15 July 2010

If you can't abuse a child, ordain a woman instead

In another one of those instances where evil triumphs if good people say nothing, the Vatican appears to have shot itself in the foot today by pronouncing that the ordination of women is a grave sin.

And how did the Vatican do this? In what document did they choose to make this important pronouncement? Why, in a document written to deal with the sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. Guardian Article here.

Apparently, on some Planet Ratzinger in a universe of parallel morality far far away, violating the stricture of Church tradition and ordaining women is equal in immorality to sexual abuse of a child. Wow, if that's the case then we really had better get cracking and make sure that we pounce on feminist theologians. We wouldn't them influencing anyone to think that women can usurp the priestly duties and stand as an intermediary between god and Man (capitalizations deliberate).

This has got to be one of the most egregious violations of common sense, decency and natural justice.

I really hate to appear to be some kind of Protestant who makes knee-jerk attacks on the Catholic Church for no good reason. Half of my family is Catholic and I studied theology at a Catholic university.

But sometimes you just have to stand up for what is right. I've heretofore refrained from speaking about the ordination of women in the Catholic Church because I felt that it wasn't my place. Now the Vatican is comparing the ordination of women to the sexual abuse of children. The Vatican has lost the plot although I'm confident that many millions of faithful Catholics have not.

This pronouncement is morally bankrupt.


Doorman-Priest said...

Preach it sister!

Allan R. Bevere said...


I agree with you... and I am one who, in general loves the Catholic church and its theological depth, even though I am in many ways I am a Protestant doctrinally.

It's rather amazing isn't it that the sad (I might say sick) irony seems to be lost on the Vatican.

Fat Prophet said...

more total garbage from the Pope in my opinion.

Steve Hayes said...

" In what document did they choose to make this important pronouncement? Why, in a document written to deal with the sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. Guardian Article here.

I read the Guardisn article, and I am none the wiser.

The question "In what document?" is never answered. It is just "a document". That is some of the worst reporting I have ever seen. It seems that they deliberately hide the identity of the document so that the only thing that you will know about it is the spin they choose to put on it.

To paraphrase Martin Niemoller, "First they came for the Catholics, and I didn't protest because I wasn't a Catholic..."

But what will happen if the Methodists are next?

I'm not saying that what "a document" says is good. But I would like to know what document it is, and be able to see for myself what it says instead of having the opinions of the National Secular Society. Did they read it, or were they just contacted by a Guardian reporter who just gave them the spin on it?

PamBG said...

The document is here: Norme.

In my opinion, the UK press goes after most religious organisations with fairly equal hatred.

I don't see this as being an issue of reporting, though. I have female Catholic friends who have asked me to speak out about women's ordination in the past and I have not done so because I felt that it was not my place as a Methodist. I have some knowledge of the fervor and enthusiasm with which the Catholic Church has sought to identify individuals who are sympathetic to the ordination of women. To be a female theologian who is not in the "EWTN vein" is to be automatically under suspicion. To even speak of women's ordination is now an excommunicatable offense. And the hunting has been enthusiastic.

I sincerely hope/wish that the RCC church is seeking out unreformed priests to whom it has given haven and forgiveness multiple times. I've not yet got that impression. The impression that it has given so far, in my opinion, is that the victims of abuse are perfectly capable of getting over it and that the primary concern is to be forgiving of priests.

I do not wish for harm for the Roman Catholic Church. The more the RCC fails to authentically deal with the issue before it, the more harm is done to Christianity in general.

Steve Hayes said...

OK, I've now seen the English translation of the document, and it makes the Guardian spin even more reprehensible. Gross misrepresentation, in fact.