Today’s Philadelphia Inquirer features yet another story of some people who just don’t get what it means to be followers of Christ. Today two women are pretending that they are becoming priests in a ceremony presided over by another woman pretending to be a bishop. Stories like this drive me crazy because these people (and it’s not just women, believe me) are rejecting their vocations as lay people and wanting to do something they aren’t called to do.
What these ladies are failing to see is that the Church founded by Christ is guided by the Holy Spirit and given full authority to decide the rules for who can become priests. By their outright rejection of this authority, they are literally spitting in the face of Jesus and thumbing their nose at the authority of the Church that they claim to follow. If they would take the time to study the teachings of the Catholic Church, especially those emanating from Vatican II, they might understand the importance of the laity to the mission of Christ. They might also see that they, and all baptized Christians, are already priests by their sharing in the Jesus’ threefold role as Priest, Prophet and King (Catechism of The Catholic Church para. 871). However, as with all the laity, they are called to perform this role in the home and in the workplace ; a place where ordained priests are not able to go. Their ignorance and stubbornness is actually depriving the people around them of the ministry that is rightfully theirs to give. Way to go ladies!
If it sounds like I’m angry at this story, you are correct. I’m angry that they are making a mockery of The Faith that means everything to me. I’m angry that these people and many others view The Church as some sort of a business, which it is not. The fact that women will never be priests (and they won’t because it was infallibly proclaimed numerous times; most recently by Pope John Paul II in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis) doesn’t mean that women are inferior to men. It just means that they have different roles to play.
If these ladies, and others who rebel at other Church teachings such as celibacy and artificial birth control, really want to follow Christ they would do well to recall His example of humility and obedience. He was God, but He volunteered to do a very lowly and painful job, the redemption of sinners like you and me. These priestly “wannabees” and everyone else who wants to be their own Pope should listen to the words of St. Paul as he urges all Christians to imitate the humility of Christ.
Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus, Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil 2:5-11)
Read the full story here.