If you needed some evidence of the power of the new media, look no further than at the excellent Rorate Caeli blog. Here, what is clearly a retractation from him (he calls it “clarification”; let us put a charitable blanket of silence on that…) was posted.
Allow me to say beforehand that I will not insult your intelligence by pretending to believe – and asking you to believe – that no external pressure was at work on this, and Rorate Caeli themselves have no doubt whatsoever on the matter. If you ask me, this has “Rome” written all over it and my congratulations are for them, not for the Cardinal.
The most salient words of Policarpo’s message are in my eyes the following (emphases always mine):
The reactions to this interview have forced me to look into this theme with greater care, and I have ascertained that, mostly for not having taken into appropriate consideration the latest declarations of the Magisterium on the matter, I gave rise to those reactions
So, he has forgotten to read Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, or was not attentive in class. Which, OS having been released only seventeen years ago, goes under “latest declarations of the Magisterium”. Still, it is nice and deserving of credit that he acknowledges that the problem has been caused by him.
The most recent Magisterium of the Popes interprets this uninterrupted tradition, that has its origin in Christ and in the Apostolic body, not only as a practical way to proceed, which may change at the rhythm of the action of the Holy Spirit, but as an expression of the ministry of the Church itself, which we must receive in faith.
The Cardinal is wrong again here, but one understands that he is just trying to give some half-baked excuse for his scandal. The truth is that the Church has never said that male priesthood is a practical way to proceed. Never, ever. The Cardinal is confusing male priesthood with male celibacy, for sure. Much less has the Church ever said that male priesthood “may change at the rhythm of the action of the Holy Spirit”. Already the idea that there be a “rhythm” of the Holy Spirit “rhythmically” changing Truth is openly heretical and again, the Cardinal is confusing Catholicism with, say, Episcopalianism. The idea that there could be an “uninterrupted tradition” in such vital doctrinal matters that could be changed by the “rhythm of the Holy Spirit” is purest “so-called bishopess Schori”-thinking.
Male priesthood is constant and universal tradition of the Church. This is Ordinary and universal Magisterium, period. This would be every bit as infallible if Ordinatio Sacerdotalis had never been written. Someone who had expressed himself in, say, the Thirties as Cardinal Policarpo expresses himself today would have found himself in deep trouble, very fast.
Let us read again the relevant bit of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, also cited by the Cardinal:
‘Although the teaching that priestly ordination is to be reserved to men alone has been preserved by the constant and universal Tradition of the Church and firmly taught by the Magisterium in its more recent documents, at the present time in some places it is nonetheless considered still open to debate, or the Church’s judgment that women are not to be admitted to ordination is considered to have a merely disciplinary force. Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.’
How is it possible to understand from here anything else than the simple, plain fact that the “rhythm of the holy spirit” bollocks has never been justifiable, that it has always gone against Church teaching and that it even goes against “the Church’s divine constitution” is beyond me. If a teacher teaches to his pupils in 1994 that 2+2=4, this is not the teacher’s “latest declaration”. This is fact. It has always been this way, not starting from 1994!
The Cardinal continues with the following words:
“We are thus called to accept the Magisterium of the Holy Father, in the humility of our faith, and to continue to deepen the relationship of the ministerial priesthood with the priestly quality of all the people of God, and to discover the feminine way of building the Church, in the decisive role of the mission of our women sisters.
I hate to be fussy, but the good Cardinal obviously still doesn’t get it. It is not the teaching of JP II that says that male priesthood is the only way. It is Ordinary and universal Magisterium, because it is what “has been preserved by the constant and universal Tradition of the Church”. There can’t be a clearer indication of this being Ordinary and universal Magisterium than these words. Cardinal Policarpo, and all those with the same strange “rhythmical” fantasies, must once and for all stop pretending that Ordinatio Sacerdotalis has brought any change. It hasn’t. Ordinatio Sacerdotalis has merely stated what always was.
In the end, though, and making some allowance for the embarrassment of a poor man trying to justify the unjustifiable – like the pupil caught sleeping in class and asked to give an explanation of what he is doing – Cardinal Policarpo makes very clear that where the Magisterium is, there is he. This is a welcome, erm, “clarification”, because a different message had been spread through his words.
I have already written about the removal of bishop (little b) William Morris from his diocese of Toowoomba, in Australia. The matter seemed to me so straightforward as to not even deserve a long post: a bishop is openly heretical, refuses to recant for around five years and is, as a consequence, (merely) removed from office.
There is obviously an element of novelty in terms of something being actually done, but the matter in itself should be, I thought, rather not worth the discussion.
A magazine astonishingly calling himself “catholic” (National Catholic Reporter is the official name; must be a remnant of times long gone) devotes to the matter its editorial. This editorial makes for astonishing reading and I wonder whether even rabid Episcopalian feminists would express themselves in the way the CNR editorial team, people in dire need of our prayers, do.
This editorial shows either the most appalling ignorance of the bases of Catholicism (which is not credible, these being professionals) or a deliberate will to defend and propagate heresy. This is not even cafeteria Catholicism. This is marijuana Catholicism, and no mistake.
Let us take some example:
1) the removal of the bishop is registered, but on the merit of the removal nothing is said. The question “is a Pope in the right when he removes an openly heretic bishop?” is not posed at all.
2) Instead, the usual comparison with the pedophile scandal is made. Whilst this might have a point in showing that the Pope (and clearly: the former Pope) might have been harsher with other bishops too, it fails to tells us why he shouldn’t have been as harsh with our Morris dancer.
3) These people appear never to have read Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. That even the discussion about women priests is forbidden (to everyone, let alone to bishops!) simply escapes them. That a Pope be authorised in view of the Church’s Magisterium to do so, evidently, too.
4) The clumsy, whining attempt at Morris’ defence is contradictory: on the one hand it is said that the bishop’s questions were, so to speak, “rhetorical” ones; on the other side it is opined that this was so just to avoid trouble. So they want us to do believe that the bishop is a heretic, but also that he shouldn’t be removed because he didn’t say that openly and the Pope has, clearly, to be stupid whilst the NCR people are intelligent.
The entire article is written in this spirit. Heresy is called “to speak freely”, and the decision to silence heresy “dysfunctional”.
I know Muslims who are more Catholic than these people, and far more likely to obtain salvation.
Please pray for these unfortunate people.
From Rorate Caeli, good news from the extraordinarily amusing world of the barking cats, that is: of those women who think that a woman should be (and in fact: even is) able to receive Holy Orders so that the grave gender discrimination Jesus put in place against them may come to an end. When the Vatican decided that such acts would henceforward be delicta graviora, the poor ladies had nothing better to do that meowing “discrimination” out loud.
Norma Jean Coon, a woman who deluded herself to the point of believing that she was ordained deacon, has now officially renounced to her error.
If you read her declaration on her internet site you’ll notice that the language is still extremely approximate and obviously wrong (at the beginning she gives the impression of still thinking that she has effectively been ordained, which is ridiculously wrong; and that her excommunication is purely due to this alleged “ordination” not being authorised, which is plain ridiculous), but if you continue to read you’ll discover that the lady gets the substance of the matter absolutely right and declares that:
1) she recognises the truth of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, and
2) she recognises that Holy Orders are an institution only reserved to men.
It takes a certain courage to admit coram populo that one has been so astonishingly wrong, and it certainly hasn’t been easy to completely distance oneself from a group of supposedly barking cats which had obviously been the object of a considerable emotional investment. Therefore, Mrs. Coon deserves our appreciation and our prayers.
It still seems barely believable to me that a mother of five could ever achieve such a summit of self-delusion, but the hints in Mrs. Coon’s declaration (that she has pretended to “officiate” only on a couple of occasions, and that the pangs of conscience must have been rather strong from the very days following her mock-ordination) lets one think that in this case the Holy Ghost has been at work to avoid the poor woman the damnation she was clearly working towards, with rather spectacular results.
Please also note that we might be here in front of a future conservative Catholic (the Prayer of St. Michael eminently displayed on the page leaves few doubt as to whom she thinks was at the origin of her troubles), and it is in fact rather natural that when one begins to see the light he may want to enjoy it in all its splendour.
It must be liberating to discover oneself free from ego-driven error and ready to enter the realm of real freedom: the freedom to follow the Truth and willingly submit to it.
Please join me in my prayers both for Mrs. Coon and in thanksgiving for this happy conversion.
One never ceases to be amazed at the ability of so many people to warp the most elementary concepts of logic, provided it helps them to feel good, important, modern or even supposedly clever. The always excellent Father Zuhlsdorf reports of the usual protest of a colourful bunch of women in pursuit of that logical, theological and, well, anatomical impossibility: the Female Priesthood. This would be funny if the mere existence of such extraordinary utterances were not a sad indication of the state of utter decay in which the Teaching has fallen after the happy experiments of the last decades.
Granted, the ladies are gravely confused even for the standard of your average Catholic, but how many Catholics really know why? How many Catholics think that the Church opposes (oh, that word…) “female priesthood” just because of her “conservatism”? If you were to ask your average Catholic in, say, San Luis Obispo whether he thinks that one day the Church might have (oh, that word…) “priestesses”, how many do you think would react with a hearty laugh and how many would answer that “one day the Church might be forced to react to societal changes”? I am terrified of writing this, but I strongly suspect that nowadays most Catholics believe that Male Priesthood is a choice. Which, if you think of it, is a beautiful witness of the decades long, relentless work of so many priests and bishops to undermine everything Catholic and to substitute it with the shallow, sugary, politically correct, insipid fare served at so many Protestant and at all Secularist tables.
If you, dear reader, are in need of a well-grounded and definitive knowledge of why there will never be a priestess before cats can bark I suggest the reading of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, the encyclical letter of John Paul II dealing with the issue. It is easy to read, pretty well argued and unmistakably clear in saying that the nonsense must come to an end and that even the discussions about the expediency of having Shrek as the next President of the United States (or of having “priestesses”, or such like) are not allowed.
For your convenience, the link is provided on this very same blog, under Church Teaching. Have fun and spare a thought for the poor women.