Monday, November 17, 2008
Roman Catholic Womenpriests - taking the power
The Roman Catholic Church is a dictatorship. It is totalitarian. The Pope rules in Roma. The bishops rule their dioceses. No dissent allowed. Obey or else.
This totalitarian institution, has, of course, changed its mind with regard to theology and practice many times over the years. There was a time when the priestly class was allowed to be married. As Christianity began to take shape in the second century, before there was any such thing as the Roman Catholic Church, women played a vital role in church life, and even served as leaders of Christian groups.
That didn't last, however. Soon thereafter women were forced to take a back pew and do whatever they were ordered to do by the men who assumed the power. Such as been the situation until the present. And today, while the Roman hierarchy praises the work of women in the church, they still insist that women stay in their place -- which means a nunnery, or a teaching slot, or a secretary, or a women's group. Women are not allowed to be priests.
That's a rather amazing position to take in the 21st century, when glass ceilings have shattered and fallen apart all over the world in almost every other organization. And in many Protestant groups, women pastors have proven every bit as capable, if not more so, than men pastors.
The Roman hierarchy, however, refuses to budge. Jesus was a man, you know, and his disciples were men, you know, and therefore women cannot be priests. This, in spite of the fact that even if you accept the Jesus story as more or less historical, Jesus had nothing to do with the formation of the Christian church. As the story is told in the Gospels, Jesus was an observant Jew until his death. He knew nothing of a church, much less a Roman Catholic Church! It is the height of conceit or stupidity to claim male supremacy in the church on the basis of what Jesus never said or taught!
But some changes come slowly, if at all. There has been a movement growing for some years to open the priesthood to women. It's known as the Roman Catholic Womenpriests, and in spite of opposition by the Vatican poohbahs, has gone ahead and ordained a number of women to serve as Roman Catholic priests.
Many, if not all of these women have been excommunicated by the church, which is, if you're an observant Catholic, a dire penalty -- you're going to burn in hell!
Nevertheless, and realizing that the Vatican often knows not what it does, Roman Catholic Womenpriests has plowed ahead, fully aware of the consequences, but believing in the rightness of their cause. And they have good reason to hope, that, as it has done so many times on so many issues, the Church will see the light and begin to ordain women officially.
Not yet, though. In June, in Lexington, Kentucky, Janice Sevre-Duszynska, was ordained a Roman Catholic priest. She expects to be excommunicated. In fact, the archbishop of St. Louis excommunicated three women back in March for participating in a woman's ordination.
The Rev. Roy Bourgeois is gonna get his, too. A priest of the Maryknoll religious order, he had the gall to attend the ordination of Janice Sevre-Duszynska and even gave a sermon in which he stated his support for women priests. The Vatican claims his excommunication is an automatic process. Bingo, gotcha, you're dead.
The Rev. Sevre-Duszynska issued a statement which said "We condemn this action by the Vatican as a blatantabuse of power."
Ah c'mon. That's what the Vatican is all about - power. She knows that, but I like her statement anyway. It calls attention, once again, to the fact that the Roman church puts their hidebound practice over people. The Pope is about being the Pope and engaging in popery which is about power. And this pope would take the church back to where it was in say, 1871. So Benedict XVI ain't coming to save the women priests.
He could. All it would take would a stroke of his pen and an announcement that women are now accepted for ordination. That's it!
But he'd rather send them to hell!
You can learn more of the womenpriest movement here.