NCFishwrap’s editorial for women’s ordination: creepy ineducability

National catholic Reporter, Fishwrap, has an editorial today in favor of the ordination of women.

Whom did they consult as their expert?  The deposed Bishop of Toowoomba, William Morris. And for their theological “insights”?  You decide.  I have my own ideas.

Their argument is tired, by the way: if something isn’t solemnly defined as infallibly taught, then we can change it.

My emphases and comments.

Ordination ban not infallibly taught

An NCR editorial
May. 23, 2011
By An NCR Editorial

In a national radio interview following his recent forced retirement, [It could have been voluntary.  He was asked privately half a dozen times, even by the Pope.] Australian Bishop William Morris of Toowoomba, Australia, raised the issue of what he said “a lot of people are calling creeping infallibility.” [In contrast to NCR's "creepy ineducability".]

In the May 8 interview, on Australia’s ABC radio network program “Sunday Nights,” Morris said that Pope Benedict XVI, in his letter demanding the bishop’s early retirement, stated, “The late Pope John Paul II has decided infallibly and irrevocably that the church has not the right to ordain women to the priesthood.” [Morris said Benedict said John Paul said... sound like a game of "telephone".  Here is the bottom line.  John Paul formally defined that the CHURCH teaches that women cannot be ordained. The Church has no authority to ordain women.]

“To my knowledge, I have never seen that written before — using the word ‘infallible’ concerning JPII’s statement, because he never used the word ‘infallible,’ ” Morris commented. [Imagine.  This man was a diocesan bishop.  Your Excellency, there are a lot of things we Catholics believe which have not been taught in a formula including the word "infallible".]

Whether the papal treatment of Morris was fair or just is one matter — this paper thinks it was not. [Get that?  "This paper", NCR, takes sides with Bp. Morris.  No surprise there.  But they made it explicit.] The deeper question, going beyond individual persons and cases, is whether the church is experiencing what the Australian bishop and many theologians in recent decades have described as “creeping infallibility.[The immediate question is whether NCR is experiencing "creepy ineducability".]

At issue fundamentally is whether John Paul, in his 1994 apostolic letter, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis (“Priestly Ordination”), intended to (or actually did) lay out an infallible teaching when he said, “I declare that the church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the church’s faithful.”   [Leaving aside for a moment the point about the word "infallible", what part of "is to be definitively held by all the church's faithful" don't they understand over there.  Does the Pope have to say "Pretty please?"  Does everything we hold as Catholics have to come from an ex cathedra definition?]

John Paul did not formally pronounce the teaching ex cathedra (speaking from the chair of Peter) or say he was teaching infallibly in his declaration.

It is also notable that he said only that it was a “judgment” that is “to be definitively held” — not a matter of “divine faith” that must be “believed.” [This is simply embarrassing.  And of course Fishwrap is working from the English version rather than the Latin.  In Latin we read: "hancque sententiam ab omnibus Ecclesiae fidelibus esse definitive tenendam".  Teneo, basically "to hold", is precisely the sort of term we use to indicate belief.  English "tenet" comes from teneo. "definitive tenendam" means "it must be believed in a definitive way".]

For any serious Catholic or student of Catholic teaching, [Clearly none were consulted in the writing of this editorial....] the issue of the words employed in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis is not of minor import. [Finally something I can agree with.] It is one to which John Paul and Benedict — then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith — devoted considerable energy in the 1990s. [Why? BECAUSE OF LOONY EDITORIALS LIKE THIS, that's why.]

[You can almost hear the rasp of McBrien's fingernails in this next part... ] There are two interconnected chords in the 1990s as the late John Paul and Ratzinger sought to strengthen the level of church teaching authority exercised by the pope or by the clear consensus of the world’s bishops on matters of faith or morals. [Bad news for Fishwrap, which wants the Magisterium of the Pope and of bishops to be subordinate to that of, say, the Magisterium of Nuns, of which NCR is the instrument of promulgation.  They want a "magisterium" from below.  Far below, dreadfully hot below, in this case.]

One was the doctrinal congregation’s 1998 offer of a new profession of faith and oath of fidelity for Catholic theologians and for others entering church offices. The profession introduced a new element. In addition to firm faith in the word of God and everything proposed by the church as divinely revealed, it added the declaration, “I also firmly accept and hold each and every thing definitively proposed by the church regarding teaching on faith and morals.” [Imagine the horror with which that was met in the offices of NCR or the LCWR!  We have to believe what the Church teaches on faith and morals?  But notice that word "definitely".  Where have I seen that word recently?]

That language, widely commented on by theologians and canonists at the time, was interpreted as a Vatican effort to restrict theological dissent on matters not infallibly defined but nonetheless regarded by church authorities as requiring assent — if not of faith, at least of intellect and will[And who, pray tell, gave that interpretation?]

The other chord, prefiguring the new oath of fidelity, was the doctrinal congregation’s 1995 Responsum ad Propositum Dubium (“Response to a Proposed Doubt”) concerning the level of teaching authority in the pope’s apostolic letter on the ordination of women the year before.

The response, which John Paul approved for publication, said his teaching “requires definitive assent, since, founded on the written word of God, and from the beginning constantly preserved and applied in the tradition of the church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal magisterium.”

That document did not place the source of infallibility in a papal judgment or decree, but in the universal teaching of all the church’s bishops. At that time there were many Catholic bishops around the world who would have regarded the ordination of women as at least possible, if not actually desirable. [At that time there were how many bishops who thought it at least possible?  A handful?  Maybe?  Are they using psychic powers to know this?  Have they gone to the Witch of Endor to ask the dead?  Or even to the head of the LCWR? Individual bishops can be wrong, because they are wicked or stupid, or getting dotty.]

And even today — in spite of concerted Vatican efforts [I love that sort of liberal phrase... "concerted Vatican efforts". Oooooo!] over the past two decades or more to stack the deck by making opposition to women’s ordination a sine qua non for promotion to the episcopacy (Jesuit Fr. Thomas J. Reese several years ago revealed a Vatican questionnaire that explicitly asked all possible episcopal nominees for their views on ordination of women) [And it's bad to insist that bishops believe the Church's teaching on faith and morals, too.] — the universality of Catholic bishops’ opposition to ordination of women to the priesthood is at least questionable. Witness Morris’ pastoral letter that led to his dismissal.  [At this point we can cut through their inuendo by saying, gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.  Let NCR show some numbers of bishops who wanted or want now the ordination of women.  And then let them show what different that number would make in the face of what John Paul II and what has been held since the very earliest years of the faith.]

So if Benedict said in his letter to Morris, as the Australian bishop asserts, that “the late Pope John Paul II has decided infallibly and irrevocably that the church has not the right to ordain women to the priesthood,” how did the alleged universal opinion of Catholic bishops (which is in dispute) rise in the apostolic letter to what Benedict described — not an infallibly held universal view of the world’s bishops, but an infallibly and irrevocably taught decision by the pope himself that women cannot be ordained to the priesthood?  [Get it?  If even one bishop thinks women can be ordained, then John Paul's claim was wrong.  My God. It's just embarrassing.]

The doctrinal congregation can make many definitive decisions regarding church doctrine and life. It is beyond its authority to determine which church teachings are infallible and which are not. Only a pope clearly speaking ex cathedra or an ecumenical council of the world’s bishops can determine that[Is that so?  Are those the only two ways by which we know that a teaching is taught infallibly?]

“Creeping infallibility” is precisely what is at issue here ["creepy ineducability", rather] — a papal document that made no claim to infallibility raised to the level of infallibility by a Vatican congregation’s statement that has no competence to make such a determination, and now almost casually described as infallible in a disciplinary letter to a bishop by the current pope.

We rest our case on Canon Law 749.3: “No doctrine is understood as defined infallibly unless this is manifestly evident.”  [It is evident that John Paul II was right.]

A couple observations.   The language “sententia definitive tenenda” is from Lumen gentium 25.  There would be an inherent contradiction in the Church’s exercise of the Magisterium were a “sententia definitive tenenda” not to be infallible.  How can the Church require that the faithful give definitive assent to a teaching that is not infallibly taught?

Also the Church can teach something infallibly either 1) by an act that defines a doctrine in a solemn way (e.g., ex cathedra definition by the Roman Pontiff or 2) by an Ecumenical Council with the him) or by an act which is not solemnly defining.  That’s what Fishwrap denies.  They go only for the first, not the second.  The second type of infallible teaching comes from the ordinary univeral Magisterium or the ordinary Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff.  Examples of the latter, the ordinary Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, can be found in Paul VI’s Credo of the People of God, several points in John Paul II’s Evangelium vitae about the taking of life through abortion or euthanasia, and, of course, Ordinatio sacerdotalis.  The Church’s highest doctrinal authority under the Roman Pontiff, the CDF, determined that what was identified as to be believed definitively in OS was a confirmation by the Roman Pontiff in the exercise of his ordinary Magisterium about something the Church holds infallibly.  The teaching in OS already belongs to the deposit of faith, rooted in Scripture and Tradition.

The point is – and Fishwrap denies this: The Magisterium can teach a doctrine infallibly also by the ordinary exercise of the Magisterium, without a solemn definition.

I don’t this for sure, but I think what we have here is the fruits of the labor of a team made up of Richard McBrien, Bp. Morris, and the editor of Fishwrap, perhaps with a humorless and staring oversight of a representative of the Magisterium of Nuns.

Lastly, continue your protest against Fishwrap by sending donations to me.

Pray for them and annoy also them.

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55 Responses to NCFishwrap’s editorial for women’s ordination: creepy ineducability

  1. Andy Milam says:

    Typical. Not original. Blasse.

  2. Igne says:

    Female ordination is impossible.

  3. Titus says:

    Only a pope clearly speaking ex cathedra or an ecumenical council of the world’s bishops can determine that. [Is that so? Are those the only two ways by which we know that a teaching is taught infallibly?]

    Well, no, as Fr. Z points out: the ordinary magisterium infallibly teaches also. But—and this makes it all the more insidious—there is a small kernel of truth underlying the Fishwrap’s statement here. The ordinary magisterium teaches infallibly, but, because of the nature of its teaching, it does not really have a mechanism for promulgating infallible pronouncements in a definitive fashion. It’s reasonably clear that the ordinary magisterium teaches that the Church lacks the authority to ordain women, but there isn’t one infallible document you can point to and say “aha, the statement of the ordinary magisterium on the subject,” because the ordinary magisterium is made up of consensus spread over time and place. Of course, what we have instead is the statement, such as found in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, identifying the content of the ordinary magisterium. The distinction is subtle, but quite important: sources such as the Fishwrap have been obscuring it in this fashion for years now in the course of peddling their own absurd heresies.

  4. So by Fishwrap’s logic, Catholics are only required to believe two things: the doctrines of the Immaculate Conception and the Assuption. That’s it! Everything else is up for grabs. (Yes Fishwrap, this includes Vatican II, not to mention the Church’s teaching on social justice!)

  5. Gail F says:

    I want a t-shirt that says “Creeping infallibility.”

  6. Gail F says:

    “That document did not place the source of infallibility in a papal judgment or decree, but in the universal teaching of all the church’s bishops. At that time there were many Catholic bishops around the world who would have regarded the ordination of women as at least possible, if not actually desirable.” Well that’s just absurd. The NCR is really expecting people to believe that “the universal teaching of all the church’s bishops” means a unanimous agreement between every single bishop today? I would think it means the vast majority of all bishops of all time. So if one bishop anywhere says something different from the rest, you can’t assume a norm? Dopes.

  7. SK Bill says:

    Every time I read one of these editorial pieces from the Fishwrap, I think of the Monty Python Parrot Sketch. Also of the old SNL “This just in: Francisco Franco still dead.” Which is to say, how can the editors of the Fishwrap NOT GET IT?! This isn’t just culpable ignorance, it’s obstinate ignorance.

  8. Pachomius says:

    How can it not be infallible, when it is teaching which can be quite easily demonstrated (cf: the case of deaconesses in the Early Church), to be something believed always and everywhere and by all?

    And why is it so difficult for these people to grasp that a religion is a series of propositions or beliefs which one assents to, and that, therefore, not assenting to these beliefs propositions causes one ipso facto to cease to be part of this religion? Would they make similar statements about other things? “I’m pregnant, but I don’t have an embryo growing in my womb”? “I can drive a car, I just don’t know how to”? “I really like that wallpaper, I just wouldn’t want to look at it”?

  9. Mundabor says:

    If B XVI would, say, proclaim the dogma of the male priesthood, the NCR would insist that he doesn’t have the authority to do so.

    M

  10. Pachomius says:

    Also, I love how two popes are now Benedict and John Paul. How long until they’re Benny ‘n’ Johnny to this rag?

  11. HyacinthClare says:

    Somebody from over here has responded to the editorial in the combox over there. It’s the fourth one… well worth reading.

  12. Mundabor says:

    “That document did not place the source of infallibility in a papal judgment or decree, but in the universal teaching of all the church’s bishops”

    Good Lord, these people think that the source of infallibility is ……. bishops’ democracy!
    On the contrary, what is part of the deposit of faith can never be changed, not even if the overwhelming majority of the bishops want to! The bishops, no matter how many, couldn’t change tradition more than they could change scripture.

    “Right is right, even if no one is right. Wrong is wrong, even if everyone is wrong.”
    Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

  13. Mrs. O says:

    “creepy ineducability”. Love it and so right.

  14. benedetta says:

    So they finally resort to the “Because I said so!” argument and apparently can’t come up with anything better, definitive does not actually depend on what your definition of is, is does it.

    And any parent will tell you, once you wind up there, with the “Because I said so” your argument has already lost…If one prefers to force one’s way on others then that’s how it goes. But the Church isn’t a bunch of votes, nor is it a collective, nor really debate for it’s own sake. Sometimes we don’t need to endlessly rehash as our Holy Father is telling us that even if we are still struggling and debating that the teaching is definitive. The next step, tried and true for so many Catholic saints and strugglers, is, the way of obedience. I’m sure some will have a great bonfire tonight to burn the paper this is printed on in my honor just upon the mere hearing of that word, but, I’m sorry. Try it out and then check back in with us and let us know how it’s going.

    With the national dissenting fishwrap here is how it goes…”You, Catholic Church, you must…[Insert dissenting issue]…because We Said SO!” Harumph. Fist-wave. Cursing…

    OK, whatever, fishwrap. Knock yourself out. You don’t speak for all Catholic women wherever situated…by no means.

  15. Samthe44 says:

    What a shame this ‘catholic newspaper’ even prints.

  16. Daniel Latinus says:

    But then, this brings up a question: if Bl. John Paul was going to the trouble of writing Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, why didn’t he just go the rest of the way, and make an ex cathedra statement, leaving not room for doubt, and be done with it? (Not that it would have made much difference to the Fishwrap crowd.)

  17. RichR says:

    If the bishop who’s diocese the NFW falls into were to force them to give up their moniker “Catholic” and make a public point about it, the sheep would be culled from the goats very quickly.

    Why keep this publication going? Souls are being led astray.

  18. RichR says:

    By the way, I just got my first edition of Christian Order and am loving every page.

    http://www.christianorder.com

  19. Hugh says:

    NCR should take the counsel of one of its heroes-in-residence, the arch-dissenter Fr Hans Kung, who cut through this bluster in 1995 :

    “The impossibility of ordaining women to the priesthood is now an irrevocable and infallible doctrine, demanding final assent from all Catholics. The Response of the Congregation is not just about a disciplinary or canonical matter – - (which can be altered at will), but a real faith truth, which is unalterable, irreformable, irrevocable … Rome is acting according to the system – no matter how much Catholic theologians may wriggle and interpreters of dogma twist and turn.” Suddeutsche Zeitung 2/3.12.1995

  20. Former Altar Boy says:

    Can we assue the editorial staff at the Fishwrap never opened (or even heard of) thje Baltimore Catechism:

    The following is the last paragraph of the Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, “On Reserving Priestly Ordination to Men Alone,” (emphasis added):

    Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I DECLARE that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.

    The following is from the Baltimore Catechism , the contents of which have never been abrogated by the Church (emphasis added):
    Q. 531. What is necessary that the Pope may speak infallibly or ex-cathedra?
    A. That the Pope may speak infallibly, or ex-cathedra:
    1. (1) He must speak on a subject of faith or morals;
    2. (2) He must speak as the Vicar of Christ and to the whole Church;
    3. (3) He must indicate by certain words, SUCH AS, WE DEFINE, WE PROCLAIM, ETC., that he intends to speak infallibly.

  21. Ignatius says:

    Delenda est Fishwrapa.

  22. trentondeak says:

    It seems to me that John Paul II often used the ordinary and universal magisterium, and I’d think that it was precisely because he wanted to emphasize the importance of the historical continuity that Sacred Tradition implies. Ultimately, I think that teaching in this way is superior, especially since he wasn’t saying anything new! The Church is not a democracy, and we are not at liberty to pick and choose what we believe. I’ve come to understand, in my half century in this world, that when I have said “I disagree with this,” that I didn’t understand what was being taught and why. And I’ve learned to stop disagreeing, and study what is being taught. Ordination of women to the priesthood isn’t an option for Catholics.

    Of course, this is also true of many other issues as well. Catholics don’t have the option to use IVF, euthanasia and artificial birth control–just to name a few. And all of this is driven by rightly discerning the correct principles to use and using them correctly. It seems to me that a lot of the discussion of ordaining women driven by the secular feminism of the 20th century, and that the Church is wise to be very careful to apply its consistent teaching. Truth is always truth.

  23. ipadre says:

    We all heard this kind of lunacy in the seminary back when. Ordinary/ Extraordinary Magisterium, black & white, grey, bla, bla, bla.

    Maybe a name change is in order – what about the NUR – National Universalist Reporter. We could call it nurd for short!

  24. CharlesG says:

    The way these different levels of magisterial teaching make sense to me is to think of the difference between inchoate concepts and specific verbal formulae. Christ was the fullness of revelation and handed on the deposit of faith to the apostles, who handed it on down the ages to their successors through Scripture and Tradition in the Church. The deposit of faith includes many concepts of faith and morals that have “always and everywhere” been taught in the Church, sometimes more implicitly, sometimes more explicitly. These concepts constitute the “ordinary and universal magisterium” and as such the concepts are infallible as being part of the deposit of faith. Specific verbal forumulae expressing those concepts may not be irreformable, but the general concepts are. On the contrary, with regard to dogmatic definitions of the Pope ex cathedra or of Ecumenical Councils in union with the Pope, the specific wording is protected from error and is irreformable. Thus Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, while not an infallible dogmatic definition, teaches what has always and everywhere been taught in the Church, whether implicitly or explicitly, and therefore might be considered to express an infallible concept as part of such ordinary and universal magisterium. While the specific words of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis may not be irreformable — some future Pope or Council might perhaps think of different or perhaps even better way of expressing the concept, the general concept cannot be overturned.

  25. James Joseph says:

    I am confused. Are the prayers and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass magisterial?

  26. BLB Oregon says:

    Why this silly quibbling about infallibility? If something has to be declared infallibly in the strict legal sense before it can be thought of a firm Church teaching and closed to debate, that would imply that before the doctrine of infallibility itself was articulated, every item in the Creed was open to question. After all, how could the Church teach with authority without a legal self-definition of what her authority was? It doesn’t matter that your plane flies. If you don’t have a mathematical proof of why your plane can get off of the ground, it must not be in the air. This is the way some people really think these days. It boggles the mind.

    The idea that none of the Apostles and none of their successors have ever, can now, nor will ever ordain women is not “creeping”. It’s right where it was on Pentecost: Firmly in place and not moving.

    What is creeping are the heretical notions that the Church ought to be a democracy, that truth is to best known by consulting consensus opinion, and that the latest wind of secular philosophy or academic conjecture is a better guide to truth than the unchanging teaching of the successors of the Apostles and the Doctors of the Church. These rationalizing relativists are even trying to make St. Thérèse of Lisieux into some kind of a poster child for the ordination of women. Meanwhile, some hint not so subtly that this matter will one day be solved by some sort of coup d’etat, such as an open financial revolt. (Apparently, that is how the Spirit moves in the US of A.)

    If a European or North American were to drop in on some isolated culture with a 2,000 year ritual history and insist that men and women had to be treated as ritually equivalent, that gender must not be represented in religion, these same types would scream to high heaven. For some reason, that would be cultural genocide, while trying to run the Church off the rails is an imperative handed down straight from Heaven….because Jesus couldn’t do it in his time, the Son of God was hamstrung by the idiocies of his “cultural milieu”, but we know better now.

    Oh, brother. I look at how they treat the practice of religion in France, and I have to think we need to pray these types don’t drive us back into the catacombs.

  27. BLB Oregon says:

    Sorry that was so long. We have “womenpriests” in our state, this sort of nonsense comes up all the time, and siding with Rome automatically makes me into some sort of oppressive she-Neanderthal. The whole topic makes me want to tear my hair out.

  28. EWTN Rocks says:

    BLB Oregon,

    I appreciate your insight and thoughts – thank you for your efforts!

  29. BaedaBenedictus says:

    The great irony about the NCR’s discussion of the infallible magisterium is that they think it all a lot of hooey anyway! Being Modernists, truth is changeable for them.

    If the Pope were to infallibly reserve the priesthood to men, according to the NCR’s requirements for “infallibility”, they would simply reject it as false. Without an infallible Church, no infallible pope, after all.

  30. BLB Oregon says:

    BaedaBenedictus, I think you have hit the nail on the head. There is a Catch-22 at work. Were the Pope to declare something infallibly that they don’t want to believe, it wouldn’t force them to accept the doctrine. It would only be evidence that the whoe concept of infallability is a fallacy.

  31. Midwest St. Michael says:

    For those who really want to dig into the whole infallibility issue – the following article by Dr. Mark Lowery would be more than helpful for a better understanding.

    http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=2697

  32. benedetta says:

    BLB Oregon, Agree with this

    “What is creeping are the heretical notions that the Church ought to be a democracy, that truth is to best known by consulting consensus opinion, and that the latest wind of secular philosophy or academic conjecture is a better guide to truth than the unchanging teaching of the successors of the Apostles and the Doctors of the Church. These rationalizing relativists are even trying to make St. Thérèse of Lisieux into some kind of a poster child for the ordination of women. Meanwhile, some hint not so subtly that this matter will one day be solved by some sort of coup d’etat, such as an open financial revolt. (Apparently, that is how the Spirit moves in the US of A.)”

    The Ayers paradigm of a justified threats absolutely plays an active role and it is discoverable and observable. I guess fishwrap has to go back and re-read what Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton, not to mention Second Vatican, actually say.

  33. benedetta says:

    fishwrap says
    “The doctrinal congregation can make many definitive decisions regarding church doctrine and life. It is beyond its authority to determine which church teachings are infallible and which are not. Only a pope clearly speaking ex cathedra or an ecumenical council of the world’s bishops can determine that.”

    Why so fixated on rules and regulations, on legalisms, obsessed with conforming to the letter of the law? Is this the magisterium police?

    But it’s true isn’t it, ncr/fishwrap and readers quite actively and continuously state that the entire magisterium itself is not valid and is only essentially a collection of rules akin to the uniform commercial code and that whatever it is that they want most in the current moment trumps all else…I guess they fashion themselves very lawyerly, hired guns who employ the law when it suits their desires but the rest of the time live as though it isn’t somehow real.

    While they can employ their interpretation of ‘ex cathedra’ to serve one particular desire on their wish list (but obviously they do not acknowledge in any other instance) and finish things off with an insistent ‘ because we said so’, the fact is that the magisterium is living and at work through the members of the Church, right now. I guess that fishwrap/ncr believes that everyone who assents to the magisterium is less worthy or holy. There are Christian congregations who do not assent to life in the communion of the Church at work through the magisterium however if ncr/fishwrap were to head in that direction I am not sure how they would argue within a different tradition seeing as how then they would not only have to argue about tradition but would then be in the position of having to attempt to get around what Scripture really says.

  34. Glen M says:

    At what point does this public and continual campaign become heresy? If it is heresy why isn’t someone in Rome or the NcR’s bishop doing something about it. Some people expect official responses and when they are not produced assume the original statement to be true.

  35. Athelstan says:

    So the NCR accuses Pope Benedict of exercising a “creeping infallibility.” I suggest that their argument here is an excellent example of an opposing phenomenon – a “shrinking Magisterium.”

    In short, the ambit of dogma is apparently now reduced down to the tiny sliver of the Creed and, perhaps, the Ten Commandments – and all else is up for grabs (and open to all manner of disagreement). One wonders why the Church should have a Magisterium at all – or, having apparently possessed one for the last two millennia, why it continues to claim even the nominal loyalty of people such as the editors of NCR.

  36. Athelstan says:

    Hello BLB,

    What is creeping are the heretical notions that the Church ought to be a democracy, that truth is to best known by consulting consensus opinion

    No. It’s not really about democracy.

    The fact remains that if all 1.2 billion Catholics in he world were allowed to vote on this, most would “vote” against ordaining women. The sizable number of pro-WO Catholics in the First World would be swamped by more culturally (if not theologically) conservative Catholics in the developing world. The Holy Spirit hasn’t “spoken” to all of them yet, you see.

    No, democracy is just a means to an end. And once these liberal changes are made in doctrine, they would be every bit as magisterial and authoritarian in imposing them on all as they accuse the Vatican of being. We’ve all seen this in the imposition of the new mass and the denial of the old over the last four decades, but you can see it also in mainline Protestant churches that have voted for these changes. Conservatives are forced to accept it or hit the bricks – and if they hit the bricks, no end of lawyers will be deployed to seize the property.

  37. Mitchell NY says:

    All the more reason things needs to be said in Papal announcements with absolutely no ambiguity. I think this should have been declared an infallible teaching. Any wiggle room these days is seen as a tunnel. In former Pontificates the language was strong, it si time to return to such format. People have taken advantage of the Holy Father’s kindness by circumventing him because he used, or didn’t use, language that was appropriate for the pronouncement. If for all time the Catholic Church can not ordain women than it should have been declared infallible..Why not?

  38. So… since the Church hasn’t declared infallibly that getting hit on the head is painful and harmful… that means that I can hit people at the Fishwrap on the head? And that they’ve volunteered to be subject to it? And basically, the Fishwrap advocates the return of Mad Clubbers to our national life?

    Wow, there’s a bunch of people who never had brothers and sisters to argue with ‘em. No self defense against their own arguments. I feel sorry for them all.

  39. EWTN Rocks says:

    Suburbanbanshee,

    I like you post – thank you!

  40. EWTN Rocks says:

    Sorry Subrbanbanshee,

    Must be the glare on my computer – can’t see my typos. Obviously meant “I like your post.” Really do have to get my eyes checked!

  41. nanetteclaret says:

    Frankly, Father, “fishwrap” is too nice. You need to change it to “birdcage liner.”

  42. meunke says:

    This is all a waste of time.

    Let’s say that the Holy Father had issued an ex-cathedra statement will all the pope and officialness that the fishwrap is saying is missing… and THEN SOME.

    It wouldn’t matter, they would deny it anyway. It is not the truth of the matter that these whitewashed tombs are seeking. They are simply seeking more flattery for their near masturbatory narcissism.

  43. Rich says:

    Forget the CDF, it seems that the editors of the NCReporter are the real determiners of infallibility. Even if the issue were something “solemnly-infallibly-defined”, they would still say it will change just because the male priesthood was simply a result of social mores and the Church will eventually catch up someday or something. I have heard this argument before that the teaching of the male priesthood is only an exercise of the ordinary magisterium of the Church, and therefore something that’s really not set in stone, though it is good to see it being exposed to the light here so that people can see that this is really a matter of people imposing their own wishes on Church doctrine in an effort to try and point out loopholes or outs that really aren’t there.

  44. JeffTL says:

    I am a Presbyterian who has actively participated in the ordination of women, and even I find the NCR’s position on this matter ludicrous. I would say that they are welcome to join us, but to be honest we have too many buffoons already.

  45. meunke says:

    What the NCR pushes doesn’t even surprise me anymore. To be honest, if (or should I say ‘when’) an article article is posted there praising bestiality and those who engage in it, it wouldn’t even cause me to raise an eyebrow.

  46. EWTN Rocks says:

    JeffTL,

    I don’t agree with the buffoons reference, but appreciate your post. Thanks!

  47. irishgirl says:

    What part of ‘Rome Has Spoken, The Case Is Closed’ doesn’t the Fishwrap understand?
    I echo Ignatius’ ‘Delenda est Fishwrapus’!
    Sheesh-I’ll be glad when ‘the biological solution’ takes care of these dissenters!

  48. Christine says:

    The comments after the article are really shocking. I don’t know why these people stay in the Catholic Church. Everything that they want they can find in the Anglican/Episcopal Church. Why don’t they leave?

  49. Gail F says:

    Athelstan wrote:

    “The fact remains that if all 1.2 billion Catholics in he world were allowed to vote on this, most would “vote” against ordaining women. The sizable number of pro-WO Catholics in the First World would be swamped by more culturally (if not theologically) conservative Catholics in the developing world. The Holy Spirit hasn’t “spoken” to all of them yet, you see.”

    This is exactly the argument I had with an Episcopalian college professor, when I asked her why her sympathies were with TEC over women’s ordination and gay marriage, and not the majority of the Anglican communion, with whom she was supposedly in communion. It is really an ideological position that defies logic and even trumps other ideological positions typically held by similar people (such as “everyone in the Third World is right about everything”). There is no scriptural or logical basis for either position, only (as other people have said) a sentimental one: It would be mean to deny women and gay people anything they want. It would be mean. It wouldn’t be fair. TEC gets to vote on these positions, but the rest of their Communion — much bigger in numbers — does not because they are not enlightened. So you vote when your side can win, and not when your side will lose.

    I could respect it a little if they would just leave and form their own church. But they want their property and their liturgy and all the perks that come with being Episcopalian, none of which they are willing to sacrifice for what they supposedly think is right. Like cheap grace, it is cheap church.

  50. meunke says:

    “I could respect it a little if they would just leave and form their own church. But they want their property and their liturgy and all the perks that come with being Episcopalian, none of which they are willing to sacrifice for what they supposedly think is right. Like cheap grace, it is cheap church.”
    - I can actually respect, to a point, someone who says ‘This is totally wrong’ and leaves. At least they are acting on their beliefs.

    The reason the NCR crowd doesn’t leave isn’t because they are cowards. It’s because, deep down, they know they’re full of … ahem… excrement. It’s nothing more than a really long temper tantrum.

  51. cyejbv says:

    Many good posts, but The Fishwrap’s stance can’t be changed by logic and truth or an appeal to obedience as it wasn’t created by it in the first place. And their whining is dangerous, not just irritating.

    So while what the FW does is starting to not amaze me anymore, I pray that it always strikes indignation into my heart. I have a formula:

    Click donate when possible, pray. Click donate when possible, pray. Click donate….. :)

    Thank you Fr Z.

  52. benedetta says:

    When it comes even to the Ten Commandments, or the Beatitudes if we look at these as somehow if affirmed gives basis for what is being proclaimed by fishwrap and others, even on this basis, I wonder. The “theology” of “it should be legal (more and more…) however I personally would never murder my offspring…” has been celebrated and asserted as holy and good in fishwrap and others for quite a very long time. If one takes into account every action by a so-called “Catholic” politician who is convinced of, supported and celebrated under this monstrously strained way of looking at a pretty simple and clear cut commandment commensurate with the reality of so many innocent lives sacrificed, with the loss of their fellowship and contributions to society, one cannot credibly say that the publication also supports even theoretically a life lived according to the Ten Commandments. The actions of politicians do in fact have a causative effect on the greater and greater number of lives lost, the expansion of big abortion rather than even a small gesture towards making it rare consistent with respectful dialogue supporting the seamless garment which is trotted out by this publication and other Catholic ones every time they have some sort of urge or reminder in conscience that still more and more innocent lives who could have been helped to live are being lost forever. So while they may say “I would never” and feel and appear somehow righteous, in a way, they certainly did and do…

  53. BLB Oregon says:

    Athelstan said
    “No. It’s not really about democracy.

    The fact remains that if all 1.2 billion Catholics in he world were allowed to vote on this, most would “vote” against ordaining women. ”

    My sense in hearing the revolutionaries talk is that they think the American Church ought to have a place in the Universal Church akin to what the US has in the United Nations: Biggest pocketbook, biggest vote.

    The US is a great nation, but her pretentions are trying to grow beyond her greatness. I think our cardinals appreciate that we’re not the whole cat’s meow, within the Church or out, but an inflated sense of self is not a temptation that the lay faithful of the Church in the United States have avoided quite so much. Still, the number of “womenpriest” types who imply that possession is 9/10ths of the law concerns me.

  54. pforrester says:

    I started teaching confirmation shortly after coming into the Church. I passed out information to the students about Humanae Vitae and contraception. I taught the kids that this was infallible teaching from Pope Paul VI. My priest called me in to talk to me. He gave me some handouts to read. There were three viewpoints in them. One orthodox and faithful to the Church and two dissenting. I think one was not even written by a Catholic.

    I told him they did not convince me that Humanae Vitae was not infallible. I asked him, “The definition of Papal infallibility is that it is taught by the Pope, to the whole Church on faith and morals. Humanae Vitae met all three of these criteria, so why isn’t it infallible?

    He just looked confused and mumbled something incoherent as he left. They have been taught that if it has not been declared Infallible Ex Cathedra, then it is not mandatory to be believed.

  55. MrTipsNZ says:

    Strikes me that the NCR opened itself up to the genuine charge of not being faithful…
    That is, if the faithful are to hold that women’s ordination is not possible in the Catholic Church, then only the UNFAITHFUL can hold that view.