Well… maybe Bp. Trautman is right after all

His Excellency the Bishop of Erie, Most Reverend Donald W. Trautman is an enemy of the Holy See’s translation norms.  He is energetic in recruiting people to reject the Holy See’s norms.  His basic problem with the norms is that the Holy See requires accurate translations.  Since people not smart enough to understand good translations, he wants the translations to conform to the way people walk in daily life so that the prayers won’t be toooo harrrrd.

For a long time I have strongly disagreed with His Excellency.  However, today, scanning the new online number of the lefty National Catholic Reporter, I am wondering if perhaps I haven’t been too hard on Bp. Trautman?  Maybe accurate translations and things like… facts, really are toooo harrrrd for the people he is hangin’ with, you know… like, his peeps.  Consider the following.

Erasing women from history


A ninth-century church mosaic of a female with the word episcopa over her head. A woman bishop? Truth is in the eye of the beholder. If evidence for “herstory” — female authority in the church — is there looking back at us from the mosaics, frescoes, burial inscriptions and ancient texts, the truth of it has seldom registered with our male-run church. History’s winners have chosen to ignore it.

An advocate for women’s ordination (Subcription only)

Finding ‘Herstory’ (Subcription only)

Therefore, given the quality of the abovementioned, maybe His Excellency has a point.  I am driven to ask…

{democracy:13}

 

PS: For more information about the Theodora episcopa dopiness check this out.

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24 Responses to Well… maybe Bp. Trautman is right after all

  1. The inscription of the image at the Church of St Praxedes (sp?) reads “Theodora Episcopa.” She was the widowed mother of Paschal, who was Bishop of Rome at the time. Such a title would not have been unusual for a bishop’s mother, but it didn’t make her a bishop. Even today, the wife of a Greek Orthodox priest is addressed as “presbytera,” meaning literally “priestess.” But she’s not literally a priest(ess), now, is she?

    So you see, Father, you were right the whole time. Now you can start being hard on Bishop Trautman again.

    Glad I could help.

  2. some guy says:

    I think my favorite line from that editorial is this: “the inescapable truth that all history is selectively constructed to underpin current authority.”

    Quick! Find the author and delete her/him/it! We cannot allow that inescapable truth to escape!

  3. Somerset '76 says:

    Hmm. Let’s see. Church history, like all history, is “written by the winners” and is “selectively constructed to underpin current authority.”

    Which means that there’s nothing that distinguishes Church history from other facets of human history.

    Which means that Church history is nothing more than the annals of a succession of human beings who have wielded power and influence over a religious community.

    Which means that a supernatural Divine Being has nothing whatsoever to do with this process.

    Which means that people who view Church history in this way do not have the Catholic Faith, objectively speaking. One wonders if indeed they really believe in God as a supernatural Being, or if He is rather a mental construct as described in Pope St. Pius X’s encyclical against Modernism, Pascendi, the centennary of which promulgation is this year.

  4. some guy says:

    Or perhaps the best part is how her evidence undercuts her argument. If “the victors” had been so careful to “write women out of history,” they didn’t do a very good job if a millenium-old fresco with the word “episcopa” is still extant.

    Poor souls. They never do let clarity of thought get in the way of their sense of entitlement.

  5. Not to disrespect his excellency, but just using his logic from this statement:

    A ninth-century church mosaic of a female with the word episcopa over her head. A woman bishop? Truth is in the eye of the beholder.

    If I saw a picture of the bishop with the word “idiot” above his head could I say the same thing about him since I am “a beholder” of that picture?

    (Hasn’t that whole “mosaic with a female with the word episcopa above her head” thing been debunked again and again? Next he’ll be saying that the Da Vinci Code was a true story.)

  6. some guy says:

    Somerset, dude, No. “God,” “His” providence and “His” so-called “divine protection” are constructs of “the victors” designed to keep women from being ordained…priests…of…..God…. er’….

  7. Roman Sacristan: That is not H.E.’s logic.

  8. Jeff Z. says:

    Back in 1908, the venerable Catholic Encyclopedia discussed the “episcopessa” in its article on clerical celibacy. Like the deaconess and the presbytera, she was the wife of the cleric who renounced the use of marriage upon ordination.
    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03481a.htm

  9. Craigmaddie says:

    …as described in Pope St. Pius X’s encyclical against Modernism, Pascendi, the centennary of which promulgation is this year.

    Not that you would know it, I fear. I’d recommend any Catholic to read it at least once.

  10. Dave Deavel says:

    Fr. Z,

    Have you seen the John Wijngaard book from Crossroad that claims that the controversy over deaconesses is definitively settled in favor of a real sacramental ordination in the first millenium? He further claims that, despite no evidence of any ordinations to the priesthood or episcopate, the Church should ordain women to all three offices because of the unity of holy orders. (I skimmed the book, so I don’t have all the details.)

    It’d be great if Fr. Z could take this on in print or here at the blog.

  11. RBrown says:

    That is much like what I found on the Lansing Diocese website the other day. In a section on Holy Orders the author contends that from the Dark Ages until Vat II the Church lost the true notion of ministry.

    So the Church had it wrong for 1000 years.

    After more than 25 years of John Paul the Great, we still have garbage like that being written on a diocesan website.

  12. RBrown says:

    Bp Trautman, who studied in Austria under Karl Rahner, is very simply a man who is out of touch. His mind is frozen somewhere in the late 1950′s and 60′s, and he’s not capable of adjusting to contemporary times and address its problems. In trying to be relevant, he in fact makes himself irrelevant.

  13. caleb1x says:

    I’m glad to have learned that the definition of “herstory” is “female authority in the church.” Truth is in the eye of the beholder.

  14. Jeff Z.,

    What you say is mostly correct regarding the use of the term “prebytera”. It is still in fact the title ascribed to the wife of the presbyter in the Eastern tradition – and no renuniciation of the of the “rights of marriage” is required. Tempered, perhaps, by fasting 24 hours before Divine Liturgy and the liturgical seasons.

    The “deaconess” is another matter altogether and is still much debated, even in orthodox (and Orthodox) circles. Although I do not personally believe that this office was regarded as the male form of the diaconate, in the East (especially Syria) at least it seemed to have functioned as an ordo ranking slightly higher than that of the subdeacon. (The Syrian “Didascalia Apostolorum ” borrows from Ignatius of Antioch’s iconographical vision of the Church with the bishop as the icon of the Father, the Deacons as the icons of the Son, the presbyters as the icons of the college of apostles, and the Deaconesses as the icons of the Holy Spirit.) Their service was principally to the material and spiritual needs of the women in the church. This included the rites of initiation to help protect the modesty of both the presiding bishop and the newly baptized and chrismated. Some even lived in community (I believe this was the case in Constantinople), and were regarded as the precursor to nuns.

    Of course, a marvellous resoure on this topic is Pere Aime Martimort’s “Deaconess: An Historical Study” published by Ignatius Press.

    http://www.ignatius.com/ViewProduct.aspx?SID=1&Product_ID=770&SKU=DEAC-P&ReturnURL=search.aspx%3f%3fSID%3d1%26SearchCriteria%3ddeaconess

    Another interesting read is Kyriaki Karidoyanes FitzGerald’s “Women Deacons in the Orthodox Church”. The link below is to an Orthodox Women’s journal which offers a balanced critique of the work, which is certainly not above criticism, but not without its virtues either.

    http://www.stnina.org/journal/art/3.2.7

    In ICXC,

    Gordo

  15. The dissidents need new material. This claim is so 20 years ago, oh, wait, Fiorenza-that is 20 years ago.

    Perhaps, they could get new material, instead of recycling the old stuff if anyone was still “buying it”.

    Funny, I used to believe all this junk. Now, I’m tired of people trying to
    convince me I’m powerless by just saying it over and over and over again.

  16. What I don’t get is that people always cite the fact that women ran house churches as reason for women to be priests. But every time I ask those who believe this if there is historical evidence that women consecrated the eucharist, they have no idea! Sorry, this is really just a random rant…

  17. David Deavel says:

    Gordo,

    Have you seen the Wijngaard book? He claims the case against Martimort is settled?

  18. David,

    I have not seen his text, although John Wijngaard clearly has an agenda… (That is only an observation, not an argument against his position, of course.)

    What specific aspects of the case against Martimont’s conclusions does he claim to settle?
    What was your opinion of his assertions, if you have read both?

    Incidentally, the Maronite Patriarchal Synod (I believe) agreed to revive the order of deaconess a number of years ago, but was asked by Rome to hold off on its implmenetation until the issue could be studied further. (Fr. Z, you may know more about this issue than I, since you reisde in the matrix of Holy Mother Church! :-) )

    The Coptic Orthodox of Alexandria have “reinstituted” the order. It functions like an order of consecrated sisters, but they are referred to as “deconesses”.

    Of course the prevailing question is just WHAT it is! Some of the ancient Byzantine ordination/consecration rites provide some window into the ministry.

    Part of the issue is that Rome has already spoken (especially at Vatican II) regarding the intrinsic unity major orders (bishop, priest and deacon) and so that those who hold out any hope of seeing the order of deaconess “restored” as a major order may be waiting until the parousia. Ontology will trump politics everytime…at least over time. (See the International Theological Commisions document on this point. It is well worth reading, although, as I tend to defer to the traditional interpretation of “Seven” being ordained as deacons. Liturgically, every major tradition of East and West makes this connection. Now modern scholarship says otherwise? I tend to view liturgy magisterally, as a good Easterner.)

    Minor orders, since they are essentially ecclesial ministries and not apostolic, may be another matter. Of course, just basic prudence would dictate that such a move now while churches still suffer the ravages of radical feminism would not be a good thing at all, since it would be ripe for abuse. And to my mind a greater priority would be to rescind most of “Ministeria
    Quaedam” and restore minor orders to the Latin Church. (The “most” refers to the fact that these ministries should be opened to laymen, whether or not they are on the formal path to Holy Orders.)

    Pace e’ bene!

    Gordo

  19. William Tighe says:

    On the “Theodora Episcopa” nonsense, and other such, see also:

    http://trushare.com/71APR01/AP01HIDD.htm

  20. RBrown says:

    Have you seen the John Wijngaard book from Crossroad that claims that the controversy over deaconesses is definitively settled in favor of a real sacramental ordination in the first millenium? He further claims that, despite no evidence of any ordinations to the priesthood or episcopate, the Church should ordain women to all three offices because of the unity of holy orders. (I skimmed the book, so I don’t have all the details.)

    A “Catholic” professor from the Netherlands whose theology sounds Protestant. Why am I not surprised?

    The people all say the same things for the same reasons. And their books are always billed as products of new research, but in the end it’s the same ole same ole–a hermeneutic on their own a priori ideas (which are usually Protestant) not objective reading of texts.

  21. RBrown says:

    The Coptic Orthodox of Alexandria have “reinstituted” the order. It functions like an order of consecrated sisters, but they are referred to as “deconesses”.

    Of course the prevailing question is just WHAT it is! Some of the ancient Byzantine ordination/consecration rites provide some window into the ministry.

    I think I’ve mentioned before that the Carthusian nuns have had deaconesses to read the Gospel, not at mass but at Matins. And of course, in the early Church there were deaconesses to assist at immersion Baptism of women.


    Part of the issue is that Rome has already spoken (especially at Vatican II) regarding the intrinsic unity major orders (bishop, priest and deacon) and so that those who hold out any hope of seeing the order of deaconess “restored” as a major order may be waiting until the parousia. Ontology will trump politics everytime…at least over time. (See the International Theological Commisions document on this point. It is well worth reading, although, as I tend to defer to the traditional interpretation of “Seven” being ordained as deacons. Liturgically, every major tradition of East and West makes this connection. Now modern scholarship says otherwise? I tend to view liturgy magisterally, as a good Easterner.)

    It seems to be forgotten that the VatII restoration of the diaconate was intended for those areas that didn’t see priests for many years. And so a deacon could be responsible for catechetics, Baptism, and
    Matrimony.

    The Western tendency toward self-indulgence, however, has maneuvered the diaconate into a kind of “lay” participation, e.g., the lawyer who on Sundays reads the Gospel and gives the homily.

    Minor orders, since they are essentially ecclesial ministries and not apostolic, may be another matter.

    Of course, just basic prudence would dictate that such a move now while churches still suffer the ravages of radical feminism would not be a good thing at all, since it would be ripe for abuse. And to my mind a greater priority would be to rescind most of “Ministeria
    Quaedam” and restore minor orders to the Latin Church. (The “most” refers to the fact that these ministries should be opened to laymen, whether or not they are on the formal path to Holy Orders.)

    If they’re open to laici, then they’re not part of Orders.

    On the other hand, regarding Orders, Trent says (XXIII, 2) that there are seven.

  22. RBrown,

    Could you clarify what you mean by this?

    “If they’re open to laici, then they’re not part of Orders.”

    Thanks.

    Here’s an interesting read on Minor Orders.

    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11279a.htm

    It appears there is not universal agreement as to number, but there WAS universal agreement as to their importance to the life of the Church – that is until the disastrous MP, Ministeria Quaedam, by His Holiness, Pope Paul. Very few outside of the seminary system were appointed to these “ministries,” in part, I believe, because bishops either did not want to “discrimate” against women who cannot execrise these appointed ministries, or they did not want to raise the ire of women desirous of moving into the ranks of Holy Orders by excluding them. Plus, let’s face it, there was not the surge of interest in obtaining such appointments from the laity that was probably anticipated.

    Ministeria Quaedam also had the unintended consequence of eliminating Minor Orders from their place in the ecclesial life of the Eastern Catholic churches, particularly in North America. The assumption seemed to be that the document applied to us, when it explicitly did NOT. There has been a resurgence of interest in Minor Orders in the Catholic East, and some bishops have restored the use of these ordos within their respective eparchies.

    Perhaps good Pope Benedict might consider another MP rescinding Ministeria Quaedam? Let’s hope it does not take as long!

    Also, by opening it to laymen (who would then become clerics) whether or not they intend to pursue vocations to Major Orders, the Church would also creating something of a vocational pipeline. IMHO, it should be done with the understanding, though, that one could remain serving the Church in the order of subdeacon, reader, doorkeeper, etc etc for the rest of his life.

    God bless,

    Gordo

  23. RBrown says:

    Could you clarify what you mean by this?

    “If they’re open to laici, then they’re not part of Orders.”

    By definition, a layman is not in Orders.

  24. RBrown,

    I think I grasp what you are saying – you want to be clear that those who are ordained as subdeacons (for instance) should understand that they are being ordained to a clerical order and are no longer part of the ordo of the laity.

    In context, I thought you were concerned that laymen might want to serve in minor orders who were not going to study either for the priesthood or the diaconate.

    God bless,

    Gordo