Monday, September 27, 2010

A comedy of errors

Sometimes, an article appears in an MSM publication that is so wrong, so dreadful, so wicked, so like the MSM itself that it can't just be discussed: it has to be fisked. I won't bother fisking the whole thing, which starts out stupid and lurches quickly into drooling idiocy, but I will fisk enough of it to highlight its absurdity and egregious ugliness.

It is, unfortunately, not a surprise at all that the publication in question is Time. My comments will be in red--and let's just go ahead and start with the piece's would-be provocative, but sadly laughable title:

The Push to Ordain Female Priests Gains Ground
No, it doesn't. Not in any universe that the author might inhabit. Not if we're talking about members of the Catholic Church, that is. Anglicans--old story. Various splinter "Catholic" groups who number a handful of members and dissent about tons of things and haven't been part of Rome for decades or centuries--again, old story. But the Catholic Church herself? Ain't gonna happen.
Alta Jacko is the mother of eight children. She is also an ordained priest in the Roman Catholic Church. Um, no, she isn't. Her ordination is canonically invalid. She is nothing but a pretend priestess. Sorry, Ms. Jacko, but you can't be a priest any more than the Pope could be a mother. Jacko, 81, no fool like an old fool, eh? who earned her master's degree in pastoral studies from Loyola University, a Jesuit Catholic school, says that being a priest is what she was called to do. Which highlights one of my major complaints about Catholic higher education--it ain't Catholic. All those parents spending wads of debt to send their children through Loyola would have been better off, from a salvation perspective, to send their kids to the local community college while giving them opportunities to volunteer in various solidly Catholic ministries.
Officially, of course, the Catholic Church's canon law 1024 says that only baptized men can receive holy orders. Oh, let's bury this one. Because if you start your article with this one, you're just admitting that your whole article is a bunch of MSM hooey aimed at drumming up controversy where there really isn't any. But there is a movement against the no-women rule, one that began eight years ago when a cluster of renegade male clerics (including a European bishop whose identity the female priests won't reveal in order not to risk his excommunication) ordained see above: no, they didn't; all they did was excommunicate themselves and the women they pretended to ordain the first women. Now, in Jacko's hometown of Chicago, three women have entered into the priesthood. Sigh. Again, no they haven't. If I walk into a Chicago school and declare myself to be a licensed teacher based on a sham license some rogue superintendent gave me...oh, wait--bad example; this is Chicago, after all. But Jacko and these other women still are not priests: deluded, selfish, silly, foolish, anti-Catholic women, sure, but not priests. No matter how many times some half-baked idiot writing for Time declares them to be.
Like many priests, Jacko trained in various parishes before becoming ordained. Um, again, no she didn't. Seminarians train in parishes. Jacko simply ignored the rules and demanded the priesthood, demanding her training as well. Unlike many other priests, however, she was not always easily received by her elders. In spring 2009, Jacko approached Father Bob Bossie who preaches at St. Harold's Catholic Community in Uptown for help. "She asked me if I would mentor her," recalls Bossie, a member of the Chicago's Priests of the Sacred Heart who was ordained in 1975. Bossie acknowledges that the concept of females in the priesthood is difficult for him. He says he literally shudders at the thought, saying that when the image of women in robes once flashed in his mind, it "left me cold." I'd call that the Holy Spirit at work; sadly, Father Bossie--whom the author of this piece cleverly refuses to call "Father" thus avoiding the awkwardness of dealing with the whole "Father Ms. Jacko" problem--did not recognize Him.

And yet Father Bossie helped Not-Father Jacko anyway. He wanted to help a friend. The way to help delusional friends, by the way, is not to humor them in their dangerous delusions. While Jacko was training to become a deacon,, no, she didn't. There are no "online self-study courses in the Roman Catholic diaconate," after all. Ms. Jacko studied nothing but her own heresy a mandatory step prior to priesthood, it was Bossie who taught her how to say the liturgy. "I did it because she asked me, because she's very thoughtful," Bossie says. "When someone you like and respect asks you, you try to do it." But, Father Bossie, what if someone you like and respect asks you to consecrate yourself to the Devil? Or commit some other mortal sin--like, objectively, the mortal sin of encouraging a woman to think of herself as a priest?

Bossie is speaking out publicly for the first time, even though he knows he could lose his job as a priest, and here's the Big Red Flag--to the Times writer, the priesthood is just a "job" and keeping women from it is no different from erecting a sort of "stained glass ceiling"--which is a very un-Catholic way of looking at things, but neither the Times writer nor Ms. Jacko understands this in the slightest his pension and his home. And even though he disagrees, intellectually, with women being in the priesthood, he says his feelings tend to be more complicated than that. "I'm not going out of my way to support it," Bossie says. "I don't think that's sexist. I am a priest, and this is breaking down the hieratical priesthood.... But if people ask me for help, I feel compelled to help, out of respect and love. If God called me, why wouldn't God call a woman?" God help Father Bossie's flock--his abysmal lack of understanding of even the bare minimum of the Church's teachings on the priesthood bodes very ill for the rest of his leadership in the parish, and makes one wonder whether any of Fr. Bossie's people are actually, you know, Catholic and all that.

There's simply no point in trudging further through the syrupy swamp of thick-headed mistakes, maudlin notions, and the complete absence of the most basic understanding of Catholicism that the article betrays at every word. There are some howlers further on, though, so if you find that sort of thing amusing in a gallows-humor sort of way you may actually want to read the rest of the embarrassment to journalism found here.

To go back to the author's misguided title: no, again, the push to ordain women as Catholic priests does not gain ground, or steam, or momentum, or any other "progress" metaphor the silly writer people want to put in to their pieces in a misguided attempt to make them sexy. Out here in the real Catholic trenches, the push to ordain women gains nothing but ridicule, as it should. Rome has spoken; women priests remain a silly fantasy on the part of a handful of deluded feminists who like to drape their arms in tie-dyed sheets and pretend they can confect the Eucharist, right before they do their earth-spirit fertility dances to Baal, Isis, Demeter and Gaia in a spirit of inclusiveness and multiculturalism. The rest of us are inclined to laugh, and sigh, and then ignore these women and their petty delusions, and the comedy of errors that swirl around them.

UPDATE: If you happened to read this post during an odd glitch that made the Time article's text disappear randomly, leaving only my red comments behind, I apologize; I think the problem has been fixed now. I've also updated the Time article's title, since apparently the powers that be at Time decided that "...Female Priests..." looked better than "...Women Priests..." The mind boggles as to why...


Kim said...


MightyMighty said...

EXACTLY! I actually wrote a letter to the last major publication to run practically this same article (except I think the "priestess" in that article was also a practicing lesbian).

Hullo there magazine! You report news, you don't get to create doctrine. Thank you, "faithful" reader.

eulogos said...

I think it would be better to write a letter to Time than to put this here on your blog, because here you are largely 'preaching to the choir.' If Time publishes the letter, maybe one or two people who were misled by the article will be enlightened.

Isn't paradigm a fairly trendy word? Why don't you write and tell them they are trying to understand this situation using the wrong paradigm?

Susan Peterson

Ashley Collins said...

Thank you. I posted the article and the WOW website mentioed in the article to show how these people are going deep into heresy and idiocy. The WOW actually encouraged women to BOYCOTT Mass! This clearly shows that they do not have even the slightest notion of what they are doing because they don't understand what the Mass nor the nature of the priesthood! They feel it is just another ministy leadership position that they feel is a right that they are being denied. Get it together people!

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I read much of that same article but couldn't get through it. These folks are truly delusional. I pray they come to their senses, make a good confession and return to the Church.

Tim H. said...

Sadly, somewhere in the background, there is someone who is neither delusional nor ignorant - someone who knows exactly what they are doing.

They may be using people who sincerly think that women can and should be ordained and that is sad, but if you follow the money, you are likely to find someone who's agenda is strictly anti-Catholic.

Catholics should not be naive about this.


Nick said...

Best Times issue I ever read was one wherein there was an article on how the Church is run by pedophiles, which was immediately followed by an article by George Weigel who tore apart the accusation that all priests are pedophiles.

Sean MacCarthy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Siarlys Jenkins said...

Excuse me if this appears twice... something in my software timed out, and it doesn't look like my comment is coming back, but such things do happen...

Erin, I thought of you when I read that article in TIME. I subscribed to TIME when I got sick of the faddish cultural trends in NEWSWEEK. I may decide not to renew TIME for the same reason.

I personally have no problem with women in the pulpit. I belong to a church that decided over one hundred years ago that church doctrine should not stand in the way of using whomever God might be pleased to call. I have a friend, raised in the Coptic Church, still somewhat loyal to it, but presently a member of a Protestant denomination that also strictly forbids ordination of women, who cheerfully quotes Paul at me whenever I mention a great sermon delivered by an ordained woman.

But TIME is missing a significant point. These aren't women who insist on being priests. These are women who insist on being Roman Catholic priests. The article treats the whole thing like an election for mayor, or a referendum on a bond issue to pay for a new swimming pool in a public park. Either these women are obedient to the Holy Father, or they are obedient to the Patriarchs of the Orthodox Church, or, if they want to be Christians, they are Protestants. TIME might have made some brief mention of that nuance.

eulogos said...

The issue isn't strictly speaking, "women in the pulpit." It is women at the altar.

There is a regulation which says only a priest may preach the sermon at mass, so therefore it is against the rules for a woman to give a sermon at mass. However a woman could preach at a retreat. A woman could preach at vespers in a convent. There is nothing intrinsic about preaching per se which says that a woman cannot do it.

The act which is particular only to a priest, which is the essence of being a priest, is not preaching, it is offering the eucharistic sacrifice.
In a religion in which the Son offered Himself to the Father, it matters that it is a man making present that sacrifice to us. The priest stands in the place of Christ making that sacrifice. A not very bright man who preaches incoherently and is clumsy in his relationships with people can still do that if ordained. The most brilliant woman, a wonderful preacher and skilled counselor, cannot. (I am not saying of course that this represents a typical man and woman; I made the contrast extreme to emphasize the point.)

I also have to call you on your phrase "church doctrine should not stand in the way of using whomever God might be pleased to call." In our church, church doctrine is God's doctrine!
He founded the Church, He guides it, and its teachings are His teachings. No one is called by God contrary to the teachings of the Church.
Someone might be called to do something contrary to the presuppositions of some hierarchs, as say, the founders of the mendicant and itinerant orders were called.(Francis and Dominic). But no one is called contrary to the actual teachings of the Church, because those are God's teachings.
If one doesn't believe that, one is not a Catholic.
Susan Peterson

Anonymous said...

I will pray for these delusional women. They give me an impression that they badly crave for attention and using the priesthood to get it. What is more convenient than making your unholy desire to be legitimate than to use the sacrament of Holy Orders? If Jacko claims to be really higly educated with regards to the Catholic doctrine, then she would know that "sacrament" means "sign", and the sign of the Holy Order is that it is entrusted to men, to Peter and the apostles.
I am also extremely sorry for the misguided Fr. Bossie. I hope he submits to spiritual direction for discernment of spirits because he also badly needs it.
Thank you for this rebuttsl of the Time article.

priest's wife said...

My simplistic, non-intellectual argument against a woman priesthood is this- Jesus was revolutionary when it came to woman's rights (example- Mary, sister of Lazarus, could sit at His feet and listen while He taught) His mother is the MOST HOLY person in the history of mankind and she wasn't a apostle/priest- it is clear that the priesthood is reserved for men while Jesus emphasized the dignity of women.

Anonymous said...

when i went through RCIA one of the priests started talking about the possibility of female priests. the three preachers kids in the group shot that one down really fast.

as far as it goes , however, the fact remains that the RCIA candidates were the ones going "NO" and the priests and instructors were talking about it as a possibility.

Catholic education among the priesthood is apparently very lax.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Eulogos, I am aware that if one does not believe the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, then one is not Catholic. That is basically what I said in the first place. If I believed that Roman Catholic doctrine is God's doctrine, then I would be a Roman Catholic.

I belong to a church which believes that its own doctrine are man's best attempt to organize for corporate worship and fellowship, and to spread the Gospel, but that neither our doctrines nor yours are God's doctrines. They are our best attempt to understand what God has called us to.

For myself, far beyond what my church teaches, I believe that doctrine is falliable mortal man's attempt to fit God into a box the human mind can understand. That doesn't mean there is no absolute truth or that God is not transcendent. It is precisely because God is transcendent that church doctrine cannot be a perfect reflection of the will of God. But that's what I believe. You have no obligation to do so. Nor does your church have any obligation to ordain women.

Sean said...

Good news. I am a member of the Chicago Diocese and e-mailed Cardinal Francis George about this and he responded very quickly with this:

"I didn't see the article. Fr. Bossie is a Paulist priest and is stationed at their parish here. I don't know him, but I'll talk to him now."