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Ordaining Female Catholic Priests

Jacki Lyden in for Tom Ashbrook

Catholics in America and Europe and beyond defying the Vatican and ordaining women priests. We hear the condemnations and the amens.

Members of the Women's Ordination Conference celebrate a mass at the Anglican Church Rome. Groups that have long demanded that women be ordained Roman Catholic priests took advantage of the Vatican's crisis over clerical sex abuse to press their cause. (AP)

Members of the Women's Ordination Conference celebrate a mass at the Anglican Church Rome. Groups that have long demanded that women be ordained Roman Catholic priests took advantage of the Vatican's crisis over clerical sex abuse to press their cause. (AP)

The issue of female ordination has beset the Roman Catholic church for decades. But increasingly, the Vatican is facing a revolt on the issue, even as it cracks down.

On three continents: Europe, Australia and America, outspoken Catholic priests are defying this strict Vatican tenet. In the U.S., a longstanding American is this one more test for Holy See.

Or, is the church facing a revolt that my force dissenters to the fore?

This hour On Point: Rome, and the challenge to expand the priesthood.

-Jacki Lyden

Guests:

Eileen Di Franco, a member of the group Roman Catholic Womenpriests, she was ordained as a priest in 2006 and has a Masters in Divinity.

Rev. Roy Bourgeois, a priest for 39 years with the Maryknoll Order.

Pia de Solenni, a corresponding member of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, she received her doctorate in sacred theology summa cum laude from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome.

More:

Here is a clip from the move Pink Smoke Over The Vatican

http://youtu.be/VOJYlK4kefA

Here’s a news report on the ordination of women.
http://youtu.be/q0osK_AwbLM

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  • Terry Tree Tree

    Will they be taught to molest children, in true Catholic leadership style? 
         Is this the only way Vatican can figure to lessen pain and trauma of boys that are molested?
         Until ALL molesting priests, and ALL files and information about Catholic molesting, including ALL secret Vatican files, are turned over to police for prosecution, ALL Catholics share in blame for the monsters that molest children!
         HYPOCRACY is the only word that describes a ‘church’, that condemns homosexuality, and has CREATED homosexuals by molesting boys. 
         NEVER FORGET, they molested and abused girls, too! 
         They may send Jesuits, or Opus Dei to silence me, but the TRUTH is hard to silence!

    • Michael

      That’s one way to know for sure the Catholic church is not the one true one. If god can stand by and allow little boys to be molested by priest inside the church and some reason the man(pope) who supposedly speaks for god doesn’t have a clue. Than just maybe the guy can’t speak to god nor should people be following a church that allowed such to happen.

      Or the case is god or the pope really doesn’t give a crap about priest molesting little kids, but than again if that’s the case it’s amazing people would still follow such a type.

      • Cory

        Ever hear of free will?  Is there really “one true church”?  Does any act of sexual abuse within a temple invalidate the entire faith in question?  If it does, I would argue that it logically follows that this invalidates ALL religious faiths.  Are you suggesting that molestation has never been perpetrated by a pastor, shaman, or Rabbi?  Your argument is full of holes.  You are however free to hate Catholics and their faith for no reason at all if you choose.  Once again the beauty of FREE WILL.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          The culture of cover-up, and that the priest is the victim to be protected, by lies, transfer, hiding, bribes, criminal acts to intimidate, and other crimes to protect the clergy from being held accountable.
              I DO NOT hate Catholics.  I Don’t hate anyone.  I DO hate the actions of people, and hypocracy.

        • Michael

          No reason at all?

          talk about being full of holes. If ones not even safe in the heart of the religious faith should tell one something about it.  As for pastor, shamans or rabbi, correct me if i’m wrong I don’t recall them transferring such abusers to other church at the rates the Catholic church has? unless you have some proof I have not seen please list.

          As for free will if “god” is not going to intervene in his own church for the sake of children nor the spokesman for god. Doesn’t seem like a good faith to follow. Since one would assume those victims would have prayed for such acts to stop.  Unless you believe that those priest and the pope do not actually speak for god nor can communicate with him? but than again if you believe such it odd to say in a religion where you know it’s clearly not true.

          ” Once again the beauty of FREE WILL. ”

          amazing enough that wasn’t the case for 1000+ years and if some of those same religious leaders had there way it wouldn’t be now.

          p.s. there’s tons of reason to dislike the catholic church for(like telling Africans where HIV is high condoms gives them aids), I could list them if you like?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            They told Africans that condoms give them AIDS?

        • Anonymous

          Abuse has occurred in all religions, but the Cardinals kept shuffling the child rapists from one parish to another and paying off the victims to cover it up.  The Church is still denying it by blaming a global problem on the culture of the sixties.  Where is the Jewish, Muslim, or protestant equivalent of Cardinal Law (who is in a position of honor in Rome instead of the prison cell he deserves)? 

    • Cory

      So your assertion is that sexual abuse creates homosexuals?  Interesting.

      • GGG

        It works in prisons

      • Terry Tree Tree

        SOME of it.  When an individual is repeatedly molested by an Authority Figure, much less someone held in the high regard of a ‘Man of God’, who controls your salvation, they often feel they are trapped in that life. 
            Some of them are born that way, according to many that I have had long conversations with.  They remember no time they were attracted to the opposite sex.
            Some are persuaded into it,  or try it, and like it.
            ALL of them did not get there any one way.
            Why does the Catholic church hold molesting priests so much higher than the children they have molested and abused?  The only reason that I can unravel from their actions, is that the leadership, up to the popes, are, and have been child-molesters, and child-abusers, and don’t want the exposed priests to reveal that fact.  This attrocity has gone on for centuries, and has been suppressed all that time.
           For the curious, I am a heterosexual white male, who is tolerant, but NOT interested in men.  
            I DESPISE HYPOCRACY, AND CHILD-ABUSE.

      • Anonymous

        If such nonsense were true, perhaps Michele Bachmann’s husband can cure them.

  • Michael

    Interesting if you check your history, the reason why priest/monk,etc could not marry was do to inheritance of off spring and allowed the church to take land and resources without it being disputed by a offspring.

    Least with the women priest it be less likely molestation going on and maybe male and female priest could hook up(if the need arises) than male priest going after children.

    Curious if the female priest are more tolerant of gays than the church or male ones.

    • Cory

      I challenge your assertions that female clergy.  They seem at best anectdotal and opinion based.

      • Cory

        Should read “I challenge your assertion that female clergy would be less prone to molestation.  Your assertions seem anecdotal and opinion based at best”.  Sorry for the muffed post.

        • Michael

          http://www.ipt-forensics.com/library/female.htmTake it for what it’s worthThe necessity of considering differences in the type of sample and research method is demonstrated by contrasting the above studies to those reported by Reinhart (35), who found that only four percent of 189 boy victims were alleged to be abused by females and Farber et al. (36), who reported that only two percent of 162 children (half boys and half girls) were sexually abused by a female acting alone (six percent were abused by both a male and a female).  Both Reinhart and Farber et al. used clinical as opposed to college samples and their studies were of current cases in a hospital as opposed to a retrospective survey.  Neither study is clear as to how the abuse was substantiated.A still smaller percentage of female perpetrators was found by Rowan, Rowan and Langelier (37), who report that only nine (1.5 percent) of 600 sex offenders referred for evaluations were females.  This study, however, was on sex offenders rather than on victims.  The previous studies focused on victimsFinkelhor and Russell (6) note that despite ample opportunities for sexual abuse, remarkably few mothers seem to take advantage of them.  They conclude that the literature “leads fairly persuasively to the conclusion that the traditional view about child molestation as a primarily male deviation is essentially correct.

      • Michael

        Of course the stat’s aren’t out there for women clergy(since the church mostly forbids it) but I provided below the clinical stat’s that tend to show it’s mostly males as opposed to females,

        I provided the link below if you wish to read it.

  • Dee

    Good let’s move this forward and take it out of the lands of narrow
    minded clergy who are locked in their own reality instead of the
    present need of their flock and the rise of capable & able women today…Dee  

    • Cory

      It is up to the Catholic church to decide if women can be priests within the faith.  Those who disagree with the teachings of any faith are free to pursue their own faith and even create their own church with dogma that reflect their preferences.

      • Jim978

        If you believe that vocations to the priesthood come from God (as the US Conference of Catholic Bishops teaches), then it is not up to the Catholic Church to decide if women should be priests.  It is up to God.  The role of the Church is to ordain those whom God has called, not to decide for themselves who God should or should not call.

        • Cory

          I’ll grant your point.  Who then is left to interpret God’s will?

          • Jim978

            If a man believes he has a vocation, he is given a chance to demonstrate that this is or is not the case.  If a woman believes she has a vocation, she is given no such opportunity.  The Church is not interpreting God’s will when it ignores the possibility that a woman has been called to the priesthood by God.

        • Jan

          Any call by “God” is also CONFIRMED by the Church, or it is not a calling to the Church – even for men. 

          • Jim978

            So, the Church has veto power … in case God made a mistake?

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  • Cory

    I won’t listen to this topic today or participate in the blog beyond what I do now.  I anticipate a slew of anti-Catholic bigotry and hatred from posters who typically represent all sorts of philosophical persuasions.  I want to make a few brief points to consider.

    1.  Impuning an entire faith because of the frailties of it’s human component has never made sense to me.  Perhaps people underestimate the amount of bad people in the world.  Let me assure you that child molesters exist in all walks of life and in all occupations and faiths.  Humans prey on each other…  it is what we do.  Let me also assure you that chances are very good that a pervert, murderer, wife beater or sex criminal lives within a mile of your house.  Try perusing the sex offender registry in your area some time.  The abuse that took place in the Catholic clergy was and is about power and bureaucracy, not religious faith.

    2.  I am not in favor of female priests at this time.  That time may come, but not in the forced way it is occuring.  The beauty of free will is that those who wish to have female priests are entirely free to begin their own Christian religious denominations.

    I leave you to carry on with your hatred and vitriol toward Catholics.  Maybe take a deep breath and pause for a moment before you post today.  Lots of good Catholic men, women and children in the world who really don’t deserve your wrath.  

    • Terry Tree Tree

      My vitriol is against the culture of child-abuse that the Catholic church has supported through means I listed in  earlier comments.
         I do NOT hate you, or any other Catholic.  I love my fellow man, woman, and CHILD, in a brotherhood manner.  That love calls me to oppose actions by people that abuse.

    • Anonymous

      At what time would you support women priests?  Why are they unfit now? 

  • former NPR supporter

    What a total non-issue.

    Leave it to On Point with a proven and verified track record of promoting Catholic hate to spend time on this.

    And as expected, the anti-semitic, Israel-basher, Michael will be allowed to spew usual Catholic hate blogs, without having them taken down.

    On Point and NPR have become a total joke.  I’m not surprised that NPR hast lost so many sponsors and so many donations.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      So, instead of trying to CORRECT  the abuse, and its long-entrenched culture, you chose to withdraw your support for any that expose it, denounce it, and want to see it corrected?  That makes you part of the culture that condones the abuse, either actively, or by trying to ignore the truth and trying to help.

  • Klient102

    I’m by no means a Catholic zealot and believe that at this point, the extension of the deaconate to women should be up for discussion within the Church.  For those who adamantly oppose married Catholic priests, I offer the reminder that there scores of non-Roman Catholic clergy (Chaldean, Melkite, Syriac, Ukrainian, etc) who have always been allowed to marry and are not considered somehow “less Catholic.”  That said, I share Cory’s concern about today’s show not being a rational discussion, but a forum for Catholic bashing which is an enormously popular and acceptable sport these days.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Catholiic Bashing, or just pointing out HYPOCRACY, and a culture of crime?

      • Klient102

        I’m assuming you’ll be surrendering your American citizenship now, since the American government *unapologetically* toppled regimes, colonized sovereign states, committed genocide on its native population, legally sanctioned slavery, sold arms and as recently as now, perpetrated thousands of war crimes through the use of its military – all the while painting itself as the foremost advocate of freedom and human rights.  Surely you wouldn’t deign to be associated with a state whose 200-year old history of hypocrisy and culture of crime dwarf those of the 2000 year old Catholic Church?

        • Cory

          Ouch!

        • Terry Tree Tree

          No, I SPEAK OUT against those crimes, and try to help correct them, as is the responsibility of each citizen!   Just as it is the responsibility of the members of ANY religion!
              Are you sure that U.S. history is worse than the history of the Catholic church?  Some of my wide-spread reading indicates otherwise. 
               The culture of child-abuse is enough to keep me away from the Catholic faith.   I leave it to you to check more on the subjects.

          • Klient102

            Correct them? Well, I suggest you get moving and start by disarming all those American cluster bombs strewn all around Iraq and Afghanistan that have killed and maimed thousands of innocent civilians. I suggest you secure restitution for all those people ruthlessly murdered, raped and tortured by American soldiers in the Philippines, Korea, Vietnam and most recently at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. In Boston, the laity effectively shut off the money taps, leaving empty collection plates and effectively forced Cardinal Law to resign.  How many American generals resigned or were fired because of the torture photos from American military prisons?  Would you be willing not to pay your taxes to make sure American atrocities abroad would cease?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Thank you for pointing these out.  They SHOULD NOT be forgotten!

        • TFRX

          One of these institutions has a much better capacity for self correction.

          Hint: It’s the one described as “My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.”

           

          • Klient102

            How’s that “setting right” going for you?  How many Americans in leadership positions have been put on trial for war crimes or even fired from their positions?

          • TFRX

            And how many regular Catholics get to vote for the Pope, or change the college of Cardinals?

            One is a representative democracy, the other is a top-down hierarchy blessed with papal infallibility, into which kids are told that authority figures are always right.

            Quit while you’re behind.

          • Klient102

            If you recall correctly, it was the laity that forced Cardinal Law out of the Boston Archdiocese.  How many voters will it take to affect the two-party duopoly that’s at the mercy of the military industrial complex?

          • Anonymous

            The laity wasn’t powerful enough to prevent this Prince of the Church from receiving his honored position in Rome.

      • Geri

        Hey Terry Tree Tree,

        You would be better off letting people think your an idiot – than opening your mouth and eliminating all doubt.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Please explain?

        • Terry Tree Tree

          The matters I list are historical facts, some finally admitted by Catholics.  How does fact make me an idiot?  Protecting the criminals, does not enhance your credibility!

  • Gbra24

    Almost no one will admit it or realize it, but this is the equivalent of deciding that woman can be the president of your local chapter of the Spiderman fan club, and really nothing more

    • Anonymous

      Wouldn’t the Spiderman fans be more inclusive? 

  • at

    Considering the evil that the catholic church is responsible for with it’s centuries long track record of corruption and murder, I can only assume that anyone who wants to be a priest is an idiot, no matter their gender.

  • JimminyBy

    Or a lesbian looking for a way to get close to your daughter.

  • Benhar

    Jackie, Thank you for hosting these two courageous Catholic leaders. As a female, I need leadership that includes and respects women’s voices in all vocations and ministries in our Church. This will make it a better Church.

    I know that as the Church Administration has changed its position on the acceptability of slavery, the wrongness of usury, “no salvation outside of the (Catholic) Church”, whether the sun revolves around the earth, whether Gentile men have to be circumcised, etc. it will eventually change on this. Your two ordained guests are bringing that day closer with their courage, spirituality and principled moral stand. Thank you Revs. Eileen Di Franco and Roy Bourgeois!

  • Gemli

    There are those who can revere an Institution, although every brick of which it is constructed is flawed.  I wouldn’t want to be part of such an institution, but if women want to be part of one, more power to them.  Some might see divine forces at work that make the Catholic Church a boys-only club, but there are much more earthly reasons for it.  The Church was originally protecting its property from spousal inheritance, but that led to the Church attracting men who had no interest in marriage.  All religions seem to fear sex, but none moreso than the Catholic religion in which I was raised.  It’s a form of child abuse for powerful adults to make children ashamed and frightened of their developing sexuality.  That’s one flawed brick in the wall.  Another is the exclusion of women from leadership roles in the Church, sending the clear signal that women are not equal to men.  I won’t get into the crumbling mortar of ignorance, superstition and belief in magic that holds the walls up, but if women are ultimately accepted by the Church as equal to men, that will be one less brick in a shameful facade.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Well said!

    • Anonymous

      “although every brick of which it is constructed is flawed” — pick a new metaphor.  The institution is rotten to the core, but it has great architecture.

    • Jan

      Gemli, do you and the ladies have nothing better to do than fopping about how victimized you are.  Seriously, go out the bunch of ya and feed the poor, take care of the elderly, pray the rosary, do something constructive with your time together that will actually build up the Body of Christ, because what you are doing now with all your psychologizing victimhood is stirring up some nasty pot that was dying a timely death.  Take you minds off yourselves and go help others that really do have problems.  Thank you  +JMJ+

  • Johnl_19

    See if you can understand this , it’s very complicated – Women can’t be priests in the Catholic church, because the pope says so.  It’s a centralized, organized, top[-down organization with rules, not a democracy.  Women can CLAIM to be ordained, and I don’t know what they are,  but they’re still not priests.  Get it?

    BTW, I’m not catholic, and even I get it.

  • http://www.associationofromancatholicwomenpriests.org Bridget Mary Meehan

    Jesus chose Mary of Magdala to be the apostle to the apostles. She shared the core belief of Christianity, the resurrection of Jesus with the males who ran away and hid. Today women are following Jesus example of Gospel equality and leading the church into a new era of justice and equality for women in the Catholic Church, The Vatican is in free fall with the global sexual abuse scandal. It is time for justice and equality for women and for a renewed priestly ministry in a community of equals.
    Bridget Mary Meehan, Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests
    sofiabmm@ao@aol:disqus l.com

    • Klient102

      It’s not my place to judge your personal choices in life, but the religious path you have taken is more in line with Cardinal Lefebvre’s in the 70s (though at the opposite ideological spectrum) than with the mainstream post-Vatican II Church.  I wish you well.

    • Johnl_19

      You are NOT ordained no matter what you profess.

  • Bridget Mary Meehan

    The full equality of women in the church and society is the voice of God in our time. Roman Catholic Women Priests are leading the way to a renewed priestly ministry in a more vibrant, just church!

    • Sofia

      Some time soon, all of the ordained Reverend RC priest ladies should confer with the Anglican women priests and bishops (many of them former members of the Roman Catholic Church). Now, that would be a meeting worth attending–a first in all Christendom. When good women find their voices in ANY religion, not held back any longer by the rules of men, it is truly the rolling away of the stone, a revelation of God. Orthodox Jewish people who refuse to allow women to be rabbis, and Islamic people who want no women imams, are no different. This movement cannot be stopped. . Freedom of women to lead religious services and deliver religious sacraments and perform religious rituals is The Spirit of God, of Truth, moving through history.

  • nongodcollector

    Until you can prove that the Christian god is more real than the Norse, Hindu, Incan or or any other gods in human history, or that religion is not a cultural atavism perpetuated by fear of death (hell), family tradition, hallucinatory fantasy and/or fallacious hope of supernatural intercession, what does it matter that some believers are slightly less misogynist than others?  

  • silly silly silly

    This is hilarious!!  Does anyone else notice that every single woman here is over 60? I’m so glad we are finally on the downhill slope of this ridiculous sect.

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  • Elizabeth B.

    It’s amazing that women are joining the catholic church which is an institution that has been and is suppressing women and girls all over the world!!!
     

    • silly silly silly

      wow, what a well reasoned comment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeanne.stark Jeanne Diener Stark

    NOT IN THIS CENTURY…   OR THE NEXT….  I AM 48… MAYBE IN THE ONE AFTER THAT ONE. 

  • Klient102

    I just found out that Rev. Roy Bourgeois has been an excommunicate since 2008 for actively participating in a women’s ordination ceremony in Lexington, KY.  This is a fact that the show may want disclose.

  • Anonymous

    Are the female “priests” any more progressive than the male ones on issues other than this one?

  • ebw343

    Does the Church even realize that they have a priest SHORTAGE? “Beggars can’t be chosers” comes to mind.

    At this point perhaps the ONLY jurisdiction of the Papacy schould be strictly limited to maintaining and operationg the physical plant of the Vatican. EVERYTHING else can be-and in many religions, always has been-handled at the local parish level.

    • Phil

      The result of handling things on the parish level?  Take a look at the Anglican Church and watch it as it implodes.

      • Doug

        The Anglican (Episocopal) Church has ordained women as priests for a few decades now. In fact, the Episcopal Archbishop in the United States is a woman (who is a scientist–an oceanographer before she became a priest). It is simply wonderful to attend church services where the priest is a woman and to understand that Jesus really would not care about such artificial barriers as a person’s born sexual equipment or yearnings. The key thing is the love of God and serving Christ as present in all people equally. The Episcopal Church also ordains gay and lesbian people to be priests–and bishops. That church is not imploding. In fact, nearly half of most Episcopal churches are now filled with former Roman Catholics. They still love their church but know that God continues to act through the people of God, not the Pope alone.

        • Jan

          The people of God are united to their pope, the Holy Father.   +JMJ+

    • Jan

      So because there might be a shortage of priests you think the Church should be less picky and lower the standards?  Think about that.  The Holy Father on the other hand has determined that standards need to be higher still, and we will have a better chance of eliminating scandal before it ever gets clerical.  Good plan.  +JMJ+

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Worked so well in the past and present!

  • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

    This Maryknoll excommunicate doesn’t know the first thing about rational thought, let alone theology. His “reasons” for the ordination of women are all drawn from politics and enunciated in slogans and repetition. He never actually articulates a *reason* grounded in either divine revelation or clear thought. He mumbles and bumbles on about “fairness,” and so on, never even asking himself what the words mean, or whether and how they apply in the situation.

  • Jessica

    I am a woman of the Catholic faith and from time to time I have felt a pull toward service to the church to become a priest or a deacon, but have decided against acting on it because I am not allowed to be either. For me, it is not the same to be a Sister. I do not wish to abandon the church of my birth because of this, so I am stuck between choosing the Church, and listening to my conscience.

    • Jan

      Praying before the Blessed Sacrament has helped a lot of people to discern what God’s unique plan for their life is.  You probably do have a call to something, but God would not call you to something that He knows is a no-go.  He will let you know what His will is for you if you ask in earnest and keep asking till He tells you  – you will know.  +JMJ+

  • Anonymous

    Would a celibate F to M or M to F trangendered person be allowed to be a priest?

  • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

    Did Eileen Di Franco, who wants the courtesy of a personal letter from the Vatican informing her of her excommunication ipso facto, ever bother giving the authorities in Rome such a letter informing them of her intention to get herself “ordained”?

  • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

    The time is ripe, they say, for ordaining women. That’s a laugh. The fruit is well overripe and, in fact, about to fall from the tree. These old bats are so old – they missed the wave. Most who supported their cause enough even to say so have long since just left the Church altogether. They have no idea how antiquated they are. They’d be hard-pressed to find 10 practicing Catholics under 40 years old who support them.

    • Jessica

      I do.

      • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

        Very good. On what grounds do you support her? Theological, I mean.

    • Klient102

      Actually, I think they might have more sympathy from other Catholics if they kept their discourse of female ordination / deaconate alive while within the Church.  The fact that they departed while still claiming the label “Catholic” puts them on the same moral standing as Cardinal Lefebvre forty years ago.

      • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

        You are certainly correct.

        I think also that Catholics who care, specifically care about what it means to be Catholic. As ethnic Catholics melt in the pot (what does it really mean to be Irish or Polish, anymore, to most of us in the US), “Catholic” is less and less about cultural identity and more about doctrine – and for that matter, as countercultural identity. For those who accept the Church’s foundational proposition about Herself – that She teaches authoritatively on behalf of the Son of God – disobedience is a no-brainer. For those who reject that proposition, there is little remaining reason to commitment to the Church other than personal preferences. When an issue like women’s ordination comes up, why even stick around, then, if you don’t like it.

        But actually, I think those who leave the Church over the issue show more integrity than those who, for instance, take paid positions within the Church and use them as platforms to undermine Her.

  • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

    Why is there video footage here ONLY of those who support women’s “ordination”? How much more biased can you be, NPR?

  • kebh

    You asked if we think the ordination of women is a violation of tradition? That is not the issue…tradition in the CC includes child abuse…should we continue that tradition? I would like to know who in the church definitively identified God as male. Is Christ not one with God? His maleness was a function of the male society in which He lived.

    • Jan

      Jesus is God and He is male, that is why priests are male.  Pretty simple.  Why does this evade the agenda keepers?  “His maleness was a function of the male society in which He lived”.  Are you kidding me???  I was born a female, and it was not a function of society.   The people that  really don’t have a legitimate arguement for ordaining women in the Catholic Church just keep harping on the abuse scandel – ’cause really, you got ‘nuthin.   Go play dressup in someother church that doesn’t care and can’t tell the differnce.  +JMJ+

  • mom23dogs

    Pia should remind the audience that during our Mass, the worshiping community is transformed into the Body of Christ. this Body includes the physicality of women as well as men.

    • Anonymous

      Your hole life should be a body of christ not that moment in which they celebrate something that again is something made by man not by god.

  • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

    The Bourgeois excommunicate blabbers on about the “sensus fidelium,” which he clearly does not understand. Sensus fidelium is not about polls and surveys – moreover, it is not even a source of authoritative teaching. From there, he slides right into criticizing sexism, labeling (correctly, I note, with reservation) it a sin – without noting that sexism is NOT the same thing as distinction between the sexes.

  • Anonymous

    This should be settled like most religious disagreements - with violence.

    • Mary Ann S

      Just like Jesus would do, right?

      • Anonymous

        “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”
        Matthew 10:34

  • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

    Oooooh, Lord, now NPR is letting Bourgeois and di Franco do a pile-on on de Solenni, each pulling apart her argument without giving her a chance to respond to each in turn… actually, not even a chance to respond. COME ON, NPR! You let each of them have two turns to speak, but not de Solenni. HOW UNFAIR CAN YOU BE?

    • Xvelasco

      “Unfair” is not the most accurate word. For all their much touted impartiality NPR is always biased against what is usually deemed as the more “conservative” stance. Only Tom Ashbrook seems more balanced, but somehow manages to be away just when the issues are of my closest concern…

  • AC

    i read a book written by an ex-priest years ago and (my memory may be faulty here!!) about the corporation/business side of the catholic church and how they hated women. They even try really hard to downplay the ‘virgin’ as she has become somewhat of an iconic phenomena in her own right, especially in S America and this drives them crazy!! Is any of that true? I’ll have to look for and re-read that book. Anyone know it?

    • Jan

      You lost your way when you read a book by an EX-Catholic.  They are usually the most vindictive sort of folks – always an axe to grind.  They are mostly justifying their leaving the Church with a lot of tripe.  There is no way someone who really knew Who the Church is all about could possibly leave.  They just never really knew – sad.
      Prayer time  +JMJ+

      • AC

        i can’t remember the book and need to re-read it to discuss it properly, but the impression left was that this particular priest was also an accountant and he was pushed further & further into the business/management side of the church and it wasn’t a comfortable position to be in for himself.
        I won’t discuss religion with anyone, the joy and comfort it brings to many, whether it’s jesus to buddah to allah, is real enough for those that believe and i have no desire to argue with that. 
        But – to pretend the Catholic Church with it’s immense size, does nothing but prance about spouting ‘goodness’ is silly.  Between art, property and various other assets, not to mention numerous staff (a lot of which need housing, clothing and food), charities and other good works, there is an accounting and business side that MUST be attended to. I haven’t seen a modern day Jesus out there feeding the many, many hungry masses. It’s done in the same practical way everyone, even (gasp!) non-catholics, do it & it costs something.
        I apologize for not being able to provide the name of the book, but the feeling left was not one of axe-grinding so much as unhappiness with the function he was allotted within the organization and how it sustains itself. I will try to find it if it’s still in my library and update here.

  • Phil

    Would the excommunicated please sit down!!!

    Vatican City, May 29, 2008 / 02:29 pm (CNA).-
    The Vatican declared today that any women who attempt “ordination” or
    any bishops who attempt to “ordain” women are automatically
    excommunicated from the Church by their actions. The decree from the
    Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is said to be absolute,
    universal and immediately effective.

    Well, the women in one of the pictures here are in the right place…the Anglican Church.  If not accepted by the Catholic Church, why not go to the Anglican Church.  They tolerate and accept anyone and anything: women priests, homosexual bishops, fallen Catholic priests from Miami who want to get married…and the list goes on, I’m sure.  I mean, look what that tolerance and acceptance has done for the unity of their church: http://articles.latimes.com/2008/dec/04/nation/na-episcopal4.  Wonderful!

    On a serious note, to claim to be a “Catholic Priest” is preposterous.  Why claim to be Catholic when everything you do goes against Church teaching and Church law.  Surely if they are duly ordained, they took a Canon Law class, right???  Well, if that’s true, then they are surely knowledgeable of the following:

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    Can.
    1012 The minister of sacred ordination is a consecrated Bishop.

    Can.
    1013 No Bishop is permitted to consecrate anyone as Bishop, unless it is first
    established that a pontifical mandate has been issued.

    Can.
    1024 Only a baptised man can validly receive sacred ordination.

    Can.
    1029 Only those are to be promoted to orders who, in the prudent judgement of
    the proper Bishop or the competent major Superior, all things considered, have
    sound faith, are motivated by the right intention, are endowed with the requisite
    knowledge, enjoy a good reputation, and have moral probity, proven virtue and
    the other physical and psychological qualities appropriate to the order to be
    received.

    Can. 1041 The
    following persons are irregular for the reception of orders:

    1° one who suffers
    from any form of insanity, or from any other psychological infirmity, because
    of which he is, after experts have been consulted, judged incapable of being
    able to fulfil the ministry;

    2° one who has
    committed the offence of apostasy, heresy or schism;

    3° one who has
    attempted marriage, even a civil marriage, either while himself prevented from
    entering marriage whether by an existing marriage bond or by a sacred order or
    by a public and perpetual vow of chastity, or with a woman who is validly
    married or is obliged by the same vow;


    one who has carried out an act of order which is reserved to those in the order
    of the episcopate or priesthood, while himself either not possessing that order
    or being barred from its exercise by some canonical penalty, declared or imposed. 

    Basically, ladies, you’re shooting blanks!

    • Mary Ann S.

      The declaration that you cite was published in L’Obbservator Romano, the Vatican news paper.  Hardly a canonical document!

      By the way, Canon Law has been revised several times. It changes. Look it up.

    • Jan

      Thank you Phil – spot on and funny too.  Are you sceptics noticing how lucid, patient, rational, and generally kind the Catholics that are here are?  The Holy Spirit is in on this.  +JMJ+

      • Kurt

        Actually, I am seeing a lot of passive aggression from you and RyanHaber.

  • Ryan

    Women: Why do you want to be part of a society and organization that treats you as second class and “not whole” as people? The whole religion and concept of church is a creation of human beings, create your own religion.

    Furthermore, when will people stop citing writings from hundreds, thousands of years ago? Societies progress, as should beliefs. Citing old words to prove modern theories is just chasing your own tail.

    • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

      If God is what we claim Him to be – eternal, if human nature is what we claim it to be – unchanging and coded into our very being by its Creator, then it certainly matters very much what He says. Moreover, if we believe those writings to be His self-revelation and the disclosure of His will, then they certain matter.

  • Charlie mc

        “All we can know of God is 1. “That” God is, [existence]and
                                            2. “What” God isn’t [essence]
        and, we are not “satisfied” by knowing God exists, but only by knowing God’s essence, i.e., that God loves us.
        When we try by our own efforts only, to encounter this God, the experience is a dry hole, an emptiness, a desert experience, a non-experience. Some have described this as aridity, dark night, black hole; and they are correct.
         Astrophysics, similarly, describes the beginning of the cosmos as happening 13.7 billion years ago, when, from a “point” of NO dimensions emerged ALL the matter and energy of which  the “stuff” the Cosmos is made. Thus, it came from NO THING and thus if there is a God, this God must be No Thing. but the Cause of things. This God can not then be experienced as all other things can be to form the basis for all we “know”, unless this God choose to become a sensible human being.
    Christian belief is that this is what God has chosen to do by what we call the Incarnation. Jesus is the “Word” of God, and a human who was hoppled as we all are by being forced to communicate one’s ideas through use of words (signs, symbols, deeds, parables and metaphors).
          The first line of any communication is a summary of all that is most important in the statements to come. In the Gospels, the first and earliest words of Jesus are presented in Mark (1:16):
             “The present moment is the right time, the Kingdom of God is
              WITHIN YOU, believe THIS good news”.
    This “good news” of Jesus states that this Kingdom of God is within all of us, man and woman, boy and girl.
            From the earliest Christian communities, a developing understanding of who Jesus is and what he meant when he said what he did grew into a Christology and ultimately a Theology which received “definitive” status in Church councils throughout the centuries, with Nicaea and Chalcedon as being the most dramatic until Vatican II.
            Now the teaching of the Church in reference to priestly celibacy and ordination of women was undoubtedly a consequence of problems facing the church in the middle ages and in Italy, which no longer are applicable in a world in which a priestly pedophile crisis is ripping apart dioceses and parishes around the world. The Church lives and must come to a mature educated stand on issues facing both it and the world. The tradition of Church teaching does not command us to remain unenlightened about the results of the best in Catholic biblical scholarship. The scandal in the Church as I see it is the failure to give the laity a good education in current and best biblical scholarship of teachers like the late Fr. Rayymond E. Brown, SS., instead of cowering behind an irrational fear of damage it might do to the laity. Bring some real light into these “dark ages”. 
     

  • Yar

    If men and women are equal in the church, then I expect it is reflected in how they pay each.  A woman has equal opportunities to advance in pay as a man?

  • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

    You get ‘em, Pia! Interviewer Jackie Leiden tosses out slavery as an example of the Church reversing itself doctrinally, and Pia smacks it down, flatly rejecting the proposition and not permitting Leiden to use it as an example unchallenged, offering to do another show on that topic – then invites the interviewer to name another example of a doctrinal reversal. Leiden pauses and says, “Ok, alright,” and moves on to the commercial segment. Leiden clearly hasn’t done as much research as says she has.

    Pray for Pia de Solenni!

  • Anonymous

    This catholic church is continuing to act as if it had any relevance in the life of people. They have been protecting pedophile priest instead of the children, they continue to  uphold man made rules that have no relevance to God. There is no need for mediation through a priest, the only relevance is that nothing can keep us from God and we do not need priests or saints to mediate for us. The fact that they do not ordinate women is a sign that they are unable to adapt their life to what the people of God need. Again a rule made by a pope who claims for be the Deputy of God on earth. Luther has told them in 15th century that they are living against the rules of God. There is nothing to excommunicate from, this church has lost any creditbility they had when they allowed children to be raped by priests. What an unholy church!

  • GotSensible

    Pia obviously doesn’t know her church history.  

    http://churchslavery.blogspot.com/

    She prioritizes PR over truth and substance. It’s what keeps the institution going. 

    • Anonymous

      They should have gotten a male expert instead of an inferior.

      • Mary Ann S

        Nice sexist remark, John!  Does that show where you are coming from?

        • Anonymous

          I thought it was obvious that I was being sarcastic.

          • Jan

            That is the trouble with sarcasm.  Say yes when you mean yes and no when you mean no, everything else is from the evil one.  Somebody Who ought to know all about good and evil said that.

    • Klient102

      In all fairness, Pia was also a member of James Dobson’s Family Research Council, a nasty little political lobbying organization that also advocates a right-wing economic policy under the guise of “family values.”

    • Jan

      It would be hard for ANYONE to know all the facts of the 2000 years the Church has been in existance – give her a break.  It takes a lot of courage to defend the Catholic Church on NPR with its seriously left leanings and at odds with the Church on nearly every important social issue and getting lucky with a feminist host that obviously had leanings for women to receive the ordination reserved only for worthy men who are “called” to the priesthood.  PIA you did GREAT, and thanks for your witness. +JMJ+

  • Craig eller

    Eileen just asked that the host name one time the Catholic Church changed its position on doctrine. Are you kidding me?!! Too many to name, but a huge one is purgatory.

    • Klient102

      Actually, I’m pretty sure belief in purgatory is still valid Catholic doctrine.  No idea what you were thinking of here.

      • Phil

        Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1031: “The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.606
        The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at
        the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by
        reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire.”

        Craig, time to brush up on your Catechism and leave the rhetoric and propaganda you’ve been reading aside.

        • Craig

          I think I meant to say limbo on that point, so you may be right. Not sure why you are so gleeful to rush to the side of Catholicism, though. All religion is obviously created by humans. It shows. Millions of believers used to think their little loved ones were in limbo because the church said so…until they changed their minds. That is factual. There would not be any of this nonsense if little kids were’nt indoctrinated from birth to fear hell. Shame.

          • Phil

            I rush to the side of Catholicism because I am a Catholic and am tired of non-Catholics and misguided “Catholics” speaking from the side of rhetoric and propaganda and calling that fact and truth.  Claiming that the Catholic Church does this, that, or the other thing, yet not supporting it with facts – as you did in your above post – is irresponsible at best. If you’re going to make a claim against the Catholic Church, and there are too many out there to be counted, at least present the facts…not your opinion on a matter. 

          • Craig

            Well said Phil. I too come from years of indoctrination and shame. Being an ex-fundamentalist christian, I am ok with the fact that there isn’t anything I can show you that would change your mind. I hope you’re free from this one day, as I am now. It is the only way to clearly see what you are involved in. No one needs to read rhetoric and propaganda, by the way. The very texts of the old and new testament are loaded with evil ideas that can only be justified by saying “god has commanded it”. It is the essence of the master/slave relationship. And to your credit, you appeal to an un-alterable deity. There is literally nothing you can be critical of in your faith, and I understand that, because the fear of eternal damnation is quite strong in those bullied to believe it.

          • Craig

            Klient102, do a little research…Pope Pius X gave the concept of limbo authority. It was was quietly dropped from the Cathechism issued under John Paul II.

          • Klient102

            That’s debatable. Pius X stated it in an encyclical but did not pronounce it as dogma.  After 1870, papal infallibility was already defined, so he could have made the proclamation ex-cathedra.  He did not.

          • Phil
          • Klient102

            That’s a very interesting article. I had no idea that the theological discussion regarding limbo was not closed.  Of course, “not closed” is still a long way from defined doctrine.

          • Phil

            Craig, “un-alterable deity” is a little redundant, don’t you think?  BTW, the Bible (OT, NT, and the God presented therein) is no more master/slave relationship than your relationship as son to your father (supposing, that is, you had a normal relationship with your father).  And there is a lot I can be critical about in my faith – non-doctrinally speaking, of course…such as the priests and bishops involved in the sexual scandal, people who go to Mass without a heart for God and receiving Jesus in the Sacrament, and those who think that if what the Church teaches makes me not “feel” good, then it must be bad…and the list continues.  I don’t love the Holy Trinity because I’m bullied to do so…I love the Holy Trinity because I CHOOSE to do so – for who can be bullied to love???  If ever I’m “free” from my faith in Jesus Christ, I’m no longer free at all!   Finally, I hold to my original statement; if one is going to criticize, at least back it up with facts.

          • Craig

            Nice try Phil. With an earthly father/son relationship, the son loses his father after death. Not so in christianity! You will never hear the end of your heavenly father. After death, it will either be eternal praise, or eternal damnation. Some choice huh?

            I love the “non-doctrinally speaking of course”. Phil, that’s where all the best bits are! You can’t even think about criticizing those, right? Fear is a powerful motivator. You won’t be able to admit, while shackled to your faith, that YOU DON”T HAVE A CHOICE but to love the holy trinity. This is called “compulsory love”. Mark 12:30: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all
            thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the
            first commandment. I am NOT impressed with love that is compulsory and commanded.

            Thanks, but no thanks.

          • Phil

            Craig, you presume too much.  You think that I have something to criticize regarding the doctrine of the Catholic Church but don’t out of fear of being damned…truth be told, however, I don’t have anything to criticize.  Therefore, it is not fear that holds me bound to my Creator but thanksgiving for being created by Him and joyful anticipation of, perhaps, meeting Him one day and being told, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” And that sits well with me because Jesus also said, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his
            master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything
            that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”  So, if you are so “free” now because you are no longer bound by “faith”, what choice do you make, or do you choose not to choose at all?  Obviously, if compulsory love is not your choice, something must be, right???

          • Craig

             The point is that you couldn’t criticize it if you wanted to Phil, and its a good thing you don’t! (Matthew 12:30-32) because you see the tone god takes with you regarding the holy spirit. As for any choice I make regarding love, nothing is added by saying that god commands it, in fact to me it seems to cheapen the whole act. You say you are thankful for being created by god. Is this merely not what comes natural to him? Why all the thanks and praise, constantly? Well this brings it right back around to a god who demands praise and total subjugation. god is a bully.

          • Klient102

            I’m all about a secular religious studies approach to the discussion, but let’s keep our facts straight.  Limbo was a cultural construct (like in Dante’s Divine Comedy), it was advocated by St. Augustine, but was never officially defined or acknowledged by the Church.

      • Anonymous

        It was Limbo where they no longer send unbaptized dead babies.  I don’t know the fate of the ones who were already there.

  • Bernadette Brooten

    A richer knowledge of history has been crucial in the movement to ordain women. The Vatican claims that there were no female apostles in the early church, but Paul’s Letter to the Romans 16:7 mentions a woman apostle named Junia. Women such as Mary Magdalene were among Jesus’s closest disciples. Thus, Christ did call women to leadership. Women in the early church also functioned as bishops, elders, and deacons. The Vatican’s claim that women have never functioned as official church leaders is simply historically wrong.

    Pia de Solenni, in her arguments for a male priesthood, did not mention some of the arguments found in classical canon law, namely that women are inferior or that their menstrual blood would render the altar impure. In other words, like Eileen Di Franco, I would stress that she and the Vatican are simply ignoring this darker side of the hierarchy’s arguments against women’s ordination.

    Pia de Solenni’s statement that the hierarchy never supported slavery is incorrect. On June 20, 1868, Pope Pius IX stated the following:
    “Slavery itself, considered as such in its essential nature, is not at all contrary to the natural and divine law, and there can be several just titles of slavery….It is not contrary to the natural and divine law for a slave to sold, bought, exchanged, or given.”

    • Phil

      Bernadette, would you please cite the historical documentation regarding your statement, “Women in the early church also functioned as bishops, elders, and
      deacons. The Vatican’s claim that women have never functioned as
      official church leaders is simply historically wrong.”  Many are want to decry historical inaccuracy on the part of the “Church” or “Vatican”, but they have yet to provide the contrary documentation.

      • Sofia

        Read in Acts 9 and in Romans about Lydia, Tabitha/Dorcas (“a disciple”), Priscilla, Aquila, Junia, and Phoebe (a “diakonos”–same word Paul uses for his own ministry). Clearly these women shared in the work and leadership of the earliest church.

        Also, the 4th c. epitaph from the Mt. of Olives in Jerusalem, discovered in 1903, for Sofia the Deacon, “the second Phoebe.”

        there are others.

        • Jan

          A disciple is not at all on par with an Apostle.  Most would hope to be a disciple of Christ Jesus, but in these days only the bishops on up are Apostles.  Again, deaconesses were needed in the early Church to help women when they got baptized.

    • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

      In which document? I should like to look that up. I do know that was about the same time that he was convoking the First Vatican Council (Ss. Peter and Paul Day, 1868). Busy guy, that Pio Nono. I will be very grateful if you can find the source listed in an original format, rather than quoted from J.F. Maxwell’s 1970 article in the *World Jurist*.

  • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

    Why the heck is the number of priests involved in sexual scandals an argument for the ordination of women, Bourgeois? Again, he jumps to it as a sign that men are no more worthy than women. If he had the first clue, he’d know that it isn’t an issue of worthiness. Moreover, how can he possibly think that women are more virtuous or more courageous or less corruptible than men? Isn’t that sexism as well?

    • Elizabeth

      if it isn’t worthiness, what is it?

      • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

        It is about the plan of God. Am I worthy to be a mother? May I give birth to a child of my womb?

        It isn’t a matter of worthiness, is it, Elizabeth? I’m no less *worthy* for being unable to be a mother, unable to conceive in a womb I don’t have. That’s the Church’s argument – that priesthood is analogous to motherhood in precisely this way: God’s plan has drawn distinctions between the sexes that legal fictions cannot erase.

        The argument may or may not be true to fact, but it is not a matter of worthiness. Not in the Church’s understanding.

        • Doug

          So because women don’t have penises, they can’t be priests? Because Jesus had a penis? And the penis is necessary in order to marry the church? As the bridegroom marries the bride? But nuns are “brides of Christ,” right? This is sounding mighty strange.

          So, how about this? In “another” church, men can’t be priests because they don’t have a uterus and thus can’t give birth to the Child of God, the Christ Child. Even if you want to and are worthy, you cannot. It’s not a matter of worthiness. It’s just a church fact. You don’t have one, and this church says you need one in order to be ordained. You can sit in the pews with the kids, ok?

          We could just as easily understand this rule as the other.  Both are completely manufactured by humans.  Both are simply analogies that cannot possibly describe in full the relationship of God to humans. Only the Risen Christ, in whom there is neither male nor female, does.

  • Brutally Frank Shannon

    Those “Catholics” who are so bent on something as anti-Scriptural as the ordination of women are profoundly suffering from an extreme lack of humility in that they cannot subjugate their misformed notions to their obligations to the teachings and actions of Jesus Christ and the magisterial teachings of the Church. This, in my estimation, rises to the level of heresy. Such a stance serves to effectively excommunicate one’s self from the Church. Were I a bishop, I would take whatever steps I deemed necessary – excommunication included – to rein in any member of the laity or clergy failing to uphold and articulate with crystal clarity the magisterial teaching of the Church. Again, this matter sinks well below the depths of scandal to the level of heresy and needs to be dealt with a such. Francis X. “Brutally Frank” Shannon

  • Anonymous

    These Cardinals are a bunch of old guys, thinking and acting as privileged and not as servants to the people. The fact that most of them are criminals under our laws for protecting pedophile priests and allow to even commit crimes against the children makes them irrelevant. The US should remove the status of holy see because it is nothing more than a sect and does not deserve special status.
    For the priest who is to be excommunicated: Don’t worry, become an Anglican or Lutheran, it does not kill you and these old bats in Rome are excommunicated by God for the sins they have committed in the name of the church and by protecting the evil and jeopardize those that have trusted them. 

  • Fortitude46

    The Church is a human structure subject to the same influences of human society and cultural evolution over time as any other institution. If you read it’s history, you will better understand what a universal organization has to do to maintain a steady course in the world. It takes generations for changes to transform society sometimes and sometimes it change occurs quickly. I go forward with my plans for ordination with my great-great-grandaughter in my imagination. It is she I speak for and to with my actions. The Church has been an organ for the suppression of the full humanity of women because of its roots and faulty understanding of Scriptural methaphor. I will do my part today so that this Church, which we love, will grow and change and be ready to do its part in promoting her growth as a fully responsible adult along with her brothers. I am so grateful to be alive at this time in history when change can even be discussed without people being burned at the stake!!!

  • Brutally Frank Shannon

    Those “Catholics” who are so bent on something as anti-Scriptural as the ordination of women are profoundly suffering from an extreme lack of humility in that they cannot subjugate their misformed notions to their obligations to the teachings and actions of Jesus Christ and the magisterial teachings of the Church. This, in my estimation, rises to the level of heresy. Such a stance serves to effectively excommunicate one’s self from the Church. Were I a bishop, I would take whatever steps I deemed necessary – excommunication included – to rein in any member of the laity or clergy failing to uphold and articulate with crystal clarity the magisterial teaching of the Church. Again, this matter sinks well below the depths of scandal to the level of heresy and needs to be dealt with as such.

    • Anonymous

      including burning at the stake? 

    • Mary Ann S

      In 1976 the Pontifical Scriptural Commission reported back to Pope Paul IV – who had requested the study – that there are no scriptural reasons for the non-ordination of women. Anyone can look that up.

      • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

        And?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Your hypocracy is showing!

  • http://twitter.com/twosidesormore twosidesormore

    interviewer, you did not do your homework today…
    ask Pia if the church has ever changed its disciplines, customs and devotions. it has. she is giving you smokescreens talking about “doctrine”. ask her, where does it say that woman priesthood is a matter of doctrine? it seems to me it’s more a matter of customs…

    …I miss Tom….

    • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

      On what basis do you think that the inability to ordain women is a matter of custom rather than doctrine?

      • http://twitter.com/twosidesormore twosidesormore

        because of historical reconstructions like this:
        http://www.amazon.com/Ordained-Women-Early-Church-Documentary/dp/0801879329if in the early church women were ordained , as it is claimed, and if after the council of nicene were no longer, it raises the possibility that customs, not doctrine, actually evolved. so the church is hiding behind a thin, parternalistic/misogynistic  metaphoric finger using historic evidence as it more see fit…to its own self serving objectives

        • Phil

           Sorry, but your link to the Amazon site doesn’t work – for me at least.  What is the book’s title, please?  Again, can you present the evidence from Conciliar documents that say at one time women were ordained to the Catholic priesthood, and at another time that was changed?  The Council of Nicea that you quote had as its agenda the following, not the issue of women’s ordination:

          1. The Arian question regarding the relationship between God the Father and Jesus;
          i.e. are the Father and Son one in divine purpose only or also one in being.

          2. The date of celebration of Easter.

          3. The Meletian schism.

          4. The validity of baptism by heretics.

          5. The status of the lapsed in the persecution under Licinius.

          Priestly celibacy, however, did go through this type of development, but that’s a whole ‘nuther discussion.

        • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

          OK. First, words like paternalistic/misogynistic do not actually advance an argument. They are essentially name-calling.

          Historical reconstructions aren’t historical facts, it should hardly need pointing out. Anyone can write any historical reconstruction they like.

          Can you, even from the book, provide a single specific instance of a record of a woman being ordained – specifically by the laying-on of hands? I ask because that has always, starting with the Scriptures, been the mark of ordination as we understand it… whereas being called an apostle or deaconess, alone, doesn’t suffice because those words were not well defined in the first century or two of the Church.

          • Mary Ann S

            Dear Ryan,

            Scripture shows that Jesus did not ordain anyone.  He did not “lay hands on anyone” anywhere in scripture. 

            What is recognized (rightly or wrongly) as his “ordaining” anyone would be his words at the last supper, when he said to his disciples (not apostles) “….do this in memory of me.”  Scripture scholars and historians alike have concluded that men women and children were at that last supper – notwithstanding the theology of Leonardo da Vinci who painted only men into the picture – in the Middle Ages.  So, there was no laying on of hands just washing of feet, and women do that quite well.

            I would suggest that you reflect on the fact that Jesus appointed Mary Magdalene to go and tell the others of his rising. Because of that the official Church recognizes Mary Magdalene as “Apostle to the Apostles.” Scripture also relates that the men “didn’t believe her” and went to see for themselves. Hmmmmmm.

            We need study and dialog. All understandings and teachings evolve as we learn more and more. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

            You’re very right, Mary Ann S. As a laywoman, Mary Magdalene received a personal commission to go and teach the APOSTLES even!

            You aren’t arguing that only priests can be commissioned to teach our holy faith are you? Or that laypeople have a lesser dignity for having a less specific commission?

            As a point of fact, I never said that Jesus laid hands on a single soul. In another post, I gave the example of Paul laying hands on Timothy. Does that not count?

            Scripture scholars and historians have concluded that men, women, and children were present, perhaps, but not on the basis of the documents that they actually have. Rather they spin theories. The fact is that it is significant that only the apostles were present at the Last Supper and that was unusual at the time – precisely our contention. Our contention is not that Jesus had an ordain passover seder. You’ve begged the question by assuming that he did.

          • Jan

            The scriptural accounting of Jesus praying all night and then naming His apostles is ordaining enough.  The other instances of the Last Supper where He commissioned them to “do this in memory of me” gave them the power and authority to confect the Eucharist.  When Jesus came to the apostles in the upper room on Easter, after rising from the dead,  He breathed on them, saying: “Receive the Holy Spirit.  Those sins that you loose on earth shall  be loosed in heaven; those sins you retain on earth shall be retained in heaven,”  giving them the power to hear confessions (sins) and loose (forgive) or not.  If Jesus picks you to be an apostle, you ARE ordained by God.  [Not you or I of course - the Apostles He picked].

          • Jan

            The use of the word deaconess is no where near on par with the word apostle.   The word deasoness didn’t even come up until the epistles – letters to the Catholic Churches giving teachings, instructions and exhortations after Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven.  Whereas apostle was used many times in the gospels, the recounting of what Jesus said and did and the pertinent heavenly scheme of things.  Apostle was a very important word and function.  Even Judas Iscariot, an apostle and betrayer, held an important office in the early church, such that it needed to be filled by another after Judas commited suicide.  Peter spoke his and the Holy Spirit’s decision of Mathias to replace Judas.  No further discussion happens after Peter speaks, and so it is with the subject of whether it is possible to ordain women in the Catholic Church.  Peter has spoken ( Pope John Paul II) saying, no, not possible.  So why are we still talking about it?

    • Phil

      Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1577: “Only a baptized man (vir) validly receives sacred ordination.”[66]
      The Lord Jesus chose men (viri) to form the college of the twelve
      apostles, and the apostles did the same when they chose collaborators to
      succeed them in their ministry.[67] The college of bishops, with whom the
      priests are united in the priesthood, makes the college of the twelve an
      ever-present and ever-active reality until Christ’s return. The Church
      recognizes herself to be bound by this choice made by the Lord himself.
      For this reason the ordination of women is not possible.[68]

      Canon Law (the universal law of the Catholic church), Canon 1024: Only a baptized man can validly receive sacred ordination.

      Sounds like “doctrine” to me.  Just because it “seems” to you to be “a matter of customs” doesn’t make your claim true.  The fact is that the Catechism, church law, and Tradition claim that the Sacrament of Holy Orders can only be conferred on men.  Just because it doesn’t make people “feel” good doesn’t change the fact.

  • Awakenjoy2010

    It was ever thus, throughout history in all parts of the world. God given gifts of faith and tradition wrestle with our equally God given gifts of science, scepticism and reason.  Our concept of what it is to be human, men or women is not static.  Any institution, organization or organism that cannot evolve or cleanse itself becomes corrupt and stagnant.  This is a non-faith based observation, a fact.  The Church is a holy institutuion for the perfection of our common humanity so it must evolve or become self-serving and irrelevant.
    NMW MD 

    • pattysangels

      Thank you.  I hope the Catholic Church evolves in a spiritually healthy directions.  Right now it seems like a dated dying institution.

      • Brutally Frank Shannon

        The Catholic Church does not need to “evolve.” God, His Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit do not “evolve.” Remember “was, is, and ever shall be.” Rather than attempting to drag God down to worldly levels and fit Him into a secular agenda, why not aspire to raise one’s self to more holy levels in accord with the will of God, the teachings of His Son Jesus Christ, and with the help of the graces poured forth by the Holy Spirit?

        • Anonymous

          Oh my good sir, the churches of the world most certainly *did* evolve, as the history books teach.  Monotheism was a response to polytheism, first promulgated, I believe, by the Jews – a sign of the specialness of their chosen creator and protector.  Since the Romans and Egyptians of the time had gods all over the place taking care of different things.  And from Judaism to Islam and Christianity, and someday to something else.  Indeed, the Mormons and the Scientologists already represent mutations of “regular” religion.  Whether these mutations survive determines whether they are the direction of that eventual religious evolution.  Or simply false starts in a long game.

          • Walker

            Yahweh was originally part of polytheism, and during that period the greatness of the gods were judged by the prosperity of the people who followed.

            The Jews followed Yahweh, but were “hurt” (to say the least), so at that point in Hebrew history, the Jews didn’t question the greatness of their god, they reconsidered the whole premise to polytheism, and came to believe that all others were false and there is only one god, Yahweh.  

          • Jan

            You appear to be confusing the history religion with identity of the Catholic Church.  There is all manner of changes that have happened in regards to religions thoughout time, but when the Catholic Church was established by Jesus the core teachings have not changed.   The outward trappings can and do change, but not those things that are everlasting, like the teachings of Jesus.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          So, you are saying there is NO chance the Catholic church will EVOLVE away from institutionalized child-molesting and abuse?  There is NO hope for this church?  Where does God say to molest and abuse children, and cover it up?

          • Walker

             I think God says that the man has to marry his victim because he uncleaned her or something. 

            It is different for homosexual law.  Ah, don’t you love biblical literalism.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Right ON, Walker!!!

          • Jan

            Really, T T T you need to move on beyond the scandal stuff so you can have a relevent exchange with others.  You might want to talk to a priest about all this – he would more than likely really be able to help you get over this.  It really appears to have you stuck and clouds your thinking.  I will pray for you, you sound like you are hurt and haven’t been able to recover yet.   Jesus I trust in You  +JMJ+

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Perhaps you can reccoment a priest that fought , and is fighting for the proper prosecution of the priests, bishops, and ALL members of the Catholic leadership, and ALL the information held secretly by the church, and has been very effective in that endeavor?
                Also needs to be a priest that has been effective in clearing and cleaning-up the names of the victims, and getting them fair compensation, and recognition for speaking out!

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Just as I thought, no such priest exists!
                Doesn’t that prove the corruption and perversion is endemic and systemic? 
                Since the Catholic church does not EVOLVE, they can never evolve away from the corruption and perversion!
                And they advise me to talk to a priest! 

        • Bern

          The Catholic Church is always evolving, and has been doing so since the beginning first Jesus evolved from Judaism, then came the first fellows and gals, then it was the desert mothers and fathers, the hermits then came Benedict with his evolutionary idea of community .. then St Francis and the mendicant movement, then so on and so on, and so on…. we either evolve and become more or we stagnate and go into extinction. The Holy Spirit loves change and diversity! so does Jesus, and dare I say God does too!

        • Mary Ann S

          Your sentence “God, His Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit do not “evolve.” may be true, but to equate the Catholic Church – or any created entitiy – to God, is blatently false, if not in some category of heresy.

          The Church’s understanding of the Christ experience, which took place 2000 years ago, has matured, broadened and deepened over those 2000 years. As the understandings have changed, the Church has changed – and will continue to change.

        • Doug

          The Catholic Church evolved itself away from the rest of the Christian Church and its Patriarchs when the Pope declared he had more authority than any of them and didn’t need to consult with them. The other Christian Patriarchs were happy to give him historical “firstness” (primacy), but only as someone equal to all of them, never as their superior. He put himself first, not the Christian Church. But then the RC Church evolved again, when  the Pope said his decisions were infallible, too. So, in fact, the RC Church itself has been heretical, in terms of the larger Christian Church, and in fact excommunicated itself by not wanting to play ball with the other boys as one of the team but wanting to be the umpire, manager, and owner, too. The RC church does not remain the same but changes the rules whenever it sees fit to increase its worldly power.

      • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

        Lol. Not where I live.

      • Anonymous

        The could learn from Egypt during Cleopatra’s reign.  The ceremonies would be cooler, too.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      A world of cleansing itself or its corruption, is LONG overdue!!!

    • Jan

      Since by your own admission the Catholic Church is holy, it doesn’t need to be cleansed.   Holy means pure and not of this world.  Since it is holy and pure it is also perfect.  Perfection doesn’t need to evolve, it is already what is perfection.  That is because it is not a human institution, it was instituted by God.  It doesn’t change and it won’t go away.  I think it is the people in the Church that need the work of sanctification – but then, that is the work of the Church.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Holy and pure perverts?  HOW?

  • TimR

    So, we’ve established that being Catholic means being subject to the edicts of the Vatican and that the Vatican does not believe in ordaining women as priests.  The Vatican is also more than happy to kick you out of the church if you disagree, but not for molesting children (as small a percentage of the priesthood as child molesters represent, the Vatican’s reaction is shameful).  Given all of this, if you disagree with many of the principles of the Catholic Church, such as ordaining women or letting priests marry, why would you want to continue to be a member of the Catholic church?  Change from within doesn’t seem to be working.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      My questions too!

  • anne

    Excellent program, thank you.
    I was struck by (and thankful for) the comment of the young man who made the last public comment. His opinion that the Church shouldn’t tell a woman who she is, define her role for her, really speaks to women in the 21st Century. He obviously is a thoughtful young man who is a credit to his upbringing. I hope he returns to the fold. He would be a blessing.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      The young man is probably much better off, not being trapped in a relligion that he would constantly question, justly.

  • Homer white

    It’s too bad that the leaders of the Church don’t have the same confidence in the Church as the faithful (and many non-Catholics) do.  It was argued on this show that the Church cannot and has not ever change dits position on a doctrinal matter.  The great fear of Church leaders does seem to be that everyting will fall apart if they acknowledge such a change (and maybe that’s why the change in view on slavery has been defined as “non-doctrinal”).

    But people’s loyalty to the Church has nothing to do with any claims it makes for infallibility.  People love the Church because it stands with the poor, because many folks in the Church give their lives in service to others, sometimes are even killed for it — and for many other reasons having nothing to do with “always being right.”

    Why can’t the heirarchy see this?  If it lets go of a little power, the heirarchy might gain quite a bit more authority.

    Someday the Church will recognize the ordination of women; perhaps even the WoemnPriest oridnations will be recognized retroactively as valid.  But I hope that when that day comes the Church won’t just redefine women’s ordination as a “non-doctrinal” matter.  The Church needs to recognize what’s literally crucial to its flourishing:  and what is crucial is certainly not the power always to express the correct view or to enforce its views.

    Homer White

    • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

      The Church’s claim is to teach without error that which was given to Her by Jesus Christ and which is necessary for the salvation of souls.

      That’s Her mission and Her purpose – not to make us feel good about ourselves, nor to go along with the times and trends, nor to do any other good work that may very well be incidental or corollary to Her mission. Whether the fulfillment of that role prosper or flounder Her is God’s business. Ours is to be faithful to that purpose. Expressing correctly the teaching of Jesus Christ is EXACTLY what she is for.

      If the Church can’t pull that off, then who in the hell needs Her? Literally. I can find other ways of feeling good, being trendy, or helping out poor folks. But I cannot find another direct link to Jesus Christ, if not Her.

  • Peter

    Pia de Solenni was a perfect representative for the Vatican. Stubborn to the end. It’s all about the Pope being infalable. It is this rigidity that is making the Catholic Church increasingly irrelevant.

    But there is hope.The Pope finally admitted Galileo was right. It just took 400 years.

    • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

      Ha ha! And you, sir, are not stubborn at all, I am sure – and always right.

      Did you read JPII’s statement about Galileo, or are you employing as a fact a detail with which you are entirely unfamiliar?

      The Church’s concern was never heliocentric theory, but the misapplication of that theory to theology, in essence arguing that because the earth is not the center of creation, mankind is not its pinnacle. Neither follows from the other, but Galileo believed the latter did, and took it upon himself to teach philosophy. There would have been no ruckus if he had stuck to the science in which he was trained.

      You, sir, wouldn’t have made this mistake if you’d read into the inside of the cereal box on which you have found your “facts”.

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, read Galileo’s biography and it’s clear the house arrest and possibility of being tried for heresy was all in good fun.  And by the way, the church was in fact very concerned about the earth not being at the center of the universe.

        The church must inexorably retreat, year after year, as more and more aspects of our world, once deemed inexplicable and ergo the province of gods, are understood through the laws of science and mathematics.  It is for this reason that the church is literally becoming increasingly irrelevant.  The world in which it can plausibly operate is shrinking.

        I would posit that some clever person will eventually craft a new belief system that can supplant conventional religion by giving humans comfort without being constantly contradicted by progress.

        • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

          Never said it was in good fun. In fact, the Church authorities were very much in earnest.

          The enemies of the Church have been been foreseeing our demise since about the year AD 33 or so. We have lived to give them all their funereal rites. In the year AD 33 we made up an infinitesimal percentage of the world’s population. Now, we make up something on the order of a 1/5 of it, not counting our separated brethren, with whom we total something like 1/3 of the world’s population.

          No one is receding anywhere here, my friend.

          • Anonymous

            Perhaps true, though I would suggest the the grip of religion is strongest amongst the least developed nations, and is growing weaker amongst those that most aggressively embrace modernity. 

            Here is an interesting chart that lends some substance to this assertion.  You will note that the good old USofA is something of an outlier.

            http://tinyhacker.com/hacks/religion-and-gdp/

          • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

            I have no doubt of it. In fact, I am confident of it.

            What I doubt is the unspoken implication that we as we grow rich and ‘educated’ we come to learn that religion is really all bunk.

            That might be true, but the simple fact of rich countries being irreligious doesn’t demonstrate it. The fact of rich countries being irreligious might just as easily be said to demonstrate that they have grown decadent, slovenly, self-assured, arrogant, and unresponsive to their Creator and THAT is why they are irreligious.

            The fact of religious decline among the ‘educated’ hardly proves that religion is the product on poor education.

        • Rich6183

          You think that someday “some clever person will eventually craft a new belief system that can supplant conventional religion by giving humans comfort without being constantly contradicted by progress.” Well, Karl Marx tried — religion as an “opiate,” his prediction that religion, like the state, would wither away after the revolution, etc. — but so far people still seem to want a sense of the meaning of life that goes beyond secular understanding.

          Galileo’s trial was a complicated affair, not the simple clash of a man of science with proven facts on his side vs. an ignorant, repressive Church guarding its power on the other. I won’t point to the scholarly debate on the subject, but even the Wikipedia article will indicate how much legitimate scientific debate, academic and university rivalries, politics, and even Galileo’s pugnacious (some would say obnoxious) personality played parts in his trial.

          Just for the record, I am a practicing Catholic, and I favor the ordination of women, but I am not at all surprised that it is taking time to happen. I also agree that the host seemed less informed on the background/context of the debate that one would have hoped. For example, the political aspects of the discussion focused on the Church in the U.S. and on the Vatican, with little sense of how Latin America or Africa (both of which, perhaps not surprisingly, oppose ordination of women) take part in the debate within the Church.

  • Julio Ghiloni

    As far as a moral standard, until the Catholic Church prosecutes and outs all the pedophiles it has no moral standing. Why women or men would stand aligned with such a corrupt institution baffles me in the first place.
    Referencing the bible as some sort of true historical narrative is also a joke. The Christian bible is a conflated fictional history fabricated to consolidate power in the 4th century. There were no 12 apostles following Jesus. There is no reference to them in the q documents. Religious interpretation and and Faith in fiction is has divided humanity and shows no signs of improvement. We are a gullible breed

    • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

      “The Christian bible is a conflated fictional history fabricated to
      consolidate power in the 4th century. There were no 12 apostles
      following Jesus. There is no reference to them in the q documents.”

      Wow! You have managed to absorb the most ridiculous parts of dime novels and miss out on all the facts, not to mention biblical scholarship (even by non-believers) since Thomas Jefferson.

      I myself saw and read with my own eyes sections of the Gospel of John in the Sackler Gallery in DC, the physical specimen dating to the early 3rd century. The failure to reference them in the so-called Q gospel (no copy of which exists in whole or fragmentary form) is because the so-called Q gospel is a (modern hypothetical) compilation of the SAYINGS of Jesus that are found in all three synoptic gospels. Saying that the Apostles aren’t mentioned in them is like doubting the existence of lettuce for not being named in the bill of lading for a train shipping coal.

    • http://twitter.com/bcsny47 Brian Sullivan

      The q documents that we don’t have? They told us that there were no 12 apostles? Documents we do have tell us there were. Hmmm. I’ll go with what we have, thanks.

    • Anonymous

      How come god didn’t come up with a commandment that said “Thought shall not molest and abuse children”?  Wouldn’t that have save a lot of trouble?   And why would god even create beings that like to molest children, shattering them psychologically?

      I would say, though, that humanity IS showing slow signs of improvement.  Every time an evidence based scientific theory stomps out a claim to received wisdom, the universe of religion gets that much smaller.

      • Terrybrewster

        VERY GOOD!

    • charmusic

      It’s a commitment to the FAITH not the Institution.  The people, the rituals, the richness of worship and community, the outreach, The Eucharist…that’s what keeps people there.

      • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

        Lol. But our faith is precisely that CHRIST HIMSELF founded an INSTITUTION – that is, something corporate and collective, so as to transcend mere individual personality both by being broader in reach and longer lasting in duration than any merely personal thing can be. We cannot be committed to a faith, incidentally, because faith IS commitment. You’re saying that we should be committed to commitment. It’s a bit silly, really. In fact, we are committed to the person of Jesus Christ, who identified himself fully with the Church, in which he said he will ever be present, and which St. Paul identifies as His very body.

  • Klient102

    Yeah…. Tom would have done a better job with this show, given his religious background.  Sorry Jackie, you’re second-rate at best.

    • Anonymous

      The religious background trumps her female background regarding this show?  They are both professional journalists and both capable of handling real topics and nonsense like this.

      • Klient102

        Jackie’s gender aside, this isn’t the first time she was waaaay in over her head.  If you’re going to moderate a show on such a hot topic, you should do your homework beforehand.

        • Anonymous

          She grasped enough of it.  How much nonsense should she have read before the show?  Perhaps the show should have had an impartial expert to supply additional expertise.  I don’t think Tom knows much more than she does about Catholic dogma.

          • Klient102

            Ok, now you’re just being ignorant.  If it’s “nonsense,” why bother doing a show on it?  If you ever feel so inclined, compare NPR’s programming on world religions to that of the BBC and you’ll notice a gigantic gap in knowledge and professionalism.

  • Elizabeth

    As a religious feminist, I have to say that the issue of ordination alone wouldn’t necessarily be a dealbreaker for me with the church. I am not Catholic, but after extensive study, I find lots of aspects of the religion compelling and I can see why a woman might want to remain Catholic even if she disagreed with the Church. A big part of religion is struggling with and reconciling contradictory values–both contradictions within the tradition and the holy text as well as reconciling the faith with other secular values. That said, if I were ever to find the traditional Catholic position on women’s ordination convincing, traditionalists would have to start dealing with women’s role in the church in a much more serious way. There are some passages in the Bible that are really difficult to swallow as a woman (as they should be). Rather than alienating people by saying, “well, women should just shut up because it says so in Timothy,” everyone should attempt a subtler interpretation of the text. Too often I hear people arguing that women cannot be priests (and the similar is true in other religions for that matter) because that’s “just the way it’s always been” or by citing one biblical passage without addressing other passages that may seem to contradict it. People also often give simplistic justifications such as “well, obviously we value women, look at the role of Mary!” If it is possible to convince today’s women that they should not be ordained, it will only be through serious engagement with these issues–serious suggestions for how the Church can better minister to the needs of women and how women can minister  to the needs of the Church and the world, if not through the priesthood.

    • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

      You are very right. May I refer you to Dr. Angela Christman of Loyola University in Maryland? She is a former Anglican priest who left the Anglican communion, giving up her ordination, to become Catholic. She does not advocate for women’s ordination, and I do not think she even believes in it. She has certainly given tons of thought to these subtle questions, and as a patristics scholar and theologian, she is very well qualified and – I know from personal experience – happy to discuss them with you:

      http://www.loyola.edu/academics/medievalstudies/faculty.html

    • Dfmc1331

      If i were going to make an argument for women in the priesthood it would be related to how poorly the men are doing it, but what it means to me really is there is a lot of politics in the church that shouldn’t be.  Can you see a pregnant women saying Mass, her detracters would have a field day.  the church does homage to women in the feminine saints she cannonizes and just being a women of service is a most honorable vocation.  Most men couldn’t handle being a mother.

      • Mary Ann S

        A pregnant woman “saying mass?” Mary “said mass” as she gave us birth to Jesus. The first Eucharist celebration. In those moments, Mary herself may well have uttered words “This is my body, this is my blood.” Why can women today not say those words?

        • Jan

          The Blessed Mother is the new Ark of the Covenent – Rev. 12.  She is the tabernacle of Jesus – but not Jesus, and not priest.  Women hold the mystery – but are not the mystery.

      • charmusic

        I think the image of a pregnant priest celebrating Eucharist is nonly beautiful but full of rich symbolism as well.  Beautiful!

    • Jan

      You have many thoughtful ideas in your post, please allow me to address a few.  One incredible way a woman can serve and be served by the Catholic Church is to be a saint.  St Theresa of Lisieux did great missionary work and miracles just through her pray life and never even leaving the convent.  Her prayers supplied the power to priests and missionaries to bring Christ to thousands all over the world for their conversion.   One can pray the rosary every day and find Jesus transforming their lives to be more like Him.  St. Catherine of Siena advised the Pope living in France to go back to Rome.  He listened.  Mary, the Virgin Mother of Jesus, and our mother, brought to the attention of Jesus that the bride and bridegroom have no more wine, and through her intercession on behalf of the wedding couple, Jesus performed His first miracle.  Mary tells us “Do whatever He tells you”.  The intercessory role that women can perform through prayer, fasting, and sacrifice on behalf of all people and situations crying out for help is extraordinary.  We can be the most humble little nobodies in the pew, but God can accomplish great and wonderful things through our prayers and sufferings on behalf of others.  We don’t need to be anything but what we are – God loves us and in Him we can fully know who we are and what we were made to do to accomplish His Will for our lives.  We will only be happy doing what we were made to do and love Him who made us, and made us for Him.  Jesus I trust in You  +JMJ+

  • Bern

     I would suggest
    that the context for understanding all of this nonsense as to who can and who
    cannot be a priest is way to small.  God is the energy and intelligence that created the universe
    and is driving the process forward in every moment. And that energy and
    intelligence cares desperately about change and innovation and the release of
    potentials that have not existed before.  

    One of the principals of the Universe that God created is
    DIVERSITY, as such the more diversity the healthier the system. So to my way of
    thinking a monoculture of men, like a monoculture of crops, is not what God
    intended. The Church once thought the earth was flat, and that the earth was
    the center of the solar system…. Even excommunicated those who disagreed, they
    were wrong… once again I think they are wrong, and if they want to know how God
    thinks they might want to look at how the Universe works before they blunder
    once again. Plus the powers that be need to stop being so afraid, women don’t
    bite, and when you are afraid you are already extinct… to loose the diversity
    of the Catholic Church on the planet would be a soul loss. The earth is not the
    center of the solar system and is not flat, but the church is still here..
    Women should be Priests and the news flash is that the church will be stronger
    and better for having honored the diversity that God put in place to begin with!

  • Klient102

    Next time, let’s have a show about no women rabbis in Orthodox Judaism.  We’ll see if the level of religious bashing decreases any or stays the same.

    • Phil

      Yeah, you don’t hear about many female Imams in Islam either, do you.  Do you think we’ll hear a story from NPR regarding that?  Hysterically doubtful!  We’d be too scared to speak out against that, wouldn’t we.  It’s laughable to say that the Catholic Church oppresses women, considering how many Saints and Doctors of the Church are female.  And let’s not forget the HUGE critical point from the Protestants…our “worship” of Mary. LOL  While totally misunderstood, misrepresented, and incorrect, if they think, teach, and criticize the Catholic Church on that point, how can we be criticized for oppressing women, when surely we are so open as to “worship” one? (sarcasm intended)

      • Klient102

        I’m holding out for the BBC (“Beyond Belief” or “Heart and Soul”) to do a more balanced show that addresses the issue of ordaining women across the religious spectrum.  NPR can be rather spineless in debating controversial issues, lest it comes of as “politically incorrect” and inadvertently risks the ire of politicians or pledgers.

      • Anonymous

        Since when is identifying a worse offender a defense?  To their credit, at this moment in time, one can criticize the Catholic church without being tortured to death.  

        • Anonymous

          Precisely so.  Though when you think about it, a lot of political arguments seem to come down to saying that the other guy does it too.  Or the other guy did it more.  So pointing to Islam is pretty reflexive I should think.

          Thing is, I don’t think there are many devout Muslim women who would want to be Imams, while in the Catholic church – which generally serves countries that more firmly embrace modernity – women do have an interest in being priests. 

          Which means the Catholic church is a much richer vein to mine on this particular topic.  No matter what you think about Islam.

          • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

            That’s a tidy dodge to the real point: why the axe to grind against the Catholic Church but not against Islam for the same thing?

            What if the definition of a “devout Catholic” included “and believes all the Church teaches to be true,” and thus excluded women who think they (should) have a right to be ordained? Then no “devout Catholics” would seek ordination for women and we would be in very much the same boat that you set Muslims in. Your whole gripe goes by the board then.

            What does modernity have anything to do with it? Are you arguing that if we lived in countries more repressive of women it would be OK with you that the Church prohibited them from being ordained?

            THAT makes a LOT of sense, huh?

          • Anonymous

            Modernity is in tension with received wisdom.  And indeed, this tension eventually causes resistance.  Hence these nice ladies want to be priests.  I think that makes a degree of sense actually.  In a more modern country, there will be more resistance to traditional practices if they are not necessarily logical.

            Though you make a fine point.  If by “devout” you mean “unquestioning”, then indeed, no devout Christian woman would be capable of wishing to be a priest.  I concede that logical point.

            As for an ax to grind, I think all religions are pretty loopy, and I actually – truth be told – view the catholic church with more affection than most.  You can apply my comments to Islam, Judaism and any other religion you want.  There are interchangeable – shall I say fungible? – to me.

            The great thing is that here, at least, we can exchange comments without the whole thing devolving into a flame war.  For that, I thank all my fellow NPR citizens…

          • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

            Well said, your last bit in particular.

            I didn’t mean “unquestioning” when I wrote “devout”. It is part and parcel of the Catholic religion to believe that the Catholic Church is founded by Christ and teaches with His authority. If one doesn’t believe that, then why bother with the rest of it? In that sense, being “devout” certainly does mean not believing that women can be ordained priests.

          • Phil

            No…I’m not saying the other guy does it TOO because the Catholic church doesn’t do “it” – oppressing women I mean.   What I’m commenting on is your statement, “Precisely so.  Though when you think about it, a lot of political
            arguments seem to come down to saying that the other guy does it too.”  It’s not the Catholic Church, nor I, who am saying “the other guy does it TOO”… the problem is that when YOU say we do it, YOU fail to point out the other guy who would no doubt fall into the same category according to your standard of measure. 

          • Jim Turner

            I was responding to this particular line:

            “Yeah, you don’t hear about many female Imams in Islam either, do you.”

            Which you used to try and caricature NPR as being politically correct to a laughable extreme.

            But indeed, look at that sentence.  Whether or not there are female Imams may be a worthy issue to investigate, but it is irrelevant to the legitimacy of the actual show that was being commented on.

            I think you have inferred things that were not contained in the comment itself.

      • Phil

        Didn’t anyone read the second part of this post???  Protestants, atheists, agnostics, etc., criticize us for oppressing women (which is false), yet also criticize us for worshiping a woman (also false).  Where’s the connection???

    • Anonymous

      It’ll stay the same.  All religions are equally nutty.  Though I find the Mormons particularly gullible and preposterous, I must admit.

      • Jan

        Well now, obviously not all religions are equal.  That is saying that truth doesn’t matter.  Jesus said He came to witness to the truth – so the truth has to be of monumental importance.  Further, when Jesus says He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, it rather sounds like He is the One Truth that matters.  So it becomes our job to seek this truth in Him – wouldn’t you think?

        • Anonymous

          Your assertion is not a strong position.  The bible is a book.  This book has no more claim to truth than any other ancient text or legend, from Gilgamesh on.

          Truth does matter, but truth is derived from examination and consideration of evidence, weighed with an open mind, and with truth consistently proven consistent with what we can observe.

          So I am unconvinced that any religion can be elevated above another.  And no religion provides insights into the world and our place in when compared with reason.

  • Anonymous

    It is really astounding that people can believe in an omnipotent god, and then think this creature is so trivial, so banal, that he actually cares if women are priests.  Likewise, he cares what we eat of Friday?  He’s omnipotent, but he makes his creation get on their knees and worship him?  He supposedly creates a book for us, and it has no revelations of math or science or anything else that isn’t 2,000 years old?

    Where I am going, of course, is that the official church position of no women priests is all nonsense, an institutional legacy that secures the primacy of men in a large real estate corporation.  Because no real god would create or tolerate anything as dysfunctional as the Catholic church.

    • Dfmc1331

      lots of people want to worship God in their way.  i think it’s better to worship Him in His way.

      • Anonymous

        Why are gods so insecure that they need to be worshiped?   

        • Anonymous

          Hey, if you tried to conjure up an intelligent creation and it came out like us, wouldn’t you have some insecurities and doubts too?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Good one!

        • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

          You’ve got it backwards. We NEED to worship. We were made for communion with God, and just as communion between husband and wife involves long walks on the beach and a happy use of the marriage bed, communion with God involves receiving blessing from Him and rendering worship unto Him. We were made for nothing less than communion with the Transcendent.

          Asking why he needs to be worshiped is like asking why a master needs to take his dog for a walk.

          • Anonymous

            No we don’t.  We weren’t made.  We have no masters. 

          • Jan

            So John, you made yourself?  If you didn’t make yourself, then you were made  -  no other options here.  The mental gymnastics that athiests have to go through to make an arguement would be humorous if it weren’t so pitiable.  +JMJ+

          • Anonymous

            Please read Richard Dawkins for an explanation of evolution, one of the most powerful and useful theories in all of science.  No one and no intelligence “made” John or you or me.  There are no mental gymnastics involved at all.  The Blind Watchmaker is not a bad place to start.

          • Anonymous

            Did god make himself?  That requires more mental gymnastics than biology.

          • Jan

            I agree with much of what you said except where you say communion with God involves receiving a blessing from Him.  Actually that sounds like a blessing.  Communion would be actually receiving Him – Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity – into our own body when we receive the Eucharist. in Mass.  Actually and really, substancially PRESENT in us – now THAT is transforming!!  Here is a wonderful exposition on this: http://www.integratedcatholiclife.org/2011/07/fr-barron-really-truly-substantially-present/

        • Jan

          If you get to heaven you can ask – get back with us on that, will you? 

          • Anonymous

            I won’t get there.  Neither will you.  We are almost certainly just dead when we die. 

    • Jan

       The problem with sarcasm is it makes following an arguement difficult and leaves one unsure as to what point you are trying to make.  Just sayn’  +JMJ+

  • Dfmc131

    i believe Christ excluded his other for a good reason.  Who was more worthy than her to receive Holy Ordrs but nevertheless she was excluded from the Last Supper.  This wasn’t coincidence with Christ there were no coincidences.  He honored her by making her our Mother and Queen of heaven but not a priest.

  • diogo escudero

    It is very presumptuous of anyone, being catholic or non-catholic, to by using their own logical reasoning, to say that it is wrong not to ordain female priests and that the Church is at fault for not opening the doors to this possibility, just as the Church is also against homosexual marriage and abortion.  These three things will never happen, and that is for a reason.  The world these days tries to sells us relativism- everyone is equal and deserving of everything and anything they want, forgetting that that is a lie.  If you cannot pass a driving test, you do not deserve a drivers license, for it is not a right, but a privilege, and according to the privileges each person receives by God when they are born, they are able to take on different tasks in their lives that other people, with different characteristics, may not be well suited.  
    Such a thing is men and women.  Men are not able to bear a child, when women do, just as women have much a harder time to go #1 in the bathroom standing up without getting themselves wet.  
    There is a reason why only men are ordained priests, and that is explained in creation itself.  Men and women are not complete by themselves, however, through love they both become one flash in the sacrament of marriage, consuming this potential with the possibility of generating a child.  Like the passage where Jesus talks about the Sower in the Bible, the men is the sower, the one who carries the seed, while the woman is the good soil.  This union generates a tree, which bears a fruit, a child.  Since man and women are not themselves apart, but the same after marriage, they are both the tree for, through love, they share of the same happiness and trials.  They are both responsible for the bearing of the child and the well being.  
    Now, a man cannot bear life by himself, just as a women cannot bear life by herself, but only when there is a man and a women present, and it will always be this way. Exactly the same way happens when a priest, during the blessing of the bread and wine, presides the biggest miracle of life – God made flesh and blood in the bread and wine, for it is a living being, a living God, Jesus.
    A priest does not does that by himself, but through Mary, the Mother of God and humankind, for God is immutable.  The same  way He came to us through the Virgin Mary, will always be the same way He comes, as it is shown in the book of Revelations, chapter 11. The hands of the priests’ become the womb of Our Lady, for no human has any power to create anything in this world from scratch without pre-existing starting materials (i.e atoms, molecules, …).  In the same way, a life can only be brought to this world when a man and a women are present in the union or love, which is Christ himself, for love is a divine manifestation of God in our lives for men and women did not create love, but live in continuous search for the meaning and happiness in our lives through the search for this love, divine.  Whether this makes sense to anyone of you, it will not be through my merits, words, intelligence, sex, or belief, although I am a catholic, but if your heart is opened and this makes any sense to you you can attribute it to the Holy Spirit showing you something you didn’t know…the same Holy Spirit that has guided and will always guide the Church, the Pope, and the faithful when you embrace the truth in you life, which is love, which is Christ.  May God Bless you all.

    • Anonymous

      The church is wrong on those issues too. 
       
      What test are women not able to pass to make them equally worthy?  The one you identify is that women “have much a harder time to go #1 in the bathroom standing up without getting themselves wet.” 
       
      “Whether this makes sense to anyone of you, it will not be through my merits, words, intelligence” — Your words failed to pursuade me. 

      • diogo escudero

        I was not trying to persuade anyone, just simply stating a fact…and the bathroom thing was supposed to be funny, but i guess it did not come out as i thought it should

        no one persuades anyone in the matter of faith, otherwise you would be my follower, and not Christ’s.  Christ is the only one who persuades, and the Holy Spirit the only one that guides and gives each one the wisdom and understanding.  You should pray about it and see what God tells you about this issue, because if you do He will, and not listen to me because I am not a priest, nor a theologian.  So instead of looking for a divine answer from a man, as corruptible and ignorant in the matters of the divine as the next one to come,  unless infallibly moved through the Holy Spirit as it happens with our Pope, you should ask God directly, but you might not like the answer.

        • Anonymous

          There aren’t any divine answers.

          • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

            Well, that’s your article of faith. Ours is that there are. Can you prove your own proposition right any better than you prove ours wrong, or is yours just a flat assertion as well?

          • Anonymous

            The onus is on you to prove there are.  Prove there aren’t elves.  I’m open to evidence to the contrary of hypothesis in the unlikely event that I’m wrong.

          • Anonymous

            Elves!  Don’t drag them into this too!!!

          • Terry Tree Tree

            I LIKE Keebler cookies!

          • Anonymous

            The lovely reality is that science provides not only understanding, but allows us to make predictions that can be experimentally tested, providing a corrective to errors, and laying a foundation for ever increasing understanding and predictive power.

            The church pretends to explanation but predicts nothing provable or testable.  The obscurities of 1,000 years ago remain obscure because they are based upon received wisdom, free of evidence or observable manifestation, of unknown provenance.

            But you see, by delivering predictable, testable hypotheses that allows us to build airplanes and satellites and air conditioning systems and nuclear weapons, science is the antithesis of “faith”.  Faith is belief without evidence.  Science is the absolute opposite – it if belief based upon, and modified by, evidence.

          • diogo escudero

            As I scientist myself I will answer your question in scientific terms. To come up a hypothesis, we need a specific understand of the subject matter, and even then, studying something that is unknown at this point, we can only base what we think it should happen with the knowledge we have.  However the next step is to test your hypothesis with a null hypothesis, because as we know, we need to embrace the chance of our hypothesis being wrong and the result being something else than what we expect, which happens most times in biological sciences, from my experience.  
            A lot of theories have been proved to be wrong after a some time in science, and specially in the field of cancer research, which is familiar to me, we have come to know a lot and still know nothing for cancer is still a horrible morbid disease claiming many lives and keeps on outsmarting the new targeted therapies we try to come up with.

            What you fail to understand is that faith and science are not contradictory, but are the same.  Hypothesis driven philosophy started with Socrates, and it is not much different than what happens in faith.  To understand God and do his will you must “renounce yourself, carry your daily cross and follow him”.  This is the null hypothesis we use in research.  What most people do not know is that the knowledge to understand the divine and make our “faith hypothesis” is not human. We received it through baptism, and it is called the Holy Ghost.  It is when you renounce your own ideas, personal preferences and let God guide your thoughts and lives, is when you understand what He is trying to tell you being through a Bible reading, or being through a disaster that has happened in your life.  Additionally, this Holy Spirit will instruct you, if you open yourself to him, to why women will not be ordained priests, and also why you cannot believe in evolution and advocate pro-choice saying that life does not start at conception, because for us to live, we must come from a living being, which replicates, eats, and survives.  That one common ancestor, as evolution teaches us, had to be alive, and was not much different than a fertilized egg in terms of complexity, meaning that it looked like a bugger, and not as a human being.  But through the evolutionary process we came to be what we are.
            The Church is not also against that, unlike many people believe.  
            So saying much more than I should and probably rambling on 
            ( I am sorry for that) the same way we need knowledge to progress in science, which is why we study, we need knowledge to understand more about God and grow in faith, for no one can love what he does not know.  I cannot not simply love God and give my life to Him if i know nothing about him.

            Science and Faith walk hand in hand, the problem is not Science and Faith, but men.  Just as the problem is not the devil, but men who believe in his lies and put them into action.

          • GodAlMighty

            You are a nitwit in gilded vestments.

          • diogo escudero

            You are right, that I am…i am nothing for when i am nothing God is everything.  

          • Terry Tree Tree

            What is your hypothesis on the rampant and continued molesting and abusing of the Catholic church?  What about ALL the other crimes against humanity and individuals?   Can something so corrupt and so criminal, for that long of a time, ever redeem itself?  BE scientifically objective!

        • Terry Tree Tree

          God told me NOT to molest or abuse children!  How many years, or centuries of religious study does that take?

          • diogo escudero

            Statistically, more children have been molested by protestant ministers than by priests.  I am not saying the ones that did that were not wrong, it is horrible and appalling.  But Jesus himself said that there will be wolves dressed as sheep.  What the devil wants is to make people not go to God, and he is doing all he can

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Evidently it goes all the way up to the popes, because they not only did NOT do the RIGHT thing about it, they conciously did the WRONG things about it, cover it up, deny, threaten the children, move the priests to abuse again and again, and a lot of other crimes, that they continue to this day!

          • Michael

            Think god spoke to any of those priest? the Pope? or anyone in the chain of command?

            Or why didn’t god answer any of the victims prays. He is a just and loving god?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Evidently He did NOT speak to the priests, popes, or any of the Catholic ‘leadership’, or he had a WEIRD message. 
                I WISH He had answered the prayers of the victims, some of whom have committed suicide because of the persecution of the Catholics, and those they revealed it to?  To me, coercing a victim into suicide, is MURDER.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Diversion and evasion.  

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Some guys cannot stand and pee without getting themselves wet, and the seat, and the floor, and sometimes the walls.
             Does that disqualify them?

    • Anonymous

      Argument by authority = fail.
      Argument by received wisdom = fail
      Argument by obscurantism = fail

      The church is very wrong about many, many things.

      • diogo escudero

        yes, anything where men are the ones doing the work is going to do many wrong things, such as you, yourself, has done and will still do many wrong things, and the same applies to me. 
        The Church is Holy for it is the bride of Christ, but in the things that pertains to men, it may commit faults and it will, for how can you expect men to be perfect?  Thats why Jesus calls us to die to ourselves, renounce our will and carry our crosses…it’s not about not making mistakes, but picking yourself up from them, knowing your place as an unworthy servant blessed by a higher being.

        I have been a catholic for 29 years of my life, but only for 1 I started to understand my faith because I prayed to God and opened myself for his guidance.  You can persecute the Church all you want and say how wrong it is, and you will be just one more person doing that without understanding what you are doing.  Maybe you should first study the faith and see where and how it fails, and then you can make an educated suggestion about where and how the Church is wrong.  I am not saying I am right either, but God is, and if perhaps it is how He wants it, how are we to decide to change it?

        • Terry Tree Tree

          The news and admissions of the Catholic show any, but those that choose to be blind, where the church is wrong.  Why should I waste my time studying such a corrupt religion?

          • diogo escudero

            I am not sure who you are getting this information from

            but if that’s how you feel, then waste your time bashing something you do not understand like you are doing right now instead of bashing something you do understand and has been proven and understood to be fake and corrupt 

            The same reason why you are spending your time bashing something you do not understand is the subconscious yearning in your soul to understand God, for everyone searches for God, even pagans, for God is love and we all want love in your lives…the moment you try to stop and think about your life and look for what is this love and what is it that is missing you will find the open doors to the catholic church waiting for you.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Are you saying that NO priest has molested ,or abused children?  Are you saying that no molesting and/or abusing priest has been transferred to another church, where they molested and abused again.   Are you saying that the Catholic church has handed over ALL molesting and abusing clergy, and ALL information that may be pertinent to convicting the perverts, that destroy childrens’ lives?
                 Catholics ‘bash’, by telling me the only way to heaven is through a church that has a LOT of evidence of them being perverted.  How is pointing out the hypocracy of the Catholic church ‘bashing’?  It is just statements of facts.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      The Catholic church is against homosexual marriage because the priests, and other ‘leaders?’ don’t want to have to marry their victims. 
          The Catholic church is against abortion, because it deprives them of victims for child-molesting and abuse? 
          The Catholic church is against women in the clergy, because they are less likely to molest, or abuse children.
          The Catholic church is against honest homosexuals, because that would interfere with their molesting and abuse of children.
           The past , and present actions of the Catholic church support and prove my above conclusions, far more than they disprove them!

      • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

        Is that an argument? What is that? I am not sure it even rises to the intelligence and precision required for libel. It’s nonsense. The sort of ravings that gush from the mouth of a schizophrenic.

        • charmusic

          amen.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Did I not state where my conclusions come from, the past , and present actions of the Catholic church?  What other conclusion could logic come to, considering those actions? 
              If you diagnose me as schizophrenic, from a distance, having never met me, from a few words revealing hypocracy, what is your diagnoses of those priests, bishops, cardinals, popes, and the ‘leadership’ of the church that has been exposed for hiding these crimes?  I’m sure you have been in closer and longer contact with them!

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Ryan Haber,   Either the Catholic has a complete culture of molesting and abusing children, and they lie about it, or they are so inept at handling it in a decent manner, that they deserve NO respect.  Which is it?
                 I fail to see why any woman would desire to be ordained in a church with either problem, or both!  I wouldn’t want to taint myself with either!

        • Bbwhite

          Reminds me of Peter O’Toole in “The Ruling Class” – When did you discover you were Jesus?   I was praying and realized I was talking to myself……

    • Gpwebster

      I’m sure a lot of priests (the celibate) have the same problem urinating.  An un-exercised prostate is a hindrance.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FSTN5453LFVPU44EFDT4H5G33U Domenico

    One example of the role of women in the early Church is provided by Pliny’s letter to Trajan concerning Christians, which is in Latin with an English translation at:http://community.middlebury.edu/~harris/Classics/plinytrajan.htmlAt one point, Pliny wrote:”I thought at this point that it was necessary to get information from two slave women, whom they call Deaconesses (ministrae) about the actual truth, by means of torture. I found nothing worthy of blame . . .”When I first read this, I was fascinated by the fact that Pliny detained “Deaconesses (ministrae)” [from which we get the English word minister] instead of Deacons, Priests or Bishops.  It is also very likely that these “Deaconesses (ministrae)” played a central role in the weekly commemorative meal, consisting of “food of an ordinary and simple kind,” that the Christians of in Bithynia celebrated around AD 112.

    • Klient102

      I think this proves my earlier point about the need to discuss the extension of the deaconate to women.  Last I heard, the Orthodox Church was mulling over the idea as well.  Incidentally, the notion has never been considered “off the table” by Catholic ecclesiastical elites.  However, this is not the same as actual female ordination.

      • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

        You heard wrong.

        • Klient102

          I guess you’re right – I heard wrong.  It’s a done deal.  Quoted from the Jesuit publication “America”:
          “The Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Greece voted in Athens on Oct.
          8, 2004, to restore the female diaconate. All the members of the Holy
          Synod—125 metropolitans and bishops and Archbishop Christodoulos, the
          head of the church of Greece—had considered the topic.”

          • Klient102

            Now if Jackie Lydon had done her homework, this would have been brought up during the discussion.  Once again, NPR proves how it’s the BBC’s poorer, dumber, less articulate American cousin.

      • Mary Ann S

        Ordination is ordination.  That is why the official Church is so afraid to admit women to the diaconate.  It-is-ordination!  Either one is ordained or not. 

        • Klient102

          I suppose I should put on some orthopaedic shoes and stand corrected in my previous statement.  Catholic ordination has three levels 1) deaconate 2) priesthood 3) episcopate.  Again, the first (ie, deaconate) has not been ruled “off the table” by Catholic authorities and the Orthodox have brought it up at a recent regional church council. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

      Really? The only justifiable reason for not ordaining women is because other Christians don’t do it? Are you serious? THAT is moral flimflam.

      The use of the words “deacon,” “priest,” and “bishop” aren’t clearly defined in the first century as Raymond Brown, SJ, goes to some lengths to point out. The Greek word deacon means, outside the Christian context, a “servant” or “waiter.” The key thing is whether hands were laid on him, as Paul says he did to Timothy, for instance. That is what the Church has always understood to be the defining act of ordination. In fact, calling someone a table attendant hardly gives any evidence that you have laid hands on them. There is no evidence anywhere of an ordination of women in the early Church – only of vagueness in titles.

      “It is very likely…” is not a reason, but a supposition.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FSTN5453LFVPU44EFDT4H5G33U Domenico

        If there were ordained priests presiding at the weekly commemorative meal, I wonder why Pliny detained two “Deaconesses (ministrae)”?

        • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

          That was my point, Domenico. That calling them deaconnesses doesn’t imply that he or they meant what we mean today. They might have even been slave girls, since that is whom – outside of a later Christian development – the word would have been applied to.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FSTN5453LFVPU44EFDT4H5G33U Domenico

            Based on what Pliny wrote, it is much more likely that there were no ordained priests at that time and that the “Deaconesses (ministrae)” were the ones who played a key role in the weekly commemorative meal. I have no idea what “ministrae,” the word used by Pliny, denoted at the time–it may or may not be equivalent to the Greek diakonos (sp?). Deaconesses is the word used by the translator.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        So, those priests were ‘ordaining’ those boys?  Laying hands (and other body parts) on them?

    • Jan

      The deaconesses were needed to help with women when they got baptized.  There is no substantiation anywhere that women or deaconesses assisted at the meal (Mass) except to make the bread used.

  • Walker

    God fucked Mary, so apparently you don’t have to have a penis to be closer to him.  

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Your language could have been more appropriate for a vaired audience.  The sentiment seems to permeate most Western religions.

      • Walker

        You’re right.  I’m sorry.  If you know how I can take it down, let me know.

        • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

          Don’t worry. I’ve flagged your witticism.

          One day, you will regret deeply having blasphemed against the Virgin Mother of God. She will have proved your last hope in the end. Even then, though – don’t despair! God our Father has not despaired of you, and has given you not only His Son, but also His mother! If you think of nothing else in the end, think of her, and she will see you safely to Him.

          • Walker

            Actually, Jesus said that Blasphemy is the only unforgivable sin.  Guess, I’m domed!   

          • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

            No, friend, unless you are as bald as me, you are probably not domed, lolol.

            You may or may not be doomed, but you have definitely misunderstood Jesus’ words on the matter. Blaspheming the Holy Spirit has always been understood as the rejection of grace, rejection of the work of God in one’s life – which includes forgiveness.

            Happily, even in your dying moments, there will be time to repent of that.

            All the best!

          • Walker

             Well, I looked up the passage and indeed it is the Holy Spirit. 

            I had many things that I can say about your last reply, but I’ll just say this, maybe one day you will see how immoral the concept of Hell is.  

          • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

            I cannot think of a MORE MORAL thing than the concept that our actions have moral meaning. The idea that Mother Teresa should end up in the same lot as a Hitler not even moved to repentance – THAT is morally offensive.

            My actions have consequences and those consequences have consequences, and so on, until the end of the world. Why shouldn’t they last forever, in fact, if the human soul does?

          • Walker

             There are categories of punishment: and eternal damnation falls under vengeance, which is immoral.  

          • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

            No. It falls under the category of allowing people to live with the consequences of their choices rather than bailing them out against their will.

            Moreover, the only moral teacher ever to teach that vengeance is immoral in and of itself was Jesus. And he clearly taught that hell was real, and moreover, that the vengeful end there.

            He saw no contradiction – maybe you will explore what he may have been thinking, rather than simply assume he was no sharper than you and just wrong.

          • Walker

            You don’t understand.  Let me elaborate.   The people who “have ill choices” can be punished in three ways: For safety, for vengeance, or for education.

            In the wild-west, criminals were killed often, in part because there was no way to secure them in jail, so they became a threat to society once again.  To keep society safe, the law killed many criminals.  Obviously, there is no point for this for God.  Souls are immaterial and not capable of being harmed, right…?

            The second is vengeance, which is what Hell is: punishing an evil-doer simply because he was an evil-doer.

            The third is education: punishing for the betterment of the person or soul.  So let’s take the most evil person we can think of–Hitler.  So God punishes Hitler to the degree he hurt others, per se.  But after he has served his allotted punishment and God has rehabilitated the soul.  A loving God then accepts to most evil people our world has known.  That is more loving and just than your God. 

            If God decides to keep punishing, it is pointless vengeance.  And immoral. 

          • diogo escudero

            you fail to understand how God’s punishment works.  God being the truth, everything else that you choose that breaks with the truth is a lie, which is sin.  We sin in many ways because we are prone to this reality.  What you do not understand is that a only a grave sin, mortal, which completely breaks the grace of God with your person is the one that damns you, but for you to do that you have to have full understanding of what you are doing, and there is a gradient of knowledge that dictates how much you are at fault.   
            For instance if we talked about science and you said something wrong, you would be less culpable than me, because it is my field of trade.  

            The reality is that only two things, the ones that exist and the ones that do not.  Truth and lie.  If you apart from God, you embrace the devil, whether you like it or not.  But consciously making this choice is where it lies the danger.  Punishment is necessary, for there is right and wrong, otherwise everything would be right.  Your way of thinking is of relativism, which is a lie.

            God is all loving, but it is not God who damns us to hell, it is ourselves.  We are the ones who do not let the grace of God come into our lives and cleanse our souls, and that is the unforgivable sin, the sin against the Holy Ghost.  It is not God’s hands that are short, but it is we, humans, who do not let God save us, for no one saves themselves, but only God.  The ones that do let God in their lives, they say yes to God doing whatever it is that needs to be done for their salvation, and that starts with self knowlege.  Knowing ourselves, where we fault, what we do wrong, and let God show us the way, so that we can change what impairs us from knowing him more and loving our brothers and sisters as He loves us.  

            Do not try to understand these things, before you try to understand yourself because you wont be able to.  And if you think you know yourself, you will only prove to yourself that you do not know anything, for as Socrates used to say, “I only know that I do not know”.

          • Anonymous

            There is no devil either. 

          • diogo escudero

            It is exactly what he wants you to believe…but try going to church, I am not even asking you to convert, just go to mass during a month and you’ll see what will happen…he will not want you to leave his company

          • Anonymous

            I endured it for years.  I think not much is new. 

          • Walker

            escudero, you missed the point completely.  I can dream up a religion where the God I described is my God, where there is no Hell, but God punishes to better a soul.  That is a more loving God than yours.  I “choose” to do a crime, God chooses the punishment.

            Your God chooses the punishment of Hell; or are you trying to say that God has no choice…because that would seem ludicrous. 

            And Western Metaphysics is dead, read some different philosophers, like Derrida, Nietzsche, Spinoza, Judith Butler, and perhaps consider the scientific method. 

            Religion is relative. 
             

          • Anonymous

            Mother Teresa was a fraud. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

            I challenge you to spend one day working with the good women of the order she founded. In any of their various places all around the world. They have at least one house in Boston. I work with them at their AIDS hospice in DC.

            What have you done for the poor, sir?

            If you work with them for even just one day, you will be able to say that much for yourself.

          • Tax the Church

            no, the Pope is a fraud.

          • Jan

            Tell that to the many thousands of sick and dying persons she literally picked up off the streets and garbage heaps of Calcutta, cleaned them up and lavished care and the love of Jesus on each of them so that they could die a happy death.  Do some research on Mother Teresa, I think you will be suprized.  Her order of the Sisters of Charity do more to help HIV/AIDs victims than any government anywhere.  You should go help the sisters and then see if you can come back with that same feeling. 

          • Anonymous

            I can’t most of the people she treated died as she didn’t really offer quality care.  She herself went to the world’s best hospitals.  She glorified poverty instead of worked to end it.  She also kept money from Charles Keating.

          • Walker

             And to your Hitler to Mother Teresa comment…The way I see it is that: God either exists or not–there is nothing observable or testable to suggest that there is a god.  However, I hope there is a God and I hope God is personal and a lot more loving than Christianity suggest god is.  With that being said, my emotional attachment towards my existence and the existence of all has no bearing on reality.  My desire for Hitler to be punished and Mother Teresa to be rewarded does not create a metaphysical justice system. 

            To be an atheist is to live with death anxiety.  That little deathbed confessional thing you were saying, illustrates that religion is indirect therapy to deal with the bitter realization that consciousness will come to an end.  When human beings realized the  inevitability of death, we started to run away from our creature-ly-ness.  And that is probably the force that has created the world we know today.

            Mother Teresa was an atheist, but who is more moral, the person who does good to avoid the violence of Hell and to have the rewards of Heaven; or the person who does good for other reason than understanding how precious life is. 

          • Walker

            grammar correction: “or the person who does good for other reason than understanding how precious life is.”  Should read, “or the person who does good for no other reason than that she understands how precious life is.

          • charmusic

            can we please take this conversation in a more intellectual direction?  you seem to be missing the point.

          • Gpwebster

            speaking of points, will someone explain all the funny hats?

          • Jan

            The hats are an evolvement from the head attire worn by Jewish temple priests. 

          • GLH

            He hath smote thy spelling already. 

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Or smote him bald!

          • Anonymous

            Blasphemy is a victimless crime. 

    • Abadilla

      Well, don’t forget to tell this blasphemy to God when you die, for there are two realities in life none of us escapes from, death and taxes. BTW, by your language your reveal yourself for who you are, garbage!

      • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

        Abadilla, your sentiment is understandable. We do not give a good witness to Christ by name calling. No creature of God is made for disposal and no soul is mere garbage. We must announce and uphold the dignity of those who oppose us first and foremost.

      • GLH

        God invented ribald humor: thus Creation.

  • Joyfully

    Ordained female “Catholic” priests are by their very declared title PROTESTANTS: they protest the teaching of the Church.

    Both they and the “bishop” or “priest” who “ordained” them have excommunicated themselves from the Church.

    Is it really that hard to understand?

    • Anonymous

      First, try to understand this distinction: 1) a person who wants to worship in their own way, and 2) a person who wants to alter a pre-existing institution. It is the difference between, say, leaving the United States for a country that better fits ones political values, or trying to work through the institution to influence U.S politics.

      Admittedly, the Vatican is not a democratic institution in the first place. But you need to at least recognize that the goal here is not simply to become another Protestant sect, but to exert an influence on Catholicism as an institution, to change this feature of its practice without surrendering the title and affiliation. That seems to be the goal. While you are correct, that from the Vatican’s perspective, this amounts to excommunication, you should also remember that in fact the Catholic church has revised elements of its practices (for instance over the language in which a  Mass must be conducted). This kind of change has traditionally been a top down phenomenon. But I think the hope is that, by calling attention to this issue, the Vatican at some point down the road will consider a revision of the gender policy. Whether this particular strategy of de facto anointing of female priests will ultimately prove effective is debatable. One should not, however, confuse the totally valid goal of altering Catholic practice with the questionable utility of this particular strategy. Many Catholics would like to see changes in a variety of policy matters; I don’t think this means, as you suggest, that they should just find a Protestant sect that appeals to them. The identity of a Catholic is rooted in something deeper than the gender of our priests (one would hope).

      • Jan

        Since the Catholic Church was started by God Himself, the second person of the Blessed Trinity, Jesus Christ, ["You are Peter, and upon this Rock, I shall build my Church"]; and has subsequently been sustained and sanctifyed by the third person of the Blessed Trinity, the  Holy Spirit, it is erroneous to presume that just because some people want to copy, imitate, or simulate the sacrament of Holy Orders to a woman, that the Holy Spirit is obliged to follow and inhabit the woman with priestly powers.  Any validly consecrated and incardinated Catholic BISHOP that attempts to ordain a woman would be automaticly excommunicated by the Catholic Church, thereby nullifying at the outset any transmission of priestly power.  Part and parcel of being a Catholic is obediance to the Holy Father’s formal pronouncements on questions of faith and morals given to the universal church.  Jesus said He would pray for Peter that his faith not fail him, and when he was confirmed in the faith, he was to confirm his brethern.  We can trust that what ever Jesus prays for becomes reality, we trust when the Holy Father pronounces that the Church CANNOT ordain women – doesn’t have the authority to ordain women [borne out of the fact that Jesus didn't make his mother Mary or Mary Magdelene or any other woman an apostle]. 
        Women wishing to be priests:  Envy is one of the capital sins and is not a good foundation for any ministry in any Church.  If you wish to do something great, be a saint.  Be humble, be obediant and be a wonderful example of accepting where God has placed you and bloom where you are.  Jesus I trust in You  +JMJ+

        • Anonymous

          I think you’re failing to process my main point. One can recognize that the Catholic church is an historical institution while still affiliating with its beliefs. I was pointing out that over centuries, the Catholic church has modified its views on several things, involving even the interpretation of its own continuity and origins. You offer your interpretation of the origins of the Church, which according to the very slim evidence you cite here, suggests that woman cannot hold the priestly office. But it is possible, given past precedent, that the Vatican could in fact revise its policy, reinterpret this matter, or other matters like the celibacy of priests. That is a historical possibility. I was not suggesting that the actions taken by these individuals would necessarily further that change in policy, nor that they would be recognized by many as authentic priests. 

  • Dina

    About time!  Just what the Catholic Religion needs – women!

  • GodAlmighty

    What a waste of time and cerebration. We really never have left the dark ages have we. The Catholic church is one of the most evil institutions to have ever been foisted on humanity. By their works shall ye know them. 800 years of inquisition and the burning of innocent women to steal their property is works enough for all time. Dismantle this abortion of an institution, tax them out of existence. They have destroyed enough bodies and minds for all eternity.

    • diogo escudero

      God back to reading history and you will go to confession in a week

      • Anonymous

        Go read history and you will see how Christianity was cobbled together out of other religions. 

        • Klient102

          Sorry, as someone who professionally works on religious studies and history, I fail to see any problem in acknowledging that Christianity (or any other religion, or any other institution for that matter!) was a product of its time.  In Greek and Roman antiquity, messianism was all the rage, there were several cultic goddesses who bore maternal traits not unlike that of Mary, there were rites of initiation that involved immersion, as well as common ritual meals reserved exclusively for confirmed followers.  So what?
          Look at some of books on religious history issued by Georgetown University Press, Catholic University of America Press or any other Catholic academic publisher and you’ll notice that no one feels threatened by the cultural origins of Christianity.

          • Anonymous

            Doesn’t “product of its time” suggest that it was a human invention and not eternal and divine?

          • Klient102

            Not necessarily. Something can be divinely instituted and bear the physical features of a given historical period.  That said, modern scholarship, even at Catholic universities, will focus on those tangible features.

    • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

      Ha ha! Give it your best shot. If Napoleon and Stalin couldn’t do it, if Hitler and Nero couldn’t do it, why should you possibly think it can be done?! You think the inept band of hooligan criminals that we have sent to Washington is capable of destroying God’s Holy Church? It’ll take more than a bunch of bureaucrats to smother us out of existence, and it’ll take more than death or taxes to do it, too.

      When Cardinal Consalvi, Secretary of State to Pius VII or VIII, was told that Napoleon wanted to destroy
      the Church, he replied “He will never succeed,” Cardinal Consalvi. “We have
      not managed to do it ourselves!”

      • Anonymous

        Hitler made a deal with the Pope.

        • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

          Right, not to persecute the Church, confiscate her property, interfere with her teaching her religion, etc., which he promptly broke.

          Your point?

      • JJBayBay

        Just like cancer huh?

      • UMomma

         So Ryan the truth comes out.  You are in favor of the burning of innocent women in the cause of imaginary nonsense.

        • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

          Um, that’s not exactly what I said. Although… flogging a few immature people that can’t argue with facts and so argue with accusations… well, that might answer suitably. :)

          How about we each stick to what the other has actually said, and argue facts and ideas, and not get too flippant or make ridiculous accusations.

  • Klient102

    Come on, NPR, can you get someone to moderate your forums?  This board has descended into a cesspool of four letter words and insults.  Are you so low on pledges that you can’t even get anyone to press a “delete” button on the most offensive posts?

  • KATHERINE

    It is time that sexism be eradicated from the church! Thank you for covering this timely story.

  • Phil

    Just because you’ve got a rope doesn’t mean you’re a cowboy, ladies!  If you truly claim to be “Roman Catholic,” review the notions of matter and form as it relates to the sacraments.  THIS is a key element in understanding and living Roman Catholic sacramental theology.  No matter, no form (I doubt they use the official rite) = no sacrament…thus, in this case, no priest.  Therefore, if you wish to proceed along this line, start your own church or become an Anglican…they’ll take anyone…and besides, you won’t have to remain a mere priest, YOU can even be a bishop. 

    • Steve Delaney

      The Roman Catholic idea of matter and form is utterly ridiculous to anyone who does not believe in Medieval magic.

  • GLH

    Join Father Bourgeois to protest terror training by our government at WHINSEC, formerly The School of the Americas this fall.
    This is such an excellent person of conscience that I must join him in supporting female ordination to Catholic priesthood, although I’m agnostic.

    • Klient102

      Whereas I tend to be more cautious about female ordination and think Bourgeois should have exercised more restraint, I would like nothing more than to join a protest against WHINSEC.

  • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

    @d3121c60e5a8f3e43bfd9e24582f71cd:disqus You’re missing my point about hell. I understand the reasons for punishment. Hell is its own category, though – truly *sui generis.*

    It is a punishment, in one sense – but in another sense it isn’t a punishment at all. Rather, it is the natural consequence of evil acts. If I have eaten my cake, I can no longer have it. That’s not a punishment, but a fact – a consequence.

    If I make my soul into the sort of thing that cannot enjoy anything good and beautiful, no matter where I live, I will live in a bad and ugly place. The souls damned to hell are the real catastrophe, the real horror – hell is just what they’ve made of it.

    • Walker

       Is not a natural consequence.   This all ways happens when I show Christians this argument–the invariably start to deny the omnipotence of god. 

      God can choose Hell or educational punishment.  If you don’t think God can do that, then you have a serious hole in the logic of your religious thinking. 

      If you believe that God is capable of all things like Jesus say.  Then he is capable of the betterment of any soul throughout eternity.

      God determines the consequences, the consequences don’t determine God.     

      • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

        God has given us free will, @d3121c60e5a8f3e43bfd9e24582f71cd:disqus , and will not rescind His gifts, nor will He trivialize them by abrogating their consequences.

        If I run around stealing from people, I make myself into a less trustworthy sort of person, and the world a less trusting and trustworthy place. If I run around murdering people, I make myself into a more murderous sort of person and the world a more murderous place. These aren’t punishments, but effects of a cause. The cause here is my choice, either my individual choice or all my choices collectively.

        You are overlooking the possibility that somebody might not WANT to be with God in heaven, that somebody might prefer isolation in his own heart and mind. In that case, should God force Himself in? Can God give us the deep and ultimately joy that only He *is*, without giving us Himself?

      • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

        Hey @d3121c60e5a8f3e43bfd9e24582f71cd:disqus , I am heading out of the office, and I really would like to continue our conversation though. If you would also like, you can email me at ryan dot haber at gmail dot com. Original, I know.

  • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

    @d3121c60e5a8f3e43bfd9e24582f71cd:disqus “My desire for Hitler to
    be punished and Mother Teresa to be rewarded does not create a
    metaphysical justice system.”

    Right. But you addressed the immorality of there being a hell, and I only countered with the immorality of not having a hell.

    “To be an atheist is to live with
    death anxiety.”

    To true. In fact, to live at offs with one’s Creator is to live with death anxiety. Of course religion deals with the bitter realization of our own mortality. What’s wrong with that?

    How do you figure Mother Teresa was an atheist?

    • Walker

       I read that Mother Teresa’s diaries revealed that she did not believe in God back when she died.

      God can still punish without Hell.  Can he not? 

      And for the death anxiety comment: there is nothing wrong with that.  I find you to be a good Christian who seems to be more concerned with helping other instead of shoving religion down others’ throats and trying to control other people.  But you obviously appreciate good debate.

      But my point was that that is all it ever is.  It is therapy.  I try not to let emotion determine reality.  I value emotion is certain areas of intellectual pursuit, but believing in god is strictly emotional, and I can’t go along with that.  

      • Rickspringer

        I wonder if Mother Theresa knew that her spiritual advisor, Father Donald McGuire, who always had a young boy in tow when he visited her in India, now sits in a federal prison, convicted of molesting countless boys. Perhaps that’s when she began to question her faith!
        Incidentally, the Jesuits knew all about his abusing them since the 1960s and did nothing but move him around.
        One can find more about the massive cover-up of sexual abuse of children going back hundreds of years at bishoopaccountability.org.
        I highly doubt the hierarchcial spin that Jesus chose only men to be spiritual leaders. Before Constantine took over in the fourth century and romanized the church women played a huge role in guiding the laity in thier spiritual lives and given the horrors visited upon so many children and vulnerable adults, as a result of an all male caste system, it’s time bring them back!

      • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

        Lol! You read that, did you? But did you read the diaries? Do you think simple minds without religious faith given to soundbites are best equipped to handle the writing of such a person? A media pundit, really?

        No, she very much believed in God. I’ve read her diaries. She only stopped feeling his presence in her life. It’s a very different thing altogether.

        Well, you’re right that I enjoy a good debate with someone who cares about truth and wishes to find it together. I also do believe that religion, like the human person, must have an emotional component if the two are to get along very well. But I do not believe in God’s existence or his love for me on any emotional principle. Nor does it generally make me feel good. Nothing farther from the truth. In fact, it’s often a pain in the @$$. As are my brothers and sisters in Christ. As am I.

  • Michael

    In response to TerryTree question.

    Several EU states have criticised Pope Benedict for saying that the
    use of condoms could endanger public health and increase the problem of
    HIV/Aids.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7950671.stm
    HIV/Aids was, he argued, “a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money
    alone, that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms,
    which can even increase the problem”.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7947460.stm

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Thanks, Michael.  MORE evidence of hypocracy.  I guess they are afraid condoms might decrease the numbers of children they can choose from, to molest or abuse.

      • Anonymous

        I think one very early adaptation of the church was to be certain to indoctrinate as soon as possible.  The young mind willing depends (indeed, it must depend) upon authority figures until adolescence, and it is essential to the church that it insinuate itself in the lives of as many young children as possible to grow the brand while they willingly accede to authority unquestioningly.

        What the church really coveted, of course, is power.  Of which child abuse is one perverted and rather pathetic form.

  • BB

    I am a little disappointed with NPR’s reporting on this issue. I do not feel like Jackie is “On Point” here…

    This issue deserves better discussion facilitation!!!

    • Tom

      I agree this was not well done (not sure if we see the sam problem though!)  I am on the right side on some issues and left side on other issues and am disappointed by the Ego Driven Entertainment of bashing the other side as performed continually on Fox or MSNBC.  NPR is biased but I believe it at least is out of idealism, not need to just please it’s listeners or “entertain”.  However, they should not have a host moderate such discussion when she can’t control her own obvious leaning toward one side of the discussion!

  • Rmguy2

    This is a typical cafeteria catholic discussion.  You don’t get to pick and choose what you want to believe, if you want to be a female priest go be a Lutheran or Episcopal, why do you want to be a catholic if there is so much supposed oppression and bigotry?

    • Steve Delaney

      But belief is, by definition, an individual thing.  You can’t say you believe all the teachings of the Catholic church, or any other church, if you have no knowledge or understanding of them.  Saying “I believe whatever the Catholic church teaches” is a meaningless, ignorant statement

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HFRQ5AYSOCXD5P3KZRIQBWWKQI JOSEPHS

      “Catholic” indicated a faith universal. “Church” is a postured group of humans (kahal=called). Cafeteria, no; garden, yes. Our catholic faith and our sacramental baptism gives each and every anointed the need to proclaim the savior who has formulated our lives.  They are not picking. We ask for larger vision.
      Supremists wall out. Such “catholics” dirty the name.

  • Jim from San Antonio, Texas

    I grew up Catholic and attended Catholic schools thru my freshman year of University.  My first encounter with a female priest was at the funeral of my father-in-law, in an Episcopalian church, who presided at the funeral mass.  Afterward, I jokingly told friends that now I understood why the Catholic church was adamantly opposed to women priests: I found her to be so much more empathetic, sincere and able to connect and comfort we who were attending than any male priest that I had encountered in my then 45 some-odd years of experience.  It was, however, true, not a joke.  It would seem that the Vatican’s position is one of dogma over spirituality.

    • Jan

      If you want a mommy, look to the Blessed Mother – she is more caring and solicitious of our souls than anyone could or does.  If you want a sacrament, then you would go to the Catholic Church where the real, valid, genuine grace imparting gift resides from the priest.  Don’t be fooled people:  Other churches, whether they have male or female “clergy,” cannot feed you the actual Body and Blood of Jesus in the Eucharist, nor can they forgive your sins in confession because they don’t have the power of  the apostolic priesthood that was handed down in an unbroken line of secession from the apostles.  When I go to Church I want the real thing.  Not some bogus playacting with women who just can’t quite get over the fact they can never be real priests.   Men cannot have babies, and women cannot be priests.  Somethings in life you just have to accept and move on.

      • Doug

        You really should read up on the Orthodox Church, if you want the “real thing.” Or go to a Jewish Seder, if you want the “real thing,” which is where Rabbi Jesus/Yeshua was when he broke the bread and shared the wine with his Jewish friends and students. Please try not to be judgmental, as Jesus taught us. No priest can forgive sins. That is God’s prerogative.

        • lumen

          Jesus forgave sins “the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” (Mark 2:10) as the High Priest. Priests share his priesthood and thus can also forgive sins. Besides, the practice is also common for the Russian Orthodox so what exactly is your point?

          Sometimes things sound judgmental to us when we are on the receiving end of the judgement and nevertheless they are true. Do you think that the Pharisees like being compared to a ‘den of thieves’ by Jesus?

      • Steve Delaney

        So little is know about Mary.  The lines in Scripture about her are very few.  Everything else is an interpretation, including the opinion that she is sitting in heaven as Queen, waiting to dispense caring.  As far as transubstantiation goes, I don’t believe in it, but since you do, tell me what it does for you?  Are you less sinful than me?  Are you and all Catholics going to get into heaven ahead of everyone else?  As far as forgiveness of sins goes, neither you nor anyone else needs the power of a priest to forgive sins.  What you need is true repentance.  A priest can assure you of God’s forgiveness, certainly, but it is not necessary for you or anyone else to go to a church regularly and confess to a priest.  If it reassures you, fine, but it is not necessary.  

        You are confusing the biological states of males and females with the priesthood.  Men cannot have babies and women cannot be fathers because of the bodies we are born into.  But no one is born a priest.  One becomes a priest.  Saying women cannot become priests because of the bodies they are born into brings up the question of what it is about their bodies that disqualifies them.  Here the church sidesteps the issues and declares that Jesus had only male disciples so only men can become priests.  And here we are at the absurd declarations of John Paul II.  

  • http://my.madison.com/truegangsteroflove/blog truegangsteroflove

    This is much ado about little. The person we call Jesus Christ was not named Jesus Christ at all. Jesus is likely a Roman corruption of Yeshua, and Christ is an add-on, an honorific – the anointed one. As if no one else in history has been anointed. I was a “Catholic” once, and got anointed when I was about twelve. They call it “Confirmation.” 

    All the pomp and circumstance in Catholicism is designed to give structure to belief, to create a mystique around the authority, liturgy, dogma and belief. If you look at it detached from specificity like Joseph Campbell did, all religions serve the same human needs for myth and ritual in their lives.

    So to argue one way or the other about what “God” commands, forbids, permits, approves or wishes is a tad silly. 

    I believe there was a great being named Yeshua. He had followers. This has happened throughout human history. He has been gone for a long  time. Because he was a great being does not  make anyone who came after him claiming to be his “successor” anything great at all. 

    In order to campaign for acceptance of women into the “priesthood” one firs has to accept the premise that said “priesthood” is something real and exalted, established by “Jesus Christ,” whose name wasn’t Jesus Christ. 

    All this waste of energy could be avoided by trying to live like Yeshua. It’s not that unthinkable. He was born in a human body, just like the rest of us. He set an example. He died. We all automatically attain two out of the three. The third part, living like he did, is up to us.

    • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

      Wow, that’s deep. And I guess you figured it out: because names get translated like every other word clearly indicates that the name bearer is just dead, that’s all.

      I mean, so like Richard the Lionheart wasn’t really King of England, because his name was actually Cœur de Lion, so there weren’t any Kings of England after him, and it’s all bosh, but I used to be “English” until I realized it’s just like all the other nationalities anyway, they just give you a place to live and laws and stuff, but there’s really no difference between England and Arabia, and plus, since the Cœur de Lion is dead and all, England isn’t any better or more democratic or safer for women. But why would women want to go there anyway, since it never really existed and Arabia is nicer in the summer.I’m sorry for the sarcasm, man, but really, your “argument” (how’s THAT for scare quotes) is just about that sensible.

  • Jmichaelhemsley

    As someone who has left religion in general and the Catholic Church in particular, I still respect others’ need for religion. What I don’t understand is why those who believe the Catholic Church needs to change are still allowing themselves to be bullied by the Vatican.  Just do what many have done before them – Martin Luther for example – just leave and create your own church.

    Mike in Mississippi

    • JJBaybay

      Because if you are not a part of the official church you don’t get the art and real estate and all the hocus pocus potential.

    • Jan

      Just leaving and creating your own church has now created about 40,000 Protestant churches.  Whenever there is a dispute about how certain passages in the Bible are to be interpreted, and given the fact that Protestant churches have no one authority they can look to for certain interpretation, they continue to divide.  When seekers of the truth look back in history to what the early Church Fathers had to say (those coming right after the apostles) they find these early Church Fathers taught and believed exactly as the Catholic Church teaches and believes today.   Peter settled arguements when the Church first began, and the one who occupies the Chair of Peter today, the Pope, settles questions of faith and morals and interpretation of scripture if necessary, today.   Scripture tells us the Church must be ONE:  Jn 10:16 ; Eph. 4:3-6 ; 1Cor 1:10  and many more.  My point is:  If you want to be your own pope, go start your own church.  But keep in mind that: man can not save you.  If you want to be in the Church that God started, because only God can save you, the one where He appointed the pope that He wants, then the Catholic Church would be the ONE.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        A child-molester can save me?  A child-abuser can save me?  From what?  I’m no-where near that bad!  How can they save me?

        • Jan

          Why are you asking absurd questions?  I clearly stated only God can save someone.  You seem to be obsessed with the child molester thing.  You do realize, don’t you, that OTHER churches and now we read about a Buddist Temple having similar problems.  Try not to confuse the Catholic Church, which is a holy institution, from the people belong to it, who are very much sinners.  I trust it goes without saying, that very few priests were guilty of abuse – and they are either dead, gone, dismissed, have joined other churches, been excommunicated and defrocked, or are in prison.  So with the Church digging deep to eradicate clergy who did such things, the Catholic Church is now one of the safest places for children of any institution or church. 

          • Steve Delaney

            Wow, Jan, are you off base.   You write as if the church has already purged itself of errant priests.  This is nonsense.  All over the USA the laity still can’t get honest answers from the bishops; they are still asked to give more money which is used to pay off victims;  they are still expected to say nothing while parishes are closes in order to pay legal claims.  The pope and bishops were very slow to take the whole matter seriously and they will pay the price in lost credibility for decades to come.  They are trying to shift blame from themselves to gay people in general, and the rabidly faithful like yourself are buying the whole product.  Wake up and see that your church is corrupt, self-serving and concerned only with money and power. 

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Why is it absurd.  Catholic child-molesters and child-abusers are still members of the clergy!  How can a child-molester help me?   Why would Catholics allow or trust a child-molester, or those that have assisted his crime?

          • Terrybrewster

            YOU obvioulsy do not listen to, or watch the news!  They’re still being exposed, and where the clergy can’t move them fast enough, bieng prosecuted for child-molesting and abuse!

        • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

          Ha ha! I wonder, if you were drowning, Terry Tree Tree, whether you’d accept a rope or a life preserver from a man you knew to have molested a child, or whether you’d drown to spite him or to prove you didn’t need the help of such a scoundrel.

          • Terrybrewster

            Bad analogy!

      • Doug

        The Orthodox Church is a more direct link to the ancient church in Jerusalem, Antioch, and even Rome, and has changed even less than the Catholic Church. Its adherents say it’s the one true church, and “orthodox” means right belief. Check out information on the Great Schism. Read the differences. Note that the Pope(s) broke away from all the other Patriarchs to go it alone, claiming authority over them. For a thousand years, that was not the way. Now the Pope wants unity again but refuses to give up his claim to superiority over all other church leaders in the world. This is surely a sin of pride. Surely, the Vatican is but an empty stone tomb these days. The Roman Church is but one church.

        • lumen

          The pope is the ‘servant of the servants of God’ he does not want power for himself. Christ intended the Church to be united with Peter’s successor as her head, it takes only the most stubborn Orthodox Christian to fail to see the evidence of Pope’s primacy in the first millennium. Maybe we can argue over supremacy, but primacy of the seat of Peter is widely accepted by most learned Orthodox.

          Ironically, it was precisely the attempt at usurping of this primacy by the Constantinople’s Patriarch that in part led to the break down of communication between the East and the West creating the Schism.

          • Doug

            The Patriarch of the West, the Roman Pope, is considered to be “first among equals,” (primus inter pares) by the other Patriarchs, but that is meant to be like “elder brother,” not king. In Greek, the phrase protocoryphaeus is used–meaning “first in the choir.” The Patriarchs from earliest time have decided issues of dogma together, in ecumenical (worldwide) council. It is a democratic system, not a monarchy. The Pope, in claiming infallibility and unilateral decision-making powers, is not acting in concert with his brethren Patriarchs. Pope Shenoudah of the Coptic Church and Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople have recently extended their hands to the Pope in discussing the issue of Church unity. But the issue of the Roman Church’s claims of infallibility and jurisdiction over all the other Patriarchates remain stumbling blocks to church unity.

        • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

          Lol, have you been to the Vatican? Have you even been to a typical Catholic parish? I know what Orthodox parishes are like, anyway, and I’ll not make uncharitable observations about my brothers, but it may suffice to say that we haven’t got a monopoly on the various vices that plague churches and parishes.

      • Steve Delaney

        You are naive, Jane.  What the early church Father had to say differs in many respects from the the Catholic church teaches today.  One need only look at the matter of women’s status to prove the point.  St. Augustine had vile things to say about women and the church repudiates that stance today.  If you read church history you will find that interpretations once regarded as certain have changed much over the centuries.  One need only look at the matter of women’s status to prove the point.  You also confuse the Catholic church with the church of God on earth and they are not the same thing, but I wouldn’t expect a Catholic to understand this point as you identify it with the Catholic hierarchy.  Christian churches who are not Catholic look to the authority of Scripture, not to a pope.  Certainly they are widely varying interpretations, but that is true in the Catholic church also.  The hierarchy may try its best to speak with one voice, but the laity, the people who populate the pews, do not agree on every point, hence the current discussions of women as priests.  The Bible says nothing about popes and little about bishops but lots about how ordinary Christians are to follow the Word.  You and your fellow Catholics can sanctimoniously claim to be the only true faithful all you want but beware of the sin of pride, that is, thinking of yourselves as holier than anyone else.  All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, as St. Paul reminds us.  

        • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

          Steve, let’s not call names. Anyway, it is the essence of naivete to suppose that St. Augustine, bishop, saint, and doctor of the Church though he be, speaks infallibly for the Church. His misgivings about women and sexuality are hardly the defining word on Church teaching.

          Anyway, you want it both ways. You say that the Church has changed because it was misogynist back then, but it’s changed, and now it’s misogynist for refusing to ordain women? Well, which is it? Has the Church changed from its misogyny, or has it never changed its teachings?

          “If you read church history you will find that
          interpretations once regarded as certain have changed much over the
          centuries.”

          Other than your status-of-women contradiction, name one?

          “You also confuse the Catholic church with the church of God
          on earth and they are not the same thing, but I wouldn’t expect a
          Catholic to understand this point as you identify it with the Catholic
          hierarchy.”

          No, we do not identify the Church of God the hierarchy, but we do identify it with the only Church that Jesus Christ founded, and the only Church that even claims to have been founded by him directly. It’s not a point of confusion at all, sir, but a point of disagreement. We understand each other perfectly. We believe that Christ intended to found one Church and one Church He did found. Through human sinfulness it has been wounded and ruptured. That was never His aspiration though. You, on the other hand, apparently think that the various Christian communities do His will by rejecting union with Him and submission to the apostolic teachings, all of which are very clearly preserved today in the Catholic Church.

          “Christian churches who are not Catholic look to the
          authority of Scripture, not to a pope.”

          And they only have the Scriptures because Catholic bishops chose them and Catholic monks and nuns copied them for centuries. We did so because they illustrated the teaching of Christ. Moreover, what document is self-authenticating? What document can witness to its own validity?

          “The hierarchy may try its best to speak with one voice, but the laity,
          the people who populate the pews, do not agree on every point, hence the
          current discussions of women as priests.”

          It is not the laity who are charged by Christ to go and make disciples and to baptize the nations, nor is it the laity who are charged to offer the Eucharistic sacrifice. It was the apostles and their successors.

          “You and your fellow Catholics can
          sanctimoniously claim to be the only true faithful all you want but
          beware of the sin of pride, that is, thinking of yourselves as holier
          than anyone else.”

          You are absolutely right. I plead guilty to the sin of pride, and a dozen others. God save me. There are certainly few more sanctimonious than me. We Catholics may even specialize in it.

          “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
          as St. Paul reminds us.”

          I cannot see how my sinfulness relates to the claim I make about reality, to wit, that Christ founded one Church. Do you think there was no sinfulness and pride in the decision to break off from the Church founded by Jesus Christ in order to “do it better”?

  • Gpwebster

    oh please, the Bible was compiled by a committee with the sanction of the emperor Constantine several hundred years after the events it supposedly describes. The official Gospels contradict one another.  Other Christian sects were hunted down and eliminated as heretical; most of their Gospels destroyed ( and known only through the condemnations of the orthodox clergy in the past) and lost until the archeological discoveries of the last 60 years.  There is no separate historical validation of an authentic Jesus. The Church has committed every heinous act know to man, to this day, in the name of Jesus. The current Pope is as dogmatic and narrow minded as the Third Reich in which he came of age. 

    The Spanish conquests and the genocide of millions was preceded by the Cross and blessed by the Church. The only error the Church has admitted to is the condemnation of Galileo, and that took 500 years.

    In another 2000 years, Joseph Smith and his golden plates, will be just as orthodox as the Catholic Church; but at least he and Mohammed are proven historical men.

    • guest

      There is a separate historical verification of Jesus outside of the Bible. This is from the historian Josephus. Since  you do not know that it negates your entire argument.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LLH7SFRBBDZ54YLFVP6POB6XAI ANNA

        The Josephus verification is tenuous at best. Gpwebster is correct that there is no credible evidence for the existence of Jesus.

        • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

          That’s not true either. But if Christ didn’t live, then where did all the Christians come from? What was working up those who denounced Christians to Trajan and Pliny, at the beginning of the second century?

      • Anonymous

        There is more historical proof that Muhhamad, Joseph Smith, and L. Ron Hubbard existed than there is for Jesus.  This doesn’t validate their supernatural claims either.

    • Jan

      Over 500 people witnessed the Ascension of Jesus – we can dimiss their witness?  This fact and NUMEROUS others, too copious to list here [but just one: The Gregorian calendar based on the incarnation of God become man and all the highly unusual weather patterns that happened at key points in the life of Jesus - e.g. darkness for three hours while he hung on the cross, etc.]  That Jesus existed on the earth is a fact that has long been accepted, even by those who don’t wish to follow Him yet.  +JMJ+

    • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

      Factually entirely not true, not on any point.

  • Feistypup

    The Catholic Church stands solid in the face of changing fads.  If these priests and women want their positions, then they are not of the Catholic faith and need to go start their own church somewhere else and leave the faithful alone.

    • Anonymous

      I didn’t realize women’s equality was a fad. 

      • Guided_by_Mary

        Catholic Church is: one, holy and apostolic. Is this one Church where some people claim they accept what the leader of the Church is upholding?

        • Guided_by_Mary

          That should have read:
          Catholic Church is: one, holy and apostolic. Is this one Church where
          some people claim they DON’T accept what the leader of the Church is
          upholding?

          • Jan

            The true Church is recognized by its marks: One – Holy – Catholic – Apostolic.  Catholic here, meaning universal, and it is.  It is the ONLY Church that has all these marks.  +JMJ+

          • Anonymous

            The one true Church is just as wrong as all other sects and religions.

          • Doug

            Oppsy! Jan, the Orthodox Church says IT’s the One True Church. We got a problem here. Dueling churches!!! How fun.

  • David

    I don’t mind the idea of female priests, as long as there can be male nuns.

    • Leslie123

      There are — they’re called monks.

      • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

        And that’s just it. A priest is not the same sort of thing as a nun, only for men and with cooler magic powers.

  • Fr. Emilio

    Thanks for the discussion – I hope for the ongoing movement for full equality of women. The church as community of faith has accepted this – the minority voice of the pope and bishops shouldn’t hold God’s people and God’s sacraments hostage.

    • lumen

      If you don’t like the Church which has the Pope as her head as Christ intended, you are free to leave her.

      Ordaining women is precisely the opposite of equality for women, it says, ‘hey women, you can’t do what we men can and you won’t be equal to us until you do. NYAH NYAH’
      Instead we must accept the differences there are between men and women and realize we are equal nevertheless. (Remember ‘equal’ does not mean ‘same’)

      Ordaining women is about as impossible as men giving birth; even if a bishop went through all the physical motions of ordination the woman wouldn’t somehow magically be a priest.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Priests sure have TRIED to make boys have babies!

        • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

          Ha ha ha. You are so clever. And that fits right in with the conversation doesn’t it? My, your mum and dad must be so proud to have raised such a civilized little debater.

    • Jan

      That is the first time I have heard it posited that the Pope and bishops hold a minority voice in the Catholic Church.  Either you are hanging around a unique crowd or are from a different planet than myself – welcome!

    • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

      If you are a priest, prove it. Who is your ordinary and what is your position?

    • Ksarasvati

      Thank you, Father Emilio! I agree with you. The Pope and the Bishops are in a minority, holding the church hostage on this position and others. The pope and his like minded Opus Dei bishops enjoy lives of luxury, privilege and wealth. They use their considerable power to silence the hard working, noble, justice seeking rank and file priests and nuns.

    • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

      I repeat: if you are a priest, identify yourself fully. What is your full name, who is your ordinary, and what post do you fill currently?

      Otherwise, you are either hiding and a coward or lying and a fraud. If you do not answer, I say you are a coward or a fraud, or both.

  • Dennis.in.Omaha

    I seriously considered becoming a Catholic.

    But the fine line was NOT drawn on women, homosexuals, or married men being allowed to become priests.  Even though I think it is a better idea that they are.

    If I became a Catholic, then I would be obligated to refuse communion services with people I know are simply Christian.

    This would put me in an awkward position.  Jesus told us to remember him with bread and wine when we gather in his name.  So I would be forced not to follow his direct orders.

    I don’t say this to be critical of Catholics, but rather to explain how I came to my decision.  A more inclusive version of Catholicism can help more Christians follow the instructions of Jesus.

    • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

      Dennis.in.Omaha,

      Your thoughtful post isn’t the slightest bit offensive or critical, I find. I’d like to offer that our rejection of interdenominational communion is rooted in our commitment to truth, that is, to identifying reality as it is, in all its implications.

      We believe that what once were bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ himself, not in symbol but in fact, not verifiable to our empirical senses, but nevertheless truly so.

      We also believe that we are commanded by Him to worship Him by consuming His Body and Blood as the new paschal lamb, transcending and replacing the old Passover feast, for the sake of our own salvific union with Him.

      We believe that, by virtue of striking away from the Church that He founded, Protestants have broken that link with Him and have lost the authority and ability to enact this feast. We believe it would be lying to pretend that their eucharistic memorials are in fact what He instructed us to do because they are not. Most Protestants, outside of some Anglicans and Lutherans, for their part agree with us that their eucharistic memorials are not in fact Him under the appearances of bread and wine. If they do not believe that about their eucharistic ceremonies, why should we?!

      It would be a deep misunderstanding of the Eucharist to suppose that what we do is merely symbolic, and therefore interchangeable with their ceremonies, which they admit to be only symbolic. It would be a grave lie to sit with them in a celebration of communion when in fact no union exists. It would be a lie to tell them that we think their ministers have authority to perform the Eucharistic sacrifice when they have in fact broken with the source of Christ’s authority on earth.

      Now, Dennis.in.Omaha, I hope you will see that our rejection of intercommunion is not grounded in any mean-spiritedness or misanthropy. We might be mistaken, but if so, it is about a matter of fact, and not a matter of attitude. In fact, we are often criticized, are we not, for desiring that all men were included in one Church? Simply removing difficult teachings to accommodate those who cannot swallow them would not help them come to follow the instructions of Jesus if those difficult teachings are in fact the instructions of Jesus! This obstacle does not bother us. Even our Blessed Lord was challenged on a number of his teachings – on divorce and on the Eucharist, especially, but also on the Resurrection, on his special favor for the poor, on his dismissal of riches as a sign of divine favor. He was told frequently, “This is hard teaching.” And he agreed. And if people walked away rather than following Him, He let them go in peace.

      We can do no better than to imitate our Lord. Would that we did so more often.

      • Taemb

        YOU may believe all of the above, but I believe that receiving Communion is not a reward for being good, it is not a reward for a belief system…it is a help for us to avoid evil and to help us believe. All He said was Do this in remembrance of me……..not all that other stuff that humanity has added.

        • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

          Whoever said anything about rewards, Taemb? I never did. A sacrament is an outward sign of invisible grace – and Communion is an outward sign of, well, communion. Right now there doesn’t exist a communion between Catholics and Protestants, and pretending that one exists is a lie. It is like going to bed with one’s girlfriend, as if married, without having actually made one’s public vows to that extent. It’s a lie.

      • Doug

        The Orthodox did not break away from the original Church and are definitely not Protestants and believe the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ. So why don’t Catholic priests allow them to take Communion in the Catholic Church? Simple. It’s politics. (And, by the way, the Orthodox also keep away the Catholics and Protestants, since they believe you have to buy the whole package–baptism in a different denomination doesn’t count. This is so silly. Jesus would be laughing and also mad as hell that we aren’t feeding the starving in Somalia and elsewhere.

  • Charlie

    Question:

    The Bible teaches that in marriage a man and a women becomes one flesh, if this is true then way can’t a Priest Marry and his wife then being one with him why can’t she be a Priest also since they are now one, or if a married couple being one why would the wife not be allowed to be a Priest even if her husband was not, since they are still one flesh, neither man or women or both man and women either way the Bible says they are one flesh.

    Charlie

    cdprewitt@aol:disqus .com

    • Jan

      Interesting point, but will need to be, or perhaps has already been, batted around by theologians and contemplatives for some time before the Holy Spirit works through them for discernable conclusion.  This is certainly beyond my capacity and calling, at least until I am supernaturally enlightened on this bit – definately an interesting concept though.

    • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

      The language is metaphorical. Even if it were not, in any event, “fleshes” do not become priests. Persons do, and persons are either male or female, and male and female are not interchangeable parts in a single organism, but two different ways of imaging God. The priesthood is intrinsically linked to a masculine modality of human nature, and not to human nature as such, because with respect to human nature, God is certainly masculine – takes the initiative, exercise authority, provides order. A female can certainly have – and must – have “masculine traits” but her very body is not masculine, but rather feminine, and the sacramental principle demands that the body be part of the sacramentality of the priesthood. The priesthood is not a set of skills – many of the “skills” of the priest are admittedly more “feminine”. The priesthood is a way of imaging God to his people. There are other ways, and they are all immensely valuable. Marriage images God’s love in one way (fruitfulness), and religious communities in another (chaste, selfless communion). But the priesthood represents God IN HIS FATHERHOOD, just as the Church as a whole represents God’s motherly, nurturing traits.

      Fatherhood matters. Just ask any member of a broken family.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HFRQ5AYSOCXD5P3KZRIQBWWKQI JOSEPHS

        The divine origen of our existence has been badly treated by the human race. We train ourselves from childhood with the  word “God”. This may be the greatest sin of the entire human race. Certainly in English and in most of our western languages “god” is a singular male deity. So we draw this out to say He , His and Him. This practice starts in preconsciousness. Our Hebrew/Christian scriptures continues the natural sin to extremes. All our doctrinal documents continue the same sin.  We  seem not to have the language to see what we believe.  Person  is not defined by physical human structure.  I AM is not He.  The WORD is not He. The Spirit the same. Ryan, please do not put our human dynamics in the being of our  divine source. It will be three humndred years more before we clean up our act  and find the healthy language with which to train our children. Let “Father” go. Please.

        • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

          That’s funny, Joseph.

          Either the Scriptures are sacred writ, divine inspired revelations of God’s own being and will, or they are not.

          If they are not, then to hell with them. Really. Who needs a bunch of mumbled rot from a gaggle of Palestinian Jews that have been dead these two thousand years.

          But if they are what we believe them to be, then we must take them seriously. Very seriously.

          And in them, God is unambiguous. While not male in the sense of having a penis, He is, with respect to us, masculine. He is Yang, if you will, to our Yin. He is the originator and creator, the initiator and the former of reality, which is supple to His command. This may offend you; so be it. It is what He has revealed to us of Himself. You may feel you are smarter and wiser than the writers of the Bible, but I believe they were inspired by God, and will not arrogate to myself inspiration while denying it to them. I will not reject divine revelation in order to regress to the god of the philosophers. God Himself has given us more than that.

          God keep me from ever letting go of my Heavenly Father.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HFRQ5AYSOCXD5P3KZRIQBWWKQI JOSEPHS

            your either/or about scripture is a false stance. Scripture has value on many levels including divine. But either/or does not work with scriptures which has a long developing track record in a selective community process.” understanding”, “truth” in a process of 4000 years of many cultures effects the “how ” of our ability to understand what has been composed. Our ancesters trained us in truth and error about life as they were given to understand it. We have learned to read with oversight.  Peace.

          • Mamajo514

            MY Heavenly Father or that which is divine in life is manifest through every living being. None of us are able to define the concept of God.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        More hypocracy!

      • Sofia

        See my comment on the Holy Spirit = Hagia Sofia, the feminine as God. God is also feminine, in the Trinity. Same in the Judaic tradition, where Shekhinah is the presence of God, the spirit of God giving rise to joy and praise (e.g., the Psalms). God is not masculine.

    • Mamajo514

      In our 50 years of marriage with 5 children, we have never been one nor would we want to be.  The Bible is not our guide to life.  Our informed consciences and lived experience is.

  • Anonymous

    I write for a reader of average intelligence and don’t see the need to refrain from humor to make my points.  Perhaps simplistic Christian good and evil/yes and no mindsets can’t handle irony. 

  • Anonymous

    How would you define the theological justifications offered to deny women equal status?

    • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

      Lol, that first of all, priesthood isn’t a matter of status… at least, I wouldn’t want a priest in my parish who thought it was! “No one takes the priesthood on for himself,” (Hebrews) because the priesthood is not something to which we are entitled or that we can demand. It is not a job, but a gift from God to His Church. Any language couched in terms of civil rights or equality is simply irrelevant.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Your hypocracy is showing

      • Anonymous

        God has given his gift to some really flawed recipients.

  • One in Christ

    Let us remember that Mother Mary through the gift of the Holy Spirit gave birth to Jesus Christ> God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit are the mystery of the Trinity, the Godhead, which is our Central Catholic Doctrine. Our Godhead picked Mary to give birth to Jesus. God could have simply placed Jesus on Earth without being birthed by a mere female. Mother Mary is a female, a virgin woman. We need to think about which gender should truly rule the Catholic Church. The female gave birth to God. How much importance does God place in the female? It should be obvious to all. How many females are pedophiles? How many nuns do you find at the root of a “sex scandal”? Sometimes men are only after power…..the meek shall inherit the Earth. If God is for us then who is against us? Always pray and hold close to Jesus….he will lead us.

    • Sofia

      Holy Spirit = Hagia Sofia in (biblical) Greek. As in the Shekhinah of the Hebrew Bible, the Hagia Sofia is a feminine entity of the divine presence and spirit. The Trinity includes the feminine God.

  • Guided_by_Mary

    Equality doesn’t mean ability to do the same thing – it means being afforded the same amount of respect. If equality is to mean doing the same things, then I want to start a movement for making men have wombs and being able to give birth, because then maybe they’d understand things in a different light. Or maybe it is God’s divine plan that men and women are complementary and can’t do ALL the same things. I don’t know why, but I’m guessing there is a very good reason. So, let us women work to raise men of good conscious, and live humbly instead of working to gain power and glory by the same means a man may achieve it. Women, join the true feminism movement and rediscover the beauty of Mary’s role in birthing, educating and supporting our God on earth.

    • Christie

      Being called to the priesthood is not about “power and glory” but service.  Women need to be recognized for their gifts and calling. They can do this in all manner of ways-including priesthood and being a parent. 

    • Anonymous

      Equality means equal rights and opportunies.  I would imagine that any divine beign worth worshiping would realize that. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

        I would imagine any divine being worth worshiping would exceed you in wisdom, rather than conform to your standards. Lol.

        • Anonymous

          Denying women equal status doesn’t indicate that he exceeds me in wisdom. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

            Nope. But I deny that you exceed Him in wisdom. I’ll listen to His words rather than yours, and judge you – if I must – by His standards rather than judge Him by yours.

          • Anonymous

            At least I exist. 

          • Doug

            Uh Oh. Jesus said don’t judge others. Now you’re in big trouble, Ryan. God is PO’d and She will be watching you even more closely from now on.

    • Flannnl

      I’ve been long through with doing any guessing. Who cares? The church is for sycophants and idiots. Equality is not a part of the doctrine of too many religions out there. Especially not Christianity– have a glom through Leviticus!

  • guest

    Things are broken; fix them.  If your company has a terrible policy, would you not seek to adjust it?  A parish is made more complete and more whole if clergy can marry and behave in more natural conditions. Father would make an excellent father/parent.  Until some positive, loving change is accepted, the Church is asking to relive the horrible parts of its past. Coverups abound – what would Jesus say?

    • Terri Mcdonald

      Who would pay for the support of the wives and children, their college education etc.

      • guest

        @Terri:  It is cheaper than billions of dollars of settlements with victims.  The wives can have jobs just like most wives do, the priests are already provided housing; money is not the issue. Children can certainly be supported, as in the protestant churches.

        • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

          You’re right. None of that’s the issue.

      • Anonymous

        Whether they are allowed to marry or not, failing to pay priests a wage sufficient to support a family is itself unjust.

        • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

          Not if they don’t have families. Lol. Moreover, the question remains – where does the money come from? From people in the pews, with their own children to put through college.

          But really more to the point, the wages of priests isn’t the reason that we only ordain men committed to celibacy.

          • guest

            celibacy does not work, and really does not seem that important….celibacy, I believe, is violated and then covered up more often than most people might think…you cannot stop the natural order of things, just like the clergy need food, air and shelter – the clergy are sexual people….

          • Mamajo514

            You’re right in that celibacy is not honored as the laity would like to believe.

      • guest

        Also, there is no career track of any kind that I am familiar with that promises, when the offer is extended, to pay for someone’s children to go to college.  Priests have to budget just as everyone else, but they would likely receive housing for the family and just about any other benefit that a methodist or baptist minister traditionally receives.

      • Mamajo

        A better informed laity would gladly pay for active legitimate leadership.  All that’s needed is to seriously learn from our brothers and sisters of other faiths.

  • jeff4

    what is it that prevents women from becoming priests?  is it simply the word of God saying “no” to women?  what is the logic?  are women not smart enough? not loving enough? not religious enough? not holy enough?  what specific trait of women makes them un-priestly?

    • Anonymous

      Hey, if you were power hungry and wanted to eliminate 50% of your potential competition, why wouldn’t you?  The church is another boy’s club.  Except it’s got vast real estate holdings with tax exempt status.  Not to mention virtual immunity from many secular laws…

  • Margaretknapke

    I hope for a church that acknowledges both the vocations of women and their non-hierarchical, “circular” approach to ministry. It is high time we get beyond the infantilism of the patriarchal model. And I must say that I find laughable the comments from a few posters that being a priest requires the biological requirements for fatherhood. Puh-leeze.

    • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

      OK, Margaretknapke, you find the arguments laughable, and you call the patriarchal model infantile, but do you have any actual arguments against them? Or do you just label and name-call?

      • Mamajo

        All Margaret has to do is look at the current state of affairs in this Roman church. Actually, she can look pretty far into the past to identify patriarchal problems/issues.  As recently as Vatican ll, it is the women’s communities that did the most to respond to the documents.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    If a ‘good Catholic’ mafiosa, confesses to murder and other crimes, to a child-molesting priest, can the mafiosa obtain true absolution?

    • Charlie

      Remember your confession is to God, the Priest is only the conduit to him and you are allowed to confess directly to God no Priest required for that.
      Child molesting is a sin and must be punished, the laws or our land will (if caught) God has already caught and will punish even if the law of the land does not.
      Don’t ever believe that your confession is not heard directly by GOD, you are not confessing to the Priest but through him as a conduit, but that conduit exist from you (us) to him at all times.
      May God continue to bless us all.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Evidently God chooses to ‘punish these criminals, by hiding them, protecting them, and calling their victims liars.  Several other crimes are commited in the interest of these molesters and abusers, by the Catholic church, so the leadership MUST be protecting their own molesting and abusing!   No teaching of God, that I am aware of, supports these crimes!

  • Anonymous

    What’s a big difference between an atheist and a believer?  An atheist, if confronted with plausible evidence of a super being (we can call him/her god if you wish), would willingly say “Wow, I was wrong.  The evidence shows me there really is a god.  So now I believe it.”  No atheist I know would be so obtuse as to argue against god if there was reasonable evidence that he existed.

    Compare this to the religious believer.  Despite enormous scientific evidence that explains why the world works, and despite incontrovertible evidence of evolution over millions of years on this planet (qualifier:  Incontrovertible to scientifically literate people), they inevitably resort to received wisdom written in the bible, and talk about how god must be understood outside of reason, outside of logic, and in defiance of a complete and utter lack of divine handiwork being evident on earth.

    Thus, the willingness to accept new evidence and revise thoughts and beliefs accordingly is what distinguishes an atheist from a believer.

    Pretty amazing people are still posting here.  Hot topic.

    • Charlie

      The real hot topic should be our Lord Jesus, Deuteronomy 11, was written long ago but if you read carefully and time place it to now it is still true.
      The Bible tells and teaches us that we are all his children and that children (all) are to be taught by our parents (2) man and woman and by the words and commandments or our God.
      May God Bless you and yours, Prayer will and does work, it is and has for 59 years for me and mine. I can’t remember a day when I did not recieve something from God from my prayers and talks with him.

    • Sofia

      Read the book “Atoms and Eden.” It’s an interesting compilation of interviews of scientists who atheists or believers, or somewhere in between. If you define God so narrowly, as a superbeing “out there,” you are not understanding what many believe about God. Many people believe that the endless creation and change in the universe itself is God. That is, God is not a being, but a process, or processes. But there are many other ideas about God. It takes great faith to be an atheist. Most of us are not that faithful to any one idea. We use ideas about God and texts that have stood the test of time to provide some meaning to us while we muddle along trying to make sense of the purpose of life. If life has no purpose, then pursuing science is meaningless anyhow. Why not entertain oneself with something else, even religion? If you have studied theology and comparative religion, you would know that believers also revise their thoughts and beliefs accordingly. Isaac Newton and Galileo were priests, as was George Berkeley (a bishop), who influenced Einstein. Darwin said his (Darwin’s) usual state of mind was agnostic. If more scientists were serious students and practioners of religion, the resulting discussion could be very fruitful. As it is now, any scientist who expresses religious views is smacked down by the scientific brethren. Hmm. What does this remind me of . . .?

    • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

      Lol. Do you really think so? Do you think it’s that simple? That you and all the people who think like you think freely, and the rest of us are all caught up in bias and superstition? You think it’s that black-and-white AND you think YOU don’t have any biases? What a laugh.

      • Jasoturner

        It is that simple.  Religion is to the scientific method as alchemy is to chemistry.  To contend there is an qualitative equivalence is laughable.  Look, if people want to believe in things with absolutely no evidence – and indeed much evidence in conflict with said belief – they may do so.  But it is unfortunate to attribute to gods those things that we can seek to understand with our own powers of observation and rationality.

        As for me having biases, I think that is a false attribution.  I am convinced by evidence and I do not take things on faith.  As I said, I will change my position instantly should some evidence of a super being ever arise.  It never has.  In contrast, the religious will do somersaults to disregard or discredit the evidence that has accumulated over the past couple of hundred years in fields such as biology, astronomy, astrophysics and quantum physics.

        Lastly, do I think it’s “that simple”?  The simplest thing you can do is credit things you don’t currently understand, or that you fear, to an unknowable, inscrutable super being, and to abdicate your powers of reason to strive and understand the deep principles and laws that describe things.  I am actually pointing to a way that is much harder for humans than any religion yet conceived by man.

        And ultimately more satisfying and ennobling.

        • http://www.withouthavingseen.com Ryan Haber

          You are positing your whole theory of how science displaces religion upon a “God of the gaps.” The problem is that it is a strawman argument that has been laid to rest a dozen times in as many decades. The Catholic conception – and for that matter the conception among educated Christians generally – has never been a God of the gaps, using God to explain unknown phenomena.

          You think atheism is ennobling and satisfying? Right. Of course. That explains the twentieth century perfectly, doesn’t it?

  • Charlie

    Some where you ( we) have lost site of the question and issue.
    The Bible (God’s Word) is our history book and our prediction book. Back in
    Moses time God lead his people out of bondage and into the wilderness for 40
    years then to their promise land, teaching them all the while how to act and
    showing how to be forgiven of their sins and mistakes, they were not ever
    perfect and the requirements to be forgiven where complicated. God then gave us
    his only earthly Son to observe as a human our sins, mistakes and shortfalls.
    Jesus taught, healed and suffered and died but he also provided the simple way
    for all who believe to be forgiven his blood and death replaced how God taught
    Moses and the people of that time.
    The promise land is Heaven (now and it was then) and not a earthly piece of
    ground, our life on earth is either bondage, wandering in the wilderness or
    protecting God’s children.
    Jesus changed the path that leads to the promise land for all past present and
    future life.
    We are all sinners and will always be (to some degree)
    Priest, Ministers where defined in the old testament as was God’s law and
    commandments, God simplified and even re defined how we are to be faithful and
    obedient.
    Priest and ministers are like Parents, God made us to have both (father and
    mother) and the church, which is the believers (not the building) teaches we are all to be Gods temple, we need to be taught, punished and guided by our parents and by our God.
    Gods new rules given in the Bible during and after Jesus teaches that parents (2) man and woman are to carry the load for teaching children (his children) so maybe we need a different name for a female priest but they would and should be equal and or one.

    • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

      Some key points:

      (1) The Church herself is very really our mother. The priest is espoused to her spiritually.

      (2) The priesthood of the Catholic Church is *not* primarily catechetical – that’s a Protestant idea. It is primarily sacrificial.

      (3) It is about fatherhood, as the initiative principle partnered to the Church’s receptive principle. The Church receives grace from God by means of the priesthood. That’s always been the Church’s understanding.

      More:

      (1) Jesus and the Apostles lived in the time of the Old Testament
      priesthood – which was unambiguously male. They give no indication of
      wishing to change it.

      (2) Jesus and the Apostles celebrated the passover at which Jesus
      instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice to supercede the previous animal
      sacrifices (this is the teaching of Hebrews) and he told the
      Apostles to repeat the act. It should be odd that there were no women at
      the Passover if it were a normal Passover, but in fact the consensus of
      the Synoptic gospels is that it was an odd Passover because of this new
      purpose. Moreover, though all four Gospels mention Jesus doing things
      with women at all the wrong times and places, all the socially taboo
      deeds, they give no hint that women accompanied them at Passover.
      Moreover, as much as the Apostles and Paul were willing to defy social
      conventions regarding women (say, letting them leave the house to sit in
      the assembly) there is no inkling that any of them intended women to
      function in the sacrificial priesthood, nor to ordain them for that
      purpose.

      (3) The Epistle to the Hebrews is all about the priesthood,
      always in the image of Christ, and when referring to actual priests,
      always using the masculine gender.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Why the EVASION?  Several times you have dismissed my questions and statements about Catholic leadership’s culture of molesting and abuse, (new charges recently on prior un-charged priests), with lies that it is long past, or that I have problems, and should talk to a priest, so he can ‘convert’ me!  HAVE YOU FIXED YOUR CORRUPT AND PERVERTED CHURCH?  Or, are you just trying to get the attention off the truth?

        • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

          Oh, that question. The one that’s not relevant to the theological question of whether women can be ordained or not. Right.

          • Terrybrewster

            I see it as VERY relevant to the subject!

          • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

            Lol. You might see aliens in your backyard, for all I care. Neither one is relevant. You’re just angry. Not the same thing.

          • Mamajo514

            It’s clear to me that few are reading current theology.  Many of us are moving beyond the Roman church to fed and to feed one another.  I know longer believe that I have the time for the church to catch up.  The abuse issue is one of legion.

          • http://www.withouthavingseen.com Ryan Haber

            You also apparently do not have time to proofread your public posting. I suspect that you also overestimate the originality of your thought and take for granted the supremacy of “current theology” over older thought. This doctrine of the new cool thing has led the people of the last two or three centuries short paths to great disasters. I don’t give two figs for current theology – all that interests me is truth, and truth, Mamajo, is eternal.

      • FrJimby

        You really think there was ordination in the time of the apostles and Paul? Goodness. Who made you such an expert on all things Catholic?

        • Alexa31792
        • http://www.withouthavingseen.com Ryan Haber

          As a matter of fact, yes, and so does the bible. Acts 1:24-26 shows the selection of Matthias by the apostles to replace Judas Iscariot. St. Paul in 1 Tim 4:14 recalls to St. Timothy the day of his ordination.

          I am not an expert on anything. I do have four years of graduate education in philosophy, theology, and biblical studies, though. And I can read, and have read, a pretty long list of works scholarly, ecclesiastical, and historical on Catholic matters. But an amateur, I grant you.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    AMAZING!  I looked back at my questions and comments, and the only responses by the Catholics, was Distraction, DIVERSION, and attempts to show that I have problems!  A LOT of religious BABBLE, but NO ANSWERS to the real questions, that are pertinent to the trustworthiness of the Catholics.  That says a LOT about their trustworthiness!

    • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

      For our benefit, then, would you please list your questions succinctly in one post, perhaps numbered, and I will attempt to respond to them in whichever order you choose?

      I have one for you, though. Two actually. Are you not Catholic? And if you are not, then why do you give a hoot who we ordain?

      • Terrybrewster

        I ‘give a hoot’ about the children’s lives that your church is wasting!  
         
        The questions, AGAIN, are;
            When is the Catholic church going to turn over ALL molesting and abusing priests, the clergy that abbetted their crimes, and ALL the information about these crimes and criminals, including ALL secret Vatican documents and information? 
            Why does the Catholic church protect these criminal priests and clergy? 
            With all the homosexual molesting, and the protection of those homosexual priests, why doesn’t the Catholic church admit it is a homosexual organization?
            Until the Catholic church fixes these criminal problems, why are they trying to expand, except to get more victims for the criminal abusers?
            Why is the Catholic church against abortion, except for a bigger supply of more vulnerable victims?
            Is the reason the Catholic church is against Birth Control, to increase its supply of molesting and abuse victims?
             How can the Catholic church declare homosexuality and abomination, as they are riddled with homosexuals, that are criminal molesters? 
            Why does the Catholic church HARASS AND PUNISH its victims, while hiding the criminal priests?
            Can a child-molesting priest truely give someone absolution?
            What is the value of an organization that commits so much hypocracy and crimes?
            With its LONG HISTORY of crimes, corruption, and perversion, can the Catholic church EVER redeem itself?
            Have YOU , and are YOU, doing ALL you can to get these crimes exposed, and prosecuted, and the victims fairly treated, and compensated, or are YOU part of the crime?
             I will check back to see if you are man enough to answer, or just going to just fluff them off, or ignore them, like the criminal organization you seem to be!

        • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

          Terry Tree Tree, you are clearly both very far off point and very, very angry. Your questions are insulting and offensive, and were we in person, I doubt you would ask them.

          Still, I will answer them as much as they are designed to be answerable.

          The Catholic Church is a large organization – it has a membership roughly the size of China, scattered all over the world, and without a single police officer or tax agent to keep things running. In Kruschev’s words, “How many divisions has the Pope?”

          The Catholic Church hasn’t a police force to “turn over” anybody with. It cannot force its priests or laypeople to do a single thing. The Vatican will never, I suspect, hand over ALL its secret documents and information any sooner than you would. It has no reason no moral obligation to do so.

          Members of the Catholic Church – bishops, priests, religious, and laity – protect criminals for much the same reason that non-Catholics protect criminals. I suspect the reasons range from actual complicity to legitimate doubt of actual guilt, to simple fear and anxiety about what to do. I do note that the problem of child abuse is hardly confined to the Catholic Church.

          Persons with homosexual inclinations are more than welcome in the Church, who accepts anyone into her membership without question of rank or history. The only condition of membership is a commitment to live the teachings of Christ. There are many persons with homosexual inclinations in the Church, to be sure. These people, like all people, are inclined toward sin. We call this phenomenon Original Sin. Of course, the vast majority of Catholics do not have any homosexual inclinations, just as with the general population. We do have a celibate priesthood, though, and in an age of immense confusion about sexual matters, public celibacy may strike some weary and confused souls as a place to hide from possible scorn. Having publicly promised celibacy though, those who are not in fact called to it would need tremendous assistance in living it. In these people, the rupture of celibacy would need to be secret in order to avoid the shame that was the first cause for seeking it.

          I wonder how far varied there psyches are from those of public school teachers and pediatric nurses, and the like, who are caught molesting children?

          The Catholic Church is “trying to expand” in obedience to the final commandment of our Blessed Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who told us to go forth teaching all nations and baptizing them.

          The Catholic Church opposes abortion because in abortion an innocent human is murdered and his or her mother is deeply wounded in the act; because it perverts medical and surgical science against their true purpose, which is to save life rather than to take it; because abortion is an offense against God Almighty who is the author of all life; because it is a moral and spiritual pollution wherever it is practiced. It outrages the conscience of any healthy soul.

          The Catholic Church is opposed to contraception because the premise of contraception is that children are bad or necessary evils to be limited; because it gives humans the illusion (and only the illusion – witness the 47% of abortion-seekers who say they were using contraception) of control over the natural rhythm of their bodies; because it degrades the nature of sexual relations which are ordained by their Creator to be crowned with fruitfulness and joy.

          We are riddled with thieves and adulterers, and yet recognize theft and adultery as sinful as well. The Church is not a wax museum for saints, but a hospital for sick souls. Many of our souls are very sick indeed.

          I do not think you will find the plague confined to our little city though – no, it is far abroad, in every corner of the earth and among all the peoples of the world.

          I don’t have much personal connection, as far as I know, with anyone involved in the child abuse one way or the other.

          I wonder, if you live in the States, and pick any one of the fifty, whether YOU are doing ALL that YOU can to see that the victims of child abuse by public school teachers, which by all reckonings is rampant and unaddressed, are compensated and that their malefactors are punished, or are YOU part of the CRIME?

          I know full well, Terry Tree Tree, that I will not have assuaged your anger. I am not sure anything on earth will. I pray it doesn’t weigh you down too long.

          • Terrybrewster

            Who SHOULD NOT be angry about molesting and abusing of children?  WHY should EVERYONE not be angry about it? 
               The Jesuits and/or Opus Dei don’t function as a ‘police’ force for the Catholics?
                My reference to secret documents, was CLEARLY in relation to the child-crimes!  YES, I, AS A MORAL INDIVIDUAL , WOULD turn over information, on a friend, or family member, of child-molesting, or child-abuse.   Doesn’t the Catholic church claim to be moral, in fact, to want to guide the morals of others?  FAIL!!!
                If the church can hide, and move the molesters and abusers, WHY cannot it instead, turn them over to proper authorities, to be prosecuted?  Evidently, my conclusions were correct, verified by you!
                As powerful as the Catholic church is, you say it cannot get rid of perverts, after they are revealed?
                The Catholic church has no rules against child-abuse and child-molesting?   NOT very moral, to most of us!
                Hasn’t the Catholic church proclaimed, several times very publicly vocally, that homosexuality is an abomination?   Yet you hide, transfer, and protect the priests MAKING homosexuals!  HYPOCRACY! 
                The rest, I’ll leave, for later! 
                 Thank you for your evasive, and weak excuses for answers! 
                 You have provided, along with your leadership, PROOF that the Catholic church is systemicly, and inevitably corrupt, and perverted!

          • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

            Of course everybody should be upset about the molestation of children. I am surprised by the particular ire reserved for the Catholic Church by people who say they think she is nothing special.

            No, the Jesuits and Opus Dei don’t function as a police force, with or without scare quotes. They aren’t deputized, don’t carry guns, and frankly, the insinuation shows how poorly informed you are about the Catholic Church as she actually is.

    • Terrybrewster

      MORE Distraction, DIVERSION, and Lack of REAL Answers!

  • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

    No, I answered each of your questions in turn and completely. You might not like the answers. It is not the same thing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

    No, I answered each of your questions in turn and completely. You might not like the answers. It is not the same thing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

    No, I answered each of your questions in turn and completely. You might not like the answers. It is not the same thing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

    No, I answered each of your questions in turn and completely. You might not like the answers. It is not the same thing.

  • Jack Bandage

    Um….you are not Catholic priests….not sure by what definition you are even Catholic.

  • Techfind649

    A very biased and one-sided presentation on what is really a non-issue for most Catholics.  Disappointing coverage, as usual.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FSTN5453LFVPU44EFDT4H5G33U Domenico

    The central ritual of the early Christians was the celebration of the communal meal (on Sunday?), as described in Pliny’s letter to Trajan at: http://community.middlebury.edu/~harris/Classics/plinytrajan.html “They stated that the sum total of their error or misjudgment, had been coming to a meeting on a given day before dawn, and singing responsively a hymn to Christ as to God, swearing with a holy oath not to commit any crime, never to steal or commit robbery, commit adultery, fail a sworn agreement or refuse to return a sum left in trust. When all this was finished, it was their custom to go their separate ways, and later re-assemble to take food of an ordinary and simple kind. [...] I thought at this point that it was necessary to get information from two slave women, whom they call Deaconesses (ministrae) about the actual truth, by means of torture. I found nothing worthy of blame [...].” Note that Pliny did not obtain information from priests, who did not exist at that time, but from the two women “ministrae,” which the translator translates as Deaconesses. Pliny provided very plausible evidence that these “ministrae” played a central role in the celebratory meal. No amount of theological sophistry can deny this fact. The fact that the Catholic, Orthodox, Eastern and some other Churches have not ordained women is a purely administrative regulation. All their “theological” arguments, including those of Pope John Paul II, are pure sophistry.

    • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

      I’ve read those rescripts, in English and in Latin. I never saw this “fact” or “very plausible evidence” and you certainly haven’t presented it here. In the first century, the Latin word minister/ra had no connotation of an ordained clergy. Rather, it is a close translation of the Greek diakonos/e. Both words mean an attendant or table-waiter, somebody who holds the water pot or carries the tray of food in. The letters give no evidence that the word is meant in any other way.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FSTN5453LFVPU44EFDT4H5G33U Domenico

        I heard a lecture and have read references that Bishop Marcion (AD 85-160), before he was excommunicated, appointed women on an equal basis with men as priests and bishops.

        • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

          That’s great. Marcion was a heretic who denied the authority of the Hebrew Scriptures and was a dualist with marked proto-gnostic leanings. I wouldn’t be surprised if he tried to ordain a buffalo, frankly.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FSTN5453LFVPU44EFDT4H5G33U Domenico

            Bishop Marcion was excommunicated for some of his bizarre views. However, the hierarchical infrastructure that he created and institutionalized–Bishops, Presbyters and Deacons–was adopted by all the ancient Churches, was a key factor in the survival and success of Christianity, and has stood the test of time.

          • http://www.withouthavingseen.com Ryan Haber

            Marcion didn’t create that structure. I don’t know how you could have conceived that. It was in place decades before he was born.

  • Terrybrewster

    ASTOUNDING!!  They tried to ‘explain away’ my questions, and VERIFIED my assertions!  With their ‘refutations’, no less!!  Just like many other actions, and proclaimations they have made!  Thanks.

  • Kathleen

    Wow, I notice from the comments that this got off topic pretty quickly. 

    There is plenty of proof that women were ordained in the early church as deacons, priests, and even a few as bishops. 

    I have read an ordination rite for the simultaneous ordination of femal and male deacons - dating from around 400+ I believe.

    Much of the evidence for the ordination of women comes from burials.    

    In the ancient world, there were toe tags for bodies – just we use now.  Some of these toe tags identify the person as a female priest.  One of them says, “Artemidora priest.” 

    Also, in the floor of the cathedral at Annaba, which is the current name for Hippo, the see of St. Augustine, there is a crypt for “Giulia Runa priest, she died [missing tile] rest in peace.”  Giulia is now spelled Julia and is a woman’s name.  The crypt is generally around the time of Augustine. 

    And, about a block and 1/2 from Santa Maria Maggiore, a basilica in Rome, is the church of “Theodora Episcopa.”  She was bishop there around 850 AD. 

    There are many other attestations for the ordination of women.  It’s all there if you look. 

    Kathleen Kunster RCWP

    • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

      Kathleen,

      You are mistaken on at least a couple points. Firstly, your Italian and Latin are poor. You said that Giulia is now spelled Julia. In fact, Giulia is the modern, Italian spelling. Julia, from Iulia, is the older, Latin spelling.

      Moreover, there was no bishop Theodora in Rome in AD 850. The Bishop of Rome at that time was (Pope) St. Leo IV, who reigned from about AD 847-855.

      I am unfamiliar with the other evidence you cite, but the things you write that I know about are flat wrong. I suspect you are wrong elsewhere, too. For instance, I should love to see the ordination rite that you say you’ve read.

      • One in Christ

        Hi Ryan:

        I was recently baptized and confirmed into the Catholic Church. The only reason I did it was to be Catholic like my husband. It was a life altering experience as I got much more than I was expecting. Thank you God!

        You seem knowledgeable Ryan, so, if you could kindly answer my questions I would appreciate it.

        1. Instead of just placing Jesus on Earth our Godhead picked Mother Mary to give birth to Jesus.  How important then does the Godhead think the virgin female is?

        2. Mother Mary raised Jesus. She loved, nurtured and protected Him. God wanted it this way and so it was. Do the bishops, cardinals and the pope love, nurture and protect the priests of the church like  Mother Mary did Jesus? Shouldn’t they be like Mother Mary, a virgin female?

        3. God is pure. He is True Love. God selected the most pure human to deliver and care for Him. She was more than just “acceptable”. God’s power rested upon her. GOD Himself. He put her, the virgin female, in a place of power and trust. Why is our Catholic Church all run by males?

        Thanks for taking the time to answer. As His sheep may we all stay close together supporting one another under the loving guidance of the Shepherd.

        • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

          One-in-Christ,

          Congratulations! Thank you for joining us. We are all so very glad to have you. I hope you will check back, if only so that you can read this much.

          As for your questions, well, they seem to have a certain presupposition beneath them, namely, that women ought to be ordained priests. Mary’s election by God to be the Mother of His Son doesn’t really bear on the question, though, One-in-Christ, because a mother and a priest aren’t at all the same sort of thing.

          You are very much correct, though, that in our various stations of life and our various vocations, we would all do well to imitate the Blessed Virgin. None of us can imitate her vocation – that’s not what I mean. Jesus only needed one mom, and virginal motherhood isn’t the sort of thing we can just sign up for, lol. But we *can* imitate her virtues, with the help of God and with the Virgin’s own help, in our own lives. We can strive to be gentle and pure, obedient and kind, provident, frugal, generous, hospitable, gracious, merciful, sincere, and all the other things that she certainly was – each in our own way of doing so. You are right that bishops should conduct themselves more as she conducted herself.

          And no, the hierarchy of the Church does not protect, nurture, and guide either the clergy or the laity of the Church half so well as the Virgin and her chaste spouse oversaw our Lord. Of course, I haven’t met any parents that meet that very high standard yet, either. So we must each pray for more grace, more – we should be greedy for grace and willing to beg for it as long as we need more. We need grace to live heroic lives, saintly lives – lives worth noting.

          I cannot pretend to speak for the Godhead, but it seems likely that He esteems virginity and femininity far more than we do. In fact, in our modern culture we tend to trash and coarsen femininity and deride masculinity. For many people, the very distinction makes the skin crawl. No, no. I think God holds them of tremendous worth – after all, he thought those abstractions worthy to be made flesh in human beings. One of the best ways to esteem a thing is to put it to its proper use or accord it its proper honor. If you took a peasant or a construction worker and made a big deal of dressing him up as a king, you’d be mocking him – just as was done to our Lord. But, on the other hand, to use a drinking pitcher to carry water and not sewage does it (and its users) justice. To use an alarm clock, unplugged, as a paperweight, seems to miss its point, doesn’t it?

          Fatherhood is the proper purpose, esteem, honor, of men. Motherhood is proper to women. The two are not the same. While fathers must be sensitive and women strong, and we don’t want artificial caricatures raising actual kids, they aren’t the same. Priesthood is a specification, a species, or a kind of fatherhood. Always has been considered as such because it imitates God in His masculine (think yang) role with respect to the world that He has shaped and formed. It is very much the inserting, initiating principle that infuses the world with grace.

          It does happen that among all the symmetry in nature, something is unsymmetrical, and for good reason. Our hearts, for instance, are neither symmetrical in shape nor located in the center of our chests, but off to the side. We should not be shocked that there might be somethings in super-nature that are not perfectly symmetrical. I mean, right from the start, we see that God is all powerful, infinite – nothing is symmetrical with Him. He has no equal opposite, no balancing counter- anything in all reality. Before Him and His will, the only correct response is not a check-and-balance, but a yin. A receptivity. Obedience.

          It’s a good posture when we are in a new situation: to sit quietly and listen for some time, before we start forming our own opinions and weighing in. The Church has been around for 2000 years, after all. She may have learned something that we individually, or even as a society, have not. Hear her.

          If you would like, I would be very happy to continue discussing this or anything about our Catholic faith with you. You can email me at ryan dot haber at gmail dot com.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FSTN5453LFVPU44EFDT4H5G33U Domenico

      In a previous message I mentioned a lecture about Bishop Marcion (AD 85-160). On 4 May 2010 Adela Yarbo Collins of Yale Divinity School gave the lecture on “The Updating of Paul’s Instructions on Women, 1 Timothy: 11-15.” According to Collins, some scholars claim that 1 Timothy, which advocates that women must be silent and subordinate, was written in opposition to Marcion by someone in the name of Paul. Collins said that Marcion had established the hierarchy of Bishops, Presbyters and Deacons. Women taught, disputed, and were allowed in position of leadership.

      The item at http://rogerdhansen.wordpress.com/2011/02/22/marcion-early-christian-heretic/ quotes Elaine Pagel[s] as having witten: “Marcion scandalized his orthodox comtemporaries by appointing women on an equal basis with men as priests and bishops.”

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  • jeff4

    Ryan, here is a succinct question.  What is it about the nature of women that would exclude them from leadership roles in the church?  don’t say tradition or the word of the bible….  there must be a REASON behind why we don’t let women become priests…??

    • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

      Certainly, you are right, Jeff4. We must have reasons for our actions.

      I do disagree with your supposition, though – that neither the Scriptures nor the ancient and unbroken tradition of the Church are sufficient reasons. We believe that the Scriptures are God’s own mind unfolded for us. A pretty compelling cause, I’d think. We believe that the Holy Spirit guides the Church – not all members at all times equally, but very certainly in the aggregate, at least – and so the tradition represents a sort of trajectory, or path, that we have trod and which we continue to tread.

      I take it that you want something from philosophy – that is, from human reason unaided by divine revelation (a thing that we take very seriously, since, as Catholics, we are convinced that our religion is divinely revealed – a claim you find made by very few other religious groups).

      The reason from philosophy, then: We don’t.

      Anyone who’s ever been involved with a Catholic parish knows darn well that women run the place. Lol. But seriously, we don’t exclude women from leadership roles. Not at all. There are a thousand types of ministries open to women, and a hundred thousand instances of them led by women, if not ten times more. Most Catholic classrooms are led by women, as are, for that matter, the bulk of parochial schools. Women run hundreds, thousands of convents. Women play critical leadership roles in virtually every Catholic family, including, as far as we can tell, the Holy Family itself.

      Oh, wait… did you mean, “Why are women excluded from the priesthood?” Oh, well, that’s different. Need I point out that females don’t have penises? Lol. I’m not kidding. Castrated men cannot be ordained either. That’s because the sacrificial priesthood as understood by Catholics has ALWAYS been a sort of fatherhood. Fatherhood as distinct from motherhood or generic parenthood. There are traces of this even in Paul’s writings and in the New Testament. That’s how old it is. So we’re not targeting women. It’s all people incapable of fatherhood that we hate. HA! Sorry for being facetious. It just makes me chuckle, how we take the terms of one question (say, equal employment opportunity) and try to impose them onto another, unrelated question (in this case, the meaning of the universe and stuff).

      But really, it really does boil down, as simply as possible, to the fact that we believe the priesthood was instituted by God along certain lines and that it is not our prerogative to change beyond those lines. We believe the same thing about marriage, incidentally. We believe that he did not decree this artificially, but built it into human nature – just as he built the female-only childbirthing into nature.

      Sure, there are reasons and symbolism and meaning that we interpolate into the male-only sacrificial priesthood (which, coincidentally, is the only kind ever documented to have existed… _pace_ Wiccans and other ersatz, artificially, inorganically crafted religions to suit the times… the documentary evidence of pre-Roman Europe says nothing of a female sacrificial priesthood). For all the reasons and symbolism, please see my earlier comments. I won’t bore everyone present, myself included, by restating them.

      • Anonymous

        “Castrated men cannot be ordained either.” — Too bad as that would solve a lot of problems.

        • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

          Ha ha! How benighted! You really think that sexual assault is about libido? Lolol. Ask any feminist. She’ll tell you what it’s about – power. I suspect very much that this is infinitely more so about the abuse of children. And you think only men with functioning genitals crave power or perpetrate sexual abuse? Then what about all the middle aged women who want to get to be priests so they can “exercise power in the Church”?

  • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

    Something that strikes me is that people who want the ordination of women in more than a passive way (“It would be nice if it happened, but I don’t really have a dog in the fight,” such a passive wisher might say) very often – always? – want a great many other changes in the Church’s teaching as well.

    This nothing more than another instance of the outside world trying to impose its beliefs on the Church, to turn us away from the Gospel that we have received. An attack on the priesthood is an attack on Jesus Christ, whom it represents to the Church. For two thousand years we have steadfastly maintained the teachings of Christ against all naysayers. And despite the direst prognostications of the darkest doomsayers, we are still here. In fact, we now number something like 1/5 of the world’s population, whereas we started at only 12. Not evidence that we’re right, but it’s hard to argue that we’re not doing something right.

    I suspect we will outlive this fad as well.

    • Anonymous

      And the Church should stop imposing its views on the outside world.

      • http://www.facebook.com/haber.ryan Ryan Haber

        Who’s imposing anything on the outside world? With what tanks or taxmen? We are still permitted to speak our minds in a democracy, aren’t we? And to vote our conscience?

  • Melia_30

    Gal 1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach (to you) a gospel other than the one that we preached to you, let that one be accursed!

    • Merah

      I don’t understand how that applies at all.

  • Alexandra Richards

    Women have much to offer to the Church. In fact, femeninity says a lot about humanity as a whole. ‘Woman’ shows humanity how she is to receive the gift of life. God created man and woman to be gifts to each other by becoming one flesh. The marriage between man and woman points to the marriage of the Bride Church with the Bridegroom Christ. Just as the wife actively receives the gift of life from her husband, so too does the Church receive the gift of life from her Bridegroom. The rejection of life is thus a rejection of the love of God (hence the damage of ‘contra’ception – ‘against’conception). Thus, marriage is essentially between man and woman. This is a metaphysical issue.

    The human body speaks a sacramental language. In other words, its physical structure reveals a spiritual reality (Adam and Eve automatically saw each other as gifts). The language of the body in the marital act says: ‘this is my body given up for you.’ The same is true with the sacrament of the Mass. Christ in the Eucharist tells his Bride: ‘this is my body given up for you.’ This is why earthly marital union points to heavenly marital union. Hence the precise wording of the Mass: ‘communion’ (the language of the body communicates the calling to union). Thus, te issue of women being priests is not an issue of civil rights or if women make good leaders or spirtual guides or not. The issue at hand is a metaphyscial issue, one challening essential definitions as they everlastingly exist in the intellect of God the creator and sustainer and one challenging God’s salvific plan. God revealed Himself as male for profound reasons. Christ is the initiator and giver of life! What a beautiful message!

    Thus, the Priest, acting in the person of Christ at Mass says to the Bride Church during the consecration of the Eucharist: “this is my body given up for you.” The priest, thus, must essentially be a man. The Mass,the union with Christ,is the most amazing miracle a priest can offer the Church. Afterall, the Eucharist gives us the gift of eternal life! Women, we are beautiful and we are called to greatness and holiness! We are called to remind humanity how we are to accept the gift of eternal life.

    In a more concrete way, women are most definetely called to church ministry. They can offer their gifts of compassion and nature of motherhood for the new evangelization Pope Benedict is calling for. However, the priesthood is funadamentally a male role due to the truth that marriage is between a man and a woman, because it must always be open to life.
     

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