Long time WDTPRS readers will remember the story from Cincinnati about how His Excellency Most Rev. Daniel Pilarczyk determined that a woman religious teacher dedicated to the cause of the ordination of women may not teach in that Archdiocese.
There is a development.
Cincinnati.Com » Local news
Teacher ousted for support of nun
By Dan Horn • email@example.com • September 14, 2009
A volunteer religious education teacher was dismissed this weekend for publicly voicing support for Sister Louise Akers, who has been ordered by Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk to stop teaching because her backing of women priests contradicts Catholic doctrine.
Dr. Carol Egner, a life-long Catholic and gynecologist, got into trouble when she wrote a letter to the Enquirer supporting Akers.
When Egner’s pastor read her letter, he asked her to write another that either renounced her position or made clear that she “yields to the wisdom of the church.”
When she refused, she was told she could no longer teach her Old Testament class for sixth-graders at Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Westwood. [So, the priest, the pastor of the parish - responsible for what is taught to the people entrusted to his care, took his responsibility seriously and exercised oversight along the lines exemplified by the local bishop.]
“This is frightening,” Egner said Monday. “I think it’s a step backward.” [What I think is frightening is the idea that people who don't willingly adhere to Catholic teaching are teaching Catholic children in a parish setting. Also, when you find that there is a problem that must be corrected, your options are really very few. You can ignore the problem and blunder along toward something worse, or you can backtrack and fix the problem.]
Her pastor, Rev. David Sunberg, said his decision is not part of a broader crackdown on dissent and he is not following a new, get-tough edict from Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk, who recently ordered Akers to stop teaching in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati because of her public support for the ordination of women.
Spokesman Dan Andriacco also said the archbishop had nothing to do with Egner’s dismissal.
“We have an obligation to teach what Christ and His church teaches,” Sunberg said. “If she can’t do that, it wouldn’t be in our interest to have her teach.”
In her letter, Egner said she could find no biblical reference barring women from the priesthood and that allowing women priests could help ease the priest shortage that now afflicts the church. “Some self-reflection on the part of church officials may be beneficial,” she wrote. [That reflection has been concluded. Cf. Ordinatio sacerdotalis, which is at the least definitive and, according to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's then Card. Ratzinger, it conveys teaching the Church holds to be infallible.]
She also suggested that the clergy abuse crisis might have been avoided if the church had been more open to the ordination of women. [?!? How?]
Egner, who has been a volunteer teacher for two years, said she never discussed her views on women priests in her religion class and she told Sunberg she never would bring it up. Her letter does not identify her as a teacher and does not name her parish.
“I feel the punishment is disproportionate,” Egner said. [Hang on. Why is this punishment? It is more like medicine. Call it correptio.] “Priests have abused boys and their punishment was disproportionate the other way. I feel the church really hasn’t taken responsibility and addressed that, and yet I can’t write a letter to the editor. [What a horrid comparison. There is no moral equivalence here.]
“I don’t get that.”
The reasons for Egner’s dismissal are similar to those Pilarczyk gave when he told Akers, a teacher for 40 years, that she no longer could teach in archdiocesan schools and institutions. He said the Catechism of the Catholic Church is clear when it states that “the ordination of women is not possible” because Christ chose only male apostles.czyk
Pilarczyk gave Akers an ultimatum after her name appeared on the Web site of the Women’s Ordination Conference, which advocates for the ordination of women.
The archbishop told her to remove her name from the site and publicly renounce her support for women priests. Akers agreed to the first demand but refused the second.
Sunberg said he was disappointed Egner also refused to publicly retract her comments.
“It kind of surprised me, and it saddened me, too,” he said. “Carol is a nice person.”
Egner, 53, said the decision stunned her. She described herself as “very Catholic” [Except insofar as the Church's teaching on the ordination of women is concerned....] and as someone who still urges her patients to pray for saintly intervention. [It is hard to claim credit for doing something any Catholic should be doing anyway.]
She said she’s now likely to leave Our Lady of Lourdes parish.
“This just smacks of, this is the way it is and if you don’t like it there may be repercussions,” Egner said. “Catholics have a very long tradition of various beliefs and the ability to talk about them, and sometimes things change.”
I applaud Fr. Sunberg, who understood that teachers at the parish should accept the teachings of the Church. I am sure that he will have some tough days now and will be under fire from many quarters.
Also, I hope that Dr. Egner comes through this hard experience and eventually gains a new respect for the Church’s teaching. I hope that she will no long conform herself to the wisdom of this world and is, rather, transformed in the renewing of her mind. The Church’s teachings are pleasing and reveal the will of God.
Now about that POLL ALERT!
For their article on what Archbishop Pilarczyk did, the same newspaper posted a poll attached directly to that article. It is still visible.
For this article, there is a link to a different page for the Poll and "discussion". The poll is hosted by momslikeme.com "Where Cincy moms meet".
They have a poll entitled "Poll: Update on nun: Has the Church gone too far?" (I think you are supposed to say "yes".)
What are the questions?
A volunteer teacher has been dismissed from a Cincy Catholic school because she publicly defended a nun who supports the ordination of women. What do you think? (Enquirer story here)
- Church leaders are in the right. These women shouldn’t be in the classroom.
- Church leaders are doing what they have to, but the women weren’t a problem in the classroom.
- Church leaders went too far in removing them.
"But Father! But Father!", you are surely saying, straining in the slips and ready to spring into action. "Where does the poll stand now?"
UPDATE 1404 GMT
UPDATE 1843 GMT
It seems that WDTPRS is having an effect.
UPDATE 17 Sept 1730 GMT
I don’t think the person who posted the poll didn’t appreciate the participation of so many people who didn’t agree with her aims in posting the poll in the first place.
FINAL UPDATE 23 Sept 0054 GMT: