Sunday, May 27, 2007

There Are Not Enough Quotation Marks In The World

Here is the BBC with some advocacy "journalism": Canada Catholics "ordain" women

An ordination ceremony that openly defies Roman Catholic doctrine has taken place in Toronto.

Five women and a married man, all Roman Catholics, have been ordained as priests and deacons by a female Catholic bishop.

However, the Vatican says it will not recognise either the ordinations or the group carrying them out.

The ordination ceremony was held at a Protestant church on the outskirts of Toronto known for its liberal views.

Priestly 'sacrament'

The building was packed with an enthusiastic congregation.

They watched as Bishop Patricia Fresen, one of the most well-known figures in the Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement, led the five women and one married man through a number of rituals to mark their ordination.

Bishop Fresen was herself ordained in a secret ceremony in Spain in 2003.

But the archdiocese of Toronto said that the organisation responsible for the ordinations has no affiliation or any dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church.

It said that ordaining men into the priesthood is a sacrament that cannot be changed.

But the bishops in the Womenpriests movement claim they are part of the church's valid apostolic succession, because Catholic bishops in good standing ordained them secretly.

First of all, the title of the piece should have been:

Canada "Catholics" "ordain" women

That is if we believe that the Vatican has more right to decide who is and who isn't a Catholic than a British news organization.

Inserting the appropriate punctuation the story should read:

An "ordination ceremony" that openly defies Roman Catholic doctrine has taken place in Toronto.

Five women and a married man, all "Roman Catholics," have been "ordained" as "priests" and "deacons" by a female "Catholic" "bishop."

But, of course, by that time any normal person would have hit the delete button and gone on to stories involving less delusional the folks trying to put Bigfoot on the endangered species list.


Tully said...

Um, this one may come as a bit of a shock, but married men actually CAN be Catholic priests. There is no major bar to Eastern Rite Catholic priests marrying, and many do. Eastern Rite Catholic churches are under the jurisdiction of the Vatican and they recognize the authority of the pope, even if their rites more closely resemble the Eastern Orthodox church.

And priests in other Christian denominations such as Anglican and Lutheran who are already married and decide to convert to Catholicism are sometimes allowed to do remain priests after their conversion. Their applications to remain in the priesthood after conversions are considered on a case-by-case basis by the Vatican. If accepted by the Vatican, they become Catholic priests and still remain legitimately married in the eyes of the church. There are around 100 married Roman Catholic priests in America who fit that category.

Which has gotta hurt if you're a Catholic priest who wants to get married. "If only I were a Lutheran!"

The Iconic Midwesterner said...

You are not gonna shock the seminary boy here! :-)

The prohibition against married priests is not a matter of dogma, but merely an ecclesiastical rule that the Church could change without altering the faith an iota.

None of which excuses the married man from getting "ordanined" by the pretend "bishop" and more han the ladies.

The Iconic Midwesterner said...

It is funny how these sorts of things repeat themselves. This is from the second post I ever published on this blog:

There seems to be a general ignorance of Catholic teachings on these matters by those American writers who tackle the subject. Gary Wills' piece of drivel (screed?) Papal Sins was much the same way. The truth is that the ecclesiastical rule that keeps priests from marrying is just that, a rule. It can be changed by the church without altering the faith in any way. This explains why there are already married Catholic priests, such as converts from other denominations and members of churches in union with Rome that traditionaly have allowed clergy to marry. Only the idea of allowing women to become priests involves changing the dogma of the church.

C Stanley said...

An interesting aside about the Anglican converts who are now married Catholic priests: I attended Mass once in a small town in North Georgia and during the homily, the priest asked if there were any visitors present. We and a few others raised their hands and then he went on to explain his situation and he also explained that part of the 'deal' for him to become a Catholic priest was that he would be given a small parish (in a community where everyone would know him and know the history) and that he would explain his status to visitors to his church.

The Iconic Midwesterner said...

It sounds like the members of that parish (and the visitors there) have an advantage over the great majority of Catholic in this country to be educated in this particular matter. It is a shame that so few American Catholic know the ins and outs of the faith they profess.

Like recently when there was a Vatican announcement on the theological concept of Limbo I was shocked to see just how many Catholic (and practicing ones at that) thought Limbo was an established part of Catholic dogma. And don't even get me started about what most Catholic think "papal infallability" means or I'll start to whimper.