Skip to comments.What old-guard feminists get wrong about Catholics
Posted on 04/28/2008 6:33:10 AM PDT by NYer
In the run-up to Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the United States, there was a tremendous display of unseriousness at the National Press Club, followed by a sacrilege at a nearby Washington, D.C., church.
A misguided group called the Women's Ordination Conference held a protest – a press conference and an all-woman "Mass" at a local Methodist church. The group, as the name suggests, wants to see "the ordination of women as priests, deacons and bishops." Sadly, the group doesn't understand women or the Catholic Church.
In a prepared statement, WOC executive director Aisha Taylor declared:
"The failure to ordain women is a blatant manifestation of sexism in the church that has wider repercussions in the world.
"In the three years of his papacy, Pope Benedict XVI has made a few encouraging statements about women, but he has done nothing that suggests willingness to open the discussion on women's ordination. That's why for his 81st birthday, we are offering the pope a present: the gift of women, their leadership, talents, experiences and unique perspectives."
The group trailed the popemobile to papal events with a billboard truck that asked: "Pope Benedict, How long must women wait for equality? Ordain Catholic Women."
As they are stuck on their version of "equality," the fundamental problem with the group and its message is that whatever Benedict says or does will not be enough for them. They are not open to listening, but to dictating an unworkable agenda. If they were open to it, they would hear and see the Roman Catholic Church's embrace and celebration of women. Women will not be priests, but they will always be an essential part of the Church.
(Excerpt) Read more at dallasnews.com ...
A schism is certainly possible.
You forgot St John the Apostle.
Jesus' audience was worldwide and spans all time. His message isn't affected by the outlook of the people in a specific point in time. The 'template' He used worked because He was talking to His creation.
The theological support for the exclusively male presbyterate, however, is rooted in the continuous, unbroken tradition of the Church, east and west, which in turn is founded on the example of Christ in establishing the apostolic priesthood. Christ, who was so radical in breaking traditional Jewish customs, especially where women were concerned, yet chose only men for his apostles. Andit was not as if priestesses were unknown in the Roman World. Can we really say that he would stop short here and be bound by cultural conventions if he really thought that the dignity of women was implicated?
As John Paul II put it in Mulieris Dignitatem, "In calling only men as his Apostles, Christ acted in a completely free and sovereign manner. In doing so, he exercised the same freedom with which, in all his behavior, he emphasized the dignity and the vocation of women, without conforming to the prevailing customs and to the traditions sanctioned by the legislation of the time." This point was reaffirmed in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, which treated the question as settled and part of the deposit of the faith.
The mistake, I think is in understanding the Church in purely material terms: and in material institutions, we are accustomed to the complete equality of men and women now. It must be said, in fairness, that many priests and bishops may be to blame to some extent by behaving in ways that make the priesthood look like a power institution rather than one of service - and ontological re-ordering.
2) Then there is the practical argument you seem to be making: We are short of priests. The Church is dying.
In this regard, however, I would affirm the point made by others: traditional, orthodox orders and dioceses which hold firm to doctrine and traditional charisms and practices are not having problems attracting vocations (male or female). The traditionalist orders FSSP and ICKSP literally have waiting lists because their seminaries are filled to capacity. In St. Louis, Kenrick Glennon seminary has doubled its seminarians (to well over 100) since Archbishop Burke was installed in 2005.
And it must be observed as well that mainline Protestant Churches (Episcopalians, Presbyterians, some Lutherans, some Methodists, etc.) which have ordained women are all losing membership, and often have vocational shortages. Clearly having ordained women has not solved their problems.
But I do agree that a significant number of American Catholics are open to women's ordination. If so, however, I would suggest that this is a measure of the degree to which they think as Americans, rather than as Catholics.
To paraphrase C.S. Lewis from above, what is striking about U.S. Catholic parishes today is that - priest notwithstanding - they are dominated by women. Too few men are involved. To make the Church even more feminine seems an unlikely way to bring them back in.
Yes, good thing we allowed females to help with that great "shortage" of altar servers and eucharistic ministers.
All you are doing is telling Rome to go down the same road the Episcopalians have taken, except it would be much, much, much worse because we have infallibly taught that women cannot be ordained.
It would be a disaster worse than the reformation.
It is an omniscience thing, human version. Disregarding God has already been through this.
No it's not "dying". In certain parts of the country it is very sick and in others it's rather healthy. That's relevant and very interesting because it allows one to do a little study and investigation. One can compare the parts that are sick with those that are healthy and ask "what are the relevant differences?".
I live in Georgia and the Dioceses of Atlanta and Savannah are doing great in terms of vocations. Sorry to have to give you that good.....er.....bad news but it's true. We've had good bishops, good liturgy and have resisted the worst of the catechetical lunacy. Elsewhere of course, things aren't so rosy. Seminaries have been turned into lavender palaces by homosexuals where bishops and seminary rectors have been remiss in their responsibility. Scandal has inevitably followed and vocations have dwindled.
Ask yourself the question "when did this current vocations crisis first manifest?" The answer is; "coincident with the wholesale reforms and changes of the late '60s and early '70s". Nobody quit coming to Church because there are no women priests or because there weren't enough changes. That's perfectly ridiculous. And you know it.
Great numbers quit because there were too many of the wrong sort of changes and they came too rapidly. Catechesis went haywire, liturgy was turned upside, truths of the faith were denied with no episcopal intervention and in many cases lead by the episcopate. Result? Shipwreck in the faith for many.
And your solution to the problem is more of the same? To ordain women?
Try and acquire a little sense of history. Two thousand years is a long time. The Church didn't begin in 1965 when Vatican II finished. Two millenia without women priests probably means the Holy Spirit isn't a big fan of that idea.
All is not lost, however. There are a number of churches which have gone down the route which you would like Catholics to take and ordained women. You might like to try one. But be quick!!! In case you haven't noticed, they really are dying!! No coincidence, of course! No, no......they haven't ordained enough women! Yeah, that's it.......the Episcopal Church is collapsing because they don't have enough women priests! Brilliant!!
Get a clue and a new screen handle.
If you're "traditional" then Dracula is a vegetarian.
Within the USCCB, there are several progressive bishops who have brought similar views to their respective dioceses. In fact, I reside in one such diocese, but have never embraced the concept of women priests in the Catholic Church. Do you mind my asking in which diocese you work and reside?
You are right that it would be a disaster worse than the Reformation. The Reformation from my perspective as a Christian Lutheran was a huge blessing. The road you describe Campion...the slide of the Catholic Church to a state similar to the Episcopalians would be a disaster, even to me.
That obviously isn't my perspective as a faithful Catholic. ;-)
I would suggest that no sundering of Christ's body is ever anything but a disaster and a tragedy. Sometimes it is a necessary disaster if someone refuses to repent of their errors, but it's still a disaster from which we should pray to be delivered through God's wisdom and grace.
My list was intended to be suggestive, not exhaustive.
I also left out the North American College.
It’s kind of like the church and the boy scouts. They both used to have baad pederasty problems. The boy scouts decided to ban homosexuals, which seems to have worked for the most part, but has cost them the ire of the establishment. The church did not, until recently, seriously restrict homos in the priesthood. And look where it got us.
But this is absurd, especially in light of the priest shortage
There is also a shortage of nuns....
What a thoughtful and well-reasoned response. Thank you.
There are people who argue that there were, in fact, female apostles. I won’t make that argument, but I do think it’s interesting to consider how skillfully Jesus presented his radicalism. How would a group of female apostles have been received by the Jewish people 2000 years ago? Can you imagine?
I asked a question earlier, but no one responded. Why do Catholics ignore the Corinthians verse prescribing that women keep silent in the churches? Why have we taken such liberties with that, and do you believe it’s right that we do?
Ordaining women may not solve the priest shortage, you’re right. It’s quite possible nothing will.
It’s interesting that you seem to tie the decline of the Church membership to the increased involvement of women. I think it’s more likely women have been the glue holding the Church together for quite some time. I know far more women who encourage (drag?) their husbands and children to Mass every week than men. And if you really believe reducing the influence of women in the church will attract more men to the church, I ask you this: what kind of men, realistically, do you think you’d be attracting? And would you want to be part of a Church full of those men? I can think of at least one prominent religion where men enjoy all the power, and the results are often devastating.
The Church’s response would be, “We haven’t been given the authority (from God) to do this.”
There is simply no good reason women should not be eligible for the priesthood.The strongest reason I can give you for why women cannot be priests is that priests act in persona Christi capitis -- in the Person of Christ the Head.
It's true that, in baptism, we have all put on Christ and that he has incorporated us into his Body, and in that sense we can speak about everyone in every vocation acting in persona Christi. But the Church always speaks specifically of the priest acting in persona Christi capitis. The body of the Church is just that -- the body, not the head. Christ alone is the head, and the priest has the unique vocation of representing the unique headship of Jesus Christ.
Yes, there is. Why do you think so few women are interested in becoming nuns?
Why can’t a woman represent the “unique headship of Jesus Christ”?