That keen observer of human behavior Samuel Johnson had sobering observations about self-delusion. For example, he wrote
“However we may labour for our own deception, truth, though unwelcome, will sometimes intrude upon the mind.” [Idler #80 October 27, 1759].
And so I turn my attention to the perennial deceptions of Sr. Maureen Fiedler who writes for… yes!… the National Catholic Fishwap.
Sr. Fiedler has been nurturing the delusion that the male fraidycats in “The Vatican” are a-scared of the notion of women’s ordination.
I used the word “notion” here, precisely because it sounds like sewing bobble.
My emphases and comments.
The Vatican’s Fear of Women
by Maureen Fiedler on Aug. 11, 2011
I am been amazed, and a bit amused, by the lightening speed [?!? HA!] with which the Vatican [I always enjoy that. "The Vatican"!] has been reacting to any slight sound or movement in favor of women’s ordination, especially among the hierarchy or clergy. [Sister... clergy are the hierarchy too... right? I suggest you brush up on your Lumen gentium.]
Recently, the Patriarch of Lisbon [I'll bet Sister loves that title!] was called in for “conversations” of his publicly stated belief that there is no “fundamental obstacle” to women’s ordination. Bishop William Morris of Australia was removed for suggesting that the ordination of women might be one solution to the growing worldwide shortage of priests. [That wasn't the only reason, Sister. But it would have sufficed.] And of course, Maryknoll priest Roy Bourgeois, under fire for years, ["under fire"? Yes, if five years of shooting himself in his own foot counts for being "under fire".] and has now received his second canonical warning calling on him to recant his belief that women can be called to priesthood… or be thrown out of his order. [Poor Roy. Perhaps Sr. Fiedler could find him a spot in the Sisters of Loretto! Or... do they discriminate? ]
In addition to that, in July 2010, a Vatican document [It wasn't just from "The Vatican". It was from the CDF.] listed “women’s ordination” as a “crime” at the same level of gravity as pedophilia! [Hmmm... no. Not really. The document did not say that they were at the same level of gravity. That's Sister's conclusion, but it isn't quite right. The document classified both crimes of child abuse by a cleric and crimes of attempting to ordain a woman as needing to be treated at the same level of procedure, at the CDF. Just because they are in the same category of graviora delicta, they are not necessarily the same gravity of sin. The two sinful actions, which are also crimes, are rather like apples and oranges, both fruit bnut really different from each other. Nevertheless, I'll say that while the first horrid crime scars young people and communities for life, the latter horrid crime scars the People of God and harms the community as well, not to mention the souls of those who delude themselves into thinking that they are really getting somewhere each time the get on a boat or go into a Protestant church and pretend.]
I never cease to be amazed that this topic engenders serious Vatican action and movement, when the scandal of abusive priests, and the bishops who covered up the scandal, received little notice or reprimand from that same Vatican until the secular press and the civil courts called them account. [blah blah yawn ... Sister needs a new argument. But I will agree that sometimes I, too, marvel that these women and their camp-followers receive any serious notice. Then again, we have to pay attention, no? Their souls are in danger. That is serious.]
But aside from this obvious and scandalous difference, [Here is where the second level of her delusion comes in...] there is a deeper question: why is the Vatican so fearful of women as priests or deacons? [Oooo! The Pope's a-scared!] Many analysts have said that the men in Rome simply want to perpetuate the “old boys’ club” of the church where they all feel comfortable. Others have cited sexism, pure and simple. Still others have said they continue to believe their own flawed theology. [Sr. Fiedler corrects the Church? Let's all say it together: Magisterium of Nuns. Then quietly chuckle.]
[This is the best part!] But I wonder if something deeper is wrong… something psychological, some form of corruption… But at this point, the actions of the Vatican on this issue are so bizarre, it’s worth asking new questions.
This is the same old psychobabble that these old liberals have been on for decades now!
Chimps couldn’t fling this stuff better than a… very mature liberal.
Let’s now think through some of Sr. Fiedler’s musings.
Consider. Two bishops and a Maryknoll priest have a bizarre notion about women’s ordination. So? Think of a Catholic teaching, even a dogma, and you will be able to find a couple bishops and a priest out there who have bizarre ideas about it.
If a couple bishops and a priest in the wide world have strange ideas about, say, transubstantiation, should we then have to rethink transubstantiation? How about the Church’s teachings about slavery?
Where is the bar? How high do we set it? Two bishops and a priest? Or do we need a few more? How many more?
As for “lightning speed” … it is to laugh. “The Vatican” moves at “lightning speed”! That may be the first time anyone seriously believed that, I am admire Sister’s confidence. However, think it through. Tthere are profs at Catholic universities spouting looney ideas about all manner of Catholic teaching and yet they still receive paychecks every week. There are at least three groups in favor of women’s ordination and none of them have been excommunicated or interdicted.
You wanna see lightning speed? Let me run things for a while.
For the absurdity.
And who was it who injected fear into the discussion? The basis of “The Vatican’s” objections in the documents is 200o years teaching not fear.
And now we come to the part of her piece which makes any rational reader feel a little unclean.
“I wonder”, she muses, “if something deeper is wrong”….
Ooooooo! You are supposed to make a connection with her reference to… wait for it… pedophilia. Fiedler is using code language, but she has put her foot wrong. Take her argument a little farther and then turn it inside out.
She is saying that if priests don’t want women to be priests, then maybe those male priests are actually psychosexually immature. They are sick in the head. But where she really leads you to infer is that men who don’t want women to be priests are really homosexuals, not pedophiles. Right? The fact is that the problem of abuse of children – sorry, it has to be said – is mostly a homosexual problem: most of the victims were male and a huge percentage were not little children. The majority of the cases were not textbook pedophilia. They were something else. When Fiedler tries to make you connect resistance to women’s ordination with psychosexual problems, she is really straying into the territory of homosexuality. People who don’t agree with her are sick in the head. They have a problem. They are deviants.
This, friends, is how liberals work. They smear people with ad hominem attacks. And they hurt people. People with homosexual inclinations, just like everyone else, deserve our respect and compassion for the burden they carry. They don’t need a Sister of Loretto to be judgmental about them.
But that is Sister’s position, right? If someone, some male priest, wants to be faithful to the Church’s teaching on male-only priesthood, then he must be sick in the head. Liturgical liberals do the same thing, don’t they? If a priest prefers the Extraordinary Form, he is… maybe… perhaps… get it? Huh? Get it? Clever, no?
Turn these tired old dissenter arguments inside out like a too-long-worn gym sock and all you find is a wad of nasty foot lint you’d rather not have had to think about.
And I thought the Sisters of Loretto were supposed to be more compassionate, committed to justice and peace. Instead, Sister labels people as backward and fearful and sick in the head. Nice.
And here is a different, worse, example in the same catholic outlet!
So, at the end of this nasty gym sock of an argument, let’s return to Dr. Johnson… Samuel Johnson, that is:
“However we may labour for our own deception, truth, though unwelcome, will sometimes intrude upon the mind.” [Idler #80 October 27, 1759]
I’ll leave the combox open, but please avoid ad mulierem attacks on poor Sister Fiedler. Go after her false ideas and dissent all you want, but don’t descend to the name calling and judgmentalism she applied to any priest who is faithful to the Church’s teachings.