I don’t think any of my readers will be surprised at what a branch of Voice of the "Faithful" thinks of the CDF’s recent decree that those who attempt to confer or women who receive ordination are automatically excommunicated. In fact when it comes to VOTF and other dissident groups it reminds me of Groucho Marx song in Horse Feathers. Though their version is “Whatever the CDF says, I against it”
I don’t know what they have to say,
It makes no difference anyway,
Whatever it is, I’m against it.
No matter what it is or who commenced it,
I’m against it.
The New Jersey branch of VOTF recently sent out a email saying they agree with a statement by CORPUS, National Association for an Inclusive Ministry. You can read the full statement over at The Deacon’s Bench.
The statement starts of with the usual nonsense and how shameful this "absolutist leadership" is. I really think invoking due process in the case of latae sententiae excommunication perfectly shows their mind set and lack of understanding. They then give a list of their reasons for women’s ordination.
1. The Papal Commission on the ordination of women found no biblical justification for the exclusion of women from Holy Orders.
I read that bullet and "Drudge Report
" red sirens started flashing in my head. I had never head of the "The Papal Commission on the ordination of women" and figured there was something wrong with what they were saying. It turns out is that they are referring to is the Pontifical Biblical Commission report in 1976 on the question. What the report actually says is "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,". This is a far cry from what is asserted here and is quite disingenuous. They also said "In fact there is no proof that these ministries were entrusted to women at the time of the New Testament." The Catholic Faith is not a Sola Scriptura faith in the first place and so while New Testament studies don’t settle the question, the Magisterium did.
This bullet point that CORPUS used originally came from the Catholic Theological Society of America a year after the report came out from the Pontifical Biblical Commission. The Secretariat for Doctrine and Pastoral Practices of what was then the
National Conference of Catholic Bishops responded to CTSA’s assertion and responded on the weakness of CTSA’s report and analysis. CTSA’s task force on this issue was headed by Sister Sarah Butler who readers of my blog will know later changed her mind an wrote an excellent book defending the Magisterium on this issue.
So what we have here is an assertion that is in fact a lie and has just been passed down without any check of its veracity.
3. History informs us that ordained women ministered to their faith communities in the early Church and throughout the first millennium.
Another lie that has no historical justification. Often they refer to the inscription of the image at the Church of St Praxedei that reads Theodora Episcopa. She was the widowed mother of Paschal the Bishop of Rome at the time. Titles such as this for a mother of a Bishop were not unusual and a similar practice is used today for a wife of a Greek Orthodox priest. They try to argue that a picture of her wearing a coif proves that she wasn’t married. This is a false assertion. Regardless you would think that if women priestesses were common in the first thousand years we would have more than just one example to go by. Instead we had early councils specifically condemning the practice of some heretical groups to have women priests and the Councils of Nicaea and Loadicea even saying that women deaconesses were not in fact ordained.
4. As the faithful we have a responsibility in Church law to express our needs to our pastors. The Holy Spirit has spoken to women among us. They have courageously responded.
And if you happen to be a woman who supports the truth that the Church teaches that it has no authority to ordain women? I guess some laity are more equal than others.