National Catholic Reporter’s Sr. Fiedler upset by the new Ordinariate

Over at the National catholic Fishwrap, which sports the word “Catholic” in their title despite having been explicitly told not to by the local bishop, has an amusingly flaky piece by Sr. Maureen Fiedler, whom we have seen several times in these electronic pages.

Sr. Fiedler is worked up over the new Personal Ordinariate for Anglicans/Episcopalians in the USA.

Why?  Because we should not welcome anyone into our Church who are against human equality!

These new Anglican Catholics are fleeing from a welcoming, inclusive, non-homophobic community into one which denies that women and the abnormal sex acronym crowd can be ordained.  Get it?

Here is a taste.

Should the church take in Episcopalians who believe in injustice?

by Maureen Fiedler on Jan. 04, 2012
The Vatican has created a new “Ordinariate” for disaffected Episcopalians who come over to the Catholic church. [Love the orthography.] Most of the disaffected Episcopalians are unhappy with the ordination of women as priests and bishops, the welcoming of openly gay/lesbian clergy and the blessing of same-sex unions. Many of them believe that such practices violate the basic teachings of Christianity.

As I read such stories, I understand all the ecclesial reasons for this move, and I’m happy that former Episcopal priests can remain married as they make the move. I just wish we’d extend the same right to our own Catholic priests.

And I have nothing against Episcopalians (or anyone) choosing to join the Catholic church. I think we need an open door.

But overall, I am troubled about this recent move. Generally speaking, the Episcopalians moving over are not disaffected by prayers or hymns or externals. They are uncomfortable with recent Episcopal practices that recognize and bless human equality. [This is where she gets real deep.  Pay attention.  She asks… CUE MUSIC…] Are we violating a fundamental principle of justice when we welcome folks into the Catholic church because they are opposed to gender equality and/or do not accept people of different sexual orientations on an equal basis?

A sense of compassion would dictate helping them through their dilemma, but should the process validate their views[Ohhh nooo … sniff… I’m such a… such an enabler!]

Of course, current [ROFL!] Catholic theology and practice accepts these views, which is unfortunate, but welcoming people who are fleeing practices of human equality is still troubling.


She goes on with dramatic metaphors of whips and slave auctions, etc.

I wonder if Fiedler is angling for NcFishwrap‘s next “Person of the Year”.

My advice to Sr. Fielder is channel all that concern into working closely on the development of Romanorum coetibus with the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the U.S., Katharine Jefferts Schori, who is so welcoming and inclusive that she took in an admitted child abuser and gave him a job as a priest.

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  1. Tom Esteban says:

    I know I shouldn’t say such things, but whenever I read these pieces I start to feel that I simply am not part of the same Church as most of those who write for the fishwrap. It just makes no sense to me; and this continues to wound the Body of Christ – they rally up support from de facto protestant Catholic defectors and continue to publish under the name Catholic, confusing almost everybody and mocking Christ. Satan couldn’t have done a better job. When will our Bishops just go ahead and do something practical.

  2. Mit Dummheit kämpfen selbst Götter vergebens.

  3. Novum Eboracense says:

    The Dead and the Dying!

  4. Dr Guinness says:

    I suppose then, by her logic, we should oust the Pope and all those who think like His Holiness for not respecting “human equality”?

    She does have a point though – the Church really is about welcoming everyone and making everyone feel all warm and fuzzy, and to encourage any activities that “make you happy”; not about the salvation of souls, after all…

  5. Warren says:

    Sr. Fiedler ignores the mistreatment those marginalized Episcopalians and continuing Anglicans have suffered at the hands of their so-called tolerant, inclusive minded leaders. Too often have we read about traditional minded Episcopalian parishioners and ministers who have been abandoned by their bishops, pushed to the margins of their community, had the locks to their buildings changed without notice, clergy summarily dismissed without due process and promised accommodation (e.g., in England), i.e., alternative episcopal oversight, evaporate or never materialize. If it wasn’t for the Ordinariate, and the temporary harbour offered by the continuing Anglican communities, those souls cast away by the TEC, ACiC and CofE would have no accommodation at all.

    “A sense of compassion would dictate helping them through their dilemma,…”. Sr. Fiedler is really confused. Someone should remind her that the TEC doesn’t want anyone in their communion who disapproves (and rightly so) of sodomy, wimmin preests, same-sex unions, etc. Nor does the TEC want anyone in their communion who accepts the legitimate authority of Tradition and Scripture. While the tolerance of the TEC leadership extends about as far as the end of Katharine Jefferts Schori’s upturned nose, the Holy Father has provided an authentically compassionate response to the pleas from Anglicans for accommodation.

    Here’s a thought – let’s trade Sr. Fiedler for a tradition minded Episcopalian. The TEC gets one of their own, and the Catholic Church is blessed with another faithful son or daughter.

  6. JonPatrick says:

    It doesn’t surprise me the Fishwrap is upset about the Ordinariate. Having an influx of orthodox catholic clergy and laypeople who care about liturgy and follow the teachings of the church is bad news for them in their efforts to remake the Church in their image i.e. a carbon copy of the TEC/Cof E etc. that the Ordinariate folks are fleeing.

  7. Blaise says:

    This Ms Fielder who writes for the National heretical paper (thanks for the link to the document from Bp Helmsing Fr Z), on what basis does she go around calling herself “Sister”? Does she get away with not being kicked out of whichever order she is supposedly a member of by expressing herself always through rhetorical questions whenever she writes things that are blatantly contrary to the teaching of the Church? Perhaps she is just bewildered and needs help.
    Bp Helmsing’s statement could have been written in response to the article from Sr Fielder.

  8. Imrahil says:

    Interestingly, the CCC says:

    No. 1945 Human equality refers to the dignity of men and the rights stemming therefrom.

    (Can I hear an “and nothing else” behind these words?)

  9. The Astronomer says:

    Bravo, Father. Thanks for your helping us out with discerning what’s obligatory from the “Magisterium of Nuns.” Maybe she should contemplate ‘swimming the Thames…’

    Seriously, in all Catholic charity, opprobrium is warranted for when theological poseurs can lead souls to damnation, but we are still commanded by Our Blessed Savior to pray for her conversion.

    St. Padre Pio and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Ora Pro Nobis!

  10. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.

    I think the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph should be flooded with the kind of email, faxes, letters asking for clarification of the status of the National catholic Reporter so that they can put out a statement saying they are responding to requests for the information. If the 1968 document, condemning it as heretical continues to hold validity today, then let them acknowledge it and put it up on the diocesan site, or put out a new statement.

    If anyone reading thinks that the biological solution will take care of the NCR (and mislead many more souls in the proces), take a good look at what one of their “Young Voices” had to say on the NCRonline website: I am a Pro-Choice Catholic by Kate Childs Graham (2009). This “catholic” website is loaded with this kind of garbage.

    Further, by affirming that initial condemnation, publicly and prominently on the diocesan website, we have a reason to take news organizations to task for using it as a source for Catholic opinion, when they are not truly Catholic.

    I’d go so far as to say that the USCCB should have on their site, a page dedicated to this subject, with links going to diocesan pages on outfits like this, in the News and Communications section so reporters everywhere can’t use the excuse that they didn’t know.

    Moreover, that list ought to include names like the “Woodstock Theological Center” (Methinks they deliberately withheld the name Catholic after the “Woodstock”).

    Fr Z's Gold Star Award

  11. anilwang says:

    Tom Esteban, you shouldn’t be. Physically they may be part of the same Church but in their hearts they are mainline Anglican. Rather than be honest and convert and be happy as mainline Anglicans, they have instead chosen to try to make the Catholic Church mainline Anglican and destroy it for the rest of us. Even atheists can see this is just plain dishonest and mean spirited.

  12. (X)MCCLXIII says:

    This is what struck me most forcefully in sister’s piece:

    “I’m happy that former Episcopal priests can remain married as they make the move”

    That seems very sly – as if she meaned to imply that those nasty Catholics couldn’t be relied upon not to enforce divorce in such cases – some kind of compulsory defect of cult.

  13. disco says:

    Diane: the fish wrappers are so brave to have differing views from their tyrant bishops who parrot the bigoted views of their roman overlords!

    Or at least that’s what the mainstream media would tell you. I run into catholic people all the time who tell me, “I’m catholic but I don’t believe everything”. That’s the dictatorship of relativism taking hold.

  14. Supertradmum says:

    Is she excommunicated?

  15. NoTambourines says:

    Which order is she? Oblates of Trendy Social Engineering?

  16. Legisperitus says:

    Is it just me, or is this self-conscious political use of the word “folks” in place of “people” starting to wear a little thin?

  17. wmeyer says:

    Supertradmum: Why on earth would she be excommunicated, when we have in good standing: Fr. McBrien, Fr. Richard Rohr, and others of their ilk, fomenting divisiveness and promulgating false teaching?

    Apparently the teaching of the magisterium does not apply to priests and nuns?

  18. Bryan Boyle says:

    Well…all I can say after reading that screed is…1) I need to rinse out my mouth with a tall glass of Drano….and 2) the erection of the new Ordinariate is, in fact, another one of the bright stars in an already illustrious reign of Pope Benedict.

    ANYTHING the National (c)atholic birdcageliner rails against is an indication that taking the contrary view to their dreck puts you on the right path. In some respects, they exist to point out what you end up being if you exit the Barque of Peter, and what a faithful Catholic should NOT aspire to.

    It’s a great touchstone to find the boundary between the loons and the normal people, and in their perverse way, they do serve a purpose. :)

  19. tcreek says:

    Why are Fiedler et al not condemned for their pronouncements? Easy answer. Their views are pretty much in line with the majority of the staff at the USCCB and in our dioceses.
    Heterodoxy is “in”. It is “cool” for our enlightened cultural conditioners to be able to bend things.

    Only the minimally enlightened, by falling prey to the great evil of our time — rigid orthodoxy, will believe everything that has been handed down. And then, they even brag about it, like Voris.

  20. rbbadger says:

    When I was in the seminary, I had to deal with all sorts of patronising comments on the part of some of the faculty because I was a convert. It makes one think that the Church doesn’t want converts.
    I admire those Anglicans who are swimming the Tiber, especially the bishops and priests. It is quite humbling, I imagine, to lay aside the mitre and crosier and revert to the status of a layman, albeit as a seminarian preparing for Holy Orders. People like Sister Maureen are terribly uncharitable.
    For me, converting to Catholicism was a huge thing. It cost me good relations with my family for years. While those relationships have healed, I used to dread going home and seeing my parents. Seeing writings like those of Sister Maureen make me incredibly angry. Some converts have lost friendships and in extreme cases, like with Jehovah’s Witnesses who convert, contact with their families as well. Where is the charity?

  21. Centristian says:

    “Are we violating a fundamental principle of justice when we welcome folks into the Catholic church because they are opposed to gender equality and/or do not accept people of different sexual orientations on an equal basis?”

    Well, she has, actually, got a point…in a way. Not in this objection specifically so-worded, of course, as there isn’t any sanctioned discrimination by the Church against women or homosexuals: from the straight male pope in Rome to the lesbian female bartender in the village, the Church treats all her members equally as sinners very much in need of Christ’s salvation. But is the Church not violating a fundamental principle of justice by welcoming “folks” into the Church because they are opposed to the foolishness typically voiced by the messengers of darkness parading about as authentic Christians…messengers like Sister Maureen Fiedler, for example?

    Is the Catholic Church, after all, not doing an injustice to these Anglicans of upright heart and intention who are hoping to find, with us, the authentic teaching of Christ by welcoming them into a Church in which voices like those of Sister Maureen are all too frequently heard and listened to? Does the Catholic Church not fail these poor converts by permitting them to be confused by the voices of the advocates of error ensconced within our own fold, the sort of which they were fleeing to begin with?

    Should the Catholic Church not perhaps, before inviting upright non-Catholics into her sanctuaries and communities, clean house, so that when they arrive they will not have to suffer more of the scandal of the false doctrines of the “religious Left” who have the appearance of endorsement by the establishment when they are permitted to write and speak and teach and act under the umbrella of Catholicism, as if they offered a legitimate alternative perspective on the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

    Sister Maureen is correct; there is an injustice that needs to be addressed. The Church ought to first divest obstinate advocates of error within her fold of styles such as “Sister” and “Father” and “Reverend” and “theologian”, and their journals and insititutions of the word “Catholic”. Only then, when the operatives of Hell (and they are whether they realize it or not) have been officially evicted from her house, should the Church present herself to non-Catholics as a safe environment for aspirant saints.

  22. As a traditional Catholic, I feel oppressed by Sr. Fiedler.

  23. Ralph says:

    1. Do you believe that the Bishop of Rome is the Vicar of Christ and speaks with authority on matters of faith and morals?
    2. Or is he simply a “figure head” who’s teachings are only relevent while he is in “office”? Do we simply “wait out” his reign if we don’t like his opinions?

    To be Catholic is to hold the first question in the afirmative. We are bound to our Pope as Christ’s Vicar on earth. Christ gave His keys to Peter for the good of His flock. We must humble ourselves and look to our shepherd.
    If one finds the second question to be true, they should look at another “church” as they are missing a crucial dogma in what it means to be Catholic.

    In my opinion, much of what is wrong in the Holy Church stems from the people not embracing the fullness and truth of the Papacy. Christ did not set up the Church as an democracy. Rather, he gave absolute authority to his chosen leader Peter. We must remember this.

  24. irishgirl says:

    Warren, you beat me to it in your last line!
    Yes-let’s trade Ms. Fiedler (don’t have the stomach to call her ‘sister’) for a ‘tradition-minded Episcopalian’! What’s fair is fair! Ms. Fiedler will have all the things she wants in TEC: she can be a wimmin preest….heck, she can even be a bishopess like Ms. Schori! And good riddance!
    Why doesn’t the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph go after the Fishwrap? Why is a good, strong orthodox Catholic like Michael Voris get hounded by the Archdiocese of Detroit, and the Fishwrap gets off scot-free?

  25. stilicho says:

    I pray for sister and all other polyester pant-suited nuns that they may abandon the so-called social justice agenda and return to a contemplative life of prayer and action.

  26. Peggy R says:

    On this idea of “equality” that motivates Sr. Fielder and others, it occurs to me that the catechism uses the expression “unjust discrimination.” Similarly in economics (utility regulation, industrial org), backed up by language of laws and case law findings, we speak of “undue discrimination.” That is, both the Church and the US legal system (and economists) recognize that some level of discrimination is reasonable and just because not every one is the same or identical, or as we say in economics “similarly situated.” (I dont’ want to take up too much space explaining the economic example, but generally the idea is that customers who are “alike” or “similarly situated” could argue to have a similar price/features from a company. But if customer A is not like customer B in some ways affecting how they buy the good, A is not entitled to the same price/features of customer B. There are positive economic benefits of pricing different customers differently as well. See Price discrimination.)

    Taking that established legal approach to the idea of “equality” and “discrimination,” gay unions are not similarly situated to heterosexual unions and should not be registered with the State. The most important difference of course is that the gay union doesn’t form a family in which children could be created and ensured to be raised by the mother and father that created them. Gay unions do not provide the benefits of kinship and alliances through the heirs they can produce, as marriage has done so for political and economic value in societies from the beginning of time. There’s no positive externality (another economic term) either to society when 2 men or 2 women unite as there is when a man and woman unite. No need for the state to recognize them or offer incentives for folks to form such unions.

    And we all know that in daily life, some degree of discrimination and judgment is necessary by us all. Discrimination gets a bad wrap these days.

    I thought you’d be interested in these ideas Fr., as you dabble in economic matters. Cheers!

    –I guess one can only pray for the fishwrap crowd. God have mercy on them.

  27. amenamen says:


    “Are we violating a fundamental principle of justice when we welcome folks into the Catholic church …?”

    Did she say “we?”

  28. JacobWall says:

    Good to know that the NCReporter has been officially condemned, but it’s sad to know that almost 45 years later, it’s still using the name “Catholic.”

    I discovered the paper last year when I first joined the Church in Canada – I think I saw a copy in my parish. I hope that I made a mistake, and what I really saw was the NC REGISTER (not Reporter). I’ll have to check when I go back.

  29. davidjhickey says:

    Of course the good sister won’t leave the church based on the “principles” she espouses. Why? Because the church, for which she has so much consternation, is her meal ticket. Being Catholic is a a two way street. A concept which the good sister can’t seem to grasp. She and those like her will never leave the church based on principle because in the real world there is a modicum of accountability

  30. robtbrown says:

    Maureen Fiedler seems like a liberal Catholic version of Miss Havisham.

  31. Anne 2 says:

    CCC: “1577 Only a baptized man (vir) validly receives sacred ordination. The Lord Jesus chose men (viri) to form the college of the twelve apostles, and the apostles did the same when they chose collaborators to succeed them in their ministry. The college of bishops, with whom the priests are united in the priesthood, makes the college of the twelve an ever-present and ever-active reality until Christ’s return. The Church recognizes herself to be bound by this choice made by the Lord himself. For this reason the ordination of women is not possible.”

  32. From my blog at

    Why don’t they just become Episcopalians?
    Please click to Fr. Z.s blog and read the article titled “National Catholic Reporter”‘s Sister Fiedler’s Upset at the New Ordinariate”. Keep in mind Fr. Z’s accurate description of this paper as the “National Catholic Fishwrap” and know that it was censured and told not to use the term Catholic in its header. Of course, as a left -wing, “I know more than God, ” relativisticly humanist piece of treacle, that is a correct and precise appellation. Also please note the responses. Very informative. If you are reading this on Facebook, the blog is at

    Coming into the Church (formerly an Anglo-Catholic Episcopal priest) I have been dazzled (and not in a good way) by the number of people who believe they are Catholics yet feel they can pick and choose what the Church teaches. I certainly did not believe every Catholic was in total lock step with the teachings of the Pope and Magesterium. But the ability to substitute one’s own feelings and prejudices as building blocks for a personal theology that supersedes the teachings of the Church ….. golly. If they cannot be taught the error of this process then they should run to the Episcopal Church. It will fit them perfectly.

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

    [I enjoyed also the reference to “lockstep“.]

  33. Ms. Fiedler and her coven would blend in and have no shock effect in the Episcopal church. She reminds me of the cult movie Rocky Horror Picture Show ; it looses its shock appeal among its devotees, and is just another poor quality flick.

  34. Denis says:

    “Of course, current Catholic theology and practice accepts these views…”

    Boy, does that sound familiar! Almost every liberal priest I’ve known has used this dodge to “affirm” fidelity to the magisterium. “Of course I affirm the fact that the chuch erroneously teaches these things.” All the same, even this pittance of fidelity is enough for liberals to have their “100% fully regularized” papers stamped.

    The emphasis on “current” is cheekily marxian: ‘I accept current teaching, in that I recognize that it is a historically necessary feature of this primitive epoch; however, I’m already living in a future epoch, in which a gay, thrice-married unitarian of indeterminate gender is our papessa, so none of this reactionary mumbo-jumbo really pertains to me.’

  35. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    Maureen Fiedler quote, “Of course, current Catholic theology and practice accepts these views, which is unfortunate, but welcoming people who are fleeing practices of human equality is still troubling.”

    To characterize the faithful acceptance of authentic Catholic teaching in matters of faith and morals as “unfortunate” is to betray oneself as a holder of heretical views, presumably, in this case, the heretical views that God wills (a) that females should be ordained to the sacramental priesthood, and (b) that persons may give themselves over to the practice of homosexual acts without sinning thereby. Both of these views directly contradict what the Catholic Church believes and teaches.

    Furthermore, that Ms. Fiedler further characterizes the entrance of a sizable number of converts who hold the authentic Catholic view on these and all matters, as “troubling,” underscores for me that Ms. Fiedler has not stumbled into her heretical views casually or accidentally. These heretical views are what she really believes, and she is well aware of what the Church teaches on these subjects, and is well aware that by holding the views she holds, she categorically rejects some of what the Church believes and teaches.

    That, ladies and gentlemen, is the definition of a heretic.

    Ms. Fiedler is therefore a former Catholic, now a heretic.

    I hope she repents of being a heretic, and returns to being a Catholic. Until she does so, however, it would be helpful for people to realize that although Ms. Fiedler presents herself to the world as “a Catholic,” that is not, in fact, what she is.

    And when heretics wag their fingers at the true Church and denounce Christ’s authentic teaching as “not inclusive enough,” or “not transgressive enough,” or “too patriarchal,” or “oppressive”, “stark,” “literalist,” etc., that the starting point for our response should be: Consider the source – a heretic.

  36. mjkelly says:

    When the new Ordinariate was announced, as well as the newer, bigger, better translation of the Novus Ordo I declared “It’s all over except for the whining”. The as expected the whining started. I only expected the whining to last until the implementation. They are still whimpering and sniveling!

    The Leisure Suite Priest, Lapel Pin Nun, ski lodge parish church age is well over. It died for good about the time of the release of the CCC. Time to wake up and smell the Incense. No one is joining or has joined the “mod-sisters” of the order of St. Bozo the Liturgist in some time. It is sad that the former progressives no longer can look in the mirror and see they are yesterday’s news, old and busted and very close to being totally irrelevant.

    Well, off to confession for me for being a triumphalist , ne0-platonic, Vincentian Canon, Pedagogical Partistic, Lex Orandi kind of guy.

  37. NoTambourines says:

    There are two, mutually supportive angles taken by Fiedler and like-minded people that let them do what they do:

    1. Armchair quarterbacking what Jesus “would have done.”

    2. Supposing they can say and do what they please because the Church will eventually “catch up” to their way of thinking. After all, it’s all stuff that Jesus “would have done.”

  38. tcreek says:

    Fiedler and McBrien are just following the dictates of that other German “pope”. Our Pope is preparing an ark. The following is from, Benedict XVI: A Guide for the Perplexed, by Tracy Rowland.

    … Ratzinger’s ecumenical achievements, such as the creation of the Anglican Ordinariate, have not been well received by those who have spent much of their academic careers writing about dialogue. … Thus Hans Küng responded to the announcement of the Anglican Ordinariate with a polemical attack on Ratzinger published in Italian in La Repubblica and in English in The Guardian in which he accused Ratzinger of fishing for converts in the muddy waters of right-wing extremists.

    Here the reference to ‘right-wing extremists’ is a reference to the 400,000 strong membership of the Traditional Anglican Communion, a body which is composed of what might be called common garden variety God, Queen and Country Anglicans who oppose the ordination of women and the appointment of practicing homosexual clergy and bishops.

    While Küng lamented the gift of a personal ordinariate to the traditional Anglicans, Robert Moynihan in an editorial for Inside the Vatican, drew the following conclusion:
    “Benedict is rallying his troops. He is trying to reunite all those factions and denominations and groups in the West that share common beliefs in the eternal destiny of human beings. … And so he is doing his best, in what seems perhaps to be the ‘twilight of the West’, to build an ark, centered in Rome, to which all those who share these beliefs about human dignity may repair.”

    Dr. Tracy Rowland is the Dean of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family based in Melbourne, and a Permanent Fellow of the Institute of Political Philosophy and Continental Theology. She is a member of the editorial board of the international Catholic journal, Communio, and a member of the Commission for Australian Catholic women.

  39. JimP says:

    Sr. Fiedler is no doubt bewildered that anyone would leave the Episcopal Church. After all, it offers priestesses, openly non-celibate homosexual clergy (both male and female), liturgical blessing for homosexual unions, and so on. The church’s official position is that communion is open to all baptized persons, but it’s not too hard to find parishes that believe that communion should be offered to all, regardless of baptism or belief. It has some really progressive theologians, like John Shelby Spong. With all that progress, it’s hard to understand why the average Sunday attendance keeps shrinking.

  40. amsjj1002 says:

    Thanks for the reminder — I just started my subscription with the NCRegister. :-)

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