Tuesday, December 11, 2012

"Radicalism Of Obedience."

The Roman Catholic Church authorities have remained adamant in their refusal to allow ordination of woman priests. Church authorities say they cannot ordain women because Jesus did not. According to the Catholic Church, Jesus chose only men as his apostles. Church law says only men may be ordained as priests. 
In 1994, Pope John Paul II issued a letter that said the church "has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women." In 2010, the church declared ordination of women a "grave crime," in the same category as the sexual abuse of minors. A "grave crime" is punishable by "defrocking or excommunication," NBC News reports. Earlier this year, Pope Benedict XVI denounced church priests advocating for women's ordination. He accused them of trying to change the church based on their "own preferences and ideas." For such, the pope recommended what he termed the "radicalism of obedience." 
The Daily Mail reports that although women are forbidden by the church to become priests, some groups have ordained women priests who celebrate Mass outside the official church. Sevre-Duszynska's advocacy group, Roman Catholic Womenpriests, is one of such groups. Fr. Bill Brennan, S.J. and Zawada are not the only Catholic priests who has been stripped of their priestly duties for supporting ordination of women. Last month, the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, dismissed Roy Bourgeois, 74, from the priesthood after he participated in the ordination of Sevre-Duszynska in 2008, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. 
According to NBC News, Sevre-Duszynska urged other priests of the church to "walk in solidarity with [Brennan], stand up for justice and... make it a new world, make it a new day in our church." She added: "It’s time for the rest of the male priests to find the courage to listen to the workings of the Holy Spirit in their heart and conscience." 
 Although he is prohibited from performing priestly duties, Brennan is still a Jesuit and he may celebrate Mass and hear confessions but he can longer perform his priestly duties publicly. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports Brennan said he understood the risks when he took the decision. He said: "Sometimes in our lives we have to trust our conscience and bring about the consequences. I wasn't trying to show off for the ladies." According to the Daily Mail, Brennan worked as a missionary in Belize and Honduras for 16 years. He returned to the United States as a teacher at Jesuit-run Marquette University High School. He later served as a pastor at St. Patrick Church in Milwaukee. In 2007, he traveled to Cuba in spite of U.S. economic blockade, to deliver humanitarian and medical supplies to the Cuban people.
Link (here) to read more at The Digital Journal

12 comments:

TonyD said...

Lets assume that Pope Benedict XVI is correct to denounce priests who advocate for women's ordination. And lets further assume that Pope John Paul II was correct to believe that the Church has no authority over the priestly ordination of women.

Both those things being true do not tell God, the Church, priests, or individuals whether they should or shouldn't support the ordination of women.

What does? Love your neighbor.

For example, there are cultures here that recognize honor killings. God, recognizing a genuine community value, recognizes honor killings in that culture. In addition, he judges people in those cultures by their ability to "love your neighbor" -- which means whether they support genuine community values while giving individuals as much freedom as possible within that set of values.

So it is possible to support values that are very distant your own values. As Catholics, we are called upon to make such sacrifices. Our inability to make such sacrifices is not a small matter.

Pragmatically, try to imagine yourself as God, with values very different from all the people in this existence. What can be done with people in this existence with insufficient love to allow God/others/neighbors values to be different? And what can be done with those who have insufficient love to allow God's community to reflect different values? Would you allow those people to become part of God's community?

Anonymous said...

TonyD, you are singular in your inability to communicate clearly. I wonder whether even you know what you mean.

TonyD said...

Anonymous 3:18 -- What wasn't clear?

Anonymous said...

A "grave crime" to discuss giving one-half the Catholic population the ability to answer their vocation? Weird reasoning by an aging and declining number of clerics.

Questions asked must be answered. You can only excommunicate, threaten, make silly arguments about "radical obedience" for so long. We dishonor the Gospel message when we tell our sisters to "go back to the kitchen" and let the men rule.

Terri said...

these "rules" are coming from a group of men who hang out with mostly men these cardinals went to trade school with other men and were taught by men
they have conferences with all men
i see a pattern

Anonymous said...

If you don't like the catholic faith, go "hang-out" in the episcopal church.

Katy Anders said...

The line does seem arbitrary at times when it comes to advocating for a position.

With some of the more radical changes that have occurred in Church positions - the idea of "development of doctrine," sensus fidelium, Declaration on Religious Freedom - the primary advocates managed to convincingly write that the changes weren't actually changes at all.

That being said, I don't know how even the most careful advocate could manage to sell the Church on a development towards female ordination. I was talking to a canon lawyer a few years ago who said that ending priestly celibacy would be easier than starting female ordination.

I wouldn't hold my breath...

mcasey said...

If I understand the argument correctly, only men can be priests because Jesus' disciples were only men. Is this the argument?
If so, a few question come up. First, do we know the disciples were only men? Jesus also hung out with lots of women- especially Mary Magdalene, to whom he first revealed his risen self, which would make her an uber-disciple. And she was almost certainly at the last supper.
Secondly, if we are making distinctions based on the 12 disciples, what sort of men were they? Were they white men? Brown? Black? Tall? Short? All this matters, as apparently the priesthood has to perfectly mimic the demographics of the 12. If they were white, then no black priests. If they were Jewish, then no gentile priests. If they were parents, then no celibate priests. If they were men, then no female priests.
By the Pope's logic, all priests should be blue collar Jewish family men of levantine racial coloring, and all must wear long hair, togas and beards.
I assume that this is the case with all Catholic priests. Yes? If not, let's start cleaning house!

Lotmeets Darwin said...

All of the Apostles were men, all of the disciples where men, followers of Jesus were men and women. Mary Madelene like Lazarus were close to Jesus, just because you are or want to be close to Jesus doesn't qualify you to be a priest. Jesus calls men to the priesthood. The truth of the call is determined by your Bishop. Just because you are a priest does not mean your Salvation is assured. People are loosing sight that Jesus promised Eternal life to the Baptized. Would it not be refreshing to hear from liberals to talk about Salvation and Baptism of the um-Baptized?

bill bannon said...

Oddly God gave many death penalties in the Old Testament without recourse to permanent slavery as an alternative. He wanted people executed...period...not life as a slave as an escape from execution.. Then Romans 13:4 was left in the NT as the final permission to states to execute not sinners ( as in the OT) but only criminals.
Now the last two Popes have changed that tradition to being its exact opposite: life sentence only and only execute if a country can't afford a life sentence. 180 degree reversal in one area makes for little credibility when you claim Tradition based on the Bible in another area.

TonyD said...

Bill -- You make a good observation. My experience is that God does not hesitate to cause, directly or indirectly, the death of very many people. There are a wide variety of reasons -- sometimes it is a simple consequence of previous decisions based on free will, other times it is in service of particular lessons for particular people.

Death of "innocents" can be appropriate when it is a consequence of decisions made by our society and especially when such death, it is hoped, may have the potential to create change in those who see how they have created such a society.

We exist in order to learn lessons. Life is less important than those lessons.

Clement said...

do you REALLY think god cares if a man or woman is celebrating the mass? REALLY NOW? you really really think God cares about this? Jesus would care about the ostentatious display of material wealth that St Peters shows - gold chalices Prada loafers silk and linen altar coverings . God would care that we worship a pope cardinals bishops who are criminals or shielded them . A simple woman who devoted her life to God with a pure and honest heart is a bit more likely to be a facilitator of the mass then most of male clergy in the Roman Catholic Church. Just saying