18 February 2016

Facit Indignatio Versum .... "Ordaining" women

"The Ordination of Women" bores me beyond tears. My idea of Hell is to have it as a endless topic of conversation, as we did in the C of E. Bargepoles, you say? You'd need more than that to get me to touch it.

Why? Because most of those who favour it never listen. They positively know that you are doing just one thing ... displaying your fear/hatred/contempt for women ... so they never listen to a word, not a word, that you say. Archbishop Rowan Williams had a mission: to get the Church of England to have a real in-depth theological discussion about the subject; so a thing called the Rochester Report was produced, painstakingly and accurately laying out the arguments on each side. But the bigots made clear that they were not going to to have a debate ... because of their deaf certainty that there aren't any arguments against such an obvious truth. "Women Bishops Now" was their demand; and they got it. The convenor of the group that produced the Report, the then Bishop of Rochester, who has himself ordained women, was so horrified by this disgraceful episode that he he began the journey which led him to abandon episcopal ministry in the Church of England.

Dr Geoffrey Kirk is not like me. He is still prepared to revisit all that stuff. I think I know what motivates him: it is his sense of righteous outrage at the lies, the perversions of history, the dishonest rhetoric spewed out by most of the proponents of this disorder. The Roman satirist Juvenal asserted that it was his indignation that drove him to write. It is something like that which drives Geoffrey.

It is lamentably possible that the Catholic Church may have to go through the same Calvary that we experienced in Anglicanism. Which is why anybody under the age of seventy ought to buy Dr Kirk's new book and read it. Regard it as a gift from the Ordinariate.

Without Precedent is a fine but brief guide to this ghastly subject. He has a few words about it on his blog Ignatius his Conclave ... a blog you ought to read anyway ...


Anonymous said...


could you inform us your just in short three or four most striking and convincing arguments against women ordinations to the priesthood in its three stages diacon, priest and bishop? It would be helpful for us in our struggle to protect the traditional priesthood of the catholic church.

Anonymous said...

I think that the shortest and punchiest argument is the one written by Saint John Paul II in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis.


Anonymous said...

The shortest and punchiest argument was undoubtedly that advanced by Saint John Paul II in his infallible declaration Ordinatio Sacerdotalis.


Oliver Nicholson said...

The overwhelming volume of evidence for deaconesses in large parts of the Undivided Church contrasts with the dishonest special pleading which passes for evidence of women bishops and priests. If we know so much about the one, how come we know so little about the other ? Because there is no evidence. I have found this effective. Sorry to harp on the subject, Father - I suspect that your reluctance to broach it is not mere praeteritio.

William Tighe said...

Re: "deaconesses in large parts of the Undivided Church"

First, deaconesses are not obviously "female deacons;" and most likely were never such. Secondly, before women called "deaconesses" began to crop up in places like Gaul (alone in the whole Latin Church and never, ever in Rome) and Egypt - both around the year 500 - the only places they could be found was along a line running from Edessa to Antioch to Constantinople, on the one hand, and south to Ctesiphon, on the other and what they were and did in C'ple and C'phon was very different, as were the rites for making a woman a deaconess. Third, read Aime-Georges Martimort's *Deaconesses: An Historical Study* (French, 1983; English, 1986 [Ignatius Press]).

AndrewWS said...

On the Sunday before Lent, I spent some (too much) time in the company of various persons among whom were (Catholic) wimmin of the ACTA/Campaign for the Ordination of Wimmin (COW) tendency. They are as mad as a box of frogs; worse than their Anglican counterparts, many of whom are quite reasonable and of some of whom I am personally rather fond.

As far as I am concerned, the issue is over; Canterbury has decided one thing, while Rome and Orthodoxy will stick with the established universal practice. End of. Basta.

But I am under 70 and like Dr Kirk, so I shall be buying the book.

Oliver Nicholson said...

I am sure I am most grateful to Professor Tighe for recommending the study of Martimort (with which I am familiar). We do not disagree. I deliberately used the term 'deaconess' (rather than the more fashionable 'woman deacon') because there is no evidence I know of that people like Egeria's friend Marthana of Silifke or Chrysostom's friend Olympias performed the liturgical (as opposed to the pastoral) functions of deacons. I was merely cogitating (while in the process of writing an encyclopaedia article on one of the Church Orders) that given there is so much evidence for deaconesses, you might have thought that the Ordination of Women folk would have more to show than that 9th century mosaic of the Lady Episcopa Theodora in San Prasede. And they don't.