Saturday, January 12, 2013

Why can or can't women be priests?

My apologies for a long article but it is in response to several requests that I explore the hierarchy’s full protest against our all-powerful God calling women to be priests.  What the hierarchy lacks in logic, consistency and facts it overcompensates with abundance of assertions.  Thus for completeness, it is unavoidably long even in summarized form. 

Given the numerous weak assertions Holy Mother Church uses to construct her argument, it would seem a classic example of Shakespeare’s line, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”  Similarly a December 8, 1995 article in The Catholic Times, the Lansing diocesan newspaper, stated that the Vatican’s increased use of unquestioned obedience to authority to justify not ordaining women, “…may be recognition that theological arguments are not convincing enough to stem Catholic debate on the matter…”  (Thank you to Bishops Povish and Mengeling for publishing the article, and thank you to my dearly departed mom for saving it.)

In unpublished book manuscript form, on Pentecost, 2009 I sent the following concerns to the pope as well as some cardinals and bishops.  Some have responded, others not.  None have addressed a single concern.  As an aside, the 8th Commandment is, “Thou shall not bear false witness.”

Assertion: Jesus only ordained men.
Concern(s): Violates the 8th commandment
Jesus didn’t “ordain” anyone.  When did ordination happen?  Was it at the Last Supper with non-apostles who likely were women present?  In the locked upper room on Easter where women likely were too?  At Pentecost where women were definitely present?  Depending upon which of the following assertions is being used, the “ordination” event shifts.  There is no definitive moment at which Jesus ordained people.  It is constructed from stringing together a series of events at which different people were present, including women.

Assertion: Jesus chose only male apostles.
Concern(s): Violates the 8th commandment
The word “apostle” means “one who is sent.”  Jesus sent Mary Magdalene to bear the most important gospel (good news) message – that of his resurrection.  Therefore, by definition, Jesus chose her as an apostle.  In Mulieris Dignitatem, John Paul II even says, “thus she was called the apostle to the apostles.”  He admits she was an apostle but then tries to diminish her apostleship by creating a non-descript junior apostleship that is somehow less than other apostles.  Though a woman proclaimed the first gospel message, women are not permitted to proclaim the gospel at Mass.

Assertion: If gospels record Jesus doing something, we must literally follow his example forever.
Concern(s): Uses an inconsistent rule
Jesus did select twelve male apostles at one time.  The “male” part is literally interpreted.  The “twelve” part is not.  There are far more than twelve apostles these days.  Also, in the same event in which he named twelve male apostles, he also explicitly told them, “Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give. Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts; no sack for the journey, or a second tunic, or sandals, or walking stick.”

Very few priests are physicians who cure the sick and even fewer have raised the dead, many won’t provide sacramental care unless one has sufficiently contributed to their financial coffers, many have extensive gold and silver possessions, they wear shoes, and they own multiple tunics in numerous colors for every church season.  So, evidently the hierarchy is very comfortable departing from Jesus’ explicit instructions but very uncomfortable departing from “instructions” he never explicitly said.

Assertion: If gospels say Jesus did something with one gender it must be preserved forever.
Concern(s): Uses an inconsistent rule
Jesus only permitted women to anoint him.  “Messiah” means “anointed one.”  Since only women anointed Jesus to acknowledge his messianic calling, women should be the only ones to anoint sacramentally to acknowledge God’s call.  The church anoints for 3 purposes:  acknowledging a call (baptism, confirmation, orders), exorcism (baptism and anointing of sick), and healing (anointing of sick).  Jesus only commissioned the apostles to anoint the sick yet apostles anoint for all 3 reasons.  Consistent use of their rule would have apostles only anointing the sick and women anointing for all other reasons.

Assertion: Jesus instructed the apostles to only have male apostles.
Concern(s): Possibly violates the 8th Commandment and uses an inconsistent rule
In the gospels, Jesus never explicitly said anything about apostles’ gender.  Though he appointed 12 men in one event, he also appointed a single female at his resurrection.  Did he appoint other apostles not recorded in scripture?  The hierarchy infers that Jesus only wanted male apostles and vehemently defends adhering to what Jesus did not explicitly state.  As mentioned earlier, they are very comfortable ignoring things Jesus did explicitly instruct them to do.

Assertion: Scripture doesn’t record any female apostles.
Concern(s): Violates the 8th Commandment
As mentioned earlier Mary Magdalene was an apostle sent by Jesus.  Scripture also speaks of Phoebe, a female deacon (Romans 16:1), Junia, “prominent” female apostle (Romans 16:7) and includes instructions to female deacons mentioned in 1Timothy 3:8-13. 

Assertion:  Oh, those female apostles in scripture….hmmm well, then, the female apostles in Scripture aren’t “real” apostles because they didn’t receive a “laying on of hands” by an apostle.
Concern(s): Uses an inconsistent rule and possible violates the 8th Commandment
The twelve apostles did not receive “laying on of hands.”  Scripture mentions other male apostles without recording that they received laying on of hands also.  In the case of males, the hierarchy are willing to assume there was “laying on of hands” by an apostle but in the case of female apostles, they assume the opposite.  How do they know it didn’t happen?  Also, an apostle did not lay hands upon Paul to commission him as an apostle.  A disciple laid hands upon him to cure his physical blindness.  So, consistent application of their rule says Paul isn’t a valid apostle either.

Assertion:  Apostles have always been men; no women have ever been ordained.
Concern(s): Violates the 8th Commandment
There is scriptural, historical and archaeological evidence that shows numerous women were apostles, especially in the early church.  However, even in recent history, Ludmila Javorova and a few other women were ordained priests during the Cold War so that they could provide sacramental care to hundreds of imprisoned Czech lay women and religious sisters.  Current women priests were ordained by valid bishops in the apostolic succession.  Their ordinations are considered valid but illicit (illegal) because they violated Canon Law.  By the way, Jesus also is associated with breaking religious laws, healing on a Sabbath, and advocating for his disciples to deviate from fasting laws.

Assertion:  If Jesus ordained a woman, it would have been his mom since she’s the most perfect one.
Concern(s): Inconsistent with Jesus’ example and assumes a very unhealthy parent-child relationship
Jesus chose a very rag-tag bunch of men to be apostles.  Peter denied him.  Judas betrayed him. Thomas and Nathanael doubted him.  Several questioned him.  All but one deserted him during his Passion.  They all disobeyed and repeatedly misunderstood him.  Paul and Matthew were despised.  Simon the Zealot was a revolutionary.  James and John were deluded with self-importance.   They were tax collectors and sinners. 

So, why does the hierarchy think Jesus would use a different standard for choosing female apostles than he did for selecting male ones?    Why do they think he would need to choose the most perfect female ever born for an apostle when he had a pattern of choosing incredibly flawed men as apostles?  And, by the way, he did choose a flawed female by the name of Mary Magdalene to be an apostle.  This fixation on perfection in apostle candidates does perhaps belie the hierarchy’s opinion of themselves as a delusional one of self-perfection.

Also, why would a grown man’s most logical choice for one of his closest pals be his mom?  I’m not my kids’ pal; I’m their mom.  And though we have a wonderful parent-child relationship, it would impede their development if I followed them around 24x7.  Why does the hierarchy believe Jesus and his mom would have an unhealthy relationship?  It would seem his mom is the most unlikely versus most likely female apostle he’d choose.

Assertion:  After Judas’ suicide, the apostles replaced him with a man versus Mary, Jesus’ mom.
Concern(s): Inconsistent with Jesus’ example, assumes a very unhealthy parent-child relationship, makes inferences based upon flawed logic, uses inconsistent rules
The hierarchy infers that the next apostle selected would be a female if Jesus wanted female apostles.  This is a logic error. The absence of something occurring in one situation does not prove that it never happened.  As mentioned before, it is inconsistent with Jesus’ example for him to choose his mom as an apostle.  Finally, this is another example of inconsistent rules.  The apostles chose a male to replace Judas but they also chose just one.  They adhered to the number twelve.  Currently there are far more than twelve apostles. 

As an aside, there is tremendous symbolism in the number 12.  The Messiah was supposed to reunite the 12 tribes of Israel.  Israel (Jacob) was a person.  His 12 sons eventually founded 12 tribes – hence the “Twelve Tribes of Israel.”  But he also had one daughter, Dinah.  Does Mary Magdalene represent her – a required entity for completeness in reunifying all of Israel’s scattered children?

Assertion:  The Apostles followed the Lord’s will and wouldn’t depart from his teaching so soon.
Concern(s): Inconsistent with the Apostles’ examples and violates the 8th commandment.
The hierarchy says that the apostles always dutifully followed Jesus’ will.  They assert that if Jesus wanted female apostles, the apostles would not have disobeyed him, especially not so soon after he departed them.  Yet, the gospels record the apostles repeatedly disobeyed Jesus within moments of him telling them something, or did the wrong thing because they misunderstood him.

Indeed, in Mark’s gospel, Jesus chastises the male apostles for ignoring the female apostle that he sent them.  The apostles also fell asleep in the garden when Jesus told them to pray with him for just one hour.  Evidently within an hour of getting an instruction, they messed up.  How many times did Jesus tell the apostles not to tell anyone what they just witnessed only to have them go blab it almost immediately?  How many times did the apostles not recognize Jesus?  In Mark 6, it tells us they completely misunderstood the loaves and fishes example.  O.K., other than these examples maybe they perfectly and immediately followed Jesus’ instructions?

Assertion:  Only men were present at the Last Supper when Jesus instituted Holy Orders.
Concern(s): Possibly violates the 8th commandment, substitutes “apostle” where scripture says “disciple”, and uses inconsistent rules
The specific moment when Jesus instituted Holy Orders is unclear because he never ordained anyone.

The Last Supper is associated with instituting two sacraments: Holy Orders and Eucharist.  If people say only men were at the Last Supper and therefore only men should be eligible for Holy Orders, then they should likewise bar women from receiving the Eucharist.

The four gospels inconsistently depict who attended the Last Supper:

  • Mark says Jesus asked two disciples to prepare the Passover meal and then Jesus “came with the Twelve.”  Since Jesus had female disciples, and since meal preparation was a traditionally female role, the two disciples attending the Last Supper quite possibly were women.
  • Matthew also says disciples prepared the Last Supper. He does say “the Twelve” attended but he doesn’t say only “the Twelve” attended.  In the Eucharist institution narrative, Jesus takes the bread and cup, blesses them and distributes them to the disciples (not apostles) and tells the disciples to “do this in memory of me.” 
  • Luke mentions apostles attending, but doesn’t mention it was just the twelve male ones – allowing that there could be female apostles whom Jesus selected at a different time than the twelve male ones.  He also doesn’t say that apostles exclusively attended.
  • John just says disciples attended.

The hierarchy seems to substitute selectively “apostles” where Jesus said “disciple” but does not permit others to do this.

About eight years before Mark wrote the earliest gospel, Paul wrote a Last Supper account in 1 Cor 11. Pope John Paul II cited this passage in Mulieris Dignitatem to justify excluding women from the priesthood.  However, Paul does not mention who attended the Last Supper at all, much less their gender.  John Paul II inferred that only male apostles were present and that is quite possibly untrue.

Assertion:  Only male apostles were in the Upper Room on Easter evening when Jesus instituted Holy Orders.
Concern(s): Violates the 8th commandment, uses inconsistent rules and substitutes “apostles” where it says “disciple”
In defending the all-male priesthood, John Paul II states, “On Easter Sunday night they receive the Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of sins: ‘Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained’ (Jn 20:23).”  John Paul II assumed “they” were male apostles.  However, John’s gospel says that disciples not apostles were in a locked room. It doesn’t indicate number present or their gender.
Jesus had many female disciples and indeed women remained with him throughout his Passion while almost all the male apostles abandoned him.  Thus, it’s very plausible that female disciples were in the locked upper room on Easter. 

John’s gospel specifically states one of the twelve male apostles, Thomas, wasn’t there.  Yet, somehow, the hierarchy accepts that Thomas, not present at this critical disbursement of the Holy Spirit, was “ordained” a priest while any women present were not. 

Finally, the precise event when Jesus instituted Holy Orders is unclear.

Assertion:  Priests must be male because Jesus married the church.
Concern(s): Incorrectly attributes something to Jesus that he never said
Jesus never referred to the faithful or the church as his bride.  He called himself a bridegroom but referred to the faithful as bridesmaids or wedding guests.  Other people in scripture used an analogy of the church as Jesus’ bride but Jesus never did.  But, scripture also refers to God as female which would make the church male, following this logic.  Finally, what example do priests give for “marrying” the church?  They are said to “marry” their parishes, yet move from parish to parish, especially for promotions.  Thus, they give an example of abandoning wives to take on new “better” ones.  Priests are even encouraged to not establish too strong of emotional attachment to their parish and parishioners which is the opposite of what’s required for a successful marriage.

Assertion:  Women have a different role than men in “begetting” creation and the priesthood is tied to “begetting” creation because of the theological anthropology of the church. 
Concern(s): Strings together a weak argument based upon false or unprovable premises, contains numerous logic errors, uses inconsistent rules, conveys ignorance of human biology
In this argument, the hierarchy states that Jesus marries the church.  As mentioned before, Jesus never said the church was his bride.  Thus, the first foundation to the theological anthropology of the church is highly questionable.

The argument continues that since marriage is between one man and one woman, and since the church is a female and Jesus is a man, a man must take Jesus’ place to “marry” the female church. The hierarchy’s argument accepts that men and women comprise this female church.  It explicitly states that male priests are both the male of Jesus and the female of the church.  Conversely, for some reason, they refuse to permit men and women to play the role of Jesus in this marriage that they manufactured. 

The argument asserts that through Jesus metaphorically copulating with the female church, creation continues.  This is all tied back to the complementary nature of men and women in procreation.  However, the hierarchy states, because male priests can play both roles, laypeople aren’t actually needed for this metaphorical copulation.  Somehow begetting creation can occur with just men acting as both male Jesus and female church.

The hierarchy also believes that it is the sole authoritative voice of the female church.  Thus, they set an example of many men marrying many men in a gender-bender same sex polygamous union.  Somehow men acting as Jesus metaphorically copulate with the same group of men who speak as the voice of the female church, and creation arises from this?  This, they accept and even call “obvious”, but not so for a female representing Jesus.

Jesus, they say, must be physically represented through sacramental symbol.  Jesus is considered present in the Word, priest, Eucharist and people.  But, he is considered most perfectly present in the Eucharist.  Therefore the most perfect presence of his maleness should be through the Eucharist not the priest.

Assertion:  A priest acts “in persona Christi” (in the person of Christ) and only men can do this.
Concern(s): Puts words in Jesus’ mouth, violates individual conscience and psyche, violates the 8th Commandment
At the Last Supper Jesus told the disciples (not apostles) to “Do this in memory of me.”  He did not say to do it “in persona of me.”

Furthermore, it is for a person to determine what and who reminds them most of Jesus’ person.  One of my daughters bears a strong physical resemblance to her father, more so than to me.  Furthermore, telling another what they should think or feel is violence against that person because it invalidates their unique personal experience.

The hierarchy believes a person must have the same sexual organs as Jesus to remind others of Jesus.  However, many faithful find it impossible to see Jesus in men who use those sexual organs to rape children.  They also find it impossible to see Jesus in bishops who ignore, enable, cover-up for, or move such men.  At the same time, the lives of various women easily and readily remind many faithful of Jesus.   Thus, saying that only men can remind people of Jesus’ person is false based upon overwhelming primary evidence to the contrary.

Finally, Pope Benedict issued a motu proprio that said deacons do not act in persona Christi.  So there is absolutely no reason to continue barring ordination of female deacons even if this were a valid assertion.

Assertion:  Though the church patriarchs were sexist, they did not violate women’s rights.
Concern(s): Makes an unsubstantiated assertion and declares it as fact – which is really a violation of the 8th commandment
Inter Insigniores states, “It is true that in the writings of the Fathers, one will find the undeniable influence of prejudices unfavorable to woman, but nevertheless, it should be noted that these prejudices had hardly any influences on their pastoral activity, and still less on their spiritual direction.” 

One cannot prove this statement is true.  Indeed, human nature tells us that it is probably false.  How does one separate one’s actions from their unfavorable prejudices?  How does a person entrapped in their prejudices give a valid appraisal of the impact of their prejudices upon their actions? 

Assertion:  The church lacks authority to ordain women.
Concern(s): Puts words in Jesus’ mouth, uses inconsistent logic, possibly violates the 8th Commandment
Jesus never said anything about the gender of priests.  That is all inferred by church leaders who attribute their thoughts and words to Jesus.  So, the hierarchy says it has the authority to put words in Jesus’ mouth but lacks the authority to remove those same words they inserted.  Furthermore, Jesus gave powers to hold things loosed or bound without adding an exclusionary clause about female priests.  The hierarchy actually uses this “loosed and bound” instruction abundantly and frequently to validate its sweeping powers but then suddenly develops amnesia when the topic of female ordination arises. 

Jesus only gave one limitation to holding all things loosed or bound saying, “Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies that people utter will be forgiven them.  But whoever denies the Holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin (Mk 3:28-29).”   

Assertion:  The church infallibly teaches that women cannot be ordained
Concern(s): Violates the 8th Commandment
The infallibility doctrine has only been employed twice: for the Assumption of Mary and the Immaculate Conception.  “Infallibility” affirms things the church universally and without question accepts.  The catechism states that “the church” is “the people of God.”  Since many of the faithful still have many serious and well-constructed questions, the teachings fail the test for “infallibility”.  To say something is infallible just because you want it to be true or just because you don’t want to talk about it anymore doesn’t make it true, make the questions disappear or address valid concerns. 

Assertion:  Ordination is not a “right.”
Concern(s): Defends a point not being made
People who support female ordinations do not do so because they feel everyone has the right to be ordained.  They do so because they affirm the call of the Spirit in women to the priesthood.  They believe in a God powerful enough to call anyone to do anything, even things the hierarchy can’t imagine. 

Assertion:  Since men can’t be mothers, women can’t be priests.
Concern(s): Compares apples and oranges, relies upon other flawed arguments, draws upon “Venus envy”
There is no valid correlation between women bearing children and being an apostle. This argument says that since God doesn’t allow men to conceive and bear children, it’s a great inequality that God corrects by not allowing women to be priests.  God had a very clear way of indicating men can't bear children. The physical equipment package is absent.  The priesthood requires no physical equipment package but those with "Venus envy" create one by concocting the "church anthropology" notion. But as mentioned above, that is an argument that does not hold water using the hierarchy's own logic.

Assertion:  People can’t just declare they are apostles and demand ordination.
Concern(s): Uses an inconsistent rule and violates the 8th Commandment
Paul declared himself an apostle based upon his direct audible interaction with the risen Christ.  So, there is precedent for declaring one’s self an apostle.  Furthermore, many people see and affirm the priestly charism in women.  Thus, women desiring ordination are not demanding it.  It is the people’s affirmation of the Spirit that validates their call and this working of the Spirit should not be denied. 

The hierarchy created a rule that it is the sole arbiter of affirming priestly vocations.  “We make the rules and we made a rule that says the only people allowed to join our group are people we say can join it.”  If priests “marry” the church, then this is a forced, arranged marriage in which the female has no say in choosing her spouse, or it further reinforces the precedent the priesthood sets for same sex unions wherein the male hierarchy acting as Christ marries the male hierarchy acting as the church. 

Finally, scripture says the only unforgiveable sin is that of denying the Spirit.  By saying it has the only valid discernment of the Spirit, the hierarchy denies the Spirit working through multitudes of people.

Assertion:  The hierarchy’s affirmation of priestly vocations is the only valid one because Jesus appointed Peter the Church’s dictator by telling him whatever he held loosed would be held loosed.
Concern(s): Uses an inconsistent rule and violates the 8th Commandment
Jesus did grant Peter authority to hold things loosed or bound in MT 16.  But he also granted all disciples (not Apostles) authority to hold things loosed or bound in MT 18.  The hierarchy repeatedly reminds people of the first but rarely if ever mentions the latter incident.  As mentioned previously, this assertion of having received supreme sweeping powers conflicts with the assertion that the hierarchy lacks authority to ordain women.

Jesus also advised the Apostles (not the disciples) not to “lord it over” others and to be servants of all (MT 20).  Saying one group is better attuned to the Spirit seems to deny the Spirit which Mark 3 indicates is unforgiveable.  Maybe that is why in Mark 9:38-39 Jesus admonished the apostles for trying to stop someone from driving out demons in Jesus’ name simply because they didn’t belong to their clique.  Perhaps denying the Spirit is considered unforgiveable because it rapes others’ internal souls, forcibly crushing and invalidating their deepest most intimate experiences of God, and ultimately causing unbearable pain and detachment from God.  

Assertion:  Bishops take the place of Christ himself so they teach infallibly about the faith.
Concern(s): Borders on deifying bishops, expands the Creed, expands Jesus’ instruction
We all are the Body of Christ and carry Jesus within us but none of us are a perfect replica of Jesus.  To say that when a bishop speaks he always perfectly speaks Jesus’ words, denies the bishop his humanity.  This is dangerously close to turning bishops into gods. 

Furthermore, the Creed expresses our faith which says we “believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic church.”  The “one” church is the notion that Christ only has one body and the church is the Body of Christ.  The fragmentation of that body into factions is human-made.  The “holy” part means God is present walking with the pilgrim church towards ultimate reconciliation with God.  “Catholic” means universal and is a concept naturally emerging from Christ having only one body.  If there is just one body of Christ, then it must be universal.  “Apostolic” means it is handed down generation to generation by people who were apostles (those who are sent). 

We do not profess to an infallible, all-male clergy as part of our faith.  The hierarchy asserts that those are implicit in a holy and apostolic church.  However, since the first apostles didn’t always correctly understand Jesus or perfectly obey him, and since Jesus did have a female apostle, it is puzzling that the hierarchy jumps to such a conclusion.  Furthermore, repeatedly history shows the hierarchy actually taught the faith incorrectly such as their centuries-long condemnation of truth regarding earth orbiting the Sun.

In contrast, we do profess to believe in one all-powerful God, a God with powers greater than the minds of the hierarchy, a God who can call people to what humans believe "impossible." "For nothing is impossible with God" the angel Gabriel tells us.

Finally, as a parent, I used to give the babysitter authority to hold things loosed or bound in my absence but that didn’t mean I declared them infallibly correct on all matters.  It also didn’t mean they were me.  It just meant they were in charge until I returned.  The hierarchy infers a lot about what it means to hold things loosed or bound.

Assertion:  Priests are sacramental symbols of Jesus and must include his maleness.
Concern(s): Inconsistent with other church teachings
Jesus is considered present in the Eucharist, Word, priest and people but most perfectly present in the Eucharist.  The church teaches that the Eucharist is the most perfect presence of Jesus’ body, blood, soul and divinity.  Thus, logic says that the Eucharist already has all of Jesus’ maleness.  If Jesus’ maleness is truly needed, it is not required to be present in the priest because it is already perfectly present in the Eucharist.

Assertion:  The “Trinitarian Argument”: Jesus prayed to God and the Spirit told him “only men.”
Concern(s): Uses inconsistent rules and violates the 8th Commandment
Jesus also sent Mary Magdalene (a female) as an apostle.  One could assume this involved God and the Spirit as well.  Regardless, there seems to be an overwhelming lack of consideration that Jesus chose other apostles not recorded in scripture.  If he did not, then the hierarchy violates Jesus’ selection of only 12 by having far more than 12 apostles now.

Assertion: 1 Cor 14:33-35 clearly bars women from speaking in church.
Concern(s): Ignores other instructions by Paul, uses inconsistent rules
In 1 Cor 14:33-35 Paul writes, "As in all the churches of the holy ones, women should keep silent in the churches, for they are not allowed to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says.  But if they want to learn anything, they should ask their husbands at home.  For it is improper for a woman to speak in the church."  

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ online bible notes that 1 Cor 11:5 and 1 Cor 11:13 both indicate women do speak and prophesy in church. They say respectively, "But any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled brings shame upon her head..." and, "Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head unveiled?"

Furthermore, these instructions by Paul about women and their hair are completely ignored.  Thus, there is inconsistent literal application of Paul’s instructions.  Finally, in Gal 3:28 we read the insignificance of gender as pertains to our faith, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free persons, there is not male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." 

Assertion:  It is heresy and dissent to call for female priests.
Concern(s): And???
Many people we call saints today were once called heretics or dissenters in their day.  Mother Mary MacKillop, was excommunicated in 1871 for her outcry against pedophile priests.  In October, 2010 Pope Benedict XVI canonized her as a saint and named her the patron saint of abuse victims.  She joins a long list of saints whom church leaders once censured, persecuted, excommunicated or killed before later canonizing them.  The list includes St. Joan of Arc, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Bernadette of Lourdes, St. Theodore Guerin,   St. Teresa of Avila, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Dominic, and St. John of the Cross.  Dorothy Day, the social justice advocate who is on track for sainthood, also was dismissed by Cardinal Spellman.  Thus, it seems like those labels aren’t that damning.

Those are the 28 arguments protesting the concept of God calling women priests that I recall right now.  If I missed any, please let me know and I will address them.  But because we believe in an all-powerful God who can call anyone to do anything, the burden of proof is on the hierarchy to prove that God would never use his powers in this way.  As The Catholic Times noted back in 1995, the hierarchy with its 28 element argument has not proven its case against God’s powers. 

My undergraduate degree is in computer science and therefore required mastering logic.  Sadly, the hierarchy’s case against women priests would not pass the most introductory courses in logic I took.  The hierarchy might then refer to 1 Cor 1:22-25 and dismiss logic since they lack a logical case.

For Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.  For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

But then one must wonder why the hierarchy tries to use logic to prove that God wouldn’t do something that they as humans find so foolish, as to call women to the priesthood.


By the way, the "because I said so" tact isn't working either.  Having failed using logic and then power, a new tactic is in use now.  A small army of people repeats a few talking points that usually involve belittling, taunting, disparaging, or damning others.  They are trained to "troll" the internet and bombard anything that might support women's ordination or other topics they believe are "unfaithful."  Sometimes, the same person assumes multiple names to appear as though there are more people outraged by the concept of female ordinations than are.  Regardless, you start to see the same angry rants in multiple places by the same people.  This crowd has been the source of sending me "hate mail" and similarly spirited comments to my blog.  Basically, logic failed, power failed so now they are resorting to bullying tactics and name-calling. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

"Ordain a Lady" video

Happy New Year!

Some friends of mine created this video.  It's a parody of Carly Rae Jepsen's popular song, "Call Me Maybe" called, "Ordain a Lady."  Carly Rae's signature lyric of "Hey, I just met you and this is crazy, but here's my number so call me maybe." is changed to, "Hey, I was baptized and this is crazy.  God just called me, so ordain a lady."  That lyric alone showcases the very concerning point that though God calls people directly, the church's patriarchy tries to control what God says.  Yet, in reality, the bishops have not, do not and will not control what God asks anyone to do.

I thought this blog's followers might enjoy the video so I share the link.  I've already sent the link to my bishop as well as posted on Facebook.  If you feel so inspired, please do likewise.

I hope your 2013 is off to a joyous start.