Friday, June 3, 2016


Speaking to priests today, the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Pope Francis offered three suggestions to help priests’ hearts “burn with the charity of the Good Shepherd”: seek out; include; and rejoice. Like the Good Shepherd who goes out to find the lost sheep, priests must not only “keep the doors open,” but actively go out to find those who are lost. Priests, too, must be inclusive, welcoming all. No one, the Pope said, must be excluded “from his heart, his prayer, or his smile.” Finally, the joy of Jesus “the Good Shepherd is not a joy for himself alone, but a joy for others and with others, the true joy of love” and this is “also the joy of the priest.”--This sums up Pope Francis pastoral theology!

Pope Francis' pastoral approach is to embrace everyone (inclusivity, think of the All Are Welcome hymn) without necessarily embracing anyone's ideology. In fact, Pope Francis is opposed to ideologies, secular or religious.

Thus, I read the following with some interest because it is the counterpoint to the SSPX who are being welcomed most graciously back to the full fold of the Catholic Church. Of course the SSPX can't in any way be described as heterodox except for its "congregationalism" when it comes to who is the visible head of the Catholic Church and the obedience due to the ordinary and extraordinary magisterium of the Church.

This is from Europe's version of the National Chismatic Reporter (NCR), The Tablet (reminds me of the Flintstone's):

Campaigners calling for women priests are meeting in Rome this week where they have launched a poster campaign drawing attention to their cause and they will participate in their first ever official public demonstration. 
Women’s Ordination Worldwide, which this year marks its 20th anniversary, wants to re-open dialogue in the Church in spite of Pope John Paul II’s ruling that the matter of female priests should not be discussed. 
Despite the ruling, since 2002, around 150 women have been “ordained” and all of them have been excommunicated as a result.
Yesterday evening two of them had an unprecedented meeting with an official from the Vatican Secretariat of State who agreed to give a petition to the Pope calling for the excommunications to be lifted, and who, according to the women, listened to “our heartfelt plea for women priests in our Church”.

However, one progressive pundant  make the following salient points:

I rather doubt it is to promote women’s ordination to the priesthood, or even move in that direction. It’s more about Pope Francis’s plan to keep the Catholic Church’s embrace large enough to include all its members. Even if he doesn’t support women in the priesthood, Francis knows that lots of Catholics do, and he wants to signal that they are welcomed members in the church. And while this decision may not be from Francis directly, it certainly reflects his pastoral approach.

Pope Francis is a man exceedingly comfortable with ambiguity. Think Amoris laetitia. Or, on a very different front, think of his overtures to Lefebvrites who reject the Second Vatican Council.

(Back to me):I have to admit that in a world where Donald Trump is about to be elected president of the United States of America (and today we are anything but united) and precisely because he is a bully, name caller and an actor with all the narcissistic qualities associated with this profession, it is refreshing that we have a pope who embraces the SSPX and Women Church but in fact doesn't agree with much of what either of them stand for in terms of their ideologies.

Will Pope Francis allow the SSPX to disagree with the theology (not doctrine) of the Order of the Mass and its language, Religious Freedom, ecumenism, interfaith dialogue and dialogue with secularists who are either religious, agnostic or atheistic? Yes, His Holiness will, but His Holiness won't allow them to change the direction that the Universal Church has and is taking in these areas.

Will Pope Francis allow womenchurch and other silly, progressive enclaves or congregations to spew forth their heterodox ideologies? Maybe, but His Holiness will not allow them to ordain priests.  

As one progressive editorialist with an axe to grind writes:

I rather doubt it is to promote women’s ordination to the priesthood, or even move in that direction. It’s more about Pope Francis’s plan to keep the Catholic Church’s embrace large enough to include all its members. Even if he doesn’t support women in the priesthood, Francis knows that lots of Catholics do, and he wants to signal that they are welcomed members in the church. And while this decision may not be from Francis directly, it certainly reflects his pastoral approach.

The popes since Vatican II have all opposed women’s ordination, but with widely differing attitudes.
Paul VI approved a low-level curial document in 1976 affirming the ban on women priests. But he did not issue firm edicts in his own name and, despite the curial document, the question seemed to remain open for many people.

John Paul II thought a firm hand would settle the matter. Better not to waffle and raise false hopes, he thought. “In order that all doubt may be removed,” he declared women’s ordination impossible. Bishops were to cut off dialogue with dissenters and defend the official position more vigorously.
Pope Benedict, who had stated earlier as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that John Paul’s statement was infallible, did not take any major action nor issue any major statements on the matter. Nor did he need to. John Paul had set the course, and bishops who supported it were being appointed to replace the remaining wafflers in the episcopate. If anything, the rightward shift in the episcopate increased under Benedict.

My final comments: Progressives for the most part, especially those who promote women's ordination and logically flowing from this ideology, promote same sex marriage and other gender ideologies in keeping with the world, are heterodox and heretical. And when they ordain someone or a priest or religious participates in such a silly ceremony they continue to be excommunicated. 

The SSPX are not heterodox except for disobeying the visible head of the Catholic Church in areas of mere theology and Church canon law/discipline even when threats of excommunication are leveled against them for it and excommunication and censures are placed against them. When it comes to the Deposit of Faith, they are clearly orthodox, unlike the progressives in the Church who deny dogma.

And now to the related Gender ideology culture wars (related of course to women's ordination):

Catholic World News

Cardinal Donald Wuerl decries ‘aggressive gender ideology’

June 02, 2016

Lamenting “aggressive gender ideology” and criticizing the Obama administration’s recent letter on the use of bathrooms and locker rooms by public school students who state they are transgendered, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington emphasized in a recent blog post that the human body “is not extraneous, but goes to our very essence.”

“Before all else in this world, before we are able to form a single thought or make any decisions, from the very moment of our origin and conception, we have a body that is intrinsically sexually differentiated and constituted male or female in a way that cannot really be changed,” he said.

“Furthermore, the body reveals that man and woman are made to complement one another – they are made for love, the reality that forms the basis of family.”

“This is the objective, intrinsic, self-evident truth of who and what we are,” he continued. “Revealed in the body and discernable by right reason, this truth thus applies to all regardless of religious beliefs. Also, one’s subjective choices or beliefs cannot alter this reality – what is revealed in the body as one sex cannot be changed to the other.”

Stating that the Church must be “a beacon of truth in the darkness,” Cardinal Wuerl added:
One of the enervating forces of our culture is the assertion that everything is up for grabs. What was once grasped as objective truth is now dismissed as mere construct, and there is a growing relativism that seeks to reconstruct the most fundamental realities.
Last year we saw a societal redefinition of marriage and family. Today, the concept of humanity itself is called into question with an aggressive “gender” ideology which holds that whether a person is male or female is not an objective reality, but is subjectively determined. Increasingly, those who do not go along with this new order are denounced and ostracized as bigoted. It is as if we all must now affirm that the world is flat lest we be condemned of discrimination. (This is a good soundbite!)


rcg said...

Meeting with them is a big mistake because it lends them credibility. He does not give communion to politicians for the same reason. So why is this diffeerent? I am afraid to speculate.

Gene said...

Pope Francis wants to ordain women. Every time he opens his mouth, read between the lines. He is an indifferentist/universalist and does not care who is "included" in the Church. Satan has been welcome ever since Vat II.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Please point out where in the name of God and all that is holy that my article above or even the Tablet's article says that he met with them??????

This is a lower level Vatican official that is allowing them to attend Mass. Since when do we as Catholics turn people away from Mass unless they are provocative during Mass? In Italy, you have to wear the proper clothing in the major tourist churches and if you don't you are turned away. This practice is still operative.

Anonymous said...

Donald Trump is about to be elected president? I think the Electoral College still favors Hillary....

The marquee outside the Defoors Avenue Baptist Church in Atlanta advertises for their Homecoming service this weekend and states the "Rev. McDonald" will be their preacher---I assume you will be wearing robes, which seem foreign to Baptists?!?

rcg said...

Fair enough, Fr McDonald. Are they being received out of cordiality as are the streams of Imams that bring Korans to the avatican, or are they being received to open discussions for a dialectical agreement? If they are being received in a Third Way, ala a Clintonesque device to absorb them back into the Catholic Church and her teachings, why is it a public event?

Anonymous said...

Father, the progressive pundit that you mention is playing fast and loose with the facts (though I wouldn't be surprised that if someone pointed that out on his blog, the moderator would delete the comment). Pope Francis could not be any more clearer on the issue of ordination of women to the priesthood. Twice in interviews he has said that it is impossible, that John Paul II pronounced on the issue in a definitive way. Finally, in Evangelii Gaudium he explicitly states that “The reservation of the priesthood to males, as a sign of Christ the spouse who gives himself in the Eucharist, is not a question open to discussion.” There is no ambiguity as to where Francis stands on the matter.
To trace the question of women's ordination from Paul VI, John Paul II, to Benedict XVI and then simply say that Francis is open to ambiguity and discussion without mentioning what Francis has said on this issue is absolutely baffling to me.

Dialogue said...


I don't think he cares about ordaining women, but perhaps he wants them to think he does. At any rate, even God has His limits on what He will allow.

Marc said...

Even God has limits on what he will allow.

Assuredly, God does. But those limits appear to be extreme. He has allowed entire false religions to spring up that mock his truth and rips millions of souls from the chance of salvation. More recently, he allowed his own Church to self-destruct itself by changing its liturgy to placate those same false religions, ripping even more souls away from the saving truth and allowing the desecration of the Body and Blood of His Son on the very altars of his Churches during those liturgies.

In that light, we should not presume that God will not allow the pope to continue along this path. But we err in thinking that the Pope's errors give us license to deviate from that path ourselves.

Gene said...

Pope Francis, like a typical Marxist, will say all the right things while, in practice, moving to subvert the very things he parrots. Do not be fooled.

TJM said...

The "men" in the third photo look like fruit loops! Wow, just wow. I would flee the scene if they appeared. They look like contestants in the San Francisco gay pride parade

TJM said...

I meant the second photo!

Anonymous said...

TJM why do you judge others who want to serve the lord just because they are women. The church is in trouble. We need all of the souls with pure hearts to help. Why do you call these women "men". You don't know them. Some women do have short hair just as some men have long hair. What if these women are think about a mission to serve God instead of long beautiful locks and make up. Be kind to others and look at their heart. You know nothing about these holy women and yet you judge. Are you God?