We changed our server to escape an attack on 12/18. Contact form, CC mailings, and donations not working yet.
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Journalists avoid asking tough questions about women claiming ordination

Catholic World News - June 08, 2011

At GetReligion, journalist Terry Mattingly critiques a Baltimore Sun report on two Maryland women who claim to have been ordained as Catholic priests.

As is so often the case, Mattingly observes, the newspaper report treats the women’s impossible claim as fact; they claim to be Catholic priests and so they are identified as Catholic priests.

But Mattingly goes further, and Sun cooperates with the women by failing to ask certain very obvious questions, and then withholding some information that might prove inconvenient to the advocates of women’s ordination.

Thus, the newspaper story mentions that the female “bishop” who performed the ordination traces her episcopal lineage back to the “Danube Seven” women who were allegedly ordained by 3 Catholic bishops in 2002. Nine years later, only one of those “Catholic bishops” has been identified—and he was a member of a schismatic sect. Why don’t reporters press the leaders of Roman Catholic Womenpriests to identify the other two bishops, if in fact there were others? Since this is the crux of their claim to ordination (leaving aside the theological argument that ordination of women is impossible), ordinary journalistic standards would require reporters to ask the question.

There is a reason, of course, why Roman Catholic Womenpriests refuse to divulge the identity of the bishops involved with the Danube Seven. If there are Catholic bishops engaged in such rituals, they are subject to excommunication. So the Danube Seven if protecting them (again, assuming that they exist). But why is the press protecting them as well?

Mattingly asks a related question with respect to the “ordinations” in Maryland. The Baltimore Sun mentions that the ceremony was attended by a number of people “who are employed by the Archdiocese of Baltimore but who support the ordination of women.” But the paper does not name names, nor do photographs make it possible for archdiocesan officials to identify the culprits. The Sun does not even give the name of the Catholic school at which one of the women claiming ordination had served as a religion teacher—although that information is easy to obtain.

Journalists are paid to ask questions and provide answers. When they cover stories about women's "ordination," however, reporters show a remarkable willingness to avoid the obvious questions.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

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 ($27,707 to go):
$150,000.00 $122,292.96
18% 82%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

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!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: umpynelson3459 - Jun. 08, 2011 6:41 PM ET USA

    why would the reporter want to ask questions that could make the women and him both look silly?

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Another side of Francis: US-Cuba role shows Pope's diplomatic muscle 21 hours ago
Silly season: a Christmas approaches, a scholar questions whether Jesus ever existed 21 hours ago
The intrinsic immorality of torture: still not convinced? December 18
The Complexity of Reforming Religious Communities December 17
Speaking Softly to Women Religious December 16

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17