11 April 2018

Women Bishops: boredom part (2)

(1) Over the years, as this toxic and tedious subject bores the wotsits off sensible Christians, what you, if you join the battle, are going to need is Logic. Because its proponents incessantly contradict themselves. They will cheerfully tell you that there were no women priests in the early church because of 'societal norms'. Pretty well in the same breath, they will shower you with "new evidence" that there were women priests in the early days of the Church.
(2) What is actually being discussed? It is often two quite separate things. The proponents of Women's Ordination are keen to shower you with evidence that women had strong leadership roles in early Christianity. They most certainly did. It is not news to me. But the point at issue for Catholics turns upon the Catholic Priesthood, in which, according to Catholic doctrine, the priest has power to transsubstantiate bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ and to offer them to the Father as a propitiatory Sacrifice. People who will quite candidly admit that they do not believe in any such priesthood at all, for men or women, will persist in rubbing your nose in Prisca and Chloe ... as if those cases prove anything as far as Catholic Priesthood is concerned. 
(3) When the C of E was capitulating to the 'Modern World' in this matter, it started with the Diaconate, moved on to the Presbyterate, and ended up with the Episcopate. During this period, an Orthodox theologian acutely observed that, were the Orthodox Church to consider the question, it would start off with the Episcopate. Exactly; because that order is the fundamental order upon which the other two depend. But if you with strategic good sense start off instead with deacons, you can get the laity used to seeing vested females buzzing around the Sanctuary and having "The Reverend" attached to their names. And such ladies will not be as divisive as women priests because the validity of no Sacrament depends upon the diaconate. Then you can move on to women priests, starting off by placing them carefully in churches where they will be 'pastorally acceptable'. Only when you have successfully completed that phase will you move in for the final kill. You see how the trick is worked. Rather Bergoglian, really, in its 'gradualism'. But it is a fundamentally dishonest trick. Crooks, the lot of them!
(4) It will be suggested that those opposing WO are people who "'have problems" with female sexuality or just with women anyway. I remember actually once being told that I must have a phobia of menstrual blood. Quite a conversation-stopper ... The problem with such accusations is, of course, that it is not terribly easy to disprove them ... I will pause for a moment while you think about that one ...
...  OK? Back to the subject. When Vincent Nichols transferred his "Gay Masses" from Warwick Street to Farm Street and lent the former Church to the Ordinariate, one of our nastier public homosexuals made a crack to the effect that the presence of all those homosexual Ordinariate clergy on the edge of Soho would mean that the "gay" bars and clubs of Soho would still have lots and lots of custom. But the fact is that, quite early, "gay" Anglican clergy cottoned on to the idea that if 'Development' could be used to justify ordaining women, it could also be neatly deployed to permit homosexual couplings. (Hence, to the surprise of many, but not of me, such clergy, despite being ritually over-the-top, tended to avoid the Ordinariate like the plague.)

In other words, if you choose to fight this battle within the Catholic Church, you will need to be ready to have some immensely vile personal attacks made upon you. Our opponents, generally speaking, possess neither decency nor shame. Feminists of either sex are rarely Gentlemen! You will need a very thick skin.

There. No more on that. I just thought you might like some practical information from our Anglican experience. And I won't enable comments, so there will be no risk of getting drawn into any discussions on the actual subject itself.


  1. Father, your point 2 is spot on. It's very unusual in my experience to find people who argue for women to be ordained and at the same time express an orthodox Catholic view of what the priesthood (in relation to the sacrificial nature of the Mass) means.

    There is widespread confusion between priesthood, ministry and leadership - three different things. It doesn't help that the Catholic parish is conventionally (and in Canon law) structured in such a way as to make the priest the only person who can actually take any decision - something the Ordinariate, with its roots in the very different parochial structures of pre-reformation England, and the continuing Anglican patrimony of Churchwardenship could usefully review.

  2. Deacons, too, are in Holy Orders, as were the porters, exorcists, acolytes, and subdeacons (and where they still exist, still are.) This was very carefully stated at Trent.

    In recent times, the important one was subdeacon.

    On the back of my baptismal certificate there is a place for the parish clerk to fill in if I ever became a subdeacon. For my younger brother, that space is to be filled in should he ever be ordained a priest.

  3. Um.... Actually, in most American parishes, Father will get rolled over by the lay leadership, if he doesn't get out.

    1. The Parish Secretary. A fearsome force that outlives many pastors. Almost always a woman.

    2. The Parish Council and its committees. Actually, most of the time, the work is done in the committees or organizations under the Parish Council, and the Parish Council just rubberstamps it. Very annoying when new people join the Parish Council without also being deep into all the leading clubs, guilds, ministries, etc.

    3. The Religious Education director. If she (almost always a woman) is a dictator, she outranks Father in all practical matters, every time. Probably the bishop, too, unless he gets interested in why policy isn't being carried out. This can be good if the RE is a saint and traditionalist, but usually she's not. Often associated with, or acting as, the parish liturgist or the sacristans.

    4. The Church ladies who run everything, whether or not they have an official voted or appointed office. Woe betide the priest who says something about crafts at Christmas being less important than Baby Jesus. Very often, they are sacristans.

    5. The Church laymen who run everything, usually lording it over athletics, Bible studies, recommendations to the diaconate, Christmas tree sales, Boy Scouts, and other manly stuff. Often they become deacons, and that actually makes them more supervised. Very often, they train the altar servers/acolytes.

  4. The vast majority of nominal Catholics in these United States would overwhelmingly support women priests because Pauline Rite.

    Theere is little in the Pauline Rite, as actualised in The LIl' Licit Liturgy, that would cause an adult US Catholic to think - Nope, a woman can't do what he is doing because in these United Staes a woman can not only do everything a man can do, she can do it better because toxic masculinity.

    Not too many Catholic men ever understood the radical reasons for the liberals repeatedly trying (and failing) to get approval for altar girls - to get men used to seeing women in the sanctuary.

    Once poor Pope John Paul II reluctantly relented he gave the feminists (and by feminists ABS means the average men permitted to enter American seminaries) a huge victory and also, sadly, further conditioned the radicals to never relent in their requests for novelties as the modern Popes with their intermittent reinforcement of their requests is always the strongest in terms of operant conditioning.

    Communion n the hand? No, no, no!! OK, we'll study the issue. OK, fine, go ahead...

    Whomever it was who conditioned the modern Popes must be given this due. Was BF Skinner in the Curia?

  5. It's only our "limited conceptual resources" (mentioned in 'Gaudete et Exsultate') that keep us clinging rigidly to our rules and regulations and concepts. You know, like the existence of hell.

  6. My observation is that the attitude towards female ordination mirrors birth control, i e not many Western Catholics follow the Magisterium? What do you think, Father?

  7. Banshee, what you set-out is the natural progression and outcome of the proposal of my diocesan bishop's answer to diminishing congregations and clergy. He has allowed to establish a formal Ordinariate parish [probably at my instigation, inter alia, by quoting the good Fr. Hunwicke], but will not entertain Traditional Orders and heaven forbid selling a church to SSPX. On the other hand he promotes equivalence (?) by the promotion of visiting mosques. I understand that set-out by Banshee has already been adopted in parts of the USA. The priest must bend his knee, not to The Lord, but to the clique(s) ruling the parish.

  8. Nice point on the Orthodox view. Unfortunately we have a small faction trying to argue for women "deacons" and want them to be just like deacons (except for the inherent maleness) rather than something else we would call deaconesses. Their agenda, of course, goes much further.

  9. Of course discussions on this subject always bring up the prescient words of Samuel Johnson on the subject of women preaching, "It is like a dog walking on its hinder legs. It is not done well but you are surprised that it is done at all."

  10. I look forward to the day when people will look back nostalgically at articles such as this and wonder what all the fuss was about. As Sr. Joan Chittister once said, "Up until now, the church has been thinking with only half it's brain. And it shows."

  11. I look forward to the day when people will look back nostalgically at articles such as this and wonder what all the fuss was about. As Sr. Joan Chittister once said, "Up until now, the church has been thinking with only half it's brain. And it shows."

  12. I look forward to the day when people will look back nostalgically at articles such as this and wonder what all the fuss was about. As Sr. Joan Chittister once said, "Up until now, the church has been thinking with only half it's brain. And it shows."