Our St Mary: More likely to pray for vocations than to challenge for women "priests"

Dr Laura Beth Bugg (a lecturer in sociology of religion at the University of Sydney) writes in the Sydney Morning Herald:

This past week a woman was ordained a Catholic priest in Canada. The church did not sanction her ordination, and she will shortly be excommunicated. Roman Catholic Womenpriests, a movement for women’s ordination that began in 2002, supervised the ordination. Since that time nearly 100 women worldwide have been ordained, although none have been recognised by the church.

These are not women who wish to break off from the church; they want to reimagine it. There are yet other Catholic feminists who understand the very concept of priesthood and the hierarchical structure of the church as fatally flawed. They do not wish to see women as priests, but to see the entire Catholic community as one that is radically democratic and committed to peace-making, justice and community building.

…Perhaps the legacy of St Mary and others like her who have spoken out boldly and faithfully will be to inspire new generations to speak to the structures of hierarchy and patriarchy that choke the church and countless other religious institutions.

Dr Bugg attempts in this article to use (abuse?) St Mary of the Cross MacKillop for her cause. As she herself points out, St Mary wisely advised: “Never see a need without doing something about it”. But I am confident that, rather than trying to “reimagine the Church”, St Mary was and is more likely to follow Jesus’ own directions, as he said: “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

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28 Responses to Our St Mary: More likely to pray for vocations than to challenge for women "priests"

  1. William Tighe says:

    These loony hysterical wimmin want a Church that never existed and, thank God, never will, cf.

    “These are not women who wish to break off from the church; they want to reimagine it. There are yet other Catholic feminists who understand the very concept of priesthood and the hierarchical structure of the church as fatally flawed.”

    May the speedily be confounded and exposed to obloquy; and their ridiculous nostrums exposed to universal censure.

    • Tony says:

      May the speedily be confounded and exposed to obloquy; and their ridiculous nostrums exposed to universal censure.

      Crikey! That’s right up there with “Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!”

  2. Peter Golding says:

    It was always going to be only a matter of time before the “What would Mary have done?”wagons started to roll.Stand by for many more from rabbles like the wimmin priests brigade.

  3. Cherub says:

    The call to discipleship is to “Take up my Cross and follow me”, NOT “Take up my Church and reimagine it”! St Mary of the Cross took up the Cross for goodness sakes and was obedient to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. Dr Bugg is misusing the life and example of St Mary of the Cross in her attempt to defend the theologically independent. The Church which Christ left us has a constitution, and that constitution provides for an all-male priesthood. The Magisterium in its fidelity to Christ, and its humility, is not in the business of “reimagining” the Gospel thereby making up a new Gospel. The Magisterium, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is protecting the one true Church which The God/Man Jesus actually gave us. And St Mary of the Cross willingly and lovingly followed the definitive teachings of the Magisterium. Moreover, she was far more interested in living a religious life and caring for the needs of the poor than jet-setting around the world pandering to the neurosis of the well paid middle classes who seem to have nothing else to do but “reimagine their navels”.

  4. Harry says:

    I seen the ordination of women in the ELCA and how it led to the ordination of homosexuals. Error always leads to more error. Charles Porterfield Krauth said that Error creeps into the Church in three stages. First, it tell Truth that it will not make waves, jut leave it be. Second, Error tells Truth, that their position should have equal rights. Then Error tells Truth that Truth is causing disorder in the Church. This is the reason why I went to the LC-MS.

    • Schütz says:

      Ah, Krauth. This is not the first time he has been cited on these pages (sometimes – only sometimes – I miss Past Elder!). He was so right on this one.

  5. Matthias says:

    i trained as a sociologist and joined the Australian Sociological Association but left because of the absolute crap that was being written ie “The lived experiences of … ” “reimagining a …..”
    mAKES me want to puke onto their thesis. I am afraid that Australia is going to become a femonazified,green paganised, pacified country where hedonism and personal peace and affluence rule.

  6. Kyle says:

    Yes, and Blessed Henry Newman obviously would also have supported homosexual activists…

  7. Christine says:

    C.P. Krauth was one of my heroes when I was Lutheran. Still is.

    I think he would have much to say to the ELCA and the misguided Catholic “feminists” who want to create the Church in their own image.

  8. joyfulpapist says:

    I see comments are closed on the article you linked to, David. I hope someone challenged the woman’s view that the Church teaches women can’t be priests because Eve was responsible for original sin. Has she actually read Inter Insigniores, the Papal Encyclical that outlines the actual reasons?

    • Schütz says:

      Yes, I thought that was a bit off. It seemed to be a reference to 1 Tim 2:14 which is a common enough argument among some conservative evangelical churches, but is never cited as a Catholic reason for not ordaining women. It also seemed as if she was looking for a “reason” that most of her readers would think was obviously ridiculous, and would therefore conclude that the Catholic practice of ordaining men only was built on flimsy theology.

      • Father John Fleming says:

        Inter Insigniores is not a Papal Encyclical. It was, in fact, a Declaration on the Admission of Women to the Ministerial Priesthood (15 October 1976) issued by the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

    • Tony says:

      … women can’t be priests because Eve was responsible for original sin …

      Can’t believe I just read that!

      • Schütz says:

        Well, precisely. But remember that it is Dr Bugg is the one suggesting this, not us or the Church. Which isn’t to say that some Christians in the past (and even some still today) don’t use this argument, but it is not one of the Church’s reasons for not ordaining women.

  9. Dr. Bugg’s article capped off four days of letters published in the Herald on the topic of Catholic womenpriests, with the last two days’ worth responding to this one from the second day:

    “I think many Catholics saw the irony of the Mary MacKillop celebrations in a church in which women are still excluded from full participation. As I said at Mass last Sunday: “Today we celebrate a woman’s canonisation; hopefully it won’t be too long before we celebrate a woman’s ordination.”

    Father John CrothersSt Declan’s Church, Penshurst”
    [http://www.smh.com.au/national/letters/settlement-of-djs-case-doesnt-ease-the-tension-20101019-16sfb.html?skin=text-only
    See this blog post and comment by me in order to see all the letters collated.]

    I wonder how Fr. Crothers’s Local Ordinary has dealt or will deal with this scandal?

    (Before submitting this comment it occured to me that I had better do a Google search in order to see whether His Eminence is already dealing with this, and lo and behold, I found that Coo-ees has a whole blog label devoted to Fr. Crothers! Here’s the U.R.L.:

    http://coo-eesfromthecloister.blogspot.com/search/label/Fr%20Crothers)

  10. Tony says:

    But I am confident that, rather than trying to “reimagine the Church”, St Mary was and is more likely to … pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

    Why ‘rather than’. Are they mutually exclusive?

    I’m not fond of the jargon, but in her time Mary did some reimagining. She changed the church — especially the local church — particularly in the way it dealt with education and women.

    Beyond that, everyone wants a piece of Mary and, to her credit, she can inspire all sorts of Catholics even the ones we don’t identify with!. I guess that’s the thing about the ‘universality’ of sainthood.

    To me Mary did reimagine the church (for want of a better term) and she wasfaithful to the Magisterium and she was a whole lot more besides.

    Mary did things and said things that I easily identify with but she also did things and said things that challenge me.

    Being ‘confident’ about what she might have said or did if she was alive today is pure folly, IMHO, and so often it seems to be more about projecting than genuine, open speculation.

    • Pax says:

      Mary was never unfaithful to the Magisterium. She stood up to an individual bishop who excommunicated her based on false advice -a decision he came to realise was an error and a great injustice which he corrected before his death.
      When Mary was excommunicated she counselled her sisters to remain respectful and obedient precisely because she was a great saint whose ego did not need worldly approval.

      • Gareth says:

        To my amazement, she was also gave counsel to her sisters to never ever let a bad word about a Catholic priest fall from one’s lips.

        I am not sure if St Mary would heed the same advice if she could come back to earth today, but it is interesting spiritual counsel.

      • Tony says:

        Pax,

        My understanding is that Mary didn’t ‘stand up to’ any Bishop. Not only did she counsel ‘her sisters to remain respectful and obedient’ she made it clear that she loved them.

        So, again, while I don’t challenge the phrase ‘faithful to the magisterium’ at all — she was faithful almost to a fault — the way she went about her vocation was a challenge to the magisterium (to the extent that it was represented by local bishops). I believe that bishops and priests with limited vision would have seen her as a rebel.

        But, again, none of these descriptions do justice to the whole Mary story.

        • Schütz says:

          Yes, let us all be “rebels” by being “faithful almost to a fault”. In this way we will heap burning coals upon their heads!

          I don’t mean any of that with any cynicism or sarcasm, either. I think it is truly the way to go. There is a kind of faithfulness to the Church that is obedient to due authority out of reverence for Christ, and not respecting the person in the office. When this sort of obedience is shown, it is a reminder to the poor wretch who holds the exalted office of bishop whose office it really is.

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