The Pope Women Priests and Pedophiles

Is it possible that they missed that detail or that it is just old news? Or could it be the fact that Francis recognizing that women’s ordination is a grave offense against the church doesn’t fit their media narrative and their attempt to kidnap Pope Francis for their own ends?

Secular critics of this move fail to understand the remit of the new college. The office’s role is to examine offenses against the sacraments. Therefore the cases that come before them will deal with priests who  profane the Eucharist, those who violate the seal of the confessional, and those who offend against the sacrament of Holy Orders. The Vatican has no power to criminally prosecute pedophile priests, but they can discipline them for violating the sacrament of Holy Orders and (if the crime happened in the confessional) the crime of violating the sacrament of reconciliation. Bishops who attempt to ordain women and women who simulate being ordained are therefore considered by the same disciplinary group in the church. Their crime is of the same order even if it is not of the same severity.

The Pope has set up a of court to hear cases that violate the sacraments. This is not to equate the sexual abuse of a minor with women’s ordination anymore than having the same civil court rule on both traffic violations and rape is to equate the two crimes.

There are therefore, two items of interest here. First the perception that Francis the Reformer is “finally doing something about priestly sex abuse” He’s not. He’s completing the reform initiated by Benedict. When the history books come to be written I feel sure that most substantial reforms Pope Francis makes will be seen to have been initiated by Pope Benedict.

The second item of interest is Francis’ attitude to the ordination of women. Last week in the Philippines when he affirmed the church’s teaching on the artificial contraception and spoke against same sex marriage the progressives were dismayed, disappointed and angry. It will be the same with his resistance to women’s ordination.

On the now famous plane interview where he said of a priest who was struggling with same sex attraction, “Who am I to judge?” Pope Francis also spoke about women’s ordination saying, “That door is closed.” By his action of keeping the crime of women’s ordination under the authority of this new office for discipline he is affirming that women’s ordination is indeed a grave crime against the sacrament of Holy Orders, against the eternal priesthood and against Christ and his One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic church.

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