Wherein Fr. Z offers kudos to Jamie Manson and shares her pain

It isn’t often that I can give “Fr Z Kudos” to the Fishwrap’s Jamie Manson (openly lesbian activist, mentored by Sr. Margaret Farley, and darling of the LCWR).

In the wake of Pope Francis’ comments on the airplane about homosexuals and women and all sort of other things, over at the Fishwrap (aka The National Schismatic Reporter) Jamie came out with a piece entitled:

When does our hope for Francis become denial?

Jamie is upset with Francis. She likes him, but she’s losing hope for him. It seems he is not going to approve sexual relations between people of the same sex after all.

But wait, there’s more to be upset about.

Get this:

Pope Francis’ words about women were spirit-breaking. The idea that we need a “deeper theology of women” is remarkable only because, for the past half-century, Catholic women theologians, many of them women religious, have been developing, writing and teaching a profound theology of women. Just because the hierarchy has not cared to read it doesn’t mean it doesn’t already exist. I shudder to think whom Francis would ask to formulate this “deeper theology.”

Jamie got it in one.

She sees that Francis thinks that the theology that Jamie’s sort of feminist “theologians” have produced is not profound at all.

Jamie is in pain, the pain felt by so many victims of injustice.

She is in even more pain because of Francis saying that women can’t be ordained!  She writes:

As a woman who has discerned a calling to the priesthood for more than 20 years, Francis’ hiding behind John Paul II’s theology and claiming that the “door is closed” on the ordination issue was profoundly painful. Hearing these words, I felt the same kind of humiliation I would have experienced if a door had literally been slammed in my face.

Jamie Jamie Jamie… you think you’ve known pain?  What about my pain?

I was thrown out of seminary twice…

… before I was ordained by the author of Ordinatio sacerdotalis.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Fr. Z KUDOS, Liberals, Our Catholic Identity, The Drill, Throwing a Nutty and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. vetusta ecclesia says:

    The whole piece is so egocentric, encapsulated in “our desire to realise the church of our dreams”.
    Inconvenient theology is dismissed eg SHE (not the Curch through a bishop) has discerned a vocation to the priesthood.

  2. Supertradmum says:

    When women tell me they have a call to the priesthood, I wonder who is calling them…

  3. Midwest St. Michael says:

    “I was thrown out of seminary twice…
    … before I was ordained by the author of Ordinatio sacerdotalis.”

    Oh boy, Fr. Z! I really did LOL on that one.



  4. george says:

    Kicked out of the seminary? Why is it that the traditional priests I know all (okay, I only know two so “all” == “two”) got kicked out of at least one seminary. IM(ns)HO, that says more about the poor quality of some seminaries than it does about seminarians.

  5. mrshopey says:

    So they can admit they are not in agreement w the Holy Father on theology and women’s ordination. Will this be the point where they move closer and correct their understanding?
    Their theology wasn’t just off; they took a hard left and proceeded into outer space. During any other era I would have hoped their heresies would have been pointed out. If someone officially did this, other than just saying – after too much time, their books could not be used in a teaching setting – it is unknown to me.
    I regret we haven’t moved farther on theology and namely to answer the same sex question and how it is tied w women’s ordination in that you have to rewrite, chop up the bible to make it fit. You have to neuter it.
    Maybe we can start now and those women who are pursing theology and know what we believe and teach will be supported?

  6. teomatteo says:

    “Francis’ hiding behind John Paul II’s theology …”. Hiding. Kinda like when I hear a sports announcer refer to the player on deck as ‘lurking’. It is to laugh.

  7. Martlet says:

    When I was a little girl, many, many years ago, we used to play at priests. I generally got to be the priest because I was the only Catholic in that little group of friends and the others figured I would know what I was doing. I heard many a “confession,” presided over a “wedding” where the “bride” was dressed in old net curtains. I even became a bishop at one point and “ordained” a friend, after firmly instructing him in what I understood of the faith. Of course, none of it “took” and thankfully, my little bride and groom friends were not really married, no-one was absolved of any “sins” and the person I ordained didn’t have to live a celibate life, but was later able to get married and raise a family. And that is how I think of women who imagine themselves called to be priests. They are playing a game and no amount of wishful-thinking on their part will ordain them. I find it all so sad.

  8. Gregg the Obscure says:

    ” Just because the hierarchy has not cared to read it [feminist theology] doesn’t mean it doesn’t already exist.” Seems rather arrogant of her to think that it would persuade absolutely anyone who reads it. There are folks who have read Humanae Vitae who haven’t been persuaded, although that’s likely due to lack of humility and/or intelligence – coincidentally enough the same factors that would make feminist theology seem less unreasonable.

  9. DisturbedMary says:

    Jamie Manson might do herself a favor and take her pride down a few notches. I suggest she read Maria Agreda’s book The Mystical City of God unveiling the life of Our Blessed Mother. Mary is the Mother of Theology. And (true) Sorrows. Not a word about feeeeeeeeeeling like a door was slammed in her face!

  10. Ben Kenobi says:

    @Father Z. I did not know you were kicked out of two seminaries. Is there a post where you discuss this? I’m a newcomer so it seems I missed the party.

  11. APX says:

    So, what is her deep profound theology of women that women are being fed?

  12. Jess says:

    Jamie Manson wants to talk about feeling like a door was slammed in her face, but gives no regard for how God or the Blessed Virgin feels. God gave all women a perfect model of dignity, compassion and love in the Blessed Virgin; why want to be something different than her or why want a different model!?!? The Blessed Virgin Mary had the perfect ‘yes’. Oh, what women can learn from this ‘yes’ and from her life! Words like those of Jamie Manson only serve to lead women backward. She isn’t doing any favors for women.

  13. Legisperitus says:

    Shock, horror. The Pope believes the two complementary human sexes are not a historically conditioned, oppressive social construct.

  14. unavoceman says:

    Don’t worry Jamie. You are not alone:


  15. ACS67 says:

    “Have we gotten to the point where our desire to realize the church of our dreams and our insistence that Francis will be the man to make our dreams come true…”

    That passage in her article struck me. It sums her thought. This is all about HER. The Church according to Jamie Manson. Never mind about the Church Christ founded on the Apostles, never mind about what Christ wants for HIS Church, never mind about the Law of God…If it doesn’t fit Jamie’s “dream” than to hell with it.

    Your understanding of the Church and Her teachings is severely warped Ms. Manson.

  16. Lisa Graas says:

    Holy Mass is the Wedding Feast of the Lamb. Since the priest stands in persona Christi, and since we are the Bride, the Mass would be a homosexual relationship if the priest were a woman. Homosexual relationships bear no fruit. Mass with a woman as priest would be completely worthless.

    Jamie’s homosexuality is tied in with her desire that women be priests. No wonder she is in pain. I hope she can come to understand that the type of relationship that bears no fruit at all is an exercise in futility.

  17. jameeka says:

    Hey, Jamie!–Humiliation is good for us, unfortunately. Let’s grow up a little.

  18. Papabile says:

    OK Father Z…..

    We all want the sordid details about getting kicked out twice. It must be a good story for you to have mentioned it. /:-)

  19. gracie says:

    I feel sorry for the confusion that Jamie is in. I am sure she feels a calling to serve God – I think we all do if we turn to Him and where she gets muddled seems to be in discerning what path to take in responding to that call. I think in our society it’s very easy for a Catholic woman to feel that she should have the right to be a priest because in her eyes he’s the boss of the parish and as a woman she should have the right to be a priest-boss just as Catholic men do. It’s looking at the priesthood as a career one chooses instead of a calling where God chooses a man to stand in His place on earth. Jamie thinks she can do that but Christ’s maleness is part of who He is. How would Jamie feel if Hollywood came along and did her life story and had a man portray her? She would revolt because being a female is part of who she is and for just the same reason Our Lord ordains men to the priesthood because it’s core to the Personhood of who He is. The Church needs to do a better job of explaining this to women because just saying “no” to women in our culture isn’t going to make any sense to them.

  20. APX says:


    I think part of problem is that many priests don’t even really understand who they are as priests, and what the priesthood is. If this was understood, issues such as priestly celibacy and the non-ordination of women would not be issues, or at least not the hot button issues that they are now. I’m sure there would always be a few who felt differently.

    I recall reading something that the pastor from my home diocese parish wrote on the parish web site. It was about priestly celibacy and sick dogs. It didn’t say anything theologically profound. Actually, it didn’t say anything theological. What it basically came down to was his dog was sick and he couldn’t handle it on an emotional level. Because he couldn’t emotionally handle his sick dog, this was evidence that priests couldn’t handle having sick children, thus they need to be celibate.

    I was dumbfounded after reading that, and then a little part of me hurt by the fact he is having a major identity crisis and doesn’t even know it. He has a newly ordained Associate Pastor now sharing the rectory with him. I think the bishop lives there too, or at least attached to the same building. I know the associate pastor through a priest friend I have. I’m thinking about photocopying a copy of St. John Chrysostom’s Treatise on the Priesthood and leaving it in the pastor’s bathroom. I trust it will get read through in there.

  21. Elizabeth M says:

    I’m confused. Guess I’ll have to sit down with someone and have them explain what “theology of women” means. God’s order of human relationships is so very basic and clear. This need to be in the world’s spotlight – it’s crazy. The Saint’s lives we have for examples are incredible. There are volumes of women who lived in men-dominated societies yet they were heard, made differences, influenced kingdoms, became HOLY.
    Maybe the feminists have forgotten that one of our most important roles as women is to suffer and sacrifice. (This doesn’t give men the authority to abuse) Put your ego aside. Eve is not our model for womanhood – Mary is.

  22. Jamie also appears to have difficulties with English sentence construction, which used to be problematic for a journalist (actual or simply aspiring). In the part Father Z quoted [bold emphasis added]:

    As a woman who has discerned a calling to the priesthood for more than 20 years, Francis’ hiding behind John Paul II’s theology and claiming that the “door is closed” on the ordination issue was profoundly painful.

    The highlighted clause begs for a noun or pronoun, which is never supplied if the sentence is to make sense. None of the following nouns or pronouns refer to a woman. Therefore, one must ask “to whom is she referring?” But the answer is doubtless “herself.” Which then prompts the question “why do we not encounter the first person singular pronoun ‘I’ somewhere in the sentence following the opening clause?” One logical answer is that she would rather not admit that it is she who is pained and hurt by the Holy Father’s unequivocal words. Perhaps she is unwilling to take ownership of her feelings, preferring to assign the blame for her feelings on someone other than the person whose unrealistic expectations are the actual source, to wit, to herself. The only other rational and grammatical explanation is that Jamie is under the impression that Francis is a woman.

    It appears that those who are literate but cannot write logically, seem also to have innumerable difficulties in thinking logically.

    Pax et bonum
    Keith Töpfer

  23. mamajen says:

    I discerned more than 20 years ago that I’m supposed to be a millionaire. Still waiting.

  24. JamesA says:

    Thank you, good Father, for such a hopeful and palate-cleansing post. If her ilk are still this upset, we know that “all manner of thing will be well.”
    For myself personally, as I continue to discern my state in life, you give profound hope and encouragement. After all, I was only thrown out of the seminary once !

    “I was thrown out of seminary twice…
    … before I was ordained by the author of Ordinatio sacerdotalis.”

    As MSM said, “Cuh-lassic”.

  25. Suburbanbanshee says:

    If she were really interested in the theology of women, she’d be excited to have the Pope call for more consideration and study of it. You’d always believe that your field was at its very beginnings, and that there was tons of potential to find out more. Even if you disagreed, you’d be excited to have more stuff to fight over.

  26. Ed the Roman says:

    As a woman who has discerned a calling to the priesthood for more than 20 years, Francis’ hiding behind John Paul II’s theology and claiming that the “door is closed” on the ordination issue was profoundly painful.

    As written, this means that Francis is a woman who has discerned a calling to the priesthood for mor

  27. happyCatholic says:

    You made me laugh! I think I want to be discerning that same millionaire call! ;-)

  28. maryh says:

    Jamie says: I would love to be able to return to active Catholic ministry again, and I want all of the exceptional women and LGBT Catholics who have the ability to spiritually lead and inspire to be able to answer God’s calling.

    And there’s the problem. Jamie can’t return to active Catholic ministry again, because in her mind, that means she has to be a priest. And all of those exceptional women can’t spiritually lead or inspire because they can’t be priests. A woman can be the sinless Mother of God like Mary, a doctor of the Church like St Catherine of Sienna or St Therese of Lisieux, she can lead an army like St Joan of Arc, be a scholar like St Hildegard von Bingen, she can start schools, hospitals, and religious orders, but if she can’t be a priest, she can’t spiritually lead or inspire.

    That’s some clericalism she’s got going there.

    I agree with @gracie. The Church needs to do a better job of explaining this to women because just saying “no” to women in our culture isn’t going to make any sense to them.

  29. Elizium23 says:

    23 years ago, I discerned a call to agnosticism and sexually promiscuous serial monogamy. 13 years ago I discerned a call to return to the Church, and when I discerned Who made the latter call I discovered that I wanted nothing to do with the former call. Perhaps Ms. Manson should subscribe to Caller ID.

  30. NoraLee9 says:

    I am sure this has occurred to others , but why oh why, if this nice lady feels called to the priesthood, doesn’t she flee to the Episcopal Church?

  31. Robbie says:

    Jamie Manson, at this point, seems to be the exception rather than the rule when it comes to the views liberal Catholics have of Pope Francis. Maybe she’s the tip of the iceberg, but, if she is, those who share her liberal beliefs have a long, long way to fall.

    For instance, Rorate Caeli just tweeted this story from the Washington Post Faith section. It’s written by a former staffer to the US Bishops conference. In it, he gleefully asserts Francis is ending what he called “fortress Catholicism”. He also said a new spirit not felt since VCII is stirring once again after 50 years. (Yikes!)

    I’m sure, at some point, some portion of the liberal Catholic movement will turn on Francis, but the growing consensus right now from all sides is Francis certainly leans far more to the liberal/progressive wing of the Church. Can almost everyone be that wrong? Well, I hope so anyway.


  32. Brother Juniper says:

    Perhaps only a baseball fan would think of this, but:
    Isn’t there a church that would fulfill all of Jamie’s needs? Why can’t Pope Francis trade Jamie to that church for a Parishioner To Be Named Later. Much easier (and more desirable) than changing 2,000 years of Catholic Tradition. Jamie just needs to go to the league where they allow the designated hitter.

  33. Imrahil says:

    The idea that we need a “deeper theology of women” is remarkable only because, for the past half-century, Catholic women theologians, many of them women religious, have been developing, writing and teaching a profound theology of women.

    Sorry, Ms Manson. There you would be wrong.

    That is not even true in an unorthodox sense.

    Feminist theology has done nothing, in numbers: 0, as far as contributing to a theology of women is concerned. This is not a question of right and wrong; it is a question of no material as opposed to some material.

    The spectre called “feminist theology” which haunts our universities aims to disprove that perceived discriminations against women (and certain things we orthodox hold to be part of the 6th commandment, though I do not understand their logic here*) have no basis in the Faith or have to be set aside nonetheless on these and that grounds. That is what they do.

    As for a deeper understanding of the female sex, not to mention a theology, they did nothing and do not aim to do nothing. Excuse the colloquialism, but I somehow felt I did not mention “nothing” enough in this comment.

    [*As HSH The Princess Dowager of Thurn und Taxis once mentioned in an interview, in reality things are vice versa, and far from being deprecating of women as they hold for unknown reasons, in plain obvious reality chastity is the women-honoring thing. But… now we do approach the matters of right and wrong, whereas this comment was only about the matters of nothing and something.]

  34. DisturbedMary says:



  35. Nancy D. says:

    But pope Francis, according to his book, On Heaven and Earth, does not have a problem with same-sex sexual relationships that are private in nature, do not include children, and are not called marriage. That does not change the fact that when you compromise truth, you will always end with error, which is why you can’t be for Christ and against Christ simultaneously, and remain in communion with The Body of Christ.

  36. Kathleen10 says:

    Heretic and kook, rolled up in one.
    As a woman, I vote no to the female priest concept. More than that, no way.
    NoraLee9 has a good suggestion, the Episcopal Church.

  37. Don says:

    A bird flying into a window must also have the feeling that it was slammed into its face. The sad reality is that the window was always closed, and yet it proceeded believing that everything ahead was clear, ignorant of the objective truth ahead. And so it is with Ms. Manson.

  38. JamesA says:

    I have to jump back in for a minute.
    With all respect to gracie and maryh, ( “The Church needs to do a better job of explaining this to women because just saying “no” to women in our culture isn’t going to make any sense to them.”), I’m sorry if this isn’t computing in my male brain, but honestly, what else can Holy Church do or say on the subject ?
    Something has really been bugging me lately : the idea that the Church has been largely insensitive and even unkind about the way She states these truths. I think that is hogwash. Please, someone find evidence of what Dolan said — “we’ve got to do better to see that our defense of marriage is not reduced to an attack on gay people.” All of this is cut from the same cloth. The Church isn’t “sensitive enough”. Baloney. People hate the message, and they will hate it no matter who delivers it or how it is articulated.
    We have to stop buying into their propaganda and letting them define the terms of discussion. Holy Church is very clear, and very charitable. Yes, we have to continually examine that. But when we are not wrong, we have to stop “admitting” that we are.

  39. Kathleen10 says:

    Oops, Nancy D., is that right? Oh my. That makes sense now, doesn’t it.
    It’s not good, but it does make sense.
    I have a vague idea of what Lepanto was about, the gist being the unlikely victory for Catholics in a serious battle between Catholics and Muslims at some point long ago. The outnumbered Catholics were victorious against all odds, and it was a critical juncture. What if at some critical point the leader of the Catholics had turned to the embattled soldiers and said “Hold on now, the Muslims aren’t really so bad…”.

  40. Imrahil says:

    When we are not wrong, we have to stop “admitting” that we are.

    Amen to that. (Though not, at least not necessarily, to the rest of what you wrote, dear @James A – I do not believe sensitivity is a bad thing, nor do I think the Church was insensitive when it comes to it).

    We just must get rid of the “I’m really sorry but” attitude – both the set-phrase and the same phrase really meant – when proclaiming such things.

    Thank God there are no women-priests.

    In these times, to be orthodox is to [deny basic tenets of present-day feminism and so, despite a possibility of good and necessary aims, now generally obsolete because fulfilled,] be anti-feminist.

    The parts in [] brackets are for the substantial discussion. According to the nature of polemics (which is no shame to engage in), they may be left out on such-like occasions.

  41. Kathleen10 says:

    Oh JamesA, you my friend, have expressed a superb point! I happen to agree with you so I think you have made a profound statement. :)
    Desire for popularity, wish for agreement, disdain for hard truths that people don’t want to hear, fear of retribution, fear of criticism, fear of being called “harsh”, on and on, I suppose it’s the same for political-speak as it is for religious faith-speak. People just don’t want to say or hear hard truths!
    We’ve all been neutralized, and we’re as bland as milk-toast. We’re vanilla pudding. Authentic conversation, dialogue, it’s controversial, unwanted, we’re Rhett Butler at the Wilke’s Plantation, telling the Southern gentlemen the Yankees are better fighters than we are! Nobody wants to hear it, we’re being “negative”, not putting out that positive energy. We’re also holy rollers and “too religious”, even, odd. Sometimes I wonder why I get worked up about it at all and feel so definite about it. Am I trying to be more Catholic than the Pope? I hope not.
    I’d like to insert something here about objective truth, but, right now it feels like someone keeps moving that line. Nonetheless, some things are not open for change or dialogue, personally speaking. It’s not going to be easy, but that is definite.

  42. APX says:


    The Church can fully explain the theological relationship between the Bridegroom, who is Christ, and his Bride, the Church, which is always portrayed as being virginal.

    The Priest represent Christ the Bridegroom, Christ was a man and only men can be Bridegrooms. So if there is a Bridegroom, there must be a Bride. “Who is this Bride?”, you ask. It’s the Virginal Church. So, “who represents the Virginal Church?” The Consecrated Virgin, who is literally mystically espoused to her Bridegroom, Christ. She is fully the Spouse of Christ. While nuns and sisters are often referred to as brides of Christ, unless one of them has later been consecrated as a virgin, is only meant in a general way.

    Men can only be priests and only virgin women can be consecrated virgins, which is considered the highest place of women in the Church. Unfortunately, not many people even know of the vocation of consecrated virgins. Even worse, there are bishops who, for whatever reason, don’t want consecrated virgins in their diocese.

  43. Gregg the Obscure says:

    I’m just a wee bit surprised that Manson (what a fitting name in so many ways!) doesn’t take issue with Pope Francis’ condemnation of careerism in the Church as the wish of various women to simulate Holy Orders appears to be a grasping at a perceived brass ring rather than an earnest effort to join the self to the great High Priest who offered Himself in sacrifice. Isn’t the most common form of sacrifice among us these days to be deprived of some object of desire, particularly when we perceive that denial to be unjust? Again it’s probably a lack of insight on Manson’s part.

    A few weeks ago Fr. Z posted a reading of Pope Bl. John XXIII’s address Gaudet Mater Ecclesia in which His Holiness announced that, while Holy Church had long used the medicine of severity, She was now applying the medicine of mercy. It seems that the current Successor of Peter takes this to heart in all he does. It is very frustrating to see this approach to sins that call to heaven for justice, but I know that I am in need of that same mercy and I can only pray that it is efficacious for all to whom it is offered.

  44. The Masked Chicken says:

    “In it, he gleefully asserts Francis is ending what he called “fortress Catholicism”. He also said a new spirit not felt since VCII is stirring once again after 50 years. (Yikes!).”

    It was the liberal appropriation of the microphone to proclaim what Vatican II supposedly said fifty years ago that massively contributed to the current problems in the Church and yet, here we are, fifty years later and what have we really learned from the experience? It seems like it is happening all over, again.

    The Chicken

  45. Clinton says:

    My takeaway from this story is that it is just another example of how far theology in this
    country has fallen. As far as I can tell, through her entire career– from getting her degree
    from Yale Divinity, to working at Jan Hus Presbyterian church in Manhattan as director of
    faith formation, to her work with Dignity USA and the Women’s Ordination Conference and
    the Fishwrap, Ms. Manson has operated entirely outside the Church. By the looks of
    her CV, Ms. Manson has spent her entire career avoiding anything that could be considered
    recognizably Catholic, or subject to any sort of accountability to the Church.

    Which makes me ask the question– how is it that when she announces that she’s a Catholic
    , people take her at her word? Evidently, one may set up as a Catholic theologian
    these days without the least reference to the Church or Her bishops.

  46. maryh says:

    I believe you are misconstruing me. I agree with @Gracie that we don’t make sense to many women these days when we say they can’t be priests, but my problem is not that the Church isn’t being “sensitive” enough.

    I mean “women can’t be priests” literally makes no sense to women these days without explanation. I know it sure didn’t to me. To say “women can’t be priests because Jesus was a man” makes as much sense as “Spanish people can’t be priests because Jesus spoke Aramaic.” It’s a total non sequitar.

    Part of the problem, I think, is because despite all the sex and promotion of sex, our culture itself has become neutered. We really have to take some time and start repeating things like Gracie was saying (and yes, we’ll have to repeat it over and over); explaining that sex differentiation is not a social construct but a God-designed physical fact (although some sex roles are culturally defined); that Jesus became a man and not a woman because he was saying something about the role of men; that therefore when he chose priests, it meant something real and not arbitrary about the role of men vs the role of women.

    There are all sorts of angles we can take on this. Let’s be clear about one thing, though. At least in my opinion, one of the things that happens when the Church sets aside this one role for men only is to recognize and honor the one role that only women have: mother. If women were ordained, one thing it would do is say that there is NO relevant difference between the sexes, which automatically deprecates motherhood. One of the reasons the Church does not ordain women is precisely because she respects and honors women as women.

    And of course we need to call out feminists on their clericalism, because it’s the most common underpinning of their arguments.

  47. McCall1981 says:

    Jamie would not like this quote from Pope Francis in his homily to the Jesuits on the Feast of St. Ignatius:
    “The centrality of Christ corresponds also to the centrality of the Church: they are two flames that cannot be separated: I cannot follow Christ except in and with the Church. And even in this case we Jesuits and the whole Company, are not at the centre, we are, so to speak, “displaced”, we are at the service of Christ and of the Church, the Bride of Christ our Lord, who is our Holy Mother Hierarchical Church (cf. Sp. Ex. 353). To be men routed and grounded in the Church: that is what Jesus desires of us. There cannot be parallel or isolated paths for us. Yes, paths of searching, creative paths, yes, this is important: to go to the peripheries, so many peripheries. This takes creativity, but always in community, in the Church, with this membership that give us the courage to go forward. To serve Christ is to love this concrete Church, and to serve her with generosity and with the spirit of obedience. “

  48. GAK says:

    “Pope Francis’ words about women were spirit-breaking. The idea that we need a ‘deeper theology of women’ is remarkable only because, for the past half-century, Catholic women theologians, many of them women religious, have been developing, writing and teaching a profound theology of women.”

    In which “developing” is the stand in for: we kifed it from ancient heretics, new age wackadoodles, and Mother Goddess communicating to her children via the ocean’s tide.

  49. Nancy D. says:

    No, it is not Good that the election of Pope Francis is not valid because he denies that The True God, The God of our Salvation, desires that we overcome our disordered inclinations, so that we are not led into temptation, but are delivered from evil and become transformed through God’s Grace and Mercy. The Sacrifice of The Cross, Is The Sacrifice of The Communion of Perfect Love, The Blessed Trinity, ” For God so Loved us that He sent His only Son…”
    At this hour, it is late, but not too late, to protect our Holy Father.


  50. eulogos says:

    I went through a phase when I hoped that women would be ordained “some day.” I liked some women who were Episcopal priests and did a good job of leading and mothering their parishes. I was proud of strong and intelligent women. I was moved by seeing a woman celebrate the Eucharist. Somewhere in me was a little voice which said it would be absolutely awesome to be able to do that. I was therefore rapidly moving out side of the Catholic orbit. Yet I was shocked when an old friend (one I had reprimanded during his liberal phase years previously) called me a liberal Catholic. I was only an ordinary Catholic for my surroundings in the Diocese of Rochester, where the priests I knew and the laypeople at daily mass all thought of course the church would finally get around to ordaining women.

    I am not sure how it came about that I changed. I encountered some female Episcopal priests whose preaching was just plain not Christian, you can’t put it any other way. One of them said to me that she didn’t think the historical Jesus was the same as the second person of the Trinity. I stared at her in horror and said, But, there is not much left of Christianity then. I know that male Episcopal priests, and even sadly, some Catholic priests, have engaged in similar theological devastation. So I couldn’t chalk this up to being female, but it made me want to leap back into the arms of the Church. I also saw a picture of female Episcopal priests escorting women INTO an abortion clinic. My reaction was “priests of Moloch, not of Christ.” However, again, males could have done this, I couldn’t say necessarily that it was about their being female, although I had my suspicions which I could not quite articulate. Basically, I knew I was in very unsafe territory here.

    Then Cardinal Ratzinger was elected Pope, something I had not at all hoped for. I knew that meant a solid no to there ever being women priests. I was at homecoming at my college, and a tutor who had been dialoging with me about this subject, asked if I was ok with this. It was a moment of decision. Are my opinions more important, or is being in the Church more important? I said, “Yes…I don’t always have to be right.”

    After that moment of surrender, within a few months I began to see things in a much different light.

    A woman from the Catholic parish in town started attending the Episcopal church and said it was because of “women’s issues.” The Episcopal Church was more lined up with her opinions. I asked her how she knew her own opinions were a measure of the truth. For a moment she was really taken aback and then said something like, “Well I don’t think there is just one truth, it is all in how you see things…” or something like that.

    I think these folks are about choosing their own opinions over the Church. They don’t seem to realize how far afield and into what dangerous enemy territory, our own opinons can lead us.
    Susan Peterson

  51. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Nancy D., whatever you’ve read in the media about Pope Francis, he’s not teaching that we shouldn’t overcome disordered inclinations. In fact, he referred the media to the words of the Catechism of the Catholic Church about disordered inclinations, saying, “The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this in such a beautiful way.”

    I’m sorry that the media tricked you, but I’m glad we could explain it.

  52. Poor Jamie Manson; I really feel sorry for her.

    First, she waves around the degree she got from Yale Divinity School as some great accomplishment; but every word she writes is an embarrassment to her and to the school that awarded her a Masters of Divinity. It isn’t that she lacks the competency to be a Catholic minister (lack of proper matter excepted); she lacks competency to be a minister in any self-respecting religious body.

    So she wants “the church of our dreams”? Why stop there?

    How about the universe of our dreams? That’s what I want!

    In the universe of my dreams:

    > I can drink all I want, and I only get exhilarated, but never too intoxicated, with no hangover or any other bad effects.

    > I can eat whatever I want, and never exercise, and I will always look like Brad Pitt.

    > I can travel faster than the speed of light, and breathe in space, and go without food–so I can zip around the Cosmos and see everything I want.

    > Whoever is in charge calls me weekly for my suggestions, which are immediately adopted. If they don’t work, it’s always someone else’s fault.

    > I can have all the physical pleasures I want with neither consequence nor condemnation.

    > God likes me just the way I am!

    > I always have more than enough money, but I don’t have to work very hard to get it.

    > What else? I dunno, but in the universe of my dreams, I’ll have the opportunity to get whatever I think of, later.

    We deserve the universe of our dreams!

  53. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Also, I went and read the passage in Spanish in Sobre Cielo y Tierra that you’re talking about. It said that if people were shacking up together (union de tipo privada), in this case homosexually, that shacking up didn’t affect either a third person or society. (But homosexual sex is still a sin, which was what Bergoglio was talking about the whole rest of the time.) But if people tried to move homosexual shacking up into the category of marriage and even the adoption of children, then it was affecting kids and thus it got even worse.

    Before that, he kept arguing about how people of the same sex marrying was something almost unknown in the history of the world, and ridiculous for people to do now. And after that, he kept arguing, and said that kids had an absolute right to have a mother and a father. And after that, he said that one of the reasons men and women marry is so that the woman can make the man more and better of a man, and the man can make the woman more and better a woman.

  54. Nancy D. says:

    You can read the statement where pope Francis condones same sex sexual relationships ( and thus same sex sexual acts), as long as they are private, do not involve children, and are not called marriage, in the pope’s book, On Heaven and Earth. (Page 117)

  55. McCall1981 says:

    @Nancy D
    I have the book and he never approves of private same sex relationships in any way. In the passage you mention, he first says Natural kaw speaks of the union of man and woman. He then notes that homosexuals have always existed and some societies have tolerated them, some have not, but none, until our time have elevated them to the level of marriage. He says he considers gay marriage an “anti-value” and an “anthropological regression” because it “transcends the religious issue, it is anthropological”. In the sentence you refer to he says “If there is a union of a private nature, there is neither a third party nor is society effected”. Then he says that if a same sex union is given the the status of marriage and adoption it effects children, and every child needs a mother and father.

    The topic is gay marriage, and the sentence thats bothering you is just contrasting how a “private” same sex relationship doesnt effect the greater society, while a same sex “marriage” does. That sentence doesnt even address the morality of a private same sex relationship, much less does it approve of it. The point is to address the greater societal effect of same sex marriage.
    There’s nothing to worry about here.

  56. Nancy D. says:

    “If there is a union of a private nature, there is neither a third party, nor is society affected.” The pope dismisses the morality of unions that he refers to as ” of a private nature” and implies that they are nothing to be concerned about because there is neither a third party, nor is society affected.

  57. Nancy D. says:

    Actually, the pope doesn’t imply, he makes it clear that there is no need for concern, unless children are involved, and these same-sex sexual relationships are called marriage. No concern is shown for the well being of those persons engaging in demeaning acts, the impact on respect for the Dignity of the human person when society tolerates engaging in demeaning acts, and the Salvation of souls through God’s Grace and Mercy.

  58. McCall1981 says:

    Nancy D,
    I agree with you on the seriousness of homosexual actions, but youre reading things into this passage that aren’t there. He’s talking about how gay “marriage” impacts society via adoption etc, and contrasts this with a private homosexual relationship which does not. Thats all. Just because he didnt add a clause to that sentence specifically saying its morally wrong doesnt mean he approves of it. He’s simply not saying anything about it at all because the point he’s making is addressing how gay “marriage” effects the broader society.
    I wish he was more outspoken on this issue too, but he certainly did not say or imply that he approves of private homosexual actions.

  59. Southern Catholic says:

    Thank you McCall, for posting what Pope Francis really said.

  60. Nancy D. says:

    Under no circumstances should same-sex sexual acts be condoned. Men and women have been designed by God in such a way that it is physically impossible to engage in same-sex sexual acts without demeaning the inherent personal and relational Dignity of the human person.

  61. Ryan says:

    Nancy D. You have made the very same error that the liberals make (or rather, since the error is on both “sides” perhaps the same error that those with a flawed orientation to reality make): If the entire context and history of Church teaching is not recapitulated and explicitly reaffirmed then OBVIOUSLY it has been abrogated. You have assumed that the Pope is an apostate and cited his words spoken in a different context as evidence. This is NOT charity. In fact, it is detraction and comes rather close to blasphemy of the holy spirit.

  62. Montserrat says:


    me too.

  63. jflare says:

    “I was thrown out of seminary twice…”

    Wow! I’d be interested in hearing THOSE stories! I don’t know if Fr Calloway ever wound up being tossed, but I’ve heard suggestions far too many times about similar difficulties.

  64. Nancy D. says:

    One can only be an apostate from The True Church. To deny the truth about the inherent personal and relational Dignity of the human person, who, from the moment of conception, has been created in The Image and Likeness of God, equal in Dignity, while being complementary as male and female, is to deny God, and makes one an apostate.

    Charity requires that we witness to The Truth.

  65. Nancy D. says:

    Pope Benedict, just before he “retired”, made the statement that to deny the Dignity of the human person, is to deny God. No doubt, the wolves were at his door. We need to protect our Holy Father.

    At this hour it is late, but not too late.

  66. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Nancy D., you seem to have a very tight standard for “condone.” Apparently, if I don’t say every five seconds that X, Y, Z, and every letter of the alphabet are sins, I “condone” them. So are you saying that if a priest preaches that it’s wrong to get drunk and drive, he “condones” getting drunk? If the priest says that telling lies is a sin, does he “condone” writing lies down instead?

    When people commit sins privately, they are doing something wrong and they may be sending themselves to Hell. But at least they aren’t trying to drag everyone else in their country to Hell also, by encouraging others to sin under the encouragement of law.

    So yes, shacking up is evil, but it’s a lesser evil than trying to make society give a legal place to shacking up, or theft, or what have you. A community’s laws are most just when they best reflect the laws of God and the nature of reality; purposefully making laws less just, especially for the purposes of legalizing and formalizing wrongdoing, is a sin. So yes, it’s clearly worse to commit two mortal sins instead of just one, although obviously even one mortal sin is bad enough to send a soul to Hell (unless repented and then forgiven by God).

  67. Nancy D. says:

    At no time did pope Francis address the grievous nature of same-sex sexual acts, and by dismissing the grievous nature of same sex sexual acts in relationships that he defines as “private” in nature, confirming the reports in the media that pope Francis condones same-sex unions, it is clear that pope Francis does not believe that our call to Holiness is a call to Love one another in communion with God, thus there is no such thing as a “private” relationship.

  68. Nancy D. says:

    At no time did pope Francis address the grievous nature of same-sex sexual acts, and by dismissing the grievous nature of same sex sexual acts in relationships that he defines as “private” in nature, confirming the reports in the media that pope Francis condones same-sex sexual unions, it is clear that pope Francis does not believe that our call to Holiness is a call to Love one another in communion with God, thus there is no such thing as a “private” relationship.

  69. McCall1981 says:

    @Nancy D.
    You are right that in neither the passage in “On Heaven and earth”, nor in the interviews did he directly comment on the immorality of private homosexual actions. He did not comment on this in the book because that was not the topic being discussed. He did not comment on it in the interviews, and when explicitly asked why he did not comment on it, he said it is becasue the Church’s positon is already known and his position has already been explained “perfectly” by the Catechism. When directly asked his position on homosexuality, he said his position is “that of the Church”, and has twice cited the Catechism as explaining his position on homosexuality “beautifully” and “perfectly”. The Catechism clearly states that any homosexual action is inherently immoral.

    I would like for him to be stronger and more outspoken in speaking on this important issue, but he has made it abundently clear that his position on homosexuality is that of the Church, and specifically of the Catechism..

  70. Kathleen10 says:

    Good points made all around. Nancy D. I agree with what you seem to be perceiving from the Holy Father’s words, and that is, in general his words against homosexuality are basically not very frequent, or strong. If this were 1965, the way this has been addressed may have been one thing, but in 2013 with the incredible strength of the gay rights movement and the pretty near total takeover of our culture, it feels like one is standing by waiting for the fireman to put out the raging inferno with a tea cup. It’s just not nearly enough, and it actually seems…dismissive?
    One looks for a body of evidence of a thing. It’s what one says, does not say, says strongly, weakly, actions, lack of action. There are at least some indications that our Holy Father is not overly concerned with homosexuality. His words while returning from World Youth Day on the topic speak to his unwillingness to judge someone. Unfortunately, these are the same exact words liberals love to use to silence their critics, since it is intended to mean others are self-righteous hypocrites if they mention the sins of another. This has worked beautifully! Apparently it is no one’s goal to be a self-righteous hypocrite!
    How “simple” a man can someone be who has risen to the level of the papacy? I do not know Pope Francis’ writings, which would be more of an indication of this, but, is it possible the Holy Father is being, well, naive? I prefer naive to the alternative, on this topic, because of the devastating effect on society, the family, children, and even individuals, from the effects of homosexuality. Is it possible for a man in his position to be that naive today?
    An additional dark cloud looms. He was elected. He was chosen. He is whom the Cardinals wanted. I don’t think it reasonable to assume they are all naive on this topic. Of course they knew how critical this topic is right now and everywhere. So it makes one wonder what they were thinking.
    It is beyond frustrating to have to try to “read tea leaves” while waiting to discover if our Holy Father is on one side of the fence or another, on a topic so critical! This should not be a grey area. It is, or was, very black or white. Enough grey! I wish our Church to speak plainly and directly so the ambiguity and confusion is gone! I do not think that is asking too much! Are we still Catholics or are we Episcopalians!! I can’t read tea leaves so I rely on language and actions!
    There is now misunderstanding and confusion all around and surely that must have now reached the Vatican. Given this, I truly hope there is a statement that clarifies in a direct way, using direct language and concrete terminology.

  71. McCall1981 says:

    Very well said, I completely agree with you here. I think if you look at it pessimistically, Pope Francis is going to let the homosexual culture walk all over the Church and not do anything to stop it. If you look at it optimistically, I think what he is trying to do is shift the conversation. Right now it’s the loving tolerant world vs. mean Catholics who hate gay people. If he can be a sympathetic “nice guy” and show that he and the Church do not hate, but in fact love gay people, WHILE AT THE SAME TIME still presenting the Church’s moral teaching, it could ago a long way towards “legitimizing” the Church’s position in the eyes of the world.

    I don’t particularly like this plan, I wish he would stand up strongly for Catholic morality like you do. Also it’s contingent on him actually presenting the Catholic teaching, which it seems he will go out of his way to avoid doing.

  72. maryh says:

    No, there is not misunderstanding and confusion all around.

    Most of those who think the Church can and might change her teaching on homosexuality still do.

    Except for those who are now actually listening to what the Pope is saying. And to what other Catholics are saying. Because as much as I admire Pope emeritus Benedict, there don’t seem to be a lot of people who actually listened to him on this.

    Those who actually follow the Church’s teaching and have access to a Catechism know very well that Pope Francis didn’t change a thing. When we act like Pope Francis is confusing on this, we aid and abet those who are trying mightily to spin anything he says to sound like there is confusion on the Church’s teaching on this or on whether this teaching can change.

    Pope Francis’ insistence on referring the questioner to the Catechism and calling himself a son of the Church is crystal clear. “It’s in there and I agree with what’s in there.” By continually answering the same questions on the same topics that the MSM wants to change, he actually plays into the idea that it might change.

    “Mr Pope sir, is homosexual activity wrong?”
    “Yes, it certainly is and it can send you to hell. Stop it.”
    “Whew. So it still hasn’t changed.”

    Next day.

    “Mr Pope sir, is homosexual activity wrong?”
    “Yes, it certainly is and it can send you to hell. Stop it.”
    “Whew. So it still hasn’t changed.”

    Next day.

    “Mr Pope sir, is homosexual activity wrong?”
    “Read the Catechism. It’s in there.”
    “But what do you think?”
    “I’m a son of the Church. Read the Catechism. It’s in there.”

    @Suburbanbanshee What you said. All of it. Thanks.

    The point is, what are we going to do about it? I’m not talking about “sensitivity” here, I’m talking about practical steps.

    To go back to the abortion analogy, we could stand around talking about how evil abortion is, or we could take action by giving mothers with problem pregnancies a place to go, making sure that those who worked in the abortion industry knew they had friends if they crossed the line, and making clear what abortion did.

    So what are the equivalent actions for people with ssa? Does someone with ssa know and trust the equivalent of “Problem Pregnancy Centers” when he’s in over his head? Does the gay activist, the Bernard Nathanson or Abby Johnson of the homosexualist movement, know what will happen if she crosses the line? The homosexualists can be pretty scary when people don’t follow the party line.

    So yes, the Pope needed to say “Who am I to judge?” The same way we learned to stop demonizing the woman who had an abortion or thought she needed one and help her GET OUT. It’s not “sensitivity”. It’s help. It’s called giving people with ssa options when the MSM makes it clear they don’t have any. Just like the pro-choice people do to women.

  73. Panterina says:

    ““If there is a union of a private nature, there is neither a third party, nor is society affected.” Thank you, Nancy D., for quoting that passage from the Pope’s book.

    It’s interesting to see how the same sentence can be interpreted differently. I didn’t read the meaning that Nancy D. seems to get. To me, Bergoglio is saying that unions of a private nature, by definition, have to be private, that is, they do not affect a third party, or society at large. But he’s also implying (at least that’s how I interpret it) that homosexual unions cannot be considered “unions of a private nature” because they affect both a third party (basically, anyone who knows them personally) and the fabric of society (not to mention trampling over the rights and well-being of children, when homosexual couples want to adopt). And even if we concede that they they are a private affair, these unions are still sinful. His adherence to the Church’s teaching in this matter is very clear, IMHO.

    Maybe the sentence was ambiguous, but let’s not do what the Protestants do to the Bible, taking sentences outside of their general context. The big picture is that Pope Francis is in synch with the Church in condemning homosexual behavior.

  74. Nancy D. says:

    Ambiguous? The sentence is what it is, and has not been taken out of context. At some point you realize that there exists an overwhelming amount of evidence that a large group of persons have conspired to intentially create chaos and confusion in Christ’s Church in order to undermine the Deposit of Faith. Why else would heresy be allowed to spread like wild-fire, leading to a great apostasy, unless something was not quite right in the Vatican?

    The Catholic Church has always taught that the purpose of ecumenism is conversion, not compromise.

    God save our Holy Father!

  75. Nancy D. says:

    not to mention cardinal Schonborn’s imput in regards to the CCC and the Youcat on homosexual inclinations

  76. JPMedico says:

    Thank you maryh, well said. People with ssa right now need to see that we love everyone and that we have a better way to offer them. Telling someone who doesn’t even believe in sin that he’s sinning does absolutely nothing to improve the situation. You’re wasting your breath saying something like that to Ms Manson. The world is different now. It’s ineffective to throw an anathema at a world that doesn’t believe in anathemas. The world needs to see that we are a light shining in the darkness; that we have something wonderful and special to offer.

    As for Nancy D, I’m sorry, but I don’t believe anyone here will convince her of anything. She has referenced Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio. The only people I’ve ever seen reference that papal bull are sedevacantists, and arguing with them is nearly hopeless. Nancy D is free to tell me I’m wrong about that, but either way I won’t argue it here since that isn’t the topic of the post.

  77. Nancy D. says:

    There is nothing that precludes Pope Francis from making a public statement that those who deny the truth about the Sanctity of the human person from the moment of conception, and the Sanctity of marriage and the family, should not present themselves to receive Holy Communion, as they are no longer in communion with Christ, and His One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. In fact, it appears that pope Francis, unlike Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul II, is free to come and go as he pleases.

  78. Ryan says:

    Nancy D. You wrote:
    Pope Benedict, just before he “retired”, made the statement that to deny the Dignity of the human person, is to deny God. No doubt, the wolves were at his door. We need to protect our Holy Father.

    Right now the Holy Father needs protection. And you are one of the wolves.

  79. Nancy D. says:

    By our Holy Father, I was referring to Pope Benedict.

  80. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Yes, we figured out that you’re trying to set up poor Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI as an antipope.

    Benedict was _scrupulous_ in following canon law, and in crossing all his T’s and dotting all his i’s, purely in order to _avoid_ an antipope situation. Every single line sang out that it was his own idea. His huge number of references and hints about Pope St. Celestine V during his entire papacy, and during JPII’s, have shown that resignation was always on his mind as an option. And you hate him so much, in the guise of loving him, that you are eager to disobey him directly, disregard his careful project, and throw the Church into chaos and schism.

    I feel sorry for you and I understand your feelings of alienation. But wake up and stop disobeying. Pay attention to the literal meaning of literal documents, and quit trying to rewrite everything in terms of your own hopes and fears. Our only legal and valid pope is Pope Francis, and his most faithful supporter is the Pope Emeritus.

    (And there’s no bigger fan of B16 than me, believe me.)

  81. Supertradmum says:

    Some of the readers here forget that there is natural law, which preceded the Ten Commandments and is part of our heart and souls and minds by the very fact that we are human. The Catholic Church upholds natural law, but one does not have to discuss Church doctrine or teaching with regard to same sex activities or same sex attractions. To say that talking to active homosexuals or lesbians about sin is a dead end ignores the deeper meaning of what it is to be human. All humans know somewhere is their beings that adultery, fornication, murder and gross deception are wrong.

    A person who is talking to a good Catholic with homosexual inclinations, which are disordered in themselves, can start with more basic discussions that the stand of the Catholic Church. To be human is to share in certain basic moral principles.

    If someone is so depraved that they are completely closed to such discussions. prayer is the answer. But, in my experience of having many friends who were or are homosexual, most felt, most, I repeat, self-loathing and unease, not because they were not accepted by society, but because deep down inside they sensed something was wrong. Some broke away from the gay culture and some did not.

    To say that sin cannot be understood is to say that someone is so depraved that they are closed to honest explorations on human sexuality. Sadly, our society is now supporting depravity.

  82. Supertradmum says:

    a usual, apologies for errors in typing. And, if anyone else having trouble on this site today? I have been cut out four times at least this morning.

  83. Supertradmum says:

    maryh, there is help and that is Courage, which I have promoted since 1997 among college students with ssa. The trouble is that many Catholic priests do not want to get involved in supporting Courage, as I found out the hard way. But, if those with ssa want help, that is a start.

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