Sit down. Get calm. You need to be in a cool place for this news. According to a July 9 report from Catholic News Service, the Vatican is preparing to update its norms for dealing with sex abuse of minors by priests. But -- in the same document -- it says that the “attempted ordination of women” is as grave an offense against the sacrament of Holy Orders as is pedophilia! Both are “delicta graviora.”
Yeah, I know. It’s hard to believe, but that’s what they are saying. They are equating the ordination of women with the rape and torture of children.
Several questions come to mind: Are they that far out of touch with reality? Is it time to offer them serious psychotherapy to help them “get a grip” on life, and overcome their hatred of women?
Maybe they need some interfaith counseling as well, and some introductions to members of Protestant and Jewish denominations that take women’s ordination and women’s leadership for granted.
On the other hand, maybe they are really, really afraid of the Roman Catholic Women Priests (RCWP) movement. RCWP has ordained about 100 women worldwide (about 75 in the U.S.), and the Vatican keeps telling them they’ve excommunicated themselves. But these women just ignore them and keep on going. For them and for most Catholics, ordaining women is simply an issue of justice in the church. Do they think this new decree will change any of that?
I actually think it will, but not in the way they intend. This latest move gives the movement wonderful free publicity that is sure to increase Catholic support for women priests, already more than 60%.
And finally, one has to wonder: who is running the public relations department at the Vatican? Even if some cardinal is irrational enough to say something like this in private, who is crazy enough to make it public?
This latest statement is so offensive to women it’s almost unspeakable. It is so irrational that anyone, no matter what their views on women priests, has to question the mental stability of the leadership in Rome. But then … for sheer laughs, this is hard to beat!