JUNE 25, 2013
Asia’s leading “Catholic” news agency, UCAN, continues its campaign for women priests
Ordaining women is not a new idea. Adherence to this heresy is widespread in the Indian church. The first time that I wrote about it was in my 119-page April 2010 [updated April 2012] report
NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE 15-DEMAND FOR ORDINATION OF WOMEN PRIESTS-FR SUBHASH ANAND AND OTHERS
In that report, no. 15 of a series of 20 on a Bombay-archdiocese backed Hinduised “bible” with imprimatur, I documented that Fr. Subhash Anand [a diocesan priest based in St. Paul’s School, Udaipur] and others do not believe that the cultic priesthood was instituted by Jesus Christ and would like to see it scrapped altogether, ushering in a priesthood of believers, non-ordained persons, whereby the members of the congregation become co-celebrants at Holy Mass, having the authority and power to transform the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus. This has long been proposed as a solution to the “shortage of priests”.
The other alternative of course is to ordain women, which Fr. Subhash Anand and other “theologians” such as Virginia Saldanha, Astrid Lobo Gajiwala, a coterie of feminist nuns and some religious brothers and priests are ferociously advocating. The first articles in the women priests’ series, published April/May 2012, are
VIRGINIA SALDANHA-ECCLESIA OF WOMEN IN ASIA AND CATHERINE OF SIENA VIRTUAL COLLEGE-FEMINIST THEOLOGY AND THE ORDINATION OF WOMEN PRIESTS http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VIRGINIA_SALDANHA-ECCLESIA_OF_WOMEN_IN_ASIA_AND_CATHERINE_OF_SIENA_VIRTUAL_COLLEGE-FEMINIST_THEOLOGY_AND_THE_ORDINATION_OF_WOMEN_PRIESTS.doc
VIRGINIA SALDANHA-WOMENPRIESTS INFILTRATES THE INDIAN CHURCH-CATHERINE OF SIENA VIRTUAL COLLEGE http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VIRGINIA_SALDANHA-WOMENPRIESTS_INFILTRATES_THE_INDIAN_CHURCH-CATHERINE_OF_SIENA_VIRTUAL_COLLEGE.doc
Virginia Saldanha is on the board of the Union of Catholic Asian News [UCAN] and Astrid Lobo Gajiwala is on important Bombay archdiocesan executive bodies such as its weekly magazine The Examiner, etc.
On January 24, 2013, I had published a report
WOMEN PRIESTS-THE NCR-UCAN-EWA NEXUS
on the “nexus” between UCAN and the like-minded in the West — e.g. the editor of and contributors to the National Catholic Reporter [NCR] — and in India who clamour for ordaining women as priests. An honest, prophetic and bold U.S. Bishop, Robert Finn, recently declared that the NCR cannot licitly be called Catholic.
On February 13, 2013, in its inimitable style, UCAN reproduced a report, published only a few hours earlier by the liberal-left, New Age-promoting U.S. news web site and blog, The Huffington Post, with the headline, “One way to solve the priest shortage: do away with them“!
This was reported by me the same day in
UCAN WANTS TO DO AWAY WITH THE PRIESTHOOD
In concluding the last referred report above, I posed two questions:
1. What is UCAN doing reproducing trash by a dissenting “Catholic” from a New Age blog?
2. When is an Indian bishop or the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of India or the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences going to unequivocally condemn this anti-Catholic news agency that calls itself “Catholic”?
I had also asked rhetorically
What does [all] this, in conjunction with all of the other evidence compiled and presented by me, reveal about the true nature of UCAN?
Well, hardly a day later, UCAN was at it again, thus answering our question.
They make it plainly obvious that they have a dual agenda, eliminate the cultic priesthood/ordain women.
Here, UCAN becomes the conduit for a Hindu call to, among other things, ordain women!
New pope should encourage interfaith dialogue: Hindu group
UCAN copied the story from a secular news site within a few hours of its release!!!!!
Read the details in my report UCAN CONFIRMS IT FAVOURS WOMEN PRIESTS
On the preceding page, the reader came across the acronym EWA in the title of one of my reports. EWA stands for Ecclesia of Women in Asia, the “Forum of Asian Catholic Women Theologians“, a group of women “theologians” whose primary agenda — as I have documented in my first two articles in the women priests series — is the ordination of women.
Radical feminist nuns [lists of their names are given in my above-referred reports] and lay “theologians” like Virginia Saldanha and Astrid Lobo Gajiwala are leaders and members of the
Indian Women Theologians’ Forum [IWTF].
Another organisation with a similar agenda is EATWOT, the
Ecumenical Association for Third World Theologians.
The cover for EWA and EATWOT and all their deliberations, seminars, conferences and writings is either “gender studies” or concerns about gender violence, exploitation of women, empowerment of women, discrimination against women, “space for Catholic women to have their voices heard, thoughts and reflections articulated” [a favourite refrain], the use of gender-sensitive or inclusive language [in Scripture and the liturgy], the “‘searching’ and ‘finding’ of women’s identity“, and so on. They also rail against the “patriarchy” or male-domination in the hierarchy and worldview of the Catholic Church.
But all of that is a smoke screen for their only true agenda: they want women to be ordained as priests.
Sophia Lizares-Bodegon, a Filipina,
is a prominent EATWOT member who has a page at EWA,
Lizares-Bodegon‘s theological positions are shown to be tainted by Protestantism, liberalism and New Age.
But Lizares-Bodegon also writes regularly for UCAN. I reproduced THREE of her recent UCAN contributions in just THREE weeks in my February 16, 2013 report UCAN CONFIRMS IT FAVOURS WOMEN PRIESTS-02
Three months later, there was this story from UCAN. Here the coterie of feminists use Pope Francis’ name to make their latest complaint on the perceived “exclusion of women from leadership in the church“. UCAN chips in:
Women theologians call to end patriarchal power structures
May 20, 2013
The abuse of power is reflected in issues of governance, they said
Bangalore: A forum of women theologians in India says women experience violence and injustice all across but patriarchal power structures fail to ensure equality and safety.
The abuse of power is reflected in issues of governance, law and order, which are assuming crucial and critical significance in our times, they said.
The increased violence against women is intensifying in degree and extent of brutality. “This violence against women is occurring in new categories and dimensions across all ages,” they noted.
The current patriarchal power structures, systems of justice and law “are failing to address the situation” and society should look critically “at the roots of violence against women,” they said.
The Indian Women Theologians’ Forum (IWTF) said this in a statement issued after their May 2-4 meeting in Bangalore, which discussed the theme “Women and Leadership”.
The scriptural injunction, “he will rule over you” (Gen 3:16) seems to be the religious sanction legitimizing male control over women within the spheres of family, church and society at large, they said.
The women expressed hope and satisfaction at the amending constitution helping to creating women’s political leadership at village level, which helped to address “the core needs of their community like water, education and health.”
However, they also expressed concern about the leadership being projected in the coming elections, which they said “threatens the secular fabric of our nation and would further marginalize large masses of the poor.”
We observe the Church at the centre preaches the message and the Church at the periphery lives it, despite the fact that the Church of the periphery has an important message to share with the centre, which it fails to receive.
While welcoming Pope Francis’ call for the poor, the women theologians said that they are “troubled by the uncritically sustained link between jurisdiction and ordination and the consequent exclusion of women from leadership in the church, especially when they have much to contribute to a Church of the Poor”.
They said the figures of women in leadership in the Bible inspire them to reclaim their rightful space as modeled by women in the early Church.
They committed to work toward “evolving women’s leadership that is rooted in the gospels and is life giving to all.” END
The “rightful space as modeled by women in the early Church” is deacon-hood and priesthood, if one goes by their writings in books authored by them, and in various Catholic journals and on their own Internet sites.
Since I intend to publish an extensive compilation of Catholic information on this issue of the clamour by a miniscule section of dissenting Catholic clergy and laity for a priesthood of women and the Church’s clear and final position on it, I reproduce below a single recently published piece from the dissenting National Catholic Reporter which itself is in the forefront of the women priests’ movement:
Redemptorist priest: Vatican threatened excommunication for advocating discussion
By John Cooney, January 23, 2013
Update: The head of the Redemptorist fathers in Rome said he deeply regrets that Flannery broke the silence he had been asked to observe, Catholic New Service reported Wednesday. Redemptorist Fr. Michael Brehl, the order’s superior general, also confirmed that Flannery is under Vatican investigation for alleged ambiguities “regarding fundamental areas of Catholic doctrine, including the priesthood, the nature of the church and the Eucharist.”
Brehl said he wanted to “earnestly invite” Flannery “to renew the efforts to find an agreed solution to the concerns raised by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.” He also asked Irish Redemptorists to “join with me in praying and working together in the spirit of St. Alphonsus to maintain and strengthen our communion with the universal church.”
Irish Redemptorist Fr. Tony Flannery broke a year of silence Sunday to reveal that the Vatican had threatened him with excommunication and removal from his religious congregation because he advocates for open discussions about church teachings on ordaining women, clerical celibacy, contraceptives and homosexuality.
The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith removed Flannery, 66, from public ministry last February, pending the outcome of its inquiries into views he expressed in Reality, a Redemptorist-run magazine.
Flannery also said he has had no direct contact in person or writing from the congregation. All communication has come through the Redemptorist superior general in Rome, Fr. Michael Brehl.
Flannery described the actions against him as “frightening, disproportionate and reminiscent of the Inquisition.”
He said he initially tried to find a compromise with the Vatican congregation, but by September, it became clear this would not happen.
“I gradually became aware that the CDF continually raised the bar until it got to the point where I could no longer negotiate,” Flannery said. “I was faced with a choice. Either I sign a statement, for publication, stating that I accepted teachings that I could not accept, or I would remain permanently banned from priestly ministry, and maybe face more serious sanctions.
“It is important to state clearly that these issues were not matters of fundamental teaching, but rather of church governance,” he said.
Flannery, a popular retreat master and writer, said the congregation also had ordered him “not to have any involvement, public or private” with the Association of Catholic Priests. Flannery co-founded the association in 2010 as a forum for discussion among Irish clergy on issues affecting the Irish church and society.
“I have served the church, the Redemptorists and the people of God for two-thirds of my life. Throughout that time, I have in good conscience raised issues I believed important for the future of the Church in books and essays largely read by practicing Catholics, rather than raising them in mainstream media,” Flannery said in a statement released at a news conference. “I’m hardly a major and subversive figure within the Church deserving excommunication and expulsion from the religious community within which I have lived since my teens.”
The choice facing him, he said, was between deciding between Rome and his conscience.
“Submitting to these threats would be a betrayal of my ministry, my fellow priests and the Catholic people who want change,” he said.
The Redemptorists in Ireland issued a strong defense of Flannery on Sunday.
“We do understand and support his efforts to listen carefully to and at times to articulate the views of people he encounters in the course of his ministry,” the provincial leadership team of the Irish Redemptorists said in a statement.
They said they regretted immensely that “some structures or processes of dialogue have not yet been found in the Church which have a greater capacity to engage with challenging voices from among God’s people, while respecting the key responsibility and central role of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.”
The Association of Catholic Priests also affirmed “in the strongest possible terms” its support for Flannery. The association said Flannery was being targeted as “part of a worldwide effort to negate the influence of independent priests’ associations in Austria, USA, Germany, France, Switzerland and other places.”
Also at the news conference was Fr. Helmut Schüller of the Austrian Priests’ Initiative. He criticized the “lack of basic rights and respect for personal conscience” in the church.
Former Irish President Mary McAleese spoke in support of Flannery and other dissident Irish clerics Oct. 20 at the launch of her book Quo Vadis?: Collegiality in the Code of Canon Law at the Jesuit headquarters in Dublin. There she spoke privately to Flannery, who was making a rare public appearance.
The reform group We are Church Ireland announced a peaceful vigil outside the Vatican’s Apostolic Nunciature in Dublin, planned for Jan. 27, to offer unconditional support for Flannery’s right “not to be forced by an abuse of his vow of obedience to submit to the secretive demands” of the doctrinal congregation.
Flannery said, “The threats are a means, not just of terrifying me into submission, but of sending a message to any other priest expressing views at variance with those of the Roman Curia.”
From the West of Ireland, Flannery was born in Attymon, County Galway, and spent time as a Redemptorist preacher in Limerick. He has a large following both as preacher and retreat master. He is a popularizer, rather than a heavyweight scholar. He holds audience attention through dialogue, especially with parents who find that the clerical abuse scandals have alienated their children from religion.
Once noted for hellfire sermons, the Redemptorists have been at the forefront of the drive for necessary church change. Flannery’s 1999 book, From the Inside: A Priest’s View of the Catholic Church, is part autobiographical and part appraisal of Irish Catholicism. It consists of short, readable pieces, highlighting inadequate sexual and spiritual training of priests. It examines fault lines that emerged in the aftermath of Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical, Humanae Vitae, upholding the church’s ban on artificial forms of contraception.
In this book, too, Flannery criticized the institution’s mishandling of clerical celibacy.
His Fragments of Reality, published in 2008 by Columba Press of Dublin, contains his collected writings since 1998, when he was a member of the Redemptorist Mission Team which comprised laypeople and clergy.
He saw firsthand the steady decline throughout Ireland of church attendance and of candidates for the priesthood.
He also witnessed the continued denial of any meaningful role for women in ministry. “How much longer can this policy be sustained?” he wrote. “We must be the last institution in the Western world that continues to hold such blatant discrimination against women. I don’t have any doubt that there is no theological or scriptural basis for this position, but that it is purely a social and institutional construct hiding a fairly barefaced and primitive desire for male domination.”
In the essay “The Ordination of Women” in Fragments of Reality, he revealed that he knows a few of the women who were ordained in the Roman Catholic women priests movement on a riverboat in Pittsburgh in 2006. He personally knows Irish-born Bridget Mary Meehan, who is a bishop in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests.
John Cooney is a Dublin-based journalist and historian.
SELECTED 3 OUT OF 45 COMMENTS
I am a retired, married priest, properly “dispensed” for whatever that means, and a teacher in Catholic schools for 25 years in Canada. Currently in retirement I continue as a marriage minister through an association of ordained ministers and thus can serve those who find the doors of the formal church shut to their needs. Like Fr. Flannery, perhaps being a slow learner, I just grew up and began to realize that the restrictions imposed by the Vatican and the CDF had nothing to do with the gospel or the faith, but were the mechanisms used by any cult that finds blind obedience the only way to hold onto its members. Ireland is long overdue in responding to the call of the universal church through Vatican II to wake up, grow up and become “church”, rather than just attending and listening to an elite self-appointed clique who for centuries have appropriated the “good” of the church for themselves. In doing so they have twisted theology and misinterpreted the scriptures. The CDF attack on Flannery must be understood as the desperate attempt of an old cult establishment to hold on to power and the exclusivity that has characterized their leadership. Flannery does not propose anything spectacularly new or extraordinary more than 50 years after Vatican II began to open the windows to let in fresh air and “light”. But there is no doubt that the CDF and its former chief inquisitor view Flannery and clerics like him are a threat. As they suppress one voice of reform, two or more sprout up like artesian wells of bubbling sweet water. So while the heat is on Flannery, the desperation of the CDF must be understood as the final gasps of a dying and irrelevant institution of governance that no longer speaks the truth. The matter is not the obedience of Flannery to his priestly ministry, but rather the obedience of the Vatican cadre to the Catholic faith and the call to leadership. On this we find they have little credibility or authority. Phil Little
Coming from one who rejected Christ and abandoned their vocation…suddenly they are able to be absolutely correct in their assessment of the Churches supposed problems? Is not their lack of faith perhaps THE problem?? I think what St Catherine said is a little bit more accurate… “When the Church speaks,” wrote St. Catherine of Siena, it is Jesus himself whom we hear.” As much as rebellious priests seek justification in their desertion of all morality, perhaps, again, faithfulness to Christ and His Church is exactly what is needed in this period where instead we experience wholesale abandonment of the faith, all in the name of a misunderstanding of Vat II no less. M P Lane
Phil Little, This is not a matter of blind obedience. Professing to GOD during your ordination requires a priest to subordinate himself to GOD and his earthly Bishops to maintain civility within the Catholic Church. Each of us has responsibilities in his/her life whether it be marriage or any other call from GOD. So easy to blame the Vatican but you knew when you spoke your vows to GOD that you also subjected yourself to your Bishop and now you are trying to gain sympathy for your position which goes against obedience. Explain to me as a former priest how you interpret Luke 6. When Jesus spent an entire night in discourse with HIS FATHER and upon coming down from the mountain HE appointed twelve men from all the disciples (male and female), how anyone on earth including the Pope can change what GOD decided? Are you saying that GOD did not know what HE was doing? Such PRIDE! As to Celibacy: Say a priest was permitted to marry. This same priest has responsibility for one thousand or more parishioners and he and his wife have eight children as my parents did. How does this priest use his time? Does he tend to his wife and children full time or to his parishioners full time? Bear in mind he cannot do both and both require his full attention. Why is it that we humans always want the easy way out? You say that the Vatican imposed restrictions. Are they restrictions that the Vatican imposed or did you simply realize that you could no longer serve GOD and your selfish needs? All humans have the same temptations as Satan is nearby. GOD is closer to us and we can resist temptation if we ask HIM. Of course the Church instituted by Jesus Christ no longer speaks the truth, only Phil Little speaks the truth. Such ARROGANCE! Tom Warren
We see that despite the dissenters and those who assist their rebellious voices to reach Catholics at large, there are many in the Church who are faithful to Her teachings on this issue.
Notice also that
the ex-priest doesn’t stop with advocating the ordaining of women. He is also for the abolition of clerical celibacy, the ban on the use of contraceptives by Catholics, and is a supporter of gay rights. This is more the rule than the exception in the feminist lobby and underlines the seriousness of the consequences of even the slightest accommodation of their demands.
When Pope Francis washed the feet of two women during the recent Holy Thursday service, he scandalised the conservatives in the Church and further alienated the Traditionalists by contravening the rubrics and tradition which only allow for the feet of men [‘viri’] to be washed. But for the feminist lobby, it became, in their words, “a Moment of Hope for Women Priests in the Church“. Washing of their feet went to their heads!
Here are four more related files on the subject:
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 01-WASHING THE FEET OF WOMEN ON MAUNDY THURSDAY
WASHING THE FEET OF WOMEN ON HOLY THURSDAY
ARCHBISHOP OF DELHI SUPPORTS WOMEN’S ORDINATION
UCAN’S SLANTED QUESTIONNAIRE ON THE CATHOLIC’S CHOICE FOR POPE
Categories: Ordination of Women Priests Movement in India
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