Jaw-droppingly stupid and offensive

Dana over at North Shore Politics writes “although I am not even a practicing Catholic, I was offended by it.”

By what? This statement made this morning on ABC news:

What our viewers will notice is that, among these 115 cardinals, who are wearing what looks like women’s garb, that there are no women. That is something the next pope is going to have to address.

Says Dana: I was disgusted by that. How disrespectful for one (thing) and pompous for another.

I thought it was a stupid, thoughtless, biased, agendized and clumsy thing to say, myself.

Just to check, because I know sometimes I can be prickly and take offense where none exists, I sent the ABC blurb to my slightly left-of-center, very devout brother Thom, and his response was succinct: How astoundingly offensive.

Hmmm…seems the vote in unanimous.

Dana sees a connection between this morning’s remark and this, from Sunday night:

The night before the Catholic Cardinals were to begin their conclave to choose a new Pope, the U.S. broadcast network evening newscasts painted the role of women as the most important issue and gave a platform to left-wing church activist Joan Chittister. “The future of the church is now in the hands of 115 men. Some Catholic women find that offensive,” ABC’s David Wright asserted Sunday night in leading into a Chittister soundbite. Wright proceeded to showcase a woman upset that her unborn daughter cannot become a priest, before concluding: “Men and women may be equal in the eyes of God, but many Catholics say in the eyes of the church, there’s still a long way to go.” Wright gave a soundbite to a church defender, but not CBS’s John Roberts who sandwiched two denunciation from Chittister around touting how “a new CBS News poll finds the majority of Catholics think the next Pope should admit women into the priesthood, let priests marry, and allow birth control.” Plus, “52 percent of American Catholics think the church is out of touch.”
Sr. Joan Chittister has a lot of good things to say on prayer and the practice of monasticism, but she sounds very silly here.

I wonder about those polls. Somehow I figure they’ve polled the Upper West Side and pushed the questions. I wonder what sort of response they’d get if they polled, say, Nebraska. Or St. Louis. Or Denver.

Sr. Joan Chittister, who has been all over the television spouting off her opinion also said here: ” (if women are not allowed ordination) …we’re going to lose an entire generation of young women and we’re going to lose them quickly.”

Oh, sister, what HOGWASH! Seems to me the Church of England ordained women and STILL lost at least an entire generation of “young women” AND “young men” (is it worse to lose the women than the men?). That so-very-progressive Church will cease to exist in twenty years, but by all means, let’s jump on board the careening train as it jumps the rails.

All of these folks who are insisting that “the church must change and get with the times” are quite simply full of it. Those churches which have decided to live the age throughout the faith are falthering and flaming out – they lost all credibility when they decided that everything they preached for 2000 years didn’t really matter, after all. Female ordination has fixed nothing.

As I have said over and over (check out the feminism catagory) there are tons of opportunities for legitimate ministry for women in the church. Women’s voices have carried and supported and healed the church throughout the ages. No one is being oppressed, unless they want to think they are. And ordination is not the be-all-and-end-all, and it is not empowering. It’s supposed to be about service and self-abnegation, not self-actualization.

I am frankly so tired of hearing from atheists, agnostics, non-catholics and catholic “progressives” what the church “NEEDS to do,” or “MUST do” in order to become legitimate in their eyes. As my brother Thom says, scroom.

What the press is not telling you – will not cover – is that there is a true springtime occuring within the church, that for all of the hand-wringing about vocations, the numbers are up across the board, for female religious, male religious and priests. Worldwide, there are more seminarians studying for the priesthood today than in 1961. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a shortage – there is – the church has continued to grow, even during the past three decades of turbulence and lost vocations. But things are changing. Young adults are embracing orthodoxy and moving away from the tired, baby-boomer, it’s all about US, the laity rhetoric and daring to be truly revolutionary in proclaiming that IT’S ALL ABOUT CHRIST, not us.

There is nothing more radical and counter-cultural, particularly today, than a committed Christian willing to live in opposition to the times and mores.

The greying, one-noted boomers still think they are fighting the establishment. They don’t understand that they have BECOME the establishment, and they are being examined and found wanting.

One last remark by Sr. Joan: “We can’t say that we have answers from the 13th century, the 16th century, that can be applied now. We have to bring all of the people of the church into the discussion of these issues, or the church itself will be totally ineffective.”

With all due respect to the sister, God – and Faith and Truth – are outside of time. Fashion and cultural norms aside, the whole point of the Christ being ETERNAL, is that He is the same, yesterday and today, and tomorrow.

I can hear someone out there saying, “well, what about the meat-on-Friday’s routine! It used to be a sin to eat meat on Friday, and now it’s not.”

No. Actually, it was never “a sin” to eat meat on Friday. Here’s the truth: it has long been a discipline of the church to make a sacrifice on each Friday – the day of the week when Christ died – in reparation and also in order to be mindful, to be made mindful once more, that Christ died for us – (so that on Sunday we can be mindful, once more, that he Rose). For several reasons it became common for Catholics to give up meat on that day – remember meat used to be a big deal for people, a luxury, and a means of “treating themselves.” So, giving up meat might be considered an especially big sacrifice.

The Second Vatican council simply instructed Catholics to feel free in choosing their own sacrifice of remembrance on Friday. It could be walking or riding a bike instead of driving. It could be eating only bread and water for breakfast and lunch, or fasting, or turning off the tv, or reading an extra psalm…just something, some action by which one put themselves, once again, into a mindfulness of Christ’s gift to us.

Typically, as with pretty much everything else, what came out of the VCII was poorly taught by Rome and the progressives, who also ignored the council’s suggestion that new music be “intermingled” with the old, rather than the old simply thrown out, shouted: YOU CAN EAT MEAT ON FRIDAY, without telling the rest of it.

The fact is, nothing the church has put out there is mindless or useless – but so very much of it has been taught so badly, and it’s been badly taught for a long time. I’ve always said the Catholic church is its own worst enemy in that respect.

A little self-denial at the end of the week, in preparation for the Saturday evening to Sunday evening sabbath, is not a terrible thing.

And neither is an all-male priesthood.

Extra thought: Interestingly, Chittister has said repeatedly that she, herself, does not feel called to ordination, but she’s concerned for all of those women who DO feel called.

Although, now that I think of it , I know a lot of Catholic women, from all sides of the spectrum, and I’ve never heard ONE of them say they felt “called.”

I’ve heard them say they should be able to be ordained. I’ve heard them rant about what they want. But I have never actually heard a Catholic woman say she feels called. A calling and a craving are two different things.

To my way of thinking, if what you are experiencing is bringing negativity into your heart, it’s probably more of a craving than a calling, and a craving can originate from anywhere, including from the evil.

A calling from Christ cannot create anger, hate, distrust or negativity within you. There are no negatives in Jesus. What was it St. Benedict wrote in the prologue of his Rule, What, dear brothers, is more delightful than this voice of the Lord calling to us? See how the Lord in his love shows us the way of life.

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About Elizabeth Scalia