When Serious Thought Withers

The other week, the Holy See, via the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, published a strongly-worded and unequivocal warning aimed at contumacious souls tinkering with the idea of “ordaining” women to the priesthood. The document makes clear that any such charade “ordination” will result in automatic excommunication for the guilty parties involved, across the board. The news has particular poignancy for the soi-disant “Rome of the West,” the city of Saint Louis. In March, three women incurred the penalty of excommunication for participating in a flaccid “ordination.”That potent word, “excommunication” sounds so atavistic, intolerant and downright mean. In a society marinated endlessly in the argot of the self-esteem culture, where “me, myself and I” is the recipient of interminable pep-talks and oleaginous flattery, to hear mention of “excommunication” is a jolt akin to being tossed in an ice-cold shower. Those inured to around-the-clock flattery don’t take kindly to the suggestion that their person interpretation of doctrine may be somewhat off kilter. Excommunication is precisely the kind of word that causes the massaged egos of today to cringe and delicate ears to bleed.

I first read about this story on MSNBC and, as I was scrolling down to read further, I noticed in conspicuous red letters an option for the readers to voice their opinion on the matter by clicking to “Vote: Should Women be Priests?”. I suppose for statistical purposes, it may be illuminating to see what percentage of Catholics believes what, but the problem with the modish “Vote Now” trope, all too common in today’s narcissistic culture, is that it applies a deceptive veneer of infallibility to something that is inherently shifting, namely, public opinion. When this approach is carried over to questions of religion, the situation gets stickier still. The amorphous opinion of the masses…now that’s something I’m keen on entrusting my immortal soul to!

Are we to surrender the most solemn and sacred teachings and Traditions, handed down for over two-thousand years, to the feckless winds of a people’s collective opinion? Perhaps the better question is: Are we to believe that a God who truly loves us would transfer certitude of our knowledge of Him to our own fallible intellects and passions? If the answer was yes, who could resist the temptation to despair?

I find it easier to believe that a solicitous God, Whom we are instructed to call “Father,” wittingly bequeathed to His children a singular vessel, in the person of the pope, to serve as a bulwark to protect and articulate His benevolent designs for us, often in spite of our fickle nature. The Church preserves and defends that which Christ has already given to us. That’s what we call the Deposit of Faith. Do we mere mortals have the chutzpah to think we can rearrange these immutable things according to our own whims?

Advocates of female “ordination” to the priestly ministry gin up support for their hopeless cause by caterwauling about the need for an allegedly hidebound and patriarchal institution to “change” and “get with the times,” their strategy as transparent as their logic is weak: Christ chose exclusively male apostles, they tell us, because he was bound by certain shibboleths of the time. This claptrap is an embarrassing attempt to justify the ultimate aim of their movement and, incidentally, it severely underestimates the liberties with which an omnipotent God can indulge with regard to His own creation. Taken to its logical conclusion, it proves too much: not merely that Christ was restricted by the norms of his culture, but that he is not divine at all.

Readers of the Bible will notice how, on several occasions, Christ kibitzed with women about the perennial questions, sometimes raising the eyebrows of His own disciples, who were in fact bound by or at least accustomed to conventions of the day. Christ, as God, was not similarly limited and yet He still chose men for His apostles. The female priest cabal would be well served to disentangle itself from the lust for power and disengage from the war against masculinity and instead apply itself to some serious thought to the subject of who exactly Jesus is.

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  • atdigi

    Amen brother!!!!! Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. And in response to all of the wonderful opinion polls out there, I believe it was Bishop Sheen that said “A lie is a lie no matter how many people believe it and the the truth is the truth no matter how many oppose it”. Jesus Christ is the Truth, period, exclamation point! When you continually oppose these doctrines of the church that have been set in place by Him you are basically saying I know better than God. When we continually focus on and chase after what we want in life, instead of humbling ourselves and submitting to God’s holy will, the evil one has accomplished his mission and has pulled us away from God’s intended mission for our life. And when we turn away from God’s will and turn towards our own selfish will we will never find true peace and happiness. My prayers go out to all who can not see the light because they have been deceived and blinded by the lies of the world. Trust in Jesus. Trust in His church. Peace be with you all.

  • onelmunn

    Hooray! I couldn’t agree more! Christ did all sorts of unconventional acts – mainly insisting that we eat His Flesh and drink His Blood. People left over that outrageous request, but He did not back down. Certainly, if He wanted women for apostles He would’ve done so. I do believe it is a crisis of faith, a confusion of who and what Christ is. Also, the flood of women ministers in other religions doesn’t help. Of course, if these woman truly believe the church is in error, they should leave and seek the Truth elsewhere.

  • mrteachersir

    My pastor once said that an infallible statement must be universally believed to be infallible. That has never happened. During the 5 and 6 centuries, roughly 80% of bishops were Arian…even in the West! Yet the pope and the Nicene, Constantinopolitan, and Chalcedonian Councils infallibly defined the Trinity, in line with the teachings of the Pope, particularly Leo the Great. The Church Fathers were unanimous: the source and summit of our unity is in the person of the Bishop of Rome. To break with him is to cease to be Catholic.

  • fw1952

    mrteachersir,

    Although a majority of bishops questioned Christ’s divinity, when it came down to the Council of Nicea, only two bishops out of over 300 supported the heresy. This shows that the truth will prevail against all odds.

  • http://arkanabar.blogspot.com Arkanabar Ilarsadin

    I wrote a logical proof for the necessity of infallible doctrine. Somebody else improved upon it: LINK

    I wish links always showed as blue.

  • Cooky642

    When my girls were young, they would often ask me why people believed differently than we did. My response still stands: some people will believe the most unbelievable things in order NOT to have to believe in God.

  • Fr.Joseph

    Next logical and necessary step: A public announcement of excommunication of all the Masons within the Church’s Hierarchy, starting with the Vatican itself.

    - Fr. Joseph

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