These two things are not like each other.

The Vatican has declared that the attempted ordination of women in the Catholic Church is a crime.

I don’t agree, but I’m not Catholic or indeed religious so my view on the crime of attempts at ordaining women is irrelevant. But I do have a view on this:

The new rules put attempts at the ordination of women among the “most serious crimes”, along with pedophilia.

They update a 2007 CDF decree, according to which those who attempt to ordain women – and the women concerned – are subject to automatic excommunication.

Apparently ordaining women is a “crime against sacraments” [anyone Catholic who can explain this?] whereas p*dophilia is “a crime against morals”. Which seems to mean that you won’t automatically be excommunicated for it if current Church practice is anything to go by. One good thing to come out of this is that the “Vatican also issued new rules on the handling of sex abuse cases on Thursday. It ordered quicker investigations of pedophile priests and extended the statute of limitations by 10 years to 20 years after the victim’s 18th birthday.” So perhaps some more victims will be able to get justice, or at the very least heard and believed.

You would think that a Church that has members actively wanting to join the Priesthood, in a Church where there is a worldwide shortage of priests, would at least be considering those members. But instead it brands them criminals.

Categories: religion

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4 replies

  1. Disclaimer: I’m not a member of the Roman Catholic church; I have some Catholic sympathies but am definitely not a fan of the Vatican.
    I think the argument about ‘crime against sacraments’ goes like this: Ordination is a sacrament, a ritual action in which God is believed to be active and which is invested with huge significance; the continued performance of sacramental acts in a theologically sound way is essential to maintaining the church. Allowing women to be ordained would corrupt the theology of ordination and thereby threaten the validity of the church. (Kind of like saying that allowing same-sex marriage threatens the whole ‘institution of marriage’, I guess.)
    So the ordination of women is a threat to the church; paedophilia is ‘only’ a human problem. There’s a real lack of proportion here.

    • Claudine, thanks for such a clear explanation of the significance of the “crime against sacraments” school of thought. I see the logic of their position now, and it’s just another reminder that logic built on shaky premises is dodgy as all get out.

  2. Lack of proportion, lack of morality, lack of basic humanity.

  3. My Mum was born and raised Catholic, and she’s spittin’ chips about this one. She’s so very, very mad. Me, I come to expect this kind of crap from the Catholic Church. People really need to tell the Pope to go ride off in his Popemobile, cause the heart of Catholicism is at the community level. I mean, you know, nuns helping women in need, helping them get abortions and saving them from being beaten by their husbands and shit. And the churches that accept homosexual parishoners and stuff. They do exist. There might be more of them if the Pope wasn’t such a friggin’ bully.
    Me, my spirituality leans to Gnostic Christianity, so I really can’t parse the offense of ordaining a woman. Women were integral to the early Christian Church, running many of the earlier churches from inside their own houses, under the nose of the Romans. I mean, Jesus himself taught Mary Magdalene directly (in gospels of the time that were cut out because the Roman Church, interested only in controlling people, didn’t like them), and his own mother is blessed. So women are good enough for carrying the Messiah to term, raising him and bringing him into this world, but not spreading his word? How does that make ANY sense? It doesn’t to me.

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