The National Schismatic Reporter (aka Fishwrap) is once again stumping for one of its favorite topics. No, not sodomitic marriage this time. Women’s ordination.
Some 500 Catholic activists from around the globe will converge on Philadelphia for a three-day conference Sept. 18-20 to press for women’s rights in the church. They will meet one week before Pope Francis is set to step foot into the city.
The U.S.-based Women’s Ordination Conference (WOC) is hosting the Women’s Ordination Worldwide meeting. The Women’s Ordination Conference formed 40 years back, in 1975, after a group of women’s ordination advocates met in Detroit. Women’s Ordination Worldwide (WOW), an assembly of international groups supporting women’s ordination, formed in 1996; the U.S. group is a member.
The three-day gathering will assess the place of women in church and society and develop plans to advance their Gospel-based justice agendas. Delegates will also assess advances and setbacks within the movement since the 1970s.
Among the speakers at next week’s gathering will be veteran Catholic feminists Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza and Mary Hunt, Mercy Sr. Theresa Kane and Loretto Sr. Maureen Fiedler. Delegates will also hear from:
- Theologian and archeological researcher Dorothy Irvin;
- British theologian Tina Beattie;
- Australian historian Paul Collins;
- Patricia Fresen, expelled from her order following her illicit ordination in 2004;
- Kristina Keneally, a liberation theologian who writes on women’s issues;
- Ursula King, who writes on women’s spirituality.
“There’s enormous energy going into this conference. It will be historic — a one-of-a-kind gathering,” said Deborah Rose-Milavec, executive director of the Catholic reform group FutureChurch.
Now… check out my old post NUNS GONE WILD for a little more on Teresa Kane.
I sincerely hope that these people are simply crazy and that they don’t really understand what they are up to.
Official Catholic teaching [Get that? “Official” teaching. But these people claim to have their own magisterium, over and against “official” teaching. They pit their “prophetic” message and church against the “institutional” Church and “official” teaching.] forbids women from being ordained priests. [Not quite. It isn’t possible, so to attempt it is a serious sin. Simulation of a sacrament is a grave sin.] Citing centuries of tradition, it holds this is God’s will. Church canons call for stiff sanctions against those who participate in the attempted ordination of a woman. [Isn’t that mean? These are just really mean meanies just making stuff up and imposing it for centuries!]
As the world, especially the West, has moved toward gender equality, a male-only Catholic priesthood is increasingly unacceptable to Catholic feminists, many of whom express ambivalent feelings toward their church — and church reform. [I have a message for them: “Anglican”. Just become Anglicans. You can have everything you want to with them. I’m still waiting for Romanorum coetibus.] They wonder aloud how much energy should they put into reforming their recalcitrant institution when other pressing peace, justice and environmental needs require attention. [Yes… if only they would just go save some endangered snail or bug somewhere. The environment really needs them! Mother Earth needs them!]
However, Catholic feminists — including some who have largely forsaken institutional reform [they are still prophetic, however!] — continue to applaud the work of younger women who have taken on the ordination issue.
[Mercy sister, historian Mary Jeremy Daigler] says there is a large body of historical and archaeological research that credibly puts the earliest Christian ordinations of women at about 125 A.D.
B as in B. S as in S.
In the long history of our Church it is possible to find some loony tune bishop who did something that was so weird that no one else did it and it didn’t get traction. A reference to a lone crazy bishop in some town in the ancient world who ordained a woman doesn’t mean anything. You can probably find a bishop who tried to ordain a ham sandwich, too. You can indict a ham sandwich, but you can’t ordain one.
The women’s ordination story took another notable step in June 2002, when seven women, in violation of church canons, were ordained priests in a ceremony on the Danube River in Europe. [This asks you to accept a premise that the women really were ordained. No. We don’t accept that premise. They were not ordained. They couldn’t then, can’t now, nor will ever be ordained.] One year later, two of the seven were ordained bishops, [ehem] assuring a continuation of this line of priests [ehem] and complicating the ordination movement.
And remember: Pope Francis says “NO”.