Pope Francis is wrong about women priests asserts former leader of US Leadership Conference of Women Religious

Sr. Theresa Kane, a Religious Sister of Mercy and former leader of the US dissent group the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, has told the National Catholic Reporter newspaper that Pope Francis is wrong about the ordination of women. Sr Theresa Kane RSM was responding to Pope Francis’ comments during his press conference on the flight back from WYD Rio when he said the following:

‘And, with reference to the ordination of women, the Church has spoken and she said : “No.” John Paul II said it, but with a definitive formulation. That is closed, that door is closed, but I’d like to say something about this. I’ve said it, but I repeat it. Our Lady, Mary, was more important than the Apostles, than bishops, deacons and priests. In the Church, woman is more important than bishops and priests; how, it’s what we must seek to make more explicit, because theological explicitness about this is lacking.’

Sr Theresa Kane is not happy with Pope Francis:

‘A key former leader of U.S. Catholic sisters said Pope Francis should reconsider the Catholic church’s ban on women priests, likening the male-only priesthood to “a form of inequality which is a form of idolatry.”

Commenting to NCR on Francis’ remarks on the papal plane Monday that the late Pope John Paul II had “definitively … closed the door” to Catholic women priests, Mercy Sr. Theresa Kane said Francis has a chance to “begin a whole new movement and a whole new philosophy.”

“John Paul II was definitive, but John Paul II is dead,” said Kane. “You don’t just bury it because John Paul II said it. I wonder what [Francis'] own feeling is.”

Kane served as president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) in 1979-80.

During that time she made headlines across the world when she welcomed Pope John Paul II on his first visit to the United States in 1979 and pointedly asked him about the possibility of ordaining women to the priesthood.

LCWR, first founded in 1956, is an umbrella organization which represents about 80 percent of the approximately 57,000 U.S. sisters.

Women’s ordination, said Kane, “is a matter of justice.”

“If there’s any inequality there’s always injustice, whether it’s racial or cultural or religious or gender,” she said. “Not only is it a social justice, I’ve always said it’s a form of inequality which is a form of idolatry actually — that we idolize the ideas, we idolize the traditions, we idolize the way it has been.”

Referencing Pope Francis’ remarks on the plane that women have a special role in the church akin to that of Mary’s as the Queen of the Apostles, Kane said Catholic leaders sometimes put women on a pedestal but don’t see them as equals.

“They continue to say Mary was so important, but we pedestalize her and we want to pedestalize women,” said Kane. “We either pedestalize women or we condemn them. We never see them as equals, or we never have to look eye to eye and be equal with each other.”

Kane said Pope Francis has to open the door to the question of women priests and to “bring the church into the 21st century for the very significant equality of women and men.”

“Wouldn’t it be a marvelous experience for Catholics to have him open the door again to it?” she asked.

Protect the Pope comment:  Sr. Theresa Kane thinks she knows better than Blessed John Paul II and Pope Francis, and she’s not embarrassed about telling the whole world she knows better than the successors to St Peter. There is not a scintilla of self-questioning or humility in her criticism of the definitive judgment of Blessed John Paul II, soon to be Saint John Paul II, instead she dismisses him as ‘dead’. So much for the Catholic devotion to the communion of saints. No doubt Sr Theresa Kane dismisses all the saints, Our Lady and Our Lord Jesus Christ as ‘dead’.

66 comments to Pope Francis is wrong about women priests asserts former leader of US Leadership Conference of Women Religious

  • William

    Once again I have to ask why are openly heretical/disobedient nuns and priests permitted to spread error? What right do they have to publicly defy Church doctrine? There is no other institution in the world that would allow this behavior. They are helping to destroy the Faith of millions. Does the Church no longer care for the souls of her children who are constantly being lead astray by arrogant people who believe they no better than the saints? Why does the Church leave her children unguarded in the face of these attacks? I don’t understand.

    • Wake up England

      William:

      I thoroughly agree with you. I don’t understand either. And the more one sees it all, the less one understands, I fear.

      We mustn’t give up though – or lose hope.

  • Martin

    Utterly ghastly woman, but the problem we have is that – alas – she is not in a minority. The uncatechised laity in this country and others, who see things in a secularised way, would and do support her. The question here is: how does the Church educate people so that they do not take such positions? For we are raising a laity which is effectively heretical. The lapsation rate of people leaving Catholic schools in this country is 94% and those who do still go are not orthodox.

    • Wake up England

      Martin:

      “How does the Church educate people”

      Well, it did it very effectively indeed by teaching the Catechism by heart, until it suddenly had a “Breath of Fresh Air” from Vatican 2. Then it stopped teaching children the catechism. Now they know next to nothing. Try asking anyone under 25 to name all the mysteries of the Rosary; or recite the Ten Commandments: they won’t be able to. Then try asking anyone over 70 the same question.

      There, Martin, is your answer.

      • Benedict Carter

        But you claimed on another thread that Vatican II was wholly orthodox. When will you people wake up and connect the very large dots?

        • Wake up England

          Benedict Carter:

          You mis-represent what I meant:

          I actually think said Vatican 2 was an orthodox council. I believe this because the church tells me to.

          Vatican 2 said nothing about stopping the teaching – by rote learning – of the “Penny” Catechism.

          Nor did it say the altars had to be turned around and Latin (all but) abolished.

          I fear the “Breath of fresh air” was nothing but a “wind of change” blowing in the “Spirit of V2″.

          V2 itself I reluctantly accept because of obedience. The SPIRIT of V2 rubbish I wholly reject as nonsense – there is no such thing. It was invented after the Council, during the Swinging 60s, and gathered speed in the dreary 70s.

    • tro

      “how does the Church educate people so that they do not take such positions?”

      Good question, given that so many bishops and priests are themselves heterodox.

    • Lola

      “How does the Church educate people…”

      Catholic formation rests on a three-legged stool: Church, home and school. In whatever capacity, faithful Catholics have a role in all of the three and should pass on the faith accordingly…even when the three-legged stool limps.

  • Helena

    The precise words of Pope Francis in the interview regarding the topic “On Women”:
    …….
    Jean-Marie Guénois:

    Holy Father, one question, with my colleague from La Croix: You have said that without women, the Church grows barren. What concrete measures will you take? For example, the diaconate for women or a woman as a head of dicastery? Also, a little technical question: you said you were tired. Have special arrangements been made for the return flight? Thank you, Your Holiness.

    Pope Francis:

    Let’s begin with the last question. This plane doesn’t have any special arrangements. I am up front, I have a nice seat, a normal one, the same as everyone else has. I had them write a letter and make a phone call to say that I did not want special arrangements on the plane: is that clear? Second, about women. A Church without women is like the college of the Apostles without Mary. The role of women in the Church is not simply that of maternity, being mothers, but much greater: it is precisely to be the icon of the Virgin, of Our Lady; what helps make the Church grow! But think about it, Our Lady is more important than the Apostles! She is more important! The Church is feminine. She is Church, she is bride, she is mother. But women, in the Church, must not only… I don’t know how to say this in Italian… the role of women in the Church must not be limited to being mothers, workers, a limited role… No! It is something else! But the Popes.. Paul VI wrote beautifully of women, but I believe that we have much more to do in making explicit this role and charism of women. We can’t imagine a Church without women, but women active in the Church, with the distinctive role that they play. I think of an example which has nothing to do with the Church, but is an historical example: in Latin America, Paraguay. For me, the women of Paraguay are the most glorious women in Latin America. Are you paraguayo? After the war, there were eight women for every man, and these women made a rather difficult decision: the decision to bear children in order to save their country, their culture, their faith, and their language. In the Church, this is how we should think of women: taking risky decisions, yet as women. This needs to be better explained. I believe that we have not yet come up with a profound theology of womanhood, in the Church. All we say is: they can do this, they can do that, now they are altar servers, now they do the readings, they are in charge of Caritas (Catholic charities). But there is more! We need to develop a profound theology of womanhood. That is what I think.

    Ana Fereira:

    Good evening, Holy Father. Thanks. I would like to say any number of “thanks”. Thanks for having brought so much joy to Brazil, and thanks also for responding to our questions. We journalists really like to ask questions. I would like to know, since yesterday you spoke to the Brazilian bishops about the participation of women in our Church… I would like to understand better, what this participation of us women in the Church would be like. Also, what do you think of women’s ordination? What should our position in the Church be like?

    Pope Francis:

    I would like to explain a bit more what I said about women’s participation in the Church. It can’t just be about their acting as altar servers, heads of Caritas, catechists… No! They have to be more, profoundly more, even mystically more, along with everything I said about the theology of womanhood. And, as far as women’s ordination is concerned, the Church has spoken and said: “No”. John Paul II said it, but with a definitive formulation. That door is closed, but on this issue I want to tell you something. I have said it, but I repeat it. Our Lady, Mary, was more important than the Apostles, than bishops and deacons and priests. Women, in the Church, are more important than bishops and priests; how, this is something we have to try to explain better, because I believe that we lack a theological explanation of this. Thank you.
    ……….
    Being myself a Latin American, I think I know what he is planning….and I won’t spoil the surprise. Tip: go there and look what women do in charity and also in pastoral work. I guarantee it is not only fund-raising.
    Women who are shouting to be ordained should think twice. Ordination is a tough job, implies in chastity (and the Chrirch won’t change this), front-line work in miserable conditions and for women it would have the extra burden of the danger of being raped. Priests are frequently murdered while in missionary works when in front line. It would not be different with women priests, in fact it would be twice as dangerous. This Pope know this very well. So did JPII.
    The Church has not been fair to women during its existance, that’s true. But it has the chance now of rethinking the role in a much more open Age. Women need more leadreship positions, and this may be the proper role Pope Francis is thinking of.
    Wait, this is all I can say.

    • Sonja

      Helena – I’ve read the words quoted by Francis before — but thanks for taking the trouble to highlight them here — and thanks for your addition Latin American insights. — I would love to track the nun down and send her this piece — as ‘food for thought’ to save her soul.

    • Benedict Carter

      “The Church has not been fair to women during its existance, that’s true”.

      What on earth can you possibly mean?

      What Bishop of Rome Imbroglio means is anyone’s guess. He clearly doesn’t know himself.

  • Wake up England

    Well, I think it would be a very good idea if Pope Francis dusted-off the cathedra; climbed onto it and declared an infallible dogma to the effect that women can never be admitted to holy orders, or be Cardinals. These feminist agitators will never stop making trouble until the matter is officially trumpeted once and for all, for all time.

    • tro

      I get the impression from his remarks that Bishop Francis regrets that the door to women’s ordination has been closed and that if were up to him that door would be flung wide open.

      In general, his remarks about women (Our Blessed Lady aside) sound to me like the kind of pandering he knows the media will lap up.

      • Lynda

        We are all coninually stunned, aghast, upset by this abandonment of duty to the Faith and the Fauthful by so many Bishops and priests. And the complete denial that this so by themselves and other Carholic commentators while blaming those who point out truh. It is very painful – perhaps he hardest cross we have to carry. We offer up this terrible suffering to God in reparation for the widespread apostasy and persecution of those loyal to the Deposit of Faith. We are an abandoned flock, a despised, spurned flock, for the most part.

  • Rifleman819

    “Sr Theresa Kane is wrong about women priests” asserts the current leader of the One Holy Roman, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

    There-much better

    • Jonathan Marshall

      Well said, 819 – “women priests” is an oxymoron, and it really would be nice if HH put this particular one out of its misery.

      • Rifleman 819

        Jonathon,

        Many thanks.

        Interesting …..it nearly always seems to be North America….the seat of Enlightenment and the “me” culture that can never “get its head round” discipline , order, structure and tradition……in nearly aspect of human activity -not just with N.American Catholics.

        Very significantly too -it seems to have had the highest diocesan “per capita” percentage of abusive priests /religious across the Universal church.

        That cannot just be coincidence, can it?

  • Michael B Rooke

    In the interview on the plane coming back from Rio the Holy father said in reply to a question from journalist, Ana Fereira, on women’s ordination

    “And, as far as women’s ordination is concerned, the Church has spoken and said: “No”. John Paul II said it, but with a definitive formulation. That door is closed, but on this issue I want to tell you something. I have said it, but I repeat it. Our Lady, Mary, was more important than the Apostles, than bishops and deacons and priests. Women, in the Church, are more important than bishops and priests; how, this is something we have to try to explain better, because I believe that we lack a theological explanation of this. Thank you.”

    Ana Fereira:

    Good evening, Holy Father. Thanks. I would like to say any number of “thanks”. Thanks for having brought so much joy to Brazil, and thanks also for responding to our questions. We journalists really like to ask questions. I would like to know, since yesterday you spoke to the Brazilian bishops about the participation of women in our Church… I would like to understand better, what this participation of us women in the Church would be like. Also, what do you think of women’s ordination? What should our position in the Church be like?

    Pope Francis:

    I would like to explain a bit more what I said about women’s participation in the Church. It can’t just be about their acting as altar servers, heads of Caritas, catechists… No! They have to be more, profoundly more, even mystically more, along with everything I said about the theology of womanhood. And, as far as women’s ordination is concerned, the Church has spoken and said: “No”. John Paul II said it, but with a definitive formulation. That door is closed, but on this issue I want to tell you something. I have said it, but I repeat it. Our Lady, Mary, was more important than the Apostles, than bishops and deacons and priests. Women, in the Church, are more important than bishops and priests; how, this is something we have to try to explain better, because I believe that we lack a theological explanation of this. Thank you.

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/speeches/2013/july/documents/papa-francesco_20130728_gmg-conferenza-stampa_en.html

  • Ioannes

    The only reason for putting a woman on a pedestal is to get a better view of her legs. Sr Kane and the rest of the LCWR need have no fear of being ‘pedestalized’.

  • Sonja

    I always believed the priesthood to be a vocation not a ‘right’ or a ‘career path’. It is sad that so many of these nuns on the bus types have got so wrapped up in equality issues that many of them can no longer see the value that they can bring to the Church. Also Francis has already affirmed his commitment to support the role of women. Give him time to show what that means. Sisters Such as Theresa Kane sound so fearful (and illogical) — I wouldn’t wish to see them in leadership positions (of any description).

    The last passage fro this blog sums it up nicely: “In today’s society, however, the Catholic priesthood has been reduced to the last frontier of the feminist power-play, and it is hardly surprising or a coincidence that the push for female priests comes at the same time when same-sex “marriages” are all the rage. Since the liturgical act mirrors the reality of marriage in society, a female priest with the Church as Bride would merely reflect the culture’s approval of homosexuality in general and same-sex “marriage” in particular.” — last paragraph from John Pacheco written in 2008 sums it up nicely:
    http://www.catholic-legate.com/Apologetics/TheSacraments/Articles/WhyWomenCantBePriests.aspx (worth a read for the reminder of the doctrine)

  • freboniusthe2

    So sad and yet not really unexpected; these poor old grannies of the great earth mother are finally going away to be replaced by more younger women who are tired of all the starhawk rubbish and wish to live authentic catholic religious lives.

  • Paul Commins

    The LCWR should be disciplined.They hold views not compatible with Catholicism,and worse,spread them abroad.
    These words of Pope Francis,if true,also need clarification(“In the Church, woman is more important than bishops and priests; how, it’s what we must seek to make more explicit, because theological explicitness about this is lacking”)

  • I have news for Sr Kane (or is that Cain?) a woman does not equal a man and a man does not equal a woman. We are different, we are complementary, there is no difference between us in the order of salvation, but God did not make us the same. She can no more be a father than I can be a mother. If she really wants to influence the Church and the world for good she should go off and become the next Mother Teresa – a woman who could even put the Pope in the shade. Would Mother Teresa have had the most powerful men in the world falling at her feet if she had been a man?

  • Michael B Rooke

    Below is video and transcription (mine) of the Dominican Father Wojciech Giertych, theologian of the papal household, speaking on the subject of the ordination of women in February 2013.

    “In Theology we base ourselves not on human expectations but we base ourselves on the revealed word of God, on what God has said and the priesthood is not a natural human social function and the Catholic priesthood is tied with the unique priesthood of Christ, which means that we are not free to invent the priesthood according to our own customs our own expectations – we interpret the priesthood through Christ and the Catholic priesthood has been instituted by Christ not invented by the Church. The Apostles were not elected they were not designated by the crowds they didn’t propose themselves they were chosen by Christ. He chose men as priests and the incarnation the Son of God became flesh but became flesh not in a sexless humanity but as a male so this is the fundamental reason why the Church cannot change the priesthood, the understanding of the priesthood allowing of the ordination of women.

    Christ was courageous in respect to the local social customs He was not afraid to be counter cultural He was saying things that the Pharisees did not like, he was saying things contrary to human expectations. He didn’t follow the expectations of the powerful of Pilate, of Herod, He had his own work his own mission and so the argument that Jesus won’t have to fit into the local culture so now we have a different culture and so we distort Christianity to make it look like what we are expecting and living out today this is a distortion and the Church by being rooted in the truth that we received and not invented the Church is liberated from the slavery of fashion.

    If we remember that in ancient Rome young people were never adults so long as their parents were alive both men and women, the parents, the father could decide about everything, decide about marriage he could kill his child and in the early Church young teenage girls who discovered Christ and decided to be the spouses of Christ reacted strongly against the dominant culture by saying that they will be virgins of Christ and they gave their lives and between the time of the Apostles and the great fathers of the Church we have these wonderful virgin martyrs mentioned amongst others in the first* Eucharistic prayer, Agatha, Lucy, Perpetua, Felicity, these were young teenagers who said my husband is Christ and the father will not marry me off so this is a sign of enormous dignity of the woman.

    It seems that the woman have a special access to the heart of Jesus and access in a very vivid way of approaching him of touching him of praying with him of pouring ointment on his head of kissing his feet so that women have an access to Jesus and made in some sense more apt to draw in from the mystery of Christ by the quality of their prayer life by the quality of their faith by maybe a greater facility to receive the grace of God to give but never the less they are not endowed with the Apostolic mission that Jesus gave to men.”

    http://blog.newadvent.org/2013/02/theologian-of-papal-household-answers.html
    *In English liturgy Second Eucharistic Prayer.

    Details of Virgin martyrs mentioned in the liturgy are given below.
    St Agatha Virgin Martyr d c250-253
    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01203c.htm

    St Agnes of Rome Martyr d c304AD age 12 or 13
    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01214a.htm

    St Cecilia Virgin Martyr beheaded c 250 AD
    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03471b.htm

    Sts. Felicitas and Perpetua
    St Felicity was servant to St Perpetua. Perpetua was married and pregnant but allowed to give birth before being sent to the arena with St Felicity in AD 203.
    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06029a.htm

    St Lucy Virgin Martyr d c303 AD
    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09414a.htm

  • Benedict Carter

    When one contrasts the way these appalling wymmin are treated, pagans and wiccans as they are, with the way the Church treats Her very best sons and daughters (the SSPX and allies), one can only shake one’s head at the utter and complete insanity of it all.

    Our Lady told Lucia this would be the time of “diabolical disorientation”. Well, we’ve got it.

    Maybe Bishop of Rome Imbroglio will ignore the scandal given by these wymmin in the same way as he has ignored that of Ricca.

    • I wouldn’t have said the SSPX are the best example to give. Refusal of obedience to the Roman Pontiff is not Traditional or good – whatever the motives for doing it. The end never justifies the means. The treatment meted out to the FFI, on the other hand, is in stark contrast to the kid gloves with which the likes of Sr. Kane and her goddess-worshippers are handled. If only the Holy Ghost would inspire her to say that she wants wimmin-priests so that there can be more Tridentine Masses, then the Vatican would probably shut her up.

      • Benedict Carter

        They don’t refuse obedience to the Roman Pontiff. They refuse obedience to non-Catholic doctrine.

        The Faith ALWAYS comes first.

        • Wake up England

          Benedict Carter:

          Which is why you and all Catholics are bound to accept Vatican 2.

          However distasteful you may find the liturgical (and other) changes it brought, there is no question that you must obey the Church. The Catholic Church is not a democracy.

  • BJC

    And let’s not forget, the women priest enthusiasts do not just want “women priests”. Some want to go much further than that, and create what is effectively a whole new religion. Here is Sr. Theresa Kane herself, on the liturgy not long ago, at something called the Celebration Conference on Effective Liturgy (2010):

    (1) “There are a number of women who have already moved out of traditional Sunday worship. They are still finding where they want to go. We have a number of women who have begun very courageous, strong alternative liturgies, which we believe are valid, mystic, pastoral, spiritual — all the qualities that are needed for the human soul.”

    (2) We have many who are moving to other protestant traditions. We also have a growing number of women who are doing to feminist liturgies, taking turns presiding, co-presiding, perfectly comfortable with it. I think it’s a conscience call.”

    Don’t know about you, but something tells me she doesn’t believe in the Holy Sacrifice of the mass, and if she doesn’t believe in that then, what does she believe about the supernatural life and the Fall? Have we got another Fr. Daniel O’Leary on our hands? It would be interesting to know where TIna and co. down at the Tablet stood on all this, and how much they reject.

    For those of you who can stomach it, I’ve linked to a video below of a ‘Roman Catholic Women Priest’ ordination mass where at the epiclesis the ‘woman priest’ says this (all the words throughout use ‘inclusive language’):

    ‘Therefore, we ask you, that you send your Holy Spirit (capitals?) afresh upon us, and upon our gifts, that they may become for us and we for the world the body and blood of Jesus the Christ, at this invitation we celebrate this eucharist’

    Instead of:

    ‘And so Father, we bring you these gifts. We ask you to make them holy by the power of your Spirit, that they may become the body and blood of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at whose command we celebrate this eucharist.

    What this “woman priest” seems to be trying to do is to transubtantiate not only the bread and wine, but the people as well (!). This might explain, why those seminarians in Maynooth (if anyone can remember that far back) were being told the Real Presence wasn’t just in the Eucharist, it was also present among the people. Weird. There are also myriad other liturgical abuses with this “mass”, such as the congregation joining in the words of consecration (presumably because there’s a revised definition of “priesthood of all the faithful” in woman priest land), but they just highlight the doctrinal divergences we get into when someone goes down the “woman priest” route. It’s not just about women priests.

    On this last point, it’s as well to note that the doctrinal assessment of the LCWR, which Sr. Theresa Kane was president of for many years, found the following in 2012. This was of course after years of complaints, and after an Vatican inspection team was sent in.

    - Addresses at LCWR assemblies mentioned ‘moving beyond the Church’ or even moving beyond Jesus

    - “Leadership teams” of various congregations took positions against Church teaching on women priests, and pastoral care for homosexual persons, e.g. letters about New Ways Ministry’s conferences

    - Prevalence of radical feminist themes in programs and presentations that risked distorting the Catholic faith, e.g. undermining of the teaching on the Holy Trinity, divinity of Christ, and inspiration of Sacred Scripture

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utjy_xOUpwM

    http://www.usccb.org/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&pageid=55544

  • clare scheel

    Priests need to be able to marry and women, of course should be priests. Wake up world. If the Catholic Church is to survive we must change.

    • Benedict Carter

      The Church has been assaulted by demons all through Her history, and always will. What you propose is simply another assault by the powers of hell.

    • Lynda

      Christ determines what His Church is – and it doesn’t change to suit its enemies’ desires. It is not a pawn to be manipulated.

    • Karla

      Sacrament of Holy orders (http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p2s2c3a6.htm) makes clear that a priest acts in the person of Christ – in persona Christi. Jesus Christ was a man and and only men can take on that indelible character.

    • @clare scheel: On the contrary, if the Church is to survive in a culture that suffers from the postmodern fetish of the new, change is the last thing she needs.

      Not, of course, that her doctrine in this matter is subject to change in the first place! As the Pope said, the Church has spoken on the subject of women’s ordination and she has said “no”. It’s time for Sr Kane and her ilk to cease their lobbying and submit to the Church’s teaching in this matter.

    • Rifleman819

      Clare Scheel ,

      Which part(s) of the various Protestant communions are you talking about then?…..because what you advocate about female ordination in the RCC cannot happen.

      Survival?-with 1.2 Bn Catholics in the world we’re not doing too bad are we?

      Look at the wonderful unity , strength, order and calm the whole equality agenda has imposed on the Anglican community worldwide-inspirational …isn’t it?

  • David t

    Well, she would say that, wouldn’t she. But, of course, she’s right.

  • Sr (or is she a self-appointed St?) Theresa Kane in saying that Pope Francis “should reconsider the Catholic church’s ban on women priests” reveals a basic ignorance of both the faith she purports to hold and the origins of the Church to which she claims to belong, perhaps even own. The Church has never banned women from becoming priests. Christ chose not to invite them to become priests, despite the fact that nothing prevented him from so doing if he had so wished. And it wasn’t as if he didn’t know any women who could have made excellent priests if he had desired to call them to that ministry. But he didn’t issue the call. So on what basis could any Pope choose to do what Christ pointedly did not do?

  • Joseph Matthew

    ” John Paul was definitive but John Paul is dead”. Peter has spoken but Peter is dead? This lady is no theologian,just an angry person who sadly lost her faith.

  • Wake up England

    Peter and the Pererites have gone very quiet, dear readers.

    Am I alone in noticing this?

    Do you think he’s lying low until the “Father Meredith” business has blown over?

    Are you a priest as well, Peter?

  • Sonja

    Speaking as another woman — no Clare/David you are wrong.

    BJC – thanks for the info and links on the dreaded liturgical abuses. No wonder they are under investigation — but the rot has set in so deep, I can’t see them turning back. (As for watching the epiclesis – (your right – no stomach!).

  • Sonja

    Just spotted this:
    “We belong to the Church Militant; and she is militant because on earth the powers of darkness are ever restless to encompass her destruction” – Pope Piux XII, 1953

  • Sonja

    This thought was shared to me by a friend (female) in response to the link I posted earlier on why women cannot be priests — and as it is pertinent to the discussion I would like to share it with the wider group:

    “It seems to me that if women who want to be more involved in leadership and other positions of ministry within the Church gave up persisting in their demands to be allowed to be priests, they could turn all that energy to exploring and developing the richness of the roles that are open to women in the Church and what they can offer the ecclesiastical community. Then we really might get somewhere in developing opportunities for women to play their full role in the Church, and in developing that “theology of woman” that Pope Francis referred to as being needed. But all the while there’s this obsession with wanting women to be priests, the richness and potential of the true female charism (or what JPII called “the feminine genius”) is going to be neglected and stunted. Which is a shame because I know it’s a very beautiful, dignified and fruitful charism, were we but open to it!”

  • Rifleman819

    Dear all,

    I think I can draw up a compromise solution for the lovely Sr.Theresa…but it may not satisfy a number of her “ballsier” followers in north America.

    She can set up her own Order-”Sorores Ferales Sanctae Cybele”(SFSC)-The Wild Sisters of Sacred Cybele.

    “Cybele” or the Great Mother cult deity of Phyrygia and her lesser consort Attis were famed in Rome for their wild and ecstatic circle- dancing and had a transgender and eunuch priesthood-and they held ritual castrations in the Roman month of March, although this level of devotion was barred to Roman citizens.

    St Augustine of Hippo as a young pagan in Carthage records the horrid fascination of the townsfolk at the begging activities of the over-rouged catamites of the Great Goddess. Obviously not everyone’s cup of tea even twenty centuries ago.

    So……those gentleman pro-female ordination ……any volunteers?

    If you want tradition …you just got tradition.

  • BJC

    Off-topic, but you aren’t going to believe this. On second thoughts you will, because its legal now, and this is of course that will happen. No coincidence of course its the BBC who get the ball rolling.

    http://www.christian.org.uk/news/bbc-to-air-kids-show-on-gay-marriage/

    This is another interesting story from Switzerland:

    http://www.christian.org.uk/news/swiss-asked-to-ditch-god-from-national-anthem/

  • Rifleman819

    BJC,

    Regarding the BBC programme …they will obviously be doing a follow-up feature on Usuf and Abdul and their nuptials , won’t they?

    And the reaction of their mosque community………

    Naturally they will , sure , of course…because it is Equality , innit?

    • BJC

      Rifleman819

      The first thing that struck me about it, was what happens when all this ends up on Blue Peter! My how times have changed, but logically it will one day in some kind of indirect way. And what about the story lines in the soaps. Its logical that one day they will have “gay weddings” and IVF children.

      • Rifleman819

        BJC,

        Yes indeed……completely agree with you.They start with the “Archers” and then subvert from there.

        A long way from “Blue Peter” and Valerie Singleton and creating the Eiffel Tower from loo rolls!

        But watch the collapse of the Beeb when you mention Female Genital Mutilation and kindred other areas.We live in a meltdown society but our ruling elites are in complete denial about their collective responsibility for it.

        Sowing and Reaping come to mind.

        • BJC

          Rifleman819

          Here’s the latest madness. The march against gingerism! You cannot make it up.

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-23643831

          • Rifleman819

            BJC,

            World’s gone mad. Everyone has rights….apart from those who are ostracised by those who decide who has these rights.Enlightenment arrogance from start to finish.

            The marginalised have no rights at all.

            In 1960 in Britain …an unborn child could sleep peacefully in the womb and a convicted murderer had a very real chance of going through a trap door with a rope around the neck.

            A decade later in 1970 the absolute reverse was true.

  • Lionel (Paris)

    I cannot resist in reminding you of the excellent Anthony’s refutation on “the ordination of women”:
    July 24, 2010 at 1:51 pm
    The Catholic Church venerates Our Lady as the pinnacle of womanhood, both as Mother and Virgin.
    For a woman to seek priesthood would assume a dimension distinct from the fulfilment of womanhood achieved by Our Lady. It would diminish Our Lady as the model of perfect and complete womanhood by introducing a further role for women, one in which she does not partake.
    The arrival of women priests would mean that Our Lady, despite her position as Mother of God and Virgin of virgins, no longer represents the pinnacle of womanhood. It would be an admission that she is lacking in her fulfilment of that role since she has missed out on a further role which is the priestly ministry.
    Clearly, for Catholics this would be an intolerable position. Our Lady is God’s perfect creature whom He has crowned as Queen of Heaven. She has received God’s favour and is lacking in nothing. Female ministry would be a contradiction of her position and therefore a contradiction of the marvels that God has done for her.

    Traduction:
    L’Église catholique vénère Notre-Dame comme le summum de la féminité, à la fois comme Mère et Vierge.
    Pour une femme de demander le Sacerdoce suppose une dimension distincte de l’accomplissement de la féminité réalisé par Notre-Dame. Elle diminuerait Notre-Dame en tant que modèle de la femme parfaite et complète en introduisant un autre rôle pour les femmes auquel Elle ne participe pas.
    L’avènement de femmes prêtres signifierait que Notre-Dame, en dépit de sa position en tant que Mère de Dieu et Vierge des vierges, ne représente plus le summum de la féminité. Ce serait un aveu qu’Elle fait défaut dans son accomplissement de ce rôle depuis qu’Elle a été privée d’un autre rôle qui est le Ministère Sacerdotal.
    De toute évidence, pour les catholiques ce serait une situation intolérable. Notre-Dame est une créature parfaite de Dieu qu’Il a couronnée en tant que Reine du Ciel. Elle a reçu la faveur de Dieu et ne manque de rien. Le “ministère de la femme” serait en contradiction avec sa position et donc en contradiction avec les merveilles que Dieu a réalisées en Elle.

  • Fenton

    I agree with the good nun. She should be a priestess…in one of the many false religions out there.

    The Anglican/Episcopalian Sect has plenty of openings for her and her fellow heretics.

    Why the Church doesn’t excommunicate her and her band of merry women is beyond me…

  • Rifleman819

    Peter,

    Get well soon ……our prayers and thoughts are with you.

  • JamesM

    Pope Francis isn’t even a trained liturgist.

    Sorry, wrong topic.

    ;)

  • Francis

    I have a feeling that if the laity were allowed to express their thoughts on women priests, a large majority would be in favour! And I predict, in fifty years, or less, the Catholic Church will have embraced women priests because the absurd reasons given by Pope John Paul 11 will be unsustainable.

    • Martin

      The laity are irrelevant, mostly because they don’t understand the theology and have been deceived into seeing it as a secular equalities issue.

      Women cannot be priests. It’s an ontological impossibility.

  • Sonja

    Just read this brilliant challenge to a Guardian Journalist on her expressed disappointment in Francis that he seems ‘pro-gay’ but ‘anti-women priests’ — (just in a quick nutshell). The style of writing is brilliant. Obviously I was already onside — so I got a real uplift from the piece on this recently much discussed topic.
    http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Blog/2474/on_the_sad_lies_and_embarrassing_illogic_of_womens_ordination_supporters.aspx#.UgpbZZLVD8c

  • Ursula

    Pope Francis did NOT said NO to Women’s Ordination! John Paul II Said NO, DOGMATICALLY

    Many people were upset about Pope Francis answer to the question concerning women’s ordination in his interview with the journalists on the way home from WYD in Rio. Most headlines and comments said that Pope Francis said NO to women’s ordination to the priesthood. That is neither a fair nor an accurate assessment of Pope Francis’ answer to the journalist’s question.

    Ir was NOT Pope Francis who said No to the question of women’s ordination!

    It was Pope John Paul II who said NO. And he said it in such a way(with a particular formula), that all of his successors would be bound by the same restrictions.

    Let me explain.

    But first, here is the English translation of the interchange that brought up the question of the women’s ordination.

    —————————————————————————————————————–

    Anna Ferreira: Holy Father, good evening. Thank you. I would like to say “thank you” so many times: thank you for having brought so much joy to Brazil, and thank you also for answering our questions. We, journalists, are so fond of asking questions. I would like to know, why, yesterday, you spoke to the Brazilian Bishops about women’s participation in our Church. I’d like to understand better: how should this participation be for us, women in the Church? If you … what do you think of the ordination of women? What should our position in the Church be?

    Pope Francis: I would like to explain a bit what I said on the participation of women in the Church. It can’t be limited to being altar servers or presidents of Caritas, catechists … No! It must be more, but profoundly more!

    Even mystically more, with what I’ve said of the theology of woman.

    And, with reference to the ordination of women, the Church has spoken and she said : “No.”

    John Paul II said it, but with a definitive formulation. That is closed, that door is closed.

    But I’d like to say something about this. I’ve said it, but I repeat it. Our Lady, Mary, was more important than the Apostles, than bishops, deacons and priests.

    In the Church, woman is more important than bishops and priests; how, it’s what we must seek to make more explicit, because theological explicitness about this is lacking. Thank you.

    ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

    Pope Francis’ words concerning women’s ordination were,

    “And, with reference to the ordination of women

    the Church has spoken

    and she said : “No.”

    John Paul II said it,

    but with a definitive formulation.

    That is closed, that door is closed.”

    ———–

    Most people just heard the word ‘NO” in that answer.

    And judging by the articles, the media also seems to have only heard the word “No” ( which may be part of the reason why most people heard it that way.).

    BUT, what does that answer mean exactly?

    Why did Pope Francis say that the CHurch has spoken and she said no?

    His next sentence EXPLAINS how the Church had already addressed this issue and said no.

    “John Paul II said it, but with a definitive formulation.”

    ——————

    Most of us would not understand how this explains that the CHURCH HAS SPOKEN AND SHE SAID NO.

    Most ofus would not realize exactly what Pope Francis was referring to when he said that John Paul II had said it. AND most of us would not understand what Pope Francis meant by the phrase ‘a definitive formulation’.

    Well let me try to explain this short but very full and very concise answer!

    A Definitive Formulation is the formula used by a pope for speaking ‘ex cathedra’, that is, speaking from the chair of Peter. Speaking from the chair of Peter, ex cathedra, is considered to be infallible.

    As stated in Vatican I , speaking ex cathedra means that
    ◾it is a dogma Divinely revealed that the Roman pontiff when he speaks ex cathedra,
    ◾he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal Church,
    ◾and that therefore such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves and not from the consent of the Church irreformable.

    What John Paul II had said with a ‘definitive formula’ was that the Catholic priesthood is reserved to men and that the Church cannot ever ordain women. The statement was made in an Apostolic Letter entitled Ordinatio Sacerdotalis.

    SO, THE ANSWER THAT POPE FRANCIS GAVE ON THE SUBJECT ON WOMEN’S ORDINATION actually means this: by saying that the Catholic priesthood is reserved to men, and therefore the Church cannot ever ordain women with a definitive formulation(ex cathedra), John Paul II made it a doctrine of faith.

    Since doctrines are considered to be part of the ‘deposit of faith’, they CANNOT be changed.”

    Therefore, Pope Francis said, “The Church has spoken and she said no.”

    And THAT is why he said,

    “That is closed, that door is closed.”

    (Note: Disciplines are not considered to be part of the deposit of faith and these are the things that can be changed in the Catholic Church.)

    Pope Francis did NOT close the door on women’s ordination! It was already closed before he got there.

    The door was closed in John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter, Orinatio Sacerdotalis.

    Here is a description of the Apostolic Letter, Ordinatio Sacerdotalisit that Pope John Paul II wrote. It was issued on May 22, 1994, and it may have been John Paul’s most controversial apostolic letter. In it he announced “in a definitive mode” that the Catholic priesthood is reserved to men, and therefore the Church cannot ever ordain women. By making this announcement in these unquestionable terms, the Pope made it clear that his successors would be bound by the same restriction, since the all-male priesthood was established not by human rules by by divine command.

    .

    The actual statement(underlined), taken from the Apostolic Letter, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, that reserves the Catholic priesthood to men::

    “Although the teaching that priestly ordination is to be reserved to men alone has been preserved by the constant and universal Tradition of the Church and firmly taught by the Magisterium in its more recent documents, at the present time in some places it is nonetheless considered still open to debate, or the Church’s judgment that women are not to be admitted to ordination is considered to have a merely disciplinary force.

    Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.”

    ————————————————————————————————–

    Below, I have copied the Apostolic Letter,Ordinatio Sacerdotalis( with a brief introduction) and the pertinent excerpts from Vatican I documents on infallibility and The conditions required for ex cathedra teaching (the definitive formula).-=======================================================

    For those of you who may not be aware of this:

    In this Apostolic Letter,Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, Pope John Paul II INTENTIONALLY made a definitnve statement that the Catholic priesthood is reserved to men. He used the formula(as defined in the First Vatican Council.) for teaching ex cathedra

    ex cathedra makes this an INFALLIBLE doctrine of faith .

    (Speaking, ‘ex cathedra’, from the chair (of Peter), defines the statement made by the pope to be infallible DOGMA!)

    APOSTOLIC LETTER ORDINATIO SACERDOTALIS OF JOHN PAUL II TO THE BISHOPS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ON RESERVING PRIESTLY ORDINATION TO MEN ALONE

    Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate,

    1. Priestly ordination, which hands on the office entrusted by Christ to his Apostles of teaching, sanctifying and governing the faithful, has in the Catholic Church from the beginning always been reserved to men alone. This tradition has also been faithfully maintained by the Oriental Churches.

    When the question of the ordination of women arose in the Anglican Communion, Pope Paul VI, out of fidelity to his office of safeguarding the Apostolic Tradition, and also with a view to removing a new obstacle placed in the way of Christian unity, reminded Anglicans of the position of the Catholic Church: “She holds that it is not admissible to ordain women to the priesthood, for very fundamental reasons. These reasons include: the example recorded in the Sacred Scriptures of Christ choosing his Apostles only from among men; the constant practice of the Church, which has imitated Christ in choosing only men; and her living teaching authority which has consistently held that the exclusion of women from the priesthood is in accordance with God’s plan for his Church.”(1)

    But since the question had also become the subject of debate among theologians and in certain Catholic circles, Paul VI directed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to set forth and expound the teaching of the Church on this matter. This was done through the Declaration Inter Insigniores, which the Supreme Pontiff approved and ordered to be published.(2)

    2. The Declaration recalls and explains the fundamental reasons for this teaching, reasons expounded by Paul VI, and concludes that the Church “does not consider herself authorized to admit women to priestly ordination.”(3) To these fundamental reasons the document adds other theological reasons which illustrate the appropriateness of the divine provision, and it also shows clearly that Christ’s way of acting did not proceed from sociological or cultural motives peculiar to his time. As Paul VI later explained: “The real reason is that, in giving the Church her fundamental constitution, her theological anthropology-thereafter always followed by the Church’s Tradition- Christ established things in this way.”(4)

    In the Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem, I myself wrote in this regard: “In calling only men as his Apostles, Christ acted in a completely free and sovereign manner. In doing so, he exercised the same freedom with which, in all his behavior, he emphasized the dignity and the vocation of women, without conforming to the prevailing customs and to the traditions sanctioned by the legislation of the time.”(5)

    In fact the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles attest that this call was made in accordance with God’s eternal plan; Christ chose those whom he willed (cf. Mk 3:13-14; Jn 6:70), and he did so in union with the Father, “through the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:2), after having spent the night in prayer (cf. Lk 6:12). Therefore, in granting admission to the ministerial priesthood,(6) the Church has always acknowledged as a perennial norm her Lord’s way of acting in choosing the twelve men whom he made the foundation of his Church (cf. Rv 21:14). These men did not in fact receive only a function which could thereafter be exercised by any member of the Church; rather they were specifically and intimately associated in the mission of the Incarnate Word himself (cf. Mt 10:1, 7-8; 28:16-20; Mk 3:13-16; 16:14-15). The Apostles did the same when they chose fellow workers(7) who would succeed them in their ministry.(8) Also included in this choice were those who, throughout the time of the Church, would carry on the Apostles’ mission of representing Christ the Lord and Redeemer.(9)

    3. Furthermore, the fact that the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and Mother of the Church, received neither the mission proper to the Apostles nor the ministerial priesthood clearly shows that the non-admission of women to priestly ordination cannot mean that women are of lesser dignity, nor can it be construed as discrimination against them. Rather, it is to be seen as the faithful observance of a plan to be ascribed to the wisdom of the Lord of the universe.

    The presence and the role of women in the life and mission of the Church, although not linked to the ministerial priesthood, remain absolutely necessary and irreplaceable. As the Declaration Inter Insigniores points out, “the Church desires that Christian women should become fully aware of the greatness of their mission: today their role is of capital importance both for the renewal and humanization of society and for the rediscovery by believers of the true face of the Church.”(10)

    The New Testament and the whole history of the Church give ample evidence of the presence in the Church of women, true disciples, witnesses to Christ in the family and in society, as well as in total consecration to the service of God and of the Gospel. “By defending the dignity of women and their vocation, the Church has shown honor and gratitude for those women who-faithful to the Gospel-have shared in every age in the apostolic mission of the whole People of God. They are the holy martyrs, virgins and mothers of families, who bravely bore witness to their faith and passed on the Church’s faith and tradition by bringing up their children in the spirit of the Gospel.”(11)

    Moreover, it is to the holiness of the faithful that the hierarchical structure of the Church is totally ordered. For this reason, the Declaration Inter Insigniores recalls: “the only better gift, which can and must be desired, is love (cf. 1 Cor 12 and 13). The greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven are not the ministers but the saints.”(12)

    4. Although the teaching that priestly ordination is to be reserved to men alone has been preserved by the constant and universal Tradition of the Church and firmly taught by the Magisterium in its more recent documents, at the present time in some places it is nonetheless considered still open to debate, or the Church’s judgment that women are not to be admitted to ordination is considered to have a merely disciplinary force.

    Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.

    Invoking an abundance of divine assistance upon you, venerable brothers, and upon all the faithful, I impart my apostolic blessing.

    From the Vatican, on May 22, the Solemnity of Pentecost, in the year 1994, the sixteenth of my Pontificate.

    NOTES

    1. Paul VI, Response to the Letter of His Grace the Most Reverend Dr. F.D. Coggan, Archbishop of Canterbury, concerning the Ordination of Women to the Priesthood (November 30, 1975); AAS 68 (1976), 599.

    2. Cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration Inter Insigniores on the question of the Admission of Women to the Ministerial Priesthood (October 15, 1976): AAS 69 (1977), 98-116.

    3. Ibid., 100.

    4. Paul VI, Address on the Role of Women in the Plan of Salvation (January 30, 1977): Insegnamenti, XV (1977), 111. Cf. Also John Paul II Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles laici (December 30, 1988), n. 51: AAS 81 (1989), 393-521; Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1577.

    5. Apsotolic Letter Mulieris Dignnitatem (August 15, 1988), n. 26: AAS 80 (1988), 1715.

    6. Cf. Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, n. 28 Decree Presbyterorum Ordinis, n. 2b.

    7. Cf. 1 Tm 3:1-13; 2 Tm 1:6; Ti 1:5-9.

    8. Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1577.

    9. Cf. Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, nn. 20,21.

    10. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration Inter Insigniores, n. 6: AAS 69 (1977), 115-116.

    11. Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem, n. 27: AAS 80 (1988), 1719.

    12. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration Inter Insigniores n. 6: AAS 69 (1977), 115.

    ==================================================================================================

    Ex Cathedra is (infallibly) defined in the First Vatican Council.

    Dogmatic Definition of 1870

    Vatican Council, Sess. IV, Const. de Ecclesiâ Christi, c. iv, holds:

    We teach and define that it is a dogma Divinely revealed that the Roman pontiff when he speaks ex cathedra, that is when in discharge of the office of pastor and doctor of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme Apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, by the Divine assistance promised to him in Blessed Peter, is possessed of that infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed that his Church should be endowed in defining doctrine regarding faith or morals, and that therefore such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves and not from the consent of the Church irreformable.

    The conditions required for ex cathedra teaching are mentioned in the Vatican decree:
    ◾The pontiff must teach in his public and official capacity as spiritual head of the Church universal, not merely in his private capacity as a theologian.
    ◾He must be teaching some doctrine of faith or morals in a manner that explicitly and solemnly defines an issue.
    ◾His teaching cannot contradict anything the Church has taught officially and previously.
    ◾It must be evident that he intends to teach with his supreme Apostolic authority. In other words, he must convey his wish to determine some point of doctrine in an absolutely final and irrevocable way. There are well-recognized formulas that are used to express this intention, such as “We declare, decree and define, . . .”.
    ◾It must be clear that the Pope intends to bind the whole Church. Unless the Pope formally addresses the whole Church in the recognized official way, he is assumed to not intend his teaching to be ex cathedra and infallible (unless he is reiterating what has always been taught).
    ◾There will be an anathema attached to the definition that outlines consequences for not assenting to it. For ex., in Pope Pius XII’s infallible definition regarding the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, there are attached these words, viz: “Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith.”

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