|This engine room telegraph is exactly like the one on the Titanic. In that case, after striking the iceberg, the Captain asked for full speed astern only on the port engines. That would be the left side engines. Hmmmm.|
We all knew this would have to happen, and I couldn't wait to see how Cardinal Policarpo of Portugal was going to wiggle out of his admission there was no theological reason women could not be ordained. After all he did sort of forget JPII said something totally different. I admit JPII's reasoning wasn't based in real theology but in personal belief babble, but he was pope, when he said the Church did not have the authority to ordain women he meant just that.
Taken from Vatican Insider, what follows is the Cardinal's response.
The reverse trend of Cardinal Policarpo: "the ordination of women is impossible"vatican insider staff Rome He had talked recently about women and the priesthood. Now Cardinal José Policarpo, Patriarch of Lisbon, goes back on his statements to the Portuguese magazine "Ordem dos Advogados" and explains his position. In a letter re-launched by Zenit news agency, the spiritual guide of Lisbon clarifies with regards to the ordination of women priests he is "in communion with the Pope."
During the interview, when consulted on the issue, the cardinal said that in his opinion “there is no fundamental theological obstacle” to the ordination of women, even though he stressed that “no Pope has powers in this regard. This would lead to tensions, and it will happen only if God wills it to happen and if it is in His plans”. (Which means what? God has to appear in person and ordain the pope to ordain women?)
In his explanation, Cardinal Policarpo acknowledges that he had never "consistently treated the question: “The reactions to this interview have forced me to consider the issue more carefully, and I found that, especially for not having taken into due consideration the latest declarations of the Magisterium on this subject, I gave rise to these reactions”. For this reason, Policarpo felt compelled to clarify his position with the faithful: “It would be painful for me that my words could cause confusion in our adherence to the Church and the words of the Holy Father. I believe I have shown that communion with the Holy Father is absolute in the exercise of my ministry ”. (So where does your communion with Jesus fit in?)
The Patriarch also stressed the "complementarity of men and women in the history of salvation," that "reaches its fullness in the revelation of Christ and Mary”. Rooted in the New Testament, the Christian priesthood, from the beginning, was bestowed only to men.
“The fact that there are no women among these cooperators and successors does not mean a minimization of women, but the search for the complementarity between males and females, fully realized in the relationship of Christ with Mary”. (Is he saying the real complementarity between males and females is not between man and wife, but son and mother?)
In the early days of the Church, the cardinal stated, "it is known that there was harmony between the apostolic priesthood granted to men, and the importance and dignity of women in the Church”.
For the Cardinal one of the causes for women’s claim to ordination is “the loss of awareness by all members of the Church of the dignity of the priesthood, thereby reducing the priestly expression to ordained priesthood”. (This is a situation fully endorsed by the Holy See who is terrified of the diminishing of ordained priesthood at the hands of educated laity.)
Another cause is “understanding the ministerial priesthood as a right and power, without perceiving that no man or woman can claim this right, by accepting the Church's call to this service, which includes the gift of one’s life”.
At first, when this issue came to light, "it was not excluded that it was an open question, or the attention that must be paid to the actions of the Holy Spirit, in the search for the mystery of the Church in the new reality”.
However, the most recent Papal Magisterium interprets this uninterrupted tradition of ordaining only men “not only as a practical way to proceed, which can change the rhythm of the Holy Spirit, but as an expression of the mystery of the Church, which we must accept in faith ”. (I guess the Holy Spirit will get thrown out of kilter if forced to work with women--or maybe I just don't get what the Cardinal is trying to say as this is a confusing translation.)
“We are therefore asked to observe the teachings of the Holy Father, in the humility of our faith, to continue to deepen the relationship of the ministerial priesthood with the priestly quality of all the People of God and discover a female way of building the church, in the critical mission of our sisters, the women”, Policarpo concluded. (The traditional 'allowed' female way of building up the Church is to pop out babies by the dozen, which by the by, is something Mary never did---or so we're told.)
The Vatican must be in quite the mood, because not only has Cardinal Policarpo reversed course, but in the upcoming Vatican synod on clergy abuse, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin is conspicuous by his not having been invited. Also according to Vatican Insider:
"Too radical in the methods used to combat sexual abuse of clergy. The Archbishop of Dublin and Primate of Ireland, Diarmuid Martin was not invited to the meeting on pedophile priests that is due to take place in February at the Vatican. Monsignor Martin is a bishop who is not loved by all departments of the Roman Curia due to his intransigency and excessive public visibility in sex scandals."
What I found interesting in the article on Martin is that while Martin is a favorite of the Pope for taking a hard line on clergy abuse, Martin is not liked at all by the Vatican Curia. As the article points out, this should not be too surprising since the Curia contains the likes of Cardinals Bernard Law and Angelo Sodano, two men who were coddled not by Benedict, but by his predecessor JPII. It seems Pope Benedict's Curia is not always on the same page with Pope Benedict. Snubbing Martin is pretty egregious considering he's one of the few in Catholic leadership anyone trusts on the abuse crisis.
But back to Cardinal Policarpo, the line that set me into gales of laughter was the line about Jesus and Mary representing the ideal of Catholic notions of gender complementarity. What ever happened to JPII's notion of gender complementarity being expressed by husband and wife in a sacramental marriage? I hate to think of myself as gender deficient because I never had a son, because according the Cardinal having had a daughter just won't do. Realistically, since the whole male gender thing with the ordained priesthood is taken literally, how am I not supposed to take this little gem literally. Please, somebody help me, is it sacramental marriage between a man and a woman, or is it the parental relationship between a mother a son, which fully expresses my womanhood? Oh well, never mind, I strike out no matter which way. I guess I'll just have to live with the fact God wanted me deficient as fully female. Or what ever.
Is it just me or is this Catholic craziness getting all too predictable? I might have to stop reading Vatican Insider because I might not be crazy enough to really be a Vatican insider. That's OK, because I'm in some good company. Archbishop Martin isn't crazy enough either.