I came across an abhorrent display of ignorance Saturday when reading an article quoting the Pope’s theologian, Dominican priest Wojciech Giertych, on why women cannot be ordained. This man is in charge of reviewing speeches and texts submitted to the Pope to ensure that they are free of doctrinal error. Once you read this, I am sure that many of you will have the same thoughts that I do ranging from – that explains a lot — to — we are in serious trouble!
Giertych touted the common arguments made against ordaining women – Jesus was a man, Jesus chose only male disciples, etc. However, then he put forth statements about, (1) the theologian’s task, (2) why maleness is essential to the priesthood, and (3) what the vocation of women is and is not.
What is the Theologian’s Task?
According to Giertych, the theologian’s task in determining the definition of priesthood:
“In theology, we base ourselves not on human expectations, but we base ourselves on the revealed word of God” without the freedom “to invent the priesthood according to our own customs, according to our own expectations.”
According to CTSA (Catholic Theological Society of America), the theological task is described as follows:
“Theologians throughout history have promulgated the riches of the Catholic tradition by venturing new ways to imagine and express the mystery of God and the economy of salvation revealed in Scripture and Tradition. This is a Catholic style of theological reflection that very many Catholic theologians continue to practice today. The teaching of the Second Vatican Council in its Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes) is especially eloquent on this responsibility” (See Gaudium et Spes #44).
Continue reading “Imagine a Catholic Church that Loved as only a “Woman” Loves by Michele Stopera Freyhauf”
“Now the Vatican says that nuns are too interested in “the social Gospel” (which is the Gospel), when they should be more interested in Gospel teachings about abortion and contraception (which do not exist). Nuns were quick to respond to the AIDS crisis, and to the spiritual needs of gay people—which earned them an earlier rebuke from Rome. They were active in the civil rights movement. They ran soup kitchens.” — Roman Catholic Women Priests (via Facebook)
I once had a conversation with my New Testament Professor about the issue of women ordination. He was optimistic and thought there might be a possibility that change was in the air – that was six years ago. The basis for his statement had to do with language. Of the journals and articles read, he felt the language used was more inclusive and that once people adjust to this discrete change in gender inclusive language, change for women in the Church can come.
He was right about change coming. The result was not equality and ordination for women, but an attempt to silence and force these women back into their habits and cloisters. Continue reading “Abuse of Power in the Catholic Church: Undoing Almost Fifty Years of Progress – Part I, by Michele Stopera Freyhauf”
The biggest mistake people make is to use theology and catechesis interchangeably. This is an important distinction that impacts the scholarly community of Catholic Theologians. So what is the difference? Catechesis in the Catholic tradition is an “echoing” of the faith. Theology on the other hand, using St. Anselm’s definition, is “faith seeking understanding.” Michael G. Lawler and Todd A. Salzman, in “Beyond Catechesis: What is the Proper Role of Theology”, states that catechesis can be included in theology, but theology is distinguished from catechesis because it “uses scholarly principles not only to communicate the truths of faith but also to explore the meanings of those truths and contemporary ways of articulating them.” Also the theologians’ role is seen as mediator between the magisterium and the faithful. Richard P. McBrien states that the required role of a theologian is to investigate and examine the whole of the Christian tradition; what it means, how it fits, how it is developed, and how it relates to the outside the world in theory and in practice. Ex Corde Ecclesiae also emphasizes community and dialogue, which is not always realized in practice. Continue reading “Diminished Quality of Catechesis as a Basis for Limiting the Role of a Catholic Theologian: An Examination of the Controversy Surrounding Elizabeth Johnson’s Book The Quest for the Living God By Michele Stopera Freyhauf”