Women’s Ordination Conference: Vatican’s ‘scare tactics’ appalling

Today, Women’s Ordination Conference (WOC) Executive Director Erin Saiz Hanna made the following statement in response to the Vatican’s announcement … Continued

Today, Women’s Ordination Conference (WOC) Executive Director Erin Saiz Hanna made the following statement in response to the Vatican’s announcement that priests who sexually abuse minors, view child pornography, or sexually abuse mentally disabled adults, along with those who ordain women or women who attempt to be ordained, will now be included among the list of “delicta gravioria,” or the most serious crimes against church law. The ordination of women is now classified as a “crime against the sacraments,” which includes any action that defiles or desecrates the Eucharist.

The Vatican’s decision to list women’s ordination in the same category as pedophiles and rapists is appalling, offensive, and a wake-up call for all Catholics around the world. This new canonical declaration which names women’s ordination as a serious crime against the Roman Catholic Church is medieval at best. The idea that a woman seeking to spread the message of God somehow “defiles” the Eucharist reveals an antiquated, backwards Church that still views women as “unclean” and unholy.

It is clear this recent decision was made out of fear of our growing numbers. The Vatican is using this attempt to extinguish the widespread call for women’s equality in the church. In a statement published on May 29, 2008 in L’Observatorio Romano, the Vatican’s official newspaper, all women who “attempt ordination” and the bishops who ordain them are automatically excommunicated, known as latae sententiae. Adding delicta gravioria as a scare tactic to already “excommunicated” women and the priests who support us is ridiculous and does not make a bit of difference. Excommunication will not work, and neither will this. In the face of one closed door after another, Catholic women will continue to make a way when there is none. We will continue to speak out. And women will continue to prophetically answer their call to priestly ordination with or without the Vatican’s approval.

Furthermore, we are extremely disheartened that the Vatican did not appropriately use this opportunity to meaningfully address the handling of sexual predators in its ranks. While some strides were made in this revision the 2001 sexual abuse policy, it does not go far enough. We are calling on our members to take action: express their concern and call for real accountability by demanding that the hierarchy release the names of all accused Catholic leaders; reach out to survivors and take steps to make sure children are protected now; and, discontinue all financial contributions that benefit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Statement issued 15 July 2010

  • WmarkW

    The Catholic church knows it has no future in educated, feminist societies, so it’s doing what it can to appeal to less sophisticated ones where they still hunt and kill witches and gays.

  • Proximaking

    As I see it they are only being logical.Christ had a choice about whether to choose women or not as his disciples as God he could write the story of his life as he chose and he chose not to involve women except the various Mary’s who he obviously loved but did not see as disciple material.Similarly black people were also “available” for discipleship roles, after all it was Simon a black man who helped carry the cross. The lack of logic in the pope’s position is that if, clearly, women were not ordained as disciples though they were manifestly “available” to Christ and so logic suggests should not be priests now then just as clearly since black people were not ordained as disciples though they were manifestly “available” to Christ also how come the pope allows black men to become priests?It doesn’t make any sense does it? Christ’s mother and probable wife, Mary Magdalen (the wedding at Canna sounds like his wedding to her to me), were extremely close to him but were not ordained so why would he approve of a black man who he had nothing to do with being ordained?The likelihood is that Christ was black in any case so the whole thing becomes very confusing and maybe it was designed to be. After all Christ ordained that the temple was no longer required and therefore churches and little men wandering round in silly horned hats are not required. That church is hoisted on it’s own petard and it couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of paedophiles. That said ALL churches are hoisted on their own petards, they have no remit to exist from the God they profess to follow, they should disband, ……. we are all in Heaven anyway, the only question is who will be allowed back once we have sorted the mess out. We have to prepare a place for them as he said himself. I believe in life not death, I have never spoken to a dead person and neither has anyone else.

  • persiflage

    ‘The Vatican’s decision to list women’s ordination in the same category as pedophiles and rapists is appalling, offensive, and a wake-up call for all Catholics around the world.’The Catholic Church under recent Vatican rule has become a complete parody of itself. The obsolete sacerdotal nonsense of an exclusive male clergy and ruling hierarchy has finally reached a nexus point of absurdity.Catholic women are advised to kick the existing Church to the curb……if they want men, give them men. Stop being timorous foils for all the hyperbolic, self-righteous Pontifical breast-beating, and bail. There is really nothing in this world as ‘beside the point’ as Vatican declarations of any kind. Such bullying tactics from the Church hierarchy are inexcusable. Rome reeks of unholiness and has shamed itself beyond redemption. Folks just have to stop tolerating this behavior, once and for all.

  • amicussponsi

    Why is it that the people who are involved in such movements for things such as womens’ ordination have only one focus – themselves? “The idea that a woman seeking to spread the message of God somehow “defiles” the Eucharist reveals an antiquated, backwards Church that still views women as “unclean” and unholy.”Hardly. The Vatican’s statement which includes the attempt to ordain a woman among the “delicta gravioria,” is not about women but about the sacrament. Just as defiling the Eucharistic Species is a crime against a sacrament, so is trying to ordain someone who is unable to be ordained.

  • janet_baker76

    “The Catholic church knows it has no future in educated, feminist societies, so it’s doing what it can to appeal to less sophisticated ones where they still hunt and kill witches and gays” a commentator wrote. It’s the ‘feminist’ and ‘gay’ societies that have no future! Look at the demographics of Europe now. We must hope the Church will be able to stand firm against the stupidity of feminism. As a woman who received her education thanks to the dedication of the Catholic Church in defending the rights of the poor, I appreciate the distinction they are making here. Feminism is such a dead-end! Women must be able to be mothers first, and men fathers, if we are to have a future, and feminists can’t stand that. Look at what feminism has done to us so far! Now we HAVE to do a man’s job, as well as our own. Our families are poorer and our kids are virtually parentless! We have no more protection such as the Church provided over all the centuries. No, enough. Let priests do that sacrificial job (that’s what it is) and let us reap the reward, as it should be. We are being served. Shut up and enjoy it for a change.

  • usapdx

    Women of the world have been and still are under the control of males and religions. Is the game plan here also for redrecting attention from one area ( the cover up of crimes of sexual abuse ) to another area?

  • dlong26177daledeb2124

    The only people who are “rattled” by such “controversy” in the Church are the so called ones, who wish to establish what has been well pronounced as a cafeteria style “church”. A buffet, which allows individuals to pick and choose what they want and not what has been handed down for over 2000 years of Tradition by Our Lord Jesus Christ. Yes there are shortages of priest, but God will provide to the faithfull who know what has been written and for all practical purposes is nowhere near antiquity. The antiquity comes in with trying to reestablish pagan belief, which the True Church stopped with Our Lords teachings. Pagan belief is the antique like a very bad remake of older films when one cannot come up with an intelligent reason for making a film. Read the Bible and you will see how much those teachings are not any where near being antique, but are present day and beyond. The Word.

  • GigiSorenson

    “Real” Catholic women know the Truth – it’s all about Him, not about us. I am in complete agreement with Janet Baker’s comments. Women who wish to be priests are only thinking of themselves. There are a plethora of opportunities for women to spread the Gospel, beginning with their husbands and children. Real women are not under the control of men; they teach and temper men to make them better persons than they would otherwise be. Outside of family opportunities, there are many rewarding and fulfilling opportunities to evangelize in the Church community, including PRAYER (Liturgy of the Hours, daily Mass, daily rosary), teachers in RCIA and Religious Education. Women have not been left behind in the Catholic Church. It was the Jesus and the Catholic Church who have always given women standing and prestige.

  • IowaMike

    Here we go again! By this time it should be clear to all that men can’t have babies and women cannot be priests! One is a biological fact and the other a doctrinal one.God Bless,

  • Sajanas

    Wow, there are some brainwashed people here.

  • losmacs2950

    The problem lies with a mentality that states that we all have the right to do as we wish, individually, and that institutions must cater to our will. This means that all Catholics have the right to ordination as clergy regardless of any and/or all circumstances.However, ordination is not about ones perceived rights. The fact that Christ chose only men as His apostles speaks volumes-as has been pointed out previously in a somewhat muddled post, Christ, as God, had the ultimate choice; the Church merely follows His example.No woman, or man, can legitimately claim the right to be a Catholic priest. God calls whom He will, and for almost two millenia He has called men, and because of a Latin-rite Church discipline, for the better part of a millenium, He has called only unmarried men. As a married man, with children and grandchildren, should I feel discriminated against? Not in the least, as my so-called rights don’t enter into the equation. I have no more right to ordination than does anyone else; It is Gods choice, not mine.Catholicism is not a cafeteria, where one may pick and choose which beliefs are most appetizing; one accepts all, or rejects all. And if the Church’s teaching is too difficult or onerous, then there are plenty of other religious organisations to choose from.No-one is forced to stay in the Catholic Church against their will, nor should one expect the Church to abandon more than 1900 years of teaching and doctrine simply to satisfy his or her personal whim.

  • Skowronek

    “The fact that Christ chose only men as His apostles speaks volumes-as has been pointed out previously in a somewhat muddled post, Christ, as God, had the ultimate choice; the Church merely follows His example.”Actually, we don’t know that is the case or not. If later disciples didn’t want women in the ranks, they could simply write them out. It’s not like women were taught to read or write in vast numbers. Not even many men were permitted to learn that, but the ranks were DEFINITELY closed against women. Every variety of ancient Christianity that advocated the legitimacy of women’s leadership was eventually declared heretical, and evidence of women’s early leadership roles was erased or suppressed. In Romans 16:7, the apostle Paul sends greetings to a woman named Junia. He says of her and her male partner Andronicus that they are “my kin and my fellow prisoners, prominent among the apostles and they were in Christ before me.” Concluding that women could not be apostles, textual editors and translators transformed Junia into Junias, a man.

  • losmacs2950

    ‘n Romans 16:7, the apostle Paul sends greetings to a woman named Junia. He says of her and her male partner Andronicus that they are “my kin and my fellow prisoners, prominent among the apostles and they were in Christ before me.” Concluding that women could not be apostles, textual editors and translators transformed Junia into Junias, a man.’According to my copy of the Vulgate Bible, the earliest translation extant from the

  • Renshaw

    So women who want to be ordained are only thinking of themselves but men who want to be ordained are not.And only men should be ordained because Jesus of Nazareth had only male apostles? So I guess we should carry this to its logical conclusion: only selfless men who were born near the Sea of Galilee and are Jewish should apply to be Catholic priests!

  • RobbyS

    “The Catholic church knows it has no future in educated, feminist societies, so it’s doing what it can to appeal to less sophisticated ones where they still hunt and kill witches and gays.”That the best you can do. WMARKW? You know that readers will take that as a reference to Africa, don’t you?

  • historyStudent1

    The Church has declared it does not have the power to ordain women as priests, and therefore it cannot. Much of the prior posts assume the Church has this power, but is not exercising it for mysogenist reasons. As the Church places great emphasis of on the Sacraments (the physical sign of an action that confers God’s grace), the abuse of a sacrament is considered grave sin. The conferring of Holy Orders is contingent on the person carrying out the Sacrament is empowered to do so, as well as the recipient is able to receive it.A cleric who attempts to perform an ‘ordination’ to a woman is exceeding his authority, and is knowingly abusing an Sacrament. The woman who receives the ‘ordination’ is mocking the intended Sacrament. It is for these reasons the parties are considered ex-communicated. The Church does not excommunicate, the parties by their actions have done so. What the Church does, is recognise the action has occurred.

  • Renshaw

    “A cleric who attempts to perform an ‘ordination’ to a woman is exceeding his authority, and is knowingly abusing an Sacrament.”But a cleric who rapes a child is not abusing his Sacrament of Orders so he isn’t excommunicating himself by raping the little boy or girl, huh? You try to defend this junk? You can’t see how this just continues to cycle of abuse to all of the victims of priests and bishops in this world? How dare you even try to defend them!”The Church has declared it does not have the power to ordain women as priests, and therefore it cannot. “Well, the “Church” can declare it does have the power too. What arrogance to decide what “power” it has over people! Of course, the act of oral and anal sodomy by its clergy is the real act of power! The more I think of this issue, the more sick I become!

  • lalaparousia

    A woman who only wants to be a priest because a man can, sounds like a little child complaining because she can’t do what her sibling can do.

  • Renshaw

    “A woman who only wants to be a priest because a man can”Or maybe she feels called by God but is thwarted by men who wear lacey dresses who seem only interested in protecting their own power structure and not in the people in the pews, especially in protecting the children.Fine, keep up your bigoted prejudice. You will trade the Sunday Eucharist for a male, celibate priesthood. Go ahead! Other religions were popular for thousands of years and died out. What makes you think yours won’t? Oh wait, you have the truth and nobody else does. I forgot. Only Christians are going to heaven, and Catholics in particular. That’s right. You guys believe in a loving God who created most people on this earth to fry in hell for eternity because 2/3 of the world population isn’t Christian.And your pope, who is supposed to be the Vicar of Christ – I believe the word “Vicar” means “in the place of” – he thinks Protestant Churches aren’t real Churches, that all Jews are responsible for Jesus’ crucifixion, that all Muslims are violent, and that priests who rape children and the bishops who cover for them should be protected at all cost. Yeah, what a Church you got!

  • WmarkW

    The idea of women priests is idiotic.What woman ever turned a cracker into a 2000-year-old Jew?

  • HCS_Knight

    Spot on by the Vatican. Though many lost “Catholics” and Protestant’s will disagree… but that’s to be expected by those who like to re-write the words and actions of Christ, the Apostles, and the Traditions handed down through the centuries – which by the way the Apostles said in the bible were important, valid and binding.What the Catholic Church needs more than anything right now is a cleansing of the non-Catholics from the pews who were falsely brought “home” to Rome and those cradle-Catholics who dont believe in the Catholic Faith or Tradition but rather their own faith and desires.It is the errors of interpretation and willful distortion of Vatican II by PRIESTS and laity that has most directly led to the homosexual and feminist “issues” in the Catholic Church.Christian’s who reject the Catholic Church would do well to remember two things: Christ left the ladies wailing in the night outside the wedding feast and said he did not know them; and though there may be many mansions in Heaven there is a gate, an eye of the needle, at which St. Peter stands that leads into Heaven .. and there is nothing but wide “openness” that leads to Hell…AMDG

  • losmacs2950

    When one gets right down to cases, those who are not Catholics have absolutely no right, and no business, commenting on a policy that concerns only the Catholic Church. Why? Because non-Catholics don’t have a stake in this at all-This concerns only the Magesterium of the Catholic Church, and should not be for public consumption (as a Catholic I would never consider publicly lambasting a tenet of, for example, the Baptist church-I don’t have the right). And while we’re on the subject, those who consider themselves Catholic don’t have any business arguing against the stated teaching of the Church. The Church is not, nor will it ever be a democracy. It is the visible presence of God on earth, receiving her teaching from Christ Himself through the apostles and their successors, the bishops.A Catholic who picks and chooses what he/she will believe is referred to as a ‘cafeteria catholic’, a perjorative that effectively means, no Catholic at all. One accepts all the teaching of the Magesterium of the Church, or none at all (in which case one is not Catholic); Our Lord Jesus said in Matthew 12:30, ‘He that is not with me is against me, and he that gathereth not with me scattereth’.

  • bobbruer

    Let me see if I get this right… you must have a penis to be a priest… but you are discouraged from using this divinely-bestowed appendage in the appropriate manners as prescribed by sacred texts. From a statistical perspective, how could anyone defend the notion that these rubrics do not promote the sexual abuse of minors?

  • dust2dust

    Anyone who contributes another cent to a vile perversion of Christianity has blood on their hands. With remarkable exceptions, we’re dealing with a pompous hierarchy that feeds on money, subordinates women and has repeatedly turned its back while children were subjected to unspeakable cruelty. Cut the flow of cash and homage to hypocritical, self-promoting, misogynistic managers and a glorious new church will blossom from the ineffable goodness of Catholic laity…and from an enormous number of honorable priests, nuns and former Catholics who abhor child abuse and support the ordination of Roman Catholic women.

  • Renshaw

    “Because non-Catholics don’t have a stake in this at all”I guess the priest-rapists only abused the Catholic kids, never a non-Catholic member of the boy scout troop, a non-Catholic kid who went to the parochial school or the neighborhood kid from down the street. Nice to know that you are so convinced that only the Catholic kids were raped.My kid was raped and we are Episcopalians. We thought sending the child to the local Catholic school would be a good thing. Ha! Were we ever wrong.

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