20 November 2007

Miscellany, etc. & etc.

Miscellany & Commentary. . .as I browse around the Net catching up. . .

Transformed. Citing a story in the UK Telegraph on the "failure" of women in the Anglican priesthood, Uncle Di does his usual excellent job of dissecting the issues:

"It's true that women have made an immense and invaluable contribution to Christian churchmanship in recent years, but this contribution has nothing whatsoever to do with ordination. It is a consequence of the Internet, which has brought readers together with part-time and non-professional writers -- many of whom write nonsense, but many of whom on the contrary are women of deep piety, insight, and wisdom, and whose thoughts had little chance for expression fifteen years ago.

But women's ordained ministry, even on its own terms, has been an undeniable flop. Putting aside the fact, enunciated by Catholic doctrine, that sacramental priesthood is void for women, one might still expect that the opportunities provided by non-sacramental ministries would have thrown up someone of substance -- or at least lasting influence -- over the past couple decades. Yet we find no Margaret Thatchers and no Hannah Arendts and no Jeanne Kirkpatricks among the clergy but, in their place, a inordinately high number of women who are just plain daft.

[. . .]

The flakiness of women ministers is a flakiness with a characteristic edge to it. It flirts with paganism and expresses itself with a facetious worldliness. I suspect this is partly due to the fact that the churches that ordain women are pro-abortion, which means the whole spiritual dimension of maternity must be amputated. The glint of the new-sharpened knife is never far from their feminism. And as if by compensation for this ideologically obedient cruelty, the same persons often display a quasi-pagan sentimentalism about nature. Katharine Jefferts Schori, we're told, dresses like a sunrise, and many other priestesses cultivate a rapturous 'wind in the face' emotivism that takes the place orthodox Christian liturgy gives to the worship of God."

Margaret Sanger. A telling pic of the foundress of Planned Parenthood drawing inspiration from her philosophical and political roots.

Humility and Hospitality. Tom K. has up a nice little reflection on the gospel from the 32nd Sunday OT. We should all write to Tom and encourage him to produce homily helps for preachers. . .he's a Dominican after all!

Ratzinger, Scripture and the development of doctrine.
Mike L. has a great post up about our Holy Father's take on the interpretation of scripture. In fact, most everything I read on Mike's site is great. You need to add him to your blogroll if you haven't already!

With theologians like these. . . Gerald has up a post on Elizabeth Johnson's receipt of an award from Barry University's theology department. Just google E.J.'s name for all the reasons you will need for why this was a bad idea. Should anyone think that E.J.'s "theology" is out of the ordinary in contemporary academic theology circles these days, I got news for you: she's tame. Downright old-fashioned even. E.J. represents the Feminist Academic Establishment-- mainline 70's political feminism, "work within the system to change it," language=reality, so change the language and you change reality. Pretty boring stuff, actually. If you want the really, REALLY cutting edge theology, you need to be reading Richard Kearney's work, or Robert Barron's. Both of these guys are very well-read in literature and use novels, poems, films, etc. in their theological and philosophical work. Just darned good reads.

Fr. Z links to a pastoral letter written by Bishop Arthur Serratelli (Paterson, NJ) to his priests, exhorting them to be faithful to the rubrics of the liturgy. I think the Good Bishop has it all exactly right. . .well, except for that stuff about religious priests needing to wear an alb over their shiny white habits. . .

Dutch Dominicans. Fr. Ed Ruane, OP, Vicar for the Master of the Order of Preachers, has written a response to that brochure our Dutch brothers published earlier this year. If you will recall, the Dutch OP's were arguing that the Catholic Mass should become a Protestant memorial service, complete with lay presider (even in the presence of a priest) who is rotated out on a weekly basis. Fr. Ruane is a great Dominican and excellent theologian. . .but I have to say that the statement is a bit anemic. Of course, politics being what they are. . .

Also, I've added a few items to the PHIL & THEO Wish List. My mom bought me my Christmas gift back in May, so now I have to hit Pop up for a book or two before I jet off to my wonderful new Roman life. Check it out!

God Bless, Fr. Philip, OP

P.S. I should add: if you have a Facebook account, look me up and add me as a friend!


  1. "Flakiness" is not a reason to exclude women from ministry. I'm sorry - there are valid theological reasons for it about which we may or may not differ, but I do not think that any of them have anything to do with "flakiness", or lack of intellectual or spiritual capacity. When I see comments like that, it makes me wonder if indeed the feminists have it right - it's not about theology, it's about building oneself up by denigrating women.

    Father, this one is not worthy of you, and I'm hoping I missed the joke!

  2. Michelle,

    Thanks for commenting!

    Though I have to say that I'm not clear on what it is that you are objecting to...

    Uncle Di doesn't suggest that women be excluded from ministry on the basis of flakiness. Neither do I. No one that I've read here has suggested that women are intellectually or emotionally incapable of ministry. I have no need to build myself up by denigrating anyone...however, let me say: you are quick yourself to jump to uncharitable conclusions about my motivations.

    As I read Uncle Di, he is objecting to those sorts of women ordained by those sorts of churches that are pro-abortion, feminist, etc. These women do tend to be flaky AS ordained ministers. No one here is objecting to women in ministry. All of the objections are aimed at certain kinds of women who seem to be attracted to the ordained ministry. Question: have you ever seen or read about or heard of an ordained female "priest" who is uprightly orthodox, liturgical righteous, and morally conservative? No? Me either. Why is that, I wonder?

    Fr. Philip, OP