Monday, October 7, 2013

Association of Catholic Priests: Pope Francis Has "A Major Blind Spot When It Comes to the Place of Women in the Catholic Church"

Central Scotoma

The Association of Catholic Priests suggests that, as with his predecessors, Pope Francis has "a major blind spot when it comes to the place of women in the Catholic Church." ACP points to Francis's recent decision to excommunicate Australian priest Father Greg Reynolds, which is being spun as a decision based on the rumor that Reynolds gave communion to a dog. His real crime was advocating the ordination of women.

As ACP notes, in his Jesuit interview, Francis employs the concept of the hierarchy of truths, which implies that there is a strong critical distinction between papal pronouncements (e.g., discussion of women's ordination is closed) and core doctrinal truths (e.g., affirmation of the humanity and divinity of Christ). And so:

Placing the ordination of women on the same doctrinal level  such as the divinity or humanity of Christ is a literal subversion of truth. Dogma and theological opinion are now interchangeable.

ACP concludes:

Pope Francis as with his predecessors have a major blind spot when it comes to the place of women in the Catholic Church.  What are they afraid of in a woman on the altar that they forbid Catholics even to discuss, under the threat of excommunication, the possibility of women priests?  It is acceptable  to discuss the role of woman as virgin and mother but not as lover and priest. How many more priests/theologians must suffer needlessly because they say what the rest of the people of God are saying openly. Not only are clerics expected to keep their eyes  cast down but their mouths shut as well.  Fr. Reynolds is in a long line of priests who have been sacrificed to expediency in the Catholic Church  and  the rest of us must not allow his name to be eradicated from Church history ; rather we should be eternally grateful to him and to so many of our own Irish priests  for having the courage to  challenge orthodoxy gone mad.

I'm indebted to Dennis Coday for the link to this statement in his "Morning Briefing" column in National Catholic Reporter today.

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