Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Still Revolting - Womenpriests and Their Folly

It's been all over the news lately. A bunch of Catholic women from Boston calling themselves "Womenpriests" were supposedly "ordained" on Sunday, July 20. Flaunting their rebellious attitude toward the Vatican's stand on prohibiting women from becoming priests, this group said the three women who were ordained "are responding to a heartfelt call to serve the church as priests." (MN to The Curt Jester)

Do they not read the Bible? Here are a few verses they might have missed. And isn't it interesting that it's from a letter by St. Peter?

Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to praise those who do right. For it is God's will that by doing right you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. Live as free men, yet without using your freedom as a pretext for evil; but live as servants of God. Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
(1 Pet. 2:13-17 RSV)

If St. Peter was telling the Roman Christians to not be lawbreakers of any human institution, how much more should they not be lawbreakers of their faith? How much more important is obedience and submission to Jesus Christ and His Bride, the Church?

Here is another interesting portion from St. Peter's second letter. It's long, but I wanted to place the verse I was reading to be placed in context of what was said:

For if God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of nether gloom to be kept until the judgment;if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven other persons, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomor'rah to ashes he condemned them to extinction and made them an example to those who were to be ungodly; and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the licentiousness of the wicked (for by what that righteous man saw and heard as he lived among them, he was vexed in his righteous soul day after day with their lawless deeds), then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trial, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.

Bold and wilful, they are not afraid to revile the glorious ones,whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a reviling judgment upon them before the Lord. But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and killed, reviling in matters of which they are ignorant, will be destroyed in the same destruction with them, suffering wrong for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their dissipation, carousing with you.(2 Pet. 2:4-13)

St. Peter connected those who indulged in their own lust with those who defiled authority. The two usually go together.

Not only does scripture condemn such willful behavior and remind us that we have died to Christ, no longer living for our own pleasure (Gal. 2:20), but there is a call to live a holy life of submission to both government and the Church. Of course there are times when we cannot bow to the false idols of a corrupt government (and the early Christians died because of their refusal to do so), but living a life of submission is the believer's calling.

If you read the New Testament, it doesn't take long to see there is a pattern between those who despise authority and those who are submissive. The former are judged, the latter are blessed. There are promises for those who live their life in submission to God but warnings for those who insist on doing things their way.

My beef with this whole mess is this: Do these women believe in any authority at all? It would seem not. If not, then why maintain membership within a church that recognizes such a hierarchical chain of authority?

It's as though the women have a bad case of schizophrenia. On one hand they want the authority of being a priest but on the other, they are destroying any power of that very authority by their refusal to submit to it.

You can't have it both ways, ladies. You can send a Goodyear Blimp to sail across St. Peter's Square with the message "WE ARE ORDAINED" but saying it over and over, won't make it true.


joannaB73 said...

I can't understand why they feel the need to become priests. Aren't the graces they already receive in the church enough for them? If they want to be women priests that badly why don't they join one of the Protestant churches (in England C of E). It smacks of a 'witchcraft' or 'jezebel' spirit. "For by the grace given to me I ask every one of you not to think of yourself more highly than you should think, rather to think of yourself with sober judgment on the measure of faith that God has assigned each of you."(Romans 12:3) He (or she) who would be first - will be last.

Mary Rose said...

Amen, Joanna. You get it. I've always been perplexed over this desire for priesthood when the Catholic church honors women who become a nun. I remember the influence of nuns in my life more than priests - simply because nuns were in my life on a daily, hourly basis in school. The same could not be said of priests.

Hmmm. I just realized something. Although the nuns hold a very influential role in the daily life of children - it's children, not adults. And for the most part, it's "behind the scenes." On the other hand, celebrating Mass is very "public." Hence, the need for validation finds a more attractive home.

I'm wondering if I should engage one of these "womenpriests." I'd honestly would like them to tell me the difference between serving the church in the capacity of a nun vs. serving as a priest. I'm sure I'd hear some interesting thoughts.

Elisabeth said...

these "womynpriests" don't understand the Theology of the Body either - the great role we have, as women, in representing the Church in our relationship to and in the Church - while the male priesthood serves in persona Christi.

We're part of a rich rich tapestry of Truth - deep, colorful, beautiful.

These gals Do. Not. Get. It.

X said...

These women want to be priests because they want the thrill of power, of influencing parishes, of being front and center...I know because I used to be one of them over 20 years ago.

In a way I understand them but they are in a time warp. And Laura is absolutely correct - T of B is the key to understanding all of it.

Adrienne said...

Pride rears its ugly head!