|Anglican Communion Ordains Women Priests|
It always amuses me, to see the extraordinary lengths that various organisations or groups will go to, in order to give their particular cause more credibility, while at the same time disingenuously attempting to destroy the credibility of their opponents.
An example of such behaviour is some of the pro-abortion groups. Some of them have quite shrewdly taken on the label of being “pro-choice”. They use it, sadly, quite effectively to mock anyone who may hold the belief that abortion is wrong. They argue that women have the right to make choices about their own bodies and their own lives. A right that I certainly will not dispute and one that I in fact wholeheartedly support!
The craftiness of their “pro-choice” position however lies in the fact that they group, under the “pro-choice” umbrella, the subject of abortion. A subject that cannot be viewed only from the point of view of the mother, but which must also be viewed from the point of view of the unborn baby. The subject of terminating pregnancy has a second person to consider. A person who also has rights, including, amongst others, the right to live!
Sadly, if you choose to make this argument about the rights of the unborn baby, in opposition to the “pro-choice” group, you will no doubt find yourself on the receiving end of an incredibly angry women’s rights group. They will think nothing of it, probably because this was always the plan, to brand you as a misogynist! In doing so, they effectively circumvent the need to engage in any scholarly or civilised discussion of the subject.
This “pro-choice” approach empowers the group to pretty much browbeat their way towards their objective. They know that, even though many people may disagree with them, most people will do their best to avoid any possible public confrontation and embarrassment, which may result from resisting or disagreeing with the “pro-choice” group.
It seems to me that the issue of the ordination of women as Roman Catholic priests now faces the same phenomena. In the absence of any credible argument to support the demand, of a small group of people, they have veiled the issue of the ordination of women under the umbrella of women’s rights. Now the issue, conveniently for them, changes to one in which, to disagree, means to say that one does not believe that women are equal to men and that women are not entitled to equal rights.
Of course, anyone with a modicum of common sense knows that this argument is preposterous. Yet, strangely the movement gathers momentum, as people dive out of the way of that horrendous women’s rights steamroller, the one that threatens to imprint us with the label of misogynist!
Since the argument regarding priestly ordination has now been focussed on the rights of women, let us consider this alleged “right” that many claim women have.
“No one has a right to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders. Indeed no one claims this office for himself; he is called to it by God. Anyone who thinks he recognises the signs of God’s call to the ordained ministry must humbly submit his desire to the authority of the Church, who has the responsibility and right to call someone to receive orders. Like every grace this sacrament can be received only as an unmerited gift.” [i]
No person, including a baptised and confirmed Roman Catholic celibate virgin heterosexual male, who has all the right educational qualifications, all of the very best Christian virtues, and who is of the right age, can make any demands on the Church to be ordained as a Roman Catholic priest. He simply does not possess such a right! He will, furthermore, never ever acquire such a right.
Ordination, as a priest, or a deacon, or a bishop, is simply not a human rights matter! It is a sacrament, which can only be received “as an unmerited gift”.
[i] Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1578