SteveMemes: Ordain a Lady

Ordain a WonkaMaybe you’ve seen the “Ordain a Lady” video on YouTube recently, and found yourself suddenly and involuntarily ejecting all liquid that was once in your mouth into a makeshift high-pressure stream which proceeded to slice your computer monitor in half.  Amidst the wreckage you begin to type in a comment that says, “hilarious parody! Can’t believe you did that! You had me ROTFLM-A-E-I-O-U-AND-SOMETIMES-Y”.  But as the video continues, you stop yourself before clicking “post” because you start to realize, “wait… is this for real?”

Or maybe you’re one of those who discovered the video after they disabled comments.  In which case all you have to show for it is a monitor that is sliced clean in two, and the feeling of being confused as the dickens.

I share your confusion.  And alongside this meme, I wanted to note a few interesting points of what they said, and the peculiar logical disconnect in how they said it.

Thérèse of Lisieux:

I love St. Thérèse.  She’s so awesome.  But she did not ultimately desire to be a priest.  Getting carried away in hyperbole, as St. Thérèse sometimes did, she spoke of her desire to essentially be and do all things for Christ.  Among this list she stated that if she were a priest she would act with great reverence and love in giving others the Eucharist, etc.  She then submits herself fully and lovingly to the Church saying that even as St. Francis (who could have become a priest) was not a priest, she too would “willingly imitate him in refusing the honour of the priesthood”.  (You can read more about this here).  If St. Thérèse thought she truly had a calling, she wouldn’t “willingly” imitate St. Francis, but “begrudgingly”.  I just can’t imagine how, being Carmelite, and having the vocation to pray for priests, St. Thérèse might feel about her name being dragged around to promote female ordination.

Don’t listen to St. Paul / Excommunication? I’m still glowing

Yeah sure, because if you want to receive a Sacrament that is based on and understood through Scripture and Tradition, then you go ahead and discount both Scripture and Tradition.  This one just baffles me the most.  I have to imagine that even the majority of women out there who struggle with male-only ordination would themselves find this reasoning laughable.  It’s one thing to argue that maybe we’re misinterpreting Scripture, or that there could be loopholes in the Church’s teaching that leave female ordination as a possibility…. And while you’d still be wrong, at least this is a more intelligent argument than to cast aside the very things that give meaning to the priesthood.  What you’re left with then is… well… just a title and a job I guess?  In which case, you don’t need the Catholic Church to do that.  You don’t need a calling to do that.  Just go hop on board one of those other churches that are trying to “schmooze” you and it will be the same thing.

But God just called me, so ordain a lady

This one is less obvious, but I think it’s worth looking at.  A calling has always been discerned through two sources: the individual and the Church.  Take me for example.  I am a Seminarian.  I feel called to the priesthood.  But the Church has to agree with me.  Even though I’m currently petitioning for ordination to the Deaconate, the Bishop could write me back and say, “not yet”, or “not at all”.  If that was the case, it would do me no good to post a video with a catchy tune to try and plead my cause.  If the Church says, “no” to me, then I must accept.  Just like in a marriage there are two partners, if you want to marry someone and the desire isn’t mutual, the reasonable course of action isn’t to try and tell that person that they’re simply wrong and need to “get with the times”.  It may be hard, but you can’t force these things.

Where do you think the Church is going?

I may as well ask these ladies the same thing.  If ignoring the Scriptures and Tradition of the Church are things which seem okay, I’d have to wonder what our Church would look like, and where it would be going if it gave up on the only two sources upon which we receive the teaching of Christ.  We’d be left with only private revelation, in which each person would claim whatever he or she thinks God might be saying, which as we’ve already seen through people who follow only private revelations, leads only to far greater division and disagreement.

So I put the question to you, the reader: where do you think the Church is going?  And what are your thoughts on female ordination and why?

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About Fr. Steve

I am happily a priest of Diocese of London, Ontario, as of April 25, 2015! Hooray!!! Some people are afraid to ask clergy questions sometimes, because they are worried about "what he'll think of me". I am happy to engage in any discussions you might want to have with me about the faith, and trust me, I have heard and probably even lived many of the crazy stories people might share and am not seeking to look down on you, but to help lift you up, wherever you are, to whatever degree you are willing to go. It's about you, and your relationship with God. That is what is most important to me. Since the Lord loves you without qualification, I try to impart the same courtesy.

Posted on January 17, 2013, in Catholic, meme, Priesthood, SteveMemes and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Holy smokes. Thanks for the post Steve. I think you’ve nailed it in your response.

    PS: the first sentence of “Don’t listen to St. Paul/Excommunication? I’m still glowing” is a bit confusing. Should it read “You cannot receive a Sacrament that is based on and understood through Scripture and Tradition if you discount both Scripture and Tradition”? Or have I missed it?

    • Yes, you’re correct, that’s what I mean. But I’m being sarcastic, saying like, “ohh yeah, of COURSE you discount scripture and tradition if you want something that depends on scripture and tradition. Logic grade = A++”. I reworded it slightly to hopefully make that more apparent.

      Glad you liked the post, and thanks for the comment!

  2. I absolutely agree. Coming from protestant/pentecostal background, I’ve seen and heard a lot of horror stories about people going by only personal revelation, or worse, picking various pieces out of the bible, and using them all out of context to backup their somewhat erroneous ideas. Though personal revelation is a valuable thing, if we didn’t base our beliefs on the holy scriptures (taken *IN* context) we’d be subject to every spirit that came along posing as an angel or the Holy Spirit.

    I can understand how with the modern rise of feminism and gender equality that there are women champing at the bit, unable to understand why they can’t be allowed to hold the same roles as men, and who see being barred from ordination as another example of male oppression, but choosing to ignore scripture is a very dangerous occupation for anyone seeking a place of leadership.
    Of course, if one were to step back and ask why they wish to be a priest, then you could also raise the example of all the women who’ve influenced history as back seat drivers. There’s a saying that behind every great man is a good woman. Priests may take a vow of celibacy, but that does not prevent them from seeking the counsel and close friendship of the opposite sex (Unless I’m missing something here ^^:). If it’s leadership and the power to help people that girls are after, there’s nothing stopping anyone from following Christ’s example.

    • Right on. I also think that such an opposition is lacking in humility. The greater roles have always been those who worked silently without praise and without attention. The Lord sees all things, and that’s all that matters. If God had chosen to ordain women as priests instead of men, I would happily take the backseat and rejoice at whatever way God would intend to use me. Now, of course I’m not perfect so it would surely be difficult at times… but the point is that these women in the Church who have done incredible things did so by simply following God and humbly submitting to Him and to His Church. Humble submission is hard, but it has the greatest reward.

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