Saturday, August 12, 2006

Just in case anyone thinks that only Anglicans can be idiots...

...this LA Times article is a timely reminder of the vast reservoirs of stupidity to be found among Catholics.

15 Women Who Took Up Priestly RobesRoles Face Excommunication

Fifteen Roman Catholic women in the United States, including some Californians, (what a surprise!) face excommunication after taking up priestly duties following their "ordination" in recent ceremonies designed to challenge the all-male priesthood. (Well! Scare quotes for once in the correct place! Enjoy them while you can, though, this is the last time you'll see them.)

On Thursday, Jane Via of San Diego, who was ordained in June and planned to say her second Mass on Sunday, met for two hours with the local bishop, who laid out the ramifications of her actions. (Two hours! Dear Jane must be hard of hearing.) Three women in other states have received letters from diocese officials warning that they chose to excommunicate themselves when they participated in an illicit ordination near Pittsburgh on July 31. In San Jose, diocese officials warned that a woman priest there was not properly ordained. (Well, I suppose they might have put it that way, though it's a bit like saying, "Excuse me, sir, but you and that doberman weren't properly married.")

...Dozens more women, generally in their 50s and 60s, are preparing to be ordained in the future, said Aisha Taylor, executive director of the Women's Ordination Conference, which became a nonprofit organization in Fairfax, Va., in June after advocating for female priests for 31 years. (Wow, I sure hope I can make it through menopause with a little more decorum.)

All of the ceremonies were conducted on chartered boats — theoretically beyond the jurisdiction of the local diocese — amid the medieval pomp of the traditional rite. (Yeah, because nothing says "medieval pomp" like a rainbow-coloured polyester stole.)

...Presiding over some of the ordinations were three European women recently consecrated as bishops in secret ceremonies allegedly led by five bishops who remain in good standing with the church. The identities of the male bishops, who wish to remain anonymous to avoid excommunication, were notarized and then placed in a bank vault, the women priests said. (But there's a painting of the Last Supper where the Apostle John looks just like Sr. Joan Chittester, and it contains a secret code that will lead you straight to the hidden vault.)

Though the first seven European women to claim the priesthood were swiftly excommunicated by the Vatican four years ago, church officials in the United States have so far only threatened to cut American women off from the sacraments, which would, according to Catholic doctrine, place their souls in peril. (Well, then, just tell me where to go to pay the overdue fee or whatever it is, and get reconnected, so I can get outta here!)

Legally, church officials say, they are in violation of Roman Catholic canon 1024, which says only baptized men can receive ordination. The women priests reject that law as unjust.

The Most Rev. Timothy M. Dolan, archbishop of Milwaukee, disagrees and issued a stern letter to Kathy Sullivan Vandenberg, a member of his community who was among those in what he called the "simulated and invalid ceremony" July 31. (So this is one of those 'he said, she said' deals, right?)

...The women replicate the traditional role of priests in most ways, except that they have regular jobs and omit the promise of obedience to the bishop and the vow of celibacy.

They also forgo the criminal and financial background checks and battery of psychological tests required of traditional priests.

In addition, their formal preparation for the priesthood is learned from former priests and an online program available from Roman Catholic Womenpriests. (In fact, some men have decided that, rather than spend 6 years in seminary, it would be cheaper and quicker just to become women and then get ordained on a boat somewhere.)


Blogger Nasty, Brutish & Short said...

What is it with Roman Catholics and things like secret vaults? Could you get anymore intentionally Da Vinci Code?

One article I read about these ladies discussed how one of them used to be Episcopalian, but later found a home in Roman Catholicism. You'd think she be a perfect match with us, but I guess she's 25 years to late for liberal Anglican martyrdom, so she thought she'd try it with you guys.

Not like most of ours ended up martyred, though. They've probably all been "canonized" by now.

But anyway, these ladies all remind me of Andrew Sullivan. Why is he even hanging with you guys anymore? He's freaking English, AND has a manner of life that presents a challenge to the Communion. You'd think there'd be a natural church home for him, you know, outside the Roman Church.

But anyway, glad you posted on this. Makes us (we?) Anglicans feel better to know we aren't the only ones with problems. Pity we don't have your effective disciplinary regime. I have to admit, you all have that one dead to rights.

11:57 pm  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

Well, don't forget, NBS, I *was* Anglican for 20 years! Anglo-Catholic, to be precise, the higher the better. I only converted to RC this year, so all this Anglican stuff is just second nature to me. There's plenty of lunacy in the Catholic Church, it's just that the General Convention sort of gave ECUSA the starring role this summer.

6:15 am  
Blogger DimBulb said...

Dr. Mabuse,

This post was seething with contempt, littered with sarcasm, and showed great animosity toward both priestesses and the secular press.

Well done!

When people start complaining about nonsense in the Church I always reommend that they read St Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians. Factions, childishness, sexual indecency, letters to the bishop, liturgical abuse, screwy views on doctrine; these aren't modern problems.

8:26 am  
Blogger Father Stephanos, O.S.B. said...

I read an interview with one of these "covenpriestesses" who admitted that woman were never priests in the Bible.

How true! Only pagans had them.

The beliefs these women express are not Biblical and not really Christian. These are Gnostics.

11:01 am  
Blogger Argent said...

Ah, well, NBS, from one ex-Anglican, there's a kind of reflexive action I have with whackiness, a sort of ecclesial rubbernecking. So we had the formerly-Catholic boat people 'ordinations' last week. Today, the ball is in the Anglican court again. We have the Archbishop of York Sentamu getting his head shaved and pitching a tent in Yorkminster all the while fasting to show solidarity with the suffering in the Middle East. What will next week bring?

2:59 pm  

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