Women priests, Bishops and Delicta Graviora ( No- Not a new type of gravy)

Catholic Church doctrine on the ordination of ...Image via Wikipedia

The Church of England has decided to ordain women Bishops sixteen years after giving the go ahead to the ordination of women priests despite there being a risk of schism. 
You can read more on this from the BBC here and an article plus comment section from Sally Barnes writing in The UK Guardian  here and another by Emma John ( also from the Guardian) from here

Meanwhile The Vatican considers even the mere thought of women priests being ordained so heinous a crime that when it releases new rules that govern matters of sexual abuse by clergy they are expected to include the ordination of women under the delicta graviora, the same category of grave sin that governs sexual abuse by priests. 

 Multiple news agencies have also reported that, in addition to sex abuse crimes, the  updates to Canon law documents will include the attempted ordination of women as a "grave canonical crime.”
In 2007, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a decree declaring that anyone who attempts to ordain a woman -- and the woman seeking to be ordained -- incur automatic excommunication. The provisions of the 2007 decree are expected to be included in the new instruction.

Read this article in Religion Dispatches by Mary E. Hunt, Ph.D., a feminist theologian who is co-founder and co-director of the Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual  in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA. A Roman Catholic active in the women-church movement, she lectures and writes on theology and ethics with particular attention to liberation issues.

For those unfamiliar with the issues at stake this is a good site

Further recommended reading here  and here

In a society in which we are discouraged from discussing and resolving  the truly outrageous things that are going on in the world, it’s perhaps inevitable that people will contrive to be offended by the triviality of which sex should be priests and bishops.

Yet it saddens and sickens me to the pit of my stomach that I am living in such times when my church equates women's ordination as a serious crime on the same plane as sexual abuse by priests .

There will be a day, I believe and pray, when such matters are resolved and women will have full ministry of the ordained priesthood in the Catholic Church.

This site also gives both sides of the theological arguments for AND  against  women priests


Tim said...

Dear Phil, being Catholic only by proxy of you and so many other marvelous friends--many of them women, most of whom are as soundly, theologically astute as any man I know--I can only respond to this news from afar. But that roar of outrage you're hearing from the outer courts? It is I and, no doubt, thousands of non-Catholics like me.

But this Vatican's determination to ignore the will of its people, to say nothing of the guidance of God's Spirit, will stoke the Faithful's urgency for change. A Gospel without relevance is no Gospel at all. Indeed, one that proclaims bad news for its people--especially those grappling with a divine calling to serve--might be considered an anti-Gospel. This grieves the heart of God and troubles the minds of His people.

It will not stand. The wheels of change are starting to turn. The early turns are slow and hard, pushing against so much inertia. But the closer they get to optimal speed, the quicker change occurs. Then, when God's power comes into play, change becomes inevitable.

We keep praying and pushing. The corner the RCC must turn--as well as other equally egregious corners in other denominations--may be closer than we think.

Have faith, dear sister!

claire said...

I am reading these days a fabulous essay by Karl Rahner written in 1962 and entitled, Don't Stifle the Spirit!

It was not much like in its time by the Vatican. It would not be these days either. But those officials in the Vatican stifling the Spirit should be worried. It is not a good thing to do what they do...

Thank you for everything available here.