Saturday, August 12, 2006

Whispers on Women's Ordination

Rocco's latest column at Busted Halo tackles the thorny issue of women's ordination (in light of recent events). I think he puts it well, and I find his take on it to be quite compelling: that this too is a fruit of clericalism.
The beauty of any faith, but especially this one, is that it isn’t something we make or alter on our own or by consensus. No matter where we find ourselves in the billion-plus Catholic fold, none of us are its masters. If this is news to you, that’s understandable: the Church of today has done an abysmal job of presenting this message, but that doesn’t change the fact that our task is to be the stewards of something handed on to us—a Tradition so important we use a capital “T” for it. As it’s given to us, we’re responsible to pass it on to those who come after us, intact at its core and stronger and purer than we found it.

This faith—at least, when it’s communicated correctly—is something that inspires us to go out into the world, to lift it up, to serve those who need it, to heal, to bridge, to seek out the lost, to take all comers, and to do all this with the guidance and encouragement of knowing that Deus caritas est, “God is love”; not so much the recent encyclical of the same name, but that simple message handed on from the early Church.

Even if 99.9% of those queried sought it, ordaining women is one of those things the Church can’t do. As Catholics, we believe that the priesthood takes its origin from the Last Supper of Holy Thursday, when Christ instituted the Eucharist and charged the Apostles to “do this in memory of me”—a mandate that, over time, came to include preaching and the broader functions of sacramental ministry.

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