what's the point?
“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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