“Roman Catholic Womenpriests” is an organization which (surprise!) promotes the ordination of women to the priesthood. They are famous for their riparian ordination ceremonies where their “womenbishops,” (who, they swear, honest, have valid apostolic succession,) simulate ordination of old biddies, crew-cut feminists, and dowdy ecclesiastic wannabes on boats on rivers because, according to RCW, rivers are outside ecclesiastical authority (a position which is legal hogwash, by the way.)

Despite the nattering on about legality, apostolic succession, and the like, RCW’s main argument for the validity of their ordinations comes down to the Create Your Own Reality ™ line of positivism, a la Justice O’Connor: “I say I am a priest, so I am a priest,” a position they call by their self-coined nonsensical term of art “Prophetic Obedience.”
I have to hand it to the gals, though, the boat thing has really worked for them for the last few years. They set sail on the Ohio in Pittsburgh last year after a mild media blitz which was mostly remarkable for the Diocese of Pittsburgh’s non-response. When they came ashore with their newly minted “womenpriests,” (talk about positivism, there’s a word straight out of the Ministry of Truth if their ever was one,) they were able to claim an easy victory in the secular and sympathetic press, mostly because the Diocese of Pittsburgh couldn’t be bothered to comment on the blasphemy, other than to say “we don’t recognize what happened as ordination.” Similar wussary was demonstrated by Catholic officials when RCW cruised near Milwaukee, Toronto, and Vienna.

RCW’s latest playtime offense differs, however, from its previous offenses in two important ways. First, they have given up the riverboat shtick , instead opting for the terra firma of a Reform Jewish congregational building. Second, rather than whoop it up in a diocese where the hierarchy natters and bumbles in the face of outrage, they are furthering their schismatic gynocracy in Raymond Burke’s “Playground of Orthodoxy,” St. Louis.

Shortly after announcing their intention to simulate ordination, Archbishop Burke went to press with a formal declaration, calling the “ordinations” invalid and warning that anyone involved in them would be excommunicated. The press spotlight fell on Burke’s giving serious consideration to the RCW. (Great analysis of Burke’s statement is available at Fr. Z’s blog.) RCW responded with condescending pity for the poor ass of a misogynist archbishop.

Normally, you would think, the story would end there: Biddys say “we’re gonna do it,” Burke says “Don’t,” biddys go through with it anyway. Well, maybe it would have, had the RCW stayed afloat. But, since it was holding the service at Central Reform Congregation, a Jewish house of worship, Burke appealed both to the rabbi at CRC as well as the St. Louis Jewish community to evict the schismatic “womenpriests” in the name of Catholic-Jewish relations” Now, Burke was playing real hardball. It’s easy enough to draw attention to a separatist act on the part of members of the lunatic fringe in the church. Burke took it a step further, though, calling attention to the complicity of an allied, mainstream religious group in the aforementioned lunacy, thus potentially embarrassing the sincere religious group.

The response of both the CRC and Jewish community at large was underwhelming. Both seemed to think that RCW’s position was a legitimate internal difference of opinion with Burke, rather than a doctrinal issue, and didn’t see why aiding and abetting the enemies of the Church would hurt Catholic-Jewish relations.

The ordinations went on. But Burke’s point was made, and RCW and the CRC ended up as losers in the press. This was a new experience for the “womenpriests.” And it’s all because a bishop stood up to them with vigor and snap, rather than ignoring them in hopes that they would go away.

For taking the loons seriously and standing up to them, Fish in a Barrel hereby presents its first Golden Shotgun Award to Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis, MO. Abp. Burke’s courage in standing up to these women and taking their fakery seriously is borne, not out of an esoteric concern for keeping the Church “pure”, but, rather out of concern for these women, who, as Fr. Z has said, are in danger of burning in hell for all eternity by committing such blasphemy. We should pray for all the fake women priestesses and their supporters, that they may see the light and return to true obedience.