WomenPriests and their supporters: “Strike three and you’re out!”

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It’s pretty easy to tell that the folks over at the National Catholic Reporter (NCR) aren’t happy campers these days. Some of their heroes fighting on the front lines for women’s ordination are being “disciplined.”

According to a recent NCR article:

A longtime peace and human rights activist arrested countless times, Franciscan Fr. Jerry Zawada has been removed from public ministry for concelebrating Mass with a woman priest in 2011.

Poor Fr. Zawada! After all he’s done over the decades to promote the cause of social justice. He’s been jailed numerous times and now at the age of 76, one would think the Vatican would overlook Fr. Zawada’s minor infelicity for merely concelebrating “Mass” with the Roman Catholic “WomanPriest,” the Rev. Ms. Janice Sevre-Duszynska.

The enemy in the NCR’s narrative is the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), which reviewed documentation related to the November 22, 2011 “Mass.” NCR obtained a copy of the CDF’s private letter which stated:

Having carefully examined the acts of the case, and the vota of the former Minister General and the Rev. Zawada’s Provincial Superior, this Dicastery has decided to impose on Rev. Jerome Zawada, OFM, a life of prayer and penance to be lived within the Queen of Peace Friary in Burlington, Wisconsin.

The letter also forbids Fr. Zawada from presenting himself in public as a priest or celebrating the sacraments publicly. However, Fr. Zawada is allowed to concelebrate Mass with other friars at the friary and in private.

Zawada isn’t too pleased. He told the NCR:

I don’t mind the prayer part, but when they called, when they say that I need to be spending time in penance, well, I’m not going to do penance for my convictions and the convictions of so many others, too.

Apparently, CDF isn’t going to wink and ignore any priest who concelebrates “Mass” with so-called “WomenPriests.”

And that’s only the cases that the priests involved have made public.

“You’re out!” the umpire yells after a batter takes three strikes.

And, by the way, the baseball season opens today.

Perhaps those priests who support the cause for the ordination of women should place their money on the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series this year. Both have about an equal chance of happening anytime soon.



To read the NCR article, click on the following link:

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  1. I am embarrassed for the priest and the woman. For a woman to be ordained, she would have to have testicles. Consecration at the Mass would have to be “This is a symbol of my Body” As Flannery O’Connor said: “If the host is only a symbol, it can go to hell” The Real Presence of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, is present on the altar in every Catholic Church. Without the Real Presence, there would be no Catholic Church. And the devil would dance at his wedding with this liar.

  2. Inherit in the word priest is the fact that a woman cannot be a priest. Now she may be a priestess. But Christ never ordained priestesses. So being a priestess is non-Christian.

    A man on the other hand cannot be a priestess. He may however be a priest, and since Christ ordained only men, this is fitting.

    I see this same sort of thing happening elsewhere. For example, Allison MacFarlane is called Chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. But being a woman, she cannot be a Chairman – a man who sits in the Chair over the other four US NRC Commissioners. She can however be a Chairwoman – a woman who sits in the chair over the other four US NRC Commissioners. Likewise a man may be a chairman but never a chairwoman.

    In the same way a woman cannot be an actor or a hero. She may be an actress or a heroine. Likewise a man cannot be an actress or a heroine, but he may be an actor or hero.

    This mix up in gender terminology is a confusion done deliberately to perpetuate the mistaken notion that men and women are equal in function. They are not. However, all humans – men and women – are created equal in dignity. Nevertheless, Robert Heinlein in his Notebooks of Lazarus Long has a particularly interesting take on this:

    “Whenever women have insisted on absolute equality with men, they have invariably wound up on the dirty end of the stick. What they are and what they can do makes them superior to men, and their proper tactic is to demand special privileges, all the traffic will bear. They should never settle merely for equality. For women, ‘equality’ is a disaster.”

    That a woman can be a mother, bringing new life into the world, lends a certain credence to what Heinlein wrote and is likely what he intended. Indeed, being a priest (or even priestess) will not make a woman equal to a man, and even if it did, as Heinlein indicated, women would ultimately end up with the short end of the stick. But such ideas are anathema to today’s contraceptive, abortive mentality held by most modern women and not a few modern men.

  3. “Perhaps those priests who support the cause for the ordination of women should place their money on the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series this year. Both have about an equal chance of happening anytime soon.”

    I disagree. The Cubs have a much better chance of winning the World Series this year. It may be about 10,000 to 1, but at least the Magisterium of the Church doesn’t forbid it (although long-suffering fans might sometimes wonder about that!).

  4. The womanpriest cannot fulfill the desire of God to “give us this day our daily bread”, the petition of The Lord’s prayer taught to us by Jesus, and does not act “In persona Christi”, in the person of Christ. The womanpriest cannot act in the person of Christ or confect the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, to give us this day our daily bread, because she is a woman. Jesus Christ is a man, true man and true God.
    A woman who will not accept her sexuality is only half a person and unfit to serve in any office of the Catholic Church. And anyone who encourages her to reject her womanhood is evil.
    This is the will of God and of Jesus Christ, the God made man.
    Paul W. Primavera: “Inherent” is the word you are looking for because the truth inheres in what you say. The truth may also be “inherited” and the truth is our heritage. So, we are both correctedly.
    Baseball is good after Mass.

  5. Paul W Primavera wrote, “Inherit in the word priest is the fact that a woman cannot be a priest. Now she may be a priestess. But Christ never ordained priestesses. So being a priestess is non-Christian….” Unfortunately, your point does not work in Latin, where “sacerdos” is common gender.

    That is why I have always found the claim that the early Church did not ordain women for cultural reasons.
    Priestesses were very common in the ancient world. The most revered sanctuary in Greece was the shrine of Phœbus Apollo at Delphi, where the oracle was uttered by the Pythian priestess. Readers of Plato will know that the temple of Zeus at Dordona was also served by priestesses. Both Apollo and Zeus, it should be noted, were male deities. The play “Iphigegnia in Taurus” contains no suggestion that there is anything unusual in a woman being a priestess.

    In Latin, as I said, the word “sacerdos” is common gender. The SC De Bacchanaliis of 184 BC, which is preserved in monumental inscriptions, as well as literary sources, forbids women to offer sacrifice by night, except when celebrating the rites of the Good Goddess. Why, if they were not permitted to offer sacrifice at all? That the Vestals were priestesses is affirmed by Gaius, a very careful jurist and the Sybil at Cumæ was a priestess, according to Vergil.

    It would be a cheap display of very trite learning to multiply examples, but the cultural argument really does not wash.

  6. I meant to say, “That is why I have always found the claim that the early Church did not ordain women for cultural reasons implausible.”

  7. MPS, your right. Sacerdos, anistes, antestes (a variant in spelling), consacerdos (concelbrant) include both genders. Antistita however is high priestess exclusively.

    Agricola – farmer – suffers from a similar problem. It is first declension which is usually feminine, but it can refer to a male farmer (as most were men).

    I wonder about Koine or New Testament Greek, however. The masculine word presbyteros was used to refer to priests or elders in the New Testament. Doesn’t iereia however mean priestess (unless I am mistaken)? Is there a presbytera variant that the ancient Greeks used?

  8. Paul W Primavera

    English “priest” and Latin “presbyter” are the same word – in Old English it was “presbt” It is from Greek πρεσβύτερος or elder.

    Now, Latin Presbyter was used of priests in contradistinction to bishops, whereas sacerdos embraced both and is invariably used in liturgical texts. The root meaning of sacerdos (from sacer) is one who sets something apart for the gods, particularly offered in sacrifice. Sacer can mean hallowed or accursed, for, in either case, the notion is of something or someone given over to the unseen powers.

    You are right about ἱερὸς being masculine, but, in the NT, it is used exclusively of the Jewish priests, never of Christian ones. Some Protestants famously use this to dismiss the idea of a sacrificing priesthoos in Christianity at all.

    Antistes is Latin from anti-sto to stand before and means a leader or overseeer; it is a literal Latin rendering of ἐπίσκοπος. English bishop is simply the Anglicised form of the Greek – the shift from hard c or k to h also occurs in cornu-horn from the same Indo-European root and in centum-hundred.

  9. “The longtime vegetarian and his girlfriend passed away in their Berlin bunker.”

    What does this guy’s record on peace have anything to do with the story? (I’d make the same comment about his human rights activism, but that’s where the problem lies: they see the priesthood as a human right.)

  10. Thank you, MPS! I knew that the Greek epi-skopos meant literally “over” “seer” from “epi” and “skopos” respectively (skopos going into our English word scope as in telescope).

    I did NOT know however that the Latin antistes was a combination of the verb antire (to go before – anti being the imperative singular go before) and the verb stare (to stand – sto meaning I stand). I studied Latin and Greek, and obviously I still have a lot to learn. Thanks you! Fascinating!

    I still think however that the idea of a Christian priestess would have been anathema to the Apostles and early Church Fathers. And I simply cannot all these woman “priests” when they are not.

  11. Strike three indeed. This is not an issue of human rights or equality of men and women. The Church has stated that She [notice the gender] has no ability to ordain women as priests and bishops. It is not that she refuses or won’t; she cannot. Therefore these women and their male supporters are talking about (and practicing) something that simply is not Catholic. Period.

    These women are not celebrating Mass, or consecrating hosts-they are doing nothing but baking cookies!

  12. Thank you Paul W. Primavera and Michael Paterson-Seymour. I have enjoyed your exchange immensely.
    “And I simply cannot call these woman “priests” when they are not.”
    It is not that the women are not priests, it is that they are blasphemers, telling God instead of following their vocation..

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