Friday, November 27, 2009

Rowan Speaks Out On Women Playing Priest

Speaking before he meets Benedict XVI tomorrow, Dr Rowan Williams told a conference in Rome that the Catholic Church’s refusal to ordain women was a bar to Christian unity.

“For many Anglicans, not ordaining women has a possible unwelcome implication about the difference between baptised men and baptised women,” he said.

The Anglican provinces that ordain women had retained rather than lost their Catholic holiness and sacramentalism, he said.

Whew! Good thing he set us Catholics straight on that. I mean, where would we be without Rowan to explain the best route to Christian unity?

By the way, Rowan, how's that whole unity thing working for the TAC now since you have female ministers?

But yesterday the Archbishop made clear that there would be no turning back the clock on women priests in order to appease critics. He dismissed the Pope’s offer to disaffected Anglicans as barely more than a “pastoral response”, which broke little new ground in relations between the two Churches.

So it must be going pretty well, right?

Dr Williams put the row over the apostolic constitution, as the Pope’s plan is known, into the context of a centuries-old debate about reuniting the Christian Churches. He questioned whether unity talks should even continue if disagreements over issues such as papal primacy had no hope ever of being resolved.

Oh, so it's our fault, then? Anglicans decide to break with a teaching going all the way back to the Apostles, trying to ordain women as priests and bishops, and it's the Church's fault that there is a controversy?

The best part in all this is that he's treating the Church's steadfastness in this like it's something new. Hey, Rowan, does this sound familiar?

Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church's divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful.

Pope John Paul II, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis

Or how about this?

Your Grace is of course well aware of the Catholic Church’s position on this question. She holds that it is not admissible to ordain women to the priesthood, for very fundamental reasons. These reasons include: the example recorded in the Sacred Scriptures of Christ choosing his Apostles only from among men; the constant practice of the Church, which has imitated Christ in choosing only men; and her living teaching authority which has consistently held that the exclusion of women from the priesthood is in accordance with God’s plan for his Church.

The Joint Commission between the Anglican Communion and the Catholic Church, which has been at work since 1966, is charged with presenting in due time a final report. We must regretfully recognize that a new course taken by the Anglican Communion in admitting women to the ordained priesthood cannot fail to introduce into this dialogue an element of grave difficulty which those involved will have to take seriously into account.

Pope Paul VI, Letter to Donald Coggan, Archbishop of Canterbury, November 30, 1975

So the Anglicans were told 35 years ago that this wasn't going to work on an ecumenical basis but now want to complain about it.

“I want to propose that we now need urgent clarification of whether these continuing points of tension imply in any way that the substantive theological convergence is less solid than it appears, so that we must still hold back from fuller levels of recognition of ministries or fuller sacramental fellowship,” he said.

But he went on to argue that if there was hope that such issues could be resolved, the Churches could begin to talk about converging their structures of administration and governance, and seeking “sacramental” fellowship.

Maybe I can help you out there. Convergence ain't happening. There is no convergence. There will be no convergence. It is impossible. No concord between Christ and Belial. No gates of hell prevailing. No Truth tainted by error. Blessed John XXIII was clear about that, as we discussed here. So you can pretty much flush that idea right now.

Hell, Rowan, you can't even get "convergence" among your own folks. We've got enough problems on this side of the Tiber without "converging" with the ongoing, slow-motion train wreck that is Anglicanism.

And on a side note:

Cardinal Kasper was not involved in the formulation of the Pope’s opening to disaffected Anglicans, which was drawn up by the more hardline Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and some of his staff have been dismayed by its impact on ecumenical dialogue.

Yeah, it really sucks to have all these potential converts coming in.

1 comment:

Karl said...

The ordination of only men to the priesthood does no more to the dignity of women than the ordination of only the tribe of Levi did to the dignity of the tribe of Judah.