From a reader:
In my parish, which is the quite conservative (by that I mean that the only liturgical abuses in the Mass [only O.F.] are the occasional use of the stole being placed outside of the chasuble, one instance of liturgical dancing, which was at a Christmas Eve children’s mass [I left as soon as I read the programme for the Mass and went to another Church's Midnight Mass], and armies of ‘Eucharistic Ministers;). we even have the high altar, altar rail, and paintings still intact, but not used sadly. We have a nun ‘Pastoral Associate’, who does not wear a habit, but ordinary street clothes. I have been told that she and other members of the Parish think that woman ‘priests’ are inevitable.
Though of course they cannot be ordained, and I certainly would be extremely distraught if they were allowed to play dress-up, do you think in the next 50 years or so we will have women dressing-up playing ‘priest’?
Aren’t some already pretending to be priests?
The Roman Pontiff made it clear that Holy Church has no authority to ordain women. It simply cannot be done. Any attempt to ordain a woman to any of the three levels of Holy Orders would be invalid. This is the irreformable doctrine of the Church which all Catholic are bound to accept as definitive, even as infallible as the CDF made plain. This teaching is not merely a law or, as liberals like to call it, “policy”. Mind you, I think most of the people in favor of the ordination of women are simply confused, or not very bright, or mastered by secular concerns. I doubt many of them have really considered how far they have gone astray, which is very sad, for their souls may be in danger. We must sincerely pray that God will be merciful to them.
However, a change in the Church’s teaching on the matter of ordination cannot be attained through the old means of “creeping incrementalism”. This is a far different thing from, say, how liberals forced communion in the hand, or altar girls, or the near eradication of Latin liturgy for the Novus Ordo, etc.
Whether or not some group will break away from the true Church over this issue or not is a matter of conjecture. It might happen. It might not. I hope not. But if you see any wymynpryst activity going on where you are, you will know that that is not the Catholic Church in action. That would not be the action of Jesus the High Priest. They would be agents of… someone else.
As far as being allowed to “play dress up” as you put it, see my comment about “creeping incrementalism”.
There is a lot of confusion right now. I think that in the young clergy emerging now from seminaries we have good, faithful men who will do a great deal to fix and heal some of the problems. However, there are a lot of problems. Society itself has been in a downward cultural spiral and, as I have said many times here, the Enemy is abroad and has many human agents, witting and unwitting. We are, as it were, engaged in a war of attrition in the Church: whose side will gain ground or lose ground faster than the other?
I think that we are headed for a lot of really hard choices in the near future. I am no economist, but it seems to me that we are headed for a serious global economic downturn that could force even billions of people to make hard choices and changes. There could be a lot of upheaval and suffering as certain dimensions of our society change radically. This could be a time when – in the face of suffering and fear – many Catholics get serious. Their priests and bishops will have to get serious. There may even be oppression. In any event, we we meay be headed toward a smaller, leaner, hungrier but clearer and more focused Church in our once-Christian once-careless wealthy nations. I am just musing aloud, right now, but I see this war of attrition I mentioned also in light of the broader trends. Just as after 9/11 we saw in the United States a greater sense of unity and purpose – now fading as the years have passed – perhaps hardships will bring a greater sense of Catholic identity. After all, the seeds and roots of the early Church were nourished with the blood of martyrs. Nothing worthy of our lives and vital forces and faith is going to be easy. Please know that I hope I am wrong. I would rather have it that, after a taste of uncertainty and suffering, there is an explosive return among Catholics to the practice of their faith.
So… dedicate yourself to prayer for your parish priest and for that confused sister, and especially for your bishop. Pray and perhaps also fast for them. Give all the support you can to good seminarians for your diocese. Support your faithful priests and give support to your seminarians.