NCR’s attack on the Year of the Priest: heresy and arrogance

The weekly National Catholic Reporter is one of the most dissident publications calling itself Catholic.

This week NCR attacks Pope Benedict’s decision to inaugurate a special Year for Priests, which begins on Friday, 19 June, the Feast of the Sacred Heart.

My emphases and comments.

Don’t tell the pope
By Nicole Sotelo

Created Jun 11, 2009

Pope Benedict has declared June 19 as the beginning of the Year of the Priest. He has proclaimed that “without priestly ministry, there would be no Eucharist, no mission and even no church.” [And now Nicole is going to enlighten us about how the Vicar of Christ went wrong….] I hate to be the one to inform him, but Eucharist, mission and church existed long before the rise of priesthood.  [Just.Plain.Silly.]

According to the Gospels, Jesus was not a priest, nor were his disciples. We do see reference to Jesus as a priest in the Letter to the Hebrews. The author uses the word to refer to Jesus as the new and last “High Priest,” ending a long line of Jewish leaders. The author claims that priests are no longer necessary because no more sacrifices are needed. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice and is our final high priest.

Perhaps the pope has forgotten that Jesus was not focused on priesthood. He was focused on ministry. [Nicole is completely clueless about what "ministry" means, I think.]  He called people to minister alongside him, [bzzzzzz]  regardless of their status in society. He called out to fishermen and tax collectors and the woman with seven demons. [So… the woman with seven demons was a minister alongside Him?]  Everyone was responsible for engendering the kingdom of God. ["engendering"?]

All were invited to minister and they did so with various titles given to them by the community based on their gifts. Some were called prophet, others teacher and still others apostle. It was only later that we begin to see the emergence of a formal ministry structure and corresponding terminology as the followers of Jesus were influenced and integrated into the Roman Empire. It is not until 215 A.D. that we have evidence of an ordination ritual for bishop, priest and deacon.  [I see… so… there were no priests, no bishops, in the Church before that.  I get it.  Boy, did Benedict screw this up!]

The emergence of the clerical structure eventually led to a division of the Christian faithful into “clergy” and “laity.” In the early years of Christianity’s emergence, however, Paul reminded Jesus’ followers, “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).  [Heavens… this is so bad as to be embarrassing.]

After the rise of ordination and priesthood, there develops a hierarchical order among the faithful. The word “ordination” derives from the Latin “ordinare” which means “to create order.” It developed from the Roman usage of the words “ordines” that referred to the classes of people in Rome according to their eligibility for government positions. [Ehem… the evolution of terms are one thing, but the reality they express is another.  Before the word "sacrament" for example, or a clear understanding of "person" in reference to the Persons of the Trinity, they were still facts.]

The laity became “dis-ordered” from the clergy. [HUH?  Nice try.  The clergy does not have orders to bring "order" merely to themselves, but to the whole Church.]  The word “laity” originates from the word “laikoi” that referred to those in Greco-Roman society who were not “ordered,” or “ordained” within the established political structure. The word “clergy” comes from the word “kleros,” meaning “a group apart.”
While many Christians continued to minister within the church and even some women carried the titles of deacon, priest and bishop, most carrying this title were part of a limited group of men commissioned within the context of a particular socio-political and religious order. [Get it?  See how clever she is?  This is all culturally conditioned.  See?]

[Okay… now we are going to learn that Vatican II got rid of that old stuff.  Another manifestation of seeing the Council as a rupture with the past.] This endured until 1964 when the Second Vatican Council reminded the church that the role of minister, or priest, was not limited to the ordained, but was a call to all the baptized. The document, Lumen Gentium, proclaimed that the laity were “made sharers in the priestly, prophetical and kingly functions of Christ; and they carry out for their own part the mission of the whole Christian people in the Church and in the world” (31).  [Nicole probably purposely left out the strong affirmation of the Church’s teaching that there is a qualitative difference between the priesthood of the baptized and the priesthood of the ordained.]

Priesthood, which arose out of the foundation of the early ministries of Jesus’ followers, was now returned to all Jesus’ faithful. All people are called to ministry again. All Christians are meant to share in the prophetic, sovereign and, yes, even priestly roles within the mission of the church.

So while the pope is exhorting ordained priests to reflection in this Year of the Priest, the call goes out to all of us to reflect on how we are living out our ministry in the church and world.

I wouldn’t worry about telling the pope that Eucharist, mission and church existed long before the priesthood, [Oh brother.] nor that the Year of the Priest should really be a year dedicated to all the laity. Instead, we need to understand this ourselves.

The Year of the Priest is an opportunity for the entire Christian faithful to reflect on priestly ministry, and in so doing, to claim our own.

Nicole Sotelo is the author of Women Healing from Abuse: Meditations for Finding Peace, published by Paulist Press, and coordinates [1]. A graduate of Harvard Divinity School, she currently works at Call To Action.

Nicole is deeply confused. 

She is a heretic, it seems, since she does accept the Church’s teaching that the priesthood of the ordained is qualitatively different from that of the baptized.  The Council is clear on this.  There is virtually no way she hasn’t read that or heard that.

She is also rather arrogant, for presuming to correct the Vicar of Christ about the very nature of the Church. 


Am I wrong?  Was that not heresy?  Was the not arrogant?

I imagine some of you will have comments.  I suppose they will be pretty harsh, for the most part. 

Try to restrain yourselves.

Stick as much as possible with picking apart the errors of fact and the errors of reasoning.  You will still have plenty to write about!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Classic Posts, SESSIUNCULA, The Drill, Year of Priests. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Precentrix says:

    “Burn them all; God will know His own”.

    And the letter I wrote to Portsmouth People a while back.

  2. Allan says:

    I actually find all of this very helpful. My son is checking out which Universities he may want to attend.
    Thanks to Nicole, we can safely add “Harvard Divinity School” to the list of places he will not be attending.

    Heretics. The gift that just keeps on giving….

  3. Andy F. says:

    After reading this tabloid article, I let out a big sigh. Why do they even bother?

  4. “I hate to be the one to inform him, but Eucharist, mission and church existed long before the rise of priesthood.”

    I learned long ago to never trust anyone who does not use articles in his or her writing.

  5. Andrew, medievalist says:

    Don’t worry. There all already LOADS of comments on NCR’s website decrying this piece. In fact, a VERY rough glance suggests that those against this article outnumber the supportive comments. This isn’t the first time Ms Sotelo has attracted controversy and I think even NCR may, one day, realise that they’ve gone too far.

  6. Brian Mershon says:

    Harsh? Pretty funny, Father. Can’t be much more harsh than calling someone a heretic or arrogant in a widely-read public forum.

    I know. I know. The laity are supposed to stay away from “ad hominem” attacks.


  7. Bob says:

    How nice to learn that I’m a priest. I feel so empowered! I can’t wait to start engendering the kingdom of God. I think I’ll go say Mass right now. Where can I get some of those giant puppets?

  8. Jeremy says:

    Of course, Brant Pitre has a wonderful essay on this very topic in a recent Letter and Spirit journal. This poor lady is angry and bitter. Let’s pray for her. She is a heretic.

  9. peregrinus says:

    Well, that’s the kind of silliness and stupidity that I’ve come to expect from NCR.

    Let’s not let Satan get the better of us even if it may be righteous anger. The Church is after all in Jesus’ hands, and the priests are his priests, given to his Church by Jesus himself and patterned after the High Priest of our confession. The theology and teachings of the Church are more solid than the fantasies of this woman.

  10. Brian says:

    The publisher is ‘Paulist Press’. I hope this publisher has no formal connection with the Church. It forms a material part of what Fr Z calls ‘heretic’ ideas. Catholics should therefore consider not buying Paulist Press publications,

  11. Memphis Aggie says:

    Pretty childishly oppositional article from NCR. I’m more inclined to laugh than be angry.

  12. Al Williams says:

    I would think that someone teaching or studying at a school of theology would have come across, at on time or another, the writings of Sts. Polycarp and Ignatius of Antioch. Both of these Apostolic Fathers were taught by the Apostles themselves, both were bishops in the early second century, and both wrote strongly about both the Holy Eucharist and the necessity of the local Churches being united to their Bishops.

    Since they both wrote at about 107 A.D., I think any student or teacher of theology who neglects such history and teachings is willfully blinding themselves to the true nature and development of the One, Holy, Catholic and APOSTOLIC Church…the which Church we profess and renew our faith every Sunday at Mass.

    Or do the words of our´profession of faith´ really have no meaning??

  13. Ohio Annie says:

    I’ve had bad experiences with Paulist Press before.

    The fundamental misunderstandings here are two: the difference between the ministry of the laity and the Ministry of the Priest; the nature of ordination, the ontological change which is causes in the priest.

    I was going to be an Anglican priest once until I figured out the above. Then I had to be Catholic.

  14. The Astronomer says:

    I used to laugh at NCR’s outlandish, 60s leftover, half-baked ‘theology’…until I realized souls were at stake. Prayer…charity and fraternal correction. AMDG

  15. Ohio Annie says:

    On the other hand, Paulist Press is responsible for the best edition of the writings of Julian of Norwich in print. (Julian is my confirmation name)

  16. Sid says:

    1. Is this a Liberal Protestant incognito? To know history, Newman said, is abandon Protestantism. She knows no history. Even Von Harnack was better than this.

    2. This is The Liberal version of Classic Protestant and Evangelical Protestant argument of “The Great Apostasy”; i.e., that somehow the early Church supposedly was just like a local Primitive Baptist or Unitarian (take your pick) congregationalist assembly, and that almost immediately in the first century this church supposedly was betrayed.

    3. Note the difference from this line of argument and Modernism, the latter frankly admitting that they are a brand new Church and new Religion (Spong, Schori, McBrian, et al.), with the Social Gospel movement as the New John the Baptist and the 60s as the New Incarnation.

  17. RichR says:

    Council of Trent:

    “If any one saith, that, in the Catholic Church there is not a hierarchy by divine ordination instituted, consisting of bishops, priests, and ministers; let him be anathema.” Twenty-Third Session CANON VI.

    “If any one saith, that there is not in the New Testament a visible and external priesthood; or that there is not any power of consecrating and offering the true body and blood of the Lord, and of forgiving and retaining sins; but only an office and bare ministry of preaching the Gospel, or, that those who do not preach are not priests at all; let him be anathema.” Twenty-Second Session CANON I

  18. Matt Q says:

    This rag cannot be anything but an anti-Catholic rant. Nothing written is ever positive, encouraging or uplifting. How can anyone trust what they write? Accuracy is the least of their attributes. All they do is criticize the Holy Father, distort, condemn and lie about Church teaching. The very things this hysterical writer has stated all stems from a false, warped interpretation of the Church and skewed with that false social agenda. This is evident in all this rag writes about.

  19. Allan says:

    St. Thomas defines heresy: ‘a species of infidelity in men who, having professed the faith of Christ, corrupt its dogmas’

    No doubt this sad woman (sorry, womyn) will never consider herself to be a heretic as she is not a man….

  20. universal doctor says:

    Brilliant! I think I have some pitta bread lying around somewhere, I’ll just get my barbecue tongs and magician’s outfit and we’re in business…. Boy do I fell liberated from all those gender theories which have oppressed me. Thanks Nicole!

  21. JFaulk says:

    Sid beat me too it. This lady is not Catholic but an evangelical protestant. I would know, I used to be one. She sounds just like a Baptist Sunday school teacher telling everyone of the evils of the Catholic hierchy and that “The Bible and Luther say” that were all priests under Jesus Christ. I recommend the author find a nice Southern Baptist Antipapist Church to attend so she can have some peace.

  22. viennaguy says:

    I’ve said my piece on their website now. I feel much better. Some commentator on there who praised her article, also happened to believe that each member of the Blessed Trinity…wait for it…is female. And refers to God as ‘Goddess’. The fact that such silliness (which is the only name it deserves) exists does not surprise me. The fact they call themselves Catholic for some reason, does.

  23. If the author does not claim to be a Christian, than she cannot be called a
    heretic. The author went to Harvard Divinity School, which I would characterize
    as a “post-Christian” rather than as a “Christian” faculty. In Boston theological
    circles in my (short) day, Harvard Div was notorious. It was also rumoured that an MDiv from HDS would get you no job with any church save the Unitarian Universalists.

    Sadly, the author does seem to have a personal interest in Vatican II, and therefore
    possibly imagines that she is a Roman Catholic. And so, if she is one, and she
    denies a fundamental distinction between the ordained priesthood and the laity. then she is
    , then she is indeed a heretic, or to be nice about it, a Protestant.

    Many Catholics cling to the identity “Catholic” because they think it makes them
    “ethnic” or gives authenticity to their “ethnicity.” However, I am sorry that
    a Catholic newspaper would mislead other Catholics like this.

  24. Mitchell NY says:

    As for quoting from Galatians, “There is no longer Jew or Greek, Slave or Free, there is no longer male of female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus, I am assuming that Nicole’s philosophy would be to blur further the lines of lay people and Priests. Not only lay and Priest but using her hypothesis I guess she would fully support same sex marriage since “there is no longer man and woman”…Hmmmm what else can we construe from her flawed philosophy?

  25. as I have said, in the good ole days, we burned heretics. Sometimes you wish it was the good old days

    Why do we not fight fire with fire with the idiots? Beat them at their own game, tear them down publicly? That seems to be the matter of worth for most people now, the arena of public opinion. Instead we let ourselves be victimized

  26. freddy says:

    Thank God for priests! You are in my prayers. The devil, of course, hates priests so any attack on the priesthood should, I think, be met by Catholics with charity, upholding the dignity of priests, and prayer.

  27. LCB says:

    She writes, “According to the Gospels, Jesus was not a priest, nor were his disciples.”

    I stopped reading there. She obviously has not read the Gospels.

  28. Latekate says:

    This is just another lame attack on Catholic Church authority. Soleto has no problem claiming HERSELF as an authority of the Church, however, presumably because she wants a “priestly role” and cannot have it within the Church as it is. Yes, she is a heretic and the NCR is obviously NOT Catholic to publish this thinly disguised feminist anti-Catholic propaganda.

  29. Karin says:

    Reading Nicole’s bio., I am just wondering if there are still some unresolved issues in her healing from abuse. I have a subscription to the NCR, but have taken issue with them a few times. This article helped me to make the decision not to re-up the subscription. They really need to be careful of who writes and what they write.
    Our priests now more than ever need the extra blessings and graces this Year of the Priest will bring. We as the faithful need to add our prayers during this year and always for our priests.

  30. Ottaviani says:

    Women and theology do not mix – just like women and liturgy…

  31. LCB says:

    Being a sucker for punishment I read the piece after my above post.

    I wish I hadn’t.

    However I do stand by my original comment. She obviously has not read the Gospels all the way through.

  32. thomas tucker says:

    Is the Paulist Press run by the Paulist order?

  33. LCB says:

    Sorry for 3 comments in rapid succession.

    There are still a great many parishes that have multiple subscriptions to NCR, which is about all that keeps it floating.

    After a piece like this, it’s really time for all parishes to stop subscribing.

  34. Aelric says:

    Can. 1369 A person who in a public show or speech, in published writing, or in other uses of the instruments of social communication utters blasphemy, gravely injures good morals, expresses insults, or excites hatred or contempt against religion or the Church is to be punished with a just penalty.

    Note there is no “may be punished.” The local ordinary is obligated to impose a just penalty. Write?

    Also see Dr. Ed Peter’s views on this canon’s applicability to Rembert Weakland.

  35. Flabellum says:

    Do the US Bishops have any way of denying the epithet ‘Catholic’ to the National Distorter?

  36. David D. says:

    Miss Sotelo is part of NCR Online\’s new \”Young Voices\” series. As NCR explains:

    \”The future of our church is in the hands of a generation coming of age in the first decade of the 21st century. NCR went looking among this generation and found four young Catholics — Nicole Sotelo, Kate Childs Graham, Mike Sweitzer-Beckman, Jamie L. Manson — from different backgrounds and with different connections to the church. They will be sharing their stories in this space weekly. A new column from a different author will be posted to every Thursday.\”

    As we know, Miss Sotelo \”is the author of Women Healing from Abuse: Meditations for Finding Peace, published by Paulist Press, and coordinates A graduate of Harvard Divinity School, she currently works at Call To Action.\”

    Miss Graham \”serves on the Women’s Ordination Conference board of directors and the Call to Action Next Generation Leadership Team.\”

    Miss Manson \”received her master of divinity degree from Yale Divinity School where she studied Catholic theology, personal commitments and sexual ethics with Mercy Sr. Margaret Farley. She is the former editor in chief of the Yale magazine Reflections, and currently serves as director of Social Justice Ministries at Jan Hus Presbyterian Church, working primarily with New York City’s homeless and poor populations. She is a member of the national board of the Women’s Ordination Conference.\”

    Mr. Sweitzer-Beckman is a regular NCR contributor who obtained a \”master\’s of divinity from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley.\”

    If NCR really wants to hear for from young Catholic Voices of \”different backgrounds and with different connections to the church\” perhaps they could add a home-schooling mother of five or better yet, a SSPX seminarian.

  37. John Enright says:

    This goes beyond heresy; a better term would be apostasy. ‘Nuff said.

  38. Most Excellent Sledgehammer says:

    “Do the US Bishops have any way of denying the epithet ‘Catholic’ to the National Distorter?”

    Only the bishop who is the ordinary where the NCR is located.

    That bishop would be the Most Reverend Robert Finn.

    I wonder if His Excellency just might be willing to do something about this. Anyone know him well enough to ask?

  39. irishgirl says:

    Ottaviani-you got that right….women and theology, and women and liturgy, do not mix! And I’m a woman!

    Oy vey…roll eyes…my reactions to such drivel!

  40. Irish says:

    That kind of mixed up logic is just wicked. Calling Fr. Merrin; Fr. Merrin to the NCR offices, stat!

    “Especially important is the warning to avoid conversations with the demon. We may ask what is relevant but anything beyond that is dangerous. He is a liar. The demon is a liar. He will lie to confuse us. But he will also mix lies with the truth to attack us. The attack is psychological, Damien, and powerful. So don’t listen to him. Remember that – do not listen.”

  41. Origen Adamantius says:

    “only later we see a formal ministry structure”

    Sigh! A deliberate misreading of the NT that neither serious Catholic nor Protestant biblical scholars will defend. The earliest written documents that we have make constant reference to a leadership within the communities

    “We appeal to you, my brothers, to be considerate to those who work so hard among you as your leaders in the Lord and those who admonish you.Have the greatest respect and affection for them because of their work.” (1Th 5:12-13 NJB)

  42. Pat says:

    The young voices are the funniest part of the NCR. They supposedly went and picked four or five young Catholics at random who are representative of the young Catholics of today, and they just happen to agree with every heretical proposition espoused by the NCR. I wonder if the young voices really exist, or if they’re just ghost written by the octogenarian NCR editors (no offense to octogenarians intended).

  43. Ioannes Andreades says:

    Clearly, the idea of the priesthood being a phenomenon after the death of Jesus can be found in the New Testament. In these passages, the priesthood is not simply an Old Testament phenomenon that has ended with Jesus, the final high priest.

    1 Peter 2:0-10 But you are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises” of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were “no people” but now you are God’s people; you “had not received mercy” but now you have received mercy.

    Rev. 1: 4-6 John, to the seven churches in Asia: 4 grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us 5 from our sins by his blood, who has made us into a kingdom, priests for his God and Father, to him be glory and power forever (and ever).

    Rev. 5:9-10 They sang a new hymn: “Worthy are you to receive the scroll and to break open its seals, for you were slain and with your blood you purchased for God those from every tribe and tongue, people and nation. You made them a kingdom and priests for our God, and they will reign on earth.”

  44. FWIW, Paulist Press’ catalog isn’t nearly as bad as it used to be. Fr. John Vidmar’s The Catholic Church Through the Ages is the best one-volume history of the Church I’ve found.

  45. Sliwka says:

    Thoughts from a “one-year old” Catholic in Canada,

    I was only baptized last year, and I have only taken a handful of theology classes, but…Karin, I agree that this is not the thing the Church needs when vocations to the priesthood seem to be dwindling. What we need is more support for our priests, who (dare I say) sacrifice a whole hell of a lot for the Church and her children (the laity).

    I am reminded of a post on another blog (I think this one) that shows 45% of priest to be ordained this year were discouraged (59% of those from a family member and 51% from a friend). Is this how we will solve the priest shortage? Badger young men until they cave in to outside pressure and let the Sacrament become a modern free-for-all grab bag of pseudo-Catholicism… Maybe her hope is to reduce the number of priest more so the Church will have to “ordain” women

  46. Charivari Rob says:

    “So while the pope is exhorting ordained priests to reflection in this Year of the Priest, the call goes out to all of us to reflect on how we are living out our ministry in the church and world.”

    So, the Year of the Priest is something the Pope is expecting only ordained priests to observe? Nothing for the laity to do for the next year? No praying for vocations? No learning about our priests and the priesthood to better understand and support them, and thereby better ourselves? Oh, brother…

    Nice to see that she distinguishes ‘ordained priests’ from the rest of us when it serves her point.

  47. “only later we see a formal ministry structure”

    Sigh! A deliberate misreading of the NT that neither serious Catholic nor Protestant biblical scholars will defend. The earliest written documents that we have make constant reference to a leadership within the communities

    Indeed. In Saints and Sinners, Eamon Duffy, a doctrinal liberal, demonstrates that there is ample documentary evidence of a recognizable hierarchical structure of the Church by the end of the first century, and that it most likely existed before then.

  48. avecrux says:

    Apart from many other things, she does not make the distinction between the priesthood of the laity – a true priesthood, conferred at baptism which gives us the capacity for worship – and the Ordained Priesthood, conferred by the laying on of hands, which leaves another indelible mark on the soul – ontologically changing the man ordained with the capacity to act in persona Christi capitis to lead worship and act as a mediator.

    An aside – she speaks extensively on issues affecting gays/lesbians etc…

  49. This is a joke with a very long set up for the punch line that comes with the last sentence of the bio: ” . . . she currently works at Call to Action.”

    So, given the background of the writer and the nature of the publication, this is not exactly a “man bites dog” story. Then again, this piece may get picked up by L’Osservatore Romano!

    BTW, Fr. John Trigilio will be my guest this Saturday 6/20 at 1 PM ET on Catholic Radio 2.0. The topic is the Year of Priests, and I’m sure we’ll be touching on this piece. Listen live or download later:

  50. ALL: Let’s stick to substantive comments?

  51. Prof. Basto says:

    My concern is…

    How can the Church hierarchy in the USA stop the NCR from using the “Catholic” name? If there are American lawyers reading us, I would like to know if this is feaseble.

    Also, ye Canon Lawyers: is it possible for the pope to excommunicate not only this writer, but also the NCR corporation? In other words, can juridical persons incurr canonical penalties? If that’s not possible then that loophole in Penal Canon Law should be urgently closed.

    Furthermore, speaking of natural persons, I believe that not only the author, but also the editor and the board of directors, should incurr canonical penalties in this case.

    The Church must send a clear signal that the NCR is NOT Catholic, and that its doctrine is wrong, evil, hellish and constitutes another religion having nothing to do with the Catholic Faith.

  52. Scott says:

    I think that Pope Benedicts decesion to have a year of the Priest is one of master strokes of his Pontificate. We here in New Zealand have had to put up with this lay led church idea for ages.
    At the Charism Mass this pass Easter it was great hearing our ArchBishop preach on the idea of the year of the Priesthood. Especially when the focus has been on lay pastoral areas. We we now have woman (its always woman) leading a church.

  53. DJ says:

    This article doesn’t entirely surprise me, particularly after reviewing the bio of the author. It seems that there is a movement among those from Harvard Divinity School to present the contemporary institutional church as a distortion of the “glory days of Christianity.” Although, I find it with some amusement that those glorious days of Christianity always seem to be limited to the first 150 years. (I am thinking of Elaine Pagels, who, as I recall, so often negatively portrays the early bishops as corrupting the authentic form of Christianity.)

    What is so dangerous about this position (besides the theological matters) is its arrogance in presuming to know fully what that early church was like. All too often it imposes a particular contemporary ideological thought (e.g. feminism) or modern notion (egalitarianism) upon that time. It seems to read more into the historical documents than what is actually there. At least that is my impression.

    Finally, I think this is why the Second Vatican Council is always understood by these persons as being a renewal of that earlier period. When they read Vatican II, they look for words and lines that appeal to them, without fully reading the documents, contextualizing the documents in the larger experience, and understanding the Council to be apart of the living Tradition. This is clearly evident in their discrediting of Benedict, who himself was at the Council as a theologian. Benedict lived that experience and knew well what was going on.

    I’d much rather trust Benedict’s, than Ms. Sotelo’s, articulation of what really ought to be the Catholic experience.

    (Sorry for the long comment.)

  54. Michael says:

    That article is off the wall even by NCR standards. :/

  55. TJM says:

    The National Anti-Catholic Reporter – Always Fighting the Last War! should be their motto. I wonder what the circulation of this left-wing loon rag is at this point in time. I can’t imagine serious Catholics purchasing it at any price. Tom

  56. Maureen says:

    Re: “women and theology don’t mix”

    Oh, sweet St. Catherine of Alexandria! Tell me, Ottaviani and irishgirl, that you are just joking. I mean, surely you aren’t saying that in the face of St. Catherine of Siena, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Edith Stein, St. Hildegarde of Bingen, etc., etc. Not to mention the Virgin Mary herself, or St. Mary of Bethany.

    I don’t think you would dare say that to Alice von Hildebrand, one of our greatest living philosophers and conservative Catholic theologians, a lady whose brain I am not worthy to polish.

    That said, I can understand why silliness like that article might lead one to bigotry.

  57. Does she realize she can easily satisfy her “theological” aspirations by joining some Protestant sect?

    NCR is terrible. It’s only mission is to try to destroy the Catholic Church by leading Catholics to think dissent is good and revelation is up for democratic vote.

    And yet, there are priests that subscribe to this garbage.
    No Catholic should give them business. Let their magazine die off with its rotten Protestant mentality.

  58. Gail F says:

    Ottoviani wrote: “Women and theology do not mix – just like women and liturgy…”

    Gee what planet, and what CHURCH, are you from? The women DOCTORS OF THE CHURCH would disagree with you.

    What a stupid article! I especially like the part where she says that the year of the priest should actually be the “year of the laity.” Although the part about women bishops was also pretty good. As was the idea that there weren’t any ordained priests before 215, or whatever year she picked. This is wilful misunderstanding of theology, history, and Scripture. I am amazed that anyone, anywhere, would publish it.

  59. Mary Rose says:

    While many Christians continued to minister within the church and even some women carried the titles of deacon, priest and bishop, most carrying this title were part of a limited group of men commissioned within the context of a particular socio-political and religious order.

    I knew this was leading to justifying pressure to ordain women as priests. I wonder how much of the Old Testament Nicole has read? She would learn that the Levitical priesthood did not include ordaining any woman as a high priest. There is a pattern of authority God has established and all for specific purposes. Yes, the laity is called to serve within the Body of Christ, but God has ordained that authority to be given in a certain manner – and there is to be a distinction between the laity and the priesthood. Both have important roles to fulfill but yet they are not the same. And what about Jesus Christ saying He did not come to destroy The Law, but fulfill it? Wouldn’t that include keeping with the specific patterns for ordaining priests?

    And where in the Bible was a woman called a bishop or priest? Phoebe may have been considered a deaconess but that’s not the same thing as a bishop or priest. And goodness, one woman mentioned. One, and Nicole is “Photoshopping” her own version of it in this article.

    I can’t believe a Catholic newspaper would print this. What a slap in the face of every good priest who seeks to fulfill the Holy Orders upon his life. I’m going to think more about this and write a letter to them. This angers me but I don’t want to spout off. I want to write about it with as much charity as possible.

  60. Matt K says:

    LOL, Sorry but at first I thought you made this one up Fr. Z.

  61. Call to action — Puppett mass …. Enough said. I think its obvious the Catechism is either not there, or has become sorrowfully warped and distorted.

    There is definately a new reformation going on, with a counter reformation, the reform of the reform. Only now the reformation is ingeniously decentralized, thus even harder to deal with apologetically. Whats worse, is the lost sheep are still meandering in the flock, making them even harder to spot and pick out

  62. T. Chan says:

    Eamon Duffy, a doctrinal liberal

    Mr. Leonardi, could you please give support for this assertion?

  63. stgemma says:

    There’s one problem with her argument….she expressly says,”Perhaps the pope has forgotten that Jesus was not focused on priesthood. He was focused on ministry.” Well this is all fine and dandy but then she argues against herself in the same article, when she says, “The document, Lumen Gentium, proclaimed that the laity were ‘made sharers in the priestly, prophetical and kingly functions of Christ; and they carry out for their own part the mission of the whole Christian people in the Church and in the world’ (31).”

    How can this be if Jesus had no functionality as a priest? And did not Jesus also, through the Last Supper, give us the Eucharist of which the Apostles were then commanded (Imperative use of the verb from the Vulgate) to do this in memory of me…thus the foundation of the priesthood is laid then and there.

    Someone really has a bizarre sense of contextual criticism, using proof-texting as a means of argumentation only drives the wedge deeper and deeper between yourself and God.

    The sad part, is that she is in error with herself. I don’t even have to use other text to debunk her argument.

  64. Brian Mershon says:

    Again Father, do “substantive” comments include calling a person a heretic and arrogant in a widely-read public forum?

    While the vast majority of your readers do not side with her theologically, is this the way that Catholics are called to bring back the errant to the fold? By publicly outing them and calling them “arrogant” and a “heretic”?

    This forum is becoming not too much different than Angelqueen–seriously!

    I know she hit close to home by the perception of attacking your very identity, but is this the way to aid the dialogue the Church has been so fond of encouraging since the sacrosanct Second Vatican Council of infallible, dogmatic authority?

  65. Maureen says:

    Once again, we see in this article the denigration of the laity’s special vocation. We peons are not sufficiently “empowered” unless we turn our backs on our own mission and become little priests, simultaneously getting rid of the real priests. Just like women aren’t empowered, according to certain so-called feminists, unless they become just exactly like men and push men out of their place, besides.

    Even when it comes to worldly power, you don’t get it by copying the opposition. But spiritual strength comes from finding out what God created you to do, and doing it. You don’t go around assuming that you are the world’s best interpreter of Jesus Christ if everybody else in the entire history of the Church took a different view of the matter. You don’t, in short, pull your ideas of vocation out of the air, unless you want yourself to be very unhappy.

    If you want everyone in the entire Church to be unhappy, however, this article is a great way to start.

    PS: Ottaviani and irishgirl, sorry if I was harsh. But I was distracted by the several
    thousand Dominican nuns sending me emails from various centuries about this. :)

  66. Prof. Basto says:

    She basically denies:

    1) The priesthood of Christ

    1) The Sacrament of Holy Orders as instituting not only a ministry but also a priesthood;

    3) The necessary link between the priesthood and the confection of the Eucharist.

    4) The fact that both the priesthood and the Eucharist were instituted by Christ on the same occasion, i.e., during the Last Supper, on the eve of His Sacrifice of Redemption in the Calvary, of which the Last Supper itself was an antecipation.


    – From the Creed of the Fourth Lateran Council, Firmiter Credimus:

    There is indeed one universal church of the faithful, outside of which nobody at all is saved, in which Jesus Christ is both priest and sacrifice . His body and blood are truly contained in the sacrament of the altar under the forms of bread and wine, the bread and wine having been changed in substance, by God’s power, into his body and blood, so that in order to achieve this mystery of unity we receive from God what he received from us. Nobody can effect this sacrament except a priest who has been properly ordained according to the church’s keys, which Jesus Christ himself gave to the apostles and their successors . (…)”.

    – From the Creed of the People of God, of Pope Paul VI:

    “We believe that the Mass, celebrated by the priest representing the person of Christ by virtue of the power received through the Sacrament of Orders , and offered by him in the name of Christ and the members of His Mystical Body, is the sacrifice of Calvary rendered sacramentally present on our altars. We believe that as the bread and wine consecrated by the Lord at the Last Supper were changed into His body and His blood which were to be offered for us on the cross, likewise the bread and wine consecrated by the priest are changed into the body and blood of Christ enthroned gloriously in heaven, and we believe that the mysterious presence of the Lord, under what continues to appear to our senses as before, is a true, real and substantial presence.[35]”

    – From the Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent:

    “Forasmuch as, under the former Testament, according to the testimony of the Apostle Paul, there was no perfection, because of the weakness of the Levitical priesthood; there was need, God, the Father of mercies, so ordaining, that another priest should rise, according to the order of Melchisedech, our Lord Jesus Christ, who might consummate, and lead to what is perfect, as many as were to be sanctified . He, therefore, our God and Lord, though He was about to offer Himself once on the altar of the cross unto God the Father, by means of his death, there to operate an eternal redemption; nevertheless, because that His priesthood was not to be extinguished by His death, in the last supper, on the night in which He was betrayed,–that He might leave, to His own beloved Spouse the Church, a visible sacrifice, such as the nature of man requires, whereby that bloody sacrifice, once to be accomplished on the cross, might be represented, and the memory thereof remain even unto the end of the world, and its salutary virtue be applied to the remission of those sins which we daily commit,–declaring Himself constituted a priest for ever, according to the order of Melchisedech, He offered up to God the Father His own body and blood under the species of bread and wine; and, under the symbols of those same things, He delivered (His own body and blood) to be received by His apostles, whom He then constituted priests of the New Testament ; and by those words, Do this in commemoration of me, He commanded them and their successors in the priesthood, to offer (them); even as the Catholic Church has always understood and taught (…)”.

    “CANON I.–If any one saith, that in the mass a true and proper sacriflce is not offered to God; or, that to be offered is nothing else but that Christ is given us to eat; let him be anathema.

    CANON II.–If any one saith, that by those words, Do this for the commemoration of me (Luke xxii. 19), Christ did not institute the apostles priests; or, did not ordain that they, and other priests should offer His own body and blood; let him be anathema.

    CANON III.–If any one saith, that the sacrifice of the mass is only a sacrifice of praise and of thanksgiving; or, that it is a [Page 159] bare commemoration of the sacrifice consummated on the cross, but not a propitiatory sacrifice; or, that it profits him only who receives; and that it ought not to be offered for the living and the dead for sins, pains, satisfactions, and other necessities; let him be anathema

  67. Sam Schmitt says:

    Let me get this straight – Jesus was not a priest, nor were his disciples, and this whole \”priest\” thing is just a cultural construct – but then, Vatican II said that we\’re all priests. So does this priesthood thing exist or not? If it\’s just made-up, then we all share in this fake fictional notion called \”priesthood\”?

  68. Maureen says:

    Re: Eamon Duffy — It’s not a secret that he’s a fairly liberal Catholic. Doesn’t hurt his historical works any. But if you read one of his books or essays about his childhood, he talks about it there.

    Re: “heretic”

    Well, there is a time and a place for using the correct words. Someone writing an article espousing a clearly heretical opinion in the strongest terms, in a Catholic journal, is pretty much one of those times. Personally, I avoid using the word because I find that a lot of people honestly have no idea they’re espousing something non-Catholic; but in this case, I think she probably does know that. If Father Z wants to use that word, he’s not overstating his case in any way.

    And now I will stop typing so much. :)

  69. Braadwijk says:

    Has anybody else noticed that dissident Catholics deliberately use the word Eucharist without any articles as if to obfuscate the term and reduce the Church’s identity and mission to that of social work and building community?

  70. Fr. Frank Bass says:

    “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” Nicole Sotelo obviously believes herself to be a very cutting-edge liberal Catholic. Ironically, she’s really just a Southern Baptist and doesn’t know it.

  71. “Well, there is a time and a place for using the correct words. Someone writing an article espousing a clearly heretical opinion in the strongest terms, in a Catholic journal, is pretty much one of those times. Personally, I avoid using the word because I find that a lot of people honestly have no idea they’re espousing something non-Catholic; but in this case, I think she probably does know that. If Father Z wants to use that word, he’s not overstating his case in any way.”

    Well, its one thing for a non catholic, or a catholic not in any sort of “authority” or “Teaching” position to get it wrong. Lets face it most laity, dont know catechism, liturgy, etc, on the level of the people who visit boards like this one.

    But if she is in Call to Action, and Call to action in general, advance themselves as a cahtolic voice. Its important that voice is congruant across the fold. Its one thing to say, “I dont like how B16 is doing the mass” ,, or ” The old fiddlebacks were silly, thank goodness for Colorful Vatican II vestments”. THose are “small T” or “Small tradition” items.

    She Denies “Big T” or ” Big Tradition” items.
    Now as far as Christ not being a priest, lets look at the facts

    Last supper – Christ Offers sacrifice —

    John the Baptist “Behold the Lamb of God”

    Paul “Christ the High Priest in heaven”

    And here is another kicker … I work with evangelicals, who obviously dont have a priesthood… THe other day in prayer, they referred to Christ as “HIgh Priest”, when we were talking about his great priestly prayer at the last supper. Great “Priestly Prayer”, was the phrase used about the prayer “That they all might be one”

    SOO, if an evangelical, who doesnt have catechism, and only has “sola scriptura”, knows that Christ is a Priest, and was a priest, how is it a Roman Cahtolic, tries to argue the point? There is only one word to describe it, and it starts with an H, or S, depending on how forgiving one can be

  72. Lubeltri says:

    When you call Eamon Duffy “fairly liberal,” what do you mean by that? Do you mean that he denies certain Church teachings on faith and morals?

  73. Lubeltri says:

    Father Z,

    There’s an error in your post:

    “She is a heretic, it seems, since she does accept the Church’s teaching that the priesthood of the ordained is qualitatively different from that of the baptized.”

    You mean, of course, that “she does NOT accept,” not “she does accept.”

  74. chironomo says:

    This article, and so many others like it, are becoming more and more common these days. I find it refreshing that the progressives are in a position that they must defend their views now. The tide is turning, and what was “status-quo” only a short few years ago is having to fight for survival.

    I think the “Young Voices” thing is a sham…perhaps these are young persons writing, perhaps not. It really doesn’t matter…the point is that NCR is trying to show that the torch of Enlightened Catholicism is being passed on to the Youth who hold the same outdated views of the Church that they do. They are trying to convince themselves that their nonsense will continue on after they are gone, but they seem to get the nagging feeling that it may not even continue that long. They are angry that the Holy Father is so obviously negating the vision of “Church” that they have been propping up with lies and deception.

    I sincerely hope that some action will be taken against NCR for printing what is obviously Anti-Catholic propaganda. Perhaps an ordinary Catholic could sue them for Anti-Catholic speech under the hate crimes laws…that would be ironic…suing a Catholic paper for being Anti-Catholic. Think they might get the message then? Even if unsuccessful, such a lawsuit would surely get attention…

  75. Mr. Chan,

    I did not intend it as an insult. Mr. Duffy is a first-rate historian.

    As Maureen indicated, his tilt is well known and probably has much to do with the era in which he came of age.

  76. james says:

    My mother told me to avoid Paulist Press years ago. Sage advice.

    Someone should write an opposing editorial directed towards
    Ms. Sotelo. To educate not simply her, but the readers of
    NCR. That said, the odds such a counterpoint ever being
    printed for publication is slim. Does NCR even offer the
    opportunity for different viewpoints to be published?

    Also… final rant… People like this should be subject to
    some sort of reprimand. Excommunication of those who no longer
    believe in the True Faith, but more importantly those that try
    to actively undermine the Church… might be worth a punt. For
    these people are dangerous, and poisoning the minds of ouir

    Souls are at stake here. Something must be done.

  77. Trey says:

    Father, I think “engendering” is the process by which one aquires the 7 demons necessary for “ministry.”

  78. Christian says:

    What I don’t understand from her article is why Women would then clamor to be Priestesses, Deaconesses, and Bishops. It seems to me her arguments do not need to be only applied (or ‘”engendered” LOL) to one sex.

  79. LC says:

    In seeing articles like this,I think the importance of education on the faith should be called to mind. Those who are truly educated about the teachings of the Church, would know that what the article said is heretical and harmful to a true understanding of the faith.

    Thus in defending the truth we should do well to educate ourselves, families and each other. The Holy Father, the Clergy and Religious need our prayers. May they be a shining light in an ignorant and indifferent world.

  80. priest up north says:

    After the first few paragraphs, I could only think to myself “I would love to hear this woman debate her claims against the research of Dr. Lynne Boughton,” who does some teaching at Mundelein in the Liturgical Institute. Dr. Boughton would blow her to smitherines on the claim of “ministry” over priesthood, among other blatant errors. The fun of this exchange would be the fact that another woman would be accomplishing the debunking of the Nicole Stelo compost pile.

  81. Jack says:

    If we tolerate this garbage just think how stupid we look to the SSPX

  82. shane says:

    Well he denies the apostolicity of the papacy in Saints and Sinners, claiming the concept of Petrine Primacy came into existence in the mid to late 2nd century. He is no friend of ‘anti-modernism’ either, and his depiction of St Pius X is most unsympathetic.

    That said, he is an excellent historian, and ‘liberal’ is a far too simplistic generalization.

  83. shane says:

    *Professor Duffy that is

  84. Paul says:

    I am a simple man.

    And so I would, when doing an etymological analysis on terms like laity and clergy, choose (at least without good argumentation to do otherwise) the definitions most common to the time of the New Testament and early Christianity. I would look to the Greek, because that is what I understand best.

    The word “laity” seems to me to connect most to ????, which means, in the context of the New Testament, “the people”, “the men”, or “the Jews” or later (in early Christin work especially) “the Christians”, to distinguish from pagans (Liddell & Scott, Intermediate Greek Dictionary).

    The word “clergy” comes by way of Latin, and the etymology advanced in the article seems nonsensical (I can find nothing substantiating the author’s claim). If it connects to Greek, I would go with the loose Oxford Etymology Dictionary’s connection with ???????? to ??????, defined weakly by Liddell and Scott as a casting of lots, but better defined in Cunliffe’s “Lexicon of the Homeric Dialect” as “an object used in an appeal to the divine agency supposed to be concerned in the results of chance”.

    Now maybe I’m missing some grand subtlety, but to me it seems odd that a Harvard-educated theologian would miss even referencing these common definitions before leaving us mortals behind in her ivory cogitations. Perhaps the real problem is the author, a true academic, is so far separated from the common people (not to mention the common sense) as to be incomprehensible to the layman.

  85. TerryN says:

    “Am I wrong? Was that not heresy? Was she not arrogant?”
    Father you are right.
    That is heresy.
    She is arrogant.

  86. Paul says:

    For clarification (the symbols appeared in the text box, and in the preview, but not in the actual post):

    ???? – laos
    ???????? – klerikos
    ?????? – kleros

  87. magdalene says:

    It is so sad that this young person has been so duped. And now tries to pass it on. Yet most of those folks who have fallen into these errors are grey hairs now.

    EVERYTHING they want and demand can be found–in the episcopal or lutheran churches! Everyone’s a minster. All are welcome at the ‘table’.

    Kind of like some of the stupid songs we have at Mass like this morning’s “What is this place?” Yep dreams, signs and wonders and our justice as we are each other’s bread and wine.

  88. k3vin says:

    Well, that was a disappointment to read. I wonder what she thinks of the Judaic priesthood. Seems pretty clear that existed before the Incarnation or any of this “ministry” siliness. I wonder what she really thinks happens at Holy Mass; supper and no sacrifice I would wager, people and no priest. And how does she compute 2,000y of Eucharitic tradition? Is the art, the miracles, the conversions all illusory? You cannot wish that away with hand-wavy etymology. This is why we need catechesis. Let us pray for the Holy Father; looks like this will be an interesting year.

  89. Trey says:

    There were bishops before 215. Just read Ignatius and the Shepherd of Hermas… I’m not a historian, but I’m sure there is much more than those two also!

  90. Warren Anderson says:

    By displaying the worst about what they believe, heretics bring out the best in others. Ms. Sotelo has done an adequate job of defending her faith, but a horrendous job of defending the Catholic Faith. Unfortunately, it appears that she is unable (and perhaps unwilling) to recognize that there is a difference between the two in her case.

    Ms. Sotelo has made herself the poster child for the catechetically under nourished.

    Adult catechism can always use improvement. Beginning with the content preached from the pulpit and sustained in every parish by publishing weekly bulletin inserts that communicate authentic Catholicism, adults also need proper formation in well organized programs so that they in turn can properly introduce Christ and His Church to their children, friends and strangers.

    How do we get people out to these programs? In the words of one wise monsignor I know – “It only takes one saint to turn things around.” Find those few faithful, obedient adults willing to be trained as full-fledged catechists, commission them to help catechize the parish faithful under the authority of the priest and away we go! If catechists can also convey that we each have the responsibility to give something back – it terms of service, for starters – the next generation will take up the reigns, and so on.

  91. tzard says:

    The author doesnt seem to understand cause and effect.
    Or at least what time means:

    “The emergence of the clerical structure eventually led to a division of the Christian faithful into “clergy” and “laity.””
    I thought the structure was the division – but she says there was structure put in place but the division came later?

    “After the rise of ordination and priesthood, there develops a hierarchical order among the faithful.”
    So ordination rose, but only afterwards there was a division among the faithful in the form of ordination?

  92. carl says:

    Eamon Duffy can’t be all that liberal. His sorrow at the English Reformation is abundantly clear in the Stripping of the Altars. In ‘Beyond the Prosaic’, he wrote an essay bemoaning the poor translations to which we’re subjected, of which I assume Fr Z would be proud.

  93. ckdexterhaven says:

    This really jumped out at me “This endured until 1964…” Nice value neutral word: endured. So for 2000 years, the Church only “endured?”

    Then these gems: “I wouldn’t worry about telling the pope,”
    ” I hate to be the one to inform him”
    How disrespectful of our Papa, BXVI. Pray for the Pope and all priests.

  94. That said, he is an excellent historian, and ‘liberal’ is a far too simplistic generalization.

    My comment was about his findings as an historian who happens to be “liberal,” i.e., he’s not a conservative partisan and has no “axe to grind” in favor of the historical roots of the hierarchy.

  95. Trey says:

    “even some women carried the titles of deacon, priest and bishop…”

    Was this before, or after these didn’t exist???

    Is there evidence of women priests and bishops??? I know the deacon thing has been debated, but priests and bishops??? Or does “carry the title” mean that their were “WomynPriest” groups in the early church too? Certainly there have always been heretics… again, read Ignatius… It will really get your heart pumping and your head clear… A good cure for wishy washy heretics who want to have it both ways and remain “in the church” if only in order to confuse people. Let your “no” mean “no” and your “yes” mean “yes.” I hate all this mealy-mouthed stuff…

    She should just say, “We don’t accept the teaching authority of the Pope, or the Church generally. We want to get rid of the priesthood, or at least open it up to the ‘sandalistas.’ We want lesbians, gays, heretics, protestants, athiests and divorcees of all sorts as our “ministers.” And we don’t care what anyone else thinks, least of all those charged with protecting the faith. We will subvert the teaching, and authority of anyone not appointed by the counter/shadow – magisterium of our own making.And most of all we want to turn the Holy Mass into a kumbaya self-love fest of ‘affirmation’ and ‘enculturated’ ‘spirituality.'”

  96. Geoffrey says:

    Can anything be done within Canon Law about this? I recall someone preparing a canonical “lawsuit” calling for the excommunication of Senator John Kerry when he was running for president, because of his stance on abortion, etc. Couldn’t a canon lawyer prepare some sort of case for this “newspaper” which calls itself Catholic?

    Or perhaps a “gift subscription” should be sent to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Vatican Press Office…

  97. Trey says:

    do the words of our´profession of faith´ really have no meaning

    – having been episcopalian, i have learned some of this doublespeak… When a heretic says “We believe…” they are simply saying what the Church believes, not necessarily what they believe. “Bishop” Robinson of ECUSA has written about this…

    the best edition of the writings of Julian of Norwich in print.

    – only because they don’t expect anyone to read it, and it sounds all new-agey b/c she is a mystic and a woman…

  98. John says:

    The argument proposed by the author has less to do with theology and more to do with society’s misunderstanding of equality.

    The author has confused “same” “different” and “equal.” One group of society has made it their goal to make all persons equal but they failed to ever define equality. They never answered if equality means physical traits, ambitions, desires, ability, or dignity, sameness, or different.

    What evolved out of this confusion was the understanding that anyone can do anything and we are all the same. This group applied their belief throughout society. Unfortunately same does not mean equal since all persons are unique but this group persists in preaching that since all are the same then there is no difference leading to the logical conclusion that if another group espouses difference then that group is against equality. The original group applies their fallacy to all facets of society: work, family, religion, death, life…

    So now we have a well meaning (but tragically wrong) group intent on preaching equality ( a good thing ) but actually preaching about something entirely different. In their quest for sameness rather than equality they have stripped society of unique individuals and replaced them with a regime of tyranical homogenosity demanding all to follow their creed. Different is good and differences exist happily within a world ( mystical body???) of persons all created equally.

    A pro-football player can run faster, hit harder and throw a ball farther than me. Are we different? Heck yeah. Are we equal in dignity? Heck yeah.

    A woman can give birth to new life, feed that person and mold it into a member of society. Can I do all of these? No. Are we different? Yes. Are we equal? Yes.

    A lawyer makes tons more money than me, we are different and equal.

    A scientist has more knowledge than me but while we are different and we are also equal.

    A ministerial priest can consecrate bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Can I? No. Are we different? Yes. Are we equal? Yes.

    I can marry a woman, enjoy marital love, hopefully raise a family and am called to serve God in the world. Can a priest do all these? No, we are different but still equal in dignity.

    To suggest otherwise is to create a false dichotomy that echoes the cry of a young toddler…”If I can’t have it, you can’t have it either.” Put into the context of this article…”If I can’t be a priest, I will redefine what it is to be one, make myself one and make you nothing. I will strip you of your dignity to lift up my own dignity created in my own image.”

    It is ironic that a group of society so disposed to preach about diversity can be so against diversity when it impedes on their own agenda. Diversity, difference, uniqueness, individuality…all these can be good and in no way impede upon the equality and dignity of priests, ministerial or lay.

    The author’s theology is whack to say the least and it is so in part because of a deficient understanding of equality. First things first.

  99. “Women and theology do not mix – just like women and liturgy…
    Comment by Ottaviani — 17 June 2009 @ 8:41 am”

    Do we really need to say that with such derogatory implications? I don’t see how I can read that an interpret it without thinking that some of these feminist women have a point. There are men out there who just don’t have respect for women. If the author had been a man, I think we should be just as upset and frustrated with the article. So the fact that a woman wrote it is moot.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want women to be priests or have the right to be ordained at all. I just think that women have a specific realm to be loved and appreciated and a statement like that takes away from a woman’s right of her realm. It leaves her looking inferior and uneducated.

    We love Mary the Mother of God, right? Is she not part of the liturgy? Is not the Bride of Christ the Church? From Bishop Sheen’s Three to Get Married, “In the words of the papal encyclical on marriage: ‘…For if the man is the head, the woman is the heart, and as he occupies the chief place in ruling, so she may and ought to claim for herself the chief place in love.'” We cannot have liturgy without love. So my point, women are part of the liturgy just not in the same way.

    Can my boyfriend and I not read theology together and grow in strength of faith together by doing so? Or should he just read it by himself and indulge me sometimes with how smart he is? How am supposed to teach my children about the Faith if I don’t spend the time to understand it myself?

    I don’t mean to jump off the deep end about this but there are many women who love this forum and don’t deserve comments like that. If I interpreted that comment incorrectly, then please, by all means, let me know how I should have took it.

  100. mary says:

    So – what can we do about it?

    I like the idea of a response from Bp. Finn. Perhaps everyone here could drop the good Bishop an email, asking him to please pen a response and submit it to NCR for publication?

    This article again raises the question about who/what can call themselves Catholic. The USCCB spring meeting is taking place now in San Antonio, TX, and I understand that the bishops are discussing how to address this very issue re ‘Catholic’ schools, but the same applies, I think, for ‘Catholic’ publications/publishers.

    – mary

  101. Ave Maria says:

    Right here in the Catechism (#2089) is a definition:



  102. Antiquarian says:

    Among the many deplorable aspects of this essay is a pretty basic one that is all too common among extremists on both side: dreadful, amateurish scholarship. The “research” that the author relies on is questionable at best, biased for sure, and utterly unacceptable by any academic standard.

    It’s easy to do research thats support a particular position or agenda, you just look for sources that seem to support your point of view and omit any that contradict it. But that merely implies a shaky argument– a true scholar searches for everything and includes it in formulating a conclusion, even if (especially if) it undermines the point you’d hoped to make.

    There are some awfully popular polemicists among both progressive and traditionalist factions who are guilty of this, and it has contributed, I think, to the ugly tone of some of the discourse. But few are as egregious as this.

  103. kate says:

    Ecce sacerdos magnus,
    qui in diebus suis placuit Deo,
    et inventus est justus

    What also bothers some folk is the announcement that the holy Cure of Ars is the patron of priests.St John Vianney could be described as an exemplar of the virtue of humility.

  104. Annie the Physical Chemist says:

    I’m with Laurinda. I love to study theology and philosophy. It goes well with the science interests. Oops. I guess women aren’t supposed to be chemists either…

  105. Rob Cartusciello says:

    The article saddens me deeply, because it a perfect example of the deliberate and calculated mis-education of an entire generation of young Catholics.

    Significant numbers of Catholic theologians and seminary professors “defected in place” following the Second Vatican Counsel. They sought to “re-envision” Catholic theology through a number of different ideological schools of thought.

    Here is the bitter fruit of those efforts. I am embarassed for the author – her ignorance is showing.

  106. David O'Rourke says:

    I really can’t pick this apart. It is too laughable. My only serious question would be why NCR published it (unless they have a comic page). Some well intentioned people will believe anything they read.

    I believe it was Cardinal Suenens who persuaded the Council to give a definition of the Church starting at the bottom with the laity instead of at the top with the hierarchy and there is nothing heretical about that but in retrospect I wonder if it was prudent. One gets so tired of cliches like “We are Church”.

    Ms. Sotelo goes much further by making the ordained priesthood superfluous but I wonder how many of the thousands of priests who have left didn’t feel the rug pulled out from under them and arrive at a similar if less specific conclusion.

  107. Trey says:

    Please let’s not focus on Otto‘s comments and derail the post. Perhaps Father Z will delete them… Let’s just take this as an opportunity to reread JPII on the dignity and vocation of women…

    “Miss Sotelo is part of NCR Online’s new “Young Voices” series… young Catholics … with different connections to the church.”

    – Is excommunicated a “connection to the church”?

    “they will be sharing their stories in this space weekly.”

    – Blech! Sharing stories, worship space, social justice, healing, peace, meditations, dis-order, blah blah… Whatever dialect this is, it has put me off lunch…

    “what she really thinks happens at Holy Mass”

    My understanding from these types is that it is a meal with friends… See Bill Huebsch… In his talks, he doesn’t distinguish between the Mass and a dinner party… There’s candles and fresh bread, wine… a self-affirming gathering of spiritual people.. .what’s the diff??? He even came out with a cookbook I think… but I don’t know if unleavened bread is in their…

  108. As the Mother of God was the first Christian theologian (“My soul magnifies the
    Lord…”), obviously Ottiviani does not have a leg to stand on regarding women
    and theology. Unfortunately, he can be used by opponents of orthodoxy as an
    example of “a right wing, conservative, traditionalist, etc.,etc., male.”

    My question is why NCR doesn’t draw its writers from Catholic institutions. Is it
    really that impressed with the brand-names of Harvard and Yale? Why not young
    writers from Notre Dame, Ave Maria, Boston College? Are these Catholic names not
    grand enough? It would seem that Berkeley Jesuit is the token Catholic in their
    “youth” line-up.

  109. Mike T says:

    In addition to the Letter to the Hebrews, I wonder how the letters to
    Timothy and Titus are interpreted by those who disavow ordained priesthood.

    Also, are these arguments substantively different from Presbyterian,
    Baptist or arguments of a Calvinist stripe?

  110. Patrick says:

    I’m glad to see the word heretic in something current. Why has this word fallen out of use?

  111. Emilio III says:

    Paul, WordPress does not seem to convert properly non-ASCII characters to html. If you want them to display properly in the comments you’ll have to use the character code (ampersand+hash+unicode code+semicolon) such as: БОЖЕ, ЦАРЯ ХРАНИ!

    (More proper in an Orthodox blog. :-)

  112. Domenico says:

    I would like to add my own 3 comments:
    1) Please, support our priests. It is important for them and for us.
    2) In our time, a professor (of whatever discipline) has to shout his/her controversial opinions or theses in order to be noticed above the background noise. The more controversial the better. If you are on the first page of newspaper you have reached your goal. Nobody is interested in more quiet professors.
    3) You cannot find ‘’laicos’’ on dictionaries of classic Greek. This word, that is derived from ‘’laos’’ -> ‘‘people’’, was first introduced by the letter of Clement (just post NT) with the meaning of member of people of God. As this letter has the aim of composing contrasts between the ‘’presbiteroi’’ and some ‘laicoi’ of … (I cannot remember), we have the meaning of ‘’laicoi’’ as the ‘’others’’ of people of God. BTW, the contrasts and the disputes between the presbiteroi and the laicoi are an original characteristic of the ‘’Great Church’’ of the martyrs, let alone of our Church. But also the NT documents contrasts and disputes already in the post-Easter Church of Jerusalem (for ex. in the history of Stephen the complaints of the Greek vs. the Hebrew of Jerusalem).

  113. Michael says:

    I do think it is worth mentioning that there are faithful Catholics at Harvard University, even at the Divinity School.

  114. Brendan says:

    Has she incurred latae sententiae excommunication under Canon 1364?

  115. Gail F says:

    Just two examples of what is wrong with the scholarship of this article:

    There is a big difference between historians identifying a date that ordination as we know it became codified and universally accepted — that is, the date that everyone was doing it the same accepted way — and saying that “there was no ordained priesthood” before that date. As someone who has studied history for years, that kind of error drives me nuts. It’s like people saying that “Jesus did not establish priesthood” simply because Jesus didn’t write down the entire ordination ceremony and issue the proclamation: “Today I institute the priesthood.” Things don’t happen that way, unless we are talking about modern companies being founded, etc. And even THEY are founded after years of people doing things that lead up to the official founding. As far as the universal priesthood of believers goes, IT DOESN’T MEAN EVERYONE IS A PRIEST!!!!! Sorry, just had to get that off my chest. As a “priestly people” we celebrate the liturgy together led by ordained priests who come from among us (not a particular ancestral line). They don’t go by themselves into the Temple and do it for us, they do it WITH us. That’s what it means.

    This is very simple stuff to look up. That’s why the article is so maddening. People have been saying this silly stuff for years and trying to pass it off as serious history and theology. It’s just not. And the editors of a publication are supposed to know the difference.

  116. Rob says:

    The whole article is a rambling piece of heretical drivel.

    If these people hate our Church so much, and do not believe one iota of what makes up Roman Catholic doctrine, why stay? Unless they have a personal motive to transform the Church into the already existing mish-mash of Protestantism.

  117. Sieber says:

    This is closely akin to what is taught at St. John’s Seminary for Los Angeles. NCR left out Pope Joan who wasn’t outed until she gave birth while processing thru Rome. The other two profs who spouted this stuff are graduates of Fuller Theological Seminary (Protestant), but have served on the faculties of both St. John’s and Loyola Marymount of L.A.

  118. B.E. Fay says:

    Thank you Father…I don’t think the word “heresy” is going too far. I spent some time looking at two groups: Catholics for Choice and Dignity/USA. They are groups of baptized Catholics who continually and stubbornly reject Church teaching…I must admit that the PC culture has affected me to the extent that the word “Heretic” sounds almost like a racial slur to my ears, but I firmly believe that if looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it’s a duck.

  119. MAJ Tony says:

    Chironomo: I think the “Young Voices” thing is a sham…perhaps these are young persons writing, perhaps not. It really doesn’t matter…the point is that NCR is trying to show that the torch of Enlightened Catholicism is being passed on to the Youth who hold the same outdated views of the Church that they do. They are trying to convince themselves that their nonsense will continue on after they are gone, but they seem to get the nagging feeling that it may not even continue that long. They are angry that the Holy Father is so obviously negating the vision of “Church” that they have been propping up with lies and deception.

    I’d be willing to be that the predominance of the “youth” that hold to these heretical views of hierarchy/magisterium, ministerial priesthood, etc. are just the offspring of those “Spirit of Vat II” types who, as one NCR reply by “JamesD” so aptly put it “have contracepted yourselves to death while Catholics have huge families and over-filled seminaries.”

  120. james says:

    “My question is why NCR doesn’t draw its writers from Catholic

    Simple. They are no longer Roman Catholic.

  121. Mike M says:

    I think that this points out the necessity of improved Catholic catechesis. While I’ve never heard this kind of stupidity from a Catholic before, I’ve seen a lot of Catholics unable to respond when anti-catholics come out with this kind of thing.

    The ridiculous thing is, her position is plainly inconsistent with the Bible.

    I’m not a huge fan of “divinity schools.” They tend to be run by people who think that you can make up theologies.

  122. Cathy says:

    I’m with Laurinda too. That attitude towards women makes a lot of women stay away from the TLM. I’d stay
    away too except then I’d have to go to the Mass at my local parish where there is the usual watering down of
    the faith, Mass as a gathering of the assembly, and pop music. I love the TLM, I’m not a women’s libber, and
    I don’t have any problem with the male priesthood, but I’m really sick of women being treated like inferiors
    by some men at the TLM – about the status of the family dog.

    To get out of my rabbit hole – one of the contradictions in this article is that the author says that “Jesus
    was not a priest” and in the same paragraph she refers to him as “our final high priest”. There seems to be
    general confusion throughout the article that we are all priests/there are no priests.

  123. RBrown says:

    Actually, her article is a disaster, as is the “thought” behind it.

    1. Originally, she says that Christ wasn’t a priest. then she decides He was. Of course, she mitigates it all by saying that the Letter to the Hebrews is only referring to Jewish sacrifice. Any reading of the Letter shows her to be wrong.

    2. The priesthood does indeed exist in the NT. The Letter of James refers to sending a presbyter (elder) for anointing. In the OT anointing was ALWAYS the province of the priest.

    3. Her article is just yet another (wearisome) example of someone not thinking there’s hierarchy in the early Church unless the NT contains a fold-out of the organizational chart.

    Among the examples of hierarchy in the NT:

    3a. The very word presbyter is comparative, thus hierarchy is implicit in the word.

    3b. There are some who are apostles and bishops (overseers) and others who are not.

    3c. Hierarchy is obviously implicit in the word “overseer”.

    3d. There is also hierarchy among the Apostles. Peter, James, and John are easy examples.

    4. If one accepts her concept that Hebrews refers to Christ as the “new and last Priest” who offered the Perfect Sacrifice, then it easily follows that members of the ministerial priesthood participate in the priesthood of Christ the High Priest, and the Sacrifice of the Eucharist also participates in the Sacrifice of the Passion and Death of Christ.

    The article is just warmed over Liberal Protestantism, that reads Scripture according to its own a priori concepts. It is also anti-Ecumenical in that it rejects the Eastern Churches concept of Priesthood and the Eucharist.

  124. Sal says:

    Sotelo sounds exactly like she was educated at HDS. Read some of the nonsense published by Karen King or Laura Nasrallah. It’s all of a piece.

  125. Gus says:

    I hope that all of us who are outraged by this writer’s heretical theology and revisionist history regarding the priesthood as published in the National Catholic (in name but Protestant in nature) Reporter go and post there. As someone else already noted, some person’s faith can be endangered by these lies and we should proclaim the truth, with charity, to at least counterbalance it.

    Pax et Bonum

  126. Harvard Divinity School is, as I understand it, non-denominational. (And I don’t think “non-denominational” includes Catholic, because I don’t think Catholicism is a denomination.) We should not be surprised that a Protestant divinity school turns out a graduate who thinks like a Protestant. The focus on terminology is certainly typically Protestant (e.g., “the word ‘Purgatory’ appears nowhere in the Bible, ergo, it doesn’t exist”). It is also, in this case, a handy substitute for history, because otherwise, this gal would have to come up with a cogent answer to the question why her doctrines went wholly undetected by laity, priests, scholars and doctors of the Church for 2,000 years until she came along.

    The real problem is that an allegedly Catholic publication is turning to a graduate of an explicitly non-Catholic divinity school to find out about the Catholic Church.

  127. LCB says:

    And this publication is standard fair at most parishes.

    And we wonder why the SSPX maintains that an informal schism and apostasy has taken place?

    For the sake of Christian unity, the NCR should stop publishing.

  128. RC2 says:

    What the young lady has actually attacked is Reason by abusing language and definitions. Now we see why Benedict XVI is at such pains to defend right reason.

    She’s entitled to her own religious views, but not to her own definition of Catholicism and its Creed.

  129. DeborahAnne says:

    Dearest Ottiviani,

    “Women and theology do not mix – just like women and liturgy…”

    I think the Blessed Mother would so disagree with you. In my charity may I suggest you read, if you haven’t, The Glories of Mary by St. Alphonsus de Liguori. Jesus is the litury itself and Mary is the mother of the liturgy.

    Father Z, I am both saddened and disgusted by Ms. Sotelo’s article. After the third paragraph, the word heretic came to mind. So, I must agree with you on your observation. I believe the priestess syndrome permeates her article. I will pray for our priests and this young woman.

  130. Justin says:

    Heretic. Heretic. Barely even human.

    Heretic. Heretic. Burn her at the stake.

  131. Maureen says:

    Actually, in Russian legends, an “eretik” _is_ a kind of monster. The details are pretty amusing.

    The point is not to be mean to heresy, but rather that heresy is mean to us. It deprives people of knowing the truth, which is the life of our souls and the directing of our bodies. To denigrate the Eucharist and priests is like trying to trick us out of our daily bread and our hope of heaven.

    The idea of attacking a “Year of the Priest”, at precisely the time when vocations to the priesthood are low and when so many parishes ache for a priest of their own, when people are deprived of the Sacraments, when good priests are exhausted by the burdens of their work even though it is such a joy, when priests in general still smart under the stigma of the abusers who ruined the good name of all the rest…

    Well, it strikes me as just plain mean.

    When you tie that in with the disdain for Vianney, who couldn’t have been a nicer guy, and for the Pope, who is more learned than any hundred people you could name, and for the mission of the laity, who are supposed to drop their own vocation and steal somebody else’s, and for women in the Church over the 19-odd years before her correct viewpoint came along… well, it just goes on and on, constantly hitting out at people who’ve never hurt her, demanding that they bow to her will and superior wisdom.

    That said, a lot of people go through these stages and learn better. That’s why it’s a lot kinder to speak of heresy, as our Holy Father made it his practice to do at the CDF (when he even went that far), rather than heretic, which is too often taken as some sort of life sentence or perverse reason for pride.

    When this lady takes a moment to consider the logical snarls she’s put herself into, she will probably change her views to something more consistent. It’s just sad that the NCR editors didn’t do their job, and save her some embarrassment, by calling for a rewrite.

  132. Fr. Jim says:

    Yes, she is a heretic. As a canonist I would be glad to prosecute her for the delict. I hope that people will ignore such claptrap and pray for priests during this coming year. We need the help.

  133. therese b says:

    Here we go again – every wacky idea from the nylon pantsuit brigade is justified by pointing back to “The Early Church”. So I think we need to ask and keep asking the following – every time we hear it…
    1. Provide incontrivertible primary evidence or, an authentic contemporary written account of the practice which comes from an unimpeachable source not linked to heretical dead-end cults such as gnosticism, donatism or arianism?
    2.Explain the reasons this practice was abandoned or fell into desuetude, then explain why it is necessary to reintroduce something so outdated. (Amazing that anything from 1959 is outdated or retrograde – but anything from 134 AD is so terribly relevant to the 21st century that we can afford to rip up 1800 years of tradition to accommodate it.

  134. Greg says:

    Good Lord…reading Nicole’s article was SO painful! Poor dear, she writes
    as a junior high school student (and some have written much better essays)
    with all the arrogance of one who thinks she’s knows the answer to everything.
    NCR has really reached a low point. The only thing this article effects is,
    well, nothing, really.

  135. therese b says:

    Sorry – rants are the enemy of good spelling. Contemporary should read contemporaneous, and incontravertible…no still doesn’t look right.

  136. Dave N. says:

    Considering that in our diocese we have almost continuous new revelations of priest involvement in the sexual scandals of the church (after we were told that all cases had been identified and settled), I think the proclamation of “Year of the Priest” is quite ill-timed. We in the US are still waiting for the Pope’s promised follow-up into this ever expanding nightmare.

  137. stigmatized says:

    the author is simply expressing the natural revulsion that anyone who daily attends mass in the novusordo religion begins to feel. she is unable to see how kneeling while a man towers over you several steps while facing you (but not looking at you) somehow creates the feeling of a meal table. this form of priestcentered religion has lost meaning for her. it is not fair to anathemize her based on the council of trent for the council of trent also anathamizes those who say mass should only be celebrated in the vernacular and not in a low tone (i.e. without a microphone). most people who post here are already anathamized by the council of trent, even those who wish to anathamize someone who simply reads the book of revelation in her own language and with a good comprehension.

  138. stigmatized says:

    if there is to be a year for priests let it be a year when they show the people that they are offering the sacrifice together by facing the same direction that the people are facing during the canon. otherwise it will just be another year in which priests are the sun which we come to church to revolve around.

  139. NOTA BENE: Since I am short on time I banned Ottaviani. My advice is therefore DNFTT. Ignore that rabbit hole. It is faster for me to ban people than clean up the messes they leave on the floor of my livingroom.

  140. paul c says:

    I simply don’t understand why a Catholic Publication would publicly espouse a Protestant position like the Priesthood of the People. AI also don’t understand how any Catholic can be opposed to a year for the preisthood, recognizing the sacrifice priest make for the church and for God. Its sad, really.

  141. mack says:

    Is this woman from outerspace, bacause last time I checked St Ignatius of Antioch in his letter to the Semarians tell the faithful to follow the Bishop as you would Jesus Christ. Also states the Presbitary (priest) follow the Bishop and with out the Bishop their is no valid Eucharist this was written about 100-107 AD

  142. Dave N. says:

    Paul C. You may want to double check 1Peter 2. It may be a idea distorted by Protestants, but it’s not a “Protestant idea.”

  143. Paul M says:

    well, there’s at least one good reason for NCRs existence: it’s the only publication seems to be able to unite “trads”, “conservatives” and “moderates”(well, at least sometimes) Catholics. Can’t think of many publications that can do that….

  144. Mike T says:

    Let’s not throw out the “priesthood of the faithful” in order to uphold
    the “ordained priesthood.” Both are to be found in the Catechism of
    the Catholic Church.

    Another New Testament question for those who would deny the ordained
    priesthood. Let us suppose for a second that the apostles received
    their priestly function at the same time as they were called by Jesus
    to be His followers. That is, let us suppose that the priesthood that
    they exercises was simply the priesthood of the faithful.

    In that case, what is the point of the designation of St. Matthias as
    a twelfth apostle in Acts? After all, he was one who had already
    accompanied them for the whole time that Jesus had been among them.
    He already exercised the “priesthood of the faithful.” Was this just
    a popularity contest, or was Matthias in fact now being called to
    serve the Church in a new, distinctive capacity?

  145. Incidentally, to save anyone else wasting their time, the NCR has not published
    any comments on the article since yesterday (16/06/09). Not that they are being up-front about that: it’s still allowing comments to be submitted, it’s just not posting them,
    it appears… Overwhelmed by the, er, energetic response, perhaps? Poor show.

  146. You NEED both . Vatican II taught this, and as a husband, I have always considered myself the “priest of my household”. That goes back to before 33 ad, its one of those carry over jewish concepts.

    We all can suffer with Christ. We all can offer ourselves up. Ministerial priests are special. They offer the perfect unblemished sacrifice , “A Victim that is Pure, A Victim that is Holy, A Victim that is Spotless”. Ordination allows them the charism to do that. Without it, there is no sacrifice, well not one that makes the attonement for all sins, and nurishes us.

    The problem is people think being a “priest” is the outward signs. Wearing the cool clothes, standing in front, having cool rituals (I say this in the perspective they see it). The fact one does and they do not, bothers them, so they get jealous really. They dont grasp the spiritual change and charism that a priest takes on. So all they see is the outward appearance. Its very aquinian when you get down to it.

    Jesus didnt just have 12 disciples, he had twelve apostles. They are called “Apostles” for a reason, it sets them apart. Once Mathias became one of the twelve, he too was set apart from the priesthood of the faithful, and entered into something wondrous.

  147. Donna says:

    I am a Canadian and I cannot understand how the NCR retains the word Catholic in its masthead. Do American bishops not have the power to rein in this heretical publication? I have an old pal who embraced feminism and rejected the RC church a decade ago; needless to say we have had more than a few debates. Just when I think I’ve made some headway, an article from NCR pops up in my inbox with a gleeful comment from my apostate pal. She reads NCR online and it has become her gospel. Lord, correct these publishers posthaste.

  148. Mike Morrow says:

    The Sotelo article is simply sophomoric and unintentionally comical.

    Those several “burn her at the stake” comments as response are idiotic, and are doubtless being made by those sympathetic to Sotelo as a ploy to discredit criticism by association.

  149. T. Chan says:

    Mr. Leonardi and Maureen,

    Thanks for your responses. I will have to read that book mentioned by Maureen. I think I would prefer his kind of liberal than the iconclastic one who wants to get rid of liturgical tradition as well.

  150. Spot-on, Fr Z.

    Another person who wants to be a liberal Protestant (fallible church, ‘the priesthood is man-made’) but on her cultural terms which is probably one of the few reasons she remains nominally RC.

  151. Ad Orientem says:

    With apologies to Jack Benny…

    Train now departing on track five for Anaheim, Azusa and The EPISCOPAL CHURCHALLLLL ABOARD!!!

  152. mrsmontoya says:

    I appreciate your emphasis and comments, and the great thoughtfulness you put into this. But I can’t read these hateful things anymore, myself.

    Prayers for you and all your brother priests.

  153. Rev. Dr. Mike says:

    I like what Fr.Bass; (said about Southern Baptist ideas or approach, and not knowing if one is a Baptist) thus I wonder what the Catholic Church, will be seeing and hearing during church services in the very near future. Reading how many churches are being closed and only one priest to cover three, four or five parishes. Wonder, if what some of the “good nuns” running and having Sunday services in some parishes are teaching each week.

    I wonder after reading Catholic news on the internet concerning the number of ordinations.
    (Boston, as I recall four or five; Albany had one man ordained they use to have over 450 priest thirty years ago now have less than 140 active, New York as I recall had six new priest).
    Pray for workers called forth to be Priest.

  154. David Kastel says:

    Is it heretical to leave out the distinction between the clergy and the laity? She has affirmed the priesthood of the laity, which is true. Is it heretical to leave out something which is true?

    It is like the reform of the liturgy. There are priests now, who, in explaining what the mass is, describe it as a memorial meal. It is rare indeed to find a priest who will describe it as the sacrifice of Our Lord at Calvary. In fact, the offertory of the new mass describes the mass exactly as a meal, whereas the offertory of the old describes it as a sacrifice offered to God.

    Does Fr Z really wish to imply that leaving out something true is heretical?

  155. Hans says:

    Domenico wrote: “3) You cannot find ‘’laicos’’ on dictionaries of classic Greek. This word, that is derived from ‘’laos’’ -> ‘‘people’’, was first introduced by the letter of Clement (just post NT) with the meaning of member of people of God. As this letter has the aim of composing contrasts between the ‘’presbiteroi’’ and some ‘laicoi’ of … (I cannot remember), we have the meaning of ‘’laicoi’’ as the ‘’others’’ of people of God.

    That would be the laity of Corinth, and the reference is in Ch. 40 of “The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians”, which is typically dated to the mid-90s. (That’s before 100, not 200 or even 2000.)

    Later (Ch. 57), Pope St. Clement goes on to say:
    Ye therefore, who laid the foundation of this sedition, submit yourselves to the presbyters, and receive correction so as to repent, bending the knees of your hearts. Learn to be subject, laying aside the proud and arrogant self-confidence of your tongue. For it is better for you that you should occupy a humble but honourable place in the flock of Christ, than that, being highly exalted, you should be cast out from the hope of His people.

    All in all, the contrast between priests and laity seems quite clear before the end of the first century, even if one were to ignore the obvious NT references.

    I have to say, I do hope they publish this one in the print edition, as her previous blog post was, so that I can finally convince my pastor that this ‘Catholic’ newspaper has no business in the racks at the back of church.

  156. Penitent says:

    Might be just a coincidence but thid week’s french NCR counterpart Golias opens with an article about .
    My french is not as good, but it seems the reaction -acording to comments- has been more or less similar

  157. Would someone please be generous and send Nicole one of these:

    She’ll be able to occupy herself for hours!

  158. Penitent says:

    My previous comment got garbled, sorry …
    Might be just a coincidence but thid week’s french NCR counterpart Golias opens with an article titled Faut-il un prêtre ordonné pour qu’il y ait eucharistie ? ( Must there be an ordained priest for Eucharisty?) (can be read at
    My french is not as good, but it seems the level of the article is somewhat above Nicole’s , and the reaction according to comments has been more or less similar

  159. Allan mearns says:

    I regret to say that living in Sw Ontario, Canada; this sort of thinking has been the norm for some time.Every Sunday one local Parish recites a prayer for Vocations . One is not allowed to pray solely for Priests (thus not excluding WOMEN THEREBY) but why on earth include single and married people too when it is Priests we need most of all ! I recall, having lived thru’ the wreckage of the 1970’s and 1980’s that Catholics in conversation would refer to the older priests- who acted as tho’ they were “someone special” on the Altar – not any more of course (sic) Today, hardly any priest I know is able to refrain from making a joke or some otherwise “off topic” remark at least once during Sunday Mass.The attitude is definitely to downplay the Sacramental Role, and be just “another Joe” as much as possible.All this is a reflection of the thinking expressed in this terrible article.How hard it is to read of all the wonderful events happening else since the Motu Proprio and dream they might yet happen closer to home !

  160. Bruce says:

    C. S. Lewis spoke of the “tyranny of the present” by which modernists give preference to the contemporary ideas over older ideas. Lewis believed that stopping our ears to the voices of the past is a sure road to folly. The deep folly manifested in our contemporary popular culture is in part the result of a turning away from the Western past and stopping our ears to the voices of our parents and our ancestors.

  161. Matthew says:

    Has any Bishop ever rebuked NCR, or forbidden its distribution in Parishes in their Diocese?

  162. Mary Kay says:

    I usually ignore nonsense like this unless I have the time for a prolonged discussion. I pick out one or two of the most glaring um, discrepancies, find a document with the orthodox teaching and give that with source, and ask them to reconcile their statement with the official document.

  163. Julie says:

    Heretical? Yes. Arrogant? Yes.
    But also absurd, uniformed, and very, very sad.
    One more soul added to my ever-growing prayer list.

  164. Ad Orientem says:

    OK folks lay off the poor Southern Baptists. I have good friends who are SBs. And they would not have anything to do with the kooks over at NCR. Southern Baptists are heretics this is true. But they are God fearing and morally upright heretics.

    I think you all are looking for the American Baptists. Those are your low church Episcopalian wannabes.

    In ICXC

  165. Father Bartoloma says:

    Absolute garbage, even for the NCR.

    Father Z,
    if you have any sort of friendship with John Allen you should try to persuade him to get off of that sinking ship of heresy while he still has a respectable reputation which is not tainted by the rag that he works for.

    When you hang out with skunks eventually you’ll get stink on you. And the stink doesn’t wash out easily.

  166. prof. basto says:

    Agreed, Fr. Bartoloma.


    Rev. Fr. Zuhlsdorf,

    I know that this is not the most appropriate thing to do, and I apologise in advance for doing it, but I believe I speak for the whole of your faithful readership when I say that we are all eagerly waiting to read your take about today’s Holy See Press Statement on the SSPX Ordinations.

  167. Mark VA says:

    Perhaps this is the author’s one of the first intellectual forays into the wider world, beyond the progressive academic cocoon she’s been locked in so far.

    Her article is pure progressive ideology (female ordination seems to be one of the subtexts), but one hopes that as she matures, she’ll show the intellectual wherewithal to question the indoctrination she received. In the meantime, a charitable dismissal seems to be one of the proper responses here.

  168. Johnny Domer says:

    I mean…is there a word for something worse than heresy? I mean, she’s not just refuting one doctrine or dogma, and it isn’t even specifically the dogma (I believe it’s dogma, correct?) concerning the Sacrament of Holy Orders; she’s overthrowing the whole foundations of Christianity. To say that Christ was NOT a priest…I mean, that has repercussions that I hope she DOESN’T understand, for her own sake, because some ignorance would hopefully take away from her culpability. If Christ was not a priest, He did not offer sacrifice. As in, He did not offer Himself for us in sacrifice on the Cross. If He did not offer Himself in sacrifice for us, then the Church is nothing more than a social club and a philanthropic organization. If you follow the logic, which I’m not sure if she does (a lot of people don’t understand the basic definition of the term, “priest,” which is “one who offers sacrifice to a deity for himself or others”–the definition that exists in the minds of many seems to be some vague notion of “a religious leader with poor fashion sense”) her sentiments amount to a wholesale rejection of one of the most basic tenets of the Faith: that the God-Man offered His life for our sins. That isn’t just heresy…it’s super-duper-heresy.

    Maybe she didn’t mean “Christ was not a priest” in the way I think she does…maybe she acknowledges the basic priestly nature of Christ (as mentioned in Hebrews) but just means that Christ was not a priest like Catholic priests are today…This would still be an enormously flawed teaching, but not as bad as what I feared, I suppose.

  169. darkcoven says:

    John: The author’s theology is whack to say the least…

    Bro, I loved that expression “…theology is whack”. That would be my expression for today.

  170. Paul says:

    “her sentiments amount to a wholesale rejection of one of the most basic tenets of the Faith: that the God-Man offered His life for our sins. That isn’t just heresy…it’s super-duper-heresy.”

    Maybe she was tutored by Archbishop Zollitch, head of the German Bishops’ Conference, who recently publicly denied the atonement in an interview, and said that Christ merely died in ‘solidarity’ with us.

    Until Rome starts disciplining heretics among the bishops, how can we expect anything better of the laity?

  171. Markus says:

    I just love it when people like Nicole thinks the Holy Spirit is so dumb and can’t guide the Church in TRUTHS; such a funny girl.

  172. MissJean says:

    Lots of good comments.

    I just wanted to point out that Nicole Sotelo, who is roughly my age, is writing in a manner familiar to anyone who’s taken a class in “Critical Theory” (Deconstructionism’s eviler Marxist twin). She is blatently cherry-picking the Bible because she’s on a sexism/classicism hunt. Truth is no defense.

    I’m slightly amused, though, that she’s implying that a great theologian like Pope Benedict (not to mention Doctors of the Church like Catherine of Siena) are not equal to her brilliance. If she were any more condescending, she’d be a (male) character in a Dan Brown book.

    *Cool – I’m a “young” Catholic still!

  173. Mary W says:

    David Kastel:

    If you do not already own a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, I strongly urge you to purchase one. The Church still believes that the Mass is a Holy Sacrifice NOT a memorial meal. To believe otherwise is heresy. Also look up the definition of transubstantiation. Sorry for the liberal priests who may have misled you.

    They are in my prayers.

    God bless

  174. “According to the Gospels, Jesus was not a priest, nor were his disciples.” This line, even without Fr. Z’s comments, told me that I should hold on to my seat.

    She is conditioning our minds that after Vatican II, the priestly ministry is open to all baptized. Majority, if not all, her statements are riddled with heresy! NCR is the perfect example of what John Paul says “the silent apostasy”. What is the Church going to do about this? When will they be told to remember what it means to be “catholic”?

  175. TNCath says:

    In her article, Nicole writes, “Some were called prophet, others teacher and still others apostle.”

    What is it about the omission of articles that is so attractive to NCR columnists? It sounds like Tarzan. “Me Tarzan, you prophet, you teacher, you apostle.”

    But seriously, folks…

    How can Nicole say that, “According to the Gospels, Jesus was not a priest, nor were his disciples,” and then turn around and and say that “Priesthood, which arose out of the foundation of the early ministries of Jesus’ followers, was now returned to all Jesus’ faithful”? What does Nicole really believe?

    This is nonsense at its finest. It only goes to show us how irrelevant the National Catholic Distorter is to the Church.

    Please become better educated before attempting to publish anything about the Church in the future.

  176. Athelstane says:

    This is Protestant. Plain and simple.

    And Protestants are welcome to make these criticisms. But NCR claims to be…Catholic.

    175 posts and counting. You can cut the outrage with a chainsaw.

  177. Kimberly says:

    Blah, Blah, Blah and Blah – that’s what I read. Seriously though, this is soooooo old. Can’t these women come up with something new – I’ve been hearing this junk since I was in an all girl Catholic High School in the 70’s.

  178. Jason C. Petty says:

    It is not until 215 A.D. that we have evidence of . . .

    Man, I love being Catholic. No one else can start sentences this way when talking about Christianity.

  179. Paladin says:

    David Kastel wrote:

    Does Fr Z really wish to imply that leaving out something true is heretical?

    I don’t see why he’d need to, nor did he do so in this instance. Wouldn’t the following sentence suffice? “I hate to be the one to inform him, but Eucharist, mission and church existed long before the rise of priesthood.” There *was* more to the bilge-ridden column of Ms. Sotelo than was quoted/cited by your comment, after all. So unless you have some reasoning by which the aforementioned sentence can be considered “non-heretical”, I think you’re in error here, sir.

  180. Richard says:

    Give the poor woman a break. She’s into womens victimhood, and on top of that she’s a victim er graduate of Harvard Divinity school. Somewhere along the line she has been smacked up side the head too hard.

  181. Ann Lewis says:

    Great post, Padre. For what it’s worth, I will be subscribing to NCREGISTER from now on.

    By the way, think you have a typo in this sentence here:
    “Was the not arrogant?”

    Should “the” be “she”?

  182. Kat says:

    Thank you, God, for priests.

    Thank you for their consecrated hands by which we receive the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Without our priests, I, for one, would be utterly lost.

    Thank you, Pope Benedict XVI, for the Year of the Priest.

  183. Joshua John Smith says:

    Ok, I just read her article. This was my response to it: “Blasphemous insult to God, the Holy Father, priests and all Christians everywhere. Catholic my FAT TOE!! Who writes this junk? Beautifully written garbage. Twisting unbiblical nonsense into this horrible attempt at an essay. The Devil comes as an angel of light with great intelligence, but this takes the cake. This person is an idiot and I’m obliged to say it. How can a ‘Catholic’ website allow someone to post such ridiculous filth on their website? the word ‘Catholic’ needs to be copyrighted or something because this is getting out of hand. It doesn’t make sense replying to this idiot with what the Bible and the Church really teach as factual and historical because she knows it. She knows the Truth and that is why she is able to write this horse-sh*t, which is totally misaligned to every single part of Truth.
    Anathema Maranatha totally.”

    Let’s see if it gets posted on there.”

  184. Jackie says:

    I grew up in a parish in which Ms Sotelo would have been at home. Thank you to everyone who takes the time to pick apart the points she makes in this article, when this is the reality you see each Sunday it may not appear to be a problem until someone brings attention to it, if there are good questions being raised that people like the this young women are not able to answer then it would make anyone seeking answers go elsewhere, like here.

  185. Tantumergo says:

    Now WE have a “call to action” against the NCR. The church I was attending had that bird-cage liner on display, but I kept on complaining, while giving examples of the theolocical errors therein, and the problem was soon gone. The problem soon dissappeared.

  186. I hate to be the one to inform him, but Eucharist, mission and church existed long before the rise of priesthood.

    I bet you she doesn’t have the guts to write something like that about Islam. Could you imagine, “I hate to break it to you imams, but Muhammad was not a real prophet…”?

    And to be honest with you: I am not so much ticked off by her heresies as much as I am with the tone of such disrespect (topped off with the sad ignorance that shines through and through). If she’s going to disagree with Catholicism’s views, at least go about it intelligently. Look up some scholarly Protestant apologetic material for what it’s worth, but don’t just write this kind of stuff presuming your entitled to correct an entire religion.

    Catholicism holds that Jesus instituted the Eucharist and Priesthood. The later being a distinct and a higher calling than that of the lay faithful, married or single. Facts are facts, that’s what the Catholic religion believes. Disagree? Fine. Say so respectful or put forward your arguments against the doctrines. But as it stands, her piece is as insulting to me as an off handed remark telling a Muslims, “hey, you know Muhammad wasn’t really a…”

    At least be a little more tactful.

  187. Argon says:

    Is this woman over the age of 12? Leaving aside the ghastly content, this piece reads like it was written by a child. What a pathetic loser. Probably drives a Prius….

  188. Jayna says:

    I just knew this year would bring these kinds of people out of the woodwork with their fanciful visions (not to mention erroneous) of the common priesthood. I simply do not understand how this woman can call herself Catholic as she obviously disagrees with the fundamental building blocks of the Church.

    I particularly enjoyed this bit: “According to the Gospels, Jesus was not a priest, nor were his disciples. We do see reference to Jesus as a priest in the Letter to the Hebrews. The author uses the word to refer to Jesus as the new and last ‘High Priest,’ ending a long line of Jewish leaders. The author claims that priests are no longer necessary because no more sacrifices are needed. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice and is our final high priest.”

    Maybe they didn’t cover this at Harvard, but we are not making any further sacrifices in the celebration of the Eucharist. She’s making the same argument as the Protestants did and, indeed, still do. Perhaps she’d find herself more at home in one of their churches.

  189. Christopher Joseph says:

    Call to Action membership appeal: “Please! Join us! We’re old!”

  190. David O'Rourke says:

    Father thank you for blocking Ottaviani. I have aready made my comment above on the NCR article but I am concerrned about Cathy’s posting. It is VITALLY important that those who love the TLM disassociate themselves from hoary old mysogonistic attitudes, in the first place because they are dead wrong and entirely offensive and in the second place because fewer things could be more foolish then to alienate women from the TLM.

  191. Brendan says:

    I was looking through the Code of Canon Law and came across Canon 1369:

    “A person who in a public show or speech, in published writing, or in other uses of the instruments of social communication utters blasphemy, gravely injures good morals, expresses insults, or excites hatred or contempt against religion or the Church is to be punished with a just penalty.”

    I’m pretty sure there are other things in the Code of Canon Law that deal with this kind of stuff, including publishing something that expresses contempt, insults, or other attacks against the Holy Father.

  192. Tim Andries says:

    Pathetic comments from NCR are to be the accepted norm….this article is so full of..well…it’s own pride and blatant ignorance. NCR should be forcably stripped of it’s “catholic” name. How dare they pretend to “teach” the Holy Father with thier secularized modernist thought. That article makes so little rational sence it’s really hard to give a real response. I’ve never heard such non-Catholic, modernist garbage in my life. As a layman I am insulted for our priests, which is another reason that I do not or ever will read NCR.

    Thank you Father and to ALL our priest who continue Christ’s ministry..I will pray for you and make a special effort to honor you special calling.

    I my body were set on fire with the choice of snuffing the flames with NCR or having a priest tell me to accept suffering as a penance,…I would gladly burn…

  193. danh says:

    For anyone who is still reading this far…I wanted to comment on confusion over our Baptismal Priesthood.

    Isn’t it odd that nobody of this stripe ever seems to reflect on just how we are to supposed to be this “priesthood of the laity”? They look at the Roman collar, the vestments, the rituals and say that is how we are supposed to be priest and then grind their teeth that this is an exclusive boys club.

    In short and in imprecise theological terms, we are to be for the world what the priest is for us. THAT is our priesthood!

    The OF Mass ends with, “Go in peace to love AND SERVE the Lord!” The Apostles were sent out with the Great Commission from Christ, but we are sent out every from every Mass with a Little Commission from Christ through His designate. We are meant to take what we have just received and bring it to the world. If we are fighting over control of the Sanctuary, we are not doing this. The priest cannot drop his vocation to head out to the lumber yard, or the office, or government post to bring Jesus, it is our job to do so.

    This is one reason why “active participation” as is is currently practiced is so dangerous. We can live out our priesthood every Sunday and “fulfill” our duty while the rest of the week is a bust in this regard. Exercising our priesthood has no place in the Mass, but it is how we are Sacrament to the world after the Mass.

    Let’s face it, being Catholic in a Catholic Church at a Catholic Mass on Sunday is a very safe thing to do, at least in this part of the world. That is one reason why people want to do “priest things” at Mass and get it over with. There is no danger, no persecution, no sacrifice in this. It is easy to be holy among the holy and live your “catholic” identity in Church. Try living out your Catholic identity in a locker room full of cynical police men! But yet, I had some of the worst teasers privately admit that they respected my position and saw that I had something they did not. I am definitely no saint, but somehow, Jesus used a quiet, firm stand on the Faith to speak.

    It is no accident that Fr.Z, the Pope, and other members of the hierarchy are promoting a recovery of our Catholic Identity out in the world. It is how we of the laity are priests, and it is how we ARE the Church and its Sacrament to the world. It is also how we will win out against articles of this kind.

  194. Stan says:

    Perhaps it is more to the point to use the word “heretical” of the poor woman’s writing, than “heretic” of herself. And fatuous as her articles are, it is NCR itself which is really malevolent, systematically and continually so. Very little smacking of of obedience and humility there. Cardinal Journet wonderfully established in “The Church of the Incarnate Word” that, ultimately, the four marks of the true Church boil down to one: it is papal. Either we are pope’s men or down we go. This will become more and more evident in the times ahead.

  195. Br. Conrad O.F.M. says:

    As a Religious currently in formation for priestly ordination I found this article at once sad, laughable and insulting. I agree with some of the comments here that Ms. Sotelo has displayed a profound lack of comprehension (and perhaps even familiarity) with the Gospels and the documents of the second Vatican Council. I have long found it amusing that those who rail and rage hardest and loudest against Church teachings are those who have little to no understanding of them. It is disturbing however that such false teachings are allowed to influence the hearts and minds of our young people.

    As for Ms. Sotelo; she is most certainly in heresy. However in order to be a heretic one must also refuse to accept correction from a Bishop. Unless such correction has been given and rejected the title of heretic cannot properly be hers.

    Caritas Cristi Urget Nos.

  196. Peadar Ban says:

    In the parish to which I belong there was at one time a subscription to both the National Catholic Register and the National Catholic Reporter. I would read them both. I stopped that practice when, years ago, the controversy over Embryonic Stem Cell research arose. The Register’s reporter (I think her names was Meehan) reported accurately on the implications of the research. The Reporter for the most part ignored the matter, though every once in a while there appeared an opinion piece which attempted to explain that the matter of the personhood of embryos was unsettled, and therefore…

    Such glossing over of the truth in favor of a point of view disturbed me. Eventually I came to realize that such kinds of “glossing over” and actual distortions were the essence of the paper’s content and the true purpose for which it existed.

    I have not read it since. I know people who do read it, and advocate the things it advocates. While not being as distasteful as latter day Friedans…or current occupiers of high office…they are as grim and humorless a bunch of lost souls as one would come across. Among them I feel a heaviness that is oppressive. Such heaviness oozes from Sotelo’s words, above.

    As my ancestor’s would say in the tongue they spoke: “Is trua mor.” It is a great pity.

  197. JosephII says:

    If the shoe of heresy fits, Nicole wears it very well: Code of Canon Law on Heresy, Schism and Apostasy:

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines these three sins against the faith in this way: 2089 Incredulity is the neglect of revealed truth or the willful refusal to assent to it.

    “Heresy is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same;

    Apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith;
    schism is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.” [Code of Canon Law c.751]

  198. Matt says:

    So…those seven letters I just finished reading from Ignatius were wrong? He wasn’t bishop of Antioch and didn’t tell the Smyrneans to be obedient to the Bishops as Jesus was to the Father and to the council of priests as the Apostles? And he didn’t write that in 100 AD? Thanks, Nicole for clearing that up.

  199. Mary Kay says:

    Fr. Z, I want to echo David’s post thanking you for blocking Ottaviani’s misogynistic comments. I also appreciated all those who so clearly expressed how such comments are off-base.

    DanH, well said about priesthood of baptism.

    Br. Conrad, informative distinction heresy and heretic.

    Off to check how badly I was flamed for the comment I posted on the NCR site, if they posted it.

  200. RBrown says:

    Is it heretical to leave out the distinction between the clergy and the laity? She has affirmed the priesthood of the laity, which is true. Is it heretical to leave out something which is true?

    She did more than just leave it out. In fact, she excluded the ministerial priesthood by saying that it–and the hierarchy–was a later invention of the Church: If we return to the Early Church . . . blah, blah, blah . . . the distinction between lay and clerical will dissolve.

    It is like the reform of the liturgy. There are priests now, who, in explaining what the mass is, describe it as a memorial meal. It is rare indeed to find a priest who will describe it as the sacrifice of Our Lord at Calvary.

    In fact, the offertory of the new mass describes the mass exactly as a meal,

    Although I think the Novus Ordo offertory is deficient, I find nothing in it that “describes the mass exactly as a meal”.

    whereas the offertory of the old describes it as a sacrifice offered to God.


    Does Fr Z really wish to imply that leaving out something true is heretical?
    Comment by David Kastel

    See above.

  201. Ohio Annie says:

    They didn’t print my comment at all and I was nice about it.

  202. Erik says:

    The arthor has givin us a true example of Matthew24:4,5 Nicole Sotelo needs to go backe to RCIA if she realy is Cathiolic and reexamen what she has learned!!!

    Jesus is the last High Priest not the last Priest if that were the case why would he give the keys to the Kingdom of Heven to Peter and say you are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church!!!

    Dose she dare to call the Pope, the Vicor of Crist Himself wrong?

    Nicole i will pray for you to learn the truth!

  203. irishgirl says:

    danh-bingo! You hit it on the head!

  204. Benedict Ambrose says:

    Ohio Annie, they haven’t posted ANY comments since June 16th, and there were fewer comments there than there are here by far. Your guess is as good as mine.

  205. Prof. Basto says:

    On Christ’s prieshood, she should read psalm 110:

    “Dixit Dominus Domino meo: “ Sede a dextris meis,
    donec ponam inimicos tuos scabellum pedum tuorum ”.
    2 Virgam potentiae tuae emittet Dominus ex Sion:
    dominare in medio inimicorum tuorum.
    3 Tecum principatus in die virtutis tuae,
    in splendoribus sanctis,
    ex utero ante luciferum genui te.
    4 Iuravit Dominus et non paenitebit eum:
    “ Tu es sacerdos in aeternum secundum ordinem Melchisedech ”.
    5 Dominus a dextris tuis,
    conquassabit in die irae suae reges.
    6 Iudicabit in nationibus: cumulantur cadavera,
    conquassabit capita in terra spatiosa.
    7 De torrente in via bibet,
    propterea exaltabit caput.

  206. Janet DeMarco says:

    Nothing from the National Catholic (sic) Reporter should be posted on a Catholic blog or forum and that includes John Allen articles. All that does is lead the unsuspecting Catholic to think it is okay to read that evil rag. Scrape the Reporter into the same porcelain bowl as Notre Dame U, Boston College, et al and hit the lever.

  207. Prof. Basto says:

    I know, I prefer the old vulgate too, but I quoted from the Nova Vulgata.

  208. irishgirl says:

    I’m sorry if my ‘little comment’ about women and theology riled up some of you…and I hope that I don’t get banned by Fr. Z, as Ottaviani was…

    I have the greatest respect-and honor-for the holy women of the past who were faithful to the Church and her teachings. I love St. Teresa of Avila and St. Therese of Lisieux, both ‘daughters of the Church’ who just happen to be Doctors of the Church! And of course I honor most of all Our Lady herself, who is the Mother of the Great High Priest Himself, Our Lord!

    I just have a big problem with the modern-day females who think they know better than our Holy Father!

    As you always tell us, Father, ‘think before posting’!

    What can I say-I’m just a stupid woman!

  209. Carina says:

    All roads lead to Rome; which is one reason why many people never get there

  210. Carina says:

    Okay. I don’t know why it posted that quote from Chesterton that I meant to post in another site. :p

    What I meant to post was:

    Fr. Z, it is certainly to good of you to even bother something as laughable as this. The article is quite amazing really.

    More Catholic than the Pope! Not.

  211. RBrown says:

    On Christ’s prieshood, she should read psalm 110:
    Comment by Prof. Basto

    The Letter to the Hebrews is a commentary on psalm 110.

  212. Gabriel Austin says:

    “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.”
    Comment by Fr. Frank Bass — 17 June 2009 @ 10:17 am

    “A little learning is a dangerous thing”.

    Big difference from a little knowledge.

  213. Trevor says:

    “Nothing from the National Catholic (sic) Reporter should be posted on a Catholic blog or forum and that includes John Allen articles. All that does is lead the unsuspecting Catholic to think it is okay to read that evil rag. Scrape the Reporter into the same porcelain bowl as Notre Dame U, Boston College, et al and hit the lever.

    Comment by Janet DeMarco”

    Father is just posting it to educate. His comments should have made it quite clear that the article was terrible, and its ideas are not Catholic.

  214. Catherine says:

    I felt as if I were reading a high school student’s term paper: uninformed, laughable and superior in tone. Then I found myself becoming quite angry as I realized how many poorly-formed Catholics and converts will take this drivel seriously. We are, after all, talking about souls being deceived.

    This is another attempt to resurrect from the almost-dead the phantom “spirit of Vatican II.” May God have mercy on her when she stands face-to-face with the “Great High Priest” Himself: Our Lord Jesus Christ.

  215. Matthew G. H. says:

    I’ve already told you that, according to canon law, no-one is a “heretic” without due process of a canonical suit. One might subscribe to heresy, but the right to identify someone as a heretic is reserved to ecclesiastical courts.

    And you should know, too, that St John Chrysostom insisted that someone subscribes to heresy only after obstinate denial after repeat admonition. Certainly this author knows next to nothing about Orders and ministry, but you no privilege to do what is reserved to ecclesiastical courts.

  216. Melody says:

    I’ve got one word for her: “presbyter” Did this women never read Paul’s Letters or Acts? Then there’s the fact that Jesus had hundreds of followers, but only twelve chosen disciples.

    James 5:14: “Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the *presbyters* of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint (him) with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven.”

  217. Linus says:

    For those who think that His Excellency, Bishop Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph will do anything to correct the appalling situation at the National Catholic Reporter, consider this: The Chancery Office and the Offices of the National Catholic Reporter are literally within 2 blocks of each other.
    Nothing HAS been done and nothing WILL be done.

  218. Phil Steinacker says:

    Same here, Ohio Annie. The Left is usually dishonest, and when they can’t get away with that, they’re gutless.

  219. Michael Jarret says:

    She works at Call To Action….enough said. However, this is a great article to use when teaching showing how some people try to distort the teachings and truth of the Church for the sake of their own agendas.

  220. Damien says:

    Although it’s true that as baptised Christians we all have a common duty to build up the Kingdom of God here in earth, this is being used more than ever to stop any distinction between the baptismal and ordained/ministerial priesthoods.

    Here in Ireland, last year was to be designated as a year of Vocation. What should have been a year given to the promotion of Priestly and Religious Vocations was usurped by a group of people whose views correspond closely to those of the writer above. Because we ALL have a vocation, no distinctions were to be drawn and all vocations were to be promoted equally which, in reality, led to the promotion of none.

    Being specific when we pray for Priestly vocations is very important. As a priest I know well said: ‘We need to pray for Vocations to the Diocesan Priesthood in Ireland now!’

    Saint John Vianney, pray for us!

  221. RBrown says:

    Can. 1369 A person who in a public show or speech, in published writing, or in other uses of the instruments of social communication utters blasphemy, gravely injures good morals, expresses insults, or excites hatred or contempt against religion or the Church is to be punished with a just penalty.

    Note there is no “may be punished.” The local ordinary is obligated to impose a just penalty. Write?
    Comment by Aelric

    Actually, the word is puniatur, not punitur. “May be punished” is a competent translation.

  222. RBrown says:

    And: “is to be punished” is also a competent translation.

  223. Carol Dixon Klein says:

    This poor girl will wake up and feel very embarrassed someday. I don’t understand how she could be so confused when she had attended Harvard Divinity School, even if they had teachers who thought differently. This is deeply ignorant, there is no other way to say it. Let us pray that she will become open to learn the Truth; she has perhaps endangered some souls who do not know better than to believe her, knowing even less than she seems to have learned. Sad.
    I urge parishes to encourage Catholics to pray, seek, study, seek the truth. We have so much good writing, especially Pope Benedict XVI. Carol

  224. I agree totalyly with you, Father. I hear this kinda talk all the time, spoken by “renewers” who believe they have to change everything in order to be happy. Quite clearly this woman has a huge problem with her own ego!

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