Fr. James Martin, SJ’s, sympathy for a call to ordain women

At the Jesuit run America Magazine, James Martin, SJ – who worked so hard to confuse as many people as he could into thinking that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was picking on all women religious in the USA – is now presenting a sympathetic view of a Christian Brother who is calling for the ordination of women to the priesthood.

Yes, I know.  You are shocked.

When you look over the article on your own, pay attention to the code language “institutional church”.  This is the same-ol-same-ol tactic of pitting the “institutional” church against something that is, in their estimation, a more authentic church.

No where in his 700 words on this idea from Brother Louis DeThomasis, FSC, – which, by the way, is contrary to the Catholic Faith – does Fr. Martin defend the Church’s teachings. Instead, Martin dwells on how dysfunctional the Church is. Martin effectively concludes with DeThomasis’ words:

It is unjust for anyone to judge that we who are not in lockstep with all the outward signs of behavior that the church prescribes are therefore “less Catholic.”

Really?

Is open denial of the Church’s teaching about the impossibility of ordaining women just an “outward sign of behavior”?  Don’t “outward signs of behavior” mean anything to these people?

I, however, am in lockstep with the Church’s teaching on this matter.

Speaking of lockstep… here is an image from the Cafepress store… of the legendary coffee mug.

CLICK TO GO TO STORE

 

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Biased Media Coverage, Dogs and Fleas, Magisterium of Nuns, Our Catholic Identity, Priests and Priesthood, Throwing a Nutty and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

63 Responses to Fr. James Martin, SJ’s, sympathy for a call to ordain women

  1. LarryD says:

    It is unjust for anyone to judge that we who are not in lockstep with all the outward signs of behavior that the church prescribes are therefore “less Catholic.”

    That statement goes hand in hand with this from a recent article at the Fishwrap:

    First of all, let’s admit that we are all “cafeteria Catholics” to some degree. The groaning buffet table that is our universal church is too much for any of us to take in at once or to fully understand and accept with the same level of commitment and passion. We must stop judging each other by what we can fully accept with an open heart and what we continue to struggle to understand or believe.

    That’s a crock of coffee grounds. There is a difference, and I deny this premise that we’re all cafeteria Catholics.

  2. chcrix says:

    “It is unjust for anyone to judge that we who are not in lockstep with all the outward signs of behavior that the church prescribes are therefore “less Catholic.”

    Indeed, it is unjust and innacurate.

    Those who publicly oppose the outward signs of behavior that the church prescribes are not “less Catholic”, They are “not Catholic.”

  3. Diane at Te Deum Laudamus says:

    I’m thinking it would be good to find out if any Catholic institutions of higher learning have this book as required or recommended reading. In fact, it would be a good way to start keying in the CDF to such books. I’m willing to bet the thing is on someone’s syllabus as required or recommended reading. In such a case, send copies of the syllabi, and a used copy of the book, to the CDF and ask for a review.

  4. dominic1955 says:

    When are people like this going to finally get punished for holding views contrary to the Catholic faith and for insinuating support for ideas that smack of heresy?

  5. NescioQuid says:

    It is unjust for anyone to judge that we who are not in lockstep with all the outward signs of behavior that the church prescribes are therefore “less Catholic.”

    It’s just nonsense. This statement is also part of the “creeping” (I am fond of this word today) relativism that such people inject in their interactions with the Church. And quite frankly, all the people I have encountered who fit into the above category, go around uttering damaging statements like “the Church is behind the times”. I see no sign of genuine enquiry or desire for rational discussion, just pure dissension and damaging criticism.

  6. jrpascucci says:

    I’m sorry to day, whenever Fr. Martin opens his trap, I get a whiff of the tomb. Let the dead bury the dead.

    Where there is life (in the young communities and young families and priests faithful to the Tradition of the Church), there’s hope. – Cicero (well, except for the middle part)

  7. disco says:

    You know what I do if I find out I have a thought worldview or feeling that wasn’t lockstep with the hierarchy? Go to confession and amend my life. I’m no great theologian but I should think that might be good advice for fr Martin too.

  8. NoTambourines says:

    The term “dictatorship of relativism” comes to mind.

  9. CatholicMD says:

    I just threw the only book I own by Martin in the trash. It was the one about the saints that wasn’t very good anyway.

    “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea”

  10. Kathleen10 says:

    It should not be acceptable for any length of time to be taken care of by the Catholic church, receive a stipend, be supported, obtain your health insurance, etc., and teach and promote error and/or heresy. I realize the Church is not the secular world, it’s entirely different, but, there is no organization that would continue to reward an “employee” with financial benefits and salary, however meager.
    What always surprises me is how long these people do go on. Dissidents are widely tolerated, incredibly tolerated, frustratingly tolerated! Yes, the wheels do turn exceedingly slow, but must they come to a complete stop? So much error, taught to so many, the damage done is terrible.
    Once upon a time, I would have thought this would never be the case. It is so serious, promoting scandal! So many souls, led to error. They help lead their friends and family to error, teach their children the error, on and on.
    I know our Holy Father cannot tackle every bit of minutiae in the Church. Of course not. But why must we tolerate these types of dissidents and faith wreckers for so long a time period? Are they not accountable to someone? Are those people not then also accountable to someone? We are definitely not running “a tight ship”. Our command seems full of holes.

  11. Kathleen10 says:

    Here I go again, sending a comment without editing. When will I learn

    My point was, there is no way an employee who was not in line with the corporation’s policies would continue to be paid, covered by health insurance, etc..

  12. acardnal says:

    I concur CatholicMD. I read his book on the saints and was disappointed. I did NOT give it away to fellow Catholics to read but donated it to a Thrift store.

  13. frjim4321 says:

    I’m not a big fan of Martin but at the same time I’m not convinced by the extremely historically recent statements of a pope who personally supports the exclusion of females from presbyteral ministry. Thus far any theological arguments that I’ve heard along those lines seem specious to me.

    That having been said I’m not foolish enough to expect any changes while I’m on this side of the grass. Also I’m not one to be paralyzed by the fact that there are some things that are beyond my power to correct.

  14. acardnal says:

    frjim4321: Have you read the Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis ? What are your views on it since it was written by the Vicar of Christ?

  15. acardnal says:

    This is from the last paragraph and it seems conclusive and definitive: “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.”

  16. frjim4321 says:

    Thanks Acardnl. Yes I have read it and I don’t find it convincing. First of all, it seems obvious that at that last stage of the papacy in question others were running the show. It is not an ex cathedra statement. That having been said I read it respectfully.

  17. robtbrown says:

    acardnal says:

    This is from the last paragraph and it seems conclusive and definitive: “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.”

    In fact, it says Declaramus–We declare. Such language indicates that the pope is speaking for the entire Church.

  18. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:

    Thanks Acardnl. Yes I have read it and I don’t find it convincing. First of all, it seems obvious that at that last stage of the papacy in question others were running the show. It is not an ex cathedra statement. That having been said I read it respectfully.

    You’re saying it’s not infallible. What language does it need to make it infallible?

  19. Midwest St. Michael says:

    “That having been said I read it respectfully.”

    Have you read this, Fr. Jim?

    MSM

    Prepared by the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

    Approved for Publication by His Holiness Pope John Paul II October 28, 1995

    Responsum ad Dubium Concerning the Teaching Contained in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis

    Dubium: Whether the teaching that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women, which is presented in the Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis to be held definitively, is to be understood as belonging to the deposit of faith.

    Responsum: In the affirmative.

    This 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 (cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium 25, 2). Thus, in the present circumstances, the Roman Pontiff, exercising his proper office of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32), has handed on this same teaching by a formal declaration, explicitly stating what is to be held always, everywhere, and by all, as belonging to the deposit of the faith.

    The Sovereign Pontiff John Paul II, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect, approved this Reply, adopted in the ordinary session of this Congregation, and ordered it to be published.

    Rome, from the offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on the Feast of the Apostles SS. Simon and Jude, October 28, 1995.

    Joseph Card. Ratzinger
    Prefect

    Tarcisio Bertone
    Archbishop Emeritus of Vercelli
    Secretary

  20. Midwest St. Michael says:

    “The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful – who confirms his brethren in the faith he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals. . . . The infallibility promised to the Church is also present in the body of bishops when, together with Peter’s successor, they exercise the supreme Magisterium,” above all in an Ecumenical Council.418 When the Church through its supreme Magisterium proposes a doctrine “for belief as being divinely revealed,”419 and as the teaching of Christ, the definitions “must be adhered to with the obedience of faith.”420 This infallibility extends as far as the deposit of divine Revelation itself.421 (CCC 891, footnote 421 quoting Lument Gentium 25)

    So, the “deposit of divine Revelation” is infallible.

    According to Responsum ad Dubium Concerning the Teaching Contained in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis – “the Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis to be held definitively, is to be understood as belonging to the deposit of faith”:

    This means it is infallible per the last sentence in paragraph 891 in the CCC.

    Is it really that hard?

    MSM

  21. Dismas says:

    I had to break down and buy the mug, I just can’t hear it or see enough!

  22. pm125 says:

    On the Day to remember the Sacred Heart of Jesus – a little bunk to attempt hardening faithful hearts. These know about His recommendation of shaking dust off feet.

  23. frjim4321 says:

    So in other words “I can’t make a mistake because I say I can’t make a mistake”. It is not very convincing on the level of human reason.

  24. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321,

    You still haven’t answered my question.

  25. norancor says:

    This is my Thomistic dynamic equivalency rendering of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis #4:

    “4. Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance for which reason we have poured forth prayers of supplication again and again to God, and have invoked the light of the Spirit of Truth, and for the glory of Almighty God who has lavished his special grace upon His most holy Priesthood, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma:

    The Holy Catholic 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 members as an article of the Faith. Furthermore, if anyone holds that the ministerial Priesthood of Jesus Christ is a changeable or transient institution, and that women may at some point may be eligible for Ordination as a matter of discipline or that the Church’s unchanging Truth on this matter may evolve, let him be anathema. We conclude that should anyone dare to arrogate to themselves the power to change the sacred priesthood of Christ by the attempt to ordain a woman to the same, all involved who would dare such a defiant action in such a gravely sinful and scandalous way shall be anathema, with said penalty being reserved to the Holy See.

    Invoking an abundance of Divine assistance upon thee, venerable brethren, and upon all the faithful, We impart our Apostolic blessing.

    From the Vatican, on May 22, the Solemnity of Pentecost, in the year 1994, the sixteenth of our Pontificate.”

  26. robtbrown says:

    norancor says:

    This is my Thomistic dynamic equivalency rendering of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis #4:

    I don’t get the reference to St Thomas.

  27. Athelstan says:

    Hello Fr Jim,

    It’s true that Ordinatio Sacerdotalis doesn’t give much in the way of reasoning for its affirmation of the Church’s perennial – and remember that it is perennial – teaching on this question. If you want that, it is already provided in Inter Insigniores, issued in 1976 under the name of the most liberal man to ever hold the seat of Peter – Paul VI.

  28. Widukind says:

    frjim said: “Also I’m not one to be paralyzed by the fact that there are some things that are beyond my power to correct.”

    Who says that this is in need of correction? Perhaps it should be the other way around – that you need the correction. I remember from theology, that it is not the arguments that give the power to a papal definition / statement – that is actually immaterial – but that it is declared to be the truth by the authority of the Holy Father himself.

  29. Supertradmum says:

    Where is common sense in all of this? For over 2000 years, the Holy Catholic Church has not ordained women for many reasons, including the fact that Christ, the Second Person in the Blessed Trinity, chose men to be his apostles and established that succession through Peter.

    Either we believe in three things or not: one, that Christ was truly God and Man and was not, as the modernists state, a captive of His time. He created His time.

    Two, that Christ is Incarnated God and a Man and is the High Priest, the Priest of Priests, all of which are alter Christus in body as well as soul.

    Three, that the Tradition of the Church, with Scripture, is infallible with regard to statements from the Vatican, and honored practice, constituting the Teaching Magisterium of the Church. The only reason why Rome had to make statements at any time was to clarify doctrine as against heresies.

    Wait until the Anglican Church implodes this summer at the synod deciding on women bishops. Either one believe in Christ and His Church or does not; I do.

  30. NescioQuid says:

    Well said Supertradmum.

    Frjim4321. The issue here appears to be your lack of faith with respect to something you do not fully understand. I do not fully understand the Blessed Trinity, but I still completely believe because Christ revealed this truth. It is arrogance to conflate spiritual truths, and all things pertaining to God with the limits of human reason.

  31. SonofMonica says:

    Fr. Jim, this is my advice. if you have publicly dissented from the church’s teaching, it’s not too late to go to confession and repent. Go now. If you still don’t believe the church, go to confession again. And if you still yet find it hard to believe the church, go again. You should understand this process. If you don’t, look into it. It’s the essence of what you have been called to do.

  32. frjim4321 says: I don’t find it convincing.

    I respond saying: Were I the bishop where you are, and were I to hear that you had said this in a pulpit or written it, and were you not to then correct your stand in a public way in a reasonable time frame and proportionate manner and venue, I would probably withdraw your faculty to preach.

  33. irishgirl says:

    Well said indeed, Supertradmum!
    And you too, Father Z, in your ‘fraternal correction’ to ‘frjim4321′!
    I kind of wish that you ‘WERE’ a bishop! But I know you would say: ‘Nah, don’t want to….’
    ; )
    Going back to the topic: why are these dissenters allowed to say such things, when it’s already BEEN DEFINED? Why are they so proud, obstinate, and ‘tone deaf’?
    Please, dear St. Ignatius of Loyola and St. John Baptiste de la Salle, lean down from heaven and give your errant sons a slap alongside their heads!

  34. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:

    So in other words “I can’t make a mistake because I say I can’t make a mistake”. It is not very convincing on the level of human reason.>/b?

    Despite the fact that you didn’t answer my question above, I’ll respond to your comment.

    The infallibility of the pope is not a consequence of a pope saying “I can’t make a mistake”. It has been taught by Councils–first in Vat I, then reasserted in Vat II. By and large, it is a legal word expressing the long recognized authority of the pope to promulgate a Creed that is grounded in Scripture: cf. Christ’s words to Peter in Lk 22-32: “I have prayed for thee . . . that thy faith fail not, and thou, being once converted, confirm the brethren.” History has shown that Petrine doctrinal authority has been exercised as far back as Leo the Great, who died in the middle of the 5th century.

    Even if we disregard the problem of papal infallibility, we are left with the problem of the infallibility of the NT. It is harder to believe in the Incarnation and the Trinity than that women cannot be ordained priests (or that they can, if that were being taught). The same is true of the description of the Sacrifice of Christ the High Priest that is found in Hebrews. So if someone were to deny that a certain teaching is infallible, it is obvious that the Incarnation and Trinity would be the first to go–unless, of course, someone confuses believing with pretending.

    Re Ordinatio Sacerdotalis: It is a declaration flowing from (but not limited to) the infallible authority of the Ordinary Universal Magisterium. Such authority is asserted in Vat I re primary objects and Vat II re secondary objects (which concerns OS).

    BTW, I find Fr Francis Sullivan’s objections in this matter specious.

  35. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:

    So in other words “I can’t make a mistake because I say I can’t make a mistake”. It is not very convincing on the level of human reason.?

    Despite the fact that you didn’t answer my question above, I’ll respond to your comment.

    The infallibility of the pope is not a consequence of a pope saying “I can’t make a mistake”. It has been taught by Councils–first in Vat I, then reasserted in Vat II. By and large, it is a legal word expressing the long recognized authority of the pope to promulgate a Creed that is grounded in Scripture: cf. Christ’s words to Peter in Lk 22-32: “I have prayed for thee . . . that thy faith fail not, and thou, being once converted, confirm the brethren.” History has shown that Petrine doctrinal authority has been exercised as far back as Leo the Great, who died in the middle of the 5th century.

    Even if we disregard the problem of papal infallibility, we are left with the problem of the infallibility of the NT. It is harder to believe in the Incarnation and the Trinity than that women cannot be ordained priests (or that they can, if that were being taught). The same is true of the description of the Sacrifice of Christ the High Priest that is found in Hebrews. So if someone were to deny that a certain teaching is infallible, it is obvious that the Incarnation and Trinity would be the first to go–unless, of course, someone confuses believing with pretending.

    Re Ordinatio Sacerdotalis: It is a declaration flowing from (but not limited to) the infallible authority of the Ordinary Universal Magisterium. Such authority is asserted in Vat I re primary objects and Vat II re secondary objects (which concerns OS).

    BTW, I find Fr Francis Sullivan’s objections in this matter specious.

  36. robtbrown says:

    Supertradmum says:

    Three, that the Tradition of the Church, with Scripture, is infallible with regard to statements from the Vatican, and honored practice, constituting the Teaching Magisterium of the Church.

    Teaching Magisterium is redundant.

  37. Supertradmum says:

    robtbrown, put it in for emphasis–as in saying a is b is a.

  38. chcrix says:

    Well, I’ll put my two cents in.
    This I found to be an effective argument with a friend who was formerly catholic and appeared to be generally pro women’s ordination. She at least blinked when I put this thought to her. I don’t think it is original- I think I ran into this thought somewhere.

    Arguments:
    Do you really believe that the man who flogged the hucksters out of the temple was such a cringing conformist that he lacked the intestinal fortitude to direct his followers to induct women into all aspects of ministry in his kingdom of heaven if that was his wish?

    Do you believe his followers would have defied his wishes on this matter if he had made them known?

    Is it compatible with a divine nature to inadvertently ‘overlook’ the issue and leave it for future generations to thrash out?

  39. frjim4321 says:

    I see a big difference between preaching and teaching and blogging. Basically the preaching at our place is scriptural or liturgical. I rarely get into church politics and I would think it unrpoductive to bring up pet peeves. I find that any negativity in a homily and its the only thing people remember. So no worries about pulpit appeals for ordination rights. What would that accomplish?

    I would not have even brought it up but it is the topic of this string. I suppose the point is that this particular teaching has not received universal acceptence.

    As I said earlier burning energy over something that’s not going to change is wasteful; and preaching, teaching or writing something that’s going to bring episcopal attention is not worth the headache.

    Probably most parishioners don’t even know if I am a repubican or a democrat – which is how it should be. I try not to carry my personal baggage into the pulpit.

  40. Supertradmum says:

    frjim4321, maybe I can help. There is a difference between infallibility and certitude. We can know something for certain, but it is not infallible. Infallibility is a gift, a faculty. Certitude is an attitude or a disposition of the mind towards something. If certitude is lacking, what one is reasoning is faulty. False reasoning leads to false certainties. Infallibly does not fall into that category of reasoning. We can have certitude about infallibility because that is the teaching of the Church, which is truth and not our own faulty reasoning. It is up to us to try and conform our minds to the Church, so that when there is a subject towards which we cannot give our certitude, it is up to us to go back through our reasoning to discover where our faulty premises contradict the teaching. If we come up against an infallible truth which we cannot understand, we can still give it some assent, as with the teaching on the Trinity. If the proposition is capable of understanding, and I think that the issue of women priests falls into the category of provable and therefore, certain assent, it is our duty to pursue with our intellect the argument. Hope this helps.

  41. Supertradmum says:

    sorry for spelling error-infallibly should be infallibility–typing in the sun and missed that correction on the screen I cannot see….apologies for other errors not seen.

  42. acardnal says:

    @Supertradmum: You have sun?!?

  43. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:

    I see a big difference between preaching and teaching and blogging. Basically the preaching at our place is scriptural or liturgical.

    You don’t think teaching theology is Scriptural or liturgical? When I was teaching, everything I said had a foundation in Scripture. Further, because of Lex ordandi lex credendi, it also makes paedagogical sense to point out how doctrine is manifest in liturgy–often found in the works of Garrigou LaGrange.

    I rarely get into church politics and I would think it unrpoductive to bring up pet peeves. I find that any negativity in a homily and its the only thing people remember. So no worries about pulpit appeals for ordination rights.

    Doctrine is hardly a matter of Church politics.

    I would not have even brought it up but it is the topic of this string. I suppose the point is that this particular teaching has not received universal acceptence.

    Acceptance is not relevant to whether doctrine is true. From Vat I, Fourth Session, Chap 4, no 9: Such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are of themselves, >and NOT BY THE CONSENT OF THE CHURCH, irreformable.

  44. BaedaBenedictus says:

    “preaching, teaching or writing something that’s going to bring episcopal attention is not worth the headache.”

    Liberal priests are so good at this, at beating around the bush and knowing what they can get away with.

  45. Supertradmum says:

    acardnal, did have sun…sigh…gone

  46. acardnal says:

    @frjim4321: As robtbrown said, Lex orandi, lex credendi.

  47. pm125 says:

    ‘ “I rarely get into church politics” … ” and I would think it unrpoductive to bring up pet peeves. I find that any negativity in a homily and its the only thing people remember. So no worries about pulpit appeals for ordination rights. ”

    Doctrine is hardly a matter of Church politics. ‘
    Cloaking pet peeves in blog appeals, there are many more chances to bask in attention and correction too -

  48. Mary Jane says:

    I do occasionally wonder if frjim4321 comments the way he does because he enjoys the reactions his comments elicit.

  49. frjim4321 says:

    Thanks. I keep my pet peeves out of the pulpit and out of the bulletin. I don’t find it does any pastoral good to air personal grievences to the parishioners. Yup, I agree that homilists of all theoretical orientations should keep their personal baggage to themselves.

  50. frjim4321 says:

    First I am sorry if I am double posting. Our internet is down so I am relegated to the Blackberry. It’s buggy.

    Mary Jane, I also wonder why I am attracted to this blog. I think it is because I care about a lot of the same things that come up here. There really are not many other blogs with this degree of vibrancy that I can think of other than Pray Tell.

    I don’t sit around trying to figure out “how can I stir up the waters today.”. Basically this is a place where things I care about are discussed. My feeling is that so long as I am polite and honest I am welcome here. [And that is the case. However, when a priest says publicly that he supports the ordination of women, I expect that he is going to get kicked around in the combox here. And he ought to be kicked around in the combox. I don't want criticisms of your very bad position to devolve into "you are a poopy head", which is sometimes all those who cannot exercise self-editing can come up with. Still, you hold a very bad position, contrary to the Church's clear teaching, if you think women can or should be ordained priests. Put that view into a comment here and you will reap what you sow.] I am a real person, a real pastor with real parishioners – I am not a troll with nothing better to do with me time.

    That being said, we are not living in a church where priests of ALL theoretical orientations are free to speak their mind without reprisals. So I guess this blog offers some outlet and everyone enjoys a bit of happy anonymity. [I am satisfied that you are a priest in good standing and I am satisfied that you participate here with sincerity (even though you are wrong about women's ordination). My opinion about your standing is, for this blog, the only one that counts.]

    Typos blamed on the blackberry and my eyesight.

  51. Kathleen10 says:

    Hi Fr. Jim, nice to see you. I enjoy your taking part in the very interesting discussions here, I really do. It’s wonderful to be in a warm and friendly environment where, it is possible to really chat about things. If I had a party, I would hope to have some “spice” in the conversations. It can be deadly dull if everyone agreed on every point I think. I’m glad you’re here. We’re a community, that makes it nice!

  52. NescioQuid says:

    Father Jim, here’s the thing: it is only right that priests are accountable for whatever they say. You are religious member of the church charged with specific responsibilities (and paid to do the same out of parish/Church funds – however modest the income might be). Why should I as a lay member be subject to a priest directly contravening the Church’s teachings? A priest’s public ministry should be testimony to all the Church teaches or it directly undermines all that the Church stands for. Moreover, if every priest thought it was okay to be disobedient to the Church, what kind of shepherds would they be precisely?

    Therefore, it is only right and just for the sake of your parish and others, that you hold your tongue. If you have doubts you should thrash them out in spiritual direction privately. That is what being obedient means.

  53. Maria says:

    CatholicMD:

    The Saint schtick is his modus operandi. Most have been sucked in by the manuever. I have been mystified for years as to why people have not caught onto the game. It is his cover for the promotion of sodomy, women’s ordination et cetera. People say: ” he is so nice”. Uh huh. Try posting commentary to America Magzine that supports the teaching of the Church and see what happens. Not so nice. Not so priestly.

    By the way… so many prophets in our midst, huh?

  54. Pingback: SATURDAY EXTRA | Big Pulpit

  55. NescioQuid says:

    P.S. If I sound annoyed, well, yes I am. Lay people look to religious members, particularly priests for leadership, not fragmentation. That is why priests have the benefit of several years of seminary education. Most of us lay people don’t have that benefit. We grab minutes in the day when we can do some spiritual reading, and for many that does not necessarily encompass looking at papal encyclicals. The whole point of priestly ministry is to distill the truths laid out by the Magisterium in a format easily understood by all, without any equivocation.

  56. pm125 says:

    ” So I guess this blog offers some outlet and everyone enjoys a bit of happy anonymity. ”

    Anonymity might reasonably and kindly dictate that you not present yourself as a Priest of the Catholic Church. [I think you should let Fr. Z run his blog and determine the parameters of anonymity... pm125. By the way, a loath impersonal handles like the one you are using. We know there is a person behind it, but it is dehumanizing.]

  57. The Cobbler says:

    “First of all, it seems obvious that at that last stage of the papacy in question others were running the show. It is not an ex cathedra statement.”
    Fr. Jim, at what point exactly would you say that the influence of others on the Pope negates his authority? I’ve never heard of such a thing in the first place, so I have no idea how the second sentence quoted here could follow from the first.

  58. The Cobbler says:

    (Others have addressed the fact that JP2 hardly pulled that teaching out of his bishop’s hat. The only thing I could add is that the whole point of having papal infallibility is to settle things for the folks who just don’t get that something is universal Church teaching despite their little movement to the contrary. Apparently these days the same folks don’t care about authority unless they agree with the reasoning behind the decision too. Wonder if there’s a solution for that.)

  59. Kathleen10 says:

    It’s somewhat late, I’m still awake, so I will talk to myself here, and offer my opinion. This should put me to sleep, and you as well.

    It is confusing, Fr. Jim, when our priests are conflicted about such an important topic. It is possible not to speak from the pulpit on a specific topic, yet give your parishioners a definite impression. Sometimes, what is not said rings louder than shouts. When you do speak, your parishioners are listening, looking to you for guidance, insights. They wonder about these important issues and wonder what you think of them as well.
    It doesn’t sound as if you are pontificating to your parishioners at all on the topic, so that seems a decent thing to do. Since you are not doing that, hopefully there is no harm in your carrying such a dissenting opinion from the Church. Perhaps in all other ways you are a faithful son of the Church, and need to be thanked for that.
    Confusion and dissension is rife Father. It is challenging to be clergy and it is challenging to be laity, the difference being, you are who people look to, to separate truth from error.

    I’m confounded by what to say that will affect the heart of a priest who does not perhaps realize his importance. You can lead souls to heaven or to hell. I can’t think of anything else to say. We all need priests who help us love and follow Jesus by the expression of our Catholic faith. Liberality or dissension people can get anywhere.
    I say this with all due respect and appreciation Father.
    Goodnight everybody.

  60. Supertradmum says:

    Dear frjim4321, stay on the blog.

  61. Sissy says:

    Dear Frjim4321: earlier, you said “That being said, we are not living in a church where priests of ALL theoretical orientations are free to speak their mind without reprisals.”

    What orientation can there be other than that which is oriented towards Christ and His Church? I often read comments by you that imply that Catholic doctrine can be parsed along political lines, as if there is a “right-wing” or “leftist” way to understand doctrine. But there is really only God’s way, as delivered to us by the Magisterium. I would hate to think that any priest who dissents from the teachings of the Church is punished with “reprisals”; I do hope that he receives loving correction.

  62. PA mom says:

    I understand how someone, even a priest, can find themselves to be in a position of being unconvinced on a position of Church teaching. As thinking people, sometimes we are just not there yet, though this is different than deliberately teaching others wrong. As I was returning to the faith as an adult, this was one of the blocks I struggled with even though I had no interest personally. But I don’t believe that the Lord makes mistakes, and I don’t believe the conspiracy theories that say that He did ordain women so, I wanted to keep working at it in my mind. I was teaching the sacrament of Holy Orders, some of the students would ask about it, and I insisted with myself that I not teach it wrong even if I didn’t totally get it myself. Over time, it became comfortable to accept it and even defend it.
    Talking with my own daughter about it, I have pointed out the many times that priests have been the primary target of persecution. The understanding that going out into all nations was deadly dangerous, the many martyr priests, others who have been tortured. What man would be comfortable sending women out in the front, yes as the leader, but who is a better target than the leader? Who do the Jihadists usually shoot first? Anyhow, hope that helps, it certainly gave her something to think about.
    It is comforting to me to realize that God already did all the math on this stuff, trying every possible way and knowing absolutely that this way is best for all of us, and then handing it to us perfectly correct.

  63. PostCatholic says:

    I get asked some of the questions that FrJim4321 has been, from time to time–I think the latest was last week. I second him when he writes:

    I also wonder why I am attracted to this blog. I think it is because I care about a lot of the same things that come up here. There really are not many other blogs with this degree of vibrancy that I can think of other than Pray Tell.

    I don’t sit around trying to figure out “how can I stir up the waters today.”. Basically this is a place where things I care about are discussed. My feeling is that so long as I am polite and honest I am welcome here.

    That said, the issue of whether Catholicism opts to ordain women isn’t one of the issues I care about. I view it as an internal matter of discipline within a community I would not belong to for larger reasons, much along the lines I view notions like keeping Kosher or the family requirements for a Mormon Temple wedding.

    What I do appreciate is the collegial spirit of Rev. Zuhlsdorf even though I disagree on many fundamentals, and I thank him for the colloquy that does take place here. And not to make it all about me, but I chose this “handle” rather hastily a long time ago, before I was alive to the sensibilities of the audience, and I’m also not anonymous to Rev. Zuhlsdorf.