Via Media

Via Media


The Women

posted by awelborn

Today’s the day for the ordination-on-the-river, and props to the Diocese of Pittsburgh for not ignoring it, for offering a thorough, grounded Q & A on the matter

Isn’t denial of the sacraments and excommunication extreme? The church doesn’t excommunicate those clergy who abused minors. And politicians who vote in favor of legal abortion are not denied Communion.

Those who present themselves for Communion are expected to be in communion with the church. People can be “not in communion” in several ways. Those who have committed mortal sin and are not in the state of grace are out of communion and should not present themselves until they are reconciled through the sacrament of reconciliation. Those who deny a core tenet of the faith either by publicly espousing something contrary to the faith, such as the denial of the divinity of Christ, or by a public action that repudiates the laws, teachings or morals of the church are also not in communion.

There are certain actions that by their public nature, by their immediate threat to the unity of the church, by their explicit undermining of the sacraments and by their conscious break with the apostolic authority of the church derived from Christ result in removing oneself from the community of the faithful. In regard to this ceremony, engaging in a public — and highly publicized — abuse of the sacrament of holy orders that threatens church unity, and to take such action knowingly and willingly in defiance of the apostolic authority of the church, does place oneself outside the church.

However, even in these cases, the goal of the church is reconciliation. Announcing that there are those who have removed themselves from the community of the faithful is not a punishment but a call to conversion.

And has many resources on the front page of the diocesan website – bulletin notices, etc.

The approach that Pittsburgh has taken on this is really commendable – not just the fact that they are addressing it head-on, but the way in which they’ve done it. There is no tiptoe-ing around the facts or the consequences, but you can also tell that behind the effort (maybe Bob Lockwood? Fr. Lengwin?) have decided to make this a teachable moment – attempting to communicate the nature of the Church, what is it means to be a Catholic, to participate in Eucharist and so on. Excellent job.

The hard questions that I wish these participants would be asked are these, in really what amounts to a simple exercise in logic.

If you wish to be ordained and to practice Christian ministry as an ordained person, there is no lack of denominations in which to do that, with all of the titles, regalia and pomp – perhaps even more, if you’re going to be High Church Anglican – that you’ll find in the Roman Catholic Church.

So…why stay? Why the determination to be Roman Catholic priests?

I’m sure there are a variety of answers we’d hear, some less disingenous than others. 

Because, first of all, it’s rather unlikely any of these women are Feenyites. You think? I’m going to take a wild guess and speculate that most of them believe that there’s nothing really essentially distinctive about any one particular religion, and that the differences only lie in the externals – the style, the historic form these religions have take, what part of the human psyche they appeal to, and so on.

Perhaps they’ll say that there is something marginally more "true" about Christianity, or even Catholic Christianity – that it has more direct historical ties to the apostles or something.

The problem is that if that’s the point on which their choice lies, they run into a problem when we try to establish conclusions.

If The Catholic Church is the Christian church "closest" to Christ…wouldn’t one conclude that this closeness is embodied in it? That its closeness is not just a matter of apostolic succession (a concept I’m doubting they care that much about either), but in what the successors of the apostles, you know…do and say?

So how could this Church which is the one you must be ordained in because it’s so close to Jesus and apostolic Christianity be…wrong about something so fundamental to its existence over the past 2000 years?

Don’t answer. Well, go ahead if you must. I am no stranger to this way of thinking, and I only pose the questions to help you see how fundamentally illogical it is, when you really break it down.

And breaking it down would demand that a knowledgeable reporter confront one of these women with these questions, in this order:

1) What do you believe about Jesus and his role in salvation?

2) What do you believe about the Catholic Church and its relationship to Jesus Christ?

3) What do you believe about priesthood and the episcopacy in the context of Roman Catholicism? What are their origins and purpose?

I will guarantee you that the answers you get will be boilerplate, "Different, equally valid and true paths, Catholic Church of the present does not accurately image the vision of Jesus, Jesus didn’t establish a Church or a clerical caste."

So, our intrepid reporter would ask…the why are you insisting on associating yourself with a body that inadequately images the vision of Jesus in a system (ordination, titles, statues) that you also believe violates the vision of that co-discipleship of equals.

Why are the titles…even the "ordination" within a "Catholic" paradigm necessary?



Advertisement
Comments read comments(64)
post a comment
ambrose

posted July 31, 2006 at 2:12 pm


Last night’s news conference in the P-G
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06212/709922-85.stm
This includes revealing who the anonymous “ordinand” is.



report abuse
 

Boko

posted July 31, 2006 at 2:15 pm


This is good stuff. Who’s in charge there? Maybe whoever he is should continue in charge.
Did notice this, though,
“It is the responsibility of those receiving the Eucharist to make certain they are properly disposed to receive the sacrament, not the priest or the extraordinary minister of the Eucharist.”
The McCarrick/Weurl line continues. No word on what to do if the priest to whom one of these women presents herself for Holy Communion is morally certain (should be rather easy in this case, because only Rome can reconcile them) that the woman is not in communion with the Church.
But, still, good for Pittsburgh and whoever’s in charge there.



report abuse
 

CV

posted July 31, 2006 at 2:24 pm


Well, we in the ‘Burgh probably have Robert Lockwood to thank for the insightful diocesan coverage (he is communications director for the diocese and a current? former? muckety muck at Our Sunday Visitor.)
Bob Lockwood also wrote a terrific op-ed on this topic that appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette yesterday (Sunday). Unfortunately, it ran next to a counterpoint piece by a clueless woman who took the “it’s about time” position.
But on the bright side again, the PG’s excellent religion reporter Ann Rodgers wrote a short article in today’s paper about the goings on today..and she made it very clear that the women “claimed to be ordained,” not that they were being ordained in spite of Church officials opinions, etc.



report abuse
 

Randy

posted July 31, 2006 at 2:53 pm


The media would actually be doing it’s job if they asked questions like that. These women and so many others in society know full well the media just repeat what they have been told. They never ask hard questions so there is no need to prepare for them. They might know a priest is a guy who stands at the front of the church and wears a funny costume. Why should a reporter need to know more than that? You don’t want to produce a story that the public won’t understand. You certainly want to avoid using the word “Jesus”.



report abuse
 

Maclin Horton

posted July 31, 2006 at 3:04 pm


They got a very sympathetic several minutes on CNN this morning with no correction or counterpoint. Speaking of illogic, what struck me was how often they insisted that one of their goals is to do away with the whole distinction between clergy and laity. Seems like a bad tactical move on their part to admit that.



report abuse
 

CV

posted July 31, 2006 at 3:16 pm


Good point, Maclin.
If there aren’t any distinctions between clergy and laity that matter, why bother to have the fancy ceremony on the boat?



report abuse
 

mio

posted July 31, 2006 at 3:34 pm


Ambrose,
I don’t think they revealed who the anonymous “ordinand” this year is. Instead, a women who got “ordained” under a pseudonym last year is finally coming clean.
Mio



report abuse
 

John Henry

posted July 31, 2006 at 3:50 pm


Too. Much. Logic… Must. Sit. Down…



report abuse
 

Eric the Read

posted July 31, 2006 at 3:55 pm


Boko, all I read in that line is that the eucharistic ministers can’t be expected to memorize the faces of everybody who is not in communion with the Church, and it’s not their fault if someone receives Communion who isn’t suppossed to.
Case in point: an Episcopalian friend of mine walked into a Catholic church some time back, and received Communion. He hadn’t read the explanation on the inside front cover of the missal, and so didn’t realize he wasn’t eligible to receive it. I don’t think the eucharistic ministers did anything wrong there; they had no idea he wasn’t eligible, and neither did he.
The only other alternative, as I see it, is to interrogate each communicant before offering them the Host, which is impractical for a number of what I hope are obvious reasons. Of course, if the eucharistic minister in question happens to know for a fact the person standing in front of him is not in communion with the Catholic Church, that’s another matter entirely.
All IMO, of course.



report abuse
 

Mary Jane

posted July 31, 2006 at 4:02 pm


I was truly impressed with the response of the Archdiocese. So impressed that I read everything through just in case the issue came up with my family.
While I’d like to think that all those women are just nuts, that would be too easy. They all traveled a long way down a road into self-centered heresy – and how much blather from people who should have known better – and who were just too “cool” helped them along.



report abuse
 

Chris Sullivan

posted July 31, 2006 at 4:11 pm


So how could this Church which is the one you must be ordained in because it’s so close to Jesus and apostolic Christianity be…wrong about something so fundamental to its existence over the past 2000 years?
Well, you could claim that the Church once did ordain women priests and therefore it is in the tradition. Whether this is true or not I don’t know.
You could refer to a tradition of Mary as priest and you’d be onto something there.
Or you could carefully examine the definitive teaching of the Popes and conclude that the teaching doesn’t definitively exclude the possibility that one day the Church might possibly maybe perhaps obtain the power to ordain women.
But what you couldn’t do is claim that the Church has any power to do this today. Not only is this definitively excluded by Ordination Sacerdotalis but the Church has no defined domga (such as the mediatrix of all graces) to give a solid theological basis to the ordination of women.
One may hope and pray that one day she will.
And one might beleive that taking some kind of action will help the process along. Things often change because people stand up and take action, and although they are wrong to ordain women today, there is some merit in what they are doing.
We don’t need to split the Church into two opposing armies. We can try to see the merit in the other’s position and work to find a way to reconcile the parties. As Christians, that’s what we’re called to do.
God Bless



report abuse
 

Boko Fittleworth

posted July 31, 2006 at 4:29 pm


I agree with Chris. Some say Jesus is God, some say He is not God. No need to fight. Let’s see the merit in each position and dialogue.
If Jesus cared Who people say that He am, He would have asked. And, if anyone (say, just by way of a hypothetical, Simon (who at some point, and for some reason I can’t remember, Jesus named “Peter”)) got the answer right, Jesus probably would have said “Bingo!” or “You must have gotten that answer from my omniscient Father” or some such.
Truth is the enemy of dialogue. Therefore, the Truth must be suppressed.



report abuse
 

Brad

posted July 31, 2006 at 4:34 pm


I’m going to side with Peter Kreeft in maintainging that “It’s not a question of whether the Church will have women’s ordination. It’s a question of whether those favoring it will have the Church.”



report abuse
 

Mike Petrik

posted July 31, 2006 at 4:34 pm


I think Chris’s post is a fair one. Personally, I don’t care much about this issue, other than to say I want whatever God wants. The notion that Mary was a priest or that the early Church ordained women priests as we understand the term “priest” has been pretty much debunked by reputable scholars. Nonetheless, Chris’s reading of Ordination Sacerdotalis, although a bit creative, is not an unfair one. Chris’s view would seem to be that women priests used to be permitted, but then they were not, but they might be in the future (or even right now if one literally understands OS as speaking only for the *instant* it was issued, which seems to follow from Chris’s hyperliteralist interpretation). This is what one can fairly call wishful thinking, but there is nothing morally wrong with wishful thinking even if it seldom represents clear thinking.



report abuse
 

Chris Sullivan

posted July 31, 2006 at 4:47 pm


Chris’s view would seem to be that women priests used to be permitted
I don’t know if they were or not. I haven’t read anything conclusive that suggests to me that this claim is established with any degree of certainty.
As for Mary, well we know that in her body she did turn bread (and probably wine) into the very body and blood of Christ and that at Calvary she did offer a sacrifice of her son (and what defines a priest is that they offer sacrifice) and that she is the mediatrix of all graces, and that all graces, including the sacraments, do flow to us through her mediation. I’d say she meets all the criteria of priest, although perhaps more in a mystical sense rather than an ordained minister sense. But nonetheless I’d say her priesthood is actually more real than that of ordained ministers because their ministry flows down to them through her.
I think that the apparent lack of a solid Marian spirituality and theology is an extrememly serious weakness in the movement for women priests. Without it they will make little progress.
God Bless



report abuse
 

Mike Petrik

posted July 31, 2006 at 4:55 pm


Chris,
A priest acts in personam Christi. Merging Christ’s Blessed Mother into Christ Himself seems untenable to this non-scholar, and actually serves to extinguish Mary’s own personage and contribution. This seems very goofy to me, but what do I know.



report abuse
 

Chris Sullivan

posted July 31, 2006 at 4:55 pm


or even right now if one literally understands OS as speaking only for the *instant* it was issued
I’d say that’s a stretch.
If the Pope has defined that the Church has no power to do this then it would require a definitive papal act to establish such a power. Perhaps this could be done by a papal definition of Mary the Mediatrix of All Graces but, who knows, maybe the Church will never obtain this power ?
God Bless



report abuse
 

Chris Sullivan

posted July 31, 2006 at 4:57 pm


Mike,
I’m not merging Mary into Christ.
But as priests act in persona Christi, couldn’t a woman also act in persona Mariae ?
God Bless



report abuse
 

Petra

posted July 31, 2006 at 5:11 pm


But as priests act in persona Christi, couldn’t a woman also act in persona Mariae ?
Yes, by giving birth to future priests – who will then act in persona Christi.
And you apparently haven’t read Ordinatio Sacerdotalis either, where it says quite clearly:
Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.
Or you just simply can’t take “no” for an answer…



report abuse
 

mary martha

posted July 31, 2006 at 5:13 pm


OK, if Mary was a priest as Chris argues… I am willing to accept that. I think that any other immaculately conceived women visited by the Angel Gabriel who announced their calling… they definately should be priests.
But as an average Catholic woman I don’t really think there is any way for me to lay claim to that particular marian blue mantle to justify violating the teaching of the Church.



report abuse
 

Kevin Jones

posted July 31, 2006 at 5:29 pm


“People can be “not in communion” in several ways. Those who have committed mortal sin and are not in the state of grace are out of communion and should not present themselves until they are reconciled through the sacrament of reconciliation.”
Doesn’t this statement equate all mortal sin with schism? Am I misreading, here?
I think Martin Luther pushed this view, which justified his disobedience to Rome. St. Thomas More attacked this position in his Dialogue Concerning Heresies.



report abuse
 

Mike Petrik

posted July 31, 2006 at 5:29 pm


Petra,
I agree with your interpretation of OS. What Chris is relying on, as are others who share the same goal, is the present tense of the word “has,” which they believe allows the Church to conclude later that She now has such authority. Of course, this awkward hyperliteralist reading is supported only by those with the obvious agenda, and among its weaknesses is the inescapable fact that such a reading would render OS a definitive teaching of the Church only for an instant. Kind of silly really.
And wouldn’t the nature of the Mass be altered if Mary is offering Christ as opposed to Christ offering Himself? I would think that the difference theologically is pretty serious, but again I am hardly an expert.



report abuse
 

jane M

posted July 31, 2006 at 6:12 pm


i’m not a theological expert but either but aren’t men priests currently ordained according to the priesthood of Melchizedek or some such phrase? And Melchizedek offered bread and wine. Mary did something different notwithstanding the fact that she ate bread and drank wine. So women ought to be making an argument about being ordained to the priesthood of Mary, only I’m thinking that would involve bringing up babies being part of their sacrifice…
I could be wrong but I don’t think that’s what most of them want.



report abuse
 

Chris Sullivan

posted July 31, 2006 at 6:17 pm


And wouldn’t the nature of the Mass be altered if Mary is offering Christ as opposed to Christ offering Himself?
At Calvary both happened.
At Mass both happens.
It’s a bit like the Holy Father saying the mass is both meal and sacrifice. There’s no contrdiction between the two. It’s a both/and not an either/or.
I’m open to a good argument that Ordinatio Sacerdotalis’ conclusion that the Church has no power to ordain women is valid for all time. But haven’t heard one yet.
God Bless



report abuse
 

St. Jimbob of the Apokalypse

posted July 31, 2006 at 6:24 pm


Kevin sayeth:
“Doesn’t this statement equate all mortal sin with schism? Am I misreading, here?”
Well, since mortal sin separates us from God, how could we still be in communion with His Church if we are seperated from Him that founded it?
I dig Mary Martha’s post.



report abuse
 

john

posted July 31, 2006 at 6:43 pm


Sidestepping Chriss ever-sintilating “Mary was a priest” take for a moment, I thought Rocco had a pretty poignant thought on his site today about the false ordinations:
“Bottom line: It’s days like this which are merely the symptoms of a cause. For all the talk and finesse, this whole fiasco just proves yet again that the bad fruits of clericalism and the perception of priesthood not as a means of selfless service, but the vehicle of power, prestige and social advancement remain alive, well and in our midst. (As if we didn’t know this already, but still….) For all the sadness and difficulty of this day, that’s one thing you can’t blame on the boating party.”
I oppose women’s ordination.
That said, I do think Rocco raises a valid question about what role the “privilege and power” culture that still exists in some significant measure in the presbyterate and episcopate plays in this. Obviously its not the reason for the heresey, but I do wonder if it helps perpetuate it.



report abuse
 

Maureen

posted July 31, 2006 at 6:46 pm


There is a certain amount of Mary as priest stuff in the literature. But it was confusing to people, so the image got officially disapproved. (Like the showing of the Trinity as three separate guys, or one guy with three heads. Not meant as heretical, but not really a good idea ’cause it’s confusing.)
Maureen, who thinks the three-headed fish Trinity triskeles were also cool, yet not necessarily a good plan.



report abuse
 

Marion (Mael Muire)

posted July 31, 2006 at 6:47 pm


Well, I for one, wish Father Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger, Father Gisela Forster, and Father Patricia Fresen the best of luck in their future endeavors.



report abuse
 

Frank Lockwood

posted July 31, 2006 at 6:59 pm


Amy,
What’s the best way to e-mail you?



report abuse
 

Dan

posted July 31, 2006 at 7:31 pm


Can someone help me with Chris Sullivan’s post?
First he says:
“Or you could carefully examine the definitive teaching of the Popes and conclude that the teaching doesn’t definitively exclude the possibility that one day the Church might possibly maybe perhaps obtain the power to ordain women.”
Then he says:
“But what you couldn’t do is claim that the Church has any power to do this today. Not only is this definitively excluded by Ordination Sacerdotalis but the Church has no defined domga (such as the mediatrix of all graces) to give a solid theological basis to the ordination of women.”
Aren’t these two things contradictory? If the Pope has concluded that the Church does not posssess the power today to ordain women, how could it obtain such a power in the future? Do its powers magically appear and disappear?



report abuse
 

Cat Clinic

posted July 31, 2006 at 8:07 pm


Dan, it depends on what the meaning of the word “is” is.
(Sorry, Amy. Couldn’t help myself!)



report abuse
 

Chris Sullivan

posted July 31, 2006 at 8:29 pm


If the Pope has concluded that the Church does not posssess the power today to ordain women, how could it obtain such a power in the future?
By a new papal definition.
Do its powers magically appear and disappear?
“Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, but whatever you loose on earth will also be loosed in heaven.”
A power to loose was also granted with the power to bind.
God Bless



report abuse
 

Peter

posted July 31, 2006 at 8:30 pm


Chris,
In order to read Ordinatio Sacerdotalis correctly you must first read Lumen Gentium which predates it and forms a basis of its language. In particular, 25, 2 is of use:

Although the individual bishops do not enjoy the prerogative of infallibility, they nevertheless proclaim Christ’s doctrine infallibly whenever, even though dispersed through the world, but still maintaining the bond of communion among themselves and with the successor of Peter, and authentically teaching matters of faith and morals, they are in agreement on one position as definitively to be held.(40*) This is even more clearly verified when, gathered together in an ecumenical council, they are teachers and judges of faith and morals for the universal Church, whose definitions must be adhered to with the submission of faith.

Which, the CDF (then headed by Cardial Ratzinger) pointed out in its responsum ad dubium:

This teaching requires definitive assent, since, founded on the written Word of God, and from the beginning constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium (cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium 25, 2). Thus, in the present circumstances, the Roman Pontiff, exercising his proper office of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32), has handed on this same teaching by a formal declaration, explicitly stating what is to be held always, everywhere, and by all, as belonging to the deposit of the faith.

The points I make here are based on an absolutely phenomenal analysis by Michael Liccione at http://catholica.pontifications.net/?page_id=1887. I only wish I’d been able to do this kind of justice to the issue. Rest assured, Chris, the issue is closed and the answer is definitive. I believe the term in Latin those who press for this nead to learn is “Roma locuta est, causa finita est“. But my Latin is a bit weak, so someone correct me if I’m wrong.



report abuse
 

Fort

posted July 31, 2006 at 8:45 pm


Regarding Chris’s posts, perhaps the more important question is if the Church has defined anything about the future (aside from Dogma); that is, does the Church provide a teaching that is only (and explicitly) temporarily valid? If not, then I would argue that although the reading of OS is creative, it is ultimately flawed logically.
Besides which: why do the women wish to seek power as priests rather than submit to Power, like the rest of the Church (including the male priesthood)? Men and women are made to be complementary, not equal. She was not created from his head, for then she would rule over Adam. She was not created from his foot, for then he would rule over her. Eve was created from the side of Adam, for she was to be his partner. Furthermore, she was created to be distinct from him and not the same, not interchangeable. I think it demeans women to think otherwise.



report abuse
 

Chris Sullivan

posted July 31, 2006 at 8:55 pm


why do the women wish to seek power as priests
I think we’re being judgemental if we think all those who want to be woman priests are doing it for reasons of power.
God Bless



report abuse
 

Chris Sullivan

posted July 31, 2006 at 9:03 pm


Peter,
I agree that Ordinatio Sacerdotalis is infallible in it’s key phrase.
The question is whether that key phrase binds the Church for all time.
If the teaching was valid for all time I would have expected it to read something like :-
“I declare that the Church can never confer priestly ordination on women”
But instead it says
“I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women”
The thing with lacking authority is that one can sometimes later obtain such authority. The Holy Spirit blows where he will.
I’m in complete agreement that the Church has no authority to ordain until the time perhaps comes (and it may never come) when she is granted that authority.
God Bless



report abuse
 

Peter

posted July 31, 2006 at 9:08 pm


Chris,
It must be granted that not all of those women who want to become priests do so solely for power, but if one reads or hears the words of those who speak out, it clearly is about power for them. Guilt by association is not Christian, but it is also common sense to question the intent of a silent party who willingly associates with one who makes such statements.
What these women so simply forget is that it is not desire to become a priest that makes a priest, it is their calling by God. Because they interpret the call that God gave them to “come, follow me” as being called to be a priest does not make their understanding somehow any better than that of the Church as a Magisterium. Individual conscience, and I hesitate to say this knowing that it will be mis-interpreted, is inherently inferior to that of the Church as the teaching body instituted by Christ. Those who will not follow cannot lead.
I have some advice for these women, and for you. If you find yourself directly at odds with what the Church herself states as fundamental and infallible teaching it is your duty not only as a Catholic but as a Christian in general to learn to understand what the Church says and why it says what it says, and further, what the Church says it means by what it says. Semantic word games are for those who do not intend to sentire cum ecclesia and are looking for an excuse not to. Please, take the time to understand the Church as she says she is. When you find yourself in disagreement, the first rule should be “dig deeper”.



report abuse
 

rcesq

posted July 31, 2006 at 9:11 pm


I feel sorry for all the people these women are going to be “ministering” to in the guise of priests. Those folks are going to be misled and have sham “sacraments” passed off as the real thing. So these women, besides imperilling their own immortal souls, will have some heavy-duty accounting to do for endangering the spiritual lives of whomever they manage to lure into becoming a member of their flocks. And it’s happened already: check out the story of Victoria Rue in the San Jose Mercury News, Sunday May 28, 2006. (You need an account to open the archive, but you can find the article by Googling.)



report abuse
 

Little Gidding

posted July 31, 2006 at 9:15 pm


“… By a new papal definition.
Do its powers magically appear and disappear?
“Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, but whatever you loose on earth will also be loosed in heaven.”
A power to loose was also granted with the power to bind.”
Chris demonstrates here the power of a “Lathe of Heaven” hermeneutics and ontology–by this logic, if the Pope declared that Jesus was not divine, then this would operate back in time and change everything before it, making Jesus not divine–but then this would make the power granted to bind and loose somewhat dodgy, to say the least.
Could the Pope bind me to a million bucks while he’s at it?



report abuse
 

RosemaryBogdan

posted July 31, 2006 at 9:54 pm


There is no spiritual advantage to being a priest. A member of the laity has the same potential for holiness. So, back to the question, why would a woman want to be ordained a priest in defiance of the Church she claims to love so much as to want to dedicate her life to it. It is a contradiction. Perhaps these women do not want to leave and become Episcopal priests because there is no conflict there, no drama, no adrenaline of defiance. Some people just thrive on rebelliousness and aren’t really inclined to do much thinking.



report abuse
 

RosemaryBogdan

posted July 31, 2006 at 9:54 pm


There is no spiritual advantage to being a priest. A member of the laity has the same potential for holiness. So, back to the question, why would a woman want to be ordained a priest in defiance of the Church she claims to love so much as to want to dedicate her life to it. It is a contradiction. Perhaps these women do not want to leave and become Episcopal priests because there is no conflict there, no drama, no adrenaline of defiance. Some people just thrive on rebelliousness and aren’t really inclined to do much thinking.



report abuse
 

RosemaryBogdan

posted July 31, 2006 at 9:55 pm


There is no spiritual advantage to being a priest. A member of the laity has the same potential for holiness. So, back to the question, why would a woman want to be ordained a priest in defiance of the Church she claims to love so much as to want to dedicate her life to it. It is a contradiction. Perhaps these women do not want to leave and become Episcopal priests because there is no conflict there, no drama, no adrenaline of defiance. Some people just thrive on rebelliousness and aren’t really inclined to do much thinking.



report abuse
 

RosemaryBogdan

posted July 31, 2006 at 9:55 pm


There is no spiritual advantage to being a priest. A member of the laity has the same potential for holiness. So, back to the question, why would a woman want to be ordained a priest in defiance of the Church she claims to love so much as to want to dedicate her life to it. It is a contradiction. Perhaps these women do not want to leave and become Episcopal priests because there is no conflict there, no drama, no adrenaline of defiance. Some people just thrive on rebelliousness and aren’t really inclined to do much thinking.



report abuse
 

ambrose

posted July 31, 2006 at 10:24 pm


Here’s the news report with video from local-to-Pittsburgh channel KDKA
http://kdka.com/topstories/local_story_212095322.html



report abuse
 

ambrose

posted July 31, 2006 at 10:28 pm


WTAE was actually on the boat and shows some video of the “laying on of hands.”
http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/news/9600902/detail.html



report abuse
 

Emily

posted July 31, 2006 at 10:35 pm


I for one, pray that women are never ordained.



report abuse
 

Chris Sullivan

posted July 31, 2006 at 10:43 pm


Peter,
Individual conscience, and I hesitate to say this knowing that it will be mis-interpreted, is inherently inferior to that of the Church as the teaching body instituted by Christ.
Agreed.
How could I find out for certain that Ordinatio Sacerdotalis means women can never be ordained ?
God Bless



report abuse
 

RosemaryBogdan

posted July 31, 2006 at 10:55 pm


There is no spiritual advantage to being a priest. A member of the laity has the same potential for holiness. So, back to the question, why would a woman want to be ordained a priest in defiance of the Church she claims to love so much as to want to dedicate her life to it. It is a contradiction. Perhaps these women do not want to leave and become Episcopal priests because there is no conflict there, no drama, no adrenaline of defiance. Some people just thrive on rebelliousness and aren’t really inclined to do much thinking.



report abuse
 

Little Gidding

posted July 31, 2006 at 10:56 pm


“How could I find out for certain that Ordinatio Sacerdotalis means women can never be ordained ?”
You can simply read it, without pushing it through cheesecloth. But if you subscribe to the kind of infinitely plastic sort of exegesis that is currently tearing the Episcopal Church apart, you can’t find out “for certain.” Yesterday’s and today’s Holy Spirit could be completely stood on His head by tomorrow’s Holy Spirit. We could discover that Jesus was wrong about any number of things.



report abuse
 

RosemaryBogdan

posted July 31, 2006 at 10:59 pm


I did not mean to post my comment 5 times! My computer kept saying it didn’t go through. sorry.



report abuse
 

Fr. Stephanos, O.S.B.

posted July 31, 2006 at 11:06 pm


The apostles joined Mary in calling down the Holy Spirit upon the Church. The apostles did this in the birth chamber of the Eucharistic Body and Blood of Christ, the room of the Last Supper. They did this in the presence of the Woman who had already known the coming of the Spirit in Nazareth. Mary intercedes and models for the apostles what it is to acquiesce to the Spirit, to receive the Spirit. This receptive feminine, bridal, “Marian principle” is necessary in order for the apostles to be empowered for their properly apostolic mission. Since women by physical nature conceive life INSIDE their bodies, women model and even “enflesh” in the Church what it is to be open to Spirit, to receive the Spirit, to host the Spirit. THAT is the charism of women in the Church; and without that charism and its imitation by men, no apostle will be capacitated (“empowered”) for his mission. Every human soul, male or female, needs to open to God in a bridal fashion.
However, as men by physical nature conceive life OUTSIDE their bodies, so men are sent (“apostled”) out of the Eucharistic Chamber AS apostles to beget life from among those outside the Church.
The human body– gendered by nature, gendered by God– makes of male and female two distinct dynamics in the Church.
As image and likeness of God, women are “naturally better” than men as images of the Spirit filling the Church.
As image and likeness of God, men are “naturally better” than women as images of Christ (and the Spirit) going into the world– and out of the womb of Mother Church, Bride of Christ.
In this distinction between the genders, women have the advantage– and it IS about power: receiving the power of the Spirit without which the Church cannot be One, cannot be Holy, cannot be Catholic and cannot be Apostolic.
The so-called “ordination” of women dismisses the authentic charism of women. It dismisses the dignity of their bodies as insignificant in the life of the Church and the work of the Spirit. That is why Christian denominations that “ordain” women are dying. The ordination of women is self-imposed sterility. It discounts the objective goodness of the body, and it defies the dynamic of the Spirit. Even the Episcopalians are documenting this reality:
http://monkallover.blogspot.com/2006/07/episcopalianism-bleeding.html



report abuse
 

Stacey

posted July 31, 2006 at 11:20 pm


Chris,
You wrote: I agree that Ordinatio Sacerdotalis is infallible in it’s key phrase.
The question is whether that key phrase binds the Church for all time.

You seem to have a problem with the definition of the word “infallible.” Whatever is infallibly defined by the Church is true. Period. Like 2+2=4 is true, not like “Green is my favorite color” is true. Not just today, but always. Not gonna change. The Church does not make something true by defining it to be so, but makes it clear to the rest of us that it is true.



report abuse
 

Lawrence King

posted July 31, 2006 at 11:53 pm


Chris, your question is a good one, but I think you have an answer that is slightly wrong.
We agree that the key statement of OS is infallible. Therefore, it is not the case that we simply do not know whether the Church has this authority; rather, we know that the Church does not have this authority.
But then you suggest that a new papal statement could change this. But it can’t, because neither the pope nor the bishops have any ability to grant authority to the Church. Christ granted the Church its authority; the bishops merely exercise that authority.
Therefore, for the Church in the future to be authorized to ordain women, it would be necessary for Christ to give the Church additional authority that it does not currently possess. And of course, the magisterium wouldn’t know about such a gift unless there were a revelation given by God about this new gift. In other words, this would require a new revelation whose nature was public.
This would certainly contradict the long-held theological opinion that revelation ended with the death of the last apostle and that no new public revelation will occur before the return of Christ. Since that opinion itself has never been taught definitively, I can’t say that this would be impossible, but it seems to me that it would radically change the very nature of the Church.
Note that all of the above concerns the question of authority to ordain women. The question of authority is separate from the question of whether the nature of women ontologically precludes the possibility of ordination (as asserted, e.g., by Fr. Stephanos above). The church has issued no definitive statement on this question.



report abuse
 

Lawrence King

posted July 31, 2006 at 11:56 pm


On second thought, I may be wrong when I said that “no new public revelation” is merely a “theological opinion”. Since this belief has itself been held and taught universally by the church since the Patristic era, it is probably itself an infallible doctrine.



report abuse
 

Fr Martin Fox

posted August 1, 2006 at 12:02 am


Thanks to the person above who gave links to video. I watched one; and I was struck by the interviews with the women, apparently after being “ordained.”
As one who vividly recalls my own ordination day, and those of many brother priests, I found the “lack of affect” on their part strange, almost creepy. I really wonder if these women have any understanding of the priesthood… I know what you’re thinking: “well, duh!” but my point is, they’re claiming what they’re doing is Catholic. I’m beginning to wonder, did they even try to be Catholic in all this? One detail was they excluded a vow of obedience — now that’s funny, isn’t it?



report abuse
 

Chris Sullivan

posted August 1, 2006 at 12:16 am


Lawrence,
I think you’re right that no new public revelation is definitive and I certainly hold that.
I think the reason the Church doesn’t have the authority is because it currently lacks the infallible dogma to theologically underpin the ordination of women.
It’s lacking something in its understanding of the role of Mary in the distribution of grace. An understanding which is necessary for the ordination of women.
I think an infallible dogmatic definition of Mary as Mediarix of all Graces would provide that underpinning.
I think no new public revelation is needed because the necessary already belongs to the deposit of faith.
I’m wondering if there’s a way for the Church to have a kind of dormant authority which could be activated by a new understanding of the role of Mary expressed by a new dogma ?
God Bless



report abuse
 

ambrose

posted August 1, 2006 at 12:17 am


How Catholic was their ceremony? On another report on WTAE on the 11 pm news (I haven’t found it on their website yet), they showed the women pouring into a communal bowl water samples from their hometowns. That water was used later to bless everyone.



report abuse
 

Chris Sullivan

posted August 1, 2006 at 12:19 am


One detail was they excluded a vow of obedience — now that’s funny, isn’t it?
Possibly sinister, I’d say.
Refusal to obey often comes from the other side. I’m not saying it is in this case but it’s certainly a warning sign.
God Bless



report abuse
 

Petra

posted August 1, 2006 at 4:42 am


Chris,
you don’t really seem to understand the nature of dogmatic development in the Church.
Each and every dogma, each and every truth that was ever defined by the Magisterium (either by the ordinary or the extraordinary, by Councils and Popes) has been there from the beginning. It is merely an unfolding of what has always been there. It is not an addition of something that has not been there.
As the Popes have made clear that the fact that women cannot be ordained to the priesthood is a matter of theology, not discipline, then this means that this teaching cannot be changed.
Your reading of the decisive words of OS also reflects this failure to understand the importance of the present tense here. The Pope has to use the present tense, because the Church is, in matters of faith, eternal. If the Church has no “capacity to ordain women” today, she did not have it 1000 years ago and she will not have it in a 1000 years’ time.
So, even if a dogma of Mary as Mediatrix of all Graces (by the way, I also honor her as such) was defined, this could not and would not change teaching about the nature of the priesthood. Why should it? You could as well claim that it would change teaching about the nature of the Trinity, making Mary the fourth person of the (then not anymore) Trinity (Quadrity??).
Also, in your interpretation of the decisive sentence of OS, you gloss over the following sentence (which I have highlighted above) where it says that this teaching is to be definitively held by the faithful. (This point is also made, even more forcefully, in the responsum ad dubium by the CDF.)
Does this wording leave any room for this teaching being changed in the future? (Something that is impossible anyway, as it is a matter of dogma, as I have pointed out above.)
No.



report abuse
 

Petra

posted August 1, 2006 at 4:43 am


Where are all these italics above coming from?



report abuse
 

Peter

posted August 1, 2006 at 8:07 am


This should fix the italics, Petra. :)



report abuse
 

Fr. Stephanos, O.S.B.

posted August 1, 2006 at 11:18 am


Wow! A “Peter” and a “Petra” … how Catholic!



report abuse
 

Kevin Jones

posted August 1, 2006 at 6:52 pm


“Well, since mortal sin separates us from God, how could we still be in communion with His Church if we are seperated from Him that founded it?”
Well, that means any time a bishop or priest sins mortally, he’s not Catholic any more. That seems to lead to donatism, which is why I wanted to get others’ opinions on that portion of the statement.



report abuse
 

Liam

posted August 2, 2006 at 8:24 am


Kevin
No, the equation of mortal sin and formal schism is incorrect for the very reason you are concerned about. There is a reason the administration of sacraments is fairly black and white and also why canon law provides various automatic triggers for juridical sanctions, precisely to avoid the implications of the Donatist heresy in creating doubt about the validity of sacraments.



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

There is nothing I shall want
A couple of weeks ago, a memorial Mass for Michael was held here in Birmingham at the Cathedral. The bishop presided and offered a very nice, even charming homily in which he first focused on the Scripture readings of the day, and then turned to Michael, whom he remembered, among other things, as on

posted 9:24:16am Mar. 05, 2009 | read full post »

Revolutionary Road - Is it just me?
Why am I the only person I know..or even "know" in the Internet sense of "knowing"  - who didn't hate it? I didn't love it, either. There was a lot wrong with it. Weak characterization. Miscasting. Anvil-wielding mentally ill prophets.But here's the thing.Whether or not Yates' original novel in

posted 9:45:04pm Mar. 04, 2009 | read full post »

Books for Lent
No, I'm not going to ask you about your Lenten reading lists...although I might.Not today, though. This post is about giving books to others. For Lent, and a long time after that. You know how it goes during Lent: Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving, right?Well, here's a worthy recipient for your hard-

posted 9:22:07pm Mar. 04, 2009 | read full post »

Why Via Media
How about....because I'm lame and hate thinking up titles to things? No?Okay...how about...St. Benedict? Yes, yes, I know the association with Anglicanism. That wasn't invovled in my purpose in naming the joint, but if draws some Googling Episcopalians, all the better.To tell the truth, you can bl

posted 8:54:17pm Mar. 04, 2009 | read full post »

Brave Heart?
I don't know about you, but one of effects of childbirth on me was a compulsion to spill the details. All of them.The whole thing was fascinating to me, so of course I assumed everyone else should be fascinated as well in the recounting of every minute of labor, describing the intensity of discomfor

posted 10:19:45pm Mar. 03, 2009 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.