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.
Imagine the amazing insights Sr. Maureen Fiedler can offer. HERE Note the energy and fervor edition Fishwrap publisher Tom Fox puts into it. HERE
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”.
Given the events since March 2013, let alone the last couple weeks, I fear cleaving to “Pope Francis says “NO” is insufficient insurance against tragedy. This could be one of those situations of lips uttering “no” while “yes” is communicated with the eyes. Nothing appears impossible to me when some of my worst fears for the Church are realized with greater frequency than a nightmare.
God reward your unflinching reportage and perspective.
I just reread Ungodly Rage by Donna Steichen, published in 1991. In addition to finding a unexpected mention of my high school as a place where kids are properly educated, I see that Fiorenza and Hunt, and possibly others, have been fighting this battle for a very long time. They are mentioned frequently. I wonder how many of the speakers are witches, or at least New Age spiritualists. I also wonder why they think they have any hope of winning a war that’s been going on for fifty years without a battle won.
(I must confess it was amusing to read about the 80s femenists decrying how terrible and mean JPII and Cardinal Ratzinger were, now that they’re Saint the Great and Benedict XVI.)
there is a large body of historical and archaeological research
If such research existed it would have gone viral, like anything else that people think can invalidate Catholicism.
Every time I see the abbreviation NCR, I always have to ask myself what the R stands for. If Register, all is well. If Reporter, all bets are off.
Wow!! Five hundred Catholic activists from AROUND THE WORLD!!!
Sounds like a whole horde of them, doesn’t it? At approximately 196 nations in the world, that’s about 2 1/2 activists per nation. Think we should worry?
And yet…squeaky wheels, and all that. Damage can still be done.
“Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.”
I guess st. John Paul II wasn’t clear enough?
the Australian mentioned in the list is the go to man for all Aus mainstream media, whenever http://www.abc.net.au on radio or television want a ‘ Catholic Expert’ they do not call for an orthodox priest or theologian but the abovenamed gentleman.
god forbid this ever were to get up and I were to (not that I would ever consent to attaining what is not mine to attain) wind up a ‘Presbytrix’,
1. I would turn the altars around
2. would place the house of God once again front and centre in God’s house,
3.would stress exactly who and what the Eucharist truly is – the precious body and blood, soul and divinity of our Lord jesus Christ, to be received fitly
4. would discard anthropocentric hymns that emphasis ‘ I’, ‘ we’, ‘me’, ‘ us’ etc. and would have no fear of reminding the congregation that we serve Father, Son and Holy Spirit, remind the faithful of the basics of a chaste, sober, modest Catholic life in liturgy and the everyday,
5. Oh, and judiciously wear a biretta (or in my case headcovering during liturgy and prayer, 6. encouraging public recitation of the Rosary, adoration of the blessed sacrament, processions, 40 hour vigils, active corporal works of mercy especially to those unexpectedly with child, the elderly, the sick, the poor, the homeless, those with disabilities and the terminally ill….living out Matt 23:23 and Matt 25: 34-40 However, as this is not my role, I will pray for these things instead, and for this cohort to return to the truths foundational to Catholic Christianity. I wonder, are there any Eastern Church, Asian, African or Anglican Ordinariate folk in this cadre of 500?????? or is it made up of first world, comfortable, boomer, hippy revolutionaries who are still awaiting the summer of love? Just wait them out, people, and more seriously, pray and fast for the lot of them, especially ESF; if only she could realise that equal and same are NOT identical, and throw her lot at the feet of Our Lady! Let us implore the ultimate lady we have recourse to, Blessed Mary ever Virgin to give these folk a more than subtle nudge towards the truth of Her Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Two names immediately jumped out at me. 1) Tina Beattie who ‘lectures’ in Theology at a college in Wolverhampton which used to be a women’s Teacher Training College. Of course they are all Universities now!
2) Paul Collins, ex priest, who is always called upon for his views by our local Australian Broadcasting Commission whenever they want to attack the Catholic Church.
The name of Tina Beattie has been mentioned several times here and there has always been mention of that lovely spoof of her written by the wife of a Deacon in the uk, entitled “If Tina Beattie is a Catholic then I’m a banana”.
I live in Philadelphia and according to their website, this meeting will take place at the Marriott at 13th and Market Streets, near the convention center the 18th-20th right before the World Meeting of Families. Naturally I will not be attending but I will make a point to attend Eucharistic Adoration at the nearby St. John the Evangelist Church (one block from the Marriott) while they’re meeting and will be praying the Rosary and the St. Michael Chaplet for the conversion of these buffoons. St. John’s has Eucharistic Adoration all day up until their 5:15 daily Mass in the lower Church. By the way, if you can stomach looking at this group’s website, their logo for this meeting shows the Eucharist turned into the symbol of a woman (circle with upside down cross underneath) against a circular rainbow spectrum that looks an awful lot like that gay pride flag. St. Michael, defend us!
I wonder whether National Schismatic Reporter is becoming to flattering a name. Okay, let the theologians sort out whether, at this time of development of Church doctrine, the term “heresy” technically applies, but for all practical matters…
That said, though this here is a (rather remarkable) exception, much of that discussion is fueled by the fact that, though we all know women can’t be ordained deacons (in the sense in which a deacon is a deacon) either, that has not yet definitely been ruled out. Hence the unnaturally technical cry for women’s ordination, at least in the title, rather than “women priests” as used to be the case before 1993.
So, my utmost humblest advice would be: there seems to be a somewhat open question which influential people are eager to get answered. So, what to do? Well, maybe: answer it: if the deaconate too is ruled out, for women, by way of dogma, we might see that an actual dogma still has an interesting force of settling people’s minds… though this here is, as I said, an exception.
I suppose that this movement is the logical result of the doctrine that “you can be anything you want to be”. Me, I’d really like to be Napoleon, could the Holy Spirit kindly arrange that?
Yes, I’ve seen the videos on YouTube. I am not sure whether the participants are behaving and dressing as they do because they have an uneasy feeling that they should not act like real priests, or because they have absolutely no sense of the ridiculous.
When I was a toddler, and I threw a hissy fit in a store because Mommy wouldn’t buy what I wanted, I got a smack on the rump. It taught me the lesson (to borrow a line from the Rolling Stones) “You can’t always get what you want.” That lesson has served me in good stead throughout my life.
These people who yammer on and on about women priests remind me of that toddler throwing a hissy fit.
in fairness, this is not what it is. In charity we need to assume, and there’s a good chance that it is in many cases the actual fact, that these women would be quite humble and willing to stick to their knitting personally, if only some other, better qualified woman would be ordained priestess instead. Or if they only believed, as the Church believes, that proceeding to priesthood isn’t part of their knitting.
What drives them is that they hold the restriction of priesthood to the male sex to be an injustice; and even if there should be other undercorrents flowing around within them (which is, if at all, for the psychologists to decide), the issue is not going away just because we might detect a triggering undercurrent. Doctrinal issues are always solved, and can only be solved, by answering them; not by telling the questioners what brings them even to think of the question.
It has not helped, of course, that concerning female equality, Catholic apologists are a bit caught on their wrong foot: and they answer, when pressed: yes, the Catholic Church is “of course” for sex equality in everything (everything? and what about infantrywomen?), just that little thing, this priesthood, we are forced, by the institution of our Lord (would He have done otherwise!), as witnessed by the tradition of the Church (would they have done otherwise!), not to admit women… but in everything else…
It goes without saying that this is be honest enough an attitude of a faithful Catholic (our duty is to believe everything; we are not accountable for our reluctance when doing so), but such as it is it has about zero convincing power.
Which means, there will be people who don’t accept it; and there will, which is probably worse, be people who will use it as a pretense, or a real reason, for not accepting Catholicism.
The only solution, as far as I see, is to positively stick to a concept of manhood and womanhood which (it cannot be denied) will in some aspects be (oh, the shock!) the traditional one (but, you can be relieved, not in every aspect*), and then explain why being a priest is a male thing to do.
[* The idea of the homemaker and queen of the house is largely 19th century upper class; in (what at least appears in some respect as) the real stronghold of traditional Catholicism, the rural population, the farmer’s wife was always a worker. Indeed farmers used to say “my farmeress” when they meant “my wife”, around here. Also, the amount of segregation of the sexes reported to be in use, back in the days, to ensure chastity is not actually demanded by morality, nor does all that seem to have been practiced in Catholic countries.]
Teresa Forcades is a speaker? So do they also support abortions as well, because isn’t that what this “nun” is famous for?
I wonder where all those voices insisting the SSPX are “in the Church” and only irregular have gone? The National Catholic Reporter hasn’t been officially declared in schism, shouldn’t they be jumping on Father for daring to use that word? Sure they are “disobedient, but not the equivalent of protestants, which is what so many seem to infer. If a child is disobedient in your home, do you say he is not in full communion with the family? No, you properly say they are disobedient. (moon1234).” I’m not defending NCR. Only calling for consistency from some commenters here. Or is “disobedience” not schism when you personally like the disobedience?
We must let them have their rant, after all, they’ve got to be pretty sad that Pope Francis just sent a new bishop up there way who isn’t too keen on such foolishness! Deus vult!
Dear Nathan, you know, the National Catholic Reporter is a newspaper, not an organization. I guess we just know how to treat a quip when we see one – even an earnest quip, such as this one, indicating sharp disagreement in earnest.
That said, publishing on along such lines as here nmay earn them a rather not so rhetorical “National Heretic Reporter” in due course.
Like redefining marriage, this has nothing to do with making the church better, and everything to do with destroying it.
CNN’s website had a similar editorial. In that opinion the route to reach that goal begins with the ordination of married Priests. An extrapolation is that goal will have its origins with married Deacons leading “Sunday Mass in the Absence of a Priest.”
“explain why being a priest is a male thing to do.”
This is becoming increasingly difficult as Catholics are being culturally forced to accept that a man can take the place of the bride in the Domestic Church. Sodomite “marriage” and lesbian “ordination” are really two sides of the same anti-sex coin.
The perfect reply to the question of, “Why can’t a woman be a priest?” is “For the same reason that a man can’t be a mother.” Any child is satisfied with this answer because a child innately understands the dignity of motherhood. But it no longer satisfies Catholics who have been taught that motherhood is a humiliation, and competition with men is what gives dignity to a woman.
Perhaps we need a Theology of Woman that will protect the priesthood of man, in the same way that Marian theology protects the divinity of Christ?
JARay – “…Tina Beattie who ‘lectures’ in Theology at a college in Wolverhampton …”
Speaking as a Wulfrunian non-banana, I have had an entertaining five minutes imagining Tina Beattie doing her shopping in Wolverhampton. She would be totally flummoxed by their irregular verbs, flat Midland vowels and distinctive intonation. The fun came to a rapid end when I checked online and found that Mrs. Beattie is still in Roehampton.
A lot of energy? I doubt it. Will there be anyone under the age of 70 there? How many walkers and canes do you think will be seen? Although the present pontiff does seem to have a soft spot in his heart for this elderly liberals who do not like Church teaching…
I see that the next bishop of the relevant diocese is a canon lawyer.
I hope that he is able to provide a properly pastoral solution to the NCR.
My first thought on hearing mention of Sr Theresa Kane, “Whoa, you mean she’s still alive?” I remember when she chastised Pope John Paul in 1979. Still at it after all these years.
The cat may have kittens in the oven but that doesn’t make them biscuits.
Women cannot be ordained. These women are wasting energy on a completely lost cause when there is some good in the world that they could do. Too bad. They have rejected authentic femininity and all the gifts that women definitely do have to share, and instead have adopted the male model as the only desirable template for career and behavior. This is the irony of feminism, and I have never understood it, nor why so many women fall victim to the siren call. I shouldn’t say just women, since there are apparently so many men, probably fearful little men, who like to cheerlead for this type of lunacy. Some people just don’t like being told no, and they expend an awful lot of energy for just that reason. Oh well. It’s their life to spend as they wish.
Were they to accomplish something, and they won’t, they would find angry hordes of Catholic women who would fight against them.
Evidence of women’s ordinations in 125 AD is as useful as the gnostic “gospels” and the discredited James ossuary.
The former are not even contentious. We know many gnostic writings genuinely do date back to that time, but have been widely recognized as heretical with no apostolic lineage. Basically, they came from gnostic writers who thought this Christianity thing was a handy bandwagon to be on, and started formulating their various teachings to roughly fit the loosest narratives of Christianity.
Of course, the finer details were all way off. Star Wars fan fiction is more consistent than the gnostic texts are.
In fact, it sounds like the gnostic texts are the actual 2nd century reference they are claiming as proof of 2nd century woman priests:
“Anoher gnostic leader, Marcion, appointed women on an equal basis with men as priests and bishops. The gnostic teacher Marcellina traveled to Rome to represent the Carpocratian group, which claimed to have received secret teaching from Mary, Salome, and Martha. “
Maybe if these woman want to rely on sources more coherent than the gnostic gospels, they should look elsewhere:
I don’t understand this phenomenon at all. If women could be ordained, in contravention of the church’s perennial teaching, that would mean that the sacraments are man-made. But if the sacraments are man-made, why would anyone want to be a priest? Why not be a social worker or a politician or a college administrator, if the church is no more than a human institution?
That is gold. You deserve the gold star for the day. Absolutely spot on– to imagine the good they COULD be doing instead of chasing after fantasies…
Only calling for consistency from some commenters here.
The reality is that Rome since the Council has been exceedingly reluctant to ever use the word “schism,” a word that prelates across a remarkable slice of the spectrum dread. Even with the SSPX they have been reluctant to use the word to describe anything but the 1988 consecrations.
At some point, we’re left to wonder just what it takes to qualify as schismatic. In our ecumenical age, the word has become treated like poison ivy, no matter how much it describes an actual reality. And it’s becoming hard to find a major dogma or doctrine that doesn’t get challenged or rejected in the NCR at some point.
In fact, it sounds like the gnostic texts are the actual 2nd century reference they are claiming as proof of 2nd century woman priests:
Why not? There’s no more determined group of gnostics than the women’s ordination advocates.
They’re certainly not Christians. It’s a different religion.
I believe the Hierarchy doesn’t understand the damage done when this stuff is allowed to go unchecked. First it send the message that essential beliefs and their inevitable consequences regarding behavior and actions are up for negotiation. Second, it undermines those who strive to Obey. Obedience can be difficult…. especially in the face of cultural and societal pressure. When the Hierarchy doesn’t defend those who strive to obey by NOT reinforcing right belief and right actions they are, in effect, abandoning their flocks.
So not confronting the NCR, the Nuns on the Bus, Catholic Nuns who facilitate abortion, the Politicians who consider Abortion a “sacrament” they are, in effect, destroying the faithful from within.
Sorry, but I’m more than a little discouraged.
I call myself a feminist. Not, mind you, a femi-Nazi. I just don’t want women to be regarded as property, etc, etc. I also call myself a Catholic.
This nonsense of “women’s ordination” and the fact these people claim that women can’t have any worth in the Church unless they’re a priest makes me upset. I’m not a priest. What does that make me in their eyes, chopped liver? Oh, I wear a veil, too. I must be a poor, oppressed woman laboring against the Church’s male hierarchy.
Balderdash. I know my Church values me and I have my role. Just as Father and Monsignor and the Deacons do. It’s just different.
Speaking of the “ordination” of women, I sadly learned of this group with the Diocese of Albany just last night
They show a simulated ordination that took place on 06.27.15 and link to another site with more details.
Some of the highlights of both sites include:
– A new creed (they call a “Belief Statement”) that does not mention Jesus’ divinity or the Holy Spirit
– Purposeful use of “Kin-dom” in leiu of Kingdom.
– Hosting a Thomas Merton prentation / one man play at the Bishop Hubbard Interfaith Sanctuary at the College of St. Rose.
– Referring to Rabbi Jesus
– stating that St. Therese of Liseaux wanted to be a priest, confronted the patriarchy and “considered her death at age 24 a gift because 24 is the age she would have been ordained had she been male.”
– This statement: “As our consciousness expands of our evolving cosmos, we rejoice that there are 18 galaxies for every person and that our bodies are made of stardust. Every place we turn we join the mystical dance of creation, celebrating our connection and oneness with all living beings in divine love. ”
This is so sad and offends all sensibilities. My wife was even more disturbed and saddened when she stubbled upon this. She likened it to the same delusion of the geriatric transgendered pateint she delt with that day in the hospital who needed nursing home care. A rejection of maleness and femaleness on both accounts.
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language usage is a tyrant: what you describe is not usually called feminism.
(The idea of women being property of their husbands and fathers quickly gave way once Christianity arrived on the scene; even outright slavery and serfdom of both sexes – to some lord (or sometimes lady), not a male relation – survived much longer than that one.)
reluctance to use the terminology of schism is not due to any modern tendency, but the fact that schism, while easy enough a thing in theory, occurs rather rarely* in practice, and if it does it is not easily diagnoseable.
Quoth the Catholic encyclopedia on schism,
[…] as St. Jerome remarks, practically and historically, heresy and schism nearly always go hand in hand; schism leads almost invariably to denial of the papal primacy. Schism, therefore, is usually mixed, in which case, considered from a moral standpoint, its perversity is chiefly due to the heresy which forms part of it.
and hence we classify suchlike as heretics, looking chiefly at the heresy that separates them from us, and may note in passing that they are also schismatics;
not every disobedience is a schism; in order to possess this character it must include besides the transgression of the commands of superiors, denial of their Divine right to command.
which is in practice rare among Catholics.
[*] The somewhat artificial exception is Germany, where a lot of people declare to State authorities that they have left the Church, which ends their tax obligation to the same. Thus they obviously become schismatics (though some, with i.m.h.o. confused arguments, have doubted it), while continuing to identify as Christians (hence not apostates) and not necessarily deny Church dogmas (just not thinking about them – or if they do so and deny them, not adding enough publicity), hence are not officially heretics.
Your clear and succinct response regarding schism should be awarded a star. It shows both the murky waters surrounding the defininition and application of the term and the lurking danger involved in leaving the barque of Peter. Thank you.