Despite their claims to the contrary, organizers behind Sunday’s scheduled world-wide protest “A Sunday Without Women” are promoting women’s ordination and the boycotting of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass within the Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon. Promotional material for the event reads:
Catholic women of the world unite. September 26 is the day to boycott Mass and pray for greater inclusion of women in the Catholic church.
In her misguided call to empty pews in the hope of “making the powers that be think again”, Irish convert and instigator of the protest, Jennifer Sleeman recently noted that she herself, “Had always had questions about the fact that women could not be ordained.”
And again, this statement of purpose:
“Stay at home and pray for change. We are the majority. We may have been protesting individually but unremarked on, but together we have strength and our absence, the empty pews, will be noticed.
Whatever change you long for, recognition, ordination, the end of celibacy, which is another means of keeping women out, join with your sisters and let the hierarchy know by your absence that the days of an exclusively male-dominated church are over.”
And so too, some believe here.
The pro-women’s ordination group sponsoring the protest, One Spirit ~ One Call, along with the local chapter members of the dissident church reform organization Call To Action are asking for help in “talking up” the event in every parish throughout the archdiocese. And as if this breach of fidelity and communion weren’t serious enough, they have/are now recruiting help in contacting and promoting “Sunday Without Women” at Catholic high schools and colleges, as their website memo clearly reveals:
Last week One Spirit ~ One Call was shared at the Call to Action meeting. Other organizations and groups we are working on getting in touch with are the Catholic high schools and colleges in the area and, of course, all the parishes. If you have contacts or would like to take the lead in contacting and “talking up” this event to any of these groups, please get in touch with Julie Granger: [E-mail omitted]
Despite an Infallible declaration that ensures the subject of ordaining women to the Catholic priesthood is settled matter and will never change, some don’t accept this portion of church teaching as final, or fail in their duty to support and enforce it. And thus, the true reality that false ordination of women is grave sin punishable through excommunication becomes further obscured within the hearts of the faithful. Especially, when events such as this one are allowed to be promoted within the archdiocese beforehand, and at times with the carefully worded support of parish priest’s. For example:
Rev. J. Mosbrucker
In the Gospels, we hear Jesus treat women with respect and equality. Paul continues this attitude toward women, especially in the phrase “there is no longer male or female…”. It is time for the Church to reclaim this Gospel message. One Spirit-One Call is an opportunity to begin the dialogue to reclaim this status for women in the Church. I support this event as a beginning in this process.
Rev. Robert W. Krueger
Women have the human right, also a right recognized in Catholic Church law, to express the pain of the inequality they experience in the church and their opinions for change to their bishops and other Christian faithful. One Spirit~One Call will be an opportunity for women to make this expression clearly and strongly. I gladly endorse the event.
Msgr. Charles Lienert, Pastor, St. Andrew Catholic Church
I support the event on September 26 that calls for increasing the awareness of injustice to women in the Catholic Church. Women are equal to men in the eyes of God through creation and baptism.
Despite some of his own pastor’s backing the demonstration on Sunday, it appears that Archbishop Vlazny is opposed. Local’s here will remember that His Eminence was previously bush-whacked 3-plus-years ago by members of this same chapter of Call To Action with their secretly organizing the non-ordination (and subsequent self-excommunication) of Toni Tortorilla–and that, on the very same day His Imminence was personally ordaining authentic priests. Yet, nonetheless, all this will remain baffling for the faithful, and understandably so, if it’s true as has been reported that supporting pastors of the current protest will not face any disciplinary measures.
I for one would not recommend criticizing His Imminence… I do recommend contacting the Archdiocese with your concerns. And especially this one:
The nature of Catholic dissent and action has changed. And faithful Catholics would do well to make this fact known to their pastors and shepherd’s. In this case, Archbishop Vlazny.
The Spirit is guiding us as we plan and organize. We believe that One Spirit ~ One Call has the potential to become more than an event; it could the beginning of a new movement among God’s people and within the Church. We will contribute positively to reform and renewal in our Church. One Spirit ~ One Call will continue to use women’s wisdom and processes, inviting women to begin holding small gatherings to share their stories and name their hopes and dreams for the church. These small gatherings will begin in October and November; what comes out of the One Spirit ~ One Call Circles will guide us. When the time is right, we imagine we will enter into dialogue with the hierarchy. This all needs to be discerned and we will engage in a discernment gathering on the Feast of Christ the King, Nov. 21, at St. Charles Parish.
This all sounds too familiar to the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis with this Saturday’s past convening of the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (CCCR). A new organization that the Archdiocese find necessary to warn the faithful about:
It has come to the attention of the Archdiocese that a group calling itself the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (CCCR) is planning a 2010 ‘synod’ in the Archdiocese entitled, ‘Claiming Our Place at the Table’.
While the agenda for the proposed synod purports to be an exploration of the role of baptized Catholics within the institutional Church of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, it is not being conducted under the auspices of the Archdiocese, the universal Roman Catholic Church, or any entity or organization affiliated with the Archdiocese or the universal Roman Catholic Church.
The Archdiocese wishes it to be known that the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform, the 2010 synod, and individuals endorsing the same, are not agents or entities of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis or the Roman Catholic Church. Moreover, the Archdiocese wishes to lovingly caution those members of the faithful participating in the ‘work/study groups’ and intending to attend the synod of the potential that the issues on which CCCR will seek reform are magisterial teachings of the Church, and are therefore to be believed by divine and catholic faith. The Archdiocese also wishes to remind the faithful of its need to shun any contrary doctrines, and instead to embrace and retain, to safeguard reverently and expound faithfully, the doctrine of faith and morals proposed definitively by the magisterium of the Church.
As Obama Pushes Abortion and “Gay” Agenda, L.A.’s Cardinal Archbishop Hosts Many Speakers Who Undermine Catholic Teachings on Those Issues
ANAHEIM, Calif.,March 15 /Christian Newswire/ — “Our committee is calling all Catholics to come join us and oppose Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony’s latest dissent-fest,” says Kenneth M. Fisher, chairman of Concerned Roman Catholics of America, Inc. (CRCOA). “He’s going to make tens of thousands of Catholics hear Faith-subverters, the kind who get people to defy the Church on abortion, homosexuality, contraception, New Age practices and ordination of women.”
Fisher announced that on Saturday, March 20, 2010, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., his group will picket Cardinal Mahony’s annual Religious Education Congress, the world’s largest training event for Catholic schoolteachers.
(The Congress will be at the Anaheim Convention Center, March 18-21. The Saturday protest will be outside the Center’s main exhibit hall. CRCOA will supply picket signs to picketers.)
Fisher said, “Many of the presenters aren’t objectionable, and Cardinal Mahony does have a few well-known ‘token’ orthodox Catholic speakers. But he’s also bringing in speakers with long track records of dissent from Catholic doctrine.”
“Cardinal Mahony’s pro-gays, women-priest advocates, New Agers and anti-Pope rebels will tell Catholic educators what to teach,” Fisher warned. “Then the teachers will go home and infect countless innocent Catholic children with those errors.”
Fisher said CRCOA members will hand out flyers that expose speakers who dissent from the Church’s doctrines. Here are some of Cdl. Mahony’s 188 speakers:
A non-Catholic, far left, pro-contraception speaker who’s said we don’t need to ban aborting babies and who’s advised U.S. senators and representatives on how to get believers to vote for pro-gay, pro-abortion Democrats
A laicized priest who dissents from “a wide range of Church teachings” and wants women priests and women bishops
A nun who called Catholic doctrine against non-marital sex “a fixation.”
A Catholic priest who told the 2005 REC that “we” need “public models” of “healthy gay priests for Catholics to reflect on.”
“Why is Cardinal Mahony promoting such speakers?” Fisher asked. “Shouldn’t a cardinal make sure his speakers are loyal to the Church?”
Fisher invites faithful Catholics to join CRCOA’s peaceful, prayerful protest by calling him at: 714-491-2284 or e- mailing him at: crcoa@dslextreme. com. To get on CRCOA’s group e-mail list, go to: crcoa@aweber. com.
“I attempted to handle this matter in a private, respectful and fraternal manner with Bishop Gumbleton. It is unfortunate that what should have remained a private matter between two bishops of the Catholic Church has been made available for public consumption.
I want to first of all say that my decision to ask Bishop Gumbleton not to come to Marquette had absolutely nothing to do with the group who invited him to speak, Marquette Citizens for Peace and Justice, nor with the topic of his publicized speech, since the Church is a strong advocate of peace and justice. I am sorry for the negative impact this has had on those planning this event.
There is a common courtesy usually observed between bishops whereby when one bishop wishes to enter into another bishop’s diocese to minister or make a public speech or appearance, he informs the local bishop ahead of time and seeks his approval. Only on October 9 did I receive any communication from Bishop Gumbleton, after this situation had already become public.
As the Bishop of the Diocese of Marquette, I am the chief shepherd and teacher of the Catholic faithful of the Upper Peninsula entrusted to my pastoral care. As such I am charged with the grave responsibility to keep clearly before my people the teachings of the Catholic Church on matters of faith and morals. Given Bishop Gumbleton’s very public position on certain important matters of Catholic teaching, specifically with regard to homosexuality and the ordination of women to the priesthood, it was my judgment that his presence in Marquette would not be helpful to me in fulfilling my responsibility.
I realize that these were not the topics upon which Bishop Gumbleton was planning to speak. However, I was concerned about his well-known and public stature and position on these issues and my inability to keep these matters from coming up in discussion. In order that no one becomes confused, everyone under my pastoral care must receive clear teaching on these important doctrines.
I offer my prayers for Bishop Gumbleton and for all those who have been negatively affected by this unfortunate situation.”
by Archbishop John Vlazny/Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon
At heart we Catholics are a sacramental people. The whole liturgical life of the church revolves around the Eucharistic sacrifice and the sacraments. These sacraments have both a visible and invisible reality. The visible reality is the way in which they are administered and received. The invisible reality is God’s grace, the precious gift of God by which we share in his life and through which he shows us the way to salvation.
Sacraments are not simply holy rituals that people of faith have devised over the centuries. We do have such actions but we refer to them as sacramentals. Holy water, blessings with ashes and veneration of sacred objects fall into this category.
Sacraments are different. Again, the Catechism of the Catholic Church instructs us that “the sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the church, by which divine life is dispensed to us.” The old Baltimore Catechism definition which many of us learned in our youth was even simpler, “Sacraments are outward signs instituted by Christ to give grace.” My generation will never forget that definition. The present generation may not be acquainted with any definition. No wonder there is confusion at times.
Because of this confusion and consequent uncertainty, all-too-often there are sacramental celebrations which lack integrity. In fact, many of them are not even sacraments. But their agents pretend they are and gullible people go along. Good Catholics become frustrated with us pastors who don’t speak up and condemn such practices. Most of us aren’t very good at condemnation because we know our own failings. But clarification about important matters is very much a part of the responsibility of us pastors. I would like to offer some clarifications.
In recent years the media has informed us about the so-called “ordination of women priests.” There are those who proclaim that it’s a matter of justice that women be allowed into the priesthood. Jesus was clearly an agent for justice in his time and he did not call women to the apostolic ministry as he did the twelve apostles. Priests share in that apostolic ministry with their bishops.
Certainly a woman can pretend to be a priest. There are also many men who pretend to be priests but who are not ordained validly, let alone legitimately. But because they claim to be priests and are talented and generous, many choose to accept them as priests and participate in their alleged sacramental celebrations. This is a serious blow to the sacramental integrity which is a hallmark of our church.
In recent times marriage as we know it has been challenged to the limit. People presume that civil marriage can be whatever civil society wants it to be in this present age of secularism and relativism. But that is not how marriage has been understood over the centuries both by civil society and by the church.
This matter is all the more significant for us Catholics because in our community marriage is a sacrament, the love of husband for wife mirroring the love of Christ for his spouse, the church. Even if civil society acknowledges same-sex marriage as legitimate, this is impossible for the church. Because we also see this as harmful to family life, we speak out against such civil marriages and we certainly work to preserve the integrity of sacramental marriage.
Recently the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome had to offer a clarification about Baptism. Because of the concern some folks had about exclusive language, there were actually some church ministers who were baptizing “in the name of the Creator and of the Redeemer and of the Sanctifier.” But that is not the form for the sacrament of Baptism. Remember! What is a sacrament? A sign of grace instituted by Christ and entrusted to the church. It is not entrusted to individual Christians. It is entrusted to the whole church under the leadership of its pastors. People who take these matters into their own hands cause problems for others. Sacramental integrity requires that ministers of the sacraments follow the rituals as defined by church authority.
Even the sacrament of Reconciliation has been too often misunderstood. I heard about a Reconciliation service where participants were instructed to go and confess their sins to any adult, priest or lay person. Yes, we can all confess our sins to whomever we wish but only an ordained priest is able to confer sacramental absolution. Confessing sins to a friend or neighbor may be helpful. But it is not a sacrament, not a sign which produces the effect of forgiveness from God through the action of the church.
The Anointing of the Sick is also something which is at times non-sacramental. Because priests are not always available, some folks take it on their own initiative to anoint sick persons as a sign of their prayers for healing. This can be a gracious gesture, one that leads people to a closer union with God at a difficult time. But it is not a sacrament. It is not that sacred sign entrusted to the church through which God confers physical, emotional or spiritual healing.
The celebration of the Eucharist is our central action as a Catholic people. Over the past forty plus years many changes have been introduced into the rituals of the church. Unfortunately, because some things changed, there were people who thought all things were about to change and they themselves would decide what to change. Other Catholics who do not appreciate the Novus Ordo, the new rite proposed by Vatican II, have chosen to participate in schismatic liturgical celebrations presided over by ministers not in union with the local Catholic bishop.
From the earliest days of the church, there has been a principle which defines integral catholicity, “ubi episcopus, ibi ecclesia.” In other words, the true church of Christ is one that serves the mission of Christ in union with the local bishop. A bishop is the chief shepherd, the chief catechist and the chief liturgist in the diocese. It is his responsibility to define sacramental integrity. His teachings may be challenged, but when they are clearly in union with those of the Bishop of Rome and the other members of the college of bishops, it is more than likely that the challenger is way off base.
In this local church it is my duty from time to time to insist upon sacramental integrity where abuses may occur. Overall, I am greatly impressed with the liturgical life of this local church. But I am also aware that there are those who think they can do things better and as a result cause great harm to the integrity of our sacramental life. When all is said and done, it is important for all of us to remember what the Catechism of the Catholic Church instructs, namely, that “liturgical services are not private functions but are celebrations of the church.” Enough said. I thank God for the good Catholic people among us and those who have gone before us whose good works and holiness are attributed to the power that comes from prayer and especially from the sacraments.