The group is Roman Catholic Womenpriests and they're mighty agitated by the latest Vatican decree that any bishop ordaining women as priests would be excommunicated along with the women. If you read this group's response, you'd see a multitude of presumptions and failed reasoning. One of the erroneous conclusions in this press release has to do with the percentage of Catholics they claim as supporting ordaining women.
Here is the excerpt in question:
In obedience to Jesus, we are disobeying an unjust law. The Catholic Church teaches that a teaching or law of the church is authoritative only if it is “received” by the sensus fidelium, the community of faith. If the community of faith does not accept the law, it has no effect on us. All people have a moral obligation to disobey an unjust law. St. Augustine taught that an unjust law is no law at all. Since 70% of U.S. Catholics favor women’s ordination and a growing majority of Catholics worldwide also favors women’s ordination, we do not “receive” or accept the Church's prohibition against the ordination of women and the church’s continued reliance on sexist metaphors, beliefs and assumptions for denying ordination to women.
I wondered how they arrived at that number - 70%. That's a lot of people. It's enough to make any conservative say, "Hmmm. I suppose I'm in the minority." However, before you go down that road, let's investigate.
Because I rarely trust poll numbers and because I want substantial reasoning for such a bold claim, I hunted for proof. And, I found it in a not-too-surprising place.
The "70%" refers to a poll taken in Boston among Catholics:
Large majorities of Boston-area Catholics say the church should open up the ranks of clergy to women and to noncelibate men, according to a Boston Globe/WBZ-TV poll.
The archdiocese-wide survey of 800 adult Catholics was taken Feb. 4-6 by KRC/Communications Research. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
So in other words, the RCW group is trying to pass off 560 Boston Catholics as the entirety of U.S. Catholics to show a majority. Which is preposterous but there you have it.
I may be mistaken, but I get the impression that The Boston Herald leans left when it comes to reporting Catholic news (or is it they bash Catholicism? I often get the two confused.). But at best, the RCW group is being disingenuous with their quote and at worst, diabolically deceptive.
One of the comments on Fr. Z's blog entry asked if these women were so upset by the Roman Catholic Church's position on women in the priesthood, why don't they leave? Good question. Unfortunately, instead of heading over to the nearest Methodist congregation, they've decided to try to be a thorn in the side of Rome.
I wonder when they'll realize that Rome is clothed in armor and their thorns won't do much damage. If only their energy could be channeled toward more productive things for the Kingdom.