Institution of the Eucharist by Sassetta.This wasn’t going to be my next post; this wasn’t on the agenda at all. But on Sunday, as I was finally reading last week’s local paper, I encountered the word “womanpriest” for the first time. This “womanpriest” was scheduled to be celebrating Mass. In a Presbyterian church.

I was shocked. Even prior to my conversion I did not much care for the idea of women leading churches. Women have a place in worship, but not as the head of a church.

I don’t understand why a Catholic would defy the Church in such a way. Why not pick another faith, perhaps one in which you can find women heading up churches? Really, you might as well, if you think the Church can be wrong about who can become priests… because that would mean the Church does not have the guidance of the Holy Spirit. You’d have bigger problems at that point than who can be a priest. You would have to to figure out which church you ought to belong to instead. What criteria you’d use in your evaluation, I have no idea; “one, holy, catholic and apostolic” are already taken and they point to the Catholic Church and no other.

Why would someone strive to become a leader in an organization about which they have an inadequate education? Any properly catechised Catholic should know that if the Church is incorrect in declaring that only baptized males may be ordained as priests (CCC 1577), then the Church does not have the guidance of the Holy Spirit and can be incorrect about many other things.

If the Church does not have the guidance of the Holy Spirit, then you might as well choose another faith, plain and simple.

This is all or nothing territory. The Church cannot be right only 99.99999% of the time where doctrine is concerned. If it’s ever once in doctrinal error, your entire world ought to crumble, because the Holy Spirit doesn’t make mistakes. And the Church would have had to have made a mistake to begin with in order to declare a reversal of previously defined doctrine, because doctrine is either true or not; it doesn’t change with the times. Discipline and practices can change, but not doctrine.

In the unlikely case that anyone reading this happens to be someone trying to celebrate the Mass as a female priest, please stop your abuses and read the Code of Canon Law. Try these parts: “A baptized male alone receives sacred ordination validly” (link)… and, “The minister who is able to confect the sacrament of the Eucharist in the person of Christ is a validly ordained priest alone” (link). If you think for some reason that none of that applies to you, then you need to ask yourself why you’re Catholic if you think the Church can be wrong about this. If the Church can be wrong about those parts, then this part can be wrong too, in which case you should be very worried: “Through baptism men and women are freed from sin, are reborn as children of God, and, configured to Christ by an indelible character, are incorporated into the Church” (link). Really, do you think you’re going to hear God say “Well done, my good and faithful servant” for leading His children astray through your invalid celebrations of the Mass? This is serious. You are leading people away from the Church. Your acts are compounded in gravity by the effect your acts have upon other Catholics and even upon non-Catholic believers. If you don’t care what the Church has to say, if you don’t think the Church has the authority to infallibly define what makes a Mass or an ordination valid, then why are you Catholic? Why are you sowing your discord here? I’m not really suggesting you leave the Church; I’m suggesting you stop and think. A Catholic cannot do what you are doing and still believe the Church has authority from God. If the Church does have that authority, then you, as a female, cannot be a validly ordained priest. If you don’t believe the Church has that authority, if you just think the Church does some good works in the world, then why do you want to be a priest?

I read a recent Time article (with a painfully obvious bias) related to this in which I found these words:

…Lee is conducting Mass for 25 Catholics gathered in front of a coffee-table altar in defiance of the Pope. “Rome says you’ll be thrown out of the church for being here,” says Lee, “because I’m a woman.”

“Rome says”? Such divisive us vs. them language. That doesn’t speak of One Body.

The article describes one womanpriest’s church as “a five-year-old San Diego splinter parish.” A splinter parish? Do those words fit in with “one, holy, catholic [universal] and apostolic”? If you’re attending a Catholic Mass in a Protestant church or in someone’s home using a coffee table for an altar because the priest is a renegade as far as the main body of the Church is concerned, chances are something is seriously in question regarding the validity of your Mass. An invalid Mass cannot fulfill your Sunday obligation. What it can do for you is another question, and the answer is nothing good.

More to the point, if you are receiving what you believe to be the Eucharist from an invalidly ordained priest, you are not receiving Jesus. You are consuming bread and wine and nothing more. You might as well be receiving communion in a non-Catholic church. If receiving the Eucharist as a Catholic is important to you because you believe only the Church can give you the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, then whether the Church says the priest is validly ordained ought to be important to you as well.

If you’re not a woman priest but the fact that there will never be women ordained as priests bothers you to the point of anger, please pray about it. Sincerely ask for understanding. It will come. I’ve had my tearful moments with certain points of Catholic doctrine; believe me when I say I’m no stranger to this approach. It works.

Women priests, realize that there’s a definite line between “God, I know the Church has Your perfect guidance but I can’t bring myself to agree yet; please help me to understand,” and “God, you’re wrong and I’m going to convince as many people as I can!” A certain someone took the latter line of thinking a few millennia ago and he might currently be busy whispering in your ear. You don’t have to listen. Recognize the lies for what they are. The Truth does not change.