Monday, January 08, 2007

Bishop would ordain women

Queensland's daily paper the Courier Mail reported on Friday comments made by Bishop William Morris of Toowoomba in a pastoral letter (!) that he would ordain married men and women as priests (i.e priestesses).

Part of the story that appeared in the published version is available online.

There is lots of clever sleight of hand in this article.

TOOWOOMBA Catholic Bishop William Morris would ordain single or married women and married men if church policy changed, he said yesterday.

Ordaining married men, in the broad sense of the term is a "policy" albeit an apostolic one. Ordaining women is an impossibility according to Church doctrine.

But he said he would not ordain people against the teachings of the Catholic Church.

This is the trickiest part. Because the teaching of the Church is that we cannot hold that ordaining women is even a possibility and Morris thinks that it is, he has already gone against Church teaching. That it would be a serious crime to go through the motions of attempting to ordain a woman - simulating a sacrament - (or validly but illicitly ordaining a married man without authorisiation) is a logical consequence of the teaching.

Bishop Morris said he was grieved that he could not ordain people who wanted to serve the church but he was hopeful of change.

Apart from "poor thing" - no comment.

"If we keep dialoguing our understanding will grow," he said.

Another favorite dissenter line. Make an appearance of being open while actually being a one way street. Apart from the fact this is simply meaningless prattle I doubt that "our understanding will grow" refers to an increase in his understanding of why the Church cannot ordain women.

"I may not see it in my lifetime but the children of this age may see it.

Further proof that he dissents.

"I would ordain married men as priests if I could. Most bishops in the world would agree but we can ordain only single, celibate males by decree of the church since the 14th century."

False but unfortunately too much too go into in this post.

Brisbane Catholic Archbishop John Bathersby is overseas on leave and unavailable for comment but a spokesman for the diocese said the Archbishop's views would not differ from Rome.

He said ordination of women was not on the table for discussion and the most recent Synod in 2003 did not discuss the prospect even though ordination of women had been suggested as a topic.

Whoever suggested that is also a dissenter.

Bishop Morris has asked the 68,000 Catholics in his diocese west of Brisbane which encompasses 35 parishes to keep talking about alternative models for ministry.

In a pastoral letter to his diocese, Bishop Morris, 63, said the diocese was challenged by the ageing of its priests, most of whom would be eligible for retirement by 2014, leaving only six priests out of the full complement of 40.

After this the bishop went on to say that we should recognise the validity of the orders of other "mainstream" denominations. In other words there is no difference between a Catholic priest and say, a Methodist or Presbyterian minister ! That's sure to increase vocations !

1 comment:

éric said...

So sad see aged bishops being so senile !