More from dissident NCRep on Bougeois’s excommunication

The ultra-lefty National Catholic Reporter presents another exercise in adulation of probably soon to be former Fr. Roy Bougeois, MM.

Bougeois is a longtime professional protester, dissident and now heretical supporter of women’s ordination.

It was especially his active participation in a fake ordination of a woman last August, at which he also spoke, which stirred the Vatican to action.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will probably send the notice of his excommunication fairly soon.  There remains the question of his continuing in the clerical state and as a member of the Maryknoll Mission priests.  Bougeois was given an opportunity to rethink his favorable position on women’s ordination.  He obstinately and publicly refused to stop supporting what the Church definitively teaches is an impossibility.  Therefore Bougeois has also fallen into contumacious heresy, which he spreads publicly, thus also causing additional scandal.  His political protests were one thing, but this is another entirely.

Let’s have a look at the NCRep‘s latest encomium.  My emphases and comments.

Support, criticism swirl around Roy Bourgeois

By Tom Roberts
Published:
November 20, 2008

Letters, petitions go to Rome about priest threatened with excommunication [I wonder if "promise" wouldn't have been a better word.]

The news that peace activist Fr. Roy Bourgeois was threatened  [Note how the writer sets up the contrast of "peace" on the one hand, and "threat", on the other.] with excommunication for his support of women’s ordination unleashed a storm of commentary and reaction from various Catholic interest groups and around the blogosphere.

If the issue is settled for Rome, it is still wide open in some Catholic circles. [Roma locuta est, causa disputatur.] In addition to the expected sharp division between those who applaud Bourgeois’ action and those who find it scandalous, people have posed thoughtful questions about conscience, and how and whether the church can force someone to violate his conscience. Others, in what amounts to a fairly robust discussion of the question of women’s ordination, raise issues of history and women’s place in the early church based on an understanding of scripture and archaeological evidence[Several points are front loaded here for the article.  First, the writer paints the critics of the Holy See as "thoughtful".  You have already been told that the Holy See is threatening.  Also, placing this in the sphere of "conscience" will probably strike the thoughtful reader as pandering to their usual readership.  These days, conscience is king, regardless of how poorly formed it might be.  Also, there is "robust" discussion.  "Robust" here signals approval.  The (impossibility) of the ordination of women should be talked about and talked about and talked about... until it happens.  "Robust", therefore, is approval, when applied to the "question".   Also, there really is no question about this if you are a faithful Catholic.  Finally, the writer panders a bit more by tossing in the suggestion that women have been mistreated and that, in the finest Da Vinci Code fashion, there is evidence out there which will prove Bougeois and the women to the right after all.]

[Now watch how the issues are confused.] Another thread that runs through much of the commentary asks how the church could act so swiftly against Bourgeois when decades passed before the church even began to investigate cases of sex abuse of children by priests. [On the one hand, priests committed vile sins, which are also crimes, and bishops and religious superiors who shamefully did too little exercised scandalously bad judgment.  On the other hand, Bougeiois is a public heretic, which is a matter of doctrine.  On the one hand there were moral delicts, on the other damage to the Church's doctrine about a very important teaching and practice.  They are both very serious, but they fall into different categories.  They are not moral equivalents.  However, we can agree that the Holy See didn't act with the speed we could have hoped.  But in the interest of being consistent according to the call of the NCRep we hope the Holy See will now act to remove from their positions all priests who support the ordination of women together with those who have been proven beyond doubt to have abused children.] Meanwhile, Bourgeois, a Maryknoll priest of 36 years, is trying to meld [another nice word] issues that normally operate in separate spheres by claiming that the ban on ordaining women is as serious an injustice within the church as the injustices he has confronted in the realms of the political and military. [So, the issue of the ordination of women is simply reduced to the "fairness" argument.  What this reflects is a fundamental misunderstanding of what the Church teaches priesthood is all about.  For the NCRep and Bougeios, priesthood is about the functions and about one's own subjective feeling about them.  If priesthood is only about what people do, then it makes sense that we should chose people who are competent and available to do those tasks, regardless of their sex.  But priesthood is not only about what priests do.  It is about who they areAlso, the Church calls men to the priesthood, men don't call themselves.  Whatever feelings or thoughts they have about priesthood are tested and verified by the Church, which also considers many other factors, including the Church's perennial practice and Tradition and Magisterium.  In the end they are only saying "it's not fair".]

Bourgeois, who concelebrated an ordination of women in Kentucky in August, responded to the Vatican’s warning that he recant his position or face excommunication with a letter stating that he considered the ban on ordination of women an injustice within the church and that he could not recant what he considered a matter of conscience[Conscience is supposed to confirm his own choices.  The Vatican is supposed to accept this.  Imagine. Bougeois: "Women must be ordained because I feel it's unfair they aren't".  Vatican: "What part of the Church's teaching do you not understand?  No."  Bougeois: "I insist." Vatican: "No. And furthermore, stop saying these things or you will be disciplined." Bougeois: "I won't stop because I really want to do this."  Vatican: "Wellll..... okaaayy.... you win."]

He expects to receive final notice of excommunication from the Vatican in the very near future.

In a homily delivered during the August ordination, Bourgeois declared, “Just as soldiers in Latin America abuse their power and control others, it saddens me to see the hierarchy of our church abusing their power and causing so much suffering among women. Jesus was a healer, a peacemaker, who called everyone into the circle as equals.”  [Bougeois compared the Holy See, the Holy Father and all bishops back through the centuries to brutal soldiers of regimes trying to repress Communists guerrillas, "freedom fighters".]

Roman Catholic Womenpriests, who sponsored the ordination that precipitated the Vatican action against Bourgeois, asked [this is a good one] in a release how the Vatican could “excommunicate women who honor their call to the priesthood and, in the case of Fr. Roy, the men who support them, but not the priest s and bishops who have perpetrated sexual abuse of children?”  ["How could you!  How could you be so mean!"  More seriously, must excommunication the penalty for everything now?  People toss this around so lightly.  Let's dig for a moment.  First, priests who were proven to be abusive were punished with a serious penalty: dismissal from the clerical state.  What is excommunication for?  It is intended to help people return from their sinful state and to prevent them, to the extent possible, from doing additional damage to themselves and the Catholic faithful.  The Church also uses excommunication for some sins to do its part in underscoring that certain actions are heinous when the state no longer does its part.  I have in mind the case of the American bishops once asking the Holy See to permit the imposition of excommunication on people who sold drugs to minors.  This was eventually rescinded, probably because in the civil sphere there are strong laws in this regard and there is a strong social stigma about that.  Consider the case of abortion.  Abortion carries an excommunication, though with murder does not.  Why?  Probably because states have become callous regarding the unborn and so the Church does her part to underscore the sanctity of human life from its very beginning in the face of a loss of this sense in society, in a culture of death.  To be fair to the argument used above (which is still ridiculous), I think some abuser clerics should also have been excommunicated.  Take for example those priests who were not merely sick and doing sick things in private, but who made a public case for what they did, as in the case of that creep involved with the organization promoting child abuse.  IMO, he should also have been excomm'd because he went beyond the mere acts of abuse, bad as they were.  There are many priests, sadly, who think women should be ordained.  They are not being censured with excommunication because they don't push it to the point Bougeois did, to real scandal, and harm of the unity of the Church and her doctrine.  Excommunication has to serve a function. That function is not just retribution.  The Church doesn't apply penalties as retribution.  They are remedies.   Excommunication also states to the Catholic faithful that what the person did is a grave offense against the unity of the Church, that it is not Catholic.  The Church doesn't excommunicate people just because they are "bad people", as retribution.  I think this is where the people involved with that fake ordination business have gotten the argument wrong, even though there is a grain of truth in the suggestion that some abuser clerics should have been excommunicated.]

In a series of questions, the group also asked why the Vatican continued to ignore “the voice of the community,” citing surveys that regularly show a heavy majority of Catholics would approve of women priests.  [Because majority rule should guide us?]

“Why do you continue to deny the documented archaeological evidence  [This is just DaVinci Code fluff not to be taken seriously.] that supports the spiritual leadership of women as deaconesses, priests and bishops for the first 1200 years of church history?” the group asked.

One of the most high profile clerics to weigh in on the Vatican discipline is Jesuit Fr. James Martin, an author and frequent contributor to America magazine, the weekly Jesuit publication. [He is high profile?  Why?  Because he writes for America.] In a Nov. 11 blog posting, Martin essentially explained the collision course that was inevitable when Bourgeois clearly violated church teaching by participating in the ordination, no matter that on another level, [watch this] he was following his conscience, an inviolable activity. Martin cites several of the powerful references to conscience in Vatican II documents and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, including the line from Gaudiem et Spes: “Conscience is man’s most secret core, and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths.”  [Well, that's fine.  But Bougeois is being censured because of his very public, very defiant, very scandalous heretical statements and his behavior.  We hope the excommunication will eventually prompt him to form his conscience according to the mind of the Church, rather than his own musings.]

Martin tacks a “reflection” to the end `of his entry in which he recounts that the excommunication warning was sent to Bourgeois in October, within three months of the ordination ceremony in August. “Would that the church had acted with equal swiftness against sexually abusive priests. Would that bishops who had moved abusive priests from parish to parish were met with th same severeity of justice[Again, excommunication is not retribution.  Furthermore, once the ball did get rolling on handling the abuser cleric cases, the Church did move quickly.  I know one case where a man was dismissed from the clerical state in lightening speed, unthinkable in the years before.]

“Were their offenses of lesser ‘gravity?’” he asked. “ Did they cause lesser ‘scandal?’”  [Well... they were different kinds of scandal, different categories.  Again, I am ready to concede that some of those clerics ought to have also been excommunicated.  At the same time I will point out that not all priests thinks women should be ordained are being warned about excommunication.  Furthermore, let's ask a practical question: Say Holy Church would have excommunicated, for example, Card. Law of Boston because of how he mishandled clerics.  Because excommunication is a remedy designed to promote repentance for a sin and harm done to the Church, he more than likely would have issued a public statement of sorrow immediately according to the demands of the decree.  In that case, the excommunication would have looked like a sham and the whole purpose of having censures would have been undermined.  I think they same would go for the larger number of cases of abuser clerics.  What would have been the outcome of the censure?  What purpose would it have served?  REMEMBER: excommunication is not for retribution.]

Many people spoke of writing to Pope Benedict XVI as well as Cardinal William Levada, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican agency that corresponded with Bourgeois.

One long missive that was sent to both the pope and NCR was from Charlotte Therese of Sweden. Near the end of the letter, she states:

[Okay, Charlotte is now going to set everyone straight....]  “I’ve studied all the arguments against women ordinations in detail and I’ve found that none of them is solid enough to build any teachings upon. It’s rather the opposite way — they all fall down like a pile of cards if they’re slightly touched. [Well... that's compelling!] I thus hope you will welcome and reopen theological discussions about this in the Vatican, through inviting theologians from all over the world who has (sic) studied the question at depth — both women and men — and both those who based on their studies are positive to change and those who aren’t, and they should all have the right to speak and vote.”  [Right. Because the Church has never really studied this before.]

A respondent on one blog who said he accepts “the stand of those in charge at this time[at this time] opposed the action against Bourgeois. “Instead of refuting Fr. Roy’s position, they silence his voice. What does this accomplish? Have those in charge not learned the lessons of history?”  [This makes one want to pound one's forehead on one's desk.]

Call to Action, the lay reform group that has long supported women’s ordination, was attempting to gather 2,000 signatures [Oooooo.....] on a petition supporting Bourgeois prior to this year’s demonstration at Ft. Benning, Ga.

Bourgeois was founder of the annual event, which attracts thousands and is referred to as SOA Watch after the School of the Americas, the former name of the school at the fort. It was changed in 2001 to the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. The protest began in 1990, a year after six Jesuits, their housekeeper and her daughter were assassinated in El Salvador by troops that had been trained at the SOA.

On Nov. 20, Bourgeois was preparing for the crowds that were beginning to arrive. Asked in a phone interview about reactions to his impending excommunication, he said he continues to receive calls of support, but said he had heard nothing further from the Vatican.

As for the SOA protest, Bourgeois said happily that he was finished with his organizational duties. He said he was in charge of arranging for portable potties and had just met the crew that delivered them. “I’m finished for the weekend. My work is done. And it’s one of the most important jobs here,” he joked.  [He probably better not quit this day job... now that he has another.]

It is all so sad.

We see the public wreck of a clerical career.  It’s an ugly thing to watch an autopsy, but sometimes it must be done.  We have to keep cutting up these cadaverous articles for the sake of showing people what caused death.

We also see the NCRep‘s sriral around the bowl.  It could do so much good.  In publishing articles like this, it undermines any good it might do otherwise.  Very sad.

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77 Responses to More from dissident NCRep on Bougeois’s excommunication

  1. magdalen says:

    There is a campus parish in Colorado where there is a petition circulating in favor of this renegade and scandalous priest. I know complaints have gone to the pastor but I do not know what has been done. But in this parish that uses bread chumks for communion and has no kneelers, I have no great expectation. The pastor is also disinclined to speak of abortion as well for , as he told one parishioner, perhaps 40% of the women have had one and he would not want to offend them. (leaving them in sin without reconciliation is somehow preferred?)

  2. Most Excellent Sledgehammer says:

    One must wonder…even though the “principle celebrant” in the pictures is clearly invalid, Father Bougeois is concelebrating and is a validly ordained priest. Would that make transubstantiation occur?

  3. Tim Ferguson says:

    These people are so intolerant! Why aren’t they recognizing that the Vatican officials who are seeking to excommunicate Fr. Bourgeois might simply be doing so because they feel the Holy Spirit urging them to do so. Who are they to step on the feelings of those in the Church who want a little clarity? Who are they to impose their notions of right and wrong upon someone else who might see the truth through a different perspective?

    They are so intolerant.

    If I want to think of Fr. Bourgeois and others like him as material heretics and de facto schismatics, what gives them the right to try to impose their reality on my reality.

    I’ve looked at the issue of women’s ordination myself, and I feel that it’s all stuff and nonsense and that the debate has been concluded. Who are they to tell me I’m wrong?

    They are so intolerant.

  4. magdalen says:

    I know of a campus parish where there is a petition circulating in favor of this renegade and scandalous priest. I know complaints have gone to the pastor but I have not heard what has been done. But I have no great expectations in this parish that uses bread chunks for communion and has no kneelers. And this pastor told a parishioner that he will not speak of abortion because probably 40% of the women have had one and he does not want to offend them. (leaving them in their sin without reconciliation is somehow more preferential?)

  5. I would love to watch one of them duke it out with a REAL archeologist.

  6. Tomassus says:

    One newspaper report said that Fr. Bourgeois will be accompanied to Rome with some supporting priests and a bishop. Will they be the female “priests” and “bishop” with whom he con-celebrated Mass while they con-simulated it?

  7. The other David says:

    They certainly like to play the “tu quoque” argument here. No matter how negligent some bishops may have been in the abuse scandal, it in no way justifies tolerance of the “woman priest” ordinations. Pointing to one wrong does not justify another.

    Late or not, the Church acted on the abuse scandal. Swiftly or not, it is acting on the case of Fr. Bourgeois.

    As for the “archaeological” evidence, I assume they are talking about the much vaunted “Episcopa Theodora” inscription (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Episcopa_Theodora), which does not in any way prove Theodora was a female bishop. (Essentially an argument from silence, presuming that with nothing rebutting them, their point is proven)

    I’m guessing in the woman priest “seminaries” they don’t teach logic anymore

  8. Paule says:

    Thanks for the explanation on the real purpose of excommunication.
    I ask for prayers as I begin to apply for postulancy with the Nashville Dominicans.

  9. Mike D. says:

    I’ve had no respect for this man since I was a deputy sheriff, many years ago, in Columbus, Georgia and I got to see him being physically carried out of the jail by two US Marshals after being arrested during a protest at Fort Benning.

  10. mysticalrose says:

    Um . . . yeah . . . I’m just suffering sooooooo much because the mean men in Rome won’t let me be a priest. Wah!!! These people need to get over it and get a life. Is there anything more banal than an heretic?

  11. Howard says:

    Fr. Z said, “If priesthood is only about what people do, then it makes sense that we should chose people who are competent and available to do those tasks, regardless of their sex.”

    Actually, if the priesthood were only about “what people do”, I must have been wasting my time and money on the Church, and I would not care about whether a priest was a man or a woman any more than whether a rodeo clown was a man or a woman. In fact, I would have to be violently opposed the the whole institution of the priesthood as an expensive sham perpetrated on the gullible — like Madame Cleo, but worse.

    So which will it be? If it’s only a human activity, then it’s worthless at best but practically evil, and the women who want to be ordained feel it is their right to rake in a share of the fraud.

    But if the priesthood is something which comes from God, which is the only circumstance which could justify its existence — then it is at least partly beyond the control of mere creatures.

    I never understand this about dissidents: in order to try to seize what they see as a prize, they are willing to destroy the very attraction of the prize. (Think of the priest who wants us to take him seriously, but not the hierarchy — as though he had any claim to our attention other than being the most proximate representative of the hierarchy!)

  12. Matthew says:

    If I can overrule any teaching of the Church just because my ‘conscience’ disagrees with it, that way anarchy lies… Presumably if my conscience would require me to commit murder, that would be OK too…

  13. chironomo says:

    Over the years, I have become so tired of repeating the same mantra over and over again, applicable to so many situations like this.

    If, as these people claim, there are SO MANY and SUCH EXTENSIVE problems with the Catholic Church…. why not round up that “majority of Catholics” who support your position, have your own “Bishop” ordain enough “priests” to serve at all of your new “churches” and, as has been so succinctly stated in what could become their anthem, “Sing A New Church”.

    I’m absolutely serious… the fact that they don’t go off and form a new church makes it clear that this is a political agenda, not a matter of their personal “conscience”. Real Catholics who actually believe that women should be priests follow their conscience and become Episcopalians and worship with women priests. It is ludicrous to feel that you have a “calling to be a Priest” that is so strong that you MUST undermine the church to answer it. Just ludicrous.

  14. Brandon says:

    Sledgehammer – That’s a really interesting question and I wonder if Fr. Z or really anyone more knowledgeable could respond to that…

    I know a priest who was traveling and attended, in the congregation, a daily Mass as he was driving cross country… The priest *saying* the Mass apparently was playing with the words of institution, and apparently didn’t say them, so my friend, the priest, from the congregation, extended his hands and said the words of consecration, in the hope that it would have efficacy.

    After speaking to a liturgist/sacramental theologian and a canon lawyer, it was decided that it was most likely validated by Father-Visitor.

    Wouldn’t it be frightening if this woman actually “succeeded” in “presiding” over a “Mass” in which a valid Eucharist was confected, even through no fault of her own?

  15. Jason Keener says:

    This article underscores the deep problem of relativism and the weak reasoning skills of many people, Catholics certainly included.

    The Church needs to again fully promote a perennial philosophy based on metaphysical realism. This perennial philosophy (based on Aristotle, Aquinas, et al.) teaches that man can come to know the truth about many things. Perennial philosophy also upholds the reasonableness of Divine Revelation.

    The truth or falsity of the Church’s teaching on women’s ordination does NOT depend on how Fr. Roy FEELS about it. The truth or falsity of the Church’s teaching on women’s ordination does NOT depend on whether or not people think it is a “fair” teaching. (You can cry all you want about 2+2 equaling 4, but nothing will change it.)

    On the other hand, the truth about the Church’s teaching on women’s ordination DOES depend on the OBJECTIVE REALITY of Who revealed the teaching (i.e., GOD), what the priesthood is, and how it has been exercised throughout the Church’s history.

    We should be soft-hearted, but not soft-headed.

    St. Thomas Aquinas, ora pro nobis.

  16. Bob Glassmeyer says:

    Some time back I read a lovely article about a man who was preparing to make his solemn profession in his religious community, and he made an excellent point. He said, “It’s not about me. God is doing the work now.”

    I was in the seminary some years back, and it’s an experience I’ll never forget, I’m profoundly grateful for it, and I will never forget the people with whom I lived and shared my life. It was a struggle to leave, and it was much, much harder than it was to enter. For years after I struggled with whether or not to go back.

    One day, a seminarian I knew said something that not only scared the hell out of me, but helped me get the bigger picture. He said, “Bob, I get the idea that sometimes you wanted to be a priest whether God wanted you to be a priest or not.”

    Bingo.

    There are worse things than to want to be a priest if one does not have a vocation. But it’s not about MY needs, MY rights, and it doesn’t start with ME. It’s a call from God, or it is not. Similarly, not only are arrogance, pride and megalomania dangerous, but so is false humility, this, “Oh, I’m such a rotten sinner God would never have me.” That, too, slaps God in His Face.

    I’m bothered by many movements for women’s ordination – not because I have a problem with women, but because it’s turned into a women’s rights issue, or a human rights issue. Once I saw a slogan that said, “Ordain women or stop baptizing them.”

    Give me a frigging break. It’s not about YOU, sister.

    And it wasn’t about ME when I tried it. And don’t give me the “at least you got to go to the seminary because you have a penis” argument either. I went though absolute HELL at times struggling with my vocation, wondering if I’d failed God, and failed as a human being, wondering what had come of my faith and my life. It was, and is, at times, a tremendous burden. So, sister, if you’d like to get off your “give me my rights” high horse and help me carry this burden, I’d be grateful. And if you’d like the opportunity to go through the difficulties I went through in seminary, BE MY GUEST!

  17. Memphis Aggie says:

    What I wonder is where’s the struggle with conscience when it comes to vows of obedience? Vows made before God that one would expect would make a faithful man at least reconsider. No evidence of self doubt or internal struggle from the Father though.

  18. David says:

    Father, could you please comment on Sledgehammer’s question above? I’m very curious about this.

    To quote the question:
    One must wonder…even though the “principle celebrant” in the pictures is clearly invalid, Father Bougeois is concelebrating and is a validly ordained priest. Would that make transubstantiation occur?

  19. GOR says:

    Well done, Father – highlighting Truth versus falsehood, Faith versus feelings and a right-ordered conscience versus “Well that’s what I think”.

    What these people fail to realize is that dissent is not new in the Church. The dissent and the dissenters will pass away – as their predecessors have – but the Church will remain until the End of Time.

  20. Typical bourgeois drivel about conscience…(pun intended).
    But, why can’t people admit they are no longer Catholic?
    Dare I say, Satan tried to attack the Church by getting people to separate from it in the 1500′s.
    Now as the branches of Protestantism wither, he tries the tactic of attacking from within. So, conscience is used to justify all heresy and yet heretics claim to be Catholics in good standing.
    Satan will not win, but how long must the Church endure this. When will the shepherds unite in opposing that wolf?

  21. Joe says:

    this business about conscience is right on the money. But they leave out the important next part, which is that a) conscience doesn’t make your opinion correct, and b) nothing is stopping you from leaving (if, as it seems, salvation is not enough inducement to stay and be corrected)

  22. Brian says:

    The group asked, “Why do you continue to deny the documented archaeological evidence that supports the spiritual leadership of women as deaconesses, priests and bishops for the first 1200 years of church history?”

    The first 1200 years?

    Do these people actually believe that the Son of God committed a grave injustice in chosing twelve male apostles? Or do they believe that our incarnate Lord, the omniscient Creator of the universe, including man and woman, was too much a culturally bound man of his times to understand their more sophisticated, enlightened perspective?

    How then did it happen that the disciples from the first years of Church history were able to correct Jesus supposed culture-bound mistake? Did his first century disciples discover this grave injustice through their more sensitive consciences?

    But then this group says, “Jesus . . . called everyone into the circle as equals.”

    These folks are so deep that I cannot begin to fathom their profound reasoning.

  23. As for the SOA protest, Bourgeois said happily that he was finished with his organizational duties.

    So, “SOA” is an abbreviation for “sh*t outta avocation” perhaps?

  24. Michael says:

    Father Z.
    I wonder if it would be better to ignore these events in the future. You are giving them publicity, and this is exactly what they are after.

  25. Andrew says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you Father. Excommunication is a medicinal remedy for the soul. If those upon whom it is imposed feel it is a punishment then they clearly do not want to come back. Again, why do so many people want to continue to claim the mantle of Catholic without attempting to practice it?

    Other points:
    Martin cites several of the powerful references to conscience in Vatican II documents and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, including the line from Gaudiem et Spes.
    Why do so many people think that the world began with Vatican II? The Council Fathers built on the teachings of the faith. They didn’t override what went before.

    In a series of questions, the group also asked why the Vatican continued to ignore “the voice of the community,” citing surveys that regularly show a heavy majority of Catholics would approve of women priests. [Because majority rule should guide us?]
    I’m reminded of a powerful story in “Don Camillo”. Don Camillo says to Christ something about how everyone in the village wants something and Christ replies, “But Don Camillo, popular opinion nailed me to the Cross.”

  26. Fr Fenton says:

    Well, I could be wrong, but sadly, I think there was transubstantiation. If he did what is necessary for valid concelebration — that is, if he prayed the epiclesis, institution, and anemnesis. Fortunately, many priests of that era don’t really know how to concelebrate validly! Perhaps also the matter for the Sacrament of the Eucharist was as absent as the matter for the Sacrament of Orders! God knows what homemade stuff was attempted to be consecrated.

    Would someone say there is a defect of intention because he clearly understands the Eucharist differently than the Church? We know he understands Orders differently. This would be interesting for more skilled canonists and theologians to discuss.

  27. Thomas says:

    Not 5 minutes after reading this post, my sister called and I asked what she was doing sunday. She said she was going to see a documentary at church. Her “parish” is the Paulist Center in Boston. I went to their website and saw the documentary is on the School of the Americas and is by/about <> Fr. Roy Bougeois.

    Please say a prayer for her.

  28. Clinton says:

    I’m amused by the coven of “priestesses” that asked why the Vatican ignored their surveys showing a majority of American Catholics
    supporting ordination of women. Don’t they see how parochial their question is? They assume that the opinions of a portion of the
    faithful here in America should dictate doctrine for the Church Universal. I daresay that if these harpeys would deign to consult the
    third world faithful ( for whom they plead such commitment ) they’d find precious little support.

  29. Peregrinus says:

    Yes, conscience is so sacred that it should not be violated. Thus if the unfortunate priest really believes that the Catholic Church is wrong on her infallible doctrine that God does not call women to the ministerial priesthood, he should, following the dictate of his conscience, leave the Church. To do otherwise would be to do violence to his own conscience, and make him live as a liar and a fraud.

    Since he insists to do violence to his own conscience, the Church, in great charity and respect for his conscience, excommunicates him. This is such simple logic.

  30. How can a woman be a father? Is it \”I think therefore I am?\” kind of nonsense?

  31. CarpeNoctem says:

    While also welcoming the opportunity to be corrected on this, I, too, think that a valid consecration could have taken place presuming, as Fr. Fenton mentioned, they were using correct matter (stuff) and form (words for consecration) and that this priest, indeed, does know how to properly concelebrate and did so. Even sinners, schismatics, and excommunicates can consecrate validly.

    Obviously, the priest’s actions would be most grave matter for mortal sin and a violation of a bunch of canons in law. Further, the women in this situation would be nothing more than altar girls dressed in chasubles participating in the grave evil of simulation, among other things. May God have mercy on these folks.

  32. tertullian says:

    Why has there been no discipline of this renegade by the Maryknoll Society?

  33. Richard says:

    One datum which tells you a lot:

    Average age of National Catholic Reporter reader: 68.

    In general, people my age and younger do not make up the NCR audience. Those who do are interested in our coverage of justice and peace, and not necessarily in issues of the institutional church. Let me share with you a little more about NCR readers, which I suspect will surprise many of you. 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.

    http://ncronline.org/NCR_Online/archives2/2007c/072007/072007b.htm

  34. Martin says:

    “Average age of National Catholic Reporter reader: 68.”

    Again, the wisdom of the Church proven. In a decade the magazine readership will be halved. In two it will be a distant memory.

    Maybe sooner.

  35. Concerned says:

    At least their vestments are getting better. Nobody looks like they knit their own stole in this picture.

  36. Dear Fr. Z and All,

    There’s one thing I often think of as I’m surfing around on the net:

    Isn’t there just a lovely atmosphere in the Christian/Catholic blogosphere…? ;-)

    Can’t we disagree on a few things and still try to be respectful? We share so much more through our faith than the tiny things we disagree on after all…

    If you’d like to read my whole letter to the Pope, it can be found in my blog, here:

    http://katolskakyrkan.blogspot.com/2008/11/open-letter-to-pope-about-women.html

    Feel free to comment it!

    Blessings,

    Charlotte Thérèse

  37. Dave in MN says:

    Charlotte,
    Given the wording of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis (“Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance”)
    how can you say that this is a “tiny” thing? Maybe you need to reread Lumen Gentium #25 about submission to the Vicar of Christ.

  38. Damian says:

    There is such a thing as THE ANTI CHurch inside of THE CHURCH.

    MIchael Voris of Real Catholic TV blasts almost on a daily basis about it.
    Every one should check him out. As well as Airmaria.

  39. michigancatholic says:

    This is not the “public wreck of a vocation.” His vocation, if he ever had one, was wrecked long ago. This is just the paperwork. Let the guy go. We owe him nothing he will not take up for himself.

    Make sure he doesn’t get a pension from the church while he spreads lies. He can support himself–big boy like that–and we can’t afford it anymore and we shouldn’t have to.

  40. Gramps says:

    Why is excommunication done for this, but not for politicians who support abortion and keep it legal by their actions. In the last election, we were asked to consider proportionality in our vote. Lets see, a priest who dables with nutty women who think they are priests or 50 million dead babies. Which needs to be taken to Rome and excommunicated?? Stupid priest or those who bring us judges and actions which kill babies? I say to excommunicate them all, but am offended when only the priest is acted upon. But I guess this women priest thing is more important to the heirarchy of the church as it might impact power.

  41. Dave and All,

    I’ve of course read Lumen Gentium…

    There’s also (among many other good things), said that those who are ordained should listen to “the wise advice” from lay people…

    I’ll say a few words about what seems to be the root of the whole thing, and which is why I call it a tiny issue (although it has a great impact on my life personally, as I’ve had to try to find other ways to follow God’s call during 22 years now, which hasn’t been, and still isn’t easy, as there’s no other Church ministry open to women that is similar to it).

    The thing is that it’s not logical to call this an issue of faith while it rather correponds to other matters of order, for example: celibacy or marriage for priests, and who may marry whom, and who may be a ministrant, catechist, lector, or distribute the Eucharist.

    I wrote about it in more detail in my blog, but it’s in Swedish, so I’ll try to make a summary.

    There are three categories of things:

    1) Matters of faith – that is the Creed, the very essence of our faith as Christians/Catholics, what God has revealed to us, and which has been discerned and decided about at the ecumenical Councils. It won’t change.

    2) Church teachings based on interpretations of what Jesus said and did, dogmas (clearly ex cathedra), the existence of the sacraments, etc. These questions have been adjusted over time, and some are still in that process of development. They’re hard to change once they’re cut in stone so to say, but not impossible if necessary.

    3) Questions of order/practice (see examples above). These things may be changed more easily, as it has to do with which solutions that are most practical, both globally and locally (it may vary because of cultural reasons).

    What happened with the issue of women ministries is that a practice (evident in the early Church), later became forbidden (because of a society where women weren’t seen fully as human beings), and then the development of teachings against it started to take shape, and arguments based on what Jesus DIDN’T say or do were born… There’s also a whole lot of anachronistic thinking involved in this by now. Things have become over-interpreted.

    Just one example: “Jesus chose 12 men as apostles”.

    Well, yes, he did… And it was because they should symbolize the twelve tribes of Israel – to show that this is a new Covenant, based on the old one. They were apostles, not priests, as priests are a later invention of a ministry within the Church (later than bishops and deacons).

    If you say that priests are the successors of the twelve apostles, why isn’t it important that they’re Jews, wear the same kind of clothes that the apostles may have had, are circumcised, and only twelve around the world, etc, etc? No matter how one interprets it – the most important thing just can’t be that they happened to be men (which was most natural as a symbol at this occasion as the tribe fathers of Israel are men)…

    Nothing points to the necessity of men doing what priests of today are doing. And allowing only men to serve as such gives the Church an imbalance that God can’t have intended.

    There were also many women followers of Jesus as you know, some even called apostles (by St. Paul). And the apostles of these days weren’t sitting in Church buildings waiting for people to come to them – they were missionaries, they were evangelizing the world. Not many priests are following in their steps. They’ve rather become like house mothers (stay-at-home-moms), taking care of the children… While lay people are the true followers of the apostles, being everywhere in the world, giving a witness through their lives…

    I’ll end this post before it becomes a novel, didn’t intend to write at length. But it was just to give a glimpse of the fact that things aren’t as fixed and definite as some may think.

    Also, and perhaps most important here: if a question (which is not about the essence of our faith) isn’t agreed upon among a majority of the faithful, it should be up for new discussion and discernment, as no Pope then can decide about it alone (especially not against the conviction of the faithful). And this question clearly fits in that cathegory.

  42. Dave in MN says:

    Charlotte,
    everything you say is mere rationalizing. You are making arguments against the particular reasons cited in the document, but ignoring LG’s overall command to submit to the Holy Father even when he is not speaking ex cathedra.

    No pope can decide it against the “conviction of the faithful?”

    In essence, you are saying that the pope’s governing power is conditional upon the faithful accepting it. This is in opposition to the Church’s teaching that the pope possesses full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered (CCC 882 citing LG 22)

  43. I’ve read somewhere (unfortunately don’t know where at the moment), that a Pope can’t make such decisions on his own. And that decisions are seen as infallible only when they’re in line with the consensus of the sensus fidelium.

    Besides – do you think that Popes in general would wish to be regarded as good shepherds or as dictators…?

    I think and hope they’d chose the first of the alternatives… That’s at least how I look at the Pope. I hope he has read my letter, and will answer…

  44. Themako says:

    Here is the flaw in the ointment of your male only priesthood argument.

    Unless only women are the Churh, the nuptial mystery of eucharist defeats the argument that priests must be male.

    Priests must literally be a male because Jesus was the Bridegroom.

    If priests must literally be male, then what you end up with is gay marriage happening during the celebration of the eucharist.

    Why? It is no problem if men stand in for the Bride. Women are not required.

    Everytime the eucharist is celebrated in a male only mass, gay marriage is being celebrated. Male priest and men standing in for the Bride = gay marriage.

    I thought you guys were against this stuff.

  45. Themako says:

    >>I’ve read somewhere (unfortunately don’t know where at the moment), that a Pope can’t make such decisions on his own. And that decisions are seen as infallible only when they’re in line with the consensus of the sensus fidelium.<<

    You are almost right Charlotte.

    There are three modes of infallibility.

    a) ex cathedra: This one belongs to the Pope alone and is his because of office. It is rarely used: for good reason.

    b) by solemn declaration of a valid ecumenical council: eg Vatican II

    c) by teaching of the universal and ordinary magisterium: this mode of infallibility includes the world council of bishops and the sensus fidelium.

    Over and beyond the specific rules that define each of these three modes of infallibility, Canon Law also outlines additional rules about it.

    For instance:

    749(3): No doctrine is understood to be infallibly defined unless it is clearly established as such.

    There are so many loopholes and question marks about the prohibition against women priests — loop holes and question marks admitted by the Vatican itself — that it is impossible to say the teaching against women priests is infallible.

    That’s reality!

  46. Themako says:

    >>No pope can decide it against the “conviction of the faithful?”

    In essence, you are saying that the pope’s governing power is conditional upon the faithful accepting it. This is in opposition to the Church’s teaching that the pope possesses full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered (CCC 882 citing LG 22)<<

    Dave,

    The Pope does not speak infallibibly every time he utters a word.

    He can only speak infallibily according to the rules that are set down in Canon Law.

    If you think those rules are wrong, I am interested in hearing why you think that is so.

    Themako

  47. Dave in MN says:

    themako, read Lumen Gentium 25 about submitting to the pope even when he is not speaking infallibly

  48. Charlotte, there is no evidence from any period that ordination of women to the presbyterate and episcopacy ever occurred. Yes, there were deaconesses, but even these were not liturgical roles, but more like subdeacons, with fairly mundane functions,not involved in the celebration of the mysteries.

    The practice and tradition of the Church (East and West and in between) have never admitted women to either the priesthood/presbyterate or the episcopacy. This is fact. It will not change, because this is a part of the Apostolic Deposit of Faith, which cannot be changed. All this sophistry to try to reason a way for it to be permissible is contrary to the Church’s practice and direct teaching, and dangerous for one’s soul. If some ladies feel an uncontrollable compulsion and simply must be ordained, they have any number of Protestant churches in which this is permitted and celebrated. Women, however, cannot be Catholic priests or Orthodox priests. Nor can they be bishops. That will never change.

  49. Jordanes says:

    Charlotte said: If you say that priests are the successors of the twelve
    apostles, why isn’t it important that they’re Jews,

    But it IS important that all priests be Jews, that is, members of the renewed Israel of God, sons of the heavenly Jerusalem, the mother of us all. As St. Paul said, he is a Jew who is one inwardly, whose circumcision is of the heart rather than the flesh, whose praise is of God. Only baptised Catholics, spiritual “Jews,” can be priests.

    wear the same kind of clothes that the apostles may have had,

    It is also necessary that priests be clothed in the same spiritual clothing as the apostles.

    are circumcised,

    Priests must be spiritually circumcised, i.e. baptised.

    and only twelve around the world

    Priests must belong to the renewed Twelves Tribes of Israel (i.e. the Catholic Church) whose patriarchs the apostles are.

    No matter how one interprets it – the most important thing just can’t be that they happened to be men (which was most natural as a symbol at this occasion as the tribe fathers of Israel are men).

    Straw man. Nobody is saying that is the most important thing, only that it is a necessary thing because Jesus said so.

    Nothing points to the necessity of men doing what priests of today are doing.

    Only men can exercise paternity. Women cannot. Priesthood in the Church requires spiritual paternity in the person of Christ, the Everlasting Father of Isaiah’s prophecy.

    And allowing only men to serve as such gives the Church an imbalance that God can’t have intended.

    It is impossible and completely absurd that the Almighty and Allwise God would let His Church be so sinfully imbalanced for her entire history and only now be set right. Anyone who would believe that doesn’t really believe the Church belongs to God in the first place, or doesn’t believe in the God who is worshipped by the Church.

    There were also many women followers of Jesus as you know

    But not a single presbyter or bishop among them.

    some even called apostles (by St. Paul).

    Nope, not a single one of them was ever called an apostle, not by St. Paul or anyone else. There is one example where a woman is said to have a good reputation among the apostles, but just because the apostles thought highly of her doesn’t mean she was an apostle too.

    The closest we come is the traditional title “apostle to the apostles” that is metaphorically applied to St. Mary Magdalene.

  50. RBrown says:

    There are so many loopholes and question marks about the prohibition against women priests—loop holes and question marks admitted by the Vatican itself—that it is impossible to say the teaching against women priests is infallible.
    That’s reality!
    Comment by Themako

    What are these so-called loopholes?

  51. RBrown says:

    Here is the flaw in the ointment of your male only priesthood argument.
    Unless only women are the Churh, the nuptial mystery of eucharist defeats the argument that priests must be male.
    Priests must literally be a male because Jesus was the Bridegroom.
    If priests must literally be male, then what you end up with is gay marriage happening during the celebration of the eucharist.
    Why? It is no problem if men stand in for the Bride. Women are not required.
    Everytime the eucharist is celebrated in a male only mass, gay marriage is being celebrated. Male priest and men standing in for the Bride = gay marriage.
    I thought you guys were against this stuff.
    Comment by Themako

    Christ The High Priest is the Bridegroom. When the priest celebrates mass, he acts in persona Christi, standing in for the Bridegroom. That is why, using your own argument, the priesthood is limited to men.

  52. RBrown says:

    Well, yes, he did… And it was because they should symbolize the twelve tribes of Israel – to show that this is a new Covenant, based on the old one. They were apostles, not priests, as priests are a later invention of a ministry within the Church (later than bishops and deacons).

    Disagree. The Letter of James refers to presbyters anointing. In the OT anointing was always a priestly function.

    Nothing points to the necessity of men doing what priests of today are doing. And allowing only men to serve as such gives the Chrch an imbalance that God can’t have intended.

    So you deny the authority of the Church in limiting the priesthood to men, yet you insist you know the mind of God.

    And so you affirm your own infallibility while at the same time denying the infallibility of the Church.

    There were also many women followers of Jesus as you know, some even called apostles (by St. Paul). And the apostles of these days weren’t sitting in Church buildings waiting for people to come to them – they were missionaries, they were evangelizing the world. Not many priests are following in their steps. They’ve rather become like house mothers (stay-at-home-moms), taking care of the children… While lay people are the true followers of the apostles, being everywhere in the world, giving a witness through their lives…

    I’ll end this post before it becomes a novel, didn’t intend to write at length. But it was just to give a glimpse of the fact that things aren’t as fixed and definite as some may think.

    Nor as fluid as you seem to imagine.

    Also, and perhaps most important here: if a question (which is not about the essence of our faith) isn’t agreed upon among a majority of the faithful, it should be up for new discussion and discernment, as no Pope then can decide about it alone (especially not against the conviction of the faithful).
    And this question clearly fits in that cathegory.
    Comment by Charlotte Therese

    You are assuming too much, imagining that that a majority of the faithful think the question of women’s ordination should still be open. That is wildly incorrect.

    There are about 75 million Catholics in the US. A worst case scenario would be 30 million favoring women’s ordination (my experience is that it might be 5%–about 3 million).

    There are 130 million Catholics in Africa. How many of those do you think favor women’s ordination? Answer. Zip.

  53. Jordanes says:

    Themako said: 749(3): No doctrine is understood to be infallibly defined unless it is clearly established as such.

    And according to the Church, the doctrine that only men are valid matter for the sacrament of Holy Orders is infallibly defined.

    There are so many loopholes and question marks about the prohibition against women priests—loop holes and question marks admitted by the Vatican itself—that it is impossible to say the teaching against women priests is infallible.

    You’re imagining things. The Vatican admits no such loopholes and question marks, but unequivocally says male-only priesthood is definitively infallible in the universal ordinary magisterium.

    http://www.ourladyswarriors.org/teach/ordisace2.htm

    http://www.ourladyswarriors.org/teach/ordisace3.htm

    Charlotte said: decisions are seen as infallible only when they’re in line with the consensus of the sensus fidelium.

    Wrong. The sensus fidelium is only one organ of infallibility, and that the least clear and dependable one. Also, it is the sensus fidelium, not the sensus infidelium. If we’re talking about the opinions of millions of Catholics who go to Mass only infrequently and to confession hardly ever, we can’t very wisely conclude that we’re talking about an infallible doctrine.

  54. Jordanes says:

    Charlotte said: They were apostles, not priests, as priests are a later invention of a ministry within the Church

    If the apostles weren’t priests, how could they have obeyed Christ’s commandment, “Do this in memory of Me”? The Greek verb for “do” is the Septuagint’s verb for “offer a sacrifice,” something only priests can do. The Church as ALWAYS understood that when Jesus told the apostles, “Do this in memory of Me,” He constituted them as priests. What reason do you have to contradict what the Church says?

  55. Michael says:

    FR. FENTON
    “Well, I could be wrong, but sadly, I think there was transubstantiation”

    I don’t think so. There was an externally evident lack of “intention of doing what the Church does”. What the Church does is in the rubrics of the Missal.

    If a priest goes through the rite prescribed by the Church this intention is presumed, unless he internally (say: he says to himself: you stupid lot in the church, I am not doing what you think I do, but want your money) or externally (say: this is not to be a consecration but I am doing it for a video to be used for teaching) intends to the contrary. But what we have here evidently is the rite not prescribed by the Church but a total caricature of it, evidently performed to defy the authority of the Church.

  56. RBrown says:

    If the apostles weren’t priests, how could they have obeyed Christ’s commandment, “Do this in memory of Me”? The Greek verb for “do” is the Septuagint’s verb for “offer a sacrifice,” something only priests can do. The Church as ALWAYS understood that when Jesus told the apostles, “Do this in memory of Me,” He constituted them as priests. What reason do you have to contradict what the Church says?
    Comment by Jordanes

    Actually, “to do” is found in the English word “Sacrifice”, which comes from the Latin “Sacrum-facere”–to do or make a sacred thing.

  57. RBrown says:

    FR. FENTON
    “Well, I could be wrong, but sadly, I think there was transubstantiation”
    I don’t think so. There was an externally evident lack of “intention of doing what the Church does”. What the Church does is in the rubrics of the Missal.

    Intention is not a matter of the rubrics.

    If a priest goes through the rite prescribed by the Church this intention is presumed, unless he internally (say: he says to himself: you stupid lot in the church, I am not doing what you think I do, but want your money) or externally (say: this is not to be a consecration but I am doing it for a video to be used for teaching) intends to the contrary.

    By definition, intention is interior.

    But what we have here evidently is the rite not prescribed by the Church but a total caricature of it, evidently performed to defy the authority of the Church.
    Comment by Michael

    I don’t know enough about what went on to say whether or not it was a valid mass, but there would have to be stronger evidence of its invalidity.

    Obviously, the attempted ordination of the woman was not valid, so no species could be transubstantiated by her. But there might be a question because Fr Bourgeois was not the main celebrant.

    One other point: The fact that some believe women can be ordained does not mean that they do not believe in the priesthood (although they might not believe it). That is why Ordinatio Sacerdotalis is said to pertain to secondary objects of Infallibility.

  58. Michael says:

    The promoters of the “women – priests” are not and cannot be Catholics, even if they are somewhere on record in Catholic parishes, because they do not really believe the sacramental doctrine, nor do they believe in the Church’s infallibility.

    Surely, if they do believe in Transubstantiation, and if they believe that the Eucharist, and sacraments in general, are essential for salvation, they should be intelligent enough to see that the validity of sacraments, if they understand the concept of validity and believe it, is not a matter of guess, something to tamper with, or of “human right” to be fought for, but something we must be absolutely sure about.

    A pope is conceivable who comes to the idea of “ordaining” a woman. Supposing he goes with a perfect precision through the rite of ordination. How can we be sure of that woman really becoming a priest, with the powers only the priest has: to administer the sacraments of Reconciliation, Anointing of Sick, Confirmation (in some circumstances, and in Eastern Rites) and to offer the Mass?

    In the present example can anyone be sure, not merely think but be sure, that the Transubstantiation, has taken place? That the wafers and wine have changed into the Body and Blood of Christ, instead of remaining what they were before the “consecration”. If that “celebrating” woman believes in Transubstantiation how she herself can be sure that it has taken place? Not a matter of opinion but of being absolutely sure to the point of eternal consequences for all involved, if they believe in eternal consequences at all.

    Is that “mass” really be Christ’s Self-Sacrifice if she believes that the Mass is Christ’s Self-Sacrifice offered to God in praise, thanksgiving instead of being an offence; and for a forgiveness of our sins and of those who passed away, if she believes there is such thing as the forgiveness of sins; and other necessities, if she believes that the Sacrifice has that power?

    Would the penitents really be absolved from sins, would the sick really be taken into the care of the Church and helped to offer their sufferings in solidarity with the sufferings of Christ, would the “confirmation” really give strength to the candidates to stand for the Faith. Would those who wish to contract Marriage, really contract the Marriage if witnessed by that woman?

    The question of “women-priests” comes under the sacramental doctrine, which is overwhelmingly worked out on the basis of the worship of the Church as it has been handed on from the beginning. There is no other way of determining what can or cannot be done except by looking into the sacramental practice throughout the history. This sacramental practice is as normative as the Scripture. There is nothing on record suggesting that the women were ever ordained; even if there were isolated cases it would be impossible to prove that such “ordinations” were valid. And there is nothing in the NT about it.

    It is not possible for all sacraments to be received by everybody; it is not a political matter of “equality.” Those who are baptized, confirmed, or ordained cannot be baptized, confirmed, or ordained again. The healthy persons cannot receive the Anointed of Sick, sinless persons – only Our Lady in fact – cannot receive the sacrament of Reconciliation. Those who are not baptized cannot receive any sacrament other than Baptism. Women cannot receive the Holy Orders. Two homosexual partners cannot receive the sacrament of Matrimony. This is how the Church has received the sacraments and she has no power over their substance.

    The Magisterium has considered this issue during the pontificate of Paul VI. The answer was that the Church has no authority to confer the sacrament of Order to women. There is nobody who can give her this authority today. It is not the matter of speculation, but of the sacraments the Church has received. Can she replace the oil with a cod liver oil, bread and wine with baked potatoes and coca-cola true, water with some other fluid material?

    Who can give that authority but Christ, and there is no evidence that he gave it. And it is Christ himself who is the Primary Minister of all sacraments. Who can guarantee that He would be so if a pope carries the rite that is externally the same as ordination, but of a woman who submits herself to the rite?

  59. Dear All,

    I’ve just read through all your latest postings, and although I’d like to answer to everything, time makes me have to limit the answers a bit. Feel free to ask again if I miss something that you really want an answer to.

    Themako, thanks for the infallibility reference!

    Kevin,

    >Charlotte, there is no evidence from any period that ordination of women to the presbyterate and episcopacy ever occurred. Yes, there were deaconesses, but even these were not liturgical roles, but more like subdeacons, with fairly mundane functions,not involved in the celebration of the mysteries.

    Well, there are quite a few things that point in the direction that there were women in all ministries. Archaeological findings, references in letters (by an angry bishop among others), and ordination rituals that shows that women deacons were ordained in the same way as men, and thus naturally had the same functions – some think that their ministry involved only women, while male deacons ministered to men (preparing them for baptisms for example).

    There are many theological books written about this by now, you’ll find them if you google.

    Jordanes,

    If what is important is at a spiritual level in all things (which I agree with you upon), then there’s no hindrance that also women spiritually represent Christ.

    Regarding paternity – only God is our Father. Jesus states that clearly…

    I think it was Junia (modern exegetes say that there’s no doubt that she’s a woman) who was called apostle, and also another woman who worked for St. Paul. Have to check that though as it was quite a long time since I read about it.

    RBrown,

    >Disagree. The Letter of James refers to presbyters anointing. In the OT anointing was always a priestly function.

    Can you give me the verse in James?

    The Church is infallible – and the Church consists not only of one person…

    And infallible doesn’t mean that every single thing gets right at once, and then never changes. If you look at Church history, you’ll see a lot of changes. That is because the Holy Spirit guides us further on all the time, to a greater understanding of God’s will…

    The numbers are interesting – but all surveys I’ve seen show that between 60-70 % of the Catholics (not just in the USA) are positive to women priests.

    Regading Africa – I think that if the priests could be married (which is the only way a priest can be really accepted in that culture), it wouldn’t take long before people saw that also women may serve (which they’d do to some point as wifes of priests, sharing in their ministry, as a beginning).

    I’d suggest a slow reintroduction of women in ministry around the world – starting where it’s most longed for, and culturally accepted, and then spreading.

    I’ll continue answering in a second posting, as the computer is acting strangely – don’t want the whole message to get lost.

  60. Continued…

    Jordanes,

    >If we’re talking about the opinions of millions of Catholics who go to Mass only infrequently and to confession hardly ever, we can’t very wisely conclude that we’re talking about an infallible doctrine.

    Well, as for myself, I’ve always been among the most active ones…

    So it’s not as easy as saying that those who want change hardly ever attends Church… (Although that would somehow be understandable too – if they’re unhappy, and perhaps met with hostility each time they attend Church, why should they keep coming?) There are lots of marginalized Catholics, who seem to get new hope through what is happening at the moment. How can we say that their joy over women now serving as priests (although illegally ordained) is wrong? Of course it would be better if it had been possible for the women to be accepted and ordained in the same way as men. But we’re not there yet as you know… Perhaps one day… That’s my hope.

    >If the apostles weren’t priests, how could they have obeyed Christ’s commandment, “Do this in memory of Me”?

    I’ve checked the original Greek both in Luke 22:19 and 1 Cor 11:24-25, and the word that is used there is the normal verb for “to do” (poieo), which is used about everything that should be done, and not in any special way here.

    I found an interesting note however, in a Catholic commentary to the grammar, saying that the memorial should rather be understood as: “do this that God may remember me”, which is what it meant in Palestinian language at that time.

    The Septuaginta is not very close to the original text, it’s already an interpretation – and at some points a very wild one (the Psalms for example)!

    Michael,

    Do you put your faith in human beings or in God?

    If God [it's ultimately the work of the Holy Spirit - right?] makes the sacraments valid – how can they become invalid because of the person who receives and distributes them? Not even a really bad priest (someone who is abusing children for example) is said to not celebrate validly.

    This (validity) is the kind of things that would have made the pharisees around Jesus worried. They were very concerned about the smallest details in the law. While Jesus often broke these laws to show that the law of God is greater, and requires a new way of seeing things…

    And the Holy Spirit may open also our eyes to see this…

    At times I wonder why so many in the Church seem to follow the example of the pharisees more than that of Jesus. He came to show us the truth and set us free, but his followers made new laws upon laws to be strictly followed…

    It’s the Church that has discerned and decided about the number of sacraments and how they should be used, and by and for whom. Thus the Church has the authority to change the practice if necessary.

    An example of inculturation in this sense that I’ve heard of is that rice has been used at Mass instead of bread, in cultures where rice has the same place as bread in ours.

    Do you really think that God who created women and men alike, and in a complementary way (which gets most clear when we serve together), would suddenly refuse the Church the grace of the sacraments if a woman ministers them in the same way as a man?

    I believe in a God who is much greater than that… And that God intended to give the Church this beautiful shared ministry, which has sadly been quenched and forbidden during history. Not by God, but by a few men… It’s about time to change it back to how it was in the beginning…

  61. RBrown says:

    The promoters of the “women – priests” are not and cannot be Catholics, even if they are somewhere on record in Catholic parishes, because they do not really believe the sacramental doctrine, nor do they believe in the Church’s infallibility.

    You have to distinguish between primary and secondary objects of infallibility. The Protestants deny the existence of the Ministerial Priesthood, which is a denial of the primary object.

    Those in favor women’s ordination don’t necessarily deny the existence of the ministerial priesthood (although it’s possible that they do deny it), but they do deny that it’s limited to men.

    Surely, if they do believe in Transubstantiation, and if they believe that the Eucharist, and sacraments in general, are essential for salvation, they should be intelligent enough to see that the validity of sacraments, if they understand the concept of validity and believe it, is not a matter of guess, something to tamper with, or of “human right” to be fought for, but something we must be absolutely sure about.

    All true, but that does not mean that Fr Bourgeois celebrated (or con-celebrated) an invalid mass.

    In the present example can anyone be sure, not merely think but be sure, that the Transubstantiation, has taken place? That the wafers and wine have changed into the Body and Blood of Christ, instead of remaining what they were before the “consecration”. If that “celebrating” woman believes in Transubstantiation how she herself can be sure that it has taken place? Not a matter of opinion but of being absolutely sure to the point of eternal consequences for all involved, if they believe in eternal consequences at all.

    It is certain that the woman is not a priest and any attempt by her to confect the species is invalid (which I said above). The question concerns Fr Bourgeois.

  62. Jordanes says:

    Charlotte said: If what is important is at a spiritual level in all things (which I agree with you upon), then there’s no hindrance that also women spiritually represent Christ.

    That doesn’t follow at all. The spirit does not destroy the flesh, it redeems and completes it. A woman can no more be ordained than Adam could have been drawn from the side of Eve. Maleness and femaleness are just dispensable appearances, after all.

    Regarding paternity – only God is our Father. Jesus states that clearly…

    Well, that’s the heretical Protestant interpretation of His words anyway. The apostles didn’t interpret them that way, though, as seen by the New Testament references to spiritual paternity.

    I think it was Junia (modern exegetes say that there’s no doubt that she’s a woman)

    Yes, that would be the current consensus, and it is supported by the testimony of most Church Fathers. But whether it is Junia, a woman, or Junias, a man, it makes no difference, because Rom. 16:7 doesn’t clearly call him or her an apostle. It says that he or she, along with Andronicus, “are of note among the apostles,” which doesn’t necessarily mean anything more than the apostles knew them well and thought very highly of them. St. Epiphanius in the fourth century records a tradition that “Iounias” (i.e. a man) “of whom Paul makes mention, became bishop of Apameia of Syria.” By St. John Chrysostom, contemporary of Epiphanius, had the “Iounia” reading in his text of Rom. 16:7, and refers to her clearly as a woman, saying, “How great the wisdom of this woman must have been that she was even deemed worthy of the title of apostle.” That is, although she and Andronicus were not apostles, their holiness and devotion were such that they were deemed worthy of the “title” of apostle (interpreting “of note among the apostles” to mean Andronicus and Junia were known as apostles, whether or not they actually were apostles, whereas the text doesn’t actually allow us to go that far). But even if Junia is described as an “apostle” in Rom. 16:7, that doesn’t prove she was consecrated and ordained the way the Twelve, Barnabas, and Paul were.

    also another woman who worked for St. Paul.

    No, there is no other woman who worked for St. Paul who could have been an apostle. Junia is the only candidate in the entire New Testament and all early Church history, and even she doesn’t establish that women were ever ordained as priests, just as St. Paul’s reference to St. Phoebe the deaconess does not prove that deaconesses in the early Church received the sacrament of Holy Orders.

    I’d suggest a slow reintroduction of women in ministry around the world.

    You can’t “reintroduce” female priests, because there have never been and never can be women priests. You may as well talk of reintroducing male mothers.

    How can we say that their joy over women now serving as priests (although illegally ordained) is wrong?

    Because it is wrong to rejoice when people commit sin.

    But we’re not there yet as you know…

    Nor will we ever get there. Rome has spoken. The case is closed.

    I’ve checked the original Greek both in Luke 22:19 and 1 Cor 11:24-25, and the word that is used there is the normal verb for “to do” (poieo)

    Yep. The same verb used in the Septuagint Pentateuch for “offer a sacrifice.” The Eucharist shows by signs that the Body and the Blood are separated: that is, we see, as it were, a bloody death being enacted. Sacrifice.

    I found an interesting note however, in a Catholic commentary to the grammar, saying that the memorial should rather be understood as: “do this that God may remember me”, which is what it meant in Palestinian language at that time.

    There was no “Palestinian language” in the first century. Palestine was not created by the Roman Emperor until the second century. Nor was there just one language spoken in the region later called Palestine: Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Latin were all spoken. Anyway, the commentary is correct that “anamnesis” is not about us remembering something, but about God remembering. That is, the Eucharist is a memorial sacrifice, one of the kind of sacrifices mentioned in the Old Testament, a sacrifice that entreats God to remember or be mindful of something important and then take appropriate action. The language of the Eucharist is the language of priestly sacrifice, so Christ constituted the apostles as priests, contrary to your earlier erroneous assertion.

    The Septuaginta is not very close to the original text, it’s already an interpretation – and at some points a very wild one (the Psalms for example)!

    I used to think the same thing before I found out differently. In point of fact, we don’t have “the original text” any more. Based on what we now know, it is no longer tenable to believe that the Septuagint is a bad translation or a wild translation — it’s a faithful translation of a different Old Testament manuscript tradition, one that is at least as old if not far older than the Masoretic and proto-Masoretic tradition (the so-called “original text”). Anyway on this question the Septuagint’s rendering is correct. The Church, immersed in the language and imagery of the Septuagint, natural took up Septuagintal language into her own scriptural experience.

  63. Michael says:

    CHARLOTTE
    We can’t make a phone call to the Holy Spirit to find out what He thinks. We know it through His Church which hands down to us the Message directly received from Christ.

    RBROWN
    You missed my first point, I think.
    Regarding Fr. Bourgeois, see further up my reply to Fr. Fenton

    I apologize to both of you, but I have to stop; will come back in a day or two.

  64. RBrown says:

    Disagree. The Letter of James refers to presbyters anointing. In the

    OT anointing was always a priestly function.

    Can you give me the verse in James?

    The 5th Chapter.

    The Church is infallible – and the Church consists not only of one
    person…

    Yes, but infallibility is given to the Church through the pope.

    BTW, the sensus fidelium would not apply to those favoring women’s “ordination” because in so far as they favor it, they are not being faithful: Their faith is not in Christ’s Church but rather in their own opinion.

    And infallible doesn’t mean that every single thing gets right at
    once, and then never changes. If you look at Church history, you’ll see a lot of changes. That is because the Holy Spirit guides us further on all the time, to a greater understanding of God’s will…

    What are some of the changes?

    1. Infallibility of doctrine means that such doctrine cannot be changed–it is true semper et ubique. Ordinatio Sacerdotalis employs the language of infallibility. It is infallibile.

    2. I think you’re confusing the Holy Spirit with the movements of History. The God of Revelation with the Hegel’s God of Progress.

    The numbers are interesting – but all surveys I’ve seen show that
    between 60-70 % of the Catholics (not just in the USA) are positive to women priests.

    I think you’re reading the wrong surveys.

    Regading Africa – I think that if the priests could be married (which is the only way a priest can be really accepted in that culture), it wouldn’t take long before people saw that also women may serve (which they’d do to some point as wifes of priests, sharing in their ministry, as a beginning).

    You’ve changed the subject, which was the impossibility of women being ordained to the priesthood. Now you introduce married priests, which is an entirely different matter.

    I’d suggest a slow reintroduction of women in ministry around the
    world – starting where it’s most longed for, and culturally accepted, and then spreading.

    I’ll continue answering in a second posting, as the computer is
    acting strangely – don’t want the whole message to get lost.
    Comment by Charlotte Therese — 2

    I am puzzled. This matter has been settled. It will not change. Why are you wasting your time–and mine–with these silly fantasies?

  65. RBrown says:

    You missed my first point, I think.
    Regarding Fr. Bourgeois, see further up my reply to Fr. Fenton
    Comment by Michael

    I read it, and I think you are mistaken.

  66. RBrown says:

    Charlotte,

    You say:

    I found an interesting note however, in a Catholic commentary to the grammar, saying that the memorial should rather be understood as: “do this that God may remember me”, which is what it meant in Palestinian language at that time.

    The Septuaginta is not very close to the original text,

    What original text?

    It is long obsolete scholarship to try to find an original Palentinian core within the Greek NT. Such efforts are based on assumptions having more to do with German philosophy than with the History of Israel.

  67. Jordanes,

    >>Charlotte said: If what is important is at a spiritual level in all things (which I agree with you upon), then there’s no hindrance that also women spiritually represent Christ.

    >That doesn’t follow at all. The spirit does not destroy the flesh, it redeems and completes it. A woman can no more be ordained than Adam could have been drawn from the side of Eve. Maleness and femaleness are just dispensable appearances, after all.

    I don’t think you understood what I meant here. If everything regarding the apostles is seen in a spiritual way, there can’t be just one exception from it (especially not something which isn’t seen as the most important thing, as someone here already agreed upon).

    “Call no one here on earth father, since God is your only father.” In which other ways can that be interpreted? (Only referring, not quoting as I don’t have an English bible.)

    Discussing that is a sidetrack though, since there were no priests in the sense of today (only Jewish temple servants – which is something completely different), during the earthly life of Jesus.

    And he “ordained” no one. It’s a later thing during the organization of the Church – to ordain ministers (deacons and bishops first of all). The apostles were not ordained, just sent. The Greek verb “apostello” means: “to send out”. There were no liturgy, no laying on of hands, no Saint litany. Well, you get it…

    He thus didn’t ordaine the twelve. And he most certainly didn’t chose them as symbols of the new Israel in order to exclude women from Church service!

    That’s one example of where this kind of exegesis goes way ahead into nowhere – trying to justify something that is erroneous, and against everything we know that Jesus said and did… What he didn’t say or do can’t get greater importance than what we know he said and did. And we know that he made no difference between women and men, but treated them shockingly alike. Why would he not do it only in the case of the development of priestly ministry?

    Also – both women and children must have been present during the last supper in order for this ritual Jewish meal to be performed. So it wasn’t just Jesus and the apostles in the room when he said what he said.

    There are many books about women ministry in the early Church, as I already mentioned, I’m thus not going to repeat everything that is said in them… What they show speaks clearly against what is said here.

    Interestingly enough, St. Paul says that there can’t be any successors to the twelve, that don’t have the necessary requirements. They must have lived at the time of Jesus, followed him during his travels, and witnessed his death and resurrection. How many “apostles” can you find that are around the age of 2.000 years now?

    From all I’ve read about it, one may only draw the conclusion that the efforts to shape teachings about this are more than absurd in their twisted and anachronistic attempts, and not correct.

    I think you must be quite alone among theologians (if you’re a theologian) to regard Septuaginta as a more reliable source than the sources the experts on exegetics present as most genuine. (That’s my main subject in theology, b.t.w.)

    >Anyway, the commentary is correct that “anamnesis” is not about us remembering something, but about God remembering. That is, the Eucharist is a memorial sacrifice, one of the kind of sacrifices mentioned in the Old Testament, a sacrifice that entreats God to remember or be mindful of something important and then take appropriate action.

    I find this discovery of yesterday very interesting. Because that shows even more that it’s not about us human beings at all. It’s not the priest who does anything of importance. God both remembers and acts, and doesn’t care if the “tool” for this is a man or a woman. We only receive the gifts from God. And it’s often the weakest and most unlikely tools that are used. Such are God’s ways in general…

    Michael,

    I’m sad to hear that you don’t have any experience or knowledge of the Holy Spirit in person… That’s the most wonderful (and most scary – as it reveals everything within you), encounter you can make on this earth. It’s true as it’s said in the Gospel of John that the Holy Spirit is given to us to guide us to the whole truth… There’s such beauty and such wisdom in the things that comes from God.

    Well, this explains your views (and the views of many others who hasn’t experienced God at depth, or made the spiritual long distance journey from the head to the heart).

    But – it’s not too late…!! Pray, and you will receive… :-)

    RBrown,

    Will have to check James later.

    >infallibility is given to the Church through the pope.

    No, that’s an oversimplistic view. And as it’s already explained in comments above by me and others, I’m not repeating it again.

    Two changes that I get to think of now is the official view on slavery and death penalty.

    >I think you’re reading the wrong surveys.

    What do you mean by “wrong”? Every survey that doesn’t say what you wish it would say…?

    >You’ve changed the subject, which was the impossibility of women being ordained to the priesthood. Now you introduce married priests, which is an entirely different matter.

    No, I used the example to say that once women are a natural part of male priests life, the door will open more easily for women ordinations. Then women will no longer be regarded as “dangerous” beings. Priest celibacy shapes too many scared priests who avoid women, or treat us in odd ways… It’s quite tiring to (as a single young woman) be seen not as a person, but as a “potential risk”.

  68. Michael J says:

    Charlotte,

    If I accept your (erroneous, IMO) assertions regarding infallibility at face value, one glaring questions still remains:

    Why should I believe you instead of His Holiness John Paul II?

    You say that women can be ordained as priests, he says they cannot. You’ve cited a vague reference to a person named Junia, who may or may not have been a woman and who may or may not have been ordained to the Priesthood. So, in a span of 2000 years, give or take, you can find one uncompelling argument.

  69. Michael says:

    RBROWN
    Glad that you read the comment to Fr. Fenton, but you did not tell me why it is mistaken. I am sincerely interested, because I have read about the subject in late Fr. Leeming’s (Professor at Heytrop, London) book Principles of Sacramental Theology.

    Will be in touch about another point as soon as I get an opportunity.

  70. Michael,

    If you have read my writings here, you should have seen that there are lots of evidence of women ministry in the Church, until it got forbidden. There are many books written about it – with as many examples as you can ever wish for. There are also websites with lots of information, you’ll find them if you google on women priests.

    If you wish to deny history after reading at least some of those books and articles by Catholic theologians, you’re welcome, but that’s hardly a very smart choice…

    Isn’t the truth the only thing we should base our thinking on? Mustn’t we then do everything we can to find out what is really true? And if we find more of the truth – isn’t it ur duty to speak about it?

    The previous Pope was a child of his time and (Polish) culture. His view on women is hardly representative of the Church or the modern world. It’s not a bit surprising that he comes to such a conclusion, having a very old-fashioned view on women, where it’s unthinkable with women leaders…

    The present Pope has a slightly different view, which what is happening recently shows – women are let in a little bit more in the Vatican meetings, and they get administrative positions. That’s a small beginning. Yet, very small. But at least a start. And that’s good.

    I put my greatest hope in the next generation of young Catholics. They’re loyal to the Church, but most of them see nothing wrong in women being ordained.

    It might be as simple as that at one level: different generations colliding at present.

  71. Jordanes says:

    Charlotte said: “If what is important is at a spiritual level in all things (which I agree with you upon), then there’s no hindrance that also women spiritually represent Christ.”

    I replied: “That doesn’t follow at all. The spirit does not destroy the flesh, it redeems and completes it. A woman can no more be ordained than Adam could have been drawn from the side of Eve. Maleness and femaleness aren’t [I mistyped in my previous comment] just dispensable appearances, after all.”

    Charlotte responded: I don’t think you understood what I meant here. If everything regarding the apostles is seen in a spiritual way, there can’t be just one exception from it (especially not something which isn’t seen as the most important thing, as someone here
    already agreed upon).

    No, I understood your meaning, but you didn’t understand mine, which is that you don’t know what “seeing things in a spiritual way” means. You contend, but have not shown, that Christ’s teaching that only men are ordained to the priesthood is an exception to seeing things in a spiritual way, as if maleness and femaleness were purely corporeal and material and not spiritual. Jesus says there isn’t marriage in the resurrection, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t men and women in the resurrection.

    “Call no one here on earth father, since God is your only father.” In which other ways can that be interpreted?

    In the Catholic way, rather than the blinkered literalistic way. Catholics have never, ever seen Christ’s teaching “Call no man ‘father’” in a literal sense, just as we don’t take “If you eye offend thee pluck it out” and “Eunuchs for the sake of the Kingdom” literally.

    Do you really think Jesus commanded us not to call our fathers “father”?

    Discussing that is a sidetrack though, since there were no priests in the sense of today (only Jewish temple servants – which is something completely different), during the earthly life of Jesus.

    No priests during Jesus’ earthly life? Then who were all those men offering all those sacrifices? The essential meaning of “priest” is a man who offers sacrifice to the divinity. Just because the Jewish priests weren’t Catholic priests doesn’t mean there weren’t “priests in the sense of today.” Of course the Jewish temple servants were completely different from th Jewish priests, but then the Jewish priests weren’t just temple servants.

    If you don’t understand the Jewish priesthood and Levitical service, it’s not wonder you don’t understand and accept what the Church teaches.

    And he “ordained” no one.

    Sez you. The Church says differently. I believe the Church, not you.

    It’s a later thing during the organization of the Church – to ordain ministers (deacons and bishops first of all). The apostles were not ordained, just sent.

    That’s not what the Gospels say. Matthew 10 says He summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority to exorcise demons and heal disease, and commissioned them with extensive instructions. Mark 3 says He went up a mountain and summoned those whom He selected and appointed them as apostles, with authority to preach and to cast out demons. Luke 6 says He went up a mountain alone, prayed all night, and in the morning He summoned His disciples and chose 12 of them as apostles. So, the Holy Spirit says the apostles were not just sent, but were first formally selected and appointed by the express will and authority of God Incarnate — i.e., they were ordained. Later Jesus constituted them priests at the Last Supper, and later still He breathed the Holy Spirit on them and gave them power to absolve sins.

    Really, where do you think the apostles got their authority to ordain and organise if they had not been ordained by Jesus?

    There were no liturgy, no laying on of hands, no Saint litany.

    Well, you got one right — the litany of the saints didn’t come along until later, but the liturgy and laying on of hands existed even before the coming of Christ, and are mentioned in the New Testament during Christ’s earthly ministry and soon after His ascension.

    Really, these things are explicitly mentioned in the New Testament. Do you really not know these things?

    And he most certainly didn’t chose them as symbols of the new Israel in order to exclude women from Church service!

    Of course He didn’t choose them to exclude women from Church service, He instituted the male-only priesthood to INCLUDE women in Church service. (They weren’t chosen just as symbols of the New Israel, though — the Gospels tell us that He chose them as kings and judges over the 12 tribes of Israel.)

    That’s one example of where this kind of exegesis goes way ahead into nowhere – trying to justify something that is erroneous, and against everything we know that Jesus said and did…

    A perfect description of the kind of exegesis that is deployed to justify the heresy of women’s ordination.

    What he didn’t say or do can’t get greater importance than what we know he said and did.

    Precisely. The fact that the Gospels don’t quote Him saying, “Women may not be ordained” cannot be set in opposition to the fact that He chose only men to be ordained.

    The Church, the Body of Christ, cannot do anything that Her Head doesn’t do, and Christ doesn’t ordain women. There’s not a single example of the Church ordaining a woman in 2,000 years of history, so the Church has no ability to start doing it today.

    And we know that he made no difference between women and men, but treated them shockingly alike.

    No difference except for the fact that He never gave women, not even the Queen of Heaven, any positions of authority in the Church and ordained only men as apostles.

    Why would he not do it only in the case of the development of priestly
    ministry?

    What make you think it was only in the case of His institution (not “development”) of the New Covenant ministerial priesthood? Did He ever give women the ability and authority to be husbands and to impregnate women?

    Also – both women and children must have been present during the last supper in order for this ritual Jewish meal to be performed. So it wasn’t just Jesus and the apostles in the room when he said what he said.

    Then why don’t the Gospels or early Christian tradition ever mention all those women and children who were allegedly there? Why do the Gospels say only the Twelve were there at the table with Him? Matthew says that He sat down at the table with the Twelve. Mark says at evening He came with the Twelve and sat down at the table and ate with them. Luke says that when the hour was come, He took His place at the table with the apostles, that is, the Twelve. If any other disciples were nearby, they were either not in the same room or else the Holy Spirit wanted us to understand that what was most important was Christ and the Twelve adn what He said and did to them.

    Also, the first Eucharist was a “Passover,” but we can’t simply assume that it was a typical “ritual Jewish meal” or Seder, nor that women and children had to be present during that alleged ritual Jewish meal.

    There are many books about women ministry in the early Church

    We’re not talking about women’s ministry in the early Church. We’re talking about women’s ordination, which is something the Church has never done, something Jesus never did, and something the Church insists she cannot do.

    Interestingly enough, St. Paul says that there can’t be any successors to the twelve, that don’t have the necessary requirements.

    Yes, and He describes those requirements in his epistles to Timothy and Titus.

    They must have lived at the time of Jesus, followed him during his travels, and witnessed his death and resurrection. How many “apostles” can you find that are around the age of 2.000 years now?

    Ha, very funny. Too bad St. Paul didn’t mention any of those things in his description of the qualifications for ordination to the diaconate and episcopate. You’re mashing together the qualifications for being a first century apostle with the qualifications for ordination. The Church hasn’t had any founding apostles down here below since St. John fell asleep in Ephesus around A.D. 100.

    From all I’ve read about it, one may only draw the conclusion that the efforts to shape teachings about this are more than absurd in their twisted and anachronistic attempts, and not correct.

    Then try reading books on the subject other than those written by advocates of the owmen’s ordination heresy.

    I think you must be quite alone among theologians (if you’re a theologian) to regard Septuaginta as a more reliable source than the sources the experts on exegetics present as most genuine. (That’s my main subject in theology, b.t.w.)

    “More reliable source” are your words, not mine. But your opinion of the Septuagint is outdated, as is your opinion about what “the original text” allegedly was. There are enlightening comments on the subject in Abegg, Flint and Ulrich’s Dead Sea Scrolls Bible.

    Anyway, as I said before, this isn’t a questionable Septuagint reading weren’t talking about. It’s just that the Greek verb “to do” that is used for “offer a sacrifice” in the Septuagint Pentateuch, and New Testament vocabulary was heavily influenced by the precedent of the Septuagint.

    I find this discovery of yesterday very interesting. Because that shows even more that it’s not about us human beings at all. It’s not the priest who does anything of importance. God both remembers and acts, and doesn’t care if the “tool” for this is a man or a woman. We only receive the gifts from God. And it’s often the weakest and most unlikely tools that are used. Such are God’s ways in general…

    Of course it is all by God’s grace. But it is impossible to go from the general principle of sola gratia to the specific conclusion that God doesn’t care if it is a priest or a priestess.

    there are lots of evidence of women ministry in the Church, until it got forbidden.

    Nonsense. Women’s ministry in the Church has never been forbidden.

    The previous Pope was a child of his time and (Polish) culture.

    True — his view on women was probably too modern.

    His view on women is hardly representative of the Church or the modern world. It’s not a bit surprising that he comes to such a conclusion, having a very old-fashioned view on women, where it’s unthinkable with women leaders…

    Ever read Mulieris Dignitatem? His view on women certainly wasn’t representative of the modern gender-bending world, but the notion is utterly risible that his upholding what the Holy Spirit says about women’s ordination was somehow linked to John Paul II allegedly finding women leaders unthinkable.

    I put my greatest hope in the next generation of young Catholics. They’re loyal to the Church, but most of them see nothing wrong in women being ordained.

    No one who is loyal to the Church sees nothing wrong with women’s ordination, and the surveys I’ve seen indicate that the younger Catholics who favor women’s ordination aren’t practicing their faith. Most Catholic supporters of women’s ordination tend to be middle aged and older.

  72. Clinton says:

    I’ve noticed that a few of the comments by folks who seem to be in favor of priestesses refer to archaeological evidence of “ordination” of
    women in the early Church. I’m not acquainted with any compelling evidence, myself — but I’m no scholar/archaeologist. But I think folks
    should consider the situation of the Church in those days: persecuted and operating furtively, communications between communities at
    best sporadic, and limited means available to Church authorities to impose discipline… So, even IF evidence exists that could be construed
    to indicate that some community tried to ordain women back then, it only means that some group went off the reservation. It’s no surprise
    to me that the early Church had their own version of this womynpriest coven we see today. Back then they would have been surrounded by
    religions and cults that had priestesses and I’m sure some in the Church might have asked “why not us too?”. Buying into the claims that
    women’s ordination is supported by archaeological evidence would only be possible if we had evidence that such attempted ordinations were done in full concert with the authority of the Church. Imagine archaeologists thousands of years from now finding a pile of hideous polyester vestments and faded photos and press clippings from one of those riverboat “ordinations”. Would they be right to conclude that
    in our day the Church universally accepted the notion of priestesses?

  73. Michael says:

    CHARLOTTE
    I posted to you yesterday, but the post has vanished, or it was only my fiction like your “Holy Spirit”.

    If you wish to debate reasonably, there is my post on the subject on 25 November at 9,34 am. If you respond, please, adhere to the subject as I have put it; otherwise I will nor respond.

  74. Michael says:

    RBROWN
    Having checked my original post in the subject: I only briefly touched the infallibility: it would have made the post too long to deal with details.

    There is an official document making clear that the doctrine that the Holy Order can’t be conferred on women has been opposed infallibly by the Ordinary Magisterim, and, as significant as any de fide definition, is the fact that all those attempting to tamper with the Sacrament have been excommunicated. Those who deny that “it’s (i.e. priesthood) is limited to men.”, deny the above doctrine.

    The sacraments are necessary for salvation. If somebody thinks that he can tamper with the sacraments he doesn’t believe that they are necessary.

    And all the other, or most at least, doctrinal assertions I made in that post have been infallibly proposed too

    Those who do not believe infallibly proposed doctrine are not Catholics – that is fairly simple.

    I really do not know what is the relevance of the Primary/ Secondary in this context. And I presume that you know the three ways how the Church proposes her doctrine infallibly.

    A Catholic, by definition, accepts the infallibly proposed doctrine as “of Faith” (De Fide), as well as gives a “Religious Assent” to a doctrine not proposed infallibly. A refusal of either is a sin against the good of Faith.

  75. Michael says:

    RBROWN
    Sory, my spellchecker had its own ideas and I trusted it. Please, replace in the second paragraph the “opposed” with “proposed”

  76. Jodanes,

    Just a few comments to your very lengthy one:

    >Christ’s teaching that only men are ordained to the priesthood

    There are no such words from Christ. He didn’t teach about this at all – it falls into the cathegory of non-existing words from Jesus, from which you can’t draw any conclusion – and most certainly not that women may not be ordained – because of what Jesus didn’t say or do! It makes no sense whatsoever. And it’s anachronistic. What the Church teaches at present (not in the beginning, when women did serve in the same ways as men) goes against the example of Christ.

    >If you don’t understand the Jewish priesthood and Levitical service

    I do, it’s just my use of language that made you misunderstand my expression “temple servants” – I meant this of course – thought you’d understand even if I used other words (I like to vary the words if possible, say things in different ways – I blame it on the poet in me).

    Have a look at how high Jesus (not!) appreciated this (and even God, the Father, in the OT, who asked for no sacrifices – but for open and contrite hearts). Do you think he intended to introduce the same thing that he didn’t like in Judaism in what became Christianity…

    >And he “ordained” no one.

    I still stick with that.

    Point at the ceremony of “ordination” by Jesus (who weren’t exactly a man of pompous ceremonies). It doesn’t exist. The apostles were apostles, not priests, and certainly not ordained as (Catholic!?) priests. There must be some limits to such a-historical thinking…

    They were sent – yes, into a ministry that no priest of today is excercising (because they lost it – or never had it?). Reality speaks against your beliefs.

    >There’s not a single example of the Church ordaining a woman in 2,000 years of history, so the Church has no ability to start doing it today.

    Oh, yes, there are – several examples!

    >He never gave women, not even the Queen of Heaven, any positions of authority in the Church and ordained only men as apostles.

    You mean: some men in those days didn’t interpret her position as one of authority – although she was one of the foremost women, and still is.

    She was with the apostles, waiting for the Holy Spirit. She wouldn’t have been there if she wasn’t a highly respected person.

    >Did He ever give women the ability and authority to be husbands and to impregnate women?

    I feel very sorry for your eventual wife if that’s how you look at women and men!

    >Then why don’t the Gospels or early Christian tradition ever mention all those women and children who were allegedly there?

    Because women and children were never mentioned in that culture in those days. Only men were counted – and then the women were seen as automatically counted among them. There’s such a passage in the bible telling about 5.000 men, except women and children.

    >Also, the first Eucharist was a “Passover,” but we can’t simply assume that it was a typical “ritual Jewish meal” or Seder

    Everything that is mentioned about it points to that.

    >We’re not talking about women’s ministry in the early Church. We’re talking about women’s ordination, which is something the Church has never done, something Jesus never did, and something the Church insists she cannot do.

    Ok – to be very clear: there are many books about women’s ordination in the early Church.

    >You’re mashing together the qualifications for being a first century apostle with the qualifications for ordination.

    No – THIS is exactly the wrong mixing up of two different things that the Church of today is doing. An apostle is one thing, and a priest is another. How hard to understand can that be? A five-year old would see it instantly if presented with the facts.

    I have read books from both points of views – have studied this subject closely for many years – and I’ve discovered that all the “arguments” against women ordination are as solid as an ice cube in a glass of hot water.

    >“More reliable source” are your words, not mine. But your opinion of the Septuagint is outdated, as is your opinion about what “the original text” allegedly was.

    It wasn’t that long since I studied exegesis… :-)

    >Nonsense. Women’s ministry in the Church has never been forbidden.

    Oh yes. It has. And it has later been written in the Church law.

    >Ever read Mulieris Dignitatem?

    Yes – it was like reading about a rare historical object at a museum.

    Try reading his “Letter to the woman” – and exchange the word “woman” to “man” each time – and you’ll soon lie on the floor laughing. It’s ridiculous. Then maybe you’ll begin to understand how it is to be (wrongly) defined by others.

    >the surveys I’ve seen indicate that the younger Catholics who favor women’s ordination aren’t practicing their faith. Most Catholic supporters of women’s ordination tend to be middle aged and older.

    Well, do the young priest seminarists in Rome who would welcome women colleagues fit into that description? No. And me neither.

  77. Michael,

    I already answered “reasonably” to that posting of yours, and have no further comment to it. Too bad that your reply disappeared, I never saw it.