From Fr Zuhlsdorf comes a reference to a story in the National Catholic Reporter, a US liberal journal which he reads but I cannot bring myself to do. It refers to an interfaith prayer pow-wow focusing on “gender justice”, and he provides a lengthy quotation from it.
Since the word gender is actually a grammatical term (important more in foreign tongues in which nouns are given a masculine, feminine or neuter gender: thus the Latin mensa, the feminine noun for ‘table’; hortus, the masculine noun for ‘garden’; and rosarium, the neuter noun for ‘rose garden’. It is clear that grammatical gender has little to do with sexual difference, but I digress… where was I? Oh yes, since gender is a grammatical term…) then for a fleeting second I thought grammarians were up in arms about an imbalance between feminine, masculine and neuter nouns in some language or other. But of course, they mean “sex justice”, that is between males and females. (Do progressives and feminists avoid the word sex in this proper context because they would be embarrassed, like some Victorian prude? Or would they titter like children on hearing the word?)
Of course, since the “Catholic” representative body in this escapade is the Women’s Ordination Conference, then we know instantly that the so-called justice referred to, for them at least, is opening up Catholic priestly ordination to women. No matter how many times the teaching authority of the Church, not least in papal declarations, affirms that the Church cannot ordain women, there are some who refuse to accept reality and argue in utter futility for the impossible. It is like a man being told he cannot be a mother, and then start a campaign to be one, no matter that it is patently impossible. It is an accurate analogy.
That said, many feminists would reject that analogy, and the logic of the Church’s teaching, because they reject the Church’s authority to teach. They are their own authority, not the Church nor Christ who guarantees the Church’s magisterial teaching. In so doing, they effectively reject Christ. No Catholic logic will be accepted by them as they deny the premises of Catholic logic.
This is made manifest in this interfaith prayer pow-wow for “gender justice”, that is, women’s ordination. If you look at the Facebook page for the event (sorry – I will not link to it. Google it like I did if you must see it) then we see that what unites all these feminists is the desire to have religious power, since “far too many women are still being denied equal participation and leadership in their faith traditions”. Thus,
Featured representatives will include
• Lorie Winder, representing Ordain Women, which advocates for the ordination of women in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon);
• Erin Saiz Hanna, executive director of the Women’s Ordination Conference, which works for the equality of women in the Roman Catholic tradition;
• Rabbi Tamara Miller, representing Washington friends of Women of the Wall, which advocates for the right of Jewish women to wear prayer shawls, pray, and read from the Torah collectively and out loud at the Western Wall (Kotel) in Jerusalem; and
• Carol Schmidt, president of Ordain Women Now, which works to promote an open discussion within the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod about the ordination of women.
So there you are – Mormons, Jews, Lutherans. And since one of the venues is Salt Lake Buddhist Temple (Utah), we can throw in Buddhists as well. What unites this disparate group? Faith in the Trinity whose perfect revelation is the God-Man Jesus Christ? Hardly. It is feminism.
And that is the real principle behind the Women’s Ordination Conference’s advocacy for the impossible feat of ordaining women to the Catholic priesthood: feminist desire for power. It is not faith, nor Christ and his teaching, nor his Church. If those were the true principles then how could you join with non-Catholics, and non-Christians, to advocate for an essentially Catholic theological issue, the meaning and significance of which lies only in the context of the Catholic Church. If it were a theological issue then how could they reject the authority that gives theology its force. It is not a faith issue for this group; it is about forcing entry into areas properly the domain of men for the political goal of feminist “gender justice”. It is not equality they seek (for men and women are already equal before God and in the Church); rather they seek identity, to be identical to men in role. The eradication of sexual difference is their aim, and that too is a rejection of the God who made humanity male and female.
If this is a cause that can unite some Mormons, Jews, Catholics, Lutherans, Episcopalians and Buddhists, then all well and good for them. But this very fact gives the lie to any assertion that the cause of the ordination of women to the Catholic priesthood is a faith issue. It is pure social engineering and Catholics must have nothing to do with it.
Yes, this was verging on a rant. But perhaps more faithful Catholics need to start ranting in defence of truth. Silence in the face of the secularization of the Church has abetted the collapse of the Church over the last 50 years. Surely that is long enough for us to come to our senses. There are none so blind as those who will not see.