow individualism (that may have less to do with Protestantism than with broader cultural tendencies flowing from the discoveries of Galileo & Copernicus). I’m not entirely sure it’s fair to take that individualism too seriously. For example, the denomination to which I belong does have an affinity for the Ignatian idea of discernment. It seeks a balance between the private (not individual) and the communal in discovering the spiritual within daily life.
To both MissJean and Ave Maria, I’m not sure how to respond to the claim that Christ chose men and not women. I read the GNT and, read alone, find nothing to indicate that Jesus instituted anything in particular. These interpretations come from a subsequent interaction between scripture and church. In fact, there is nothing to say that Jesus selected 12 disciples (without contradicting itself), since the gospels, when read together, name at least 14 who are described as “mathetes.” There are all kinds of different followers who cannot be precisely identified e.g. the disciple who loved him most, 70 who followed him on one occasion, various women who followed him, etc.
Again, looking to my own experience, I have, for many years, enjoyed the direction and leadership of women as part of my own spiritual formation and feel that I would be impoverished if I had disallowed even the possibility that women might be able to contribute as fully as men in that process.
One thing about the Catholic Church is that it does not matter how many theologians you poll on a subject, but what is taught by the teaching magisterium of the Bishops united with the Pope.
During the time of the Arian Heresy you would have found that the majority of people held that heresy. Christ’s Church is certainly not a democracy that leads to the multiple views held by every neighborhood Protestant Church you run into. Sure you can find dissenting Catholics, but you know that they are dissenting from the magisterium and that there view is in fact heterodox.
That Catholic Church believes that Jesus in his sovereign freedom only choose men as Apostles and tradition shows that the Apostles did exactly the same thing. If you look at Mark 14 the word used for appointing the 12 is ποιέω which means Make or Create and it is the same word used in the Old Testament in referencing the priesthood. If women present thought themselves to be ordained then why did they not ordain others and why is their no mention of them in history. The first mentions of women priest within Christianity was the Gnostics and the early Fathers of the Church refuted their ordaining of women.
But to really understand why the Catholic Church does not ordain women is that you first have to understand the priesthood and the sacraments. This is not an issue of power or equality within the Church. There have been plenty of women saints and of course non-ordained men who became saints. The priesthood is not a power structure or a right and is certainly not required to gain Heaven. There are also women who are also considered Doctors of the Church so it is quite obvious that this idea of discrimination or that women can not make an impact is rather silly.
If you really want to understand the subject read
Catholic Priesthood and Women by Sr. Sara Butler, MSBT. She previously lead a taskforce on women’s ordination for the Catholic Theological Society of America that approved of women’s ordination. It was her work as a theologian later on when she realized all the arguments were mistaken. She goes through the history and addresses each argument used for ordaining women.
I for one don’t object to questions posed in a sincere search for the truth. I’d say you did come on too strong in your first comment, but I’m happy to accept your apology.
Here’s the most cogent short explanation I’ve seen.
The author, Sister Sara Butler, is one of the highest-ranking women in the Catholic Church and used to support opening up ordination to women.
�Again, looking to my own experience, I have, for many years, enjoyed the direction and leadership of women as part of my own spiritual formation and feel that I would be impoverished if I had disallowed even the possibility that women might be able to contribute as fully as men in that process.�
There exists no Catholic doctrine that says that women cannot, �contribute as fully as men in that process.� I assume that you mean general spiritual direction on the part of females, which could take place anywhere, not necessarily within the confines of some liturgical celebration. Females certainly have the ability and freedom to instruct individuals in the precepts of our faith, and therein aid such individuals in their religious growth (I had many female teachers, some of whom were religious sisters, throughout my educational experiences in the Catholic School system in my diocese). It is wrong to assume that because women cannot be priests, they cannot help others along the path towards Christ. Just look at all of the female saints; these holy women have certainly contributed to the conversion of many hearts to the Lord throughout all centuries! A distinction needs to be made as to the primary role of priests within the Catholic Church. While priests certainly do have the important role of instructing the faithful and contributing to the salvation of their flock, the primary role of the Roman Catholic Priest is the administration of the sacraments faithful (being as they are the only ones who are typically able to administer the sacraments, this role is, by nature, their primary function). As mentioned above, a priest acts �in persona Christi� when celebrating Mass, and it is by the priest�s hands that God is called from heaven to become totally present in the Eucharist under the little form of bread and wine. Perhaps more than anything, this sublime act is the primary function of the priest; a function that, according to divine instruction, needs to be preformed by a male. By no means does this mean that women are of any lower worth or sanctity compared to men, it just plainly shows that men and women, much to the distaste of modern society, have different roles to fill in this world. I, as a man, will never have the joy of being able to conceive and give physical birth to a child, but this scientific fact does not make me any less dignified than a women, giving birth to offspring simply is not my role as deigned by God. I do not know for sure the particular reason that God has designed his perfect system in this way and assigned me the lot that I possess; but I am here nonetheless, and I strive to live out my life in accord with the will of He who created me as an expression of his boundless love.
Come now, this is all a very good thing, I think – in the long run, that is. If Rome is finally forced to exert authority in this issue, perhaps it will also be forced (lest the hierarchy be perceived as misogynistic or downright hypocritical by Catholics and non-Catholics alike) to do the same on more objectively disturbing issues, such as supposedly Catholic politicians who scandalize their constituents (and the Church) by promoting infanticide and homosexuality.
Or maybe the hierarchy is just a bunch of cowards. Well, there’s always hope; afterall, Saint Peter was a coward once.
Ave Maria –
I just read your post, and it makes more sense to me than any of this intellectual banter on the subject.
Whenever my sister would suggest that I should be a nanny (I used to babysit her two oldest girls – when they were 1 and 2 years old! The best jobs pay the least!), I would say (or think) something like: “But God didn’t make me a woman, so it wouldn’t be right.” (much as I would probably have loved to be a nanny).
Women who want to be priests, men who want to be women, women who want to be men, mothers who prefer a “career” over the most important vocation of motherhood, fathers who don’t want to father – these (among many others) are all symptoms of the main illness of our culture: we (in general in our culture, of course) think we are God, so why should we have to conform to how we were created (God’s will)?
Let me paraphrase Peter Kreeft: in the end, there are only two types of people in the world: those who say to God, “Let Your Will be done,” and those to whom God says, “Let your will be done.”
So as not to repeat what has already been posted here, let me ask yet another question. Where are the congregations for these so-called priests? Isn’t there supposed to be a priest shortage? Why aren’t there throngs of eager Catholics (who otherwise would be deprived of the sacraments) flocking to these people? Could it be that the vast majority of Catholics simply choose to ignore these certifiable members of the tinfoil hat brigade?
Wouldn’t this blog do well to ignore them too?
Could it be that the vast majority of Catholics simply choose to ignore these certifiable members of the tinfoil hat brigade?
That’s why the whole “scotosis” theory of male-only priesthood is a load of cobblers: Someone else is always laboring under it. 🙂
I think people need to keep in mind here that the pope himself could not validly ordain a woman even if he wanted to.