To the editors:
Before addressing my main reason for writing, let me commend the Reader for running your article on priest-pederasts [May 24, 1991]. This was a well-researched, though frightening, article and its publication was in every sense a public service and a fine example of unbiased reporting. I hope that this will help prod the archdiocese into a much needed housecleaning.
Not so unbiased however, was the article "A Silenced Woman" [January 3]. I have no real problem with the publication of polemical pieces like this though as long as space is provided for a response from the other side. If you do not publish this letter, then I sincerely hope you publish another that covers much the same ground.
What makes one Catholic and what is the Catholic Church?
Just as feminists quickly sidestep the a priori issue of murder and portray abortion as a matter of choice, so too does Robert McClory sidestep the issue of what the Catholic Church is before trying to change it.
He quotes Rosemary Radford Ruether saying, "To claim that Jesus established a centralized, monarchical, unchanging institution is just nonsense." Yet this interpretation of Matthew 16:18-19, that Christ founded a church headed first by Saint Peter and the apostles, is absolutely central to the doctrines of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. Ruether argues for a "discipleship of equals" and says that the choice of Matthias to replace Judas as one of the 12 is somehow proof of this. Matthias was chosen to be what? More equal than the other coequal community of believers? Absolutely not. He was chosen to a position of leadership and this choice was "ratified" as it were by the holy spirit on Pentecost. (This is an important precedent because the receiving of the Holy Spirit by Matthias on Pentecost is the basis of the whole idea of apostolic succession.)
Later, Donna Quinn claims "I am the church! It's my church!" Begging her pardon, but isn't it, or shouldn't it be, Christ's church? And didn't Christ appoint Peter his vicar on earth? Ultimately it comes down to whether or not you believe in the apostolic claims of the successor to the throne of Peter, and no point could be more central in differentiating the Catholic Church from other churches no matter how close they are otherwise.
Furthermore, the idea of a "male-dominated hierarchy" makes sense only if one rejects the Catholic belief that the Holy Spirit guides the Pope and bishops and believes that they make all these decisions all on their own. I, for one, would not want to belong to a church run at the caprice of any uninspired group of men or women!
Sister Weind's insistence that it was the parish that wanted her to lead the Good Friday service is less than irrelevant. The Church exists to lead the people out of their own selfish desires to the eternal truth in Christ, not the other way around. Does not the Bible warn against the whims of crowds and the disastrous influence of fads? Was not Christ rejected by his own people because he was not the sort of messiah that they wanted?
The wonderfully predictable thing about articles pushing for ordination of women is that they resort to the use of polls. Let's ignore the self-evident point that truth is not determined by popularity and look at these polls. They say that 56 percent of Catholics favor women's ordination. Just who are these Catholics? Are they pious men and women who accept all of the other teachings of our Holy Father including the unpopular ones reining in sexual license? Are they churchgoing souls who would not think of missing a Holy Day of Obligation? Are we even pretending that they are people who have fulfilled their yearly obligation of going to confession and taking communion at least once during the Easter Season (and I mean real confession, not the popular fraud of "group absolution")? I would wager that if we polled those who have fulfilled what the church calls its minimum obligation (not those who claim to be members, but those who demonstrably are members) not one in ten would favor women's ordination. Mostly what these polls tell us is that enormous numbers of people, having no shred of Catholic belief, still call themselves Catholic.
Let us keep in mind that the business of the Church is the saving of souls. Ordination to the priesthood is not necessary for the salvation of an individual's soul. Most often this clamoring for women's ordination reeks of self-aggrandizement. Christ would not call a woman to a vocation not open to her and, assuming the genuineness of the Catholic Church's apostolic succession, reports of women receiving "a call" are spurious and prove nothing. We may know with certainty, however, that the Church has taught that obedience is a primary virtue.
Who are all of these people coming to Sister Weind's defense, anyway?
Are they impartial experts, well versed in the issues and chosen from among a large field? No, they are more in the nature of coconspirators. All of them have long histories of association through a LaRouche-like jumble of organizations, Wall Street-style interlocking directorships, a litany of common speaking engagements as well as through the evanescent Women-Church. To give you an idea of the incestuous nature of the alphabet soup of Radical Feminist organizations, at one time six of the groups represented in Catholics for a Free Choice's notorious New York Times ads (NARW, CCW, IWT, Catholic Women for Reproductive Rights, Justice Campaign and NCAN) were using Sister Quinn's CCW mailing address. One thing that would seem to mark all of these organizations is their strident clamoring and dissent. Compare this, if you will, to the attitude of humble self-sacrifice of the faithfully Catholic, yet equally left-wing, Catholic Worker's Movement. These "radical" organizations are always talking about justice and poverty, but the Workers are actually doing something about it!
Rosemary Radford Ruether, described as a leading theologian, is the de facto founder of Women-Church. It would be difficult to even call her a Christian since, according to a 1975 autobiographical essay, she says she has rejected the "doctrine of the personal immortality of the soul," (perhaps the most central doctrine of all Christian faith) and admits that her main purpose in staying in the church is to subvert it. She is now openly active in the proabortion Catholics for a Free Choice, after denying this association for some time. At the 1987 Women-Church Convergence she called for a boycott of the Pope's yearly collection, Peter's Pence, and instituted her own "alternative" fund, Mary's Pence. Sister Weind was promptly installed on the Mary's Pence board of directors.
Sister Donna Quinn, head of the ultraliberal National Coalition of American Nuns as well as CCW, was a featured speaker at the 1987 Women-Church Convergence. She and Ruether were both listed on CFFC's proabortion amicus curiae brief filed before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Women's Ordination Conference coordinator, Ruth Fitzpatrick, was one of the organizers of the Women-Church coalition's pseudo-eucharist at the 1986 Women in the Church Conference in Washington. This ceremony was so steeped in pagan ritual and dancing, as well as trendy "politically correct" gestures, that it had ceased to resemble (fortunately, I suppose) an actual Eucharist. Sister Teresita preached a sermon at this same Women in the Church Conference.
As for Sister Teresita Weind herself, her long association with these Radical Feminists and their organizations should put an end to Mr. McClory's attempt to portray her as a beleaguered little nun, all alone in the world, who didn't mean to cause trouble and only did what the congregation wanted.
It should be obvious by now that author Robert McClory keeps taking his bucket time and again to the same well for opinion and comment. This is hardly reporting, and in all fairness we should count him among the good sister's defenders.
Is Ordination the Real Issue?
The real issue here is not women's ordination, rather it is the whole complex of issues involved in allegiance to the Holy Father. Women's ordination is a Trojan Horse for the secret agenda of Bourgeois Liberalism and Radical Feminism that is antifamily, antilife, and favors sexual excess and deviation. It is no mere coincidence that Father Carolan not only allowed a woman to play at the priesthood, but also "welcomed the gays, the lesbians, the remarried couples . . ." It makes sense that when Sister Weind got the chance to preach she should harangue the congregation about "racism and women's inequality" as if these sins were more prevalent or destructive than greed or licentiousness or the pervasive hedonism and indifference to human suffering that grip our society. I am sure that the same parishioners who encouraged Father Braxton to " . . . find some loophole so that she and others could continue to preach," would also encourage him to find loopholes in humanae vitae so that they could use birth control, or in Sollicitudo Rei Socialis so that they could continue their unbridled consumerism. (Does it strike anyone else as ironic that these dissenters first ask Father Braxton to "find a loophole" and then, when he does not and follows the spirit of Rome's regulations, they call him "legalistic"?)
Ultimately, the radical feminists would see fit to do away with the Christian idea of sin altogether and preach "New Age" paganism. Time and again one reads of pagan ritual at Women-Church Convergences, Gnostic Eucharists at Women in the Church Conferences, and ritual magic workshops at Women's Ordination Conferences. Is this the agenda of the sincerely Catholic?
Original Sin is more than a mere tempting to sexuality, it is the temptation to do what you will, indulge yourself, "be like Gods." Since the time of Christ, Gnostics like Simon Magus or his modern counterparts like Rosemary Ruether have been trying to deceive gullible Christians with their "autonomous selfhood." "Everyone a God" is the very essence of Satanism/Paganism.
The signs that liberalism is taking us down this route are becoming ever more self-evident. Mary Daly, one of the first and most vocal proponents of women's ordination, is now a witch. Limina (a local, supposedly Catholic, women's organization) is already sponsoring pagan "coming of age" rituals at Mundelein College centered around the "Triple Goddess." It is surely self-evident to these neo-pagans that they must bore from within to destroy Christ's Church, so that, at long last, sin and vice may not be called by their real names.
Perhaps our only hope is that the pious will keep in mind that they are not supposed to change the Church, the Church is supposed to change them.