30 March 2009

Abortion is holy work: following our inner-Episcopalian

Chris Johnson of MCJ notes the recent selection of The Rev. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale as the president of the ill-named Episcopal Divinity School. Johnson notes that Ms Ragsdale is a pro-abortion priestess of the Episcopal Organization. . .a rather radical supporter of abortion, in fact. He asks:

How radically pro-abortion is Katie Rags? This radically pro-abortion:

[From a Ragsdale homily]: "And when a woman becomes pregnant within a loving, supportive, respectful relationship; has every option open to her; decides she does not wish to bear a child; and has access to a safe, affordable abortion – there is not a tragedy in sight — only blessing. The ability to enjoy God’s good gift of sexuality without compromising one’s education, life’s work, or ability to put to use God’s gifts and call is simply blessing.

These are the two things I want you, please, to remember – abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Let me hear you say it: abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done.

I want to thank all of you who protect this blessing – who do this work every day: the health care providers, doctors, nurses, technicians, receptionists, who put your lives on the line to care for others (you are heroes — in my eyes, you are saints); the escorts and the activists; the lobbyists and the clinic defenders; all of you. You’re engaged in holy work."

This is evil.

Please keep in mind faithful Catholics: this woman is a priestess in an ecclesial community that many of our own R.C. "Spirit of Vatican Two" brothers and sisters admire for its wonderfully relevant theology; its attention to "prophetic ministry;" and its democratic polity.

The E.O. didn't end up in the suicidal chaos it finds itself in now by accident. Progressives and radicals engaged in a systemic dismantling of the E.O.'s canon law and tradition with the irregular "ordinations" of 11 women in 1974 in Philadelphia. (Those Catholic women "ordaining" themselves on the boats are imitating these "ordinations.") But long before these acts of rebellion, the theological foundations of a once-beautiful ecclesial community were rotted away by modernist theological dissent on fundamental dogma; episcopal complicity with heresy in the ranks of bishops; compromise with sexual libertines and moral disease; and finally, the adoption of radical feminism and Marixism as legitimate Christian worldviews and foundations for church revolution.

The E.O. is hemorrhaging membership and money. They are mired in hundreds of lawsuits with orthodox dioceses and parishes over property and assets. The Presiding Bishop, a radical feminist, Ms Katherine Schori, is deposing and firing in violation of the organization's canon laws fellow-bishops who oppose her. The organization has been declared "out of communion" with almost 2/3 of the rest of the Anglican Communion for its diabolical violations of scripture and tradition (the E.O. ordained a divorced, "partnered" homosexual man as bishop of New Hampshire). It's venerable Book of Common Prayer is due for yet another overhaul and this time the plan is to scuttle the whole thing in favor of a three-ring binder designed to allow parishes to "cut and paste" as they see fit. One diocese has elected (yes, elected) as its bishop a man who is an Episcopal priest and also a Buddhist priest. Another diocese supports an Episcopal priestess who is also a practicing Muslim. . .this Episco-Muslim teaches scripture at Seattle University, a university "in the Jesuit tradition." And this once venerated ecclesial community has replaced its Christian moral theology with the dubious Utopian fantasy of the United Nations Millenium Goals--a grab-bag of Marxist, globalists "Genie in a Bottle" socio-economic engineering outcomes that will be achieved and administered by the highly efficient, penny-pinching, subsidiarists of the U.N.'s threadbare bureaucracy. Nothing to fear in that!

Folks, this is the folly Catholic dissidents would have the Roman Church imitate. This is where the Obama-Catholics would lead us.

Mark Shea, summarizing Ss. Augustine and Aquinas, says it best, "Sin makes you stupid." Once you have abandoned the possibility of objective moral standards and rejected the reality of intrinsically morally evil acts, preaching the holiness of child-murder is just a step away.


  1. Anonymous6:54 AM

    Oh man, that IS downright evil. I become more and more convinced that the majority of people do not understand or appreciate sex. I would never deny that bearing a child takes courage. It takes courage even in ideal circumstances, and courage when the mother's situation may be dire.

    Motherhood places profound demands on your body, mind and soul but what you offer in parenthood is nothing that you did not FIRST give completely in sexual union. No one has the "right" to contractually negotiate so that love might not have too great an impact in their lives. You can't jump off a cliff by halves.

    No one has the right to be insulated from the effects of their choices, and it becomes even more absurd when the consequence of a choice you make yields a fundamentally good thing.

    Sorry, Ms. Ragsdale, but showing someone the escape hatch to jettison another human life isn't saintly. The crisis pregnancy center workers, pastors, family members, midwives and doctors who love and support a woman so that she can embrace who God has created her to be? They are the saints.

  2. Wow - pretty graphic and descriptive of the type of Church we'd have if the ARCC and Call-to-Action types were to ever get their way.

  3. Demonic, plain and simple. God help her.

  4. Would you please stop calling these women "priestesses?" Would you call a woman judge "Judgess?" A female President "Presidentrix?" The use of feminine endings only insults the women who hold these positions by emphasizing that they aren't men, and by implication defective. You don't have to accept or endorse the ordination of women, but please don't be insulting.

  5. Kit,

    These women are not Christian priests. Most of them do not hold to any identifiable Christian doctrine. As far as I can tell, they are clergy for a gnostic sect.

    My use of the term is not meant to be insulting...merely accurate.

  6. maryclare9:36 AM

    Dear Father P,
    Hear hear! I could not agree more. I spent twenty or so years in the liberal twilight/desert/hell because I thought it was possible to be catholic and also hold another view.... which made me both heretic and in a state of mortal sin on two counts. Its bad enough if you do it to yourself but when those who perport to be in ecclesial leadership roles teach an anti-christian message and are actively leading folks in the wrong direction... who needs 'ol nick' with so called christians doing the job for him.
    Regards maryclare :-)

  7. Anonymous10:03 PM

    "Most of them do not hold to any identifiable Christian doctrine."

    This is simply not true. The majority of women priests in the Anglican communion hold at least some (if not most) of the same doctrinal positions you hold. It's the same creed they profess.


  8. MD,

    I was an Episcopalian for almost 15 years. I was told more than once by priests and two bishops: "Profess the Creed, believe what you want." Professing the Creed and believing/preaching it are two entirely different things. If this woman is willing to get into the pulpit of an allegedly Christian church and declare before God and her congregation that murdering a child in the womb is a blessing from God, then she is priestess of Moloch not Christ.

    Are there truly Christian women serving as priests in the E.O.? I'm sure there are. But I'm willing to bet this month's stipend that a quick scientifically designed survey on fundamental Christian belief would show that an overwhelming majority do not.

  9. pardon me friar....

    I'm fleeing the vacinity, it's an uncontrollable reflex.

  10. maryclare3:23 PM

    Dear anonymous... does adherance to part of the creed make one partly or wholly christian... and if so which part? (Another trick question!) This is one of the reasons I could not be an anglican/episcopalian as there is no final authority to say that as as anglican/episcopalian this is what one should believe and to deviate from that means that you are no longer be called an anglican/episcopalian unless you hook upwith the sola scriptura baloney. One needs to look at how the anglican communion came into existance... after her father Henry V111 had started the ball rolling as it were,Queen Elizabeth 1st wasn't bothered what folks believed, not wanting to 'look into mens hearts',only that they outwardly conformed to the prescribed state religion. Having once removed the authority of Peter, it became 'open season' to debate change or remove any doctrine that one didn't agree with. James 1st was a very protestant monarch, allowing for much more change than even his predecessor. And so it has continued unto the present day... (imagine that intoned in pious pseudo gregorian tones)when you don't even have to be a christian to be an anglican/episcopalian but you can be at best doubtful, or possibly agnostic, to actually being almost an atheist but trying to have yourself some kind of 'insurance policy' just in case the Almighty does exist, to actually being a practising member of another faith entirely such as buddhism, islam, zen, reiki, wicca,
    freemasonary, etc.etc.
    To be fair and a tad more serious though,there are many real and sincere christians within this communion and the same sort of rubbish is going on within the Catholic church BUT at least over matters of belief Dogma and Doctrine there is the God given authority of Peter to say what a catholic should believe and to believe otherwise means that this person has defacto excommunicated themselves. We need to have the faith and courage of the martyrs and preach the real Gospel and refute error where we see it both within the Catholic Church and amongst our bretheren in other churches whether we are lay people or priests or religious.
    Reach out to people in compassion, attempt to start from where they are in terms of belief but don't lets insult them or God with anything less than the Truth. For too long there has been 'wooly' and very 'fluffy round the edges' thinking and preaching and indeed behaviour in the mistaken idea that it will encourage folks to come to church or to stay in it even though their salvation is not assured because they have been encouraged to try to compromise with the Gospel... God is not a democracy and whilst He is indeed merciful I'm not sure that 'I compromised' will cut the mustard on judgement day. The scipture "Listen to what the Sprit is saying to the churches..." this is what keeps coming into my head when I write thus. This is the lukewarmness that Jesus refers to, and it is so insidious and corosive and so repulsive to Him. And unless we ALL rise and refute it, challenge it and nail it with our prayer and preaching of the Gospel many will never reach Heaven or even Purgatory. And the time to do so is Now. This is the commision to all Christians to "Go preach the Gospel to all nations.." and as St. Francis of Assisi put it " Go preach the Gospel and if neccessary use words". We must get our own lives in order being steadfast in prayer, and assiduously receive the Sacraments so that we are strong enough to do this. If my sad wanderings in the liberal desert/hell have driven me to tell people this then any suffering endured (self-inflicted) will have been turned to Gods purpose, even though I remain eternally contrite
    that had I been obedient then God could have put that 20 years of so to much better use.
    Sorry Father P if I have strayed into homily territory but I have a fire in my bones that drives me to say this, and if I have said anything which is contrary to what you think should be on the blog then this comment is for your eyes only, but it would be great if you could let it be seen.
    Regards (albeit rather long windedly)
    maryclare :-)

  11. Anonymous9:20 PM

    Fr. Phillip,

    The study has been done, and certainly the Anglican clergy are far less orthodox when queried point by point on the Creed than RC clergy. You would not be surprised to note that age cohort correlates well with orthodoxy (measured against the Credo). Interestingly, in a given cohort, the women are more orthodox than the men. If you're going to use the "priestess" tag for these women on the grounds that most are wholly un-Christian, you should find a similarly loaded and disparaging tag for the men, as they are on the whole less orthodox even than the women (and I would argue it's really not justified as the majority do profess many points of Christianity) - to do otherwise does smack of sexism.


  12. MD,

    You had to know this question was coming: where's the beef? IOW, cite the study, please.

  13. Anonymous8:09 AM


    I'm glad of your passion and depth of love for the Church and the Truth. I'm not an Anglican apologist, however. I am Roman Catholic and fully intend to remain one.

    Fr. Phillip - I could, of course, ask you the same thing, since your use of a quantitative frame prompted my comment. Leslie Francis is the acknowleged expert in this and is well published in the field. There is also a survey "The Mind of Anglicans" which has similar results (though it is unweighted, which means that it's less reliable).


  14. Joshua D.11:04 PM

    Fr. Phillip,

    The biggest problem with the Anglican Communion American Province is that it is no longer being governed by Christians in the majority. That is the fault of those who were more worried about numbers of seminary graduates than priests truly called to serve at God's altar. It is also the fault of people who were so eager to be accepted into the intellectual fold rather than be willing to be fools for Christ. I am an Anglican who has watched this happen with great anguish and embarrassment. At the same time, I cannot help but observe that this is happening on a much larger scale within the Roman Catholic Communion, especially within the Jesuit Order and Latin America. It is incredibly important that the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church be willing to be fools for Christ rather than compromise the blood of the martyrs with the acceptance of internationalists and politicians. John Paul the Great's major accomplishment was bending his knee to God and moving at the direction of the Holy Spirit against the grain of the New World Order and thus subverting Communism in Russia and Eastern Europe. Likewise, priests in the Americas, Africa, and Asia must not persist in wavering in their faith - the authority of the Pope can only extend so far and the regional politics of the R.C. can subvert the actions of many faithful popes from afar - the attachment to liberation theology by many of them is often no better than the paganism of those who seem to be in control of the hierarchy of Episcopal Church. On a side note, I hope and pray for the reunification of the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches and a purging of the chaff from the wheat. The divisions in the Body of Christ do nothing but hurt our witness to a sick and dying world in desperate need of God's Love.

    Joshua D.

  15. I do not see why "priestess" is a disparaging term. Yes, it emphasizes that they are women, but why should you think that makes them inferior?

    Several Marian titles use a feminine form - for example "mediatrix" rather than "mediator" - and I certainly don't find any offense either intended or given.

    Keep up the good work, Fr. Philip!