I was hasty in suggesting the case of Maryknoll priest preaching at a women’s ordination was closed, more or less. NCR and a few blogs report on his reply to the Vatican, asking him to formally recant or face excommunication.
The Catholic blogosphere, as usual, has a mixed experience focusing on the issues at hand. And I’m sure the Catholic mainstream is either cheering or vilifying him without much regard for the content of his dissent.
One obvious question Fr Roy raises with the curia: priests and bishops have committed more serious crimes, grave sins, not even acts of conscience, and they are not excommunicated. Some even enjoy positions of privilege. Does that seem right? It seems like a deft political question on Fr Roy’s part. I’m sure it sticks, even for people who disagree with Fr Roy’s opposition to the SOA and his involvement in his friend’s ordination.
I’ll let the canon lawyers discuss if the CDF can do this.
I’d rather comment on resurfacing an issue that seemed settled to a degree three months ago. Granted, Fr Roy is the one who has made his own communication public. While I appreciate the CDF’s tenacity on opposing women’s ordination, I think serious questions are worth some consideration:
For a matter supposedly decided by Jesus and the Holy Spirit, we continue to see Rome confronted on this matter. Is it always about the personal aspirations of individuals misled by their own “mis-formation?” If so many women, married men, and homosexuals are stepping forward to serve, what does this say about the public sense of the presbyterate? The priesthood was not reformed much by Vatican II. The invention of theology (the Concord Pastor’s comment on “spiritual paternity”) to fit an administrative decision doesn’t speak well that our priesthood is in good shape.
I’ve voiced doubts on the problem of ordaining women without the call of a community. Yet I’ve known a few ordinands over the years, and other women who aspire to the presbyterate. How many would step back if it meant others could be ordained? I suspect most would.
I don’t see much good resulting from the CDF’s confrontation with Fr Roy. I don’t believe the Maryknoller will back away from what he sees as an issue of conscience. He has stated he would not attend/participate/celebrate a woman’s ordination in the future. That seems not enough. Not enough, except for Fr Roy to hang a protest upon. I don’t see this coming to a diplomatic ending; do any of you?