Here is the latest editorial from the National Catholic Reporter. This represents the position of the publication.
My emphases and comments.
ssue Date: December 7, 2007
Finished playing by the rules
Given that the Vatican has banned Catholics from so much as talking about women deacons or priests, is it surprising that some women are opting to fast-forward to action? They aren’t discussing whether women should be ordained; they aren’t asking for permission to be ordained; they are just doing what, as they see it, a church crying “priest shortage” needs them to do. These are women who have faithfully served the church in many ways, putting their own wishes on hold. [No one is ordained because he wishes it. Ordination is a response to a call, from the Church, not just from one’s subjective interpretation of God’s will or one’s wishes.] Until finally, they have said, “Enough.”
When even the deeply traditional Greek Orthodox church finds a way to authorize ordaining women deacons, [No…. I don’t think so.] how is it that Roman Catholic church officials get by with treating women as they do: as if they were children — so infantile that their dreams for themselves [That is the telling phrase.] and for the c[c]hurch are unworthy of even serious talk. [How could it be otherwise?] Fortunately, numerous ordained men, even bishops, with a stronger sense of justice and more courage than the rest, have come forward to assist, [Will you kindly send us their names so we could give them proper public attention?] assuring that these illegal women priests are validly situated in the apostolic line. [Impossible. They can never be "valid" in any sense.]
We find it fascinating that while church officials assert these “simulated” ordinations lack meaning, [Hang on! I don’t think these simulations lack meaning! I think they are very significant. Among the things they mean is that there are a few more people now, sadly, running the risk of burning in hell forever. "But Father! But Father!", some of you might be saying, wringing your hands with alarm. "That’s the sort of rhetoric they point to when they claim changes have to be made! You aren’t helping anything!" I can live with that. At the end fo he day, let it be said that if you do these things, which are mortal sins for many reasons, not to mention scandal, you run the risk of burning in hell for all eternity. It has now been said.] some of the women have received the Vatican’s [NB: This can’t be reduced to "the Vatican". Jesus gave Peter to bind and loose on heaven and earth. the power of the keys was given to Peter. This can’t be reduced to "the Vatican". That makes it sound as if there were simply some men’s club making no girls rules.] highest penalty — formal excommunication. [Noo… not just penalty but also remedy. This is medicine for sick people who, if left without strong measures will die in their infection and also endager others. All these sanctions are remedial. They need not be permament. But the warning is there now for all to heed.] In other cases, as in the recent St. Louis ordinations, the hierarchy has tried various tactics aimed at bringing these women to heel. [What a stupid thing to say.]
The hierarchy is rightly nervous about women declaring themselves ordained, [Another telling remark: no one declares himself ordained.] however illegally, [invalidly] because these ceremonies carry a strong implicit message. Well-educated women, loyal to the church, [You must be joking.] know that the historical and theological reasoning advanced for excluding them from ordination is dangerously thin. [But even if they are right, that is not for them to decide.] Citing the growing number of priestless parishes worldwide, they make a compelling case for a different kind of church [NUMBERS DON’T CONSTITUTE AN ARGUMENT!] — an inclusive church, in which both men and women, whether married or not, heterosexual or [wait for it] homosexual, can participate at all levels. [Participate. Get that? Here is another flaw in their way of seeing things: they reduce "participation" to "stuff I can do or can’t do". They take no consideration at all of God’s will or the teaching of the Church about the effects of the sacrament of Holy Orders. Everything is reduced to the utilitarian. And, if you reduce priesthood to mere tasks, there is no reason why women should not be ordained!] They know that polls show they have significant backing, [NUMBERS DON’T CONSTITUTE AN ARGUMENT!] given that some 70 percent of the Catholic faithful in the United States support women priests. [B as in B. S as in S.] So, like Catholics who ignore many of the church’s other bans — on birth control, on single-gender lifestyles, on divorce and remarriage — [The writer reduces things based on natural law and divine revelation to mere whims of what they think is a merely human construct imposed by power structures against what they are inclined to wish.] because they find little in these teachings that corresponds to their own experience [Right…. because I must be the arbiter of what is right and wrong for myself! "Oh no… did God tell you that about the fruit of the tree?"] of what is right and good, these women, in the vein of other defiant trailblazers, are saying we are finished playing by the rules. [Well said.]
Whither women priests? Perhaps they will become yet another breakaway movement, as many church officials must drearily hope. Or, depending on the faithful’s response, these women could conceivably drag the church into the 21st century. We’ll pray for that.
And we, NCR, will pray that you do not burn in hell.