14 April 2008

Elsie and Rose's Excellent Adventure

Seeking new venues to give Holy Mother Church their irrepressible "gift" of pretend women's ordination, Elsie McGrath and Rose Hudson strike out for Washington, D.C. This time, their desperate "hey-look-at-us-we're-still-here-but-the-local-media-have-stopped-calling-us" gesture is an "inclusive Mass" at a Methodist outlet in the nation's capital.

Papal Visit Provokes Array of Protests

By DAVID CRARY – 1 day ago

NEW YORK (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI may not see them or hear them, but aggrieved Roman Catholic activists hope his U.S. visit this week will help them draw attention to issues ranging from the ordination of women and gay rights to sex abuse by priests and the Vatican ban on contraception.

The groups have planned vigils, demonstrations and news conferences to press their causes as the pope visits Washington and New York. On Monday evening, the eve of his arrival, supporters of women's ordination will host what they are calling "an inclusive Mass" at a Methodist church in Washington, presided over by Catholic women — including two who were recently excommunicated.

"We cannot welcome this pope until he begins to do away with the church's continuing violence of sexism," said Sister Donna Quinn, coordinator of the National Coalition of American Nuns.

Participants in the service will include Rose Marie Hudson and Elsie McGrath, who were excommunicated last month by Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis because they were ordained as part of a women-priest movement condemned by the Vatican.

"In the face of one closed door after another, Catholic women have been innovative, courageous and faithful to the church," said Aisha Taylor, executive director of the Women's Ordination Conference. "They continue to make a way where is none."



I absolutely love the churlish attention-seeking of these people. They must draw attention to themselves. So what if their new congregation numbers so few people that they can fit in a VW Micro bus? They'll just drive that micro bus to D.C. and hang out with the other heterodoxers. I shouldn't have titled this post their "excellent adventure". It's more like the sequel: Elsie and Rose's Bogus Journey.


doughboy said...

You're funny.

I find it interesting they think they're being "faithful to the Church." How is that possible when you don't uphold the Church's teachings?

Bogus is right. The irony seems entirely lost on them.

Anonymous said...

"...Catholic women have been innovative, courageous, and faithful to the church."

Yes, if faithful means "doing- whatever-the-heck-you-want-and-ignoring what's-actually-right", then yes, these women are the most "faithful" women I've seen.

I'm so sorry Pope Benedict XVI will be greeted by this kind of nonsense when he lands in our country. Let us remember to pray for him.

And for these, uh, "faithful" women.

Mick said...

By the way, do you happen to know where Rose Marie and Elsie have their new Catholic church. My wife and I would like to attend Mass there with them because they're obviously closer to Christ than most priests. And, if it's a Micro Bus, as you say, that's okay, because, if I remember correctly Jesus said "wherever two or more are gathered in my name ..." Or, perhaps you remember it differently?

Anonymous said...

And how "churchish attention-seeking" is it to make a blog to complain about these things?

I love how just because Ree and Elsie are going after your guy, they're just looking for attention, but when Benedict issues an edict or letter, he witnessing to the world.

Consider your extreme bias, and actually research the reasons why these people challenge unjust structures within the church.

These are people who love the church, and want it to truly reflect Jesus' words/deeds/vision. You may disagree with their interpretation of Jesus' vision, and that's fine, but you can atleast respect that they are trying to do the right thing, and have a strong Theological basis for doing so. Even my most conservative Catholic friends who will never agree with me on women's ordination can atleast admit that.

Oh, and both Ree and Elsie are legitimate Theologians. Not sure for Elsie, but I know Ree has something like 5 degrees, with atleast two of them Masters Degrees. They were both extensively trained at Catholic Universities, learning Catholic Theology. Their interpretation of Jesus' mission comes from the historical-critical method of interpreting scripture, which is the method most celebrated by the Vatican as shown in the Document, "The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church", found here: http://catholic-resources.org/ChurchDocs/PBC_Interp.htm

Oh, and Joseph Ratzinger headed the group who produced that document... the same Ratzinger who is now Pope Benedict. ;)

Oh, and one of your labels is, "General Catholic News/Opinion". Most US Catholics polled think women should be allowed to be priests... but I guess the sensus fidelium has no place in the Catholic church. The Church engaged Greek, German, Italian and other cultures. Why is it a crime to engage, US, Latin American, (Liberation Theology)or Asian cultures? (Peter Phan criticized)

thetimman said...

Mick, sorry, that's a trick question-- they don't celebrate Mass. They can't. See, they're not really priests.

If I did know where they were conducting a sacrilegious parody of Mass I would not be able in good conscience to tell you, because I would not want to commit mortal sin by attending it.

God bless you!

thetimman said...

john laity,

Although they may enjoy the attention they get here, I did not "make" this blog in order to complain about them. That is just a chore I am forced to do, like washing the dishes, because they continue to try to hold themselves out as Catholic priests. The truth is otherwise, and must be defended for the good of souls-- not the least their own.

I do not respect what they are doing, even if they have good intentions--which under the circumstances of repeated pastoral warnings and medicinal remedies by their Archbishop are hard to presume.

You see, they are doing something evil. Yes, evil. They are mocking the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. They are excommunicated, cut off from the Body of Christ. They are leading souls astray and calling the Church a liar when she teaches infallibly. They are endangering their souls and the souls of those duped by them.

I wonder why you cannot see this. I will pray for you, because you are selling your birthright for a mess of pottage. A little humility would go a long way-- ask Christ for the grace to accept the teachings of His Church so that you may understand them. You don't know better than the Church, friend.

Anonymous said...

Dear John Laity,

Thanks for weighing in. I've always wanted to get a better idea of how Ree and Elsie's crowd looked at things. Let me try and give you my take on your criticisms.

You began by making a parallel of Rose and Elsie's "witness" with His Holiness'"witness". I don't think the comparison is apt.

Pope Benedict is witnessing to the whole of Catholic Faith and practice. Rose and Elsie are, to put it kindly, about one or two issues. I don't deny that they may uphold in part or whole the Nicene Creed, but you will admit that their public face is primarily about "the unjust structures of the Church".

That being the case I think you'll admit that His Holiness is about a lot more. For that reason your equivalence of the witness of The Pope and the witness of Rosie is a little bit strained. The Pope is the Vicar of Christ. Rosie and Elsie are "single issue" apostates.

You went on to say that Rosie and Elsie have many degrees and powerful theological arguments for believing as they do.

What you say is true. They do have powerful arguments. And perhaps they have powerful degrees.

So did Luther. Calvin is entirely cogent. Simon Magus was, I hear, un-believable at the pulpit and Arian was without doubt one of the greatest and most rational arguers of his time. BUt they were all wrong. Very wrong.

You see, it's not about how good your arguments are. Finally it's whether your arguments are consistent with tradition, scripture, reason and authority.

On that last part, authority, let me misquote Hilary Clinton who once said, "It takes a Villiage to raise a child". The Catholic Church has always and everywhere said "It takes a Pope to raise a Church."

It also takes an Archbishop.

This is how theological confusion is worked out. It is worked out by theologians, the laity, bishops and the Pope. It is not, and has never been worked out by a series of speakers engagements and press releases. It takes a Pope. It takes a Bishop. Dissenters need to start realizing that.

FInally you mentioned the "historical critical method". It is true that the Church recognizes and honors the "historical critical method".

Nonetheless, the method as Fr. Raymond Brown will tell you, is just a technique of reading which must be used within the overall framework of reason and tradition, and authority.

Just because one is using 19th Century techniques of biblical analysis does not make them right. The method was, as I'm sure you know, invented by German Protestant theologians. Were the Protestant theologians right? Not necessarily. The method and the Truth need not have anything to do with each other. Pure technique rarely, by itself, reaches final truth.

The method is a way of coming closer to the grounding of the biblical text in the language and culture of the Hellenistic Middle East during the occupation of the Romans. It is not any sure way of finding the truth. It is simply a very powerful aid in reading the Gospels.

The fact that Rosie and Elsie use the historical critical method is no more probative than the fact that Calvinists now use it. Now Calvinists who use the method also believe in "reprobate souls" and "predestination". Are they right? Does the fact that they use the historical-critical method prove the rightness of their theology of the elect? No.

I think you'll see my point?

The liberal Gary Wills recently wrote that there was only one final reason he remained a Catholic: The Papacy.

When his holiness gets here please ask Rosie and Elsie to remember that though all of Western History one voice has consistently saved the world. It was the voice of the Pope.

Honor Him. Take down your rediculous signs. Otherwise you and your friends are going to be grounded and worse, you'll lose your allowance.

Mick said...

That's okay, thetimmen. I'll find out some other way. And, after my wife and I have attended one of their Masses and committed that "mortal sin," as you call it, I'll let you all know how it went. How 'bout that? Peace.

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting timman that you reference the church and church teachings as your defence, while I reference Jesus, and Jesus' teachings. If the two are not in accord, God is the trump card.

Jesus broke the unjust "canon law" of His time, (Healing on the sabbath, touching lepers etc.) because the spirit of the law demanded as such. His followers should follow His example. Jesus received repeated warnings from the Priestly line, a line God instituted through Aaron.

You tell me to ask for humility as you speak on God's behalf, calling their eucharistic ritual evil. Perhaps one should look to the beam in their own eye before commenting one the splinter in mine. Seriously, you say you're "forced" to write this blog to defend the Holy Truth... and you think I'm the one who thinks I'm too important?

Read Lumen Gentium, especially that LONG section on how the church is the people of God. (Chapter II)I do not know more than the church, but I (and you) am/are the church as well. The Hierarchy is one aspect of the church. The laity count too, and God can reveal through them as well as through the hierarchy. Both can witness to each other in different ways.

You should ask yourself why you can't respect these people. That says more about you than it does about the Christian faith.

thetimman said...

mick, no thanks, I don't need the update. Have a great time.

john laity, your revisionist take on Church history is as tedious as it is inaccurate. Sorry to say it so bluntly, but you need to read a reliable Church history; perhaps you can purchase one from one of those "unjust structures" to which you refer.

The brand of religion to which a person adheres when they consistently claim to have secret knowledge of what Jesus "really" said and meant, other than what He said and meant, is called gnosticism, at best.

You know, Vatican II did not change any teaching of the Church, and there were actually other Councils and Papal decrees prior to that. Have you read the Catechism of the Council of Trent? Would Unam Sanctam blow you away? How about Mortalium Animos? Or Pascendi?

Do they not count any more because the glorious wind of maturity enlightened us all in the sixties? If they don't, then you stand for the proposition that Vatican II changed Church teaching. If they do still count, then tell me how they square with the actions of our pretend priestess friends. It is oh so easy to say one is loyal to the Church, identify that you yourself ARE the Church, and then do exactly as you please. Not exactly the narrow way, if you get my drift.

Anonymous said...

Anonymus, I’ll address your criticisms:

You began by making a parallel of Rose and Elsie's "witness" with His Holiness'"witness". I don't think the comparison is apt.

Pope Benedict, and popes in general have made statements about one or two specific situations in the world or church. They are not always representing the whole of Catholic tradition. In fact, benedict will speak on the sexual abuse scandals and on terrorism this week. Those are “single issues”. One who attends Ree and Elsie’s services will know that they embrace every aspect of the priesthood, not just the prophetic voice.

You critiqued me for raising the point of Ree and Elsie’s theological training. I raised that point to show that these women do know what they’re talking about, and aren’t just on a rant. The Theological reasons behind their ordinations was belittled, and so I defended it. To try to twist my words into saying that education=authority is to prooftext.

You criticized the protestant reformers as “wrong, VERY wrong”, even though Vatican II accepted MANY of their requests, like vernacular language, more emphasis on the Bible, etc. Additionally, John Paul II came out and said that there were mistakes on both sides of the Protestant Reformation, so to demonize the reformers flys in the face of all ecumenical progress made in the last half-century.

You cited tradition, scripture, reason and authority (really, that’s tradition) as having authority in the Catholic tradition. You’re close. The sources for Catholic authority are: scripture, tradition, philosophy, science, the sensus fidelium (sense of the faithful) and authority. The sense of the faithful is an authoritative voice in the Catholic tradition.

You said, "It takes a Pope to raise a Church." It also takes laity. Clergy and laity.

You said, “This is how theological confusion is worked out. It is worked out by theologians, the laity, bishops and the Pope. It is not, and has never been worked out by a series of speakers engagements and press releases. It takes a Pope. It takes a Bishop. Dissenters need to start realizing that.”

One format for the laity, clergy and theologians is through speakers and press releases, especially when the Vatican has sworn off dialogue on the issue.

You accurately described the Church’s view on the historical-critical method, but then tried to belittle it as merely a tool. Of course it’s a tool. Again, the context. I am simply trying to show that there is legitimate enough Theological reasonings behind the movement to justify dialogue. This tool, the most celebrated tool, shows us this. My call is not for condemnation, excommunication, but consideration and dialogue. Even the Vatican admitted there was ZERO biblical reason why women could not be priests.

I think you'll see my point?

You said, “The liberal Gary Wills recently wrote that there was only one final reason he remained a Catholic: The Papacy.” I’m sure I could dig up a conservative or two who had issues with the papacy.

You said, “One voice has consistently saved the world. It was the voice of the Pope.” I thought it was the voice of Jesus. Be careful who you deify. Popes have done horrible things as have bishops, priests, laypeople, Christians, Muslims, Atheists, etc.

You said, “Otherwise you and your friends are going to be grounded and worse, you'll lose your allowance.” For someone who just got very childish in their comments, I find this statement ironic”.

Anonymous said...


Despite you putting words in my mouth and disregard most of what I say, you hit on an interesting point, what do we do when two church teachings, or church teachings and Jesus are at odds?

Just as I have to deal with Trent (I've read the documents well), you have to deal with VII.

To call studying what Jesus said by reading the scriptures "Gnosticism" is very silly. Read the text. Its all there. I wonder why you can't see it.

You say we do, "whatever we want" when really we're trying to be faithful to the message of Jesus.

Your inability to respectfully dialogue saddens me. I hope your anger (which shows in your post) doesn't consume you.

We are at odds, but in my book, you are still my sibling. I will not revisit this site because I've wasted enough work today, (and I'm not being respected) but I wish you the best and just ask you be open to what is already there in the Gospel, and to Jesus' message of the Kindom of God.


thetimman said...

john laity, I am not angry, as you are well aware, although it does make a good ad hominem attack, as does calling my views silly. But these tactics do not make me angry, although dealing with them is a bit tiring.

Respectful dialogue is such a vacuous phrase. What does it mean? If you mean you have one point of view, and try to defend it and persuade me of it, while I do the same with regard to my views, we used to call this an argument. In argument one presents proofs, uses logic, etc. Do you think that people conduct arguments anymore that aren't based on "hate"? Does respectful dialogue really mean that I have to acknowledge that error is truth, or that truth is really what you "feel" it is? Tolerance?

No offense, but "respectful dialogue" as currently practiced by the gang of dissent "within" the Church produces confusion and discouragement for those forced to endure it.

The teaching of the Church on the impossibility of women's ordination is crystal clear, and infallibly taught. Let me know if you are confused by this.

If you don't wish to adhere to this teaching, there are several thousand protestant sects who will share your perspective. It is your choice to believe the Church or not.

Of course, feel free to visit this site or not as you see fit.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Laity,

This is Anonymous.

Let's go another round.

I said that Rose/Elsie represented special issues and not the whole of Catholic teachinig. I said that, for that reason, your placeing their "witness" on the level of a Pope's seems well, a little distorted. Your reply was

"Pope Benedict, and popes in general have made statements about one or two specific situations in the world or church. They are not always representing the whole of Catholic tradition. In fact, benedict will speak on the sexual abuse scandals and on terrorism this week. Those are “single issues”. One who attends Ree and Elsie’s services will know that they embrace every aspect of the priesthood, not just the prophetic voice."

My point is that Popes speak in Encyclicals, in which, no matter what the topic, one finds a remarkable wholeness and integrity whereby the entirety of the Catholic Faith is drawn on, even if the immediate subject, such as contraception, is limited and topical.

My point is simple. Are Rosie and Elsie authoring Encyclicals? I'm not being sarcastic. It goes to the heart of my argument. A Pope, almost any Pope, witnesses on a grander scale. That's why I said comparing Rose and Elsie to the Pope seems a bit grandiloquent.

I admit. I have not heard them from the pulpit. Perhaps they are the equivalent of men who have spoken from the See of St. Peter.
It's possibility, I guess that in Rose and Elsie we have an anti-Pope, no two of them, speaking at St. Cronan's, everytime there is a "women's led liturgy". Maybe so. But somehow I doubt it.

Let's leave this alone. You obviously know something about the inner goodness of the laity and these good women which makes Popes important, but not particularly important. And I'll concede that if McGrath and her friend are the equivalent of St. Catherine of Sienna then they are more important than the Pope.

We'll leave the sainthood of the "womenpriests" to some future Council.

Till then I'll continue to be skeptical.

As for your imputation that I twisted your remarks about their education I did not. I think you attempted to infer that their brainyiness made them right. I'm glad to see you don't think that.

As for the Protestant theologians I cited two very specific Calvinist doctrines which the "historical critical" method might defend: predestination and the theory of the reprobate soul.

I still maintain that those views are wrong and only tradition, authority and natural law will defeat them. Not the H-C method.

I'm not demonizing Reformers. The minor concessions we make regarding more reading of the Bible and the Mass in the Vernacular are trivial, (except for the fact that the Mass in the vernacular is a disaster but that's another argument.)

You maintain that the "sensus fidelium" has an authoritative voice within the Catholic tradition. That's true but only when it is in unity with the constant teaching of the Church. I must say however, since you put so much weight on the sense of the faithful, that I need clarification as to what you mean.

Let's be honest. Isn't your real point something like "most Catholics want women priests so given the authority of 'the sensus fidelium" then women priests must be right. If that's your definition of the "Sensus fidelium" (and I don't know if it is) then try this on for size.

Regarding homosexuality it's also the "sensus fidelium" that "you can't put a square peg in a round hole".

Watch out. Your version of the "sensus fidelium" (if I understand you) will hurt your agenda more than help it.

I bring this up not to distract. I realize you did not bring up gay rights. However, EVERY woman priest website I've ever vistited also (interestingly) wanted a complete rewrite of the Church's teaching about sex.

I don't say you do. I say the issues seem somehow to be related.

My point is that if you're going to use that "sensus fidelium" argument as a kind of democratic rule watch out. The faithful have never much liked sodomy. Even if they like the idea of women priests.

As for the rest of your call for continued dialogue on these issues let me say that "dialogue" can take many shapes. There is dialogue all throughout the Summa Theologiae. But answers consistent with revelation reason are finally arrived at. Just because there are sufficient reasons to ask a question doesn't mean an endless debate is warranted in the name of "dialogue".

If you continue to wish for continued dialogue I suggest a religious retreat and a patient priest.

I'm not being catty. The matter of women priests has been settled. And just because the question will be raised again and again doesn't unsettle it, or make constant disbelief into "dialogue".

There is no more dialogue. The case is closed.

One last thing. And I mean this in charity. The U.S. is filled with legitimate protestant denominations which believe just as you do.

Wouldn't it be more honest just to join one?

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

lol, womenpriests...the summation of a misinterpretation of what feminism actually was. :)

Anonymous said...

Having the Holy Father in the United States is very exciting. It is truly a shame that when the Pope is trying to unite the Church, there are those who seek to disunite or even destroy it.

Anonymous said...

To all those who desire women's ordination in the Catholic Church and support others who are pioneering it:

This is my first time here. I read that the creator of this blog has entrusted it to Our Lady. Our Lady refreshes my soul, but the energy here is anything but humble, elightening or peaoeful. Christ, Our Hope is based in prayer for each other.
I heard a presentation on Pope Benedict's most recent book; Jesus of Nazareth from the Franciscans at Stubenville. Dr. Scott Hahn suggested reading it for anyone who has lost their faith saying it will not only restore it, but transform it...many say a brief reading leads them into prayer... Dr. Brant Pitre said that it brings us back to the basics; Love of God & an encounter with Christ; this book is a way we can touch Christ! During EWTN Raymond Arroyo's interview with President Bush before the Pope's arrival he said, "When you looked into Putnin's eyes you said you saw his soul. What did you see when you looked into Benedict's eyes?" Insantly Bush said, "God! I see God."
This Book is about approaching the Scriptures with faith & reason; calling upon the Holy Spirit & taking meaning from the entire context of the text within the canon. The Historical-Critical has it's uses, but dissects & critically pulls apart the scriptures for critique & is based on the premise of skepticism. Unfortunately, some lose their faith; lose sight of the true Gospel; lose their Way presented & substitute their own theories for the Gospel this process of exegesis without balancing it with other methods.
I live in a University town & i have observed that just because people have a lot of Degrees doesn't mean that they have an ounce of Godly Wisdom! It takes great humility to accumulate much learning over time without letting it go to one's head!

*This is the explanation I learned for why there can be no ordination of women priests in the Catholic Church. #1. Because the Church is Christ's Church and at the Last Supper when he instituted the Eucharist and the Priesthood He did not choose any women, although many served Him and he could have done so.
#2 If Jesus had desired any Priestes, He would have instituted His Mother as the Perfect Priestess, but He did not.
#3 Nor did He tell the 12 Apostles they had His authority to change this later. That is why no Pope can change this tradition; rather he is the guardian & protector of it.
#4 Even though the Priest practices chastity through celebacy, he is married; married to the Church; the Bride of Christ for Whom He is to pour out His life in loving service. If there was a Priestess, this would not properly reflect the marriage covenant Gospel teacing between one man & one woman.
#5 The Priests acts "in personna Christi" during the Euchaistic Prayer/consecration of the Body & Blood ("in the place of Christ") & Jesus is the God-Man; First Fruits of the New Creation/Humanity.
#6 The Priesthood is a calling from God; not my will, but Thine.

Female Altar Servers: Until recent years Male Altar Servers were the poole from which Christ chose a majority of His future Priests & permanent Deacons for service in His Church. It is an inclusive way that girls can serve at the Mass, but often I think it gets the boys "off the hook" so to speak of service because girls often mature sooner, are less shy than boys of the same age; & are more readily willing to serve in the first place. (just an opinion)
We need holy Priestly Vocations; bottom line.

This explanation has always satisfied me. I feel called to preach the Gospel & to lead the Liturgical prayers, especially in Latin, & I have many qualities that lend to it, but I respect how Christ set things up because He is all Wisdom. He sets me where He pleases and that brings me great joy. Happy Easter All * * *

"We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our song."-- St. Augustine-1st Century Church Father
God Bless, Lynn from C'Dale IL *

thetimman said...

Lynne, thanks for visiting-- sorry for the negative energy, but please remember two things:

1. This isn't the first time this subject has been canvassed in this space, so you may want to read through the past posts before jumping to conclusions as to the general tone of discussion.

2. The womenpriest supporters know full well why women cannot be priests. They simply don't believe what the Church teaches. But they know better than to say they haven't been told in detail why.