The ABC was kind enough to send transcripts of the programs it did on these giants of modern Catholicism, so I was able to read what others had to say about the Church’s two newest saints. Much of it was interesting, but some comments verged on the bizarre.CLICK HERE for the full article at The Denver Catholic Register
Dr. Lavinia Byrne (for those unfamiliar with the higher echelons of the British Catholic commentariat) is a former nun whose refusal to concede that the question of ordaining women to the ministerial priesthood was definitively settled by John Paul II in 1994 led to difficulties with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and her eventual departure from religious life. Dr. Byrne was one of those interviewed for the ABC program on John Paul II, and while her animus toward the Polish pope was entirely predictable, what struck me was the following statement, which she made toward the end of the program:
“If in the 1990s, the [Catholic] Church had followed the example of the Anglican communion and had accepted the ordination of women, it would look very different nowadays… . Had there been ordination of women we would not have had parishes that are starved of the sacraments because there simply aren’t enough young men coming forward who are prepared to be celibate and prepared to labor on their own.”
There, in brief, is the Fallacy of Wannabe Anglicanism.
If the experience of Anglicanism in Great Britain is the measure Dr. Byrne proposes, then it is certainly true that “the Catholic Church… would look very different nowadays” if “in the 1990s [it] had followed the example of the Anglican communion and had accepted the ordination of women”—it would look empty. For that is how most Anglican churches in Britain today look on Sunday: empty. There are, of course, many reasons for the collapse of Anglican faith and practice in the U.K.; but there isn’t the slightest shred of evidence that that collapse has been slowed, much less reversed, by the Church of England’s decision to admit women to its ordained ministry.
So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).