Roman Catholic Church: Ordination of Women
© Agnes Sam 2015
This article is not an argument for or against the Ordination of Women. It is not written by a fundamentalist, or religious fundi. It is hoped it will promote discussion.
There are many instances where Catholic history reveals confusion about faith, belief, practice and/or procedure.
Faith is an element that is the absolute truth for a Roman Catholic and is not based on scientific fact, nor requires scientific proof, or philosophic reasoning. E.g. the Trinity, the Resurrection, the Ascension, the Transfiguration, the Consecration. If these articles of faith were ever to be scientifically proven or philosophically reasoned, they would cease to be articles of faith and would be facts.
A practice or procedure is an action a Roman Catholic performs that does not affect faith e.g. genuflecting when coming into church; blessing oneself with holy water; making the sign of the cross with the right hand; bowing the head when the name ‘Jesus’ is said. Catholics are not bound to do this but they do.
A belief is an idea Catholics believe that may be scientifically proven to be correct or incorrect but either way does not affect faith: e.g. the earth is round; the earth is not the centre of the universe; the Shroud of Turin is the shroud of Christ. In the Church’s history people have been labelled heretics for ideas such as these.
In the latter half of the twentieth century the Catholic Church introduced changes in practices and procedures that did not affect faith but that some Catholics consider should not have been altered.
The Church was formerly described as a universal church perhaps because the language used during Mass throughout the world was Latin. No matter where in the world Catholics travelled they could attend Mass and participate fully using a missal that would have the mother tongue translated in one column with Latin in the other. With the introduction of mother tongue during the Mass and the global village in which we now live, Catholics attending Mass as tourists and students are prevented from fully participating in the Mass. The Church appears to have created its own Tower of Babel.
The Roman Catholic Bible (i.e. the Vulgate) contains a few more books than other Bibles. In stricter times it was the only bible Catholics were permitted to read. The Vulgate has been substituted by bibles from which the additional books are missing. While the translation of the Bible into the mother tongue of Catholics around the world is acceptable the use of other Bibles is questionable. The King James Bible is an excellent English translation!.
Attendance at Mass on Sunday once compulsory under pain of mortal sin has become very relaxed. In each parish several masses were said on a Sunday morning with Benediction on Sunday evening. Perhaps because of the dwindling number of priests, to placate the laity or to move towards Saturday being the Sabbath, many churches provide only one Mass on Sunday morning and a new practice for Catholics to attend mass on Saturday evening as a substitute for Sunday Mass. Catholics were required to fast from Saturday evening until receiving Communion on Sunday morning. And Catholics did this. But that appears not to be practised at present.
Many other practices have been excised from the Catholic routine. And despite the fact that many Catholic priests have a sincere devotion to Mary, the mother of Christ appears to have been kicked into the long grass. Of course there are pilgrimages to Lourdes and Fatima and celebrations of Mary’s feast days, but groups like the Legion of Mary and the Sodality of Our Lady do not appear to exist. Perhaps to placate those Christian communities that the Church wishes to embrace, and that do not have this devotion to the mother of Christ.
Eating fish on Fridays, removal of the altar rails separating the congregation from the altar, leads to the Ordination of Women in the Catholic Church.
There are Catholics who consider themselves traditionalists and prefer the Church to revert to procedures and practices that were in place before these changes. They don’t campaign nor do they make their voices heard. But it is worth considering what these are:
1. Traditional Catholics believe the priest officiating at Mass should not turn his back on the Tabernacle where the Consecrated Host is contained.
2. Traditional Catholics believe the priest should not genuflect to the congregation but rather to the Tabernacle.
3. Traditional Catholics believe only a Roman Catholic priest should touch the Consecrated Host. The new practice is for communicants to receive the Consecrated Host in their hands and to place it in their own mouths.
4. Traditional Catholics believe only a Roman Catholic priest should administer Holy Communion to a communicant. The new practice is for Eucharistic Ministers from the laity to touch the Consecrated Host and to administer Holy Communion during the Holy Mass, The Ecumenical Ministers also take Communion to the housebound.
The practice that Traditional Catholics would like to be discussed is that included among the Eucharistic Ministers who administer Holy Communion during Holy Mass are – Women Eucharistic Ministers. Women Eucharistic Ministers also take Holy Communion to housebound Catholics. This is incredible when one considers that the Catholic Church has refused to allow the ordination of women. Women are not ordained priests. Yet women touch the Consecrated Host and administer Holy Communion during Mass. Is the Roman Catholic Church confused? Or is it preparing for the ordination of women?
© Agnes Sam 2015