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 ...
There wouldn't be any need for female altar servers and female eucharistic ministers if the Church in Western countries hadn't caved to the zeitgeist of the 1960s!
He called them "true children of their father, the devil" and "whitewashed sepulchers". He didn't give a flying hoot about cultural conventions.
Besides, priestesses were all over the ancient world; it was a common place. But never in Judaism, only in paganism.
“There wouldn't be any need for female altar servers and female eucharistic ministers if the Church in Western countries hadn't caved to the zeitgeist of the 1960s!”
There is one church near me that doesn't permit female altar servers. It is clearly the most “conservative” local parish we hav nearby. It is the parish that produces more vocations to the priesthood than all the others near me put together.
Good point! It rather bemuses (and rather amuses) me when people claiming to be Christian use the argument that something-or-other in Christianity is only because Christ lived in such benighted times. Do they really think that if only God had thought about it a bit more or were a little bit smarter, Christ would have been born in a more enlightened age, one rather like our own, in fact? ;-)
Dig in those heels. We shall see.
Nope. We'll leave, and watch your apostate church join the Episcopalians in perdition and apostasy.
But you're living a fantasy, because that will never happen. Never.
Go to a mainline Protestant church that ordains women, and see how many men you see in the congregation between the ages of 20 and 60. They leave. They go away. They don’t want any part of your feminized so-called Christianity.
Where do you come up with this??? The Catholic Church in the US isn't as strong as it may have appeared to have been 50 years ago but it's far from dying. In fact it's the most vibrant Church in the developed, first world.
I also noticed in a previous post that you think ytoung people are abandonning the Church. Maybe in your parish...which from the tenor of your comments I would guess is probably very liberal...but not in the Church at large. Young people are the core of our Church...more and more of them are finding their way to a religious vocation and many of those who don't are finding fullfilment in the vocation of marriage and family life and are some of the most traditional Catholics around.
Hey T.M., can you give us a ballpark estimate of how long you think we have to go until we get validly ordained priestesses? Like 5 years, 20years, 100 years, 500 years or what?
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”?
She needs to become an Episcopalian. They’re much more “open minded.”
Did we allow women to participate because of a shortage, or because most of us realized denying them participation was wrong?
. . . one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church . . .
Benedict XVI in "Introduction to Christianity" explains this as a Holy Church of sinful people not a sinful church of Holy people. I highly recommend this book.
I bet Reverend Wright doesn’t have trouble attracting men to HIS church.
I know...I was just kidding and looking for a cheap plug for my parish.
My parish is also quite “orthodox” with the younger priests being even more so. Daily confession, ad orientem Masses, chant, etc.
If people want a blueprint for female ordination, they can always look to the Episcopal church and how well that’s fairing.
Christ’s role as head of the Church and bridegroom are fundamentally male, for whatever reason in the mystery of God. The fatherhood of the clergy has a deeply symbolic relation to the maternal function of the Church. In one sense, Christ leads the Church; in another sense, Christ comes to wed the Church. The dynamic is this: Christ the head, caring for his Church; Christ the groom, married to his bride, the Church.
Be sure to tell the Missionaries of Charity. And the Sisters of Life. And the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. And the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecelia. And the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal. I'm sure they'd be interested to know that.
Funny thing: orthodox, traditional orders grow. "Relevant" orders that follow the ways of the world die.
To the extent that there is a shortage of priests, nuns, and brothers, it is manufactured by folks who deliberately abandoned orthodoxy for "relevance".
Among all the other changes wrought in the name of the 'Spirit' of Vatican II came women lectors and LEM's. This was a great mistake in my mind and one that is not too late to change. It will take several generations but it can and should be done.
I believe that women should keep silent and should cover their heads.
Hey, I just might be tempted if the majority of Catholics I knew were like the few participating in this thread. Fortunately, the majority of American Catholics, period, are in favor of ordaining women priests. :)
“American Catholics continue to be open to new ideas for parish leadership. 61% of respondents agreed that the Catholic Church should allow women to serve as priests. Generational differences are apparent, as less than half (47%) of those born in 1940 or earlier approve the idea, while two-thirds (66%) of those born after 1960 endorse female ordination.”
A very good friend is a member of that order.
Seriously? A la fundamentalist Islam?
Sure there is---Christ didn't choose any women as Apostles (disciples, yes, but not Apostles). Nor did the Apostles ever choose any women to be bishops. And based on those facts the Church has made an infallible judgment that women cannot be priests---so fuggedaboutit.
It's not a matter of whether we're "ready" ... It's a matter of whether it's "right".
It's not. Wrong should never be done, even if a majority are "ready" for it.
You’re not old enough to remember women wearing a veil?
Because the men do not want to go to feminized Masses: wimpy sermons, happy clappy 60's kumbaya music, etc. Homosexual priests do not help. What straight father and husband can relate to some swishy priest? Women priests would only serve to exacerbate, not ameliorate this problem.
Women in The Church are NOT second-class, try telling that to the Nuns I know! furthermore, the act of celebrating mass is of a community. By not having women as celebrants, in no way signifies that they are not the equals of men
Wow, this thread is really drawing some interesting people...