Keep in mind that Christ instituted the sacraments during His earthly life. The Church has authority over how they are celebrated. The Church can and has altered the way that they have been celebrated. However, the Church has always been faithful to the Apostolic origins of the celebrations of sacraments and the changes have been made in continuity and not rupture.
Along comes Fishwrap (aka National Schismatic Reporter) which touts a book reviewed by a feminist at a non-Catholic generic seminary in NYC. The writer, Dr. Joseph Martos co-authored four books on spirituality with Fr. Richard Rohr, and has been involved with as Pax Christi and the Southern Poverty Law Center. His involvement in Catholic institutions includes a string of ultra-liberal places, such as St. Norbert’s in De Pere, St. John’s Collegville, CTU (blech). He was in a seminary in the 1960’s and did an STB at the Greg in Rome in 1967-68, so I assume he is an ex-priest.
What does the review say the book says? My emphases and comments.
Given that centuries have passed since the schoolmen fashioned this interpretation of the sacraments [NB: a poorly described version of the Church’s understanding of sacraments], it is time for the church, Martos argues, to reimagine and redesign the sacraments [“you shall be as gods” said the serpent] so that they once again express the genuine spiritual experiences of the Christian community.
Some examples: We should celebrate the sacrament of ordination not as the according of miraculous powers to an individual but as the communal recognition of those who have the skills needed for ministry — preaching, administration, counseling, governance — skills that are not limited by gender or sexual orientation. [NB: reduction of priesthood to tasks, and “recoginition” smacks of Rahner and recognition by celebration of pre-existing realities. The whole nasty business stinks of Schillebeeckx.] Marriage becomes the celebration of the spiritual reality at the heart of a mutually supportive, agape-type relationship, not a purity-based commitment to procreation. [That’s right, get procreation out of there, so that men can inseminate each others orifices and have the Church celebrate their sin.] Reconciliation should mean reaching out into the community to bring alienated groups and individuals together, not an individualist ritual of forgiveness for having broken some rules. [That bad ol’ institutional Church with all its “rules”!] The anointing of the sick, Martos believes, is already an “honest ritual” because the forms have expanded from a ritual exclusively for the dying to a variety of ceremonies, [?!?] in hospitals and nursing homes, at healing Masses in parishes (though the exclusion of women celebrants continues to be a problem). [It’s only a problem if you don’t care about efficacy of sacraments. But get this…] And the Eucharist should become the celebration and affirmation of what brings people together in a particular community around the vision and values of Jesus. Local church communities, under the leadership of local bishops, should implement these changes.
More dangerous garbage from the National Schismatic Reporter.
I refer the readership to my