Sunday, 6 December 2009


This week's Tablet carries two letters, one of which I richly enjoyed, the other I didn't.

Here's a bit from the one I did enjoy:
…I have often wondered why otherwise intelligent people spend so much time and energy writing about an entity that they are sure does not exist. Richard Dawkins, for instance, regales us with theologically spurious treatises on the non-existence of God. He is a brilliant scientist and I am an admirer of his scientific books, but why doesn't he stick to what he knows or believes to be true? Why does he waste his valuable time on things he considers non-existent or untrue? Can we expect a Dawkins book on the tooth fairy some time soon?
(Dr) Frances Dawburn
As they say on the net, LOL.

Here's the other:
While admiring the erudite and theological expertise of Rowan Williams' article in last week's Tablet, ("A gender divide - or not?" 28 November), I still believe that the male and masculine influence does women an insulting, patronising disservice.
The Church [capitalization original] I belong to is in an inclusive "Catholic" tradition with a rich eucharistic pattern of worship, based on the Christian year and fed by a wonderful choral tradition. The parish has a curate who happens to be a woman, and whose sense of priestly vocation is affirmed, loved and encouraged by most of the congregation. Soon another female curate will join the clergy team, and she will experience the same love and acceptance.
[brace yourselves!]
There are no bibilical or theological reasons for denying women in today's Church the right to be called by God to priestly ordination. Those who seek to perpetuate the view that because women happen to be women they cannot be called by God to this ministry are deluded not by theology or ecclesiology but by stubborn prejudice, fear, and other psychological issues.
David Redrobe

Let us be clear; this is an Anglican writing in a Catholic journal about the Catholic Church. I do not deny that there may be some—a few—Catholics who would applaud his words, but for sheer unecumenical jingoistic cheek this takes some beating!

Apparently, every Christian for one thousand nine hundred and fifty years has been deluded by stubborn prejudice or fear, or is a nutcase. Now, it appears, magically as from a deus ex machina, the truth has descended on this privileged group, and it is WE who are the nuts, our views held by the majority of Christendom still and the same throughout all our history, we who have no theology, no ecclesiology, but are simply screwballs!

Here we are, back in the sixteenth century; a new innovation that appears to override all other considerations in the Gospel, a 'truth' that overrides all other doctrines and marginalizes them.
Women can be priests, and those who say that they cannot are stupid, or don't know any theology, or are mad.

I'd write more, but I must go to Benediction.


fidelisjoff said...

It is sad that too many Catholics do not seem to understand that we have a Divine Constitution as we were founded by God. I remember only too well the mild mannered priest that told all the trainee Catholic teachers at the Catholic college (with condoms in the toilets) that he didn't see any real reason for women not being priests. He thought the icon of Christ argument was the only argument the Church had. False teaching remains endemic in the great majority of our institutions and continues to bear little fruit. Rampant secularism among Catholics create hostility to the magisterium and no end of problems for those within our institutions who remain faithful. I can only imagine how hostile the workplace of The Bitter Pill must be for anyone faithful to the Church.

The Layman said...

"a new innovation"

Oh for a knowledge of Latin!!!

Pastor in Monte said...

Layman: oops! You're right, of course. But I was in a hurry (going to Benediction) and had no time to re-read.

Little Black Sambo said...

Redrobe? Crazy name, crazy guy!

gemoftheocean said...

well, so nice his church is fed by "choral tradition."

Mine is fed by the Eucharist, and I happen to want a sacrament validly confected. The Church is not a bowling club for "fellowship."

You can argue all you want "If Jesus were alive today, would He have had women priests (given that He couldn't have back then given males would have never listened to a woman in a position of authority - but they don't seem to take into account that perhaps Jesus thought it necessary to be not only human, but a male human. I wouldn't much around with throwing raisins in the bread to be consecrated, nor would I chance casting a woman to play Hamlet.

He doesn't seem to realize that there are constraints beyond our control.

Nebuly said...

"If Jesus were alive today,..."

You have in a sense fallen into a trap: Jesus IS alive today!

gemoftheocean said...

Nebuly -- it is not *I* who have fallen into a trap -- can you not read and comprehend? Why is it some people seem to have trouble with the conditional "IF?" Particularly when prefaced with the purely hypothetical "You can[as in "one can"] I.E> "NOT FREAKING ME" but "other people."