Gerald relates the following, his comments in red:

National Catholic Reporter treats self-proclaimed priestesses as if they were actual priests. They got profiles of five grandmothers here. You’ll see that these deluded women had been working in Church functions for decades. So, in a way, it’s good that they finally “came out”, since they now can’t work for the Church anymore. Here one example:

Joan Houk, mother of six, was teaching parish religion to children in the 1970s and decided she needed to upgrade her knowledge and skills. So Houk enrolled in a community college, and starting with one class at a time, earned a four-year college degree in 1996 and went on to earn two master’s degrees — one is in conflict management from George Mason University, the other in divinity from the University of Notre Dame. Along the way she worked as director of religious education for a parish. She had followed her husband, John, a civil engineer, to both coasts, then he followed her to South Bend, Ind., so she could attend Notre Dame. From there, the couple went to Kentucky where Joan served as pastoral director for two parishes that lacked a resident priest.

They returned to Pittsburgh, Joan Houk’s home, when her mother became ill.

Houk — with her husband as a major backer — became involved in Roman Catholic Womenpriests after hearing Patricia Fresen speak. Since her ordination in 2006, she celebrates home Masses and meets a variety of other pastoral needs. The Houks still belong to a parish but no longer receive Communion there or work in parish ministry. They volunteer at parish fundraisers and social events.

Still, Houk said, she considers herself a faithful Catholic. “This is one point I am very strong on. I will not allow people to tell me I am out of the church. Some say I am out because I don’t follow one teaching” — that women can’t be priests. “If you took that reasoning down the line, a lot of very conservative people would be out of the church.”

Wake me when they fake-ordain someone who wasn’t born before the “Summer of Love”. In light of the absence of young or even youngish women, their editorial is really laughable with its pathetic attempt of portraying a mass movement. It’s the same people who’ve been at it for four decades, and now some of them finally sever their ties to the Church. It’s a dated movement, since its proponents have failed to attract any young women. It will die out with them. Not that there’s anything wrong with being older, but the dated nature of the movement points to its demise. If it were “vibrant”, there’d be young women, too.

Given that the Vatican has banned Catholics from so much as talking about women deacons or priests, is it surprising that some women are opting to fast-forward to action? They aren’t discussing whether women should be ordained; they aren’t asking for permission to be ordained; they are just doing what, as they see it, a church crying “priest shortage” needs them to do. These are women who have faithfully served the church in many ways, putting their own wishes on hold. Until finally, they have said, “Enough.”

When even the deeply traditional Greek Orthodox church finds a way to authorize ordaining women deacons, how is it that Roman Catholic church officials get by with treating women as they do: as if they were children — so infantile that their dreams for themselves and for the church are unworthy of even serious talk. Fortunately, numerous ordained men, even bishops, with a stronger sense of justice and more courage than the rest, have come forward to assist, assuring that these illegal women priests are validly situated in the apostolic line. legends in their own mind

We find it fascinating that while church officials assert these “simulated” ordinations lack meaning, some of the women have received the Vatican’s highest penalty — formal excommunication. In other cases, as in the recent St. Louis ordinations, the hierarchy has tried various tactics aimed at bringing these women to heel.

The hierarchy is rightly nervous about women declaring themselves ordained, however illegally, because these ceremonies carry a strong implicit message. Nothing says “Catholic Mass” like a riverboat or synagogue ? Well-educated women, loyal to the church, know that the historical and theological reasoning advanced for excluding them from ordination is dangerously thin. Citing the growing number of priestless parishes worldwide, they make a compelling case for a different kind of church — an inclusive church, in which both men and women, whether married or not, heterosexual or homosexual, can participate at all levels. They know that polls show they have significant backing, given that some 70 percent of the Catholic faithful in the United States support women priests. So, like Catholics who ignore many of the church’s other bans — on birth control, on single-gender lifestyles ?, on divorce and remarriage — because they find little in these teachings that corresponds to their own experience of what is right and good, these women, in the vein of other defiant trailblazers, are saying we are finished playing by the rules. We downright tremble before you and your 14 “parishioners”.

Whither women priests? Whither away Perhaps they will become yet another breakaway movement already are, although it’s a movement that’ll increasingly depend on walkers, as many church officials must drearily hope. Or, depending on the faithful’s response, these women could conceivably drag the church into the 21st century. We’ll pray for that.

And, as Fr. Z said, “We’ll pray that you don’t burn in Hell.”



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