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).

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Roman Catholic Womenpriests. Not.

Well, the recent "Church" of England (CofE) approval of women bishops certainly complicates ecumenical relations between Anglicans and Catholics. By introducing yet another innovation, Anglicans have also distanced themselves further from the eastern national churches.

It would be far too easy to focus on the plank in the Anglican eye without first putting a finger in the eye of, er... examining the behaviour of those misguided souls who share much in common with their European and North American Anglican sisters. Those souls being the group most frequently serving up scandal, i.e., Roman Catholic Womenpriests. Roman Catholic Womenpriests are, indeed, women. They are not, however, Roman Catholic nor are they Catholic priests. They are far closer to Anglicans than they are to the Church of Rome. For one, they believe they can vote on doctrine that simply may not be altered. That they believe they can alter what Christ has established is really a most dangerous kind of pride.

—Why is it that dissenters do not have the courage to leave the Church when, clearly, they hate the Church and behave like wrecking balls? Why is it that groups like Roman Catholic Womenpriests (RCWPs) insist on spreading half-truths to bolster their claims and in so doing mock the Church founded by Jesus Christ?

Let's have a look at what RCWPs say about themselves.
"Roman Catholic Womenpriests are at the forefront of a model of service that offers Catholics a renewed priestly ministry in vibrant grassroots communities where all are equal and all are welcome. The voice of the Catholic people---the sensus fidelium---has spoken. We women are no longer asking for permission to be priests. Instead, we have taken back our rightful God-given place ministering to Catholics as inclusive and welcoming priests."—from the RCWPs website.
"Where all are equal and all are welcome."

All are equal in the Catholic Church by virtue of our baptism in Christ. However, equality does not mean sameness. There are distinctions within the Church established by Christ. We read about some of those distinctions made by Christ and the Apostles in the Gospels and the Apostolic letters. We read about the Apostles making deacons—all male deacons, that is. We discern Christ's distinction between the Twelve and other disciples. We read about the Apostles, under the authority of Peter, who chose Matthias (a man) to fill the place left by Judas Iscariot. The Apostles could have chosen women who were witnesses to the Resurrection, but they didn't, and, contrary to the position put forth by RCWPs, did so not because they were bound by social convention. The Apostles were following the example of their Master and Lord.

The example set by Christ and the Church's model of nearly 2000+ years of continuous theology and practice points to an obvious reality. Obvious, that is, to any faithful Catholic: only baptized males can be ordained.
  • Priestly ordination, which hands on the office entrusted by Christ to his Apostles of teaching, sanctifying and governing the faithful, has in the Catholic Church from the beginning always been reserved to men alone. This tradition has also been faithfully maintained by the Oriental Churches.
  • When the question of the ordination of women arose in the Anglican Communion, Pope Paul VI, out of fidelity to his office of safeguarding the Apostolic Tradition, and also with a view to removing a new obstacle placed in the way of Christian unity, reminded Anglicans of the position of the Catholic Church: "She holds that it is not admissible to ordain women to the priesthood, for very fundamental reasons. These reasons include: the example recorded in the Sacred Scriptures of Christ choosing his Apostles only from among men; the constant practice of the Church, which has imitated Christ in choosing only men; and her living teaching authority which has consistently held that the exclusion of women from the priesthood is in accordance with God's plan for his Church.
—St. John Paul II, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis.
"All are welcome."

Contrary to what the RCWPs statement implies, all ARE welcome in the Catholic Church. While there is plenty of room for all kinds of sinners in the Catholic Church, not all kinds of behaviours are appropriate for christians. Certain behaviours—e.g., fornication, adultery, homosexual acts, contraceptive intercourse—are not to be praised. We are called to turn away from sin and embrace the soul-saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Church offers the Sacrament of Penance to those who fall short of the Gospel. Which is to say, all of us from time to time. Men and women experiencing same-sex attraction (SSA) are no less welcome in the Church than heterosexuals. The gay lifestyle cannot, however, be blessed.

"The sensus fidelium has spoken."

No, not really. RCWPs have corrupted the definition of sensus fidelium to fit their agenda. Their conclusions then, based on that corrupted definition, appear to be reasonable. However, RWCPs are relying on a lack of critical investigation into their tactics in order for their agenda, which does not in any way represent the sensus fidelium as understood by the Church, to be disseminated among unsuspecting or willfully ignorant people.
  • "The nature and location of the sensus fidei or sensus fidelium must be properly understood. The sensus fidelium does not simply mean the majority opinion in a given time or culture....The sensus fidelium is the sensus fidei of the people of God as a whole who are obedient to the Word of God and are led in the ways of faith by their pastors. So the sensus fidelium is the sense of the faith that is deeply rooted in the people of God who receive, understand and live the Word of God in the Church." Pope Benedict, Address to the International Theological Commission.
  • A better way to think of the sensus fidelium is in terms of what Catholics have always and everywhere believed, even when this belief had yet to be defined by a council or a pope.
  • There are many doctrines of the Church that fit into this category: teachings never defined formally, but which have always simply been part of the patrimony of the Church. John Paul II asserted, for example, in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis that the reservation of the priesthood to men was one such teaching. It was affirmed by what is sometimes called the “universal magisterium of the Church.” It had never before been formally defined, but it was always and everywhere taught and accepted as de fide (a matter of faith).
  • Consider this claim in light of what would have happened if a bishop had taken a “poll” of American attitudes on this question in, say, St. Petersburg, Florida, or Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
  • The sensus fidelium cannot merely be a slice of Church opinion right here and right now, because the Church is not merely the Church of right here and right now. The Church extends throughout the world, across cultures, and throughout history. She looks always to the future coming of Christ, grounding her present choices in the wisdom passed on to us in Scripture and Tradition in fidelity to the Spirit who continually guides her.
Randall Smith, The Proper Sense of the Sensus Fidelium. The Catholic Thing.
Pope St. John Paul II is quoted in the same article:
  • The sensus fidelium as Pope St. John Paul II made clear, “does not consist solely or necessarily in the consensus of the faithful. Following Christ, the Church seeks the truth, which is not always the same as the majority opinion.” “The Church values sociological and statistical research,” continues the pope, “when it proves helpful in understanding the historical context in which pastoral action has to be developed and when it leads to a better understanding of the truth.”
  • CLICK HERE: Vatican theologians: don’t confuse sensus fidelium with majority opinion/Catholic Herald, UK.
RCWPs—"Yes, we have challenged and broken the Church's Canon Law 1024, an unjust law that discriminates against women. Despite what some bishops may lead the faithful to believe, our ordinations are valid because we are ordained in apostolic succession within the Roman Catholic Church."—from the RCWPs website.
So then, just ignore Tradition because the Womenpriestesses say so. Just ignore the canons and the authority of Bishops in communion with Rome. Bishops, perhaps, who fully understand Canon 1024?
  • Can. 1024 A baptized male alone receives sacred ordination validly.
  • Can. 1025 §1. To confer the presbyteral or diaconal orders licitly, it is required that the candidate, having completed the period of probation according to the norm of law, is endowed in the judgment of his own bishop or of the competent major superior with the necessary qualities, is prevented by no irregularity and no impediment, and has fulfilled the prerequisites according to the norm of cann. 1033-1039. Moreover, the documents mentioned in can. 1050 are to be obtained and the investigation mentioned in can. 1051 is to be completed.
  • §2. Furthermore, it is required that he is considered in the judgment of the same legitimate superior as useful for the ministry of the Church.
RCWPs acknowledge that they have broken the law. They state they have done so because they have determined the law to be breakable on the grounds that it is unjust. The assertion that the law discriminates against women is not an argument, it is a ploy to demonize those who oppose a group that cares little for authority and Church law.

RCWPs have appropriated authority that does not belong to them and never belonged to them. RCWPs do not address the fact that the law of the Church is a reiteration of the precedent established by Jesus Christ. Were they to attempt to attack the precedent set by Christ, they would—if they rejected Christ's precedent—be seen as dissenting from Jesus Christ, which would render their position obviously at odds with the notion that they are faithful disciples of the Lord. Instead, they have chosen to create a false dichotomy between Christ's precedent and the teaching of the Church in order to reduce the Church's doctrine to mere opinion, which then becomes easily deconstructed as just one opinion among many. The RCWPs opinion is, apparently, the only opinion which carries any force. Contrary to the position of the RCWPs, their opinion is irrelevant.
  • 2. The Declaration (Inter Insigniores, Paul VI) recalls and explains the fundamental reasons for this teaching, reasons expounded by Paul VI, and concludes that the Church "does not consider herself authorized to admit women to priestly ordination."(3) To these fundamental reasons the document adds other theological reasons which illustrate the appropriateness of the divine provision, and it also shows clearly that Christ's way of acting did not proceed from sociological or cultural motives peculiar to his time. As Paul VI later explained: "The real reason is that, in giving the Church her fundamental constitution, her theological anthropology-thereafter always followed by the Church's Tradition- Christ established things in this way."(4) 
  • In the Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem, I myself wrote in this regard: "In calling only men as his Apostles, Christ acted in a completely free and sovereign manner. In doing so, he exercised the same freedom with which, in all his behavior, he emphasized the dignity and the vocation of women, without conforming to the prevailing customs and to the traditions sanctioned by the legislation of the time."(5)
  • 4. Although the teaching that priestly ordination is to be reserved to men alone has been preserved by the constant and universal Tradition of the Church and firmly taught by the Magisterium in its more recent documents, at the present time in some places it is nonetheless considered still open to debate, or the Church's judgment that women are not to be admitted to ordination is considered to have a merely disciplinary force. 
  • Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church's divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful.—St. John Paul II, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis
RWCP—"The Catholic people have accepted us as their priests and they continue to support us as we grow from the seven bold women first ordained on the Danube River in 2002. Ordained women are already ministering in over 29 states across the country. We are here to stay."—from the RCWPs website.
This is not an argument but the statement of adolescent children stamping their feet in defiance because they have been grounded for bad behaviour.

"Seven bold wymmin"?

Where is the humility? The actions of those women might be better described as an expression of hubris. Christ made His promise to protect the Church (that He founded on Saint Peter) to Saint Peter and his successors, not seven obstinate souls sailing down the Danube like marauding pirates attempting to pillage souls.

RCWPs is comprised of folk who behave as nothing less than charlatans who give little or no thought to the consequences of their actions, i.e., the endangering of people's souls. The pretend confessions and pseudo-masses they offer are false sacraments because the women offering said services are not ordained. Anyone who believes they have been given absolution by or received the Body and Blood of Christ from an RCWPs "priest": 1) has not had her sins forgiven by one of the so-called Womenpriests, and so she remains in her sins; and 2) he is worshipping mere bread and wine. If, indeed, (s)he believes the RWCPs "Eucharist" to be the Body and Blood of Christ, which it is certainly not, that means (s)he who so worships is committing idolatry.

"We are here to stay."

If you have the stomach to visit the RCWPs site, then you will see that, with a few token exceptions to the contrary, the RCWPs generation is 50 years behind the times. A younger generation of better informed Catholics has little or no time for the liturgical foolishness and the politicization and corruption of the sacraments by dissenting grandmothers who should take notice of the fact that they have fewer days ahead than they might imagine. To put it bluntly, their days are not as many as they might think.

The rapid decline of mainstream protestant denominations, e.g., Anglicanism, Lutheranism and the United Church of Canada, groups that share most of the same church-ending doctrines as RCWPs, should be a mirror in which the RCWPs should be able to view what's in store for them and any group that embraces the spirit of the age. Sadly, like those entranced by what the Mirror of Erised shows them (Erised=Desire spelled backwards), the mirror in the Harry Potter series, the leaders of RCWPs have become ensnared by a vision of themselves and now only see what they want to see.
According to Dumbledore, the Mirror shows neither truth nor knowledge, and some have in fact gone mad from staring at it.
Mad, indeed! RCWPs have excommunicated themselves from reality.

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"A multitude of wise men is the salvation of the world(.)—Wisdom 6:24. Readers are welcome to make rational and responsible comments. Any comment that 1) offends human dignity and/or 2) which constitutes an irrational attack on the Catholic Faith will not go unchallenged. If deemed completely stupid, such a comment will most assuredly not see the light of day. Them's the rules. Don't like 'em? Move on.

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