Fishwrap piece reveals a dilemma for the ‘c’atholic Left

This is great!

One of the perks of being on the road and having a semi-vacation from reading the interwebs and posting a lot is that I haven’t seen the National Schismatic Reporter very often. Today, however, something from Fishwrappy NSR came across my radar screen and nearly made me laugh out loud.

Fishwrap has a columnist whom we have seen before, Jamie Manson. She outdid herself this time. You can always count on her. She was the first over there to confirm my prediction that the catholic Left will turn on Pope Francis.

Now this.  As usual it takes Jamie forever to get to her point, but eventually she slogs up to it, sometimes with readers in tow:

A step forward for married men is a giant step backward for women

Earlier this month, yet another stunning headline came out of the Vatican.
“Pope says married men could be ordained — if world’s bishops agree,” read The Tablet of London. [I wonder if that was written by The Tablet’s former Rome guy, Robert Mickens.]

But this latest news did not come directly from the mouth of Pope Francis. [Of course it didn’t] The message was relayed by Bishop Erwin Kräutler of the Xingu diocese in the Brazilian rainforest. [Yah… and therefore it is reliable.  Right?] In an interview with the Salzburger Nachrichten, Kräutler, an Austrian-born priest who has served as bishop of Xingu since 1981, said Francis showed openness to ordaining married men, or viri probati.

Kräutler claimed that during a private audience with Francis, “the Pope explained that he could not take everything in hand personally from Rome. We local bishops, who are best acquainted with the needs of our faithful, should be corajudos, that is ‘courageous’ in Spanish, and make concrete suggestions.”

The term viri probati comes from the Latin “viri,” meaning “men,” and “probati,” meaning “proven” or “tested.” And though the phrase has circulated within the church since the first century, the exact nature of the test that will prove these men worthy of the priesthood has yet to be formally developed or articulated.

[Here we go!] As we begin to imagine who might be welcomed into this widened priesthood, it is important to remain realistic about the kind of men the church will seek. “Viri probati” will very likely be married men who have exhibited a strict adherence to official church teaching.  [Get that?  In bizarro-Fishwrap world there is “official” teaching and there is the, according to them, real, authentic spirit-inspired teaching which basically reflects there own notions and appetites.  “Official” is bad, by the way.]

And if that is the case, what will this mean for the men who left the priesthood but continued to exercise their priestly ministry through small house churches or intentional communities? [Nothing.  But note the use of “house churches”, as if they were in any way legitimate.  This seeks to use imagery from the ancient Church to legitimize chaos, heresy, etc.] Since they continued to perform what the institutional church views as “valid but not licit” eucharistic celebrations, will they qualify as “proven” men? [Unlikely.] What about former priests who have associated with [Wait for it!] organizations that advocate for women’s ordination, same-sex marriage or the use of contraceptives? Could they ever be welcomed back into the fold?  [Jamie’s projects of special interest.]

Is it possible that the hierarchy could disqualify a former priest simply because, decades ago, he willingly chose to break his promises to the church in order to marry the woman he loved? Will church leaders prefer instead to start with a “clean slate” of men who either are already ordained deacons or who have not previously been ordained? Those men might be seen as coming to the priesthood with less baggage for vocations directors to examine. [Sounds pretty grim, no?]

The most important question that arises out of the debate over the viri probati, of course, is how it will affect the ongoing struggle for the genuine equality of women in the Roman Catholic church.  [We do not, of course, accept her twisted premise.  Women are equal in the Church now.]

The admittance of married men into the priesthood could present a serious impediment to those who seek the full inclusion of women in church leadership. Why? Because lifting the ban on married male clergy could serve a dual purpose: It would take the edge off the priest shortage while recruiting married men who fully support the ban on women priests.  [How this must gripe them!  the Left dearly yearns for cracks in the structure, but there may be other … consequences for there agenda that they don’t like!]

Pope Francis has been clear in his belief about traditional gender roles, particularly the idea that women, by the nature of God’s design, are not entitled to equal authority in the church.  [The language here is both whiny and manipulative.]


If you can stand it, read the rest there.  It is a workshop in Left-think.

The Left is in a hard spot.  They are all “Rah! Rah!” for Francis now.  Wait a while longer.  When he starts to affirm things they want overturned, they will turn on him.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Francis, Liberals, One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, Priests and Priesthood, Sin That Cries To Heaven, The Drill, Throwing a Nutty and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. LeeF says:

    I saw that over at Fishwrap (a guilty pleasure I indulge weekly -maybe I should mention it in confession), and thought it highly ironic that the dissenters can both use the priest shortage as an excuse to agitate for married priests, while at the same time bemoaning that it would take the edge off the priest shortage (not particularly supported by the experience of mainline Protestant churches), which of course would be bad because they couldn’t then use it further the deeper agenda of women “priests”.

    Three words for Jamie and her compatriots: down . . the . . street. Everything they dream of and hope for has already been done before in a myriad of variations in various Protestant denominations. All they have to do is mosey on down the street. The real scandal of their dissent is the internal division they cause, and which would be solved if they moved on to where everything they want has already been done. Of course then they wouldn’t be the progressive and attention craving darlings of the liberal media anymore (they call themselves “prophetic”), just another humdrum Protestant.

  2. MrTipsNZ says:

    The other thing from this latest piece: what is with crazy South American based dissemblers who claim personal Pope-calls? First, a dubious Argentinian claim and now this.

    Is anyone actually checking phone records or meetings to confirm these nutcase claims?

    If left unchecked, it’ll catch on and soon vipers like Pelosi will be claiming personal phone calls absolving her from Can 915.

  3. Lisa Graas says:

    This makes my brain hurt. What on earth do they get out of being Catholic if they so despise actual Catholicism?

  4. Grabski says:

    We already have married priests in the Latin Rite! Former Lutheran, Episcopalian or Polish National priests. And married clergy – deacons. And Greek Catholic priests. Not really a big deal

    Accept priests who broke their vows and left active ministry to marry? Of course not. They have proven themselves untrustworty.

  5. meunke says:

    The one line that really came out at me was her implication that having a priest shortage is much better than having the perception that there ‘could be’ women priests be dimmed in any way.

    What a sad, pathetic little delusion she must live in. She must be very unhappy in her life.

  6. JustaSinner says:

    Can’t these women just leave and start their one church? It is, after all, a free country, so they have that ‘right’.
    Is there anything we can do to tip them towards this proposition? It would clean out a lot of dead rotten wood and help the health of the Church.

  7. Robbie says:

    In my archdiocese, we actually have a married priest. I’m not kidding. He was a former Baptist minister, I believe, who converted and petitioned JPII to become a priest. His application languished for some time, but picked up speed once Benedict became pope. What’s even more interesting is his family did not convert with him. He’s a fine, fine man.

    I digress, but I remain dubious the Catholic left will fully turn of Francis. Certainly, there will be elements who do like the militants who want women priests or married priests. Having said that, I think the vast majority on the left aren’t concerned with those liberal, hippie ideas from the 1970’s. I think they’re much more aligned with Francis’ focus on the poor. I think many on the left do see the Church more as a spiritual NGO and they’re drawn to Francis’ focus.

  8. meunke says:


    “I think many on the left do see the Church more as a spiritual NGO and they’re drawn to Francis’ focus.”
    – Maybe… but in my experience in quite a few what would be defined as ‘left wing’ sites, forums, etc. I don’t see this.

    What I see constantly is something like the following: “This pope actually cares about the poor [the implication being that the previous two didn’t, which is obviously false to anyone not comatose through the last two popes]. There’s going to be real change! Soon we’ll have women priests/contraception/easy divorce and remarriage/insert pet cause here!!!”

    They view his pastoral nature and focus on those in need as a stepping stone to some other impossible revolution in Church teaching. It’s no logical, but that makes no difference to them, and pointing it out simply enrages them.

    The general idea seems to be that if we give enough money to social causes, we had out enough things or talk about the poor enough, then nothing else matters and everything else in the Church becomes a free for all.

    Yes, they will turn on him, sadly.

  9. gretta says:

    Dear Jamie, have you ever thought of becoming Episcopalian? They would be perfect for you.

  10. Geoffrey says:

    “‘Viri probati’ will very likely be married men who have exhibited a strict adherence to official church teaching…”

    Sounds good to me.

  11. Robbie says:


    You may well be right. I wouldn’t base too much on message boards though. It’s the committed who voice their opinions online. I include myself in that group although I favor the traditional side of things. We may be loud, but we don’t necessarily reflect the common view.

    If the Catholic left is hoping for the whole shebang, my sense is they’ll come up short with Francis. I think he’s willing to listen and give them their due, but I don’t see him changing things. My sense of things though is the Catholic left might well get more of what they want if Francis is succeeded by Francis II. That’s just my opinion though.

  12. this kills me, ” he willingly chose to break his promises to the church in order to marry the woman he loved?”
    if a man cannot keep his vows in his one vacation what makes anyone think he will keep them in the other?

  13. promises,promises. those things

  14. Supertradmum says:

    Gossip Rag equals The Tablet.

  15. HyacinthClare says:

    If a man will cheat with you, he will cheat on you. Boxerpaws, you are so right.

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