Action Alert!

unclear on the concept

By Diogenes (articles ) | Apr 22, 2008

Reacting to the Pope's visit, Catholic grad students at New York's non-denominational Union Theological Seminary admit they were entertained but not persuaded:

[Kim] Harris -- a Catholic who used to be Presbyterian -- said her concern about church reform, specifically the need to expand the eligibility for clergy to include noncelibate men and women, is coming out of real and "lived experience."

Catholic women at Union share a commissioning service as a tribute to their work and also as a formal recognition that they cannot be ordained as clergy within their church.

Harris said she would like to be ordained if she could be, though she doubts that her ineligibility will change in her lifetime. Still, she added, "We never thought we'd see altar girls and now we do have altar girls."

See if I've got this straight. The Church is wrong in her doctrinal conviction that ordination is something more than a commissioning service but rather a sacrament whose form and matter she is unable to change. Harris therefore takes part in a commissioning service, which affirms her ministerial skills and serves as a gesture of protest to help move the Church to understand that ordination is, simply, a commissioning service. Harris wants the Church to admit she has no sacramental power of transformation to add to that affirmation which Harris already has. In brief, the Church can make no one a priest on her own terms, whence Harris longs for the day of her ordination.

Perhaps the Pope should have spoken more slowly.

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  • Posted by: - Apr. 22, 2008 6:58 PM ET USA

    Why did she convert to Catholicism?

  • Posted by: - Apr. 22, 2008 12:11 PM ET USA

    With any luck, Miss Harris is a grad student in math and not anything religious related.