December 14, 2007

There's the hot stove league, and then there's the REALLY HOT stove league

Pope Benedict, GM of the Vatican crusaders, gleeful over trade of Steve-O to the Canterbury Caterwallers in return for Robbo-O and three players to be named later. "He's three starts away from Tommy John surgery, a bad influence in the clubhouse, and waaaay past his prime," said the Supreme Pontiff. "He's basically the Eric Gagne around here. Robbo will give us the late inning energy we need, kind of like Jonathan Pablebon, minus the beer, hookers, liturgical dancing, and mounds of blow."

THAT'S MY CHURCH, Steve-O (S)Edition: A number of questions to the Mail Sack on my take on the Diocese in California that voted to secede. My sense is this: two of the four most influential and important priests in my life have been women who, in that diocese, wouldn't have been eligible for ordination because...........what, we're afraid of women? Even as a kid I never bought the "well, Jesus only called men to the ministry so only men can be ordained" line. Because first of all, he only called people who were Jewish to be ministers, and his Pope was a married Jewish fisherman (something Benedict---who I deeply respect---kind of goes 0-3 on). And second, I don't see how one can read the crucifixion and resurrection stories and deny the role of the women. Sure, the men shared in the Eucharist, but when things got tough they all split, except for John. The women, not so much.

And I know, the ordination of women was not the "final" straw, but the first one, but at least to me that bears some type of insight on the accumulator of straws out there.

So the wine in the chalice in the Cathedral in Fresno bothers me not--whether the bottle is from Chile, Nigeria, Rome, Canterbury, New York, Virginia, or some weird acronym. Because what matters is what will happen to it, and that the blood will be mixed with tears over our eternal stubborness and willingness to fight over who sits at the right hand of the right hand in this endless and sad game of More Pharisacal Than Thou.

Posted by Steve-O at December 14, 2007 09:55 AM | TrackBack
Comments

Hey, don't argue with me, argue with JP II . . .

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_22051994_ordinatio-sacerdotalis_en.html

Hear him out; his reasoning does have some logic behind it. Were women present at the crucifixion? Certainly. Were women present at the resurrection? Certainly. Were they present when he named the twelve in Luke 6:12-13

Not so much . . .

Married priests is a different issue; that is and has always been a matter of discipline, not of doctrine, as there are a number of married priests in the Church as it is (pastoral provision, or the Eastern Rite churches).

As for being Jewish as a requirement, I'd say that the New Testament from Acts on pretty much answers that -- there is no jew and gentile anymore, which is also why Peter is permitted to eat lobster in Acts 11:7. Well, we don't know definitively that there was lobster, but we can imagine there to be lobster . . .

Posted by: The Abbot at December 14, 2007 11:13 AM

Mmmmm....lobstah....mmmmmmm

Posted by: Robbo the LB at December 14, 2007 11:19 AM

Ok, now you've asked for it...(Robbo, this is the woodshed moment you always desired)...fear not I shall tread very easy because I like you Steve-o...but the radish is coming you way (ask Robbo to explain)

First:

"My sense is this: two of the four most influential and important priests in my life have been women who, in that diocese, wouldn't have been eligible for ordination because...........what, we're afraid of women?"

No one has ev er underestimated the value of women and their capacity for great spiritual gifts, most of all our Creator and by extension, the Chruch His Son founded on earth, the Catholic Church.

But, your argument for female priests is not a theological one it is an experential (sp?) one...you have personally known and been helped by great female priests...fine, terrific. Guess what? So have I. One in fact one helped me make an enormous breakthrough in understanding the fullness of Christ's suffering on the cross...this would be the Rev. Flemming Rutledge...google her up and find out just what a gift she has...

However, we are not supposed to discern Truth through the lens of our experiences. Truth is suppose to be the lens through which we can discern our experiences.

As far as the argument that the Catholic Church is afraid of women in the priesthood...sometime try a little parlor game...change the word women...put in gay or lesbian (both words denote active lifestyle) instead...then try transgendered...then try one who likes group sex...then try one who likes sex with animals....at what point does the argument fall apart on who is acceptable for ministry. And for extra credit, what were the grounds for their accaptability?

Second:

"Because what matters is what will happen to it, and that the blood will be mixed with tears over our eternal stubborness and willingness to fight over who sits at the right hand of the right hand in this endless and sad game of More Pharisacal Than Thou."

Are you referring to transubstantiaiton here?

Because if you are, the Anglican Communion does not believe in it. Check out the 39 Articles and you will see exactly what they say and have always said about it since Thomas Cranmer wrote them...he did not believe in transubstantiation and was burned at the stake for his herectical belief by the Catholic Queen....he wrote the Communion service to sound as if it happens to please the peasants who had there church taken away from them overnight by their King...they were afraid of revolt among the people so they made it sound as if it really did still happen...but then if you publically stated it did happen, then you were considered a dissenter of the 39 Articles and the Church of England allowed the state to off you....

Then as the Church of England grew more tolerant they only prevented dissenters from not attending the colleges built by the Catholics, Oxford and Cambridge (this was right up to the late, late 1700's and they could if they wanted you, imprison you and of course, made you pay heavy fines for your belief in transubstantiation...oh and you couldn't be in Parlaiment...

So, I have to ask, considering the true and written belief of the Church on transubstantiation, exactly how does it occur? Does the Holy Spirit cause it to happen in spite of the Anglican Church'e teaching of the last 450+ years?

Then the Church's teaching on a most vital issue (an issue of Salvation) is in grave error.

Or, does the Holy Spirit allow the wine to be changed to blood in the chalice on a bishop by bishop, priest by priest, communicant by communicant basis...

Then, basically, the Anglican Church has made the chalice that is to bear the blood of Christ for the Salvation of all souls into Mary Poppin's bottle of medicine... it pours out a different medicine for each person based on their individual understandings and acceptances of God.

And it enures that everyone who approaches the chalice is NOT bestowed the same amount of God's grace. Some get the transforming blood of Christ, others get merely wine.

That would also be another grave error on a vital teaching.

Sorry, my conversion was a most rational. I hate emotion.

Posted by: Mrs. Peperium at December 14, 2007 12:00 PM

Sorry about all the typos...went to art school, not typing school.

Posted by: Mrs. Peperium at December 14, 2007 12:03 PM

Ah, ha, ha, ha! Today my name is Robbo Nostrodamus! (I warned Steve-O this was coming)

Posted by: Robbo the LB at December 14, 2007 12:04 PM

The game is engaged---radishes? What, you using a salad shooter or something?

Number of things, let's go one at a time. On the issue of sexuality and priests, I'll set aside your bestiality comment if you'll set aside my inevitable Altar Boy/Cardinal Law counter comment and treat it straight up (as a former altar boy in one of the "wink wink nudge nudge" diocese, I get to say that, no pun intended).

To flesh out the parameters of the argument, I'm assuming you are arguing that the only acceptable priest of God would be a naturally born male of the species who is committed to a vow of celibacy, regardless of whatever his orientation is sexually absent the vow of celibacy.

So question one would be (since you raised it) what would exactly be the objection to someone who had sex reassignment surgery, became a male in terms of plumbing etc., and undertook a vow of celibacy? Male plumbing, female chromosomes, culturally male. Would that conform to the Canons?

What of a person born male in terms of chromosomes who, through no fault of his own by some type of accident or something, no longer had the external plumbing, but was still willing to take the vow of celibacy? Male chromosomes, no plumbing, culturally male. Would that conform to the Canons?

So in terms of maleness, is it the plumbing or the chromosomes that drive the interpretation of Canon?

And yes, I'm being quite serious and not trying to be rude.

Posted by: Steve the LLamabutcher at December 14, 2007 12:53 PM

Abbott: The question in response to JP Magnus would be this: of these three events, which are more critical in the revelation of truth?

Posted by: Steve the LLamabutcher at December 14, 2007 01:03 PM

Steve-o, this will sound like a punt, but it's most sincerely not. I cannot due to Christmas engagements tonight take on your most excellent return...

Fear not, you have not been rude. Never forget, for 4 years I spent 9 hours a week drawing men and women in the buff and then I worked in Hollywood...oh and was an Episcopalian for 37 years...I've seen the elephant so to speak....

Posted by: Mrs. Peperium at December 14, 2007 01:27 PM

I will return throughout the weekend and next week and we can engage each other with a robustness enviable reminescent of the middle ages...

People have died for Christ, so there's no reason why we can't cross swords all in good fellowship and for the desire to understand Him and ourselves better....

Posted by: Mrs. Peperium at December 14, 2007 01:29 PM

I would think that presence at the Resurrection would be the most critical. Which is why there is no possible slight implied by refusing to ordain them.

Their ministry and witness is simply different. That, at any rate, is what the church has always believed.

Christ could have made women priests; it may well have been, in his prayer before appointing the apostles, on the agenda between him, the Holy spirit, and the Father. He could have definitively removed any question on the issue simply by making Mary Magdalene or his Mother one of the twelve. Unless we believe Scripture to simply be wrong on the issue -- in which case, why believe in any of it? Where Scripture is silent, why must we shout?

Certainly, in terms of holiness, both Marys certainly rank ahead of Judas Iscariot; I'd say that the church has pretty well defined that in the hierarchy of heaven, The Virgin Mary outranks Peter.

But the Queen of Heaven is not a priest; there is no evidence of her saying Mass. Why is that? Perhaps it is a job not meant for women for reasons we cannot understand. Perhaps it is not a role dignified enough for women -- consider that in the Old Testament, the job involved the ritual slaughter of animals and in the New, the offering of oneself in the person of the Lamb. It involved the risk of death in approaching the Ark. We commend Abraham for offering his son, out of obedience, but if Isaac were a daughter, would we not consider him a monster?

Perhaps we will be fortunate to have it explained to us should we ever attain Heaven.

It is certainly not a requirement of a person's salvation that they become a priest. If we can gain heaven, who wants or needs the job of priest?

I am canonically ineligible to become a priest because I am married. I think in some respects I would make a good priest; I speak well in public, I am generally sympathetic to people when they confess their problems to me, and I am unimpeachably orthodox in my beliefs.

But that isn't the rules. I am ineligible due to being married. I suppose, in a way, this is even more unfair than if I were a woman, as there have been in the past and are now currently married Catholic priests.

Do I complain about it? No. Those are the rules. Rome has spoken, the case is settled.

Posted by: The Abbot at December 14, 2007 01:48 PM

Steve-o, per:

"So question one would be (since you raised it) what would exactly be the objection to someone who had sex reassignment surgery, became a male in terms of plumbing etc., and undertook a vow of celibacy? Male plumbing, female chromosomes, culturally male. Would that conform to the Canons?"

In this situation, the Canons do not even come into consideration. The *man* himself has made himself unfit for the priesthood. Why? Because he did not conform his life to his own God-given sexuality. All priests must conform their lives to the Truth. This priest by changing her sexuality has blown any vow of serving God because she served herself first by altering her God-given sexuality. When someone goes to the most grave length of surgery to become the sex they believe they were born to be, they are stating in essence, "God you made a very grave error when you created me in my mother's womb." That's a profound statement to make to God. A person doing that will also have other problems with God's decisions...

That person is the kind of person totally unfit for the priesthood because he will not serve God. Serving God is the true function of the priest, in spite of all the wink, wink, nudge, nudge bad priests through history...

Do remember because this is important, for all the bad priests there have been, there have been millions of more of holy ones. And probably tens of 1000's of Sainted ones.

"What of a person born male in terms of chromosomes who, through no fault of his own by some type of accident or something, no longer had the external plumbing, but was still willing to take the vow of celibacy? Male chromosomes, no plumbing, culturally male. Would that conform to the Canons?"

Of course.

So in terms of maleness, is it the plumbing or the chromosomes that drive the interpretation of Canon?

It is the individual soul that drives the interpretation of the Canons.

But you are correct that I uphold the teaching that men are to be priests.

Posted by: Mrs. Peperium at December 15, 2007 02:54 PM

Steve-0, a interesting and not long article related to the sex change question. The guy who wrote it is the head shrink at John Hopkins :

Surgical Sex

http://www.firstthings.com/article.php3?id_article=398&var_recherche=surgical+sex

John Hopkins no longer performs sex changes because the operations, after 25 years of performing them, did not help the individuals reach their personal goals of integrating more fully into society.

Posted by: Mrs. Peperium at December 15, 2007 03:00 PM

"So question one would be (since you raised it) what would exactly be the objection to someone who had sex reassignment surgery, became a male in terms of plumbing etc., and undertook a vow of celibacy? Male plumbing, female chromosomes, culturally male. Would that conform to the Canons?"

No, because that is classed as self-mutilation. Cathechism of the Catholic Church, 2297: "Respect for bodily integrity

2297 Except when performed for strictly therapeutic medical reasons, directly intended amputations, mutilations, and sterilizations performed on innocent persons are against the moral law."

This is based upon Leviticus 21:16. "And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:
21:17. Say to Aaron: Whosoever of thy seed throughout their families, hath a blemish, he shall not offer bread to his God.
21:18. Neither shall he approach to minister to him: If he be blind; if he be lame; if he have a little, or a great, or a crooked nose;
21:19. If his foot, or if his hand be broken;
21:20. If he be crookbacked; or blear eyed; or have a pearl in his eye, or a continual scab, or a dry scurf in his body, or a rupture.
21:21. Whosoever of the seed of Aaron the priest hath a blemish: he shall not approach to offer sacrifices to the Lord, nor bread to his God.
21:22. He shall eat nevertheless of the loaves that are offered in the sanctuary.
21:23. Yet so that he enter not within the veil, nor approach to the altar: because he hath a blemish, and he must not defile my sanctuary. I am the Lord who sanctify them."

"What of a person born male in terms of chromosomes who, through no fault of his own by some type of accident or something, no longer had the external plumbing, but was still willing to take the vow of celibacy? Male chromosomes, no plumbing, culturally male. Would that conform to the Canons?"

It depends; if, for example, you have lost your fingers or even a hand, you may not be ordained (or, if it happens after ordination, you may have to seek permission to be allowed celebrate the Mass):

"Impediments to ordination to the Priesthood

Impediments to the priesthood are divided into "irregularities", which are permanent unless removed by the competent authority and "simple impediments" which may pass with time without action of an ecclesiastical authority. Canon Law also lists various impediments to the exercise of a priesthood that has already been conferred. T he bishop can remove most irregularities and simple impediments, except for those involving public apostasy, heresy, or schism; abortion or murder, even if in secret; and existing marriages. Irregularities that cannot be removed by the bishop can be removed by the Holy See.

Irregularities
Mental illness that prevents fulfillment of the duties of the priesthood.
Physical incapacity to perform the rites of the Church. A priest must have his hands to celebrate the sacraments. He must also be able to ingest the wheat host and the wine. (A complete gluten intolerance, for example, is an impediment).
Apostasy, heresy or schism. Previous rejection of the faith which was public and notorious is an impediment.
Attempted Marriage. The attempt to marry despite an existing valid marriage or vow of chastity, or the marriage to a woman who had an existing valid marriage or vow of chastity forms an irregularity even after the death of the spouse.
Participation in an abortion or murder. Any prior act, statement, financial or moral support which contributed positively to a specific case of successful abortion or murder is an impediment. This could include driving a woman to the abortion clinic or paying for her abortion. Paying taxes to a state that funds abortions would generally not be considered a "positive" contribution to the abortion.
Attempted suicide, self mutilation, or mutilation of others. Any premeditated attempt at suicide disqualifies one as a candidate for ordination. The act of mutilation must be "graviter et dolose" in order for it to be an impediment (cutting off a hand or foot, castration, etc.) (Can. 1041, 5)
Attempt to perform an act proper to the priesthood or episcopate. This applies to hearing acts such as hearing confessions, presiding at marriages, etc. when one has not received the proper ordination to do so.

Simple impediments to ordination
Previous marriage. This applies to Latin Rite priests and bishops and Eastern Catholic bishops only. All previous marriages must be declared null, or the spouse must have died. In the case of a deceased spouse, most bishops require that the children be raised to adulthood before the man can undertake a vocation to the priesthood.
Political office or other positions that a priest is not permitted to occupy. This impediment disappears as soon as the candidate is no longer in office.
Recent baptism. The bishop must determine when a newly baptized person is sufficiently mature in his faith to undertake an ordained ministry in the Church.

Irregularities to the exercise of the priesthood

Reception of ordination with an irregularity. If the irregularity is not brought to the bishop's attention before ordination, a priest might be ordained who has an irregularity. Such a priest cannot exercise his ministry until the irregularity is removed.
Apostasy, heresy or schism that occurs after ordination, if this act is publicly known.
Commission of acts that would have led to an irregularity.

Simple impediments to the exercise of the priesthood
Reception of ordination with a simple impediment.
Physical or mental illness that prevents fulfillment of the duties of the priesthood, until the bishop determines that the priest may resume the exercise of his ministry."

So, if you're genetically and somatically female, you cannot have surgery and continuing hormone treatment to make yourself male and be ordained. If you're male, there may be impediments to ordination - say you had undergone a vasectomy, then this would be an impediment, unless you got it reversed. What it boils down to is that it's based on the instructions in Leviticus for the Aaronic priesthood (and they say Catholics don't read the Bible!)


Posted by: Fuinseoig at December 15, 2007 07:07 PM

Dynamite fishing. Oh, my.

Posted by: Robbo the LB at December 16, 2007 09:42 PM