widen that chasm for you?
Chicago's ABC News affiliate ran a story on last Saturday's makeover of a local woman into a Catholic "priest." The reporters don't quite get the facts right, but they do convey the idea that the Vatican -- i.e., Catholic officialdom in some sense -- does not regard the ceremony as a valid ordination or the recently-oiled woman as a real priest. Ludicrously, they portray the affair as quasi-clandestine and the women as part of an "underground" priesthood. In reality, neither ministers nor congregants have anything to fear (beyond the spiritual harms of the schism they went out of their way to effect). In concrete legal terms, a man garbed as Mickey Mouse for a children's party without official Disney licensing is more at risk than a woman who proclaims herself a Catholic priest.
But what got my attention in the story has to do with the ecumenical movement -- more particularly the tacit understanding of mutual respect presumed to be shared by ecumenists of all denominations. The putatively Catholic ordination ceremony was held at the Ebenezer Lutheran Church in Chicago, a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA). Now the authorities of Ebenezer Lutheran can hardly be unaware that the Catholic Church regards female ordinations as spurious and spurious ordinations as painfully divisive and harmful. For Ebenezer to host such an event is, quite simply, an act of anti-Catholic sabotage -- the very kind of sectarian hostility that ecumenists are supposed to have renounced. Of course all parties understand and accept that ELCA disagrees with the Catholic doctrine on Holy Orders, and no one is denying ELCA's liberty to advance its beliefs in private or public. But it's a different matter to offer one's church as a staging ground for a mutiny in a navy not one's own.
Catholics are within their rights to enter a protest here. Yet it should be, not Catholics, but sincerely ecumenical Lutherans who object most forcefully; after all, it is Lutheran good will that is cast into doubt by the stunt. This presumes that there exists such a thing as sincere ecumenism, that it is not at bottom a subterfuge of the progressivist campaign for the abandonment of dogma.
Bottom line: I don't expect a lot of fireworks.
An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:
Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!
Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($162,320 to go):
All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!
Posted by: barbf71912617 -
Oct. 16, 2009 5:25 AM ET USA
we watch that station (best weatherman) and when i saw/heard the promo, i decided to flip channels rather than flipping out. from the snip i saw, one of the women laboring under the delusion they are now priests was asked what position the church would take. her response, that if her identity was known she COULD be refused the Sacraments as well as excommunicated, was fascinating. is this another example of "poor formation" or just the fruits of 40 years of inaccurate and poor Catechetics?