Friday, October 8, 2010

It doesn't matter what you call it, a tail's a tail.

That is of course referencing Abraham Lincoln, and Blessed Pope John Paul the Great "re-tweeting" him: "If you call a tail a leg, how many legs has a dog? Five? No, calling a tail a leg don't make it a leg."

To what I am referring?

Before we go any further, if you've read any post previous to this in my blog, you should already know that I'm opinionated and Orthodox.

The Ordination of Women.

You have been warned.

Well, I suppose that I could answer this one the way I answered the question on kneeling (because), but it seemed proper to the Holy Father JPM (Joannes Paulus Magnus) to first give the world the Theology of the Body to lay explicitly the reason that this was being made doctrine.

Before we go any further (again...), let's get one thing straight.  It is doctrine that the church may not ordain a woman to the priesthood, that it is impossible.  Roma Locuta Est, Causa Finita Est.  This is not a matter for discussion insofar as it's not changing. 

That being said, it's a fruitful doctrine and teaching, and bears reflection, and we should always be willing to ask why, even when we are willing to accept it out of hand, for the simple reason that the why will enrich us, if we will listen to the answer.

Point one is that Christ did not appoint any women to His Church ab initio.  He had close followers, chief among them - His Mother.  But there are also Mary Magdalene and others who followed him, were His friends.  He was already breaking all sorts of customs and traditions, what's one more?  But He didn't.  He ordained (at the Last Supper) a man who would betray him for 30 pieces of silver, and a man who would deny him three times.  No women.

Oh, and that "Bishopess" in the middle ages?  She was the Mother of the Bishop, not ordained herself, but active in the life of the Church, caring for the poor et cetera.  It was a term of endearment, not an ordained title.

Of course, aside from tradition, there's a fundamental problem with a women priest that has to do with what a priest is to his parish.  The role of the Priest is to be the vicar, the proxy for Christ.  We are all called to bring Christ to one another, but the Priest is called to Be Him.  In his Priesthood, he imitates our Lord as the bridegroom of his parish, just as our Lord is the bridegroom of His Church.  

Beyond that, I would like to offer two things that I have learned from people who know a lot more than I: the Community of St. John.

As he confects the Eucharist, the Priest holds up the bread and chalice and proclaim, "This is my body.  This is my blood."  They are in personae christae, participating in the one sacrifice of calvary.

Mary, the Ever-Virgin Theotokos, looked upon the cross, saw her son hanging there, and could say in a way even more profound than that, "This is my body.  This is my blood."  By her Maternity of Christ (which protects His divinity), she literally gave him her body for His own.  Her blood ran in His veins the way my blood runs in my daughter's. She is united with Him at the cross because the body with which He saves the world is her gift to him, is her body, her blood, and that is why she is Our Lady, Queen of Priests. 

Laying aside everything else, she is the only woman to ever exist who could be truly considered for the priesthood, and He who gave her everything, assuming her body and soul into heaven and crowning her Queen of Heaven, did not ordain her.  

Women who would be ordained priests, whether they know it or not, would in the same act usurp the place of honor given His Mother. I would not want to be there when the Master comes to the banquet and asks them to take a lower place at the table.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Keep it civil, keep it thoughtful. Vulgarity will be deleted immediately. Thanks for reading!