Where is the prudence in the remark, “If I were founding a Church, I’d love to have women priests’.”?[1] It would be no more noteworthy than the archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, saying, If I were founding a baseball team, I’d love to have women players wearing Red Socks. Sure, but what does that have to do with baseball? Would the “game” remain the same or become ‘something else’ – more froth in the minds of some “signifying nothing”?

But all this aside, surely Cardinal O’Malley must know that Pope Saint John Paul II in 1994 -- if there ever was a question about women Catholic priests -- put the question to rest in his “Apostolic Letter, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis”:

Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate,

1. Priestly ordination, which hands on the office entrusted by Christ to his Apostles of
teaching, sanctifying and governing the faithful, has in the Catholic Church from the
beginning always been reserved to men alone. [2]

All such inquiries confuse the public including Catholics whom all priests are called to shepherd in the faith. So why did God create us male and female, anyhow? Men and women are different because we need what the other has; otherwise, we would have no babies which all of us once were. That we can not self-generate may not for some be “self-evident”.

Why then would a leader in the Church say, “If I were founding a church . . .” unless one believes he establishes his relationship with God and not God with each of us?
Jesus Christ consistently identified himself as the bridegroom of the Church not the bride. A truly humble person became the Mother of God who simply said, “be it done unto me according to [God’s word], not mine, because I am his “lowly servant.” (Luke 1:26 ff). Jesus became man born of woman, who honors a woman his Mother, Queen of heaven and of earth, due in no small part to her humility which properly understood is not Mary’s self-effacement but the truth. Truly, “what do we have that we have not received”, the Apostle Paul acknowledged? (1 Corinthians 4:7). Our sex? Our life? Our faith? So who has the advantage, man or woman? His most humble children do, male or female.

What matters to Christ the King, and to Mary, his mother, Queen of heaven and earth -- is our salvation, male and female, brother and sister alike, where in heaven we “neither marry or are given in marriage.” (Luke 20:34). It remains, however, the most important work of men and women in this world, the only command our Creator and Father gave us at our creation, “Increase and multiply.” (Genesis 1:28). Some believe that in the “sweat of man’s brow” lies one’s fulfillment, in a career at the cost of family and children. It is difficult to grasp how any man or woman alone can make both a home and a career at once. In the parable of Adam and Eve God predicted how each sex would suffer his and her transgressions in the world. God said, man would “By the sweat of your brow you shall eat bread until you return to the ground from which you were taken; For you are dust and to dust you shall return. (Genesis 3:19). And woman, God said, “I will intensify your toil in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Yet your urge shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” (Ibid.16).

We suffer, however, the excesses of the Feminist movement from the 60s whose most ‘virile’ proponents (pun intended) want so much to be manly. We have had so many saintly, strong and admirable women which both sexes revere: Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Esther, Hanna, Ruth of the Old Covenant and a list of New Covenant women, saints too long to list including Catherine of Siena who convinced a Pope to return to his see in Rome established by Peter, Christ’s hand picked “bearer of the keys of the kingdom of heaven” on earth. (Matthew 16:19).

Our Blessed Mother in modern times continues to nurture her Son’s Church and children in numerous apparitions from Guadalupe, Lourdes, Fatima and other places. Her son was born in the line of Melchizedek, King of Salem, as are all other priests of Jesus Christ. Tradition affirms this but some would think that a female rather than male would somehow improve the priesthood? In their mutual narcissistic quests for superiority some men and women today have denigrated their greatest shared powers of fatherhood and motherhood, their vocation for populating the world of heaven.

Churchmen and others who subscribe to this confusion of sexes reminds me of lyrics from the song (tongue in cheek) “Anything you can do I can do better” etc. It is once more part of the babble of our approaching election season next year – that somehow the sex of the candidate, male or female, has more bearing on the qualification of a person than his or her integrity and competence. Jesus avoided the “things of Caesar” and only spoke of the “things of God”. As Jesus churchmen should not be ingratiators of the media and government which nearly always align themselves with politics and other worldly pursuits.

At his indictment before the Sanhedrin, the ruling body of Israel, Jesus was remarkably silent as he was before the Roman prefect who condemned him to death. Jesus affirmed that he was a “king . . . but not of this world.” (John 18:36). Cardinals, bishops and priests should remember this.

Spero News columnist Rev. Tom Bartolomeo is the founder of FamilyAndChild.net

1. http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2014/11/17/omalley-i-if-i-were-founding-a-churchid-love-to-have-women-priests/
2. http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/apost_letters/1994/documents/hf_jp-ii_ap



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