Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Priestess, Please.

There are some things that are strange, and then there are some things that are stupid. Under the former I would categorize the frequently heard statement, "I don't think women should be ordained, but if the Pope announced that they could tomorrow, I'd accept it." Under the latter I would categorize the frequently heard (in the MSM) statement, "I think women should be ordained, but since the Pope has announced that they cannot, I'm going to go ordain some women" Such are the comments popular in the pews. One is indifference and perhaps a lack of fortitude, the other is malignant usurpation and delusional thinking.

It has been pointed out by several commentators that wishing that I were something does not make it so. Say, for example, if I wanted to become a police officer, I could not simply wake up one morning and decide that I had become one. To be a police officer takes a lot work and discernment. There is college, several interviews with prospective academies, meeting with those encharge of hiring new police officers, and finally months of serious preparation and training before I can be, authentically, a police officer. This of course is intrinsic to any vocation or career. With this in mind, one really has to question the pyschological health of those unfortunate women in North America and Europe who have decided for themselves that they are now priests. Noticeably absent from their stories are the same rigours and struggles a man seeking to become a priest faces. As some people are aware, becoming a Catholic priest takes many, many years and the priests and bishops responsible for your training and entry into the priesthood reserve the right to decide whether or not the candidate has the necessary charisms and calling to be ordained. The point is that it is not up to the candidate to decide that he can be a priest, and so then he is a priest. There's a lot more to it.

Yet in the minds of the handful of these women agitating for female ordinaition via illicit ordinaition ceremonies and press releases, the route is simple and the path wide. Just make a few calls to your local unrepentant excommunicant, find a boat (since the Womenpriest movement operates under the mistaken assumption that the Church's ecclesial territories do not include water systems - they do), and bring along some funny colour faux-vestments. Removed are the years of patient discernment, the hours in front of the tabernacle, those stressful minutes before you meet with the head of a seminary, the struggle to prepare oneself for the massive demands of the administering the sacraments to the faithful, and not to mention the task of rebuilding the many bridges burnt by scandal. In their place is, well, not that much.

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