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In theory, I'm opposed to women's ordination, but couldn't we make one exception? :-)
(Franz Xaver Winterhalter. Portrait of Mme. Rimsky-Korsakova. Source)
When the topic of the conversation falls on women's ordination, inevitably the pagans, the heretics and the apostates (especially if these people are wearing a bra) angrily attack the Catholic Church.
Strangely, these people never patronize the liberal Protestant churches that permit women's ordination! If I verbally attacked a local grocery store, complaining that they don't sell tofu, I'd find myself quite idiotic if I never went to the other grocery store a few blocks away that does sell tofu!
I claim women's ordination has nothing to do with women gaining access to the Priesthood. It's only a cover for the feminist-flavored Atheistic propaganda.
The first lie, on which the feminist attacks are based, is the claim that the Church is sexist. If you want to claim such a thing, you have to start by totally ignoring the official teachings of the Church. The slightest honest and sincere scrutiny of the following official documents suffices:
- The Apostolic Letter on the dignity of women
- The Catechism of the Catholic Church;
- Etc., etc.
Your first reaction, when someone opens their mouth to talk about women's ordination, should be: "Where is your copy of Mulieris dignitatem?" Stop the discussion right there if this person refuses to go read up before continuing.
The second lie on which feminists base themselves is a misunderstanding of the Priest's function. If the Catholic Church were a political party, then it's quite true that the national convention of that party could change certain policies, and even the very constitution of that party. All you'd need would be a sufficient number of delegates who supported the motion.
Except Priests and Bishops don't have the function of "creating" dogma and morals. They are there to defend the treasure of Revelation, not make it up. It's a bit like being a security guard for the Fort Knox safe (where a large quantity of gold is warehoused). The guard has the task of protecting that treasure. He's not there to "create" that gold, and anyway, he wouldn't even be able to!
At some point of time, either the Catholic religion was founded by God, or it was founded by men. If it was founded by men, then feminists would apparently be "right" in asking for women's ordination. (Except, even in that case, feminists would still be wrong! Indeed, a religion invented by men is a joke and a waste of time.)
If the Catholic religion was founded by God, then at some point of time, "a line is going to have to be drawn", in other words, some changes that don't respect the divine will are going to have to be rejected. Let's take an imaginary example. Suppose God founded a religion, and that God ordered us to prostrate ourselves every time we saw some lightning. At some point of time, we'd have to decide if we should prostrate ourselves after having zapped ourselves on a metallic object, after having run around on a rug while wearing woolen socks (after all, it's an electric arc, just like lightning!).
We can take a far more realistic example: can we use rye bread to confect the Eucharist? Uncle Diogenes explains it very clearly:
Suppose we ask, "Why can't rye bread become the Body of Christ?" Is there a deductive proof that will satisfy the questioner? Is the nature of God such that, of all the cereal grains, wheat and only wheat could provide the matter of the sacrament? Such that rye by its nature as rye is ontologically unsuitable? Such that eucharistic doctrine could not be otherwise without an offense against reason or Trinitarian dogma?
Of course not. You can't put a pistol to the head of the Church and demand a deductive proof for the exclusive validity of wheat. The Church can only answer (1) that Her use of wheat is fitting (it is appropriate in itself and doesn't contradict Scripture or other doctrines); (2) that it is consonant with Her tradition (we know it has been used in the past and have no reason to believe the orthodox have used anything else); and (3) that every time a doubt has been raised, She has given the same answer.
It's a humbler kind of suasion than a deductive proof, it doesn't silence personal doubt with the finality that a syllogism does, but the nature of the wheat-versus-rye question is such that no other kind of considerations could be tendered in reply.
In the final analysis, the question of women's ordination brings us to a more fundamental question: "Is women's ordination compatible with the treasure of Revelation?" This question implies another one: "Who decides these things?"
The third lie used by feminists is that we could supposedly be Catholic, while being in favor of women's ordination.
Except in the Catholic Church, it's the Magisterium which decides this kind of question, and the Magisterium's decisions are without appeal. And the Magisterium has spoken, conclusively and in no uncertain terms, on the question of women's ordination:
Although the teaching that priestly ordination is to be reserved to hemen alone has been preserved by the constant and universal tradition of the Church and firmly taught by the Magisterium in its more recent documents, at the present time in some places it is nonetheless considered still open to debate, or the Church's judgment that women are not to be admitted to ordination is considered to have a merely disciplinary force.
Wherefore, in order that all
doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which
pertains to the Church's divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry
of confirming the brethren (cf. Luke 22:32) I declare that the Church has no
authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this
judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful.
[Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, #4]
This decision is not the decision of a committee, subject to later revision. This decision is part of the treasure of the Faith [Denzinger, No. 5040].
One can reject this teaching of the Church. One can contradict the Magisterium. But a person doing that stops being a Catholic, and becomes a liberal Protestant. This might displease some feminists, but their displeasure is not some kind of "divine priesthood", and their lies are not a "sacramental incantation" which can change reality!
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