Tuesday, May 14, 2019


Make no mistake, the Risen Lord, the High Priest, is a Man and He will never be a High Priestess!

Make no mistake a high priestess is a pagan priestess and she can never be a sacramental image of the High Priest Jesus Christ during the consecration of the Bread and Wine at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. A woman cannot be a priest in paganism or Catholicism!

Except for coloring book Catholics, be they theologians, clergy or laity, orthodox Catholics know that the sacramental sign of the priesthood is Jesus Christ crucified and risen. And we know too that the Risen Lord in His glorified Body remains a man with all His sacred parts in tact.

Jesus Christ from all eternity is not only the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, the Divine Son, but in time He became Man but remained the Divine Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, but in time He has two natures, human male and divine.

By way of the Sacramental ordination of a man as a priest, that man becomes a sacramental sign or image (wrongly called icon) of the Crucified and Risen Lord Jesus who alone is the High Priest and Victim, as well as the Bridegroom of the Church which is His bride. He is also the Head of the Church.

The male priest is a sacramental sign of this in the Sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and specifically at the Words of Consecration, for it is Christ as Head of the Church, as High Priest and as the Bridegroom is the one doing the consecrating and bringing forth in an unbloody way the one Sacrifice  of the Cross.

Pope Francis, to the chagrin of the National Chismatic Reporter and post-Catholic nuns, makes clear that only in paganism in the Old Testament and around the time of the public ministry of the Son of Man, were there to be found priestesses. A priestess is a pagan. Never in the history of the Catholic Church has the Church ordained priestesses despite the fact that priestesses had prominent roles as such in antiquity and thus it would have been seen as a part of that overall culture of the day, but not in the true religion of the Chosen People or in the New Covenant in the Blood of the Bridegroom.

Can a woman be ordained a priestess in the Catholic Church? No, only a man can be a priest because even the term priest is male. A man cannot be ordained a priestess any more than a woman can be ordained a priest. It goes against the dogma of the Sacrament of Holy Orders as well as the dogma of the Most Holy Eucharist and the Sacrifice of the Mass. And even natural law makes this abundantly clear to not only Catholics, but post-Catholics and non-believers.

Priest=Man (no matter the religion)
Priestess=Woman (no matter the religion)

The Catholic Church does not ordain and never has and never will ordain priestesses. It is a dogma of the Ordinary Magisterium of the Church.


Cullen said...

"Except for coloring book Catholics, be they theologians, clergy or laity, orthodox Catholics know that the sacramental sign of the priesthood is Jesus Christ crucified and risen."

No, the priest is the sacramental sign, pointing to Jesus Christ the High Priest.

This would be the same as water in Baptism being the sign, pointing to the cleansing done by the Holy Spirit to our souls. And the oil of Anointing being the sign that points to the healing that comes from God.

Seems not all orthodox Catholics have a very solid grasp of Catholic theology when it comes to Sacraments and signs.

Cullen said...

"Jesus Christ from all eternity is not only the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, the Divine Son, but in time He became Man but remained the Divine Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, but in time He has two natures, human male and divine."

No, Jesus Christ did not exist "from all eternity." The Second Person of the Trinity, aka Logos, aka the Eternally Begotten Son, existed from all eternity, but the God-Man Jesus Christ came into existence at a particular point in time in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary who was, as Scripture tells us, filled with the Holy Spirit.

Dan said...

Hmmm, how about a male priest transitioning to a "woman?" Would their sacraments still be valid? If a bishop transitioned and tried to ordain women, would that be valid?

Althea Gardner said...

Remember when the “priestess” came to mass at St. Joseph’s? She spooked me when she took out her own box of “communion “ and did her own ceremony in the pew. She was denied communion and committed such a heinous act by performing her own rites. Regardless, transitioning to another gender doesn’t change ones genetic makeup. You can’t be something you weren’t born to be, no matter how politically correct or how bad you might WANT it! I WANT to be super talented and rich, but I am not!! And as a woman, I am offended by women who think they should be ordained priests. Jesus was a man, picked male disciples and only men should be priests. Sorry, not sorry

John Nolan said...
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John Nolan said...

Early in his pontificate PF condemned 'gender theory', although characteristically he did not define what it was.

In the unlikely event of a priest deciding to 'reassign' his gender, he would presumably resign from the clerical state rather than wait to be removed from it. However, the Church would still deem him to be male, even if he were subsequently to undergo surgery which would involve castration. His orders would still technically be valid, as they are for all laicized priests.

What would happen if a woman 'transitioned' to masculine gender and then presented herself for ordination? One assumes that the Church authorities would have done the necessary background checks. However, she is still a woman in the eyes of the Church, and her orders would be invalid.

Traditionally a candidate for the priesthood had to be an entire male, so eunuchs were exluded. I don't know whether this still applies.

TJM said...

John Nolan,

As always you are a pleasure to read. I think your statement on eunuchs is interesting. Regrettably looking at Vatican personnel and many of the hierarchy, I think some eunuchs slipped through to ordination!

Anonymous said...

"A priestess is a pagan."

Well, if that is the case, the Diocese of Savannah must be guilty of promoting paganism. As I recall, at a "Reformation 500" service at your cathedral in 2017, a "priestess", the Rev. Fleming Rutledge, gave an address, and there were pictures of her being greeted by your bishop.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

None of the Protestants have Sacred Orders, men or women. Even Anglicans who refer to themselves as priests aren't. But to call an Anglican woman a priest is a misnomer since that is a masculine term. They should be called priestesses to be grammatically correct.

But you raise a good point about ecumenical confusion as it concerns ordained ministry and how political correctness trumps sound doctrine.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Rev. Rutledge Fleming, a priest in the Episcopal Church, gave the sermon at the "Commemoration of the Reformation and Prayer for Unity" on 22 October 2017 at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.

The standard practice is to use the style of address or title for an individual according to his/her religious tradition. We refer to individuals according to the title they have within their own tradition. The same usually applies to vesture in ecumenical gatherings. A participant wears what he/she would wear what is deemed appropriate for a given event according to his/her religious tradition. We would not ask a participant in an ecumenical service in one of our churches to wear vesture that is "foreign" to him or her.

Since, in the Episcopalian tradition, an ordained priest wears a cassock and surplice with tippet (A large black scarf worn by clergy over surplice and cassock at the Daily Offices that resembles a stole and is worn around the neck with the ends hanging down the front.) when preaching, that was what Rev. Fleming wore in the service at our Cathedral.

We refer to the Episcopalian bishop of the Diocese of Georgia as "Bishop Scott Benhase." And we refer to priests of the Episcopalian denomination, male or female, as priests.

There is no "ecumenical confusion" here, nor is there anything approaching support for paganism.

As an aside, I would highly recommend Rev. Rutledge's book, "The Crucifixion - Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ."

Anonymous said...

The Southern Cross, in an October 26, 2017 article on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation service at your cathedral, mentioned in part, "Rev. Rutledge, an American Episcopal priest, was the keynote speaker...". Since the bishop is the publisher of the paper (as is ours in Atlanta), I would assume he was OK with the term "priest" being used for the reverend. I have never seen the term "priestess" used in the Atlanta diocesan paper, nor "bishop" mentioned in quotation marks in the rare instances an Episcopal clergyperson is mentioned in our paper. I guess like the Rev. K says, the title is listed for the person's respective tradition, even if we do not agree with their beliefs and practices. That being said, it seems like the drop in Episcopal Church membership really accelerated with the approval of women's ordination in 1976...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

All from the Georgia Bulletin:

3 May 2018: "The other leaders sitting close to the altar were Bishop H. Julian Gordy, of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; Father Panayiotis Papageorgiou, the presiding presbyter of the Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church of Marietta; and retired Assisting Episcopal Bishop Don Wimberly, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta. Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory sat in the cathedra, a chair reserved for the bishop in his church. Auxiliary Bishops Bernard E. Shlesinger III and Joel M. Konzen, SM, also attended."

27 November 2017: "Presiding at the service were Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory and Bishop Bernard E. “Ned” Shlesinger III, joined by Bishop H. Julian Gordy of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Southeastern Synod (ECLA)."

3 November 2016: "Lutheran Archbishop Antje Jackelen of Uppsala, the first woman to serve as primate of Sweden, read the Gospel at the service."

John Nolan said...

We need to beware of assuming that English linguistic norms, especially recent ones, apply to other languages. In German, every professional title has its feminine equivalent. So a female priest would be Priesterin, just as a female soldier would be Soldatin.

Some 'right-on' commentators refer to the Holy Spirit as 'she'. Yet they are supposedly making a point which has no grammatical significance outside of English. In French Saint-Esprit is masculine, so cannot be referred to as 'elle', any more than Heilige Geist in German can be given the feminine pronoun 'sie'.

For some reason feminine suffixes in English are deemed to be demeaning to women: hence we rarely encounter authoress or poetess, and even actress is out of favour in the US, though not elsewhere. Executrix and testatrix are still used in law.

I would be happy to address an Anglican clergyman as 'Father' if this is his preferred style, otherwise he is 'Mr'. 'Reverend' is not a form of spoken address this side of the pond; it is only used in writing. I would address a Catholic bishop as 'my Lord' and an Anglican bishop as 'Bishop' regardless of gender.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Anglicans of all people should know that it is grammatically incorrect to you a male term for a female person. It is wrong to say woman priest or deacon. It is priestess or deaconess. The Holy Father is opposed to gender ideology a part of which is the manipulation of language to manipulate the faithful.

As it concerns ecumenical prayer services especially in Catholic Churches or cathedrals, these continue to erode Catholic understanding that there is something fundamentally different in Protestant ordination and liturgical services compared to Catholic and Eastern Orthodoxy. Why would we want to do this other than to share tea and crumpets and feel good about ourselves, pat ourselves on the back and wait until the next year to repeat the same?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

On this side of the pond, the formal way to greet a bishop is "Your Excellency." However that is almost completely disappearing in actual usage. This was especially true in addressing a bishop in a formal letter, not so much today with emails.

I have heard some priests call out to their bishop by exclaiming, "hey, bish!"

My Lord as a reference to a bishop has never been used in the USA.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Calling an ordained Episcopalian a priest is not a matter of grammar. Grammar refers to syntax (the set of rules, principles, and processes that govern the structure of sentences in a given language, usually including word order) and linguistic morphology (the study of words, how they are formed, and their relationship to other words in the same language).

Using the term priest for an Episcopalian is a matter of vocabulary (the body of words used in a particular language).

English does not assign gender to nouns as many other languages do. Presbuteros, masculine Greek for elder, has a feminine equivalent, presbutera, though this form never appears in Scripture.

When speaking of various body parts in Spanish, a male has parts the names of which are assigned the feminine gender - la espalda, la columna, la pantorilla, la cabeza, la nariz - and a female has "male" body parts - el brazo, el codo, el dedo, el cuelo, el higado. The gender assigned to the nouns, aside from being a pain to learn, doesn't have anything to do with the body part in terms of morphology, physiology, or function.

When an Episcopalian priest, Lutheran pastor, Methodist minister, man or woman, takes part in a service in a Catholic church, that person is plainly identified as a member of a denomination other than Catholic. His/Her presence does not result in an erosion of Catholic teaching or belief.

Carol H. said...

Bishops need to order blood tests to confirm the sex of their applicants to the priesthood if they haven't done so already. Galadriel's Mirror tells me that a can of worms will be opened in the future, otherwise.

Anonymous said...

So I trust Father M. was not happy about his cathedral holding a 500th anniversary of the Reformation, and would not have held that if he had been the bishop? And probably was not there for the service?

Here in Atlanta, the Catholic and Greek Orthodox bishops hold joint services twice a year, alternating between the 2 cathedrals each time. But I suspect some of the other Orthodox are not so wild about such services (the Greeks considered the more "liberal" Orthodox compared with say the Russians), aware that while Catholics and the Orthodox are similar in their views, there are still fundamental (and probably irreconcilable) differences between the two when it comes of course to the papacy, but also the Filoque, indulgences, the Immaculate Conception and divorce. Catholics certainly are closer to the Orthodox than any other denomination, though to many Catholics, an Anglican/Episcopal Eucharist "looks" the most like a Catholic Mass. The differences between Eucharist Rite 1 in BCP (Book of Common Prayer) and the Catholic "modern" Mass are pretty minor---the order is about the same. Two differences are that in BCP, the confession of sin and the peace occur right before the offertory. Years ago, an Episcopal bishop in Virginia told me that Vatican 2 had a major impact on their BCP---and helped shape the Eucharist as the main Sunday worship in the Episcopal Church as opposed to Morning Prayer and Sermon.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Actually, I am being a bit of the devil's advocate here. I have always organized and had both ecumenical and interfaith services either at other churches/synagogues or in a neutral location in Augusta for a 9/11 interfaith service several years ago.

I use to host the downtown pastors in Augusta to a lunch in my rectory regularly.

Apart from getting to know these men and women ministers/ rabbis, etc., I am not sure what it all actually accomplished other than some transient goodwill which in and of itself isn't bad but for what point.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"Apart from getting to know these men and women ministers/ rabbis, etc., I am not sure what it all actually accomplished other than some transient goodwill which in and of itself isn't bad but for what point."

Inasmuch as we spent 500 or more years condemning each other to hell, I would suggest that getting to know leaders from other denominations has greater significance than you may realize.

A roofer may say "I don't think this one roofing nail has much to do with the structural integrity of the house," but he would be wrong. I am reminded of the verse,
"For want of a nail the shoe was lost;
For want of a shoe the horse was lost;
For want of a horse the battle was lost;
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost—
All for the want of a horse-shoe nail."

The cumulative effect of small acts over time moves us to The Point - the unity of Christianity, which is the will of Christ.

John Nolan said...

No English or Irish Catholic would dream of celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, nor of commemorating it in a quasi-liturgical manner, since it was, historically, a disaster for both countries.

Recognizing our common Christian heritage, giving due credit to the theological writings of many Anglican divines, praying together, attending each other's services - that is ecumenism in a real sense.

Singing hymns that were of Methodist origin and were long resisted by the CofE yet are free of doctrinal error - why not?

Formal unity is out of the question. The Anglicans recognized this when they ordained women as priests and bishops. A female priest (not priestess which has pagan connotations which are inappropriate) is validly ordained according to the norms of her own ecclesial community. That these are not the norms of the Catholic Church goes without saying.

The difference between a Eucharistic rite in Common Worship (which is not the BCP, as Fr Kavanaugh should know but apparently does not) and a vernacular Novus Ordo may be 'pretty minor' in terms of text. However, I would expect a Catholic priest to realize that there is a major and indeed infinite difference, in that the Novus Ordo, for all its shortcomings, is a valid Mass and CW is not.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

I made no mention of the BCP.