First, from Fr. Richard McBrien, whose September 12th column in the National "Catholic" Reporter takes a mostly mundane gander at a recent study on the "state of Catholic parishes" produced by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown—until McBrien tries to awkwardly interject his support for priestettes into the stats:
Staffing of parishes yields some of the most compelling data. The estimated number of lay ecclesial ministers (that is, those who are paid and who work at least 20 hours per week) is approximately 38,000, or 2.1 percent per parish. Fourteen percent of these are vowed religious, while 86 percent are laypersons.
Overall, 80 percent are female–a statistic that has remained steady for many years and which makes the continued alienation of Catholic women a serious and growing pastoral problem.
The priest who sent me the link wryly notes: "I think we're supposed to acknowledge that women should be ordained so they're not alienated. Oh, wait, they are the overwhelming number of people working in 'lay ministries' which proves that they are alienated from the church. Oh, wait, that can't be right....now I am confused." Of course, it's McBrien who is confused, as he apparently thinks that 80% somehow indicates a minority. Of course, if 100% were women, then McBrien wouldn't be a priest. Hmmm.
The second postcard is from 84-year-old Adele Jones, writing on www.MySanAntonio.com about becoming something she can't become:
Today, in a beautiful ceremony in Falls Church, Va., I will be ordained a Roman Catholic woman priest.
Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan will be the ordaining bishop.
I realize the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church does not recognize my ordination into the all-male priesthood.
We'll use the same ordination rites that the Catholic Church uses for men.
My two sons and several friends will be there. I will be the first woman in San Antonio and in Texas to be ordained as a Roman Catholic woman priest. And I will be the oldest at age 84.
More than a year ago, the pope approved a new church law that called the ordination of women as priests a “grave crime.”
Hey, it's the Three D's of Dissent, a veritable hat trick of shame: delusional, disingenuous, and damning. But Jones at least provides further evidence that my use of the term "priestette" is completely accurate, even if deemed "intolerant" and "mean-spirited" by those who loathe the Magisterium and the authentic teachings of the Church. As I explained on this blog nearly a year ago:
In fact, I came up with the term "priestette" (I'm not aware of prior use, but may have missed it; as best I can tell, my first use of it was in a blog post titled, "PRIESTETTES! PRIESTETTES! GET YOUR PRIESTETTES HERE!", posted on February 10/2003, on the Envoy Encore blog) precisely because it is an accurate term. Consider that the suffix "-ette" can mean or imply the following:
• A smaller form of something. And, indeed, the "ordination" of women as Catholic priests is a small attempt to be or accomplish something that cannot actually exist.
• The female equivalent of something. Ditto. Fairly self-evident.
• An imitation or substitute of something. Bingo! This is actually the primary focus of the term "priestette"--the imitative quality that speaks to a lack of knowledge, or humility, or maturity. Or all three, as is often the case.
And, from the same post, a review of the inherently illogical nature of the priestette movement:
• The priestette's demand that their "ordinations" be recognized by the Church and they be accepted as Catholic priests. Put another way, they want the blessing and backing of the Church and her authority.
• When excommunicated for knowingly violating Church law in a grave manner, said preistettes brazenly "reject" the law and acts of the Church.
• They say their conscience is supreme without qualification, which is directly contrary to clear Church teaching, which describes their position as a "mistaken notion of autonomy of conscience" and a "rejection of the Church's authority and her teaching" (CCC, par. 1792; see this post for much more).
• If their conscience is supreme, without qualification, it logically must have greater authority than the Church, which means 1) they have no need for the Church (so why do they seek the Church's approval?) and/or 2) the Church's authority is seriously flawed, even morally bankrupt, which also begs the question: why bother to be recognized and accepted by such an institution?
• Put simply, these priestettes go on and on about their desire and need to be a Catholic priest, yet always demean and even denounce the authority upon which the priesthood rests. If they can indeed "reject" Magisterial authority, that same authority is, logically, powerless to ordain them in any real and meaningful way. This is akin to Dan Brown's claim that Jesus was a simple carpenter who had, by virtue of some unknown quality, power over his goddess wife, Mary Magdalene. Right. And I have a bridge in southern Utah that you should buy.