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It Can’t Happen Here, Can It?

Could the Catholic Church end up sliding down the same slippery slope as the Anglican Communion? Yes, if certain groups get their way. One group that would like to remake the Catholic Church in the mold of modern Anglicanism — and one on which we’ve reported in the past (see “A Mockery of Catholicism” by Theresa Marie Moreau, Jan. 2006; “A New Catholic Community” and “The Beat Goes On,” New Oxford Notes, Oct. 2006) — is the Catholic women’s ordination movement.

Representatives of the Women’s Ordination Conference “stormed” the Vatican on June 8 and staged a demonstration timed to coincide with the closing days of the Year for Priests. Wearing their customary lavender stoles and bearing banners reading “Born to be priests” and “Vocation is important, not gender,” a grand total of eight of them took to St. Peter’s Square to “force the issue” of wo­men’s ordination on the Pope’s own turf. Three Vatican policemen were at the ready, however, and halted the rowdies a mere one minute into their demonstration. Ouch. Turns out they didn’t have a permit. So much for achieving critical mass.

But they didn’t let this little blip get them down. Mary Ann Schoettly of New Jersey, one of more than one hundred women who have been illicitly and invalidly “ordained” as Catholic priestesses, told Agence France-Presse, in words that could have rolled straight off Episcopal Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori’s lips: “Reclaiming our ancient spiritual heritage, women priests are shaping a more inclusive, Christ-centered Church of equals in the 21st century.”

“We are here to stay,” she proclaimed. “We are not going away.” Their stay, however, might be limited to one minute at a time, pending proper permits.

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