NCReporter: St. Louis Archdiocese videoed women’s ordination rite

Here is an interesting story from the ultra-lefty National Catholic Reporter.

My emphases and comments.

St. Louis Archdiocese videoed women’s ordination rite

By Tom Fox, NCR Staff
Published:
July 9, 2008

Rabbi Susan Talve, spiritual leader of Central Reform Congregation in St. Louis, welcomes worshipers for the ordination of two women last November.   (Photo by Karen Elshout)Rabbi Susan [I still don't understand the whole female rabbi thing.]Talve, spiritual leader of Central Reform Congregation in St. Louis, welcomes worshipers for the ordination of two women last November.   (Photo by Karen Elshout)

The archdiocese of St. Louis authorized the video recording of a Catholic women’s ordination ceremony that took place in a synagogue last November. It then used the video, along with photographs apparently taken from the video, as evidence to punish [No... not evidence to punish, but rather evidence in the case of the necessity of any questions that might result.  In this case, questions were raised, a canonical process resulted, and someone was censured.] a Catholic nun who attended the liturgy, according to several people familiar with the case.

————
Update: Rabbi would have denied permission to record ordination
————

Sister of Charity Louise Lears was forced out of all church ministerial roles and banned from receiving sacraments within the archdiocese by an edict of St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke announced June 26.  [It's called "interdict".]

The next day the archdiocese announced that Burke had been reassigned to a position at the Vatican as prefect of the church’s highest canonical court, the Apostolic Signatura.  [A fact which is entirely irrelevant to the case.]

Lears, 58, has been a member of the pastoral team at St. Cronan Parish in South St. Louis for the past three years, and a coordinator of religious education in the archdiocese.

She refused to be interviewed for this article. She is not speaking to the media.

However, several people familiar with the documents, prepared by the archdiocese that made up the case against her, strongly criticized what they called the “surveillance” video-taping.

One of the confidential archdiocesan documents, according to knowledgeable sources, was an affidavit giving permission to an individual to attend the ceremony in order to record it. The record of the ceremony is contained on two electronic discs in Lears’ file.

Rose Marie Dunn Hudson, on left, sings along with fellow womenpriest Bridget Mary Meehan of Pittsburgh, Pa. , center, during Hudson's ordination at the Central Reform Congregattion last November.  (Photo by Karen Elshout)Rose Marie Dunn Hudson, on left, sings along with fellow womenpriest Bridget Mary Meehan of Pittsburgh, Pa. , center, during Hudson’s ordination at the Central Reform Congregattion last November. (Photo by Karen Elshout)  The file also contains close-up photographs of a name tag Lears was wearing during the ceremony. Her attendance at the November 2007 ordination held at the Central Reform Congregation, headed by Rabbi Susan Talve, was never a secret, according to Lears’ associates.

The ceremony drew some 600 people, among them several dozen women religious, according to people who attended the liturgy. Only Lears, however, was singled out by Burke[Perhaps she was the only one who was an employee of an Archdiocesan organization.]

“It was a surveillance video. That’s exactly what it was,” said Sean Collins, a co-pastoral associate of Lears at St. Cronan Parish until he resigned July 2nd, in part, he said, to speak about what he says has been a grave injustice taken against Lears.  [It sounds like there was a canonical process.  So, justice was served.]

“What disturbs me even more is that the video taping was premeditated,” [How else?] he said, referring to the affidavit authorizing it by the archdiocese. Collins did not see the document firsthand, but referred to others who had seen it.

They clearly selected Louise from a congregation of some 600 people and of those 40 or 50 of them offered blessings,” [Offered blessings?   Waht does that mean, I wonder?] he said. “Of all of those who offered blessings only Louise has been singled out.”

NCR made several unsuccessful attempts to reach [Archbishop] Burke for comment through the archdiocese and the Apostolic Signatura in Rome, but he was unavailable. There is no evidence that Burke knew about or ordered the taping. However, Catholics familiar with the workings of the archdiocese say it would be unlikely it could have happened without his authorization.

John Terranova, executive director of the synagogue where the ceremony took place, said he did not recall the archdiocese asking permission to video the liturgy. “I cannot say we were aware that they were taping. If they chose to do that it was their choice.”

News of the planned ceremony at the time prompted outrage from archdiocesan officials — outrage that was directed both at the women aspiring to the Catholic priesthood and toward the woman rabbi who agreed to host the event.

Before the ceremony Burke wrote to Susan Talve, senior rabbi at the synagogue, urging her to revoke her offer of hospitality. Talve is the founding rabbi of Central Reform Congregation, a former president of the St. Louis Rabbinical Association and herself active in interfaith affairs.

Days before the liturgy Burke, in the archdiocesan newspaper, the St. Louis Review, also wrote a column reiterating the Catholic church’s official position that women cannot be ordained to the priesthood and that participation in any such liturgy would be a gravely sinful act. “Any Catholic,” he wrote, “who knowingly and deliberately assists… risks the eternal salvation of their souls.”

That threat is the apparent reason an archdiocesan affidavit was required to permit someone to attend and video the liturgy.

If Lears were to appeal her punishments through church channels her case could end up at the court that Burke now heads. However, he has said he would recuse himself from cases before the court in which he is involved.

The two Catholic women ordained in the synagogue were part of the Womenpriests movement, efforts by Roman Catholic [?] women to gain equality [NO!  This would be an injustice to them to propose that they can be ordained!  It is not an act of charity to lie.] of ministry within the Catholic church. They were Elsie Hainz McGrath, a retired writer and editor for a Catholic publishing house, and Rose Marie Dunn Hudson, a former teacher.

In March, Burke excommunicated the women.

Many people have speculated why Lears was singled out. Several said the reason might have been because she worked in an archdiocesan parish. Others said that McGrath and Hudson had been members of the St. Cronan Parish.

Tom Fox can be reached at tfox@ncronline.org

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90 Responses to NCReporter: St. Louis Archdiocese videoed women’s ordination rite

  1. John Enright says:

    Jim Croce said it best:
    “You don’t tug on Superman’s cape
    You don’t spit into the wind
    You don’t pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger
    And you don’t mess around with Ray . . .”

  2. Steve K. says:

    It is really perverse how they characterize normal and prudent steps taken by the archdiocese to investigate and prosecute a delict as something scandalous (e.g. “surveillance videotaping,” the speculation about who authorized and whether Abp. Burke knew – of course he knew, you nitwits!). And this is a Catholic newspaper! And why all the concern about being caught on tape if they did nothing wrong? See how the guilty consciences reveal themselves.

  3. Thomas says:

    THIS WEEK’S SURE SIGN OF HETERODOXY:

    A Catholic news outlet’s reporting reads like an article from the New York Times or Boston Globe.

  4. CPT Tom says:

    The thing that is striking is the almost juvenile quality of the writing. Archbishop Burke is a meanie because he “punished” these women for breaking church rules he just not FAIR! Ugh…what babies!

    They knew the law they knew they were breaking. It was their choice. Hence, just like the damned, they own the consequences…

  5. Brian C. says:

    I noticed some time ago, but I’ve never figured it out: why are heterodox Catholics so fond of “fusing” two (or more) words into one, when inventing their titles? As if “womanpriest” somehow had more authoritative “oomph” behind it than would “woman priest”, or something. Y’know, it’s only one extra little tap with one’s thumb on the space bar…!

    (It reminds me a bit of GIA’s heterodox hymnal, “ritualsong”; boy, orthodox Catholics with a bent for studying psychology could have a field day with this!)

    In Christ,
    Brian

  6. Baron Korf says:

    Funny how they never flat out said they weren’t doing anything wrong, just that it was unfair that someone took measures to see that they were caught. Bunch of babies. I don’t know how they thought this was a good idea in the first place.

  7. Geoffrey says:

    I really just do not get the point. They are all just big kids playing dress-up and make-believe! So sad…

  8. mpm says:

    And did they not advertise in advance their contumacious
    intent to go forward (following the “Holy Spirit”, of
    course) with this sacrilege, in spite of the Bishop’s
    admonitions?

    That’s all there is to it.

  9. Deusdonat says:

    I’m a bit curious as to WHO gave the ordinations. How is there apostolic succession? or is that even an issue?

  10. RichR says:

    Does the National Catholic Reporter incur any canonical penalty by promoting these “ordinations” (or at least, appearing to frown on the condemnation of them)? Why not be honest and drop the name “Catholic” from their publication? This isn’t liberalism, this is heterodoxy.

  11. dominic1962 says:

    One of their “bishops” claims to have been “ordained” by a Catholic bishop “in good standing” (as if this matters) and thus they have “Apostolic Succession” which is, of course, utter crap.

    I don’t see what the big deal is with the taping. Would people rather have it something like, “A little bird told us you were taking part in heretical and invalid “ordinations” so now you’re excommunicated…”?

  12. Andy says:

    Isn’t it always the same old theme? One of “oppressed” minority that wants this-and-that, but some murky dark authority figure doesn’t want to give it to them for no reason! Absolutely no reason archbishop Burke didn’t just consecrate those ladies because they wanted it! Same thing now going with perverts – they want their sick relationships to be called “marriages” – because they want it – and that’s the end of it. Interesting how one sided and stupid this argument really is, based purely on playing on emotions we all probably have carried over from childhood of being denied a toy or a candy bar by parents – for no reason.

    I just wonder how can a society be built upon everyone getting anything they want provided they scream loud enough and portray themselves as victims of an oppressive regime.

  13. Phil says:

    The St Louis Catholic blog is all over this story, claims the archdiocese had no prior knowledge of the taping, and gives the link of the videotape on youtube. See http://stlouiscatholic.blogspot.com/2008/07/why-should-we-accept-premise.html and http://stlouiscatholic.blogspot.com/2008/07/theres-always-first-time-dissenters.html, among others at that website.

  14. Aelric says:

    The National Catholic Distorter continues to live up to its epigrammatic name.

    “Only Lears, however, was singled out by Burke (sic).”

    … so far.

  15. Aelric says:

    Meant to add that God “videotapes” everything; and God will not be mocked.

    The article also states:

    “banned from receiving sacraments within the archdiocese”

    Even though the interdict was declared by Archbishop Burke in the AD of St. Louis, my understanding is that it holds throughout the world. Perhaps those more learned in canon law might comment on whether this quote from the article is a “distortion”.

  16. “Lears, 58, has been…a coordinator of religious education in the archdiocese…” Now, that is scary!

  17. Brian Day says:

    Query: the captions for both photos “leaked” into the main body of the text (in Firefox 3.0). Did this happen to anyone else?

    Like other posters have mentioned, is there a way for Church authorities to discipline the Distorter for such a blatant bias?

  18. Jordanes says:

    Aelric said: “banned from receiving sacraments within the archdiocese”

    Even though the interdict was declared by Archbishop Burke in the AD of St. Louis, my understanding is that it holds throughout the world. Perhaps those more learned in canon law might comment on whether this quote from the article is a “distortion”.

    Here’s my understanding: An interdict can be localised, I believe (particularly when an entire diocese is interdicted), but Sr. Lears was not interdicted only within the Archdiocese — she herself is interdicted, and the interdict follows her anywhere she goes. She is not permitted to receive the Sacraments anywhere in the world.

    As Aelric said, if a solidly orthodox canon lawyer can weigh in here, that would be very helpful.

  19. JohnE says:

    It’s obvious these women are not too keen on theology. Wouldn’t they just be better off on the wrong side of the crack in the Anglican Church? I would say they just like the attention, but it sounds like they don’t like their picture being taken. Maybe there’s more prestige in trying to crack the Catholic Church and with the Anglican church it’s “been there, done that”?

  20. Matthew W. I. Dunn says:

    This is Fr. Z’s view of the Laity:

    “[T]hey who have no authority in the Church, laymen who have no jurisdiction, no credentials other than that they are hobbyists of the older form of the Roman Rite . . . they who have read some encyclicals of popes of yesteryear, some books by authors zealous for Tradition, they who have no authority other than their conviction that no one else can be right or as Catholic as they are, turn with a snarl and bite the consecrated hand that feeds them Christ’s Body and forgives their sins.”

    Granted, these words were written in anger at Traddy Catholics bad-mouthing priests who weren’t as reverent as they’d like. But — oh, my — does this not reveal what an impoverished and clericalist understanding Fr. Z has of the Church.

    It’s all about power and authority for Fr. Z. Perhaps, he should not have either.

  21. Steve K. says:

    You have deliberately twisted Father Z’s words, Matthew. That is despicable and you should be ashamed of yourself.

  22. petrus69 says:

    She’s not entirely at fault considering the state of the church these days. The church have given women a larger role in the liturgy and she took it a bit further. Who is at fault? Care to point fingers?

  23. Steve K. says:

    Deusdonat,

    There is a German woman Patricia Fresen who usually does these “ordinations.” As mentioned above, she claims to have herself been ordained to the episcopate by some bishop who remains anonymous. She has a sort of traveling road show where she and entourage go around performing these simulations of ordination, or I should say “boat show” because usually they do this on boats, which I believe they feel puts them out of the territorial boundaries of any diocese, thus escaping sanction. It sounds ridiculous, but there it is. This was unusual in that they did it on dry land.

    Not that it avails them – CDF has declared that doing thus incurs excommunication latae sententiae, so the boat dodge wouldn’t work anyway.

    I believe Fresen was involved in this event.

  24. Nick says:

    How could they NOT KNOW they were being video taped? And why wouldn’t they wish it to be taped as “proof” of the “ordinations”…

    NB: This was at a Reformed Temple (for observant Jews what Unitarianism is for Christians). It would never ever have been allowed an Orthodox Jewish Temple, and most likely not at a Conservative Temple either.

  25. Geoffrey says:

    Not to further change the whole topic of this post, but I must chime in to say that I wholeheartedly agree with Steve K. Mr. Dunn’s comments were out of line. Fr. Z was exactly right.

  26. Monica says:

    The two women who were “ordained” are an authentic illustration of the type of lay “pastoral leaders” that are in charge of many facets of parish life in many Catholic parishes around the United States…actually…I can’t speak for the dioceses of the U.S. but I have observed these types of lay leaders in the southeastern region of the Richmond,Virginia diocese for many years…especially in the area of liturgy. It is very dispiriting when it appears that there is a huge disconnect from what we are instructed by the Pope and what we actually get at the local level.

  27. Steve K. says:

    Monica – hi neighbor! You are quite right, my former parish (in SE Virginia) was run by lay leaders of this type. I was involved in RCIA one year, and in the class on the priesthood, the lay RCIA leadership taught the catechumens that the Vatican was wrong on WO and that one day soon women would be priests and bishops, too.

  28. Kim Poletto says:

    Don’t know what the big deal is even if the Archdiocese had sent someone to video tape this nonsence. She wanted to be ordained a Catholic priest (which she wasn’t) and at least one Catholic was there . . . albeit with a video recorder. Don’t know what the big deal is.

    Kim

  29. LCB says:

    What did she think Abp. Burke would do? Send her flowers?

    Of all the (Arch)Bishops to play such games with, Abp. Burke is not the one.

    I can’t help but wonder, where is her religious order at? Where are her superiors at?

  30. Jordanes says:

    Okay regarding the NCR’s claim that Sr. Lears is “banned from receiving sacraments within the archdiocese,” this is what the decree of interdict says about the penalty or punishment imposed on her:

    1) the just penalty of a ferendae sententiae
    interdict . . .

    2) the just penalty of a ferendae sententiae prohibition of reception of a mission in the territory of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis,

    Nothing about any limitation of Sr. Lears’ interdict to the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

    And this is what the Code of Canon Law says about the penalty of interdict:

    Can. 1332 — An interdicted person is bound by the prohibitions of can. 1331, para. 1, nn. 1 and 2; if, however, the interdict has been imposed or declared, the prescription of can. 1331, para. 2, n. 1, is to be observed.

    Can. 1331 — para. 1. An excommunicated person is forbidden:
    1. to have any ministerial participation in celebrating the Eucharistic Sacrifice or in any other ceremonies whatsoever of public worship;
    2. to celebrate the sacraments and sacramentals and to receive the sacraments;

    The Archdiocese of St. Louis’ Q&A about her interdict says:

    Because Sister Lears has not acknowledged that her public actions are contrary to definitive Catholic teaching, which Canon law requires her to do, the Archbishop is obliged to issue the penalty of interdict. This means that Sister Louise Lears cannot have any ministerial part in the celebration of the Sacrifice of the Eucharist or in any other ceremonies of public worship, or receive any Sacrament until she repents. The penalty of interdict is aimed at calling the persons away from their sin and to reconciliation with Christ and His Church.

    Nothing about the interdict being limited to the territory of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. This appears to be an ordinary interdict, applying to the criminal wherever on earth he goes. The NCR, as usual, has got it wrong.

  31. Todd says:

    Honestly, I don’t get this at all. What part of “this is never changing” don’t people understand?

  32. Padre Steve says:

    It really is sad that these women don’t realize that the Episcopal Church is ready and willing to accept them anytime. Why not join them or the Anglicans, or the Lutherans… etc? I am sure they would be much happier there. God bless Archbishop Burke and all of our Catholic leaders who have to deal with this kind of mess.

  33. Patrick says:

    It is very disturbing to read the drivel that the National Catholic Reporter is printing. It sounds like an advertisement for Womenpriests, a defense of the censured nun, and an indictment of Abp. Burke and Holy Mother Church.

    The terms “Willful” and “Wrongheaded” are the ones that come to mind both for the dissidents in the news, and the dissidents that are allegedly reporting it.

  34. Annibale says:

    She just ATTENDED the service? From the reaction I had assumed that she was an active participant. Seems like an over-reaction by Burke. What a bully!

  35. Nick says:

    The ceremony drew some 600 people, among them several dozen women religious, according to people who attended the liturgy. Only Lears, however, was singled out by Burke. [Perhaps she was the only one who was an employee of an Archdiocesan organization.]

    I was attending St. Louis University at the time this happened. Would SLU employees who attended this even be subject to the same ruling? SLU is a Jesuit (not Archdiocesan) school so would the same rules apply? Canonically, would Archbishop Burke have any say over SLU employees since it’s in the Archdiocese and ultimately his responsibility?

  36. AnnaTrad says:

    It is not an over reaction. By her presence and support at such a sacrilegious abomination gives scandal. She holds a position of responsibility in that diocese and was given every chance to change her mind. It was her own free will that brought her to this grave state of affairs.

  37. Doug says:

    Here’s the usual script for an exchange with my youngest son who is eight years old. (I’m not making this up by the way.)

    Papa: “Jacob, stop doing that.”
    Jacob: (No response. Keeps up his illicit activity.)
    Papa: “Jacob, I said stop doing that.”
    Jacob: (More of the same.)
    Papa: (Voiced slightly raised.) “Jacob, stop that now!”
    Jacob: (No response.)
    Papa: (Shouting.) “JACOB, STOP NOW OR ELSE!!!”
    Jacob: “Papa, you yelled at me. You’re mean!”

    My oldest son went through a similar phase and eventually grew out of it. I get the feeling this group hasn’t quite grown out of their phase yet. (I hope Jacob grows out of it before they do. I don’t think I have quite the same level of grace as His Grace and fear for my sanity.)

  38. Woody Jones says:

    I say, Father, having to comment here as the “biting” combox is off, but it must be more than coincidence that today I received in the post the semi-annual newsletter of the Society of King Charles the Martyr, of which I am one of the scruffy Roman auxiliaries, and then reading your post with its reference to 2 Sam. 1:14, one of the readings appointed for the (penitential) State Service for Charles, King and Martyr (30 January), in the English (1662) Book of Common Prayer from 1662 until its summary removal by order of Queen Victoria in ca. 1853.

    Remember.

  39. Deusdonat says:

    Padre Steve – It really is sad that these women don’t realize that the Episcopal Church is ready and willing to accept them anytime.

    Exactly. But where’s the shock value in that?

  40. Maynardus says:

    “…The next day the archdiocese announced that Burke had been reassigned to a position at the Vatican as prefect of the church’s highest canonical court, the Apostolic Signatura. [A fact which is entirely irrelevant to the case.]”

    Father – no, no, no! Let’s ‘spin’ this positively: “Based upon the wise, pastoral and sensitive display of pastoral sensitivity and wisdom in the “Lears Case”, Archbishop Burke was *immediately* promoted to the high and exalted position of Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura!”

    I’m only half kidding…

  41. patrick f says:

    Annibale said “She just ATTENDED the service? From the reaction I had assumed that she was an active participant. Seems like an over-reaction by Burke. What a bully!

    Comment by Annibale — 10 July 2008 @ 9:10 pm ”

    Ahh but she does participate. Is not being at a “liturgy” participation? She legitimizes it by her presence. It gives it merit. There you have a catholic employee, by her presence it endorses it.

    Also check yourself on the bully bit. He is enforcing church law, as it is. There is no “bullying” in that. He is being a shepherd. Sometimes a sheep falls off a cliff. The shepherd puts his crook around it and attempts to pull it back up. This sheep, struggles, and thus separates herself from the flock. All she needs to simply due is cry out to the shepherd (in other words, repent, and show her devotion to the church, through her Shepherd, the archbishop) and she can easily rejoin the flock in the grazing grounds.

    Wether you agree with his actions or not is irrelevant. He is the bishop, he handled it according to church law (which he is pretty much un matched in knowledge, thus his appointment, despite how others have painted him)

    You know I had a conversation with my boss today. I have about 12 people that work under me. He reminded me that sometimes to do whats right, and get your job done, you will make enemies. The important part is you get the job done. Did not Christ warn us that we would be persecuted for carrying out his work? Bishop Burke has done just that with true courage and fortitude. We could use more bishops like him.

    Its sad the state this nun is in, for all the church. we are all part of the same body. But its not BUrke that keeps her away, it is herself. Pray that her heart can be converted. Pray that others will be patient with her (which the interdict is, back in the old days these types tended to end up burned), but pray her heart converts. Conversion is a continual process for all people, regardless if they have that funny looking collar around their necks. No one is perfect. Pray for this person, pray for the bishops who deal with people like her, and pray for each other we have the patience and perseverance to understand.

  42. Deusdonat says:

    Patrick, FYI Annibale likes to “stir the pot” here. I wouldn’t give him too much credance or legitimacy.

  43. PNP, OP says:

    Why don’t these women join the Episcopal Church? Well, when the sum total of your self-created identity is founded on the notion that you are oppressed by an Institution to which you voluntarily belong, you will consistently refuse to do the most obvious thing to alleviate your oppression: join a different, welcoming institution. In other words, they won’t get the attention they crave in the Episcopal Church. Fr. Philip, OP

  44. Woody Jones says:

    Or even more to the point, Psalm 105:15 and I Sam. 26:9 ([W]ho can lay hands on the LORD’s anointed and remain unpunished?”–even the NAB gets this one).

  45. Warren Anderson says:

    Whoever said wisdom comes with age? These petulant princesses in old ladies’ clothing are not likely to listen to reason. Given the apparent age of some of them, time is likely short. So, hopefully the obvious consideration will compel them to meditate on the four last things and inspire a change. Till then, let’s avoid this lot, pray for their conversion and occasionally send along an invitation to come back home before it’s too late.

    As for Mr. Fox, and NCR for printing his bile – they will also have to answer, in time, for the spread of the half-truths made by the priestesses of the “Me-Myself-and-I” club.

  46. Doug says:

    For those using this thread as a forum for discussion about F. Z’s “Hand Biting” post, let me say this: I don’t believe that Fr’s post was either an expression of anger or one of an “impoverished” view of the laity. I will admit, though, that I felt a bit stung at being referred to as a “hobbyist”; but, only at first.

    After a moment of reflection, I realized that I was far better served by a priest of God who was willing to be seen as a bully by some while delivering the true message of a servant: “God’s Church is God’s Church. To presume to reorder it is to subject oneself to the perils of a world devoid of the true Word of God. God has established His Church in both the persons of the clergy and the laity. They are distinct. While they are both equally dear to Him, they fulfill different roles.”

    To presume to cross those lines and judge, as a layman, duly ordained priests who celebrate the Tridentine Mass as “unworthy” is simply ludicrous. It is also, as Fr. Z pointed out, counterproductive to the traditionalist cause.

  47. CK says:

    that made up the case against her

    Exactly why pictures/evidence were necessary.

    And are they saying that no one else within the vast crowd took any pictures/videos for public eyes as well? They provide their own evidence then against themselves.

    Just as “gay marriage” can only ape the reality, same goes for this stunt.

  48. Annibale says:

    Yes, I don’t march in lock step with the group, so disregard me.

  49. Matt Q says:

    Amazing. Do these schlockettes really believe their “ordinations” actually have nay meaning, that they have somehow been imparted with actual priestly faculties? On the face of it, they certainly can’t claim ignorance, so their actions are all the more culpable, and if they think the Church is going to be holding any talks with at some point in the future, they have all eternity to wait–one way or the other.

  50. Artsgolfer says:

    As I try to teach my children about His Church:

    Obidience: Learn it, Live it, Love it.

    Sad these women cannot do the same.

  51. Artsgolfer says:

    She just ATTENDED the service? From the reaction I had assumed that she was an active participant. Seems like an over-reaction by Burke. What a bully! Annibale
    I won’t ignore you but I will answer you. May God Bless Archbishop Burke. He is not being a bully. He is being pastoral in the best sense possible. It is his job to make sure each member of
    the flock is not led astray and her presence was not only bad for her but a case
    of her leading others into temptation.It is amazing how much bad info can be passed on by so proclaimed Catholics who are not loyal to the Magisterium. It had to be stopped and quickly. I don’t sit my kids in time out or take away privledges willy nilly. I do it out of complete love for my kids when they have done something wrong so they will know what to do right next time. I think Monica was spot on in her comments and more Bishops need to stand up for the truth.

  52. Deusdonat says:

    Annibale, no. You are disregarded because you use utterly, cloyingly petty phrases like “big bully” in discussions about theology.

    Ccu sceccu nasci sceccu mori

  53. Jordanes says:

    My guess is that “Annibale” (as in “Annibale Bugnini”) is not stirring the pot so much as parodying the typical “liberal” or modernist dissenter/heretic.

  54. Deusdonat says:

    Jordanes – LOL. I think you caught it (nice deductive skills). Parody or pot-stirrir, I’m not going to give him/her much credence or legitimacy moving forward.

    Really…good catch there : )

  55. Lady rabbis are needed to bless the kosher pork.

  56. B. says:

    This woman got placed under an interdict for attending this service.
    My question is: Why is it OK for priests and bishops to attend (and participate) in ecumenical worship services that involves “womanpriests” of the anglican flavor?
    They claim to be part of the Catholic Church, too, and simulate the sacraments. Where is the difference? These kind of ecumenical activities are widely encouraged throughout the Church.
    Or the Catholic bishop who made his Cathedral available for ordinations of TEC, why is this considered OK?

  57. Joseph says:

    Bereft of a “real” liturgy, this is what Catholics will do. They feel the Church/liturgical life of the Church needs improvement, and THEY ARE RIGHT! I know I did. It is just that the right answer is not so clear to such that are so heavily indoctrinated with modernist/secularist values and notions. They/we think/thought that they way was to keep going with the changes, until the church is more in keeping with each individual’s idea of heaven on earth, and that reflected in the liturgy and church governance. Not heaven reaching down to earthly folk through heaven’s own liturgy enacted here, as closely as humanly possible, as in the old Mass or Divine Liturgy (Eastern rite). No. But why not? Sometimes it is hubris. And sometimes it can just be a lack of knowledge resulting from the p. poor way they have been nourished vis-a-vis the faith’s presentation in the last forty years or so.

    So the church itself must accept at least part of the blame here, and that would include the adults who have not taken any time to try and learn more and gain an adult’s (not eighth grader’s) understanding of our Catholic Faith. And how many people is that? Too many, I am afraid.

  58. Ciaran says:

    Pro Caritate Dei, bring back the Holy Office, please.

  59. Dominic says:

    Actually, the fact that Archbishop Burke has been promoted to the Apostolic Signature is not irrelevant, because it means that the renegade nun’s chances of an appeal are rather slim! .

  60. Richard DeSpirito says:

    Instead of all of us “preaching to the choir” it might be useful and educational to go to the NPR website and respond to this article there.

  61. David says:

    Deusdonat,

    There is a German woman Patricia Fresen who usually does these “ordinations.” As mentioned above, she claims to have herself been ordained to the episcopate by some bishop who remains anonymous. She has a sort of traveling road show where she and entourage go around performing these simulations of ordination, or I should say “boat show” because usually they do this on boats, which I believe they feel puts them out of the territorial boundaries of any diocese, thus escaping sanction. It sounds ridiculous, but there it is. This was unusual in that they did it on dry land.

    Not that it avails them – CDF has declared that doing thus incurs excommunication latae sententiae, so the boat dodge wouldn’t work anyway.

    I believe Fresen was involved in this event.
    Comment by Steve K. — 10 July 2008

    Fresen was involved, and she was also excommunicated by Archbishop Burke (See: http://www.canonlaw.info/2008/03/abp-burkes-excommunication-of-women.html)

    From what I understand, the “Womanpriest” movement claims Apostolic succession from a bishop who left the Church (you had to really Google to find that out)

  62. momoften says:

    What is scary about this event –if you go to the NCR online article and read the supporters remarks about this event -(and the support of woman ordination to the priesthood.) They don’t get it. They still want to be Catholic, but only on their terms. They are no different than Protestants and have no business calling themselves Roman Catholics.

  63. Chris M says:

    “Yes, I don’t march in lock step with the group, so disregard me.”

    Yes, you do. Just a different group.

  64. Prof. Basto says:

    Dear Don John,

    I can’t read the entire article. There is a problem with the lines that are near the photos.

  65. Xpihs says:

    Here is an idea. Let’s have a trade. The Anglican/Episcopal Ecclesial Conventicle can have those women who have feigned to be ordained a priest or consecrated a bishop along with all of their followers, and in exchange the Holy Roman Catholic Church will receive warmly and with generosity those men of the same Anglican Communion who, in good faith, have been acting as priests and bishops believing themselves so to be, along with their supporters. It’s sort of like negotiating with terrorists, but…

  66. LCB says:

    The difference between attending an ecumenical prayer service (that is, praying with others to the One True God), and attending a woman’s pretend-ordination should be obvious.

    You may question, “But! But! There are female Anglicans at such events who claim ordination!” Okay. So a schismatic group (that makes no claim to Catholicity) claims to have ordained women. Our response? “You don’t have valid orders at all, much less validly ordained women.”

    Just because you may disagree with the prudence of a certain action (ecumenical prayer services), doesn’t mean those you disagree with should be placed under interdict (or excommunicated). That’s just a silly position, and shows you don’t take critical thinking very seriously.

  67. TJM says:

    Boy they have really captured the youth movement here. NOT! Tom

  68. Patrick says:

    Annibale,

    Perhaps Sr. Lears could have been ‘attending’ and not supporting. Perhaps she went there only to pray for those involved in the pseudo-ordination. But maybe she should have explained that to the Archbishop when she was summoned to meet with him. But instead, she totally ignored his summons and refused to meet with him. That is NOT the action of a faithful Catholic. When the Archbishop requests your presence, you show up.

  69. DCM says:

    No Tradition, no catholicism.
    This is not even close to priest ordination, it is just an anti-catholic circus.

  70. mpm says:

    “It really is sad that these women don’t realize that the Episcopal Church
    is ready and willing to accept them anytime. Why not join them or the
    Anglicans, or the Lutherans… etc? I am sure they would be much happier
    there. God bless Archbishop Burke and all of our Catholic leaders who
    have to deal with this kind of mess.

    Comment by Padre Steve — 10 July 2008 @ 8:39 pm”

    Perhaps because they have vested retirement benefits and no other way to make
    a living?

  71. Tominellay says:

    Abp. Burke is smarter than this particular nun. He knows canon law, knows how to make a case that will stick.

  72. Jordanes says:

    Patrick said: But instead, she totally ignored his summons and refused to meet with him.

    Not quite. She didn’t “totally” ignore his summons, and she did meet with him at least once, I believe. However, according to the decree against her, her response was unconstructive and even disrespectful, and she refused to admit that it was scandalous for her to participate in the pseudo-ordinations and scandalous and heretical for her to publicly advocate for women’s ordination.

  73. EVERYONE: This entry has a subject. Please stick to it.

    I have and will be deleting comments which are leading this entry down a rabbit hole.

  74. QueenoftTahiti says:

    Has anyone noticed that for women that are playing at Church, they’re not very
    good at dress-up clothes? If I was going to be “ordained,” I’d at least make an
    effort to sew and embroider a respectable stole, not strap on some tie-dyed toga
    strips. I guess if all your Church-Ladies are too busy playing pretend…

  75. Deusdonat says:

    David – thanks so much for the explanation. There is another “Orthodox” church I have heard about (forgot the exact name, but they operate here in the US) which also claims apostolic succession (I believe from the Armenian or Syriac churches) which also does female ordinations. I can’t remember the details. But thanks for the info. Everyone’s got some hook.

    ASimpleSinner – LOL!!! That was GREAT!!!

    Actually, rather than kvetch and get verklempft about female rabbis, we should all just nosh on a bisl of gehfilter and just say, “feh!” to the whole shunder.

  76. Patrick says:

    Jordanes,

    Thanks for the correction.

  77. j says:

    Again, missing the point.
    The important parts of the videotape were not her name tag (sorry…. nametag) but the extent to which she represented herself as blessing this AS a CATHOLIC, and a Religious, at that.
    You can dress up and give yourselves titles all you want.
    You can attend the Ordinations of friends from other religions, AS FRIENDS, or for that matter, if you have an official status, as an observer from another religion.
    The excommunications come from her representing herself as able to give Catholic blessing to this, from endorsing an ordination (not Ordination) that represented itself as Catholic, and her (and NCR’s, and the other nunpriests’, if you ask me) purposeful attempt to mislead others who ARE Catholic as to the Magisterium.
    Without the videotape, the very serious action would have had to have been based soleley on eye witness accounts, none of which could have been said to be unbiased. If I were being investigated for Schizm, I would want it objectively knows what was and was not done.

  78. Deusdonat says:

    As the Sicilian saying goes, “Cu’ s’ammuccia so’ chi fa, e’ signu chi mali fa”. If she had nothing to worry about by being there, she should not have been bothered by someone videotaping the event and her at it.

  79. Tomas Torquemada says:

    This was also covered at http://slatts.blogspot.com/2008/07/more-breaking-news-from-ncr-on-stl.html by LRS who makes some interesting observations as well.

  80. RC says:

    Even if these dames were to become members of a liberal denomination, they might not end up as ordained ministers.

    Shrinking ecclesial communities such as the Episcopal Church and the UCC probably don’t have a shortage of ministerial candidates relative to their size.

    And they do have _some_ process of selection and discernment, because they, unlike the Women Priests Fantasy League, do have actual congregations of people needing pastoral care. They need people to serve in Christian ministry, not to engage in transgressive performance art.

  81. Jim C says:

    How does the NCR stay in business? There really aren’t that many nuts out there that believe this bilge — are there?

  82. Andrew says:

    Their “Stoles” are hilarious. I can’t believe they consider them to be stoles. They look more like fashionable scarves. No chasuble even! They look more Protestant then Catholic anyway. They need to understand that to attempt too look like a Catholic priest, they need to wear stoles. Are they tie died or something. Right, the sixties.

    Another thought. I was told that it is a mortal sin to attend the mass of someone who has been excommunicated. Is this true? It really makes sense because in attending a mass like this, a person is showing his support of whoever is leading it.

  83. Chironomo says:

    As for Lears “attending” the event…

    As a Diocesan employee (which I am, in my Diocese) you are well aware of your ability to attend and not attend events. If the events are “disapproved of” by the Diocese, you attend at the peril of your continued employment. You are not free as A Diocesan employee to “express your views” our any such nonsense. You are an employee of the CATHOLIC CHURCH and you are expected to act as one. You sign a document when you begin employment that prohibits you from publicly expressing, supporting or giving legitimacy or credibility to actions or statements which are contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church or to official policies of the Diocese. Violating this is reason for terminiation. Period.

    The issue came up a few years back in our Diocese when several Religious Education Directors attended a meeting of “Call To Action”… the event had been officially “disapproved of” by the Diocese. The newspaper caught pictures of the Rel. Ed. Directors in question. They were fired.

    A similar event came up with meetings of the “American Catholic Church”… the groups were found to be meeting at a few local parishes. The parishes were warned not to host any more meetings of this group. The groups moved to locations off-property of the parishes in question, but several employees of one of the parishes continued to attend. They were personally warned. They disregarded the warning, and were fired. This has little or nothing to do with Abp. Burke being a “meanie”… he was doing what is required in these types of situations. The reason this was all blown up was beacause of it’s ties to Female Ordination. Plain and Simple.

  84. Tina in Ashburn says:

    So get this,
    a woman walks up to me and pleads: “Make me into a frog. Make me a frog PLEEEEEZE!” She pestered me for a long time. I explained to her many times that I’m just a regular person, without any power to turn her into a frog! Didn’t matter, she continued to pester me.

    I was so exasperated! So finally, out of impatience and wearied by her non-stop pleading, I finally just said the words, “Okay okay! You are a FROG. I say you are a FROG!!”

    With that she calmed down, stopped pestering me. She beamed and thanked me profusely. As she turned away, there was a hop in her happy step.

    She thinks she is a frog now. She acts like a frog, wears green, eats bugs [yuck] and likes to sit in a pond I hear. I’m not sure why she thinks I have the power to change her into a frog with my mere words.

    It doesn’t matter how many times I call her a frog or she calls herself a frog, she’s still a woman.

    Odd isn’t it?

  85. Anthony English says:

    Everyone in the photo (bar one) looks to be over 50. Nothing against that, except that they can hardly be the church of the future if they’re unable to attract young people and if they use words like “videotape” which is probably meaningless to someone under 20.

  86. Mark says:

    This event is about “manufactured reality”, that is, if you just do it, some may accept it. The article also clearly aims at generating as much sympathy as possible for this sister and the whole womenpriest circus. It eagerly accuses legitimate Church authorities of totalitarian methods when some form of Church discipline needs to be considered for those on the far left. In my view, this National Catholic Reporter article is as much a scandal as the activity it reports about. This is very rich material for the Theater of the Absurd.

  87. Matthew Mattingly says:

    Has any else caught onto the fact that all these women who have been “ordained” are ALL pushing 70? And that those who come out to support them are 80% within the same age group? No young people…no young “women priests”.

    It’s the “Vatican II Cheerleaders” crew, trying to stir up as much trouble in the Church as they can in their “last horrah”. They did it for 40 years, and now they realize their time in power is gone, and there’s no younger generation of misfits to had their radical agenda to, so their making one big push before they exit the stage.

    All the Orders of nuns alot of these people come from are filled with aged women in their 70′s and 80′s who likewise share the same radical dreams and see their vision of “Church” disappearing. Their Orders won’t survive another 10 years.
    And when they’re gone….this “Women priest” movement with be gone too.

  88. John says:

    As a side, note the Chief Rabbi of Saint Louis also asked the female Rabbi not to hsot the event. Though the Cheif Rabbi never stated his views on whehter the host is an actual Rabbi or not, he was emphatic that synagouges should not be used to facilitate protests against the internal doctrines of other religions.

  89. Paul Madrid says:

    Nick, if those employees of SLU are Catholics and have a domicile or quasi-domicile in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, then they would be members of the Archdiocese and would fall under the Archbishop’s ordinary executive, legislative, and judicial power. His power is not restricted to just Archdiocesan employees. It extends to Archdiocesan people.

    In this case, Archbishop Burke chose to prosecute only the employee probably because the person was engaged in ministry and (1) the person was easily identifiable and thus prosecutable and/or (2) he wanted to make sure that a person engaged in ministry who supported this activity would face consequences. He could, if he wanted to, exercise that power against any Catholic that is a member of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

  90. Nick says:

    Paul, thanks for the info.