Cincy: Teacher dismissed for support of women’s ordination (POLL ALERT)

Long time WDTPRS readers will remember the story from Cincinnati about how His Excellency Most Rev. Daniel Pilarczyk determined that a woman religious teacher dedicated to the cause of the ordination of women may not teach in that Archdiocese. 

There is a development.

And I am issuing a POLL ALERT!
(see below)


Cincinnati.Com » Local news

Teacher ousted for support of nun

By Dan Horn •  • September 14, 2009

A volunteer religious education teacher was dismissed this weekend for publicly voicing support for Sister Louise Akers, who has been ordered by Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk to stop teaching because her backing of women priests contradicts Catholic doctrine.

Dr. Carol Egner, a life-long Catholic and gynecologist, got into trouble when she wrote a letter to the Enquirer supporting Akers.

When Egner’s pastor read her letter, he asked her to write another that either renounced her position or made clear that she “yields to the wisdom of the church.

When she refused, she was told she could no longer teach her Old Testament class for sixth-graders at Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Westwood[So, the priest, the pastor of the parish – responsible for what is taught to the people entrusted to his care, took his responsibility seriously and exercised oversight along the lines exemplified by the local bishop.]

“This is frightening,” Egner said Monday. “I think it’s a step backward.”  [What I think is frightening is the idea that people who don’t willingly adhere to Catholic teaching are teaching Catholic children in a parish setting.  Also, when you find that there is a problem that must be corrected, your options are really very few.  You can ignore the problem and blunder along toward something worse, or you can backtrack and fix the problem.]

Her pastor, Rev. David Sunberg, said his decision is not part of a broader crackdown on dissent and he is not following a new, get-tough edict from Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk, who recently ordered Akers to stop teaching in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati because of her public support for the ordination of women.

Spokesman Dan Andriacco also said the archbishop had nothing to do with Egner’s dismissal.

We have an obligation to teach what Christ and His church teaches,” Sunberg said. “If she can’t do that, it wouldn’t be in our interest to have her teach.

In her letter, Egner said she could find no biblical reference barring women from the priesthood and that allowing women priests could help ease the priest shortage that now afflicts the church. “Some self-reflection on the part of church officials may be beneficial,” she wrote[That reflection has been concluded.  Cf. Ordinatio sacerdotalis, which is at the least definitive and, according to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s then Card. Ratzinger, it conveys teaching the Church holds to be infallible.]

She also suggested that the clergy abuse crisis might have been avoided if the church had been more open to the ordination of women[?!? How?]

Egner, who has been a volunteer teacher for two years, said she never discussed her views on women priests in her religion class and she told Sunberg she never would bring it up. Her letter does not identify her as a teacher and does not name her parish.

“I feel the punishment is disproportionate,” Egner said. [Hang on.  Why is this punishment?  It is more like medicine.  Call it correptio.] “Priests have abused boys and their punishment was disproportionate the other way. I feel the church really hasn’t taken responsibility and addressed that, and yet I can’t write a letter to the editor.  [What a horrid comparison.  There is no moral equivalence here.]

“I don’t get that.”

The reasons for Egner’s dismissal are similar to those Pilarczyk gave when he told Akers, a teacher for 40 years, that she no longer could teach in archdiocesan schools and institutions. He said the Catechism of the Catholic Church is clear when it states that “the ordination of women is not possible” because Christ chose only male apostles.czyk

Pilarczyk gave Akers an ultimatum after her name appeared on the Web site of the Women’s Ordination Conference, which advocates for the ordination of women.

The archbishop told her to remove her name from the site and publicly renounce her support for women priests. Akers agreed to the first demand but refused the second.

Sunberg said he was disappointed Egner also refused to publicly retract her comments.

“It kind of surprised me, and it saddened me, too,” he said. “Carol is a nice person.”

Egner, 53, said the decision stunned her. She described herself as “very Catholic” [Except insofar as the Church’s teaching on the ordination of women is concerned….] and as someone who still urges her patients to pray for saintly intervention. [It is hard to claim credit for doing something any Catholic should be doing anyway.]

She said she’s now likely to leave Our Lady of Lourdes parish.

“This just smacks of, this is the way it is and if you don’t like it there may be repercussions,” Egner said. “Catholics have a very long tradition of various beliefs and the ability to talk about them, and sometimes things change.”

I applaud Fr. Sunberg, who understood that teachers at the parish should accept the teachings of the Church.  I am sure that he will have some tough days now and will be under fire from many quarters. 

Also, I hope that Dr. Egner comes through this hard experience and eventually gains a new respect for the Church’s teaching.  I hope that she will no long conform herself to the wisdom of this world and is, rather, transformed in the renewing of her mind.  The Church’s teachings are pleasing and reveal the will of God.

Now about that POLL ALERT!

For their article on what Archbishop Pilarczyk did, the same newspaper posted a poll attached directly to that article.  It is still visible.

For this article, there is a link to a different page for the Poll and "discussion".  The poll is hosted by "Where Cincy moms meet".

They have a poll entitled "Poll: Update on nun: Has the Church gone too far?"  (I think you are supposed to say "yes".)

What are the questions?

A volunteer teacher has been dismissed from a Cincy Catholic school because she publicly defended a nun who supports the ordination of women. What do you think? (Enquirer story here)

  • Church leaders are in the right. These women shouldn’t be in the classroom.
  • Church leaders are doing what they have to, but the women weren’t a problem in the classroom.
  • Church leaders went too far in removing them.

"But Father! But Father!", you are surely saying, straining in the slips and ready to spring into action.  "Where does the poll stand now?"

Okay, WDTPRSers… you know what to do. 

GO HERE.  GO VOTE.   Check the FIRST option, at the top.



It seems that WDTPRS is having an effect.

UPDATE 17 Sept 1730 GMT

I don’t think the person who posted the poll didn’t appreciate the participation of so many people who didn’t agree with her aims in posting the poll in the first place.

FINAL UPDATE 23 Sept 0054 GMT:

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in POLLS, SESSIUNCULA, The Drill and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. chironomo says:

    Wow… that’s one fast-changing poll.

  2. chironomo says:

    Just tipped in favor of the “no” option…

  3. I am guessing that there may be cookies for this site, which allow you to vote once.

  4. MargaretMN says:

    Yeah, it’s already about even between category one and three.

    I think a little differently about this than I did the straight up question on women’s ordination. I still think that the volunteer was in the wrong and the pastor was right to bounce her but the issue here is her public denunciation (for that is what it was) on a matter of doctrine. I don’t think the Catholic church would be alone in asking someone who did something like this to leave, even a volunteer to leave teaching. It may have had nothing to do with her presentation of the old testament to 6th graders but I suspect that it did, since people who feel strongly about some issue often find ways to reinterpret everything through that prism.

    I once found myself in the situation of being a group leader in a parish that was using materials that I found objectionable (politicized in a way that I thought pushed certain conclusions that were not, shall we say, about church doctrine.) Instead of protesting, I left the group leader job (and eventually the parish) because I could not square my personal beliefs with what this parish was promoting. This matter is more fundamental. I don’t understand why she wouldn’t just leave if she had such a deep conflict.

  5. A quick google search revealed another great reason to remove Dr. Egner from her volunteer teaching: her website advertises “No Incision Sterilization” and lists “Contraception” as one of the fine services provided by her practice. What a sad scandal! Thank God Fr. Sunberg had the fortitude to put first the welfare of the souls in his charge.

    This woman should not be admitted to Holy Communion or teach the Faith.

  6. Sid says:

    Egner said she could find no biblical reference barring women from the priesthood

    The fallacy of an argument from silence. I’ve been told by Baptist and Anabaptist friends that pedobaptism isn’t New Testamental because the NT doesn’t mention it. Also an argument from silence.

    And since when are Catholics solo scriptura? Is Egner a de facto Protestant? If so, I’m not surprised. I met a number of such in a putative Catholic seminary.

  7. medievalist says:

    When, oh when, will the “progressives” understand how new media and the internet really work? Considering many are stuck in the ’70s and ’80s, probably never, because they’re still saving 5 1/4 inch floppies.

  8. chironomo says:

    Would anybody like to guess when the poll will be taken down? When it reaches 95%-.01%- 4.9% maybe? The best outcome of taking action like this is that perhaps such groups will cease using internet polls as evidence to support their views.

  9. mhittle says:

    Wow, read the comments. There are LOTS of people who are VERY ignorant of Church teaching. They think that the male priesthood is simply a chauvinistic tradition.

  10. irishgirl says:

    I voted the first one-the priest was right in removing her.

    Are these females totally clueless, or what? Whenever I hear these whiny feminists [whether be so-called ‘religious’ or laywomen] I want to scream out, “1994! The Holy Father said ‘no priestesses’! What part of ‘NO’ don’t you understand?”

    Rome has spoken-‘causa finita est’!

    Case CLOSED, ladies! No more discussion! Accept it, or leave-and don’t let the door hit you on the rear end as you go out! Go to the Piskeys-they got all you want!

    Okay…end of rant…it’s just that these proponents of female ‘ordination’ drive me nuts…

    Big sigh….

  11. Henry Edwards says:

    The previous poll now reads 72% no (women should not be ordained), 26% yes (they should be). I wonder whether, if it had gone the other way (as undoubtedly was expected), then the results would have been mentioned in this article, or even featured in a free-standing article about the poll.

  12. MargaretMN says:

    Patrick, interesting about the google search. It usually seems to turn out that these public dissenters aren’t just hung up on one thing, they are seeking validation of their own way of life which is in contradiction with the church on a number of fronts.

  13. chironomo says:

    It seems that damage control has been activated…poll appears to be shut down now.

  14. Frank H says:

    I don’t know, chironomo, it still appears to be functioning to me. The numbers keep growing.

  15. chironomo says:

    Ahh… so it is! I opened in two different windows and didn’t refresh the one so it appeared to be static.

  16. Frank H says:

    I tried to register to post a comment, but that functionality seems to be experiencing difficulty.

  17. ssoldie says:

    I would like to know what a life long Catholic’s average age is. Mine runs about 56 yrs, and the 1st 17 I was mostly raised a prod. To know your Catholic faith, again I suggest; Louis Morrow’s “My Catholic Faith” get the book, read it from the 1st page to the last pg. Then go and be a solder for Christ and defend the Church that Christ our Lord instituded.

  18. Jack Hughes says:

    16:13 GMT The Orthodox position is at 77.89%

  19. chironomo says:

    I tried to register to post a comment, but that functionality seems to be experiencing difficulty

    I wonder if there isn’t a bit more traffic on the site than it is accustomed to!

  20. Mitchell NY says:

    Wow this one changed fast…We are at 77.89 % heading towards 80.00%…It can be done !

  21. pelerin says:

    Have voted and it’s now 78.54!

  22. lofstrr says:

    “clergy abuse crisis might have been avoided if the church had been more open to the ordination of women.”

    It sounds like she is saying that if only there were women the Church leadership this sort of thing wouldn’t happen. Amazing that she apparently doesn’t see her own remark for the sexist statement that it is. Child sexual abuse is far more rampant among teachers in the public schools that it is with priests in the Church. And the public schools are almost completely controlled by women. A child is 3.5 times more likely to be abused by a random public school teacher than by a random priest. (good by, good men) This is not a man problem, but our society is teaching people to automatically question and fear the sight of a man around children, even his own children. According to the FBI child murder statistics for 2004 the absolute safest place for a child to live by a factor of 25 times is in the home of his or her natural father.

  23. ghp95134 says:

    0835, PST results:

    Church leaders are in the right. These women shouldn’t be in the classroom. 80.38%

    Church leaders are doing what they have to, but the women weren’t a problem in the classroom. 3.29%

    Church leaders went too far in removing them. 16.84%

  24. Frank H says:

    Now 80.75% !

  25. VickiW says:

    80.45% after my vote.

  26. FYI, one of the Cincinnati Enquirer‘s columnists wrote a puff piece on the teacher for this morning’s edition. Here’s a sample:

    At stake was her understanding of her faith, which she had spent all of her life believing respected prayerful questions and honest seeking. And at stake, in an unspoken way, was her identity as a female.

  27. Steve K. says:

    Margaret –

    “I don’t understand why she wouldn’t just leave if she had such a deep conflict.”

    Because she probably feels it her job to change the Church so that it believes as she does. Work from inside, undermine the Church’s teaching by teaching kids and catechumens the dissent instead of the doctrine. That’s how you “work for change” if you are of that ilk.

    My old parish, that was basically their RCIA lesson plan.

  28. Agnes says:

    The catechist is an extension of sorts of the pastor in proclaiming and teaching the Word. If she holds views that are contrary to the teaching of the Church, even if she’s not expounding her dissent in the classroom, she needs to be removed. Besides, it’s public enough that it calls into question the pastor’s authority and authenticity (“Well, she wouldn’t be teaching if he didn’t support her…” – her remaining as a catechist gives rise to scandal) God bless the priest for doing the right thing!

  29. Sacristymaiden says:

    God bless Fr. Sunberg.
    Mine was the 900th vote and the poll is now at:

    Church leaders are in the right. These women shouldn’t be in the classroom–83.30%
    …but these women weren’t a problem in the classroom–2.98%
    Church leaders went too far in removing them–14.57%

  30. Eric says:

    My vote brought the good guys to over 82%.

    It seems to me like the reform of the reform must be working. The side opposed to it seems to be trying to mount a counter offensive, although, so far, a fairly weak one.

  31. kolbe1019 says:

    Fr. Z….

    Well we definitely tipped the scales, but the host of the poll has become aware of where the sudden flood of Orthodoxy has come from. She posted a link to your site…. Maybe know they will get a little Catholic Education! :D

  32. Frank H says:

    This note just appeared on the site –

    “I wanted to let everyone know something interesting about the poll results. I’ve discovered that our little poll ended up on a Catholic blog in which the blogger urges readers to vote in our poll. See the blog post here:

    I suspect this is why we have 949 votes.”

  33. Bryan says:

    And the software in that’s running the page…lets you vote Chicago style (early and often…).

    Talk about being able to skew the numbers…


    I’m just sayin’…

  34. AlexE says:

    Not only are they “on to us” they percentage supporting the Church leaders is 84%!. So they know that there are good faithful Catholics who BELIEVE WHAT THE CHURCH TEACHES.

  35. Genevieve says:

    of course you all know this, but since my registration on cincymomslikeme hasn’t been approved yet, I’m posting this here:

    Perhaps in an Old Testament Sixth Grade class, the issue of women’s ordination doesn’t come up. However, and I’ve taught sixth graders in the parish setting, topics like sex, gender, and bodies could very well come up – no matter the curriculum. That’s just where the age group is. Someone who is for the ordination of women clearly knows nothing about the theology of the body. And someone who is ignorant of that teaching should not be teaching sixth graders or anyone else, since the body is so relevant to every aspect of our lives.

  36. JohnE says:

    There are no silly questions, just silly people who ask them.

  37. Did you see the last comment at the top. It says

    UPDATE: 12:08 p.m. Sept. 16:

    I wanted to let everyone know something interesting about the poll results. I’ve discovered that our little poll ended up on a Catholic blog in which the blogger urges readers to vote in our poll. See the blog post here:

    I suspect this is why we have 949 votes, lol.

  38. The article dares to quote St. Catherine of Siena in Letter 16: To a Grand Prelate. In which she encourages said prelate to speak up about the rules of the Church that are being broken, and that silence breaks the world and makes the Church turn pale, sucked dry of blood. It takes a lot of nerve to twist that kind of quote to support disobedience and dissent!

    Apparently, dissenters are not just Batman villains, but also vampires. (Although St. C. was talking about simony, specifically.)

  39. JayneK says:

    Even if this volunteer never said a word about women’s ordination, her comments make clear that she has a poor understanding of basic Catholic doctrines regarding revelation and authority. It is disturbing that she had a position teaching in the first place and a very good thing that her pastor removed her from this position.

  40. trad catholic mom says:

    I voted.

    Most of the people on that forum are in dire need of catechesis.

  41. Chris M says:

    Wow. The comments on the article are like a giant neon sign saying “WE NEED BETTER CATECHESIS!”

  42. Can someone more knowledgeable in this teaching and I am please get a screen name on that women’s site and briefly outline the why’s and how’s of the Church’s teaching on male priesthood.

    I know the basics, but I think it would be helpful for us to spread the real basis of the teaching to the ignorant so that they will understand it has nothing to do with “power” or “sexism” (the usual arguments against the male hierarchy in the Catholic Church by progressive and liberal dissenting Catholics).

    Most Catholics, even those that try to be faithful to the Church’s teachings, don’t have the slightest clue about this teaching or the reasons for it.

  43. In addition, I wanted to add that I’m glad to see Archbishop Pilarcyzk cracking down more on dissenters in the Church. For a long time, he had been turning a blind eye toward this sort of stuff (I’ve even heard he allowed VOTF to meet on diocesan property…don’t know if that’s still going on or not).

    His eventual replacement, coadjutor Archbishop Schnurr, should continue a move in the archdiocese toward more adherence to Church doctrine, and a more traditional/orthodox mindset. Praise be to God for that!

  44. MichaelJ says:

    Honestly. If I was a Wal-Mart greeter and publicly and actively proclaimed how wrong-headed and evil Wal-Mart’s corporate policies were would anyone be surprised if I was let go?

  45. MichaelJ says:

    Would you mind going there and voting for me? I tried, but the site was blocked by the corporate firewall becaue it is a “Dating/Social” content site LOL

  46. Agellius says:

    88% in favor of the pastor! ROFLMAO!! It must be such a kick to Fr. Z to have this much voting clout!

  47. tzard says:

    1500 votes at the moment – 88.2% chose option 1.

  48. chironomo says:

    Child sexual abuse is far more rampant among teachers in the public schools that it is with priests in the Church

    I find it interesting that a large number of prominent cases of female teachers molesting boys have generally been written off as “misdirected romances” or some such nonsense. The media coverage of the child molestation scandal was driven by anti-Catholic sentiments. There is no corresponding “anti-teacher” sentiment, so nobody covers it. And the writer of the comment on the CincyMom blog hasn’t noticed that the Episcopal Church has it’s own child molestation problems. Apparently having Male, Female, Gay and Partnered Gay clergy hasn’t brought an end to the problem there.

  49. Timbot2000 says:

    Strangely enough, the comments are overwhelingly in favor of Female ordination etc., even the ones professing to be “Catholic”. People say the Eastern Catholics are only a small percentage of the Church in America, but I am increasingly convinced that if you tallied up people who actually believe in apostolic Christianity, the numbers are probably close to even. Would that I had never been born that I have had to see such as “abomination of desolation” visited upon such a large swath of the Church.

  50. robtbrown says:

    “This is frightening,” Egner said Monday. “I think it’s a step backward.”

    I thought the Church existed to help us go up–not backward or forward.

  51. Discipulus Humilis says:

    The latest comment is a complaint about the poll having been placed on a Catholic blog. Looks like someone wrote a piece of sentimental drivel fishing for a “yes” response and didn’t get it. The situation might merit a splicing together of Sour Grapes and Cry Baby to form a sort of hybrid.

  52. capchoirgirl says:

    I read the Enquirer every day, as part of my job, and in a column written about her today, the teacher talks about how, since the church reversed its standing on altar girls, they should do that here. It’s really quite remarkable. Here’s the link:

    And here’s the relevant passage:
    ” Egner had taken pen in hand before, at age 12, when she wrote to her pastor to ask if she could be a server at Mass. In return, she received a letter outlining seven ways to be holy.

    “One was not to be a female server,” she says.

    Now she sees female servers at every Mass. She sees a church that responded and a church that changed.”

    Oh, how lovely.

  53. Leonius says:

    Give them an inch and they will take a mile see, this is always the result of appeasement.

  54. Patrick writes, A quick google search revealed another great reason to remove Dr. Egner from her volunteer teaching: her website advertises “No Incision Sterilization” and lists “Contraception” as one of the fine services provided by her practice. What a sad scandal! Thank God Fr. Sunberg had the fortitude to put first the welfare of the souls in his charge.

    Can you provide a link please?

  55. Fr. John Mary says:

    capchoirgirl: You hit the nail on its head.
    Girl altar servers give the impression to the faithful in the pew that women will one day be priests…this was a BIG mistake. The chickens have come home to roost, as they say.
    I am no misogynist, but having female altar servers is definitely going to “back fire”.

  56. Jordanes says:

    Rich Leonardi, here’s the link to Dr. Egner’s practice:

    Dr. Egner is one of three OB/GYNS there. The practice distributes contraceptives and does sterilisations. I don’t know if Dr. Egner does them herself, but if she didn’t it would be highly unlikely that her partners would want her to stay in the practice with them.

    It wouldn’t be surprising that an advocate of women’s ordination, which is spiritual contraception and sterilisation, would also distribute contraceptive poisons or perform genital mutilations.

  57. Jordanes,

    Thanks for getting the link up there. It’s worth noting that Dr. Egner is the senior member of the practice by far. The other two have only been doctors for a few years.

  58. Hamburglar says:

    Interesting that on the site, under the contraception section, they advertise an injection that “provides protection against pregnancy” as if it is something evil.

    I’m also amazed sterilization is covered by insurance. Will I have to worry about sterilizations being funded by tax dollars in the health reform bills?

  59. smad0142 says:

    The moderator in charge of the page just posted an update that mentions the WDTPRS posting on the poll.

  60. Reading the comments under that poll is very instructive. You get some insight into what sort of challenges we face.

  61. Hamburglar says:

    Now that this woman has publicly proclaimed she has heretical beliefs, is she to be denied Holy Communion?

  62. Thanks, Jordanes and Patrick. I put up a related post that you can find at the following link:

  63. Jack Hughes says:


    As far as I know Cannon 915 only applies if it is publically known that the person obstently denises a tennent of the faith e.g. Biden and Pelosi, even if the priest privately knows that someone is guilty of sin I’m not sure if he can deny Holy Communion in public (bear in mind my source on this is SSPX) on the other hand Dr Egner should take Cannon 916 into account and not present herself for the Lord of Hosts until she goes to confession, if she publicly recanted her positions that would be a bonus.

  64. JoeGarcia says:

    Father, much the same effect can be had by reading the comments in America Magazine, with the added bonus of getting in a little mortification.


  65. MikeM says:

    Fr. Z FTW!

  66. Father Z can really tip the scales into the Church’s favor. Now its 91.14%

    The blogger also noticed the hand of Z in all of this in her Update: 12:08 p.m. Sept. 16:


    Imagine, if I ran a poll like this…

    ” Do you want Fr. Z to receive the red hat?”

    ( ) Yes. He is a faithful son of the Church
    ( ) No. He is too techie and traddie. Loves cooking and matching birds

    I can hear another computer crashing in the distance. Too much yes.

  67. ejcmartin says:

    A few years ago my wife attempted to bring some orthodoxy into the children’s catechecial program in a local parish. (For example she expressed her concern that they allowed children to take home unconsecrated hosts home to “practice” for first communion and reconcilation did not enter into the picture.) She was basically told that “that’s they way we have always done it here”. When she expressed her concerns with the parish priest again it was brushed off with the fact Mrs. X has been doing such a great job for such a long time.

  68. Craig says:

    From what I can see in the comments, there is an alarming misunderstanding about the revelation of truth, the difference between doctrine and discipline (who knows what the understanding of dogma might be) and other various definitions. Perhaps these need to be presented more frequently by teachers within the Church (hint hint pastors).

  69. 91.12% after my vote.

    The pastor did the right thing. He is ultimately responsible for all the souls in his parish, including Dr. Egner’s. He will be called to account for them. Would he really be doing right by Dr. Egner to confirm her in her error? Never mind exposing children to her error! Our priests bear more responsibility than we can imagine. That is why we must pray hard for them.

    If she does not believe she is in error, well, she’s going against the constant teaching of the Church. She is cutting herself off from everybody who believes in and assents to that teaching–not only her pastor, but the people around her in the pews. She is rejecting us–not the other way around.

    But as we see time and time again, the dissenters are always the victims of the big, mean Church.

  70. Therese says:

    I suspect the lady who put this poll together is quite grateful for all the attention–I wonder what kind of traffic she gets when isn’t boosting her site?

  71. Frank H says:

    Her poll shows 2728 votes. I looked at some past polls of hers and the most votes I could find was 200. I’d say we boosted her numbers!

  72. ThomasM says:

    I find this very amusing. Liberals always love polls, UNTIL they go against their position. Then they suspect foul play. Gee when polls go their way, should we suspect foul play? I applaud the pastor for using common sense something left-wing loons know nothing about. Tom

  73. Jayna says:

    I’m intrigued by the comments that have been posted on that site since it was discovered that you posted to the blog. A lot of the women are none too pleased with the comments here, and one woman in particular pointed out how many men were posting here and admonished the women for not standing up for themselves. Well, here I am. I’m a woman. I am fully self-sufficient and going to graduate school to get my doctorate (which is what I guess some women would call being “liberated”). So, I’m going to stand up for myself by sitting in my pew and letting my priest do his job.

  74. Melody says:

    While I am no feminazi, it disturbs me greatly that the people of authority within the Church have such a fast reaction on t
    his issue when so many serious problems are left unaddressed. There are several cases of terrible heretics who were not excommunicated until they spoke about women’s ordination. Why is this teacher fired but not people like McBrien? It’s not that I disapprove of her dismissal, but don’t you think she should have been fired for the more serious problems, like the moral issues regarding her practice? Apparently, it’s only when this issue came up that she was fired.
    I have encountered real sexism among traditionalists in the church. It was a very distressing and shocking experience, because I have come to consider traditional Catholicism my one haven. I have met people who have a genuine hatred for women. They believe that a woman has no right to advise a man in anything or speak her mind. They believe that all women should be totally superordinate to their husbands’ and fathers’ whims.
    For example, I was called out for simply wanting to lead a decade of the rosary outside an abortion mill, because I am a woman. I was genuinely confused as to why I kept being skipped over (I was the only woman there) and asked about it. I was accused of being a heretic.
    This is not holy, it’s simply males letting their pride get the better of them. How prevalent is this attitude? Trends like this one worry me.

  75. Athelstan says:

    Hello Melody,

    Why is this teacher fired but not people like McBrien?

    Well, for one, McBrien has tenure. For another, the Bishop of Fort Wayne, while a member of Notre Dame’s Board of Trustees, doesn’t have direct power to remove him. Parish religious teachers have no such protection (fortunately).

    We also have no certain confirmation that her own personal medical practice uses this procedures (although it seems likely). But certainly someone ought to have checked.

    Nonetheless – it remains a scandal that McBrien (and some other theologians I could name) have not been disciplined. To my mind, every Catholic university ought to require a public mandatum of all its theology professors, with removal to follow for any who refuse (as McBrien is known to have done). Catholic universities who refuse to do so present bishops with the real possibility of having to deny them the use of the Catholic name. But to my knowledge there are about only two dozen or so out of over 240 Catholic colleges and universities in the U.S. that fully comply with this requirement of Ex Corde Ecclesiae.

    I won’t deny that I have run into the sexism you speak of in traditional quarters, but I think it is still very much the exception to the rule, especially among those who are affiliated with groups fully recognized by the Church.

  76. Frank H says:

    Melody, your tale is terribly disappointing. At the parish to which I belong, women are deeply involved in all areas, from the position of pastoral associate to the leader of RCIA to development director to school principal to the heads of various committees/”ministries”. To the best of my knowledge there are no serious proponents of heretical views like womens ordination. I can’t imagine the scene you described of men nor allowing a woman to recite the rosary. I will pray for change in the misguided attitudes of the men you describe.

  77. bobw45 says:

    Lay people have been teaching religion in Catholic Churches/schools for what, 40 plus years? No wonder there is so much abuse of Catholic tenets in the Church today.

  78. JayneK says:

    I want to respond to the comment about women needing to stand up for themselves. (I am a woman who thinks that the priest was right to get rid of a teacher who does not accept Church teaching and voted accordingly on the poll.)

    I have a MDiv degree, the same one that most priests get. In some people’s thinking this makes me qualified to be a priest. They are wrong. Being a priest is not merely a job. It is not a matter of getting the right degree and applying. This is not an issue of job discrimination against women.

    Ordination is a sacrament. It is a matter of spiritual significance dealing with mystical realities that are beyond our comprehension. Applying modern notions of women’s rights is completely inappropriate. The Magisterium has spoken with a very high level of authority to say that the question of women’s ordination is not open to debate. People who disobey this are defying a clear and authoritative Church teaching. They should not be in teaching positions within the Church.

  79. Lay people have been teaching religion in Catholic Churches/schools for what, 40 plus years?

    The Cincinnati Enquirer ran one of my letters on a related topic in this morning’s edition:

    Also, the letters section is chock full of diatribes against Catholicism in recent days:

    (brace yourself)

  80. thepinoycatholic —

    You forgot two options.
    ( ) No. He doesn’t need the tsuris.
    ( ) Yes. He does need the tsuris.

    Melody —

    Those men in your parish are full of it, and not very trad, either. If you read accounts of the apparitions at Fatima, Lourdes, etc., you’ll see that women and girls both often led the Rosary in public group recitations of it. It’s not the Mass, after all.

  81. Jaceczko says:

    Egner said she could find no biblical reference barring women from the priesthood

    How about 1 Cor.33-5, especially “aischron gar estin gunaiki lalein en ekklesiai” (For it is shameful for a woman to talk in a church). But take the whole thing in context and it gets even stronger.

  82. Jaceczko says:


    That’s 1 Cor. 14.33-5.

  83. Henry Edwards says:

    The Magisterium has spoken with a very high level of authority to say that the question of women’s ordination is not open to debate.

    Namely, infallibly, if I recall and understand correctly the interpretation of Pope John Paul II’s ruling by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, whose prefect at the time was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. Perhaps someone more knowlegeable can quote or comment on the pertinent details.

    As I understand it, John Paul II stated that the Church does not have the power to ordain women as priests, even if it wished to do so. Thus, for instance, even if with the pope’s approval (for the sake of discussion) a bishop laid hands on a woman and said the proper words of ordination, nevertheless nothing would happen and she would not be a priest, no matter what she or anyone else thought. In some wacky place she might be appointed pastor of a parish, but when she “said Mass” nothing would happen and the Eucharist would not be confected, etc.

  84. JayneK says:

    There is some debate as to whether “Ordinatio Sacerdotalis” is an exercise of papal infallibility or is infallible under the ordinary and universal magisterium. This makes little practical difference. This doctrine is to be definitively held as belonging to the deposit of faith.

    It is summed up in its concluding paragraphs:

    “Although the teaching that priestly ordination is to be reserved to men alone has been preserved by the constant and universal Tradition of the Church and firmly taught by the Magisterium in its more recent documents, at the present time in some places it is nonetheless considered still open to debate, or the Church’s judgment that women are not to be admitted to ordination is considered to have a merely disciplinary force.

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

    It is not open to debate. There is no doubt. This doctrine is to be definitively held. This seems pretty clear but many theologians cast doubt on it. The CDF response to this said:

    “This teaching requires definitive assent, since, founded on the written Word of God, and from the beginning constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium (cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium 25, 2). Thus, in the present circumstances, the Roman Pontiff, exercising his proper office of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32), has handed on this same teaching by a formal declaration, explicitly stating what is to be held always, everywhere, and by all, as belonging to the deposit of the faith.”

  85. Henry Edwards says:

    JayneK: Excellent. Thank you.

  86. JayneK says:

    The poll has been closed and no more comments are being allowed. It got up to something over 91% for the doctrinally correct position.

    Some people there seem to view our participation as a sort of invasion and I sympathize. They were doing a poll to find what their members think not what wdtprs readers think. The poll has the “right answer” now, but I’m not sure that anyone has come closer to understanding the Church’s teaching. And this in spite of some good posts explaining the Catholic position.

    I suspect that the poll results before our intervention were a more accurate reflection of reality. Most people don’t understand this teaching or the Church in general.

  87. Hidden One says:

    On that note, in any future poll alerts, would certain members with a desire to be overly helpful of this “community” still only vote once? It pretty much doesn’t matter what the topic is… polls are one-vote-per-person things unless the rules for that specific poll say otherwise.

  88. pelerin says:

    Am disappointed to return to find the poll has been closed. I had hoped it would get to 99 %! There were indeed some strange comments there – one classes those who post on WDTPRS as ‘scary!’ And another seemed to think that commenters on WDTPRS are nearly all men when we all have pseudonyms so it is impossible to know except when specifically mentioned by the writer.

  89. JayneK says:

    What would it have proved if it got to 99%? Only that wdtprs has a big readership. I do not see how high poll result furthers the Gospel.

    Sometimes I think that we are a bit scary too.

  90. chironomo says:

    One observation on the situation created here…

    The complaints were that the purpose of the poll was to reflect the opinions of the “CincyMoms” community. Fair enough…it’s their poll after all. But then there were complaints that we “invaders” were obsessed with demonstrating that pushing the poll in our favor would prove that our position was right. However, several of their own commenters appealed to the idea that since a majority of Catholics actually support female ordination, it should be at least discussed. In other words, they support their position with an appeal to “popular opinion”…an opinion that they were sure would be supported by their poll. So the results of a skewed poll are legitimate enough to overturn Church teaching, but not legitimate enough to support it.

  91. CarpeNoctem says:

    Hmmm… “This site is not a Catholic Blog?” Well no kidding, Sherlock. I think that was obvious by the rather juvenile arguments about women’s ordination and the implementation of a poll to help them scratch their itch and feel good about their feelings on the subject. Too bad they got a result they did not want or expect.

    In the spirit of ‘dialogue’ and talking about some really serious matters, I propose a WDTPRS poll:

    What is the favorite restaurant chili of CincyMoms?
    A. Steak ‘n’ shake
    B. Skyline
    C. Gold Star

    I know that I am neither a mom, nor a citizen of Cincinnati, but I would like to see if other people’s opinions match mine. I vote “B”.

  92. Are you kidding, Carpe? Skyline by a landslide; it’s one of the basic food groups here.

  93. Jaidon says:

    Mu ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!!!! I love this blog!

  94. ThomasM says:

    I guess liberals cannot handle the truth. So sad, too bad. Tom

  95. JayneK says:

    I doubt that anyone at Cincymom seriously thought that if their poll had turned out otherwise it would have been a reason to overthrow Church teaching. Most people know that a poll of that sort has no significance.
    This is especially so in this case. Church teaching is based on God’s revelation, not on public opinion.

    Since there is a possibility that some people from Cincymoms are following this thread, it might be good to post in a way that would give then a clear and appealing view of Catholicism.

  96. JayneK,

    I think Carpe was just having a little fun.

  97. Genevieve says:

    Egner is quoted as saying this in the article about stifling debate, “I don’t know that [Jesus] ever sent anyone away who disagreed with him,” she says. “He was far more concerned with how people lived and with loving God than with the rules they followed.”

    Could someone please tell Egner to read John 6?

    “61Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? 63bThe words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. 64Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. 65He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him.”

    *66From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.*

    67″You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.

    68Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”

    Jesus was not calling back those disciples who disagreed with Him. He lost them rather than allow a debate over something that could not be changed.

  98. Jordanes says:

    If there is a benefit in “boosting” someone’s unscientific, online poll, it is to let the poll-maker know that those who disagree with him do exist and advocate their opinions firmly and unwaveringly. When it comes to non-Catholics expressing their opinions about matters of the faith, it can be good and is sometimes necessary for Catholics to stand up in large numbers and speak out.

    I think our boosting the CincyMoms poll, however, was more having a bit of fun speaking out about the faith than it was speaking out about the faith.

  99. MichaelJ says:

    I agree – to a point – that the CincyMom was not going to use the results of this Poll to overturn Catholic teaching. On the other hand, I am quite certain that it was intended to confirm them in their error so they could say with an erroneously clear conscience that the Catholic Church is wrong.

  100. trad catholic mom says:

    I love how they have now deleted the poll because they didn’t get the answer they wanted.

  101. CarpeNoctem says:

    Ok, here’s my point on the ‘poll’- I am being completely unscientific on something that I am not really knowledgable about in order to make myself feel good and call people around me for the illusion ‘safety in numbers’. There’s a tongue-in-cheek parable on this entire conversation going on here, at least through a weak attempt at humor. (With the humor aimed at the conversation and not necessarily at the folks involved, unless they have reason or desire to be personally invested in shame.)

    Taking the point about expressing the doctrinal issue in a positive and attractive way, I am all for that. I say: the Catholic priesthood as is constituded in our midst is, above all, an infinite sign of God’s love and mercy… it’s as simple as that. To focus the conversation or discussion or dialogue, I would ask that those who support “women’s ordination” offer, here, their best argument in favor of their position… of course, presuming that’s OK with Father Z.

    I am moved, in particular, by the experience of Sr. Sara Butler (a member of ARCIC who has fought vigorously on this matter from both sides of the table. Her journey to embrace the teaching of the Church is one of the most beautiful, positive testimonies I have ever read and heard on the subject, and I would encourage those who doubt the Church to do a little homework to learn about her and her story. Her teaching on this subject in her recent book, The Roman Catholic Priesthood and Women: A Guide to the Teaching of the Church is incomplete without her whole story.

  102. CarpeNoctem says:

    I’m sorry… didn’t close the parentheses… (she’s a member of ARCIC and a delegate to the recent synod on Sacred Scriptures, among several other international credentials and memberships.)

  103. JayneK says:

    I think the poll was to confirm that the majority of the Cincymom members believe in women’s ordination (which is probably true, though irrelevant to determining correct doctrine) but even more to provoke discussion. I’m impressed with how long they kept the discussion and poll open after it was clear that we had “invaded” them. They could easily have shut down as soon as they discovered Fr. Z’s post about them here.

    Several Catholics made very good presentations of sound doctrine in the discussion there and posted some good links. We can pray that these bear fruit.

    Thanks for the info on Sara Butler. I have appreciated her writing in the past but did not know about her personal experience. Any pointers on where I can learn more about this?

  104. JayneK says:

    Trad Catholic Mom,
    They did not delete the poll results. I just checked and it is possible to click on “view results” and see them. The poll questions have been removed, presumably because the poll is closed.

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