Want to know what the NCR is really all about?

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.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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107 Responses to Want to know what the NCR is really all about?

  1. B.T. says:

    Manifest heresy and dissent!
    When will the USCCB denounce them and demand they remove the word “Catholic” from their name?

  2. mike says:

    What a circus.

    m

  3. Brian says:

    One just has to wonder what it would be like today if Cardinal Siri was elected Pope.

  4. danphunter1 says:

    I want to become a woman and bear children..waaaaaahhh!
    If I wish it enough and throw enough tantrums maybe I will grow a womb.
    Who says I cannot dictate to God what reality is?

  5. UD Student says:

    Disgusting. Thanks, Father. You have a talent for saying the right thing.

    What’s really sad, for me, at least, is that copies of this Catholic “newspaper”is always to be found in University of Dallas’ Campus Ministry office.

  6. Patrick Rothwell says:

    “…assuring that these illegal women priests are validly situated in the apostolic line.”

    Oh, good grief, since when did the NCR people come to embrace the pipeline theory of apostolic succession? I thought they, of all people, would see all that as a bunch of hocus pocus and legerdemain. Whatever happened to the priesthood of all believers – why can’t laywomen celebrate the eucharist in their own kitchens or whatever? Whatever happened to good old fashioned anticlericism and egalitarianism? Where are the Quakers when we need them? :-)

    Truth be told, the episcopi vagantes are the ones most obsessed with valid lines of apostolic succession – carefully checking their lineage to make sure that they get the correct episcopal “zap.” Funny how they are falling into the same trap.

  7. Geoffrey says:

    There goes my lunch…

    Deo gratias for The Wanderer!

  8. Fr. N says:

    Don’t anyone get too upset about all this! Tomorrow morning I intend to declare that I am those womens’ bishop and then I will immediately suspend them based on the authority I will have invested in myself. Tonight, though, I intend to read a bit and watch some TV.

  9. I am a Knight and noble of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA). The SCA is a 30,000 member secular organization devoted to the study and re-creation of the Middle Ages.

    Many more people (30,000+ SCA members) recognize me as a Knight and a Viscount than recognize these women as priests. Doesn’t that make me “really” a knight and a noble?

    I demand to be called “Your Excellency”! But my friends, including you, Father Z., can call me “Sir”.

    http://sirgalen.blogspot.com

  10. Different says:

    The NCR was started in 1964…looking at the board of directors I would say the average age is above 65. I give them 15 more years, tops…maybe less, before they have to stop spreading their disgusting lies.

  11. Patronus says:

    That is seriously absurd. Unreal.

    And Fr. N’s comment is awesome.

  12. BK says:

    More proof that, thankfully, liberalism is infecund.

  13. Bp. basil says:

    **When even the deeply traditional Greek Orthodox church finds a way to authorize ordaining women deacons, [No…. I don’t think so.]**

    Start to think so. The rite of ordaining a deaconess is very old, exactly parallel to ordaining a male deacon, MUST take place during the Divine Liturgy, unlike the minor orders (in the same place for both deaconess and deacon), and many of the same prayers are used. Even the same word CHEIROTONIA, as used for the major orders is used–as opposed to CHEIROTHESIA for the minor orders.

    The new deaconess is even vested with the Orarion and places the Chalice back on the Altar after Communion.

    To read the rite, go to

    http://www.anastasis.org.uk

  14. Jordan Potter says:

    Perhaps they will become yet another breakaway movement . . .

    Whaddayamean “become”? Every woman who pretends to be ordained, and every man and woman who pretends to ordain them, has by virtue of their crime broken away from the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. So women’s pseudo-ordination can never solve the vocations shortage.

  15. Jordan Potter says:

    And when will John Allen get more a less objectionable and more respectable employer?

  16. Jordan Potter says:

    Bp. basil said: The rite of ordaining a deaconess is very old, exactly parallel to ordaining a male deacon, MUST take place during the Divine Liturgy, unlike the minor orders (in the same place for both deaconess and deacon), and many of the same prayers are used. Even the same word CHEIROTONIA, as used for the major orders is used—as opposed to CHEIROTHESIA for the minor orders.

    All interesting, but irrelevant. The historical record is clear that the deaconess was not just a female deacon, and no female deacon has ever been ordained a presbyter or bishop.

    The new deaconess is even vested with the Orarion and places the Chalice back on the Altar after Communion.

    In my diocese, lay women who serve as Unnecessary Ministers of Holy Communion also place the Chalice back on the Altar after Communion.

    Anyway, what the Eastern Orthodox do or don’t do is not a sure guide to the faith and practice of the Catholic Church.

  17. Brian Day says:

    Bp. basil,

    Do you have any other links other than a personal website to back up your claim?

  18. Jordan Potter says:

    Here is the old, no-longer-used liturgy for the consecration/ordination of deaconesses:

    http://www.anastasis.org.uk/woman_deacon.htm

    As the footnotes point out, it has certain important differences from the ordination of deacons, signifying that the ministry of the deaconess was not a step toward priestly ordination, but was a bit more like a monastic profession.

  19. Bailey Walker says:

    Bp. Basil,

    Thank you for the reference to the anastasis Web site. Here is a quote from the section on “women deacons”:

    ORDINATION OF A WOMAN DEACON

    The rite for ordaining Women Deacons, or Deaconesses, is no longer in use, though it was still in the printed Euchologia in the 17th century…there is, I think, no evidence that women Deacons ever had a role in the Eucharistic rite like that of male Deacons. Canon 19 of the First Council of Nicea seems to imply that women Deacons are not ordained, but are lay people…

    Hmmmm….

  20. EVERYONE: If you want to make intelligent comments about the issue, please feel free to do so… after thinking carefully.

    Don’t make tasteless personal attacks.

    The whole affair is obviously tasteless in every way, so leave that alone.

    If you make harsh attacks on secondary issues, I will delete your comments and consider banning you from posting.

    Again… stick to issues.

  21. Jordan Potter says:

    Indeed, it looks like Bp. basil has not faithfully represented the content of the website to which he (she?) referred us. Here’s more:

    http://www.anastasis.org.uk/ordinations.htm

    The rite for ordaining Women Deacons, or Deaconesses, is no longer in use, though it was still in the printed Euchologia in the 17th century. The present translation is made from Goar, who used the Venetian edition of 1638 for his Euchologion. A number of other versions of the rite can be found in Dmitrievsky’s Eucholgia. Whereas in the early days of the Church women Deacons had a liturgical role in the administration of Baptism and more generally in ministry to the women of the congregation, analogous to that of male Deacons with regard to the men, by the sixth century, as one of Severos of Antioch’s letters, written to an ‘Archimanditess and Deaconess’, makes clear, the female diaconate seems to have been given more as an honour, particularly to abbesses and senior nuns, rather than as a practical necessity, “In the case of a female deacon, especially in the monasteries, ordination is received not so much for the sake of the requirements of the Mysteries, but for the sake of honour only”. The two prayers of the rite, in particular the second, seem to reflect the monastic side of this development. There is, I think, no evidence that women Deacons ever had a role in the Eucharistic rite like that of male Deacons. Canon 19 of the First Council of Nicea seems to imply that women Deacons are not ordained, but are lay people. By Chalcedon the situation seems to have changed, and the extant rite reflects this development.

    The ordination takes place at the same point of the Liturgy as that for male Deacons and the principal role of the diaconate as the minister of the Chalice is stressed by the giving of the Chalice to the newly ordained woman Deacon. This clearly indicates that the newly ordained was admitted to the Sanctuary and stood near the Altar. The 14th century canonist Matthew Blastares notes that, ’except for a few things, the ordination of women deacons is to be performed like that for male deacons’. He notes particularly that ‘she is brought to the Holy Table’. The rubrical details in the older books are few and the actual formula of ordination is not given in full. As a result we do not know how the candidate was described or what her ecclesiastical status was before ordination. I do not think the fact that she only bows and does not kneel has any theological significance.

  22. Two thoughts…

    1. The last couple of times I saw pictures of the would-be bishopesses and priestesses carrying out their simulated Masses and ordinations, I wondered, publicly, why they didn’t do what Hollywood always does–if you want to look Catholic, use all the really proper, high-church stuff. Instead, they wear really goofy scarves as stoles, and did all manner of oddball, made-up rituals.

    Well, now that I see that picture, I have a theory as to why: because their target audience would only be infuriated by all that! Something to ponder…

    2. “Declare themselves ordained.” Oh, I like that! I want to do that. No, I don’t particularly want to declare myself bishop (who knows, my archbishop might decide to give me more work. Bleh!), but I’d like to: (a) declare my bills paid; (b) declare new feast days and holidays; and (c) who knows, maybe declaring myself monsignor would be nice, I’d have fancier church-threads to wear! Maybe even declare myself a bishop, on an ad hoc basis, when it might come in handy. Need some chrism? I’m a bishop! It’s Holy Thursday! No problem!

  23. Neal says:

    NCR: “So, like Catholics who ignore many of the church’s other bans—on birth control, on single-gender lifestyles, on divorce and remarriage—because they find little in these teachings that corresponds to their own experience of what is right and good…”

    Somewhat diabolically, the editor is trying to use the reader’s own guilty conscience to lever them into accepting this comedy of errors.

    Pax.

  24. fr.franklyn m mcafee says:

    It was Karl Rahner who said ,when dismissing the argument that Humanae Vitae was wrong because most people rejected it,that if everyone in the world met and declared that Christ was not God,Christ would still be God.At one time most people believed the world was flat and also believed that slavery was moral.Whats new?The majority still cry out for Barabbas.

  25. Boko Fittleworth says:

    “Unnecessary ministers of HC.” Thanks for that.

    I’m confused by the picture. I thought that a woman had to be ordained on a boat for it to be valid. Or is it “licit”?

  26. Dustin says:

    The NCR writes:
    [L]ike Catholics who ignore many of the church’s other bans—on birth control, on single-gender lifestyles, on divorce and remarriage— because they find little in these teachings that corresponds to their own experience of what is right and good, these women, in the vein of other defiant trailblazers, are saying we are finished playing by the rules.

    To which Fr. Zuhlsdorf responds:
    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.

    I don’t believe that the writer is being reductive at all. The editorial reflects the reality of the American church and the beliefs that obtain therein. I find it curious to express outrage over this, as if they proposed an attitude that was genuinely exceptional. It isn’t. People who only travel in conservative or traditionalist circles, or institutional circles as Fr. Z. does, seem not to realize how liberal, as a whole, American Catholicism really is. Even if you believe it to be for ill, the NCR’s position here is the mainstream in this country.

    I agree that “numbers don’t constitute an argument.” But they can certainly be an important element, one among many.

  27. Tinlin says:

    To me, these people are just anglicans pretending to be Catholic, and the liberal media is too confused to tell the difference.

  28. Tinlin says:

    As far as vocations go, I think there’s an untapped pool of educated widowers that could probably become priests if the need was that pressing; after all, I think the cut-off for most dioceses is 40 or something like that.

  29. Stu says:

    Jordan Potter said: “And when will John Allen get more a less objectionable and more respectable employer?”

    I’ve started to man and organize a rescue operation.

    But good question. Perhaps the more respectable NCR could employ him.

  30. Will says:

    It seems to me that in the Anglican Church, where married priests have always been the case, and where they are now welcoming women into the priesthood, they suffer from a similar shortage of priests. I don’t believe that there is any validity to the numbers-based argument for ordaining married men or women to the priesthood. And little enough evidence for the other arguments.

  31. Alphonsus says:

    It seems to me that the major problem with many of the arguments used by the NCR (and by many dissident groups within the Church)is philosophical in origin (not to mention theologically flawed). Can I declare X to be Y? Does my declaration make X into Y? Any philosophy based on a philosophical realism would say NO. X is X. Despite what I think of it. It is not my thought that makes reality; rather, my thought must conform itself to the reality that exists (if it is to be true).

    It seems that the problem with the NCR’s type of argumentation is that it is based not on realism but on philosophical idealism: “I can make X into Y, just by thinking it is Y”. In idealism, thought precedes reality (ontologically), whereas the opposite is true in a realistic philosophy. Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas, and any other philosopher whose philosophy respects the ontological reality (the reality that exists, independent of what I think of it) would easily see the flaw in the NCR’s arguments. For the Angelic Doctor, truth is conformity of the intellect with the existing reality (adaequatio intellectus ad rem).

    And so, to those who claim that they are ordained just because they claim themselves to be ordained, I would have to respond (as did Fr. Z): “B as in B; S as in S”.

    Perhaps the underlying problem is even more than just philsophical though. It is perhaps deep down a problem of pride. I do not think that St. Thomas Aquinas’ humility was unrelated to the fact that he used a realistic philosophy that respected the X for being X and the Y for being Y, rather than trying to make the X a Y, just by thinking it was one.

  32. Fr. Jay T. says:

    “Citing the growing number of priestless parishes worldwide, they make a compelling case for a different kind of church —an inclusive church, in which both men and women, whether married or not, heterosexual or homosexual, can participate at all levels.”

    There is one, called “Episocopal Church USA”! Why re-invent the wheel?

  33. Fr. Jay T. says:

    “Citing the growing number of priestless parishes worldwide, they make a compelling case for a different kind of church —an inclusive church, in which both men and women, whether married or not, heterosexual or homosexual, can participate at all levels.”

    There is one, called “Episcopal Church USA”! Why re-invent the wheel?

  34. Mary, another UD student says:

    OT, sorry Father… –I didn’t know another UDer read WDTPRS! Greetings!

  35. Margo says:

    It seems to me that part of the reason we see this sort of “participating” (as the NCR calls it) is this: the true role of the laity is little known, and too seldom taught. (And no, I don’t mean “pray, pay, and obey!”)

    i.e.,

    The ordained among us (I’m a lay woman) are called to form us for our roles. We are called / Our role is to be missionaries to the world. The mission of the Church is the same as our Lord’s: get as many back Home as possible! (salvation, announce the Good News)

    As members of the Body of Christ, we each have particular functions in that mission, and have been promised help: the power of none other than the Holy Spirit — Dominus et Vivificantum Himself!

    We’ve also each been given particular charisms — ways the Spirit more commonly works through us to help others come closer to the Lord. These charisms can are indicative of how we are called to serve the Lord.

    It seems to me that most Catholics don’t know they have been given a particular call. Therefore, they don’t attend to it – they don’t see how they have been called to *participate* in the mission of the Church (evangelism).

    I realize that there are other factors for what those women were trying to do, but one factor has to be that they weren’t taught / didn’t know that they already have a lay role/vocation/calling of their very own to fulfill. God really did give them an important place in His kingdom. He really has entrusted the communication of the message of His Son to each one of His kids. He just asks us to participate in His will in different ways.

  36. I am curious, which Bp. Basil posted the Deaconess information? From England
    perhaps?

  37. Tim Ferguson says:

    Dustin,

    When you stack the “numbers” portion of the argument up against the theological, scriptural, anthropological, historical and philosophical portions of the argument, you really don’t have much, do you? Add to that the fact that the portion of American Catholics in the great pool of Catholics throughout the world is truly a drop in the bucket, and you lose even more steam.

    You may criticize Fr. Zuhlsdorf for traveling in a primarily institutional and traditional circle, and yet I would counter that Fr. Zuhlsdorf’s “circle” is certainly more international and wide-ranging than the vast majority of Americans comfortable in our suburban and parochial realm.

    I’d also take issue with your argument regarding numbers. I don’t think that American Catholics are predominantly liberal, or liberal as the NCR(eporter) would have them be. If they were, then why would the Reporter’s subscriber numbers be in a freefall? Why would the Editor of the Reporter be concerned about the rapidly rising age of the NCR readership, while young people turn more increasingly to blogs like this and more conservative publications for their information?

  38. Dustin says:

    Margo, that’s a much better case you make than I’ve seen elsewhere, even on this blog. No advancement can be made for justice when the beliefs of our fellow Catholics, when they differ from ours on certain points, are scoffed at and dismissed with scorn. There is a powerful urge within these women to serve. They truly believe they are called. Thanks for giving them the benefit of the doubt, rather than wishing them upon another denomination. When we all begin to properly perceive the gifts we’ve received, we’ll be a much stronger, much larger church for it.

  39. Tinlin says:

    Right, it’s the women ordinands who are the victims here!

    A larger Church isn’t necessarily a better Church.

  40. RC says:

    The old Catholic Encyclopedia has a helpful article on the significance of deaconesses.

  41. Dustin says:

    I’d argue, Tim, that the NCR’s subscriber numbers reflect the broader trend of people (especially younger people) turning away from the print media and toward the real-time approach and interactivity afforded by the Internet. It doesn’t necessarily reflect an ideological shift. Personally, I’m a regular reader of the New York Times, though I haven’t touched a paper copy in months. I’ll add that the NCR has never really been the standard-bearer for conciliar Catholicism that it thinks it is. It’s mostly been the bulletin of a progressive core that came of age in that era. It’s more of a boomer thing than a liberal thing.

    Good points about the multiplicity of aspects involved here. Many don’t respect the complexity of the issue. My own concerns are with those who think that, while “numbers don’t constitute an argument,” a sneer does. That, and the well-honed art of the fisk. And don’t begin to assume that because I’m sympathetic to the individuals involved, I must therefore support women’s ordination. You’d assume incorrectly. (I’m not saying you’ve done so.)

    I wholly agree with you that there is more than a whiff here of American provincialism and Eurocentricity, considering that this issue simply isn’t a concern in the much wider church of the global South. Again, I don’t think that’s due to liberalism, so much as Western ignorance of the rest of the world.

  42. Claire says:

    “I don’t think that American Catholics are predominantly liberal, or liberal as the NCR would have them be. If they were, then why would the Reporter’s subscriber numbers be in a freefall?”

    Because people don’t read. Most newspapers, magazines, and other print media, whether “liberal” or “conservative,” are also struggling with subscription declines. I think Dustin made a good point — like it or not, the NCR editorial accurately reflects the views of a large percentage of American Catholics. As a product of deplorable religious “education” in the 1970s who only recently discovered orthodox Catholicsm, I can tell you that most of my family and friends who are still practicing Catholics, including my 75 year old mother, would agree wholeheartedly with everything in that editorial.

  43. Dustin says:

    Tinlin, I didn’t call them victims. I agreed with Margo that perhaps a widespread misunderstanding abides about what it means to be called, and what service to the Gospel entails for different people.

  44. Marcin says:

    I don’t see any bishop or priest of the name Basil, let alone any Monastery of Saint Andrew the First Called on the website of The Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain (http://www.thyateira.org.uk/). Go figure!

  45. Tom Seeker says:

    I will be sending them a bill for the laptop the just hit the wall…

    May God have mercy on their souls.

  46. Geoffrey says:

    Can’t someone send a copy of this article to the CDF? That way they know what’s going on and will perhaps to something to the NCR?

  47. Dustin says:

    Not to say that the plural of anecdote is data, but I’ll back up Claire and illustrate that, within my own family, the generational decline in orthodoxy is pretty remarkable. My grandmother (younger than Claire’s mom) was born into a very large, very Catholic family. She had four children, only one of whom remains Catholic. Of four adult grandchildren, I’m the last one, if not serious about, then at least still interested in the furtherance of my faith. It remains to be seen what the future holds for the family’s small children.

  48. TNCath says:

    Father Z., do you think John Allen supports the opinion as the NCR? His reports are usually quite insightful and interesting despite who signs his check. Also, when how much longer will it take for Bishop Finn to start taking on the NCR? I’m surprised he hasn’t already done so.

  49. Margaret says:

    Here is what always occurs to me when I read defenses of these beliefs based on how many Catholics say they believe them.

    I am sure the vast majority of Catholics in the United States read most of what is in the gospels, from \”Sell everything you have and give the money to the poor\” to \”pray for your enemy and do good to those who hate you\” to \”turn the other cheek\” and say, \”Ah, Jesus didn\’t mean that.\”

    So? Does that mean what Jesus says isn\’t true?

    NCR might also consider that the majority of American Catholics believe that capital punishment is acceptable. That, however, doesn\’t stop NCR from saying that the Church must be \”prophetic\” in that area and speak out strongly against the death penalty.

  50. Dustin says:

    Margaret, I think we can all agree that there’s something very wrong with America professing to be a “Christian nation,” yet embodying, for many in the world, a particularly un-Christlike arrogance, as a people and as a government.

    The NCR should be pleased that the Church has been quite outspokenly aligned with that part of their plank (i.e., abolition of the death penalty).

  51. Monica says:

    If the article is about women priests then why is there a picture of two old men celebrating the mass?

  52. RBrown says:

    Gee, I wonder whether any of these women are interested in pretending to say mass using the 1962 Missal.

  53. John Paul says:

    I find this stuff distressing, and see some merit in Dustin’s points about the Church
    here in America. How many souls consider themselves Catholic but fully buy in to
    the notion of Church teachings not fitting their lifestyle. Countless. (And most
    are probably not going to Mass anyway.)

    This is also the kind of nonsense that drives “trads” nuts, and makes them wonder
    if “New Church” as some call it can ever recover. Yes we have a few more Traditional
    Masses, and a few more N.O. Masses with Latin and Chant. But we still have all
    these wacky ideas out there in full view, like that parish in Minnesota openly
    declaring their intent to bless same sex unions.

    When will it ever stop?

  54. LeonG says:

    St Paul states women should be silent in the assembly and they should cover their heads. The rest is sheer disobedience. If women were concerned at the lack of priests then they would have more children, hopefully many sons among them, bring them up good Roman Catholics and offer some of their sons to Almighty God if He wills it, as honest priests. Attempting to simulate priesthood is mere pretense and must import with it quite a severe sentence. Aiding and abetting this buffoonery by those of whom even more is expected must carry with it even harsher punishment. Looking at the pictures of priestesses recalls the times surrounding Daniel the prophet when women, among others, were defiling the holy places. Destruction was no longer very far away. Therefore, when we see such abominable novelties become the new norm and this translates into acceptable values, then it is the moment to flee to the mountains. Our Blessed Lady is certainly a wonderful antidote to such an unfeminine spectacle as a priestess. Even the mere thought of it is risible to absolute ridicule. Our Blessed Lord set the tone with his all-male apostleship. Women played a vital supportive role but not as apostles. “I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men” (1 Timothy 2:12). Not one jot or tittle…………..

    However, neomodern woman assisted by neomodern man is able to reinterpret Holy Scripture in the phenomenological light of individual subjectivism and the inner consciousness where being exists. Thus, women can be priestesses and still have no authority over man. When St Paul says they should remain silent he really means they can still speak. And as for the covering of heads, this can mean they do not have to veil their heads. In any case St Paul was not Our Blessed Lord who said nothing about women not being priests.

    It is a futile task entering into “dialogue” with the feminist revolutionaries and their sympathisers since any rational objective argument is emptied of its content and given signification it was never meant to contain. It is the symbol and its newly acquired meaning which has validity in the neomodernist mentality. Indeed, the male priesthood is merely a social construct which has to be redefined in the secular postmodernist age.

    Watch out for The Latin Mass with priestess celebrant.

  55. Athelstane says:

    Numbers *can* be an argument, after all:

    “The average age of an NCR reader is about 68. This average has been on a continual rise since the late ’60s, when the average age was about 36. During Vatican II, most of our readers would have been in their mid-20s to mid-30s, formative adult years.”

    And maybe it is worth wondering if there is not a connection between the dearth of younger readers at NCR and its radical positions on topics like these.

    Many Catholics are indeed rather liberal on some of these topics. But that just raises the question of how Catholic many of them are. I claim no superiority in this regard; and I have no desire t drive anyone out. But it is hard to know what import to atach to the views on these topics when the understanding of what the Church is or teaches of many of these votaries is so tenuous.

    The problem is a reduction of the priesthood to an organ of mere power. And to be sure, some clerics in years past have behaved in ways which might further this perspective. But that does not make it right.

  56. Fr. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R. says:

    There is a supposition among these women and their supporters that they have a right to ordination. No one has a right to be ordained. It is, rather, a privilege, and one not to be taken lightly, that is granted to the chosen among the called (many are called, few are chosen).

    They also seem to think of the great numbers of priests of the last century or of different points in history as the norm. Is this truly the case? Whenever their have been great numbers of secular priests they did not work in parishes or even labor as missionaries. While many priests were living comfortably in their families homes, people often went for weeks or months without the service of a priest. For example in the first part of the 18th century there were well over 30,000 priests in the city of Naples and in the surrounding towns people were lucky if a missioner came through every few years. So, priestless parishes have been around for centuries….there is a greater case that they are the norm.

    Yes the hierarchy is nervous, but not about what the article claims. They are nervous, as Fr. Z points out, about the eternal salvation of these women and those associated with them and those they lead astray. But there is nothing to worry about. These same people have eliminated hell and eternal punishment and mortal sin from the catholic vocabulary. Now everybody gets to go to heaven in their moral relativistic world view.

    Why aren’t more men responding to the Lord’s call? It isn’t because we don’t ordain women or so we will. Look at the Church in the West. It takes an exceptional response to grace to say “yes” to the Lord in the current situation. Until priests value the priesthood and personal holiness and their own salvation above all men will look elsewhere. Until the influence of the “boomer priests” and their misguided spirituality and theology is lessened or ended few will come. In the traditional orders and dioceses with stong holy bishops the seminaries are full. Maybe it’s time for the boomers to read the signs of the times.

  57. Deborah says:

    The fact is that dissident periodicals like NCR harm the salvation of souls, whether it is intentional or unintentional doesn’t really matter to me.

    What makes me angry is that time and time again I see people who’ve had a conversion or re-converion to the Catholic faith and are so starved for reading about the Faith that they innocently pick up this kind of garbage newspaper which calls itself “Catholic”. Even worse, it is usually given out in parishes, Catholic schools, diocesan offices, etc., and people think this is what being a practicing Catholic is about.

    In Canada, we had the dissident (anti)”Catholic New Times” for 30 years. It went out of business last year.

    A group of us helped to run the “CNT” out of business – financially draining it. Once we let it be known publicly that the majority of our diocesan parishes sold this pro-abortion, pro-homosexual “marriage”, anti-Catholic newspaper, some bishops and priests actually sent out letters banning the publication from their diocesan parishes. Some school boards cancelled their subscriptions. Orthodox Catholics began writing letters and complaining to their pastors and bishops (who btw are responsible for the literature in their parishes as stated in canon law), Catholic blogs worldwide were posting the story in disgust for this publication and its availability in Catholic institutions.

    I am still amazed at what can be accomplished once enough faithful Catholics work together, especially those in the media business

    If you see this NCR in a Catholic institution, I encourage you to take them discreetly and burn them. Many faithful Catholics in my diocese began to do this causing parishes, even the most dissenting ones, to cancel subscriptions because the anti-Catholic newspapers would go missing. This is not stealing. We’re talking about protecting innocent souls and helping to save souls from hell. Afterall, we all have the obligation to protect the Catholic Church and the souls of our families, and brothers and sisters in Christ.

    If you can’t bring yourself to remove spiritually harmful literature from your parish then ask yourself this question – would you allow a porno magazine to be sold in your parish or would you scoop it up so that others won’t be scandalized?

  58. Guy Power says:

    Ooooohhh! Here’s another NCR gem due out on 7 December 2007

    http://ncronline.org/NCR_Online/archives2/2007d/120707/120707q.htm

    Reluctant Bishop Ordained for North America
    No one was more surprised than Patricia Fresen herself when she agreed to become a bishop in the Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement.

    “I will give you one example [of discrimination],” she said. “I could give you a thousand.” A professor of moral theology at the Angelicum, a Dominican priest, told students to prepare for an upcoming class period, when they would simulate their future roles as confessors, applying principles of moral theology to questions the faithful might bring. “Sister, you will be excused because you will never hear confessions,” Fresen recalls him telling her.

    She grew indignant. “Professor, I have paid, studied and would like to come,” she told him. The male students applauded, and then, when the day arrived, and the professor asked who would be first, they began to chant her name. “It was a prophetic moment for me,” she said, when, feeling their support, she took the designated chair and draped the stole across her shoulders.

    ———-

    Still insisting on play acting!

  59. Athelstane says:

    One more thing:

    1) Thanks to Dustin for dropping in to provide some broader perspective.

    I agree that traddie and conservative circles are certainly not reflective of much the beliefs and practices of many in the U.S. Catholic Church. On the other hand, I am not sure how reflective NCR is, either. Many may not be adamantly opposed per se to women’s ordination, but it’s not a burning issue for most, either. In any case such views pose a real pastoral challenge, but not an occasion for altering doctrine.

    2) I wonder that no one has raised the question of what Bishop Finn might do here. NCR is a privately owned and operated publication, over which the local ordinary holds no real power. But one presumes most of the staff are at least nominally in his flock.

    He could publicly urge the Catholics on staff to alter the editoiral stance of the magazine or failing that to dissociate themselves with it, given the flagrant disregard for the magisterial teaching of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. That is unlikely to happen. But if push comes to shove he could make a very public fuss that NCR has no legitimacy in attaching the “Catholic” label to thsemselves, and warn his flock accordingly.

    This would be a significant step. Bishop Boland, when he retired, attended their annual dinner and spoke there, I believe. NCR is accustomed to having a sympathetic local ordinary. hHey’ve been less pleased with the advent of Bishop Finn.

  60. Deborah says:

    Perhaps this story will give Bishop Finn, and other bishops, the confidence to ban dissident publications from their dioceses. This below happened shortly after the news spread about the prevalence of anti-Catholic literature in Canadian parishes:

    “Ontario Bishop Expels Dissident “Catholic New Times” Paper from Diocese

    PEMBROKE, Ontario, April 11, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Pembroke Bishop Richard Smith, the current President of the Ontario Conference of Catholic Bishops, has banned the dissident Catholic New Times newspaper from parishes in his diocese. “I am hereby directing any parish that facilitates distribution of this newspaper to cease doing so immediately,” wrote Bishop Smith in a letter to all pastors dated February 11.

    The February edition of the ‘Catholic New Times’ “editorial comment contains views which are clearly at odds with the teaching of the church on faith and morals,” Bishop Smith said. “In my judgement, it is not appropriate to have copies of this newspaper made available through our parishes, as this could be interpreted as diocesan approbation of its views.”

    Here’s the entire article. http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/apr/05041107.html

  61. michigancatholic says:

    Sounds like schismatic talk to me.

  62. Dustin says:

    Forgive the threadjack, but can we expect any comment from Fr. Z on the Monday NYT piece, “A Vote for Latin?”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/03/opinion/03mount.html
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/03/opinion/03mount-latin.html (An article entirely in Latin!)

  63. Patronus says:

    LeonG,

    While the Church should not accommodate spurious claims for women to be ordained or the like, we should need not foster attitudes that are not at all open to women.

    I mean, it is legitimate for women to lector in the OF, and it is no longer a precept of ecclesial law that women must wear veils in church.

    Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for maintaining the proper ontological distinctions and such. It’s just that we need not become reactionary and recognize some legitimate and good emphases about the dignity and capabilities of women as articulated by the Magisterium in the last half century or more.

  64. UST Alumnus says:

    They simply are not Catholic. Period. End (as in excommunicated). You cannot go and get yourself ordained. Father Z nailed it with the fact that ordination is not a “right”.

    Do you notice that this article (and similar ones) emphasize that it focuses all about them?

    The sad part is that some people will be deceived by them and their antics.

    Do a Google search and you can find all sorts of weird things, like this…
    http://popemichael.homestead.com/

  65. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    If I might share some simple thoughts.

    1) About the NCR and the “mainstream” Catholic Church in this country: the future belongs to the fertile.

    2) About the shortage of priests, let me quote Fr. Dennis Cousins, from the Louisville Archdiocese, when from the pulpit he provided advice for the in-coming Vocations Director: “Study SUCCESS”.

    3) About John Allen: perhaps there is value in his staying there, until there’s an opening at the Wanderer. The Register surely isn’t much of an improvement.

    4) About women and homosexuals and such being ordained: I said to my Government class today in a similar vein that the problem with such arrangements is that in the name of toleration and justice they unjustly refuse to treat things which are different AS IF THEY ARE, while refusing to treat things which are of the same kind in this fashion.

    5) In general: I think there’s a reason Pope Benedict gave the bishops 3 years: he needs time to collect letters of resignation and prepare replacements.

  66. Jeremy says:

    “The average age of an NCR reader is about 68. This average has been on a continual rise since the late ’60s, when the average age was about 36. During Vatican II, most of our readers would have been in their mid-20s to mid-30s, formative adult years.”

    I just sent Sr. Rita the link to The New Springtime (www.thenewspringtime.blogspot.com) as illustrative of why that might be. I’m just evil ;o)

  67. Matt Q says:

    Father Z wrote:

    “And we, NCR, will pray that you do not burn in hell.”

    Thank you, Father Z. Actual possibilities no one wants to wants to talk about anymore. That’s the kind of bluntness we have been looking for in our priests of late.

  68. Richard says:

    Finished playing by the rules?! I thought they stopped doing that like 40 years ago…

  69. Prof. Basto says:

    They must be ordered to remove the word “Catholic” from their name.

  70. Prof. Basto says:

    Can the Church excommunicate a juridical person (i.e. a corporation) and all those who insist collaborating with it, such as those who work for it?

    It would be a good idea.

  71. PNP, OP says:

    To “UD Student”: As a campus minister at U.D. I would like to point out that the library on campus is stocked full of whole books on Marxism, atheism, medieval occultism, all sorts of Protestant, Jewish, Muslim texts…heck, there’s a list of the books I’m using for my “postmetaphysical theologies” class taped to my office door in campus ministry! Somehow, I don’t imagine Nietzsche, Heidegger, J.F. Lyotard, ad nau are exactly friendly to the Church. My point is that despite the fact that the NCR (Nasty Critical Rag) is a nasty critical rag, it’s mere presence in campus ministry is indicative of absolutely nothing. You fail to mention that the other NCR is also present as well as literally hundreds of vocation brochures for habited religious orders, COURAGE, abortion aftercare service and reconciliation ministries, other pro-life ministries in the diocese, and my own “Rock On, Papists Dudes!” poster from the Holy Father. The NCR(eporter) is an odious publication, but it is also its own best enemy. “Shutting it down” or forcing it to drop “Catholic” from its name will only martyr the rag for the cause and increase circulation. You have to remember the adolescent mentality that drives dissent like that represented in the NCR: if Father says it’s Bad, it must be Good. I invite you to stop by and see me if you have any questions about C.M. Fr. Philip, OP

  72. PNP, OP says:

    Also, I don’t get my knickers in a twist anymore about elderly ladies running around pretending to be Catholic priests. This has been a problem since the second century and will continue to be a problem. What we have here is the last gasp of a dying generation watching its daydreams of “singing a new church into being” fade. Good Catholics know that women cannot be ordained priests, so there’s no chance of scandal there. Bad Catholics aren’t going to Mass anyway, so there’s no chance of scandal there either. I wouldn’t let one second of outrage touch my peace. The time to get angry is the moment any RC bishop even hints that he might not immediately and forcefully denounce these women as fake RC priests. Let’s keep in mind, these women may very well be legitimately ordained ministers of whatever Protestant sect it is they’ve invented. So, I say: Congrats on your ordinations and may God bless your ministries, Reverend Ladies. Fr. Philip, OP

  73. flabellum says:

    The Catholic Church has seen this all before in the not too distant past. In pre-war Poland there was a group called the Mariavites with women priests and bishopesses that disintegrated in a series of schisms and disagreements.

  74. Gavin says:

    Fr. Philip hits the nail on the head about NCR. It really does disqualify itself. My first time reading it, my thoughts went, “hmm, I wonder why they have a Catholic magazine with an article about the Iraq war?” then “Gee, who’s this Fr. McBrien and why is everyone so angry that he got disciplined” and shortly thereafter “Wait, did this paper say “Catholic” on the front? This isn’t Catholic at all!” And THAT’S after growing up in a parish with the female “administrative assistant” giving the sermons!

  75. Habemus Papam says:

    Give women every right to minister Communion and serve at the altar then feifg shock when they go the whole way.

  76. Fr. JF says:

    How sad for these women and the staff of NCR who promote heresy and the people who read NCR and accept the errors promoted within it’s raged pages.

    The point they miss is about the essence of priesthood itself. Priesthood is not about “doing”, it is about “being”. As a priest, I can do, because of “being”. I function “in persona Christi”. “It is no longer I who live, but He who lives within me.” I was ordained to be a sacrificial offering in union with Christ and everything else flows from that.

    For these women, it is about doing and power. They want to lord it over others, something they accuse the Church of doing. Holy Mother Church is the servant of Christ and the world. She lives and promotes the will of Christ in humble obedience to the truth.

    Yet there is a very simple solution! We can exchange them for the 400,000 Anglicans & Episcopalians who are seeing full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. May the Lord save their souls!

  77. Fr. JF says:

    How sad for these women and the staff of NCR who promote heresy and the people who read NCR and accept the errors promoted within it\’s raged pages.

    The point they miss is about the essence of priesthood itself. Priesthood is not about \”doing\”, it is about \”being\”. As a priest, I can do, because of \”being\”. I function \”in persona Christi\”. \”It is no longer I who live, but He who lives within me.\” I was ordained to be a sacrificial offering in union with Christ and everything else flows from that.

    For these women, it is about doing and power. They want to lord it over others, something they accuse the Church of doing. Holy Mother Church is the servant of Christ and the world. She lives and promotes the will of Christ in humble obedience to the truth.

    Yet there is a very simple solution! We can exchange them for the 400,000 Anglicans & Episcopalians who are seeing full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. May the Lord save their souls!

  78. Habemus Papam says:

    Brian, not sure what you mean about Cardinal Siri being elected today, but there are those who say he WAS elected Pope in 1958…and 1963……and 1978. Gregory XVII! Of they are extremists, schismatics, basically looney. Unlike these ladies and THEIR supporters.

  79. Aelric says:

    These episodes always remind me of the following excerpt from Monty Python & the Holy Grail:

    DENNIS: I mean, if I went around sayin’ I was an emperor just
    because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me they’d
    put me away!
    ARTHUR: Shut up! Will you shut up!

  80. Scott Smith UD Alumnus says:

    Why stop at being womenpriest or womenbishop? Why doesn’t one of them set themselves up as Matriarch, perhaps in Mecca or Tehran?

    As to the Non-Catholic Reporter, should we suppose there might be readers who are ignorant of the Catholic Faith and would be convinced by their propaganda?

    I assume that the Campus Ministry of UD pays for its subscription to the aformentioned rag. Should it continue to do so? Sadly, when I was at UD I didn’t find Campus Ministry to be very useful.

    I know a priest in my own diocese that is a big fan of the NCR. Perhaps such fans should be placed under interdict.

  81. Deborah says:

    The Code of Canon Law rejects any excuses for priests or bishops allowing dissident literature:

    Can. 823 §1. In order to preserve the integrity of the truths of faith and morals, the pastors of the Church have the duty and right to be watchful so that no harm is done to the faith or morals of the Christian faithful through writings or the use of instruments of social communication. They also have the duty and right to demand that writings to be published by the Christian faithful which touch upon faith or morals be submitted to their judgment and have the duty and right to condemn writings which harm correct faith or good morals.

    §2. Bishops, individually or gathered in particular councils or conferences of bishops, have the duty and right mentioned in §1 with regard to the Christian faithful entrusted to their care; the supreme authority of the Church, however, has this duty and right with regard to the entire people of God.

    §4. Books or other writings dealing with questions of religion or morals cannot be exhibited, sold, or distributed in churches or oratories unless they have been published with the permission of competent ecclesiastical authority or approved by it subsequently.

    Can. 831 §1. Except for a just and reasonable cause, the Christian faithful are not to write anything for newspapers, magazines, or periodicals which are accustomed to attack openly the Catholic religion or good morals; clerics and members of religious institutes, however, are to do so only with the permission of the local ordinary.

  82. Deborah says:

    Like I said before, take them (discreetly) and burn them (literally)!

    The Catholic Church belongs to all of us, Her protection and the protection of innocent souls is the obligation and right of all of the Catholic faithful.

    As before, if you wouldn\’t allow porno magazines why would you allow literature equally, if not more, evil? At least the porno mags don\’t claim to be \”Catholic\”!

  83. danphunter1 says:

    Patronus,
    Since the 1983 Code of Canon Law was silent on women covering their heads in church and it was also silent about men uncovering their heads in church, may I now wear a baseball cap or fedora in church?
    God bless you.

  84. Marcin says:

    In pre-war Poland there was a group called the Mariavites with women priests and bishopesses that disintegrated in a series of schisms and disagreements.

    You would not believe, but they are still there!

  85. Deborah says:

    Another option: Take them, all of them, and deliver them to the diocesan bishop.

    I would do this everytime you find dissident publications which falsely call themselves \”Catholic\” and/or attack the Catholic Church. Confiscate them and send them to the bishop..afterall, they do REQUIRE his approval according to Church law.

    Do it for years if you have to.

    If you prefer to remove them publicly and if someone questions you simply state that according to Church law any writings called \”Catholic\” and addressing the Catholic religion, faith, and morals, must have the explicit permission of the local bishop. And after looking through this publication (the NCR) you don\’t see permission given by the bishop therefore you will deliver them to him to look over.

  86. Habemus Papam says:

    Carthusian nuns were given a stole and maniple at their profession. At Matins, if no priest was present they sang the Gospel. However they were not female deacons. What happened to this tradition after Vatican II; are there any Cathusian nuns left now?

  87. Susan says:

    The women of Zion are haughty, indeed.
    “Youths oppress my people, women rule over them. O my people, your guides lead you astray; they turn you from the path.” Isa 3:12
    Do keep reading, they get their reward. Funny how these women still desire being under the authority of men by calling themselves Roman Catholic…very Gen 3:16. And I used to think 144,000 was such a small number.

  88. Matt Q says:

    Prof. Basto wrote:

    “They must be ordered to remove the word “Catholic” from their name.”

    —– I agree with you morally and faithfully, but in the real world, who or what is going to “force” them to do that? The Church? Can’t even stop them from carrying on, and the Church is going to be able to get them to drop a word from of their listing?

    Civilly? You see what kind long, dragged-out lawsuit that could become, add to that, the courts may not even let such a suit proceed. In that, whose money is going to be spent pursuing such a lawsuit? Does it rise to the level such a suit is needed?

    “Can the Church excommunicate a juridical person (i.e. a corporation) and all those who insist collaborating with it, such as those who work for it?”

    —– Yes, there is already default excommunication for Catholics who participate in stuff like that, i.e., abortion, supporting it, voting for candidates who support it, etc. When it comes to illicit practice of the Faith, yes, it’s there also.

    Habemus Papam wrote:

    “Give women every right to minister Communion and serve at the altar then feifg shock when they go the whole way.”

    —– Not sure where your comment is going. BTW, what’s “feifg?”

  89. Dustin says:

    Matt Q., I won’t comment on Habemus’ point. I’ll just translate for him:

    “If women are allowed to serve at the altar as acolytes and distribute Communion as EMHCs, one shouldn’t be surprised when they begin to view themselves as priests.”

    I believe he was trying to say “feign.”

    Again, no comment.

  90. Patronus says:

    “As a campus minister at U.D. I would like to point out that the library on campus is stocked full of whole books on Marxism, atheism, medieval occultism, all sorts of Protestant, Jewish, Muslim texts…”

    Maybe I misunderstand. If it’s the Campus Ministry library you’re talking about, then it might be odd. But any reputable university – even a thoroughly Catholic one, should have those aforementioned books in its general university library. I don’t see how that would cause any consternation…

  91. Patronus says:

    “Since the 1983 Code of Canon Law was silent on women covering their heads in church and it was also silent about men uncovering their heads in church, may I now wear a baseball cap or fedora in church?”

    Discretion is obviously key. All I meant to highlight is that the ’83 Code abrogated the ’17. There is no ecclesial law requiring the veil.

  92. Bailey Walker says:

    “Habemus Papam,”

    There are indeed still Carthusian nuns. Here’s a link to the Carthusian Web site with a LOT of information about this Order, both the monks and the nuns:

    http://www.chartreux.org/

    There is a great deal of information available at this site, including some beautiful photographs, which reveals an Order still faithful to the charism of its founder, St. Bruno. However, I was not able to locate information about the liturgical rites for the Solemn Profession of the Nuns and the possible imposition of a stole and maniple.

  93. Melody says:

    The phrase that comes to mind is, “Even if they are right, they make themselves wrong.” If it is possible to ordain women (mind, I’m not saying it is), it cannot be done in willful disobedience to the Church. These women seem to see themselves as martyrs for the cause of justice, but all true martyrs distinguish themselves through their humble acceptance and obedience.

    Dear Fr. Z,
    There is something I’ve been meaning to write you about, but since it is on-topic I shall post it here.
    I was extremely moved by the commentary by priests on the meaning of their vocation. At the same time, I prayed about my own vocation as a woman. It came to me that as the priest is an “alter Christus,” I should be an “alter Veronica” standing as support, It comes to mind that these roles are both irreplaceable.
    Women like the ones in this article are radical feminists and often denigrate the traditional role of women. They see woman has only having power if they become just like men. They thus look down on mothers, housewives, and traditional women religious.
    For this reason I am asking you, as a teacher versed in tradition and scripture, and as someone who is widely read on the internet, to do something to help women. What does tradition have to say about women? There are things that I know in my heart but cannot put into words. (My reaction to Tradition is usually “Hey, I knew that but not in words!”) Women are told by the feminists that we are “second class citizens” and that we need “empowerment.” At the same time, I get the feeling that women have a unique spiritual purpose, which is definitely not that we should all copy men.
    If women could understand their role better, it would attack “Womynpriests” at the very root.
    Your sister in Christ,
    Melody

  94. Vincent Uher says:

    Regarding Carthusian nuns — I recall that they were given stole, maniple, and the privilege of chanting the gospel in light of their being Consecrated Virgins, not simply because they were Carthusian but were duly consecrated according to the ritual for such consecration. I understand that this still takes place with Carthusian nuns who are also Consecrated Virgins.

  95. Concerning women and the diaconate, in 1996 I wrote a piece for the Arlington Catholic Herald on that very subject. Next thing I knew, it was preserved for all time (a man can dream, can’t he?) at the EWTN Online Library:

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/liturgy/aroseby.txt

    Since then, there has been some activity in part of the Orthodox Church toward the restoration of a female diaconate, in particular the Greeks and the Antiochians. But it remains a separate and distinct office from the male diaconate, inasmuch as a deaconess in the Orthodox Church cannot aspire to the priesthood.

  96. Vincent Uher says:

    Just another note on Carthusian nuns — their consecration was four years after vows. At that time she would receive maniple, stole, ring, crown and would not wear them together another time save for her Golden Jubilee and her funeral. Once consecrated she would chant the Epistle at Mass; and at Mattins when there was no priest present she would then chant the Gospel.

  97. danphunter1 says:

    Patronus,
    Or no ecclesial law saying a man must bare his head.
    Double standard.
    God bless you

  98. Patronus says:

    “Or no ecclesial law saying a man must bare his head.
    Double standard”

    I don’t see this as a double standard at all. The law is silent as to people coming in dressed as clowns or wearing no clothes. But a common sense of formal etiquette should answer these problems.

    The important thing is that ecclesiastical law no longer asserts the wearing of chapel veils. In fact, this once-existing law was officially abrogated. It also really doesn’t make sense to draw a specific parallel between veil wearing and the wearing of a cap, as though the silence and abrogation of the former entitles the latter.
    (I’m not against chapel veils. They obviously can be worn. But it’s not a mandate.)

  99. Melody says:

    David L. Alexander: I enjoyed your article. Would I be correct in surmising that the role of historical female deacons is roughly equivalent to that now performed by the EMCs?

    PS: The Anti-Spam filter seems to be malfunctioning, at least on Safari.

  100. M Kr says:

    Notice how OLD the women in the photograph are. It’s definitely indicative that this kind of liberalism IS a manifestation of the aging-hippy syndrome. It will die out soon enough.

  101. Melody:

    Sometimes a deaconess would take Communion to a sick woman, in situations where it would have been scandalous for a male (including a priest) to visit. And a mother superior was sometimes made a deaconess so she could read the Gospel in chapter and occasionally give Communion when a priest could not attend. The above would have been more common in the East, as the female diaconate never took much hold in the West. On the whole, the closest thing in Catholicism we have to the deaconess is our tradition of women Religious.

  102. B.T. says:

    Hey, why not ordain every Catholic a bishop immediately after baptsim? – (I’m still worried this will be too exclusive against non-Catholics!) Then we can all live in our own little ecclesiastical fantasy world. Every house – and maybe every room in every house can be a diocese. And we can use the old excuse that I don’t go to Mass on Sunday because I can pray at home.
    All it takes is a few bottles of scotch and it all makes sense!

    Seriously, though, what happened to old fashioned honesty. Why do these Protestants (they are “protesting” after all) keep calling themselves Catholic? Could it be their true goal is the destruction of God’s Church?

  103. Bp. basil says:

    **#

    Bp. basil,

    Do you have any other links other than a personal website to back up your claim?
    Comment by Brian Day — 4 December 2007 @ 4:43 pm **

    The site

    http://www.anastasis.org.uk

    is not my personal website, but belongs to Archimandrite Ephrem of England. It is an excellent site of liturgical and patristic translations (some not available elsewhere).

    The service was translated from an 18th century printed EVCHOLOGION.

    Read it for yourself, compare it to the service for ordaining a male deacon, and draw your own conclusions.

  104. tgliang says:

    “And we, NCR, will pray that you do not burn in hell.” (Fr. Z) The equivalent statement might be, realistically, that they will find themselves in purgatory for a million years. Even if their sins are forgiven, they have a little suffering to do in purgatory to remove their temporal punishment. A million years is a long, long time.

    Tom

  105. tgliang says:

    “And we, NCR, will pray that you do not burn in hell.” (Fr. Z) The equivalent statement might be that they will find themselves in purgatory for a million years. Even if their sins are forgiven, they have a little suffering to undergo to remove their temporal punishment. A million years is a long, long time.

  106. Little Gal says:

    For some perspective, here is what the Holy Father has to say about the role of women in the (early) Church:

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/b16ChrstChrch30.HTM

  107. Tony says:

    The thing I find interesting is that these “Womanpriests” always claim valid apostolic succession since they were ordained by some “nameless bishop in communion with Rome”, but what they fail to take into consideration is that since a female is invalid matter for the sacrament of Holy Orders, any “ordination” of a woman is invalid. They are no more a priest than cookies and milk, consecrated by a validly ordained priest are the Body and Blood of Jesus.