Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Of Heretics & Their Supporters

The National Catholic Reporter (NCR) has posted an article on the movement by dissident Catholics to ordain women priests. Setting aside for the moment the fact that NCR has one of the most misleading titles of any publication currently in print, and also their well established love affair with every heretical idea that has popped up in the Latin Church over the last half century or so, this article still takes one's breath away. The very manner in which the issues are presented reeks of journalistic bias.

One sees repeated references to the prohibition against female ordination as a church law which flies directly in the face of the position of the Roman Church that it is not a matter of discipline but of doctrine. The barely concealed joy that permeates from every sentence of the author's essay (which does not quote a single orthodox voice) and heaps ridicule on the Roman Catholic hierarchy all combine to leave no doubt that NCR is a publication that has strayed not merely from orthodox Roman Catholicism but from anything even resembling orthodox (small 'o') Christianity.

Try as I might I am unable to top the line that Perry Robinson once used in reference to this crowd when he (not a man given to warm sentiments towards the Latin Church) once posted at Mike Liccione's blog "I have navel lint that is more Catholic than these women!" This would seem a pretty apt turn of phrase in reference to NCR. They revel in the violation of the prohibition against communication in sacris, the assistance of Protestants and Jews in the laying on hands of the of the make believe priestesses and the thumbing of their nose at the Roman bishops like Burke. All in all it is one of the more revolting pieces of alleged journalism that I have seen in a while.

“We are using the master’s tools to dismantle the master’s house,” she said, playing on an aphorism of African-American feminist poet Audre Lorde, who said such was not possible. At the same time, Rue feels strongly that women in the movement should study not only theology, but also feminist theology, so they will understand how power systems work and avoid getting caught up in them. “I think everyone is in a wait-and-see mode, hoping that women in the Womenpriests movement don’t take on the trappings of hierarchy,” she said.

These women are no more Catholic than I am Napoleon Bonaparte. And NCR could take worthwhile instruction in doctrine from Perry Robinson's navel lint.

Read the article here (recommended on an empty stomach).


Josephus Flavius said...

Sending letter to USCCB today requesting they tell NCR they must remove Catholic from their name. Ridiculous.

Ad Orientem said...

This has been attempted in the past. NCR ignored them.


James said...

This is exactly what happened in the Anglican/Episcopal church. The first 'ordinations' were illegal, then they were accepted and the floodgates were open, heresy strode in. The Anglicans have been torn apart for 30 years and the situation is getting worse. I am not an RC but I sincerely hope that you will not go down that road.

It amuses me that these women disclaim power but of course that is exactly what they want.

Fr. J. said...

There really is no comparison with the Anglican case, except that the ordinations are illegal. The Episcopalians used the illicit ordination to force the issue within an institution that was already losing all sense of itself. In the Catholic Church these women and the "bishops" that "ordain" them are excommunicated latae sententiae, that is automatically and simultaneously with the illicit act. The Vatican nor any other bishop need not act in any way.

The Catholic Church knows just how to deal with this ilk.

Fr. J. said...

As for the NCR. I really don't think it is doing much harm. It is preaching to its own choir which is increasingly isolated in the church and losing influence with each passing minute.

I remember when this was a fairly mainstream paper--that is very liberal just like the rest of the church in the US. The Church is changing rapidly now and these goons are irrelevant.

I am not sure why they attract the interest of an Eastern Orthodox blog, though.

Ad Orientem said...

Fr J.
I concur that the Roman Church is changing these days. But the direction is difficult to tell at times. There is strong (and encouraging) evidence that many of the younger people entering the religious life are more conservative than their parents generation and of course there is the current Pope who I happen to think is the best you have had in a long time. However the Pope's age casts a large question mark over the anticipated length of his pontificate. And I am not sanguine about his potential successors.

Beyond this however there is disturbing evidence to be found in polls. The number of Catholics who ignore church teaching and believe it is OK to do so has been trending up steadily for decades. The evidence suggests that the conservative counter-revolution does not seem to be making much headway thus far into the pews. Recent polls show that the number of catholics here and in Europe who disagree with the Vatican on issues ranging from ABC to divorce, women's ordination and homosexuality continue to climb and constitute a solid majority, in some cases a super-majority.

Generally I think the trends are favorable but there is a long ways to go and it could all get seriously derailed when +Benedict XVI reposes depending on the choice of successor. Many of the catholics polled rarely attend Mass and many of the more radical ones have simply left the church while trying to pretend they have not (the group profiled in the article is an excellent example). Time will ultimately tell where things are going.

As for my blog, I think you will note that it is rather eclectic though certainly I am Orthodox and religious issues are approached with that in mind.