Well, I Guess Excommunication Beats Burning at the Stake…

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Burn the witch!  

This from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Kathy Sullivan Vandenberg faces excommunication for seeking the priesthood in an unsanctioned ordination ceremony, Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan said[,] . . . notify[ing] the Vatican of Vandenberg’s action. Dolan said her excommunication could come soon. . . .  

In his letter to the parish, Dolan said he was “disappointed because Ms. Vandenberg and I had begun a fruitful dialogue on the matter last fall. At that time, . . . I had advised her that any attempted ordination would affect her relationship with the church.”. . .  

Vandenberg . . . was stung that Dolan made details of their talk public. “We both agreed that the meeting would be private,” she said. . . .  

On July 31, Vandenberg and 11 other women took part in an ordination ceremony in Pittsburgh – eight to become priests and four to be deacons.  

Roman Catholic Womenpriests, which organized the event, has held similar ceremonies in Canada and Europe.  

The group claimed last week’s ordinations were valid, performed by women “bishops” secretly ordained by anonymous male bishops. Dolan termed them “simulated and invalid.” . . .  

“I want to always be respectful of the church and the bishop,” she said, “but there are times when you have to be obedient to God and not the bishop.”

Am I missing something here?   The Catholic Church has made abundantly clear, not only to Vandenberg  but to the world, that women can’t be priests (a position with which I disagree, and I’ve never ever heard a plausible argument for denying women the role other than an arbitrary  “because I told you so” rule that typifies the worst of religious “thought”…).   So, why the need to excommunicate?   Isn’t it enough to say, “sorry, you can’t get a parish,” and “sorry, we are in receipt of your CV to be the priest at the 8th Street church, but you see, we don’t hire women as priests, so you’re not getting the job”?

Excommunication seems like it’s really going an unnecessary extra mile to send a message to women who get uppity about their second-class status….

– Scott Moss

This entry was posted in Feminism and Culture, Feminism and Law, Guest Blogger. Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to Well, I Guess Excommunication Beats Burning at the Stake…

  1. larryalobo says:

    If you are not part of the organization, then what the group does is up to the group. You are looking at this as what the church does to these women whether you agree with the church’s position on women as priests. The chruch does not just act on what people do but it must consider what effect people’s behavior (part of the church or not) has on the believers in the church. Addressing scandal is important whether the church does it well always or not.

    Excamunication is not extreme – it is the effect of what the women did and this is the response – sure the church could have said nothing more but you know that silence may mean agreement. If all it said was they could not have their own chruch, some might interpret that as agreement with what the women did but they can’t perform now. We have to be concerned with what believers may think and what non-catholic believers may say and make comments about. It’s just amazing that so many people who don’t believe in the catholic church, who are not members have so much to say about what the chruch does or says. At lest we can have a give and take about how the chruch works unlike some groups that have become so strident and unyielding that one word that challenges them means you must be racist, sexist, against some group. Think what you will – it’s your opinion but we have more to worry about than one or several other opinions. Blessings.

  2. Pingback: Feminist Law Professors » Blog Archive » Catholics Want Female Priests