…but we can’t.
Last night’s episode of Compass on ABC TV (the second of two programs obviously designed to nip in the bud any positive feelings about the Catholic Church that might possible have sprouted up in Australian soil due to WYD) presented the usual theme “brave Catholic women” who are carrying out leadership roles in the Church “despite the Church Hierarchy’s maniacal determination not to let go of their grasp on patriarchal power”.
As Cardinal Pole pointed out with regard to the first episode, there was no attempt at even-handed-ness in this propoganda posing as “documentary”. The message was consistently: The Church (= the Hierarchy) could give us women priests if they wanted to, but they are mean and selfish and afraid and they don’t want to, so we will just keep on pushing till we get what we want.
This is an example of what is called, I understand, “positivism”: the idea that anything is possible, all we need to do is say that it is okay and it will be okay.
If you are convinced that women priests are possible, then of course, there is no way of understanding the Church’s opposition to the attempts to ordain women except to think that there is some pathological reason for the refusal.
But there is no need to transfer personal frustrations onto the leaders of the Church in this way. Why do so many people today find it difficult to think that the bishops and pastors of the Church actually LOVE us, and want what is best for us? Why is it so hard to trust that they are in fact the guardians of the faith, maintaining the ancient faith for today’s and future generations?
The Church loves justice. If this were an issue of Justice, she would not oppose the movement to ordain women. The Church loves the will of the Lord. If it were the will of the Lord that women be priests, the Church would obediently ordain them. The Church loves and values all her members and all their gifts, including that half of hte Church which is female. If she could ordain women, she would.
But we can’t. Just can’t. It isn’t possible. Any attempt to ordain a woman does not result in a woman priest. It results in a lay woman who thinks she is a priest. The Church not only doesn’t have the authority to ordain women, it isn’t possible to make a woman a priest any more than it is possible to make a woman a father. Or a man a nun. You can’t do it. It isn’t that the Church is unjust, or unloving. It is that we face reality.
Francis: Good idea, Judith. We shall fight the oppressors for your right to have babies, brother. Sister, sorry.
Reg: What’s the *point*?
Reg: What’s the point of fighting for his right to have babies, when he can’t have babies?
Francis: It is symbolic of our struggle against oppression.
Reg: It’s symbolic of his struggle against reality.
(P.S.: In case you think that Compass is quite finished Catholic bashing yet, check out their topic for next week… With the media in Australia so openly opposed to everything that the Catholic magisterium teaches, it is a real miracle that the Church survives at all.)