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what's the point?

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jan 25, 2010

“There is no point embarking on a project that is not acceptable to Rome at this point,” says the director of vocations at an American Catholic diocese, speaking about the possibility of ordaining women to the priesthood. That sentence is a minor masterpiece of misdirection. You can’t say that she has openly contradicted Church teaching; she hasn’t called for the ordination of women. Yet she has located the opposition only in “Rome” and only “at this point”—not in the constant teaching of the universal Church.

The statement could have been differently worded, something like this:

There is no point embarking on, or even discussing, a project that is not acceptable to the Lord Jesus—a project that Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, has definitely pronounced impossible.

On one level the two statements say the same thing: that there’s no point agitating for the ordination of women. But one statement suggests a humble willingness to follow the guidance of the universal Church; the other suggests a willingness to challenge that guidance. The woman who wants to challenge the Church’s guidance is having trouble finding young men in her diocese who are ready to devote their lives to service of the universal Church. Or maybe she’s not really looking.  

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  • Posted by: v.nagle - Jan. 26, 2010 5:00 AM ET USA

    I am from Santa Rosa, and in 1981 was turned away by the vocations office because I was "incapable of obedience," due to my unwillingness to embrace the homosexual atmosphere at the seminary. I am now a missionary priest serving in Jerusalem. And love it. But am sorry for my home diocese. Of the team of six priests who brought me into the Church there during the 70's, only one is a priest still, with four of them having been accused. the lack of vocations is not amazing. Fr. V. Nagle

  • Posted by: Ben Dunlap - Jan. 25, 2010 11:29 PM ET USA

    Just a quibble: Ms. Fallandy is not the director of vocations. The actual director of vocations is not quoted at much length in the original article.

  • Posted by: Telengard - Jan. 25, 2010 10:29 PM ET USA

    ...and why is she the 'director of vocations' anyway? Women religious are not diocesan... Must be an AmChurch diocese, or maybe Anglican...

  • Posted by: adamah - Jan. 25, 2010 9:39 AM ET USA

    I can't imagine why she isn't a magnet for vocations.

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