The Vatican's Latest Outrageous Statement
Dear Blog Visitors:
If you have followed my blog the past month, you are aware that I announced a shift of focus, concerning the subject matter I will be covering. Whereas I used to devote the vast majority of my writings to reform initiatives in the Roman Catholic Church, I made a decision that I wanted to address other topics of interest as well. However, when an important matter arises in the Catholic Church, I will certainly address it from time to time.
A matter of extreme importance arose the past week that I felt needed at least a few comments on my part. In brief, a Vatican official stuck his foot in his mouth by announcing that in the future, any woman seeking ordination to the priesthood would be guilty of a crime against the church as serious as sexual abuse by a priest.
The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith perhaps does not realize that the Inquisition ended a long time ago. However, the behavior of Vatican officials is such that we have to wonder if they want to bring back the days of extreme punishment and banishment for matters such as the ordination of women.
As can be expected, many Catholic reform organizations have issued press releases in response to the Vatican's latest display of stupidity. I was very pleased to write a press release for CORPUS (www.corpus.org), which is the National Association for an Inclusive Priesthood. (I was national secretary of the organization for a few years, and now serve as its national media liaison.) Here is the press release I wrote, which is posted at the CORPUS website:
The National Association for an Inclusive Priesthood
July 10, 2010
CORPUS (The National Association for an Inclusive Priesthood) is appalled by a recent Vatican announcement that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith would treat any “attempted ordination of a woman” as a serious crime against the church. In fact, such an ‘attempted’ ordination would be classified by the church hierarchy as the same category of offense as sexual abuse.
CORPUS would like to point out that sexual abuse is not only a crime against the church, but is a civil offense as well, whereby convicted offenders are sentenced to lengthy jail sentences. Does the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith propose that women called to ordination, and those who support these ordinations, should be arrested, tried and sentenced to prison? This perhaps would have been the case during the infamous Inquisition. However, this is the twenty-first century, and women have long claimed their rightful place in society as equals to men.
CORPUS began over thirty-five years ago as a supportive and collaborative organization for ordained celibate priests who later entered into marriage. As our organization grew, we came to realize that we could not truly call ourselves inclusive until we fully addressed and supported the call of women to ordained priesthood in the Catholic Church. So, we have moved from being an organization devoted exclusively as a means of support for married priests and their wives to an organization that embraces all called to ordination, inclusive of women.
CORPUS has come to embrace the fact that the Eucharist is central to all Catholics, whether they be on the liberal or traditional side of the spectrum. Due to a severe shortage in the number of ordained celibate male priests, our organization has sought creative ways to bring consecrated elements to believers. In this respect, we fully endorse the ordination of women to the priesthood and we will continue to support women who are called by helping to nourish their journeys and to be a visible presence at their ordinations.
An inclusive church continues to be a reality, with or without the support of the Vatican.
HERE ARE TWO PERSONOAL VIDEO RESPONSES I PRODUCED TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE: