"But when Christ came as high priest...He entered once for all into the sanctuary, not with the blood of goats and calves but with His own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the sprinkling of a heifer's ashes can sanctify those who are defiled so that their flesh is cleansed, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered Himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to worship the living God."
-Hebrews 9:11-14


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Friday, December 9, 2011

On Women Priests: Part Four

Finally, the last part is up!  Here's Part Four of my essay on women priests and O'Malley's PD article; here are Parts One, Two, and Three for your viewing pleasure if you missed them.

The article continues:

The Women's Ordination Committee, a nonprofit group based in Washington, D.C., that advocates for women priests, said it has 10,000 supporters on its mailing list, half of whom are dues-paying members. The committee estimates there are about 125 women priests in the United States.
The committee's director, Erin Hanna, said her organization does not ordain women, but there at least four groups that do.

One hundred and twenty-five women “priests?”  I’m torn between being depressed that there are so many and being glad that there are so few - does that even make sense?  I’m not sure which one it is.  Anyway, I would like to know just how these “four groups” go about “ordaining” women – ordination requires a bishop, after all, and any bishop who simulates ordination of women is reprimanded and/or excommunicated, as far as I know.  And besides, I thought that bishops had no authority?  In that case, there isn’t even a simulation of ordination by a bishop.

Ann Klonowski, 62, of Independence, was recently accepted into one of the groups, Roman Catholic Women Priests, to study for the priesthood. She expects to be ordained within two to three years.
"A lot of people say, 'This is ridiculous,' " said Klonowski who has a graduate degree in theology from John Carroll University. "Well, it might be, but there won't be any changes unless people stand up on their hind legs.
"I'm reconciled to be a voice in the desert. I don't have to worry about what the institutional church thinks of me. I have to worry about what God thinks of me."
Klonowski must prepare herself not only for the priesthood, but for the excommunication that the Catholic church says is automatic.

Two to three years?  Whatever happened to the requirement that priests need at the very least a four-year degree in Catholic philosophy, plus four more years studying theology?  Perhaps I’m jumping to conclusions here, but I think that this “two to three years” of education is going to be woefully inadequate – not to mention distorted, seeing as they have so many issues with Church authority and Her central teachings.  Yes, it is ridiculous – not only because of the heretical nature of this whole situation, but also because of the obviously woefully deficient education in Church theology and philosophy that they have received or will be receiving, which is never a good thing in any situation.

Moving on!  Ah yes, the whole “voice in the desert” nonsense.  It has a nice ring to it, what with the quoting from the Bible, and it evokes an image of them as the sole voice of Truth in a whirlwind of lies and injustice.  The problem here, however, is that she is simply letting herself be taken by that whirlwind of falsehood that she thinks she is standing up to.  As was already established earlier, she is going up against the Truth itself – the teaching of the Holy Spirit as passed on to us through the Magisterium – and she will never be able to change the Truth as given by God.  In this particular case, standing up to the “institutional church” and its infallible teachings is tantamount to standing up to Christ Himself – a situation no one should ever want to find themselves in.  The very fact that she is prepared to take the excommunication as an acceptable consequence of her actions only highlights the depth of her error.   For her, it seems that the excommunication means nothing, which makes her opinion of Church authority even clearer than it was before – if that was even possible.  But I'm beating a dead horse, really, so: moving on.

The Rev. Roy Bourgeois of Georgia, who has worked with Zeman, supports women priests and has participated in their ordinations. The church considers him excommunicated and he is facing dismissal by his religious order the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers.
The Maryknolls have repeatedly ordered him to recant his position on women priests, but Bourgeois has refused.
"I will not recant," he said in a recent telephone interview. "I will not lie.
"Who are we as men to say that our call to the priesthood is authentic, but God's call to women is not?" he added. "This movement of gender equality is rooted in justice. You can't stop this movement. It's like trying to stop the women's suffrage movement."

Oh, Mr. O’Malley, you’re really making me giggle here.  In the words of a commenter on the PD site: “Not a single (non-heretical) Catholic quoted in the article.  Good job, P-D!”  O’Malley can only find people who support women’s ordination in the fringes of Catholic liberalism; orthodoxy, which is the mark of true and faithful Catholicism, is firmly against his and Zeman’s beliefs and agenda.

On the subject of Father Roy Bourgeois: as you may have read already in the article by Jimmy Akin on the NCR, Bourgeois has consistently and steadfastly refused to adhere to his priestly vows, recognize his error, and recant; another obstinate and misguided soul to add to that sadly growing list.  Bourgeois’ comparison of women’s ordination to women’s suffrage is a pathetic and fruitless attempt to make the priesthood a right in the same way that voting is (and incidentally, it’s also a perfect example of a bad analogy, for the philosophically-minded reading this post); however, I believe we covered this one earlier with that helpful paragraph from the Catechism (1578).  His arguments for women’s ordination have all already been shot down with gruesome finality by the good Mr. Akin (here’s the link again, in case you didn’t get to it the first time), and I consider him to be exactly the same as Ms. Zeman here: completely wrongheaded and in dire need of our prayers for his soul.  I am reminded of that verse from the Gospel of Luke: 

“He said to his disciples, ‘Things that cause sin will inevitably come, but woe to the person through whom they occur.  It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin’” (cf. Lk 17:1-2).

I shudder to think how many well-meaning Catholics Bourgeois and Co. have misled with their rhetoric about equality and independent interpretation.  They certainly haven't helped when it comes to American Catholics, at least judging by the surveys that Mr. O'Malley cited.  That's not to say that they are the sole cause of the average American Catholic's views, but all the same, I find it hard to deny that they had no part in it at all.

I pray that Fr. Bourgeois and Ms. Zeman will come to see the truth before it is too late; in light of their obstinate refusals to cease their heretical and misleading activities, I think it's clear that only the grace of God can reach them now.  Please pray for all those misguided souls who have gone astray, that they may no longer spread division, strife, and misinformation among Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

And that's the end of this essay; I hope you at least found it to be informative and interesting.  In a similar vein, I'm planning on commenting about so-called "Catholic" politicians and whether or not they are true adherents to Church teaching in a later post - not too sure when, but it'll be sometime in the coming month, I should think.  In the meantime, thanks for reading!  Comments and thoughts are thoroughly encouraged and welcomed.

Pax Christi.

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