Women ordained by Roman Catholic priests: banned by the Vatican, approved by the people

28 Jul

The countries of Austria, Australia, and the United States have moved to the forefront in the struggle to open up the Roman Catholic priesthood to women and married men. Recently, an American priest who dared to ordain several women has been ordered stripped of his priesthood and excommunicated by the Vatican, and the ordained women have also been ordered excommunicated:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/23/world/23priest.html?src=me&ref=world

What is at stake for the Vatican here? Their absolute refusal to even consider the practical, pragmatic, and welcome suggestion of the ordination of women–despite the seemingly positive response to such a suggestion from Catholics worldwide–suggests an irrationality behind the rationalist defense of tradition and God’s will.

Further, sites such as
http://www.romancatholicwomenpriests.org/ and religious scholars assert that centuries ago women priests were not verboten, and thrived at higher levels within the Roman Catholic institution. Arguments such as that which insists there were no female disciples of Jesus, and therefore should be no ordained female priests rely on a specifically revisionist version of the Bible (indeed many feminist-oriented religious scholars claim that Mary Magdalene was an apostle, and that there was a New Testament book written titled in her name).

The rampant corruption and sex abuse scandal that has devastated the Catholic church and its followers worldwide would seem to suggest to the Vatican that changes are in order, relevant, and mandatory. However, as seen time and time again, bishops, leaders, and higher-ranking priests would rather continue to hide incidents of abuse and transfer the offenders rather than confront the widespread tragedy head-on. A woman as a priest is apparently more offensive, horrific, and sacrilegious than a serial sex-offending male priest. Such an absolutist, myopic position implies more than head-in-the-sand traditionalism, revealing  deep-seated misogyny, feelings of male superiority, and enormous fear of change and disempowerment.

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