Recently in my town, a married, ex-Catholic nun, was said to be "ordained" a Roman Catholic Priest. This incident was first reported by WTHR-TV, and then also reported in our local newspaper, The Indianapolis Star. Normally I would provide links to such reports, but in this case I'm not going to because I'm upset that the media would report such fallacy... saying that this woman was "ordained a Roman Catholic Priest". I'm upset because I feel the Church is seriously under attack this day and age because the world, even many Catholics themselves, don't understand the faith, and we're ridiculed and thought to have "outdated" beliefs in regards to what today's society deems "acceptable, contemporary, or normal". These so-called news reports do nothing more than confuse people even more, and/or stir up more controversy about our faith, in an effort to try to prove "just how outdated" our Church teachings are. To read and see clips of these articles, you can find them by doing an internet search.
The Catholic Church loves women, but we can't be priests. I put the word -ordained- in quotations earlier because in the Catholic Church, women can't be ordained into the priesthood, and so she is NOT considered by the Catholic Church to be an actual priest. I realize that many people don't understand why or accept that the Church has a papal authority and doctrine we're to follow, but that's a subject for future posts. Please know there are truly faith-based, Godly reasons for this authority, and not just for purposes of control or to marginalize ANY groups of people. (I try to keep my blog posts short, so I won't go into all that right now.)
Not only is this woman NOT truly a Roman Catholic Priest, but she, and anyone who takes part in this false ordination, is deemed excommunicated from the Church. I know that may sound harsh, but again, there are very valid reasons for this, which would take this conversation in a different direction.
You might ask, "Well if the ordination is not valid, then how did it come to be that she could even pursue it and have anyone 'ordain' her?" Good question. Just like with any organization, even other religions, unfortunately there are wayward descendants. Some wayward ex-priests who have left the Church, and who believe it's ok for women to be priests, simulated ordinations of some women "bishops", and then those women "bishops" have gone on to "ordain" other women as "priests". None of these women are seen by the Church as truly Roman Catholic Bishops or Priests. In fact, they have no privileges to conduct any Catholic ceremonies in any Catholic Church. Therefore they must carry out their intentions elsewhere, outside of a Catholic Church. The number of these wayward ex-priests, and women being "ordained" is very small. That being said, it still mars the Church because of what these people stand for, and in essence are saying it's ok to just do whatever you want. The Church's teachings are passed down from GOD, not a bunch of men making up rules, and that is sacred to us and our faith.
Basically, only MEN can be priest because Jesus himself was a man, and he passed on the Church to only MALE apostles. Jesus, God in the flesh, had reasons for this. We respect the actions and words of Christ so much, that for 2000 years we have stuck to this call to pass down the priesthood to only men. Priest are to be "in persona Christi Capitis", which is Latin for "in the person of Christ". We respect this to mean, in every since of the phrase. Christ was male, and he did not marry.
Some feminists have said that the Church is against women being priests because the Church devalues women. That is so untrue! The Church highly reveres women. A perfect example is Mary. Most everyone knows that Catholics revere Mary (revere NOT worship... another blog topic someday) because she is the Mother of God. If the Church didn't respect woman, do you think we'd value Mary so much? And besides, wouldn't a true feminist wonder WHY a women feels she HAS to be given the opportunity to have the same role in an organization to be seen as equal? To me, that's devaluing women... saying a women HAS to be the same as a man to be viewed or considered as valuable. There's a lot more I could say about all this, delving deeper into these issues, but the intentions of my blog are to be brief, concise, and to the point, so the truth can be easily explained, understood, and spread more readily. It's also important because of the nature of this medium and our society wanting everything FAST in order to move on to the next thing catching our attention.
It bothers me also that this woman in Indiana says she wants to be a priest in order to make those marginalized by the Church (she referred to homosexuals, and those divorced or remarried) feel "there's a place for them". She intends to seek to promote her "service" and "calling" to minister to homosexuals and those divorced or remarried. I have a problem with her insinuating that the Church marginalizes ANY group of people! I know some people may feel this has happened to them, or know someone it may have happened to, and I'm so sorry to hear that, and my heart breaks for them. (And by the way it's not just Catholics, other so-called Christians have done this to people too.) My only consolation for it is that it happened out of ignorance, and people are human and make grave mistakes. I personally don't know any priest who would not show love toward ANY kind of person, regardless of their sexual orientation, or marital status. God loves ALL people, and we're called to do the same.
Please share this truth with others so they will know, #1) to be careful of what you read and hear from mainstream media, and most importantly #2) to know the truth about who truly can and can't be ordained into the priesthood and why. I wrote about this topic a bit out of order from what I originally intended, before explaining more back-story of the history and traditions of our faith, because this topic was just in the media and I wanted to address it right away. There's so much more to understand about WHY Catholics do what we do, and believe what we believe. I'll eat that elephant one bite at a time! Thank you for joining me here. I hope you'll consider sharing this information with others.
Peace be with you!