Archbp. Burke on the upcoming SIMULATION of ordination of women in St. Louis

In a little while some of the weird sisters of our amazingly diverse Church, will completely violate the unity of the Body of Christ, scandalize the faithful, and put their souls in danger of burning in hell for eternity by simulating priestly ordination.

The only bright spot in this sad and spiritually stupid event is that it will take place in the Archdiocese of St. Louis.  Why is that a bright spot?  His Excellency Archbishop Raymond Burke will be the one to handle the consequences of this simulation of ordination.

There is a statement on the website of the Archdiocese of St. Louis which bears close reading.  Archbishop Burke drills into the theological and canonical problems.  Also, take note of his concern for the souls of those involved.

My emphases other than titles.

Archbishop Raymond L. Burke’s weekly St. Louis Review column for November 9, 2007

I write with great sadness about the announced attempt to ordain two women of the Archdiocese of St. Louis to the Order of Priests, on this coming November 11th, at the synagogue of the Central Reform Congregation, located at 5020 Waterman Avenue in the city of St. Louis. The attempted ordination is a violation of what is most sacred to us in the Church, one of the sacraments. It imperils the eternal salvation of the women seeking the attempted ordination and the woman, claiming to be a Roman Catholic bishop, who proposes to attempt the ordination. It generates confusion among the faithful and others who are not Catholic regarding an infallible teaching of the Catholic faith. What is more, the hosting of the attempted ordination by the Central Reform Congregation constitutes a grave violation of the mutual respect which should mark the relationship between the Jewish faith and the Roman Catholic faith.  [Remember that there are some Jewish people who have gotten very worked up about the good Friday prayers in the 1962 Missale Romanum.]

Given the gravity of the matter, I, as your shepherd with the responsibility to make clear the Church’s teaching and to apply the Church’s discipline, offer to you some brief reflections. Space does not permit me to give a complete presentation of the Church’s perennial teaching and practice regarding the reservation of the sacrament of Holy Orders to men alone. In order to understand better the Church’s teaching regarding the reservation of priestly ordination to men alone, I refer you to the relevant articles contained in this week’s issue of the St. Louis Review and to the resources available on the archdiocesan website, www.archstl.org. In referring you to these excellent materials, I express my deepest gratitude to Dr. Lawrence J. Welch, Ph.D., professor of systematic theology at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, our archdiocesan seminary, who has so ably responded to the many questions proposed by the media in the midst of the confusion caused by the announcement of the attempted ordinations.

Violation of the Most Sacred Realities
What is most painful about the proposed attempted ordinations is the calculated and grave offense they will offer to our Lord Jesus Christ and His Church. From the teaching in the Holy Scriptures, faithfully handed down to us in the Magisterium, there is no doubt that our Lord Jesus Christ chose only men for the Holy Priesthood, even as He, at the Last Supper, consecrated only men for the priestly office and ministry.

Down the centuries, the Church has faced, many times, the question about whether women can be ordained priests. Following faithfully the example of our Lord Jesus Christ, she has remained constant in the practice of ordaining only men to the priesthood. When the question about the possibility of the priestly ordination of women was raised again in our time, the Servant of God Pope John Paul II responded unequivocally:

Although the teaching that priestly ordination is to be reserved to men alone has been preserved by the constant and universal Tradition of the Church and firmly taught by the Magisterium in its more recent documents, at the present time in some places it is nonetheless considered still open to debate, or the Church’s judgment that women are not to be admitted to ordination is considered to have a merely disciplinary force.

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 (Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, "On Reserving Priestly Ordination to Men Alone," 22 May [Solemnity of Pentecost] 1994, n. 4). A Catholic who continues to have a question in the matter is bound to inform himself or herself more fully about the Church’s teaching, so that the question may be resolved in accord with the Catholic faith.

In addition to the sacrilege of the attempted ordinations to the Sacred Priesthood, there is added the sacrilege of any attempts by the women involved to offer the Holy Mass, after their supposed ordination. They have, in fact, announced that they will "co-pastor the Thérèse of Divine Peace Inclusive Community on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. beginning December 1, 2007," which will meet in Hope Chapel at the First Unitarian Church of St. Louis at 5007 Waterman Avenue. One has to suppose that they will attempt to offer the Holy Mass, a most grave offense against our Lord and His Church.

Need of Prayer for Those Involved
Given the most sacred nature of the sacraments which will be simulated, [This is a key point.] the women involved and any Catholic who knowingly and deliberately assists them risks the eternal salvation of their souls. They commit mortal sin. Because of the most grave, public and obstinate nature of the proposed act of attempted ordination, the Church automatically applies medicinal penalties to the parties who complete the act. Medicinal penalties, for example, excommunication and interdict, are aimed at calling the persons away from their sin and to reconciliation with Christ and His Church. The women involved have been duly admonished regarding the penalties which they will incur, should they proceed with the attempted ordination. Any medicinal penalties or censures incurred will be appropriately declared, so that the ecclesial status of the parties involved may be clear for all.

I urge you, therefore, to offer fervent prayers for the women involved, that they will repent and be reconciled with the Church. Please pray, too, for all who will be confused and led astray by their sinful action.

Confusion of Others
Although the attempted ordinations will produce no sacramental reality, that is, will be sacramentally empty, they will be the cause of much confusion among the faithful and others who are not members of the Roman Catholic Church. Already, the media attention to the proposed attempt to ordain two women to the Roman Catholic priesthood has generated much confusion about the Church’s teaching and practice. [How many stories about these sacriligious farces have you read which say without distinction: "women were ordained as Catholic priests today in a ceremony....blah blah blah..."] In view of the confusion which has already been caused by the announcement of the attempted ordinations and will be caused by the eventual attempt itself, it is critical that Catholics be prepared to give an account of the Church’s teaching  [Could you?] to those who may inquire with them about the matter or may wish to discuss the matter with them. In addition to Pope John Paul’s Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, the document, Ten Frequently Asked Questions About the Reservation of Priestly Ordination to Men, prepared by the Committee on Doctrine of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, is most helpful. The article, Pastoral Response to the Teaching on Women’s Ordination (129.84 Kb PDF file), by the eminent theologian Cardinal Avery Dulles is also most helpful. These resources are all available at the archdiocesan website, www.archstl.org. If you wish to study the matter even more extensively, I recommend the book, The Catholic Priesthood and Women: A Guide to the Teaching of the Church, by Sister Sara Butler, M.S.B.T., a most respected theologian and professor of dogmatic theology at Saint Joseph Seminary of the Archdiocese of New York.

Violation of Respect for the Catholic Church
Another painful aspect of the proposed attempted ordinations is the hosting of the event by a Jewish synagogue. To host an event which is offensive to the faith of the Roman Catholic Church is profoundly disrespectful and a most serious violation of the relationship which has developed between leaders of the Jewish faith and the Archbishop of St. Louis.

I have written twice to Rabbi Susan Talve [I know some do this, but how can a woman be a Jewish RABBI?] of Central Reform Congregation, asking her to cancel the event, out of respect for the Roman Catholic Church. In her response to my first letter, Rabbi Talve informed me that it was the unanimous decision of the Board of Directors of Central Reform Congregation to host the attempted ordinations. Her response seemed to view the matter as merely a question of a difference of opinion among Catholics, in which the Jewish synagogue would merely provide a forum for one viewpoint to express itself. It does not take into account that it is a matter of Catholic doctrine and that the proposed event is the simulation of one of the most sacred rites in the Roman Catholic Church. As I explained in my letter to Rabbi Talve, it would be as if I, as Archbishop of St. Louis, would host an event at the Cathedral Basilica, which would simulate a Jewish ritual which at the same time would be offensive to the Jewish faith. 

The Jewish Community Relations Council has issued a statement in the matter, in which it clarifies that each Jewish congregation "is free to act in accordance with its own understanding of Jewish tradition and law" and that, therefore, "Central Reform Congregation’s decision to make its facilities available for the ordination event represents the action of that congregation, not of the organized Jewish community of greater St. Louis."

The statement also expresses regret over "any pain inuring from Central Reform Congregation’s association with the ordination event to any of our many friends in the Roman Catholic community of St. Louis." The complete text of the statement is found on the archdiocesan website. I am most grateful for the statement. At the same time, I must observe that, in referring to the Church’s teaching on the reservation of priestly ordination to men only as "current Roman Catholic doctrine," the statement fails to understand that the teaching involved is universal and constant, that is, it is not just "current" or subject to change.  [Weasel words from Rabbess:  So sorry!  We're going to do it anyway.]

Conclusion
I hope that the above helps you to understand better my response, as Archbishop, to the most sad situation of the attempted ordinations. I hope that it also leads you to seek a deeper understanding of the Church’s teaching in the matter and helps you to be able to respond to the inevitable questions which will be raised to Catholics by friends and acquaintances. I thank you, in advance, for whatever you can do to help others to understand the Church’s teaching and practice.  [WDTPRS is here to help in this matter!]

Above all, I hope that my reflections will lead you to pray for the conversion of heart of the women involved, for the sake of their eternal salvation and for the sake of the many whom they will lead into confusion about the Church’s teaching and practice. Prayer can accomplish more than we ever imagine, and the present situation needs the help of many prayers.

 

Right now, folks, stop and say your prayer to St. Michael the Archangel and then a Memorare for this terrible issue.

If you have solid comments, please discuss.

Don’t bother if you just want to vent.   Let’s make this helpful for people so they can learn useful things.

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37 Responses to Archbp. Burke on the upcoming SIMULATION of ordination of women in St. Louis

  1. Bo says:

    With an issue such as this one where the entire argument is often cast in terms of power (a la Foucault, especially)by the other side, I think it is important to note some of the wording confirmed again and again by Popes, Bishops, and theologians of Orthodoxy: The Church DOES NOT have the AUTHORITY to ordinate women. It is not that they do not choose to, or will not allow it, or that they never have, or that they have decided against it. They do not have the authority, even if they wanted to (luckily, most of them don’t). The point is to zero in on this lack of authority, due to the obedience the teaching authority of the Church shows towards its Lord Jesus Christ. This lack of authority is a sign of obedience, demonstrating the servant nature of the Episcopacy. One of the central arguments of the other side is undercut from the very start, if we make sure to point this out…

  2. Dan J. Howell says:

    I have a question and I know there might not be an answer out there for this so this might seem like a rant but I have to voice it. Why is it that in today’s society that the secular world has decided to put there views and values upon the Church that Christ built? The simple fact that or Mary Q wants to be part of the regilous life and they decide to soil comething as sacred as Holy Orders. Why is it that these norms are being pushed upon the church? What can the church do in these cases or do we have to stand up and fight these attacks on the church with pray and point out the reasons in a logical and rational way. This just irks me to no end.

  3. Timothy James says:

    “it is critical that Catholics be prepared to give an account of the Church’s teaching [Could you?] to those who may inquire with them about the matter or may wish to discuss the matter with them.”

    For those who have argued that JPII’s teaching in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis was not infallible, according to the Vatican I definition of infallibility, thus leaving the door still open to women’s ordination… here is a good essay to read:

    http://catholicity.elcore.net/CoreOnOrdinatioSacerdotalis.html

    Just another good resource to help you defend the Church’s teaching.

  4. God bless Abp. Burke for standing up for Our Lord and for standing AGAINST the devil.

    My heart breaks over this madness. God help these poor souls.
    May the Lord of Hosts open their eyes while there is still time.

    I try to remember that we are all blinded in various ways, and I pray for the repentance and salvation of all those who are participating in this gross error.

  5. Ave Maria says:

    Thanks be to God for Archbishop Burke; his handling of this sad situation is
    masterful and he uses the opportunity to teach as well. He cares for the
    souls involved. May God grant us more holy shepherds.

  6. Celibatarian says:

    I agree with Ave Maria. Abp Burke is impressive. Pastoral and kind while not giving an inch. The kind of father you cannot help but respect. May St Michael and his army not tire as they defend His Excellency from the attacks of the enemy.

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  8. FR K says:

    Dan J Howell

    Why is it that in today’s society that the secular world has decided to put their views and values upon the Church that Christ built?

    This is a very good point raised here. When the MP was promulgated one of the main issues in the media was the prayer for the Copnversion of the Jews; they were standing in judgment and telling Catholics how they should pray. [although their sources were quite out of date]. They don’t tell Jews or Muslims or Mormons or Buddhists how they should pray.

    In Australia when Cardinal Pell reminded practising Catholic politicians about their obligations and duties regarding receiving Commnion despite voting in favour of the so-called ‘morning after pill’ the media jumped on the Cardinal demanding his apology for doing his duty as a solicitous pastor of souls. Fortunately, the good Cardinal stuck to his guns and was supported in the media by the Prime Minister.

    The trouble is that we churchmen in the Western world, on the whole have allowed this mentality to develop pretty much unchecked: it is not uncommon here in Australia for weddings and funerals to be ‘do it yourself.’ Priests stand by while individuals, very often not practicing Catholics make up their own version of say a funeral service which in reality is nothing more than an instant canonisation ceremony for the deceased. In not a few places, even on a nationally televised funeral for a minor radio celebrity recently, the body was carried from the Church to Frank Sinatra’s voice singing ‘I did it my way.’ People see this happening and want more of the same. Another notorious funeral had a gay high court judge use his five minutes of fame spot at a funeral,disguised as a eulogy,to rant on about gay rights and how the Church oppresses gays. The media gleefully reported how a marijuana joint and a bottle of amyl nitrate [used, I believe to enhance the gay sex experience] were placed in the coffin. Was there an official comment about these deplorable events? Not a whisper. So it is not surprising that the media, who willingly report these events take it on themselves to tell the Church what it should do and what it should and shouldn’t say, because they can and no one opposes or questions it.. If you let bullies get away with being bullies, they will continue to bully.

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  10. pattif says:

    You’re right, Father – the fact that this attempted ordination took place in the Archdiocese of St. Louis is a cause for thanksgiving. Archbishop Burke’s treatment of this issue is masterful (to make a completely frivolous point in this context, he even know how to avoid splitting an infinitive).

  11. I, too, am happy that Abp. Burke has taken these loons seriously. When they committed their sacrileges in Pittsburgh last July, the diocese stayed as far away from them as possible. The “Womenpriests” were able to claim an easy victory in the press afterwards. Because Burke is calling them out in public as fakers and frauds, they will have to fight for legitimacy this time.

    WAC

  12. pdt says:

    The Archbishop makes reference to …confusion…regarding an infallible teaching of the Catholic faith. Although the instruction has been clearly stated by the Pope, I thought that the only time Papal infallibility was assured was when the Pope spoke ex cathedra. Has this happened on the subject? Or am I misinformed on infallibility?

  13. Paul says:

    The Pope doesn’t need to define something which was defined by Christ Himself; Christ is infallible.

  14. Legisperitus says:

    Memorare, o piissima Virgo Maria, non esse auditum a saeculo, quemquam ad tua currentem praesidia, tua implorantem auxilia, tua petentem suffragia, esse derelictum. Ego tali animatus confidentia ad te, Virgo virginum, Mater, curro; ad te venio; coram te gemens peccator assisto. Noli, Mater Verbi, verba mea despicere, sed audi propitia et exaudi. Amen.

  15. Nick says:

    I am very very relieved to see Bishop Burke stand up and tell it like it is. Im glad he is openly stating the punishments involved with such a scandal.

    My question is he says among the punishments are “excommunication and interdict”…I know what excommunication is, but what is “interdict”?

  16. David2 says:

    Most Jewish authorities, and even the laws of the State of Israel regard the “Reform” folks as “pretend Jews”. So, we have pretend-Jewish girls pretending to be Rabbis, hosting a pretend-Catholic-girl who’s pretending to be a Bishop, and laying hands on a couple of other pretend Catholic shielas who would like to pretend to be Priests. Oy gevalt! So much pretending! But wait! There’s more!

    The whole lot then schlepp over to a Unitarian Chapel (no doubt with a whole lot of other pretend Christians, pretending to be Catholic), and pretend to offer the Holy Sacrifice, and pretend that it will do them spiritual good, rather than ceondemn them in the eyes of the almighty.

    This whole sham is more artificial than one of those flourescent polyester chausables so beloved of Abp Marini.

    Actually, this situation is so flagrant as to demonstrate the utility of solemn Anathematization; If Benedict XVI were to come to St Louis and Anathametize these impertinent chicks, these wierd sapphic sisters, nobody would be in any doubt as to the Church’s teaching!

  17. David2 says:

    Nick, an interdict is a canonical censure, or prohibition, excluding the faithful from participation in certain holy things. These holy things are all those pertaining to Christian worship, and are divided into three classes:

    (a) the Divine offices, in other words the Liturgy, and in general all acts performed by clerics as such, and having reference to worship

    (b) the sacraments, excepting private administrations of those that are of necessity;

    (c) ecclesiastical burial, including all funeral services.

    See: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08073a.htm

  18. Christine says:

    God certainly placed this trial in the hands of the right Archbishop! How greatly he defends and protects the Holy Church of God! The whole world will read of his fearless defense of the Faith,his protection of the faithful, and his love for the obstinate. Thank you, Archbishop Burke!

  19. Tim Ferguson says:

    I’m sure this “ordination” was planned by the women involved to elicit this response. They know Archbishop Burke by reputation and knew what his reaction would be. Now, they get to play “victims” and pretend that their standing up for “justice” against the big bad mean Church.

    I’m glad that Archbishop Burke is responding as he’s doing – would that all bishops in whose territory these types of shams have taken place had responded with such force and obvious pastoral concern. While it may be precisely playing into their strategy to ellicit a response from a bishop, it still is good to hear it. The faithful have not been served by the “maybe if we ignore it…” response of all too many in the hierarchy. This is a real problem and needs to be confronted head on.

  20. I wonder if Archbishop Burke is aware that there are “Catholic” churches that regularly hold Seder Meals on Holy Thursday in place of, or in addition to, the Mass? The fact of their existence weakens the Archbishops case for the Jews insulting us Catholics by hosting a ritual that is important to us when clearly there are Catholic churches doing the same thing to the Jews.

    I’m pleased that the Archbishop is taking a stand but I think it’s important to note the perceived insult, in this case, can cut two ways.

  21. Jeff says:

    I think this is all very wonderful and needed.

    I can\’t help but think, though, that it is undermined by things like allowing the Archbishop of Canterbury to attempt a consecration or distibution of holy communion in an Italian church. This is also simulated and a grave offense to God, due to the nullity of Anglican orders.

    Of course, the guilt is perhaps mitigated by the honest intentions of the parties involved. So may it be with these unfortunate women.

    I think the Church needs to rediscover some courage where it comes to certain exaggerated ecumenical gestures. Perhaps the recent penalizing of the Baltimore priest is a move in the right direction.

  22. Paulus Alter says:

    “The Archbishop makes reference to …confusion…regarding an infallible teaching of the Catholic faith. Although the instruction has been clearly stated by the Pope, I thought that the only time Papal infallibility was assured was when the Pope spoke ex cathedra. Has this happened on the subject? Or am I misinformed on infallibility?”

    Definitive definitions by pope or by an ecumenical council approved by the pope are ex cathedra and infallible in matters concerning faith and morals. That would certainly fit this case. Infallible dogmas are too, of course, and (I understand) papally approved beatifications/canonizations as well.

  23. Anne says:

    It would show Archbishop Burke there is great support and prayer for him “out here” if we could email or send him a message. I have done that in the past for a bishop other than mine, and it was appreciated.

  24. Allena says:

    I wanted to point out that the Pope John Paul II didn’t need infallibility, because this is an established part of the deposit of faith, and has already been defined by councils, and the fathers of the Church. Nothing can be added, and nothing is taken away from what was there when the Church formed under the cross.

    Confusion comes, because many Catholics and non Catholics do not understand this idea. It’s like the big hubbabaloo over the Pope supposedly allowing the use of condoms in Africa, he doesn’t have the authority to do that, even if he wanted to, God will not allow it. Theres that whole, gates of hell will not prevail passage in Matt 18:16 or somewhere in there.

    On the plus side, isn’t it wonderful that God gave us an insurance policy on the validity of our Church?

    JMJ pray for us.

  25. Michael says:

    I was pleased to see Archbishop Burke’s response, but what is this “good relationshiip with the Jewish faith” about? I guess I missed his point.

  26. Malta says:

    Fr. Z regarding the weird sisters, \”[a}nd put their souls in danger of burning in hell for eternity by simulating priestly ordination.\”

    I like that, Father.

    We need more Priests with cajones, and not the kumbaya mentality of, \”whatever you believe and do, is just fine, as long as you don\’t hurt another person.\” Because, ultimately, liberalism does hurt people, and it does kill souls…

  27. Jordan Potter says:

    pdt asked: The Archbishop makes reference to …confusion…regarding an infallible teaching of the Catholic faith. Although the instruction has been clearly stated by the Pope, I thought that the only time Papal infallibility was assured was when the Pope spoke ex cathedra. Has this happened on the subject? Or am I misinformed on infallibility?

    Yes, you are misinformed on infallibility. Abp. Burke didn’t say anything about papal infallibility, which is just one of the organs of infallibility. Infallibility doesn’t just depend on ex cathedra statements and definitions of Popes, but also applies to definitions issued by oecumenical councils, as well as perennial, definitive teachings of the ordinary magisterium. The teaching that the Church lacks the ability to ordain women, and will never get that ability, is infallible in the ordinary magisterium — no Pope has spoken ex cathedra on the subject, but it is still infallible. It was infallible even before Ordinatio Sacerdotalis.

  28. RC says:

    CDF followed up Ordinatio Sacerdotalis with a statement (10/28/1995) that it is to be understood as belonging to the deposit of faith. It\’s on-line at:

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/CURIA/CDFRESPO.HTM

    A doctrine belonging to the deposit of faith is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore infallible.

  29. Paul, South Midlands says:

    The Late Auberon Waugh (son of Evelyn) assured us a few years ago that we need not worry too much about such follies:

    Daily Telegraph, 11th March 1992

    “We should not be too distressed at pictures of Dr Peter Carnley, described as “Archbishop of Perth” laying his hands on 10 Australian women, or ‘Sheilas’ as they are known locally, with a view to turning them, miraculously, into priests. Now he has 10 Reverend Sheilas he can try a little harder if he wants and consecrate 10 Bishop Sheilas, but I don’t see that it will make any difference to anything at all.

    In Western Australia, around the St Margaret River, they make some of the best white wine from the chardonnay grape in the whole continent, but I have never heard it suggested that Western Australians were gifted at ordination. The whole idea of Australians ordaining each other is faintly comical, but none of us who used to play at doctors when we were children should be alarmed.

    The sacrament of Holy Orders is not conferred merely by some quasi-magical gift derived from the Apolstolic Succession. It is also a question of intention. One day it might occur to me as an amusing thing to ordain my three Pekingeses. As the Rev Leo, the Rev Hyacinth and the Rev Quince, they would have more gravitas and carry more conviction than many bomber jacketed clergymen around today….My action would not be invalid just because I am not a consecrated bishop, but because my beloved Pekeinese lack various essential properties of an ordained priest.

    In the same way, Dr Canley can perfectly well go through the motions of ordaining a Kangaroo, if that is what he feels like doing. In fact I would be pleased if he did, as it would make the point better than he has already made it. Such an initiative would not hurt the kangaroo, nor would it do any harm to the rest of us, but neither would it have created a new priest to help meet the church’s desperate shortage.”

  30. Matt Q says:

    I find it very two-faced of these people who would whine to the Church about the Good Friday prayer in the Tridentine liturgy for Good Friday, yet make no concession of consideration to us about this insipid sham of an ordination to take place in their synagogue, knowing full well we have deliniated our objections and asked for assistance in this matter.

    It is my intention to pray for those selfish ( which is exactly what they are–selfish ) women and also pray for those perfidious others.

  31. Rumold says:

    What a superb archbishop St Louis has in Dr.Burke!

    His response is masterful. It is pastoral, clear, firm and courageous.

    The whole dreary affair is just another example of how far the drift has gone .

    Here in Ireland we have ,so far , been spared this spectacle. If we do experience it I cannot think of a single Irish bishop who could or would react as Archbishop Burke.

    Ad multos annos Dr Burke.

  32. RBrown says:

    Why is it that in today’s society that the secular world has decided to put their views and values upon the Church that Christ built?
    Comment by FR K

    That’s an easy question to answer.

    The secular world has decided to do it because the Church has encouraged it. For almost 40 years Church policy has become equal to (or superior than) Church doctrine–and this policy is grounded in detente with secularism.

  33. About the female “rabbi”: it is important to notice that she is a Reform Judaism rabbi. Reform Judaism is a washed-down version of rabbinical (or Orthodox) Judaism, in which the Law is not really important, being more of a yardstick or compass than a rule. I know a family in which the grandfather was a Reform rabbi, the father would eat ham and eggs because “the ham is sliced so thin God won’t see it”, and the granddaughter happily married the (non-observant Catholic) bass player of a band called The Bacon Boys…

    Her view of catholicism is probably tainted by her view of Judaism, and she is helping the ordination simulation because she truly believes the Law (of God, of the Church, of Nature…) is dead, and the ways of modern progress have taken its place.

    About rabbis, in general, it must be told that in Orthodox Judaism there is nowadays a serious problem: they have no ordained rabbis anymore. Mutatis mutandis, it is as if they had lost their version of Apostolic Sucession. They could, however, ordain a rabbi to re-launch a valid (according to Jewish Law) rabbinate if the leaders of all facets of Orthodox Judaism could agree on a name, but it has not happened, and hardly will.

    In Reform Judaism, though, the rabbinate is much closer to the position and status within the congregation of a protestant preacher (that is to say: Reform rabbis cannot teach with any personal authority, are seen rather more as meeting organizers and prayer leaders than as true teachers and scholars, etc.), and it can be held by any Jew of either sex, including converts.

  34. Pingback: “Womenpriests” Run Aground in St. Louis; Burke Wins Golden Shotgun Award « Fish in a Barrel

  35. Deborah says:

    First, I wish to say that I have the utmost respect for His Excellency, Archbishop Burke. He is one of the best bishops we have.

    In my opinion though, this was a very predictable situation and the widespread confusion and scandal could have been prevented.

    The Catholic diocese becomes close friends with other non-Catholic communities who have pretend women clerics, rabbis, (or whatever) and go on to publicly enourage the Catholic faithful to hang out with them, promote their events, etc. and then there is a big shock when the faithful are confused as to what the Church teaches about priestly vocations!

    Here’s what we can learn: Catholic parishes should not be close bedfellows with other non-Catholic communities to the point of promoting them or their events.

    Do pro-life work, feed the poor, etc. together but do it in neutral locations and do not promote hanging out at anyplace but Catholic parishes. People can do what they wish obviously however it makes a big difference when they see their Catholic parish promoting it.

    It does confuse the Catholic faithful to have pretend ministers men/women dressed in clerics hanging around and seeing our priests and bishops treating them as brother/sister priests/ministers/rabbis. These things are what scandalize and confuse the faithful.

  36. Tony says:

    There is actually a pretty good argument that many theologians have made that the document “Ordinatio Sacerdotalis” is itself an exercise of Papal infallibility. The document contains these words, as quoted by H.G. Abp. Burke, which comprise the essence of the document:

    “Although the teaching that priestly ordination is to be reserved to men alone has been preserved by the constant and universal Tradition of the Church and firmly taught by the Magisterium in its more recent documents, at the present time in some places it is nonetheless considered still open to debate, or the Church’s judgment that women are not to be admitted to ordination is considered to have a merely disciplinary force.

    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.” (Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, “On Reserving Priestly Ordination to Men Alone,” 22 May [Solemnity of Pentecost] 1994, n. 4)

    In other words,
    “This is part of the ordinary Magisterium and is therefore infallible, but some people seem to disagree or think that this is only discipline, so just to make sure that forevermore there can be no doubt that this is infallible, I’m going to stack the Extraordinary Magisterium on top of the Ordinary Magisterium by formally and infallibly declaring this doctrine. I declare this doctine infallible. There – it’s done. Stop arguing about this.”

    He worded the declaration in such a way as to deliberately include all the elements Vatican I required for an exercise of papal infallibility. He states that this is an essential matter of the Faith. He quotes Luke to show that he is speaking from the chair of Peter – as the Prince of the Apostles, the chief shepherd of the Church. He makes clear that it is to be definitively held by all Catholics. That’s everything that Pastor Aeternus requires.

    Seems pretty cut and dry to me. Roma locuta est, causa finita est.