The Sunday Scrum



Neither the Church nor Pope Francis has any idea of what to do with the problem of women in the Church.  At least Francis recognized it's a problem, but his notions about the Marian and Petrine Churches do not address the problem much less solve it.  I understand that Francis is taking his concepts from Von Balthasar who had a great deal of influence on JPII.  I suppose it's a nice concept if one wants to keep men in total control because it places the feminine as the heart of the Church with the masculine as the head of the Church…a nice complimentary situation which really appealed to JPII. Really,  what woman could possibly be offended by being given the role of Mary in the scheme of things?   Perhaps a woman who understands that in this particular scheme of things Mary is mythologized perfection and mere mortal women are neither perfect nor myths.  I've often wondered why women have to emulate perfection but men get to emulate Peter who isn't exactly anyone's concept of perfect, but I digress.  This idea of Von Balthasar's only flies if you accept the underlying assumption that women somehow embody empathy, relationship, and nurturing and men don't, won't or can't without sacrificing their masculinity on the altar of celibacy.  I don't happen to buy any of it, but then I also happen to believe the clerical priesthood is the root and branch of all the Church's current scandal.

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    Comments: 106

    1. Rubyshine March 30, 2014 at 1:36 pm

      Thanks for bringing this up, I have this nagging suspicion that the church, hates women. Perhaps hates is the wrong word, but it certainly feels like there is a sense of restricting and limiting women. Pope Francis' words on feminine genius are nice rhetoric, but don't hold any practical ideas.

      Where the quote touches on Mary as the model for women to emulate, my thought hasn't been that the equivalent for men isn't Peter but Jesus. Who of course is perfect, and it is generally accepted that no one can be perfect like Jesus because we are human and flawed. The difference to me is that whilst we accept it is unlikely for us to be perfect like Jesus, it is in theory physically possible. It is absolutely impossible to be perfect like Mary. Mary who is so perfect she is still a virgin even in giving birth, which just makes me want to roll my eyes.

      In many ways, I'm ok with there only being male priests, but I don't see how the church can have women as leaders if they can't be priests. The reality is that people want to talk to the priests and seek his counsel. They don't want to seek the woman who is a eucharistic minister no matter how wise she may be.

      I do also wonder if women priests would help with the priest shortage?

      Also I say all of this with very little research, this is just my gut reaction. It's the issue I've put off until last to think on because it feels the most problematic.

    2. Rubyshine March 30, 2014 at 2:31 pm

      What I actually wanted to comment on today though, was that I went to see The Monuments Men last night. It's a good film. Kind of lightweight but enjoyable and it made me think about the importance of protecting culture. The question was asked, "Is saving a piece of art worth a man's life?"

      One of the pieces of art the film focused on were the panels that make up the Ghent altar, apparently one of the most stolen pieces of art, as well as a sculpture of the Madonna and child. If you'd have asked me which piece of art do I think would have been stolen most often, I'm not sure what I would have answered but the fact it was an altar piece covered in religious imagery was interesting to me.

      Also, I've seen a few comments here about how catholics are portrayed in films. Although religion is in no way the focus of this film, the catholic church is portrayed very positively.

    3. paulinem March 30, 2014 at 3:18 pm

      Ruby the reality is Blessed Mother was the first head of our church ..she kept the apostles together after Christ left at the Ascension. It was her powerful leadership that stopped the apostles from disintegrating until the Holy Spirit  came at Pentecost.. After this gathering at Pentecost Peter gained enough courage to go out and evangelize 3,000 so scripture told us  The reality is although we celebrate this some days after  Easter it could have been months to years after Christ left.  It is a commonly thought that Blessed Mother and the holy Spirit  have a close infinity :)

      The reality is these days its the women of the church that keep things running smoothly as  in my world it is women that are mostly the eucharistic ministers and other ministries in the church etc.   This could be for many reasons that could be debated but its a fact of life in the catholic church to today and I find by far the women outnumber the men at catholic services etc such as Mass.

      Women priests yeah well its a very old boys entrenched network that  runs our church. In Scripture which is the founding document of the catholic church. Christ does not say or suggest in any way that the church leadership and ministries such as priesthood should be a mens only demain.

      Personally I think its more important we allow priests etc to be able  CHOOSE to marry and carry on with their ministries. A man who looks at a women in a natural interested manner and then with his  chosen ministry to treat her with respect consideration and care etc .. would be seen as  a good role model  to many of  the young people as an example of how to live life etc . We can bluster all we like re celibacy but the reality is most non catholics see to make this deliberate choice as been un natural and suspicious.

      Pope Francis said priests should get out of their presbyteries and live in the community so they can emphasize with the community. A man who was a priest as well as a husband and father would be looked up to as a person who can by thier life understand and empathise with those in the community.  Today becasue of their chosen life of celibacy etc I see most see priests unlike ministers are on another planet to the rest of us humans.

    4. beyblade March 30, 2014 at 3:33 pm

      Paulinem – my rule of thumb for years was 'men are from mars, women are from venus and the Priesthood is from pluto' ——then they downgraded Pluto from being a planet!! Rubyshine – I like how you really think about things – but I  don't think women priests have helped the Anglicans with their problems either.

    5. Rubyshine March 30, 2014 at 5:18 pm

      Yes Beyblade you're right, it hasn't helped the Anglicans. I came across this article a while ago

      It's written by a man studying to become a catholic deacon. Amongst other things he says, "If you need proof, walk into any non-Catholic church, and you will probably see a man as pastor, because that is just comfortable socially. I can think of very few female pastored churches with a sizable congregation, it just isn’t as comfortable for the normal human being." His theory being we're just not comfortable with women being in charge. I agree with bits and pieces and then other bits make me want to scream.

      I'm inclined to agree with Paulinem that Priests being allowed to marry would solve a lot of problems.

    6. Teresina March 30, 2014 at 5:24 pm

      Rubyshine, Bl Pope John Paul The Great has said that the Church has no authority to ordain women to the priesthood because at Mass the priest is in personam Christi (in the person of Christ) and Christ was a man.  Christ as a man gave up His life for us on the cross, Mary His mother suffered at the foot of the cross.  In no way as a Catholic have I ever felt I was treated as a lesser person by being a woman.  Mary has always been so much at the centre of the Faith how could we ever feel that?

      Prior to some of the protestant churches promoting women to leadership roles as priestesses there have only been pagan priestesses and devil worshippers as far as I can see.

      I think that many women have been conditioned to think they are in some way second-class because of rampant feminism that has done more ill for society than I have seen good.  No doubt some of the more modernist commentators on Being Frank won't agree but that's my view. 

    7. Dominican March 30, 2014 at 5:35 pm

      Further, in 1994 Pope John Paul II formally declared that the Church does not have the power to ordain women. He stated, "Although the teaching that priestly ordination is to be reserved to men alone has been preserved by the constant and universal tradition of the Church and firmly taught by the magisterium in its more recent documents, at the present time in some places it is nonetheless considered still open to debate, or the Church’s judgment that women are not to be admitted to ordination is considered to have a merely disciplinary force. Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Luke 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful" (OrdinatioSacerdotalis 4).

      And that should be the end of it.

      It is feminist nonsense that women in the Catholic Church "second clas citizens" because they can't be priests.

    8. Teresina March 30, 2014 at 5:43 pm

      Exactly as stated by Dominican, OrdinatioSacerdotalis is a dogma of the Church and must be accepted by all the Faithful.

    9. Rubyshine March 30, 2014 at 6:14 pm

      I've never felt like a second class citizen either, and frankly good luck to anyone who would wish to treat me as such. However if women are not allowed as priests, then how do they get to be a real part of the power structure? Answer: they don't.

      Honestly, "this is the way it's always been, so you just have to accept it," isn't actually a good enough argument for me. 

      I think this article makes a really good point that, "Christianity arose in an environment of female inequality. Greek philosophy, as well as Hebrew sources, are rife with misogynistic judgments. It is not surprising that the Church Fathers sometimes adopted these attitudes without critical reflection."

      I'm not even really arguing form women to be priests, I'd just like to hear one really good solid argument as to why they shouldn't be, because when my 4 yr old daughter says, "Mummhy when I'm a big girl I'm going to be a priests." (she routinely tells me all the things she's going to do and be when she's a big girl) all I will have to tell her, is, "no you won't. They won't allow it."

    10. John Whyte March 30, 2014 at 7:17 pm

      Hi Pauline!  

      You were missed!  Everybody thought you've vanished off the face of the earth.  

    11. John Whyte March 30, 2014 at 7:21 pm


      My understanding is that in the parts of the Catholic church, whilst married men may be ordained, priests may not marry.  

      If you look at the work your average parish priest does, I think it is absolutely unfair to ask any married man to do that workload.  It would kill a family.  

      But more importantly I think it is less of a case of shortage of priests, and more of a case of shortage of men.  Look at the number of men getting married in your church every year, and then look at the number of men your diocease has in the seminary.  Both numbers are exceptionally small.  Yes we have a vocations crisis but its every vocation, not just the priesthood.  There just aren't catholics of the age where people cement their vocation.  It's not a problem that will be fixed by 'making it easier' or 'changing the rules', its more fundamental than that.

    12. John Whyte March 30, 2014 at 7:34 pm


      In my opinion the answer to 'why can't their be women priests' is the same as the answer as to 'why can't grape juice be concecated'.  

      The real answers, (and I do understand what you mean by asking for a good solid answer) are longer than the question and presuppose a mode of thinking.  

      The best answer i heard (and this is dredging my memory) is that St Paul talks about sin coming into the world through one man.  Eve's fault was not the sin that lead to the totallity of the fall, it was Adams.  It was his actions that 'doomed it all'.  And because it is proper that those who created the fault are those who assist the most in restoring it, only men can be priests.  

      This tied in with the arguement that the church is the bridge of christ, and priests acting in the person of christ needed to be masculine in order to truely act in persona christi.  

      I'm not sure if either is an answer you are looking for.

    13. Benedicta March 30, 2014 at 7:45 pm


      I'd just like to hear one really good solid argument as to why they shouldn't be..

      You articulate the problem well.

      I say that the subject is almost impossible to give credence to on a blog.

      But maybe some things can be noted.

      Phrasing the issue in terms of 'one really good solid argument' isn't going to work'. But it is possible to begin to understand things differently. But as long as the topic is phrased in terms of an idea, an argument, then it will continue to miss the mark.

      Its about reality…that is exists …there is a Divine Plan which we come to know. Without acknowledgement of a Divine Plan then we simply make it up as we go along. Good for some. In effect it means there are no realities which call us into relationship. Male and female are such realities but without the Divine Plan what they denote can be reinterpreted. Society is at that point already. What is a male, a female, a mother, a marriage, sexuality, gender and so on. They are becoming names; empty symbols to which we ourselves are now to give meaning.

      So the situation which arises between those who want women priests and those who say the Church can't do that….it is a similar situation around what can be called a 'crisis of symbols'.

      Woman is the symbol of the Church. All women manifest that reality from their embodiment of the feminine. What this symbol is is something received, it isn't relative to anyone or anything it just is. Likewise Christ as man; the Word Incarnate is male and that maleness is not relative in meaning but is also the essential nature of Christ fully human and fully divine.

      Salvation is brought about through Covenant, symbolised by the Church and Christ. Bride and Bridegroom. Every time the Church worships God in Christ this is manifest in the Eucharist, the Wedding Feast and the Church as mother and bride gives rise to the Kingdom of God in the created order by Baptising 'little Christ's' to become adopted sons and daughters of Christ.

      This was the plan from the beginning; we are male and female in order to bring about the salvation plan of God through the Church and Christ. The Church and Christ are the reason, one could say that we are male and female.

      For the Catholic faith these symbols order creation.

      For theologians who claim women priests these symbols are simply mutable and something that we can reorder on the basis of a good argument.

      Their arguments in the first instance sound right to us because we have been culturally shaped in the same way as those who forward the arguments. (We 'naturally' think like them).

      But the Church is not subject to changes of thought in the world but rather reveals eternal realities and truths.

      What is at stake is the stability of many things.

      But one is that should the feminine be reordered into the priesthood then the reality of human embodiment is totally eradicated at the level of symbol. (Not to mention that the Eucharist would not sacramentally be changed in the Body of Christ). Nothing has any meaning in itself only what we give it.

      There would be no place, no symbol, no politic, no reality of any order which would hold the feminine (and by complementarity the masculine) as it is in its own nature. The female embodiment in nature would have no meaning and would be subject to whatever meaning was designated to it. It would be under the power of others. It would be something interpreted and not recognised as something in itself.

      Further this would impact on the mother/child innate embodied relationship from conception to birth and the natural bond of mother and child (fathers too but they are the side issue here).

      This is one of the main reasons I as a woman could never leave the Catholic Church…it is the only place in the whole world that knows at the level of ultimate reality what I am as a female human person. All that flows naturally from that the Church defends and will never change.



    14. Benedicta March 30, 2014 at 7:55 pm

      Dear Men

      I do not mean to sideline your maleness in the argument. Christ holds it together of course.

      Essentially though in terms of displacement in the Covenant order and the life of the Church it is lay males….married or single who are the least symbolised. Their presence in the way of the complementarity of the Church, as it were face-to-face with her Bridegroom Christ, disclose the feminine in the order of the body of the Church by their maleness.





    15. Benedicta March 30, 2014 at 8:19 pm


      It is absolutely impossible to be perfect like Mary. Mary who is so perfect she is still a virgin even in giving birth, which just makes me want to roll my eyes.

      Yes, its perfectly understandable. I really get that issue with you. I worked through it though.

      A little of what I came up with is this. Mary, still a virgin even in giving birth….why? I can turn to Eve and find a bit of an answer. In the creating of Eve, she was made from the rib of Adam, a man of course. Does this rankle to? Probably….but not really when you get into it.

      Think of Eve like this and then come back to Mary….if Eve had not been made from the same flesh as Adam then there could have been a bad theological argument sometime that a woman was not the same as a man in terms of flesh…that is she was different like another species. (I have to say Islam struggles with this one!).

      So we have flesh from flesh…and I say only Judaism and Christianity hold in reality that a woman is the same flesh (and species) as a man.

      Secondly, when God made Eve, He put Adam to sleep. So God is saying and making sure that we know that Adam had no part in the creating of Eve. Woman is God's own work from the same flesh as man. We have our own personal relationship directly with God which is not mediating in its becoming by the man. No man stands as mediator between God and a woman and so she is responsible to God in herself for her own life and actions. (I have to say Islam struggles with this one….actually a muslim woman is a saved by her the dominant man in her life – if he is saved so is she and otherwise).

      Coming back to Mary…look at her Virginity as that which binds her to God and is a sign that sign that He is Lord and that her fiat didn't mean that she would be made subject  to nature in so far as it causes suffering and pain. I find Mary's Virginity a freedom for women that Mary was not subject to man but was in her heart, soul and body eternally ordered to God. That is our own true end. Mary's Virginity perfects the feminine freedom that God began in Eve.

      Just how I see it….

      One has to see Mary at many levels….she is prior reason for me and the Icon of my feminine fulfillment, the fiat of the Christ event in the created order, a sign of the covenant event of the Church and Christ now and at the end of time.

      Anyone who wants 'power' in the Church shouldn't have it. Women are the symbol of the Church and can be its teachers, theologians, administrators and organisers but they can't be its sacerdotal ministers which includes governance.

      All of life is a Wedding Feast….

    16. Don the Kiwi March 30, 2014 at 8:23 pm


      You make the same basic assumption in your argument for women priests that the feminist movement makes. You talk about "power" sharing. The point is, the priesthood is not about power; it is about service. Jesus tols His apostles that He came to serve, not to be served. Does that sould like "power" to you?

      Benedicta makes very strong points WRT male only ordination. In the grand scheme of things, gender is hugely important. Having men only as ordained priests says nothing at all about "leadership"  – it is about servanthood.

      There is an old joke about the creation, that goes like this. When God created man, He never quite got it right, so He made woman. Even though this si ajoke, there is an element of trhuth in it. Let us consider the philosophical element here, which states, "The first in conception (thought) is the last in execution (doing). Woman was the final act of creation – therfore, "She" was the first in the mind of God. This is all about God's amazing plan of salvation – to have a male redeemer, he needed a female co-redemptorix. Mary, as the second Eve, was God's instrument in our salvation – by being the mother of His Only Begotten Son.

      Also, in realtion to woman being the finality – the zenith of creation – "man" required more perfecting than woman. To be ordained into "persona Christi" is that elevation of man to assist in the leading of woman to salvation.

      This is fairly heavy philosophical stuff, but , withour getting much more complex, this is the nub of male onlt priesthood. In persona Christi means in the person of Christ. To have a woman – opposite gender – in that role, we would not just have a feminised Church, we would have a lesbian Church, because the Church is the Bride of Christ.

      There are many arguments against female ordination – not as a discrimanatory thing, but as a recognition that gender is important theologically and humanly. Believe me when I say, female ordination to the ministerial priesthood will never happen – woman is not so in need for purification as man is, believe it or not. (This is not Ridleys.  )

    17. Don the Kiwi March 30, 2014 at 8:31 pm

      Just another point about Mary's perpetual virginity.

      It is not in giving birth that a woman looses her viginity – it is the act of intercousre with a man. Mary says to the angel Gabriel, " How can this happen, because I do not 'Know' man." And Gabriel tells her that the Holy Spirit will overshadow her. That was not an act of human intercourse, but the action and the Will of God.

      Mary was always a virgin – in accordance with the vow she took when she was very young and served in the temple – andGod protected that.

    18. Benedicta March 30, 2014 at 8:38 pm

      Don et al

       Great stuff.


      I for one would love to see at this time Mary Co-Redemptrix made a dogma of the Church. Because I think now it is time to spell out all these things.

      It is no small matter that the Church is the only 'place' (I won't limit its realm) which holds the embodiment of female and male in its absolute reality. Co-Redemptrix will bring it all out of the box.

      At the same time the absolute importance of the Mass to manifest this reality might help brings the house into order.

      Its a shame when they 'opened the doors and windows of the Church to let in the fresh air' that everyone made a rush for the sanctuary. I think they were supposed to make a rush for the door and go evangelise…but of course that is the harder thing to do. There are better seats in the sanctuary and everyone gets to be somebody.



    19. Benedicta March 30, 2014 at 8:47 pm


      I think it is not spelled out in a dogma (because no one has challenged it) but has been the held faith tradition of the Church that Mary was, yes a Virgin at the Incarnation, and remained a Virgin during the birth of Christ and was a Virgin thereafter. The Perpetual Virginity of Mary.

      St Thomas has some ideas on this in the Third Pars of the Summa.

      I think if one gets bogged down in the physicality you can start to lose it. You have to see it at the level of eternal symbolism. As regards the Virginity during the birth (this is just MY idea) I also think of it as a time when of course the forces of nature are too the fore. Thinking of Christ on the waters, when the Apostles were in the boat in the storm….in a way I think of Mary's Virginity like Christ on the waters…in a way she was prefiguring our perfect end in that she was more with Christ in relation to nature during the birth than she was subject to nature like the Apostles in the boat. As Jesus said….'why didn't they trust him" (think that was right…you of little faith….). Mary of course was full of faith and so was not subject to the forces of nature as a woman at this time. In the same way at her Assumption her Body (whether died or not it doesn't say) was not subject to the forces of nature and corruption.

      Women might choose to say…o well then I am NOT like Mary and how can I a woman take her as my model. Well you can because Mary goes first before you and what happens to Mary is your final end. So while we like the Apostles suffer and die and have painful birth (which is a great joy) then those sufferings are also taken up by Mary at the Cross and we are invited into the Redemptive plan by sharing and offering like Mary.

      You have to read Mary as prior to, historically, and eschatologically.

      I am not trying to replace Christ with Mary just drawing out her feminine meaning…which through Christ has been made unique.

    20. Benedicta March 30, 2014 at 8:48 pm

      I have to say, as a convert Mary was my BIG problem.

      Rejoice with me that she certainly isn't now!

    21. withhope March 30, 2014 at 8:54 pm

      popes like francis are the problem, and catechists, female or male, steeped in Rogerian pscho-destructive fibs. any male or female Catholic with  wit of Supernatural faith could not possibly categorize Immaculata as a 'problem'. how unchatholic has Catholicism become? rhetorical Q.

    22. withhope March 30, 2014 at 9:03 pm

      The most important prophecy of our little age, and certainly the mist documented public miracle, is Our Lady of Fatima. The Consecration to her Immaculate Heart by the Pope and his bishops has been a turning point. John XXIII chose to ignore the 'errors' of Russia and went ospolitik instead. JPII apologized for not having the grit to do the consecration and Benedict said that if anyone believes the Fatima prophecies are fulfillied he decieves himself. St Maximillian Kolbe devoted his life and apostolate to Immaculata. yet how many Catholic Churches even have a Saturday Mass (we all know the vigil is Sunday) whereby one could do the Firsy Five Saturdays devotion?


    23. withhope March 30, 2014 at 9:04 pm

      False Friends of Fatima, by Christopher Ferrara. best book on Fatima since the Socci one.

    24. Rubyshine March 30, 2014 at 9:35 pm

      Benedicta, thanks for all of your thoughts. I will have to chew it over for a few days. 

      I do just want to comment on this statement of yours, "Phrasing the issue in terms of 'one really good solid argument' isn't going to work'. But it is possible to begin to understand things differently. But as long as the topic is phrased in terms of an idea, an argument, then it will continue to miss the mark." 

      My use of the word argument perhaps is incorrect, but I firmly belief that the church is reasonable. That the doctrine can be explained. I may struggle to understand it, I may wish to argue against it, but ultimately it is something that can be come to be understood. So for me, "it's just how it's always been." simply won't do, and disappoints me when I hear it. It disappoints me when I know the great thinkers that have and continue to exist within the church, and it disappoints me because I find it dismissive of my willingness to wrestle with an idea and ability to come to grips with it.

      This also falls down logically when you think well we have altar girls, and lay women administering the eucharist (things which would have been unthinkable not that long ago) so obviously things can change.

      Another "argument" you hear is that Jesus chose Peter as the first pope and thus no woman can be a priest ever, which again is such a simplified discussion point that it's ridiculously easy to rebutt.

      Your response has given me a lot to think over, but I feel like it is something to work with, so thank you.

    25. Rubyshine March 30, 2014 at 9:42 pm

      Benedicta – in regards to Mary. I'm completely fine with coming from Adam's rib, and fine with her being a virgin in the first instance…but the idea of maintaining virginity feels too much like the very old ideas of women being unclean etc etc.

      Don – I don't really mean power in the idea it might initially seem. I mean it more in the idea of having input into decision making. Having a viewpoint that is equally valued, and listened to. We all acknowledge and value the difference between men and women. I don't care who the figurehead is, I don't care who ultimately makes the decisions and decrees, but that there is not substantial input from women (and I simply don't believe there is) troubles me. I would be equally troubled if the situation was reversed and men did not have substantial input.


    26. Rubyshine March 30, 2014 at 9:50 pm

      John Whyte – yes undeniably being the wife of a priest would be exceptionally hard. Harder than being an army wife, where your husband is gone for months at a time leaving you alone with the kids? Harder than being married to a surgeon who is always on call? Harder than being married to someone who works unsual shifts so that you are barely at home at the same time?

      In my happy little world where married priests would mean more priests, then it is logical that priests would have less to do, or have more colleagues to call on for back up.

      But yes, I see your point of fewer men in general in any vocation. I see very few "young" men in my parish. 

    27. Teresina March 30, 2014 at 9:53 pm

      Rubyshine, I think everything to do with faith comes down to the fact that Christ gave to Peter the powers to bind and loose Matthew 18:18, "Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven".  Therefore, we place our trust in the Church knowing that She has the Holy Spirit guiding her.  That is where faith comes into play.  We don't need everything explained.  For example, it would be impossible to explain the Blessed Trinity so that we could say, "I get it, so I believe".  Remember Thomas said he wouldn't believe Our Lord had risen from the dead until he put his hand into Our Lord's side and touched the wounds in His hands.  Our Lord's answer to that was "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe".  So we humbly submit to the teaching of the Church and pray "Lord I believe, help my unbelief" and acceptance will come in time.

      As regards only ordaining men to the priesthood, that is the tradition of the Church for over 2,000 years.  Christ Himself only ordained men.  He stepped outside the norms and embraced sinners, tax collectors, etc, so if He could have easily ordained His mother to the priesthood but he didn't.  When the priest says, "This is My body" he becomes in personam Christi and Christ's body was a male body, not a female body.  That is why it is so incongruous to hear women priestesses in the Anglican church and other Protestant churches say those words.  They are trying to be something they are not and can never bet. 

      Both the distribution of holy communion by lay people as Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist and altar girls came in by means of disobedience and are only a recent development and a Church discipline and are likely to change because of downgrading of the priesthood and belief in the Real Presence that have resulted.  I have read that some parishes overseas no longer have altar girls but they are taught to be sacristans which seems much more of a sensible idea.

    28. Teresina March 30, 2014 at 10:01 pm

      For example, Rubyshine, there are no Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist, altar girls, lay readers, etc, at the traditional Latin Mass.  Therefore, none of those problems arise.  To me that is another good reason for the restoration of the traditional Latin Mass.  Latin overcomes all language barriers and unites us and the priest is placed in the proper position of sacrificer rather than just the main minister amidst other non-ordained extraordinary ministers around the altar or the table as it is often referred to now.

    29. Teresina March 30, 2014 at 10:05 pm

      Withhope, I was one person who thought that the consecration of Russia had taken place, now that Russia is reasserting herself and also I believe had threated Poland I think that Pope Francis needs to make that consecration publically and soon.  As you know, our Lady said that if Russia wasn't consecrated to her Immaculate Heart Russia would continue to spread her errors throughout the world.

    30. Rubyshine March 30, 2014 at 10:11 pm

      Teresina – I think there are aspects of faith that require just that, faith. You either have faith in the resurrection or you don't. You can't be logically talked into it.

      But I think church teachings in terms of "rules" are different. I have a deep belief that the teachings are for my own good. I may not understand them, but they should be understandable. They should be able to be taught. Why we whould or shouldn't have priests is one of those things for me. Like contraception, like homosexuality and divorce.

      You say, " When the priest says, "This is My body" he becomes in personam Christi and Christ's body was a male body, not a female body.  That is why it is so incongruous to hear women priestesses in the Anglican church and other Protestant churches say those words.  They are trying to be something they are not and can never be." and this makes perfect sense to me. I have often wondered why can't a woman do the consecration, but your explanation is completely logical. I believe that men and women are different and unique in their feminity and masculinity, but have never understood why a woman can't do the "job" of mass.

      Thank you.

    31. Rubyshine March 30, 2014 at 10:15 pm

      I came across this statement, "Baptism must make use of water and not sand. This does not imply that sand is in and of itself less than water; indeed, those lost at sea need sand much more than they need water." in relation to the idea that just because women cannot be ordained does not mean they are any less valuable. Which I quite like.

    32. Benedicta March 30, 2014 at 10:30 pm


      My use of the word argument perhaps is incorrect, but I firmly belief that the church is reasonable.

      Yes, thanks …that makes all the difference. If we are just considering arguments on their own merits as they seem to us…then all arguments are relative to the one hearing them. The Church's teaching isn't like this because it claims definitive truth.

      Being a Catholic is like Alasdair MacIntyre says….being in a craft tradition. That means being like and apprentice to a teacher and it is a relationship of trust.

      So in that vein it seems to me you could say I trust what the Church is saying, can it be explained to me so I can appropriate it as part of my own self-mastery of articulating the Faith.


    33. Don the Kiwi March 30, 2014 at 10:42 pm

      A couple of points…….

      The Perpetual Virginity of Mary was declared a Dogma of the Faith at the Lateran Council of 649 AD. and had been touched on at the Council of Ephesus in 431 AD which declared Mary, the Mother of God – the Theotokos.

      We do have married priests in the Catholic Church. In the Latin Rite (Roman) church, there are very few – mainly married Anglican priests who have converted to Catholicism, taken up another two years of study to adjust their theology, and then been ordained – Fr. Dwight Longnecker in the USA is a classic case. There are also married priests in the Eastern Catholic Church – but they must be married before ordination  – abit like deacons in our Church in NZ. But we cannot put aside the charism of celibacy, which is a gift to the Church – the sacrificng by men of one good – marriage – to the greater good of selfsacrifice for Christ. I do not believe that a married priesthood would solve  many problems, but burden the Church financially in supporting families, and taking up the priest's time from his spiritual family – being the shepheard of his flock – to devting time to  a wife and family – it would not work well at all in out culture. 

      Many women have adopted leadership roles in the Church. Many women are leaders in ECIA – just one angle. This is relly fulfilling the mission of the Church – making Christians of all men. Much more important and fruitful role for a lay person to do this, than, in the case of women, agitate for women's ordination.

      The status of Mary as Co-redemptrix has been understood from the earliest of times, and is talked a lot about by the early Church fathers. This is not inplying Mary's equality in the redemption with Jesus – this would be impossible. But when God waited for Mary's "Yes" – her "fiat" – that enabled the Redemption – God did not have a plan B  (as far as we know). That is why so many things about Mary are Articles of Faith.

      There was very little doubt cast on any of these until the Reformation – that tragedy od Christianity, that has led to all sorts of problems, and was the start of the Great Apostacy, which is gaining exponential momentum in our time – certainly a part of End Times – but not yet the end of the world,.

      Goodnight,   God bless.

    34. Benedicta March 30, 2014 at 10:44 pm

      I agree with all that altar girls don't fit in Nuptial mystery. Nuptial mystery isn't something that can change though it can be forgotten.

      I think it is worth remembering that Anglicans and Presbyterians etc make no claims that the Communion liturgies they offer bring about any change in the bread and wine they offer. In some aspects of Anglican thought it admits a sort of change but that would be at the level of faith in the one participating…'you can believe it if you like'. Not a substantial change in the bread and wine.

      In that case it doesn't matter whether the minister if male or female…their personal embodiment is not a channel of particular grace through Holy Orders in this respect. Rather it remains rather like Baptism in the Catholic Church which is valid whether done by anyone intending to do what the Church does though ordinarily reserved for the priest.

      I have no problem with Presbyterian women ministers or Methodists. Basically they are going about their ministry at the level similar to ours a Liturgy of the Word. They don't believe they are priests in our sense of the word. Anglicans are a bit different in appearance and so confusion comes about when we see a 'woman priest in the Anglican Church'. So at the level of appearances I don't accept its a good thing but at the level of reality they are really on the same page as the Presbyterians.

      I might be wrong…I don't want to offend any particular interpretation of the Creed but that's how it seems to me.

      I think hell would freeze over before the Orthodox ordained a woman and the Catholic Church can't do it either.

      Generally what admits the concept of women priests is the rejection of the sexuality of Christ and the priest as denoting any particular meaning to the act of consecration and justified on some possible historical understanding of women's role in the Church. The first is faulty as it tends to gnosticism and so reduces the absolute meaning of the Incarnation and/or tends to Arianism in that Christ was made divine – something he came to – progressed toward ultimately realised in the resurrection.

      Very problematic.


    35. Don the Kiwi March 30, 2014 at 10:45 pm

      ECIA should read   RCIA

    36. withhope March 30, 2014 at 10:50 pm

      Teresina; the Vatican-Moscow agreement of '62 (The Metz Pact) precluded the Vatican hence forth from pointing out Russia's 'errors' – it appears no Pope has ever made specific mention of Russia in a consecration ceremony – therefore communist errors are likewise ignored despite what's happening to Catholics in China and still in Cuba and elsewhere. Socialism with its atheistic 'human dignity' (unless one with more social 'dignity' can decide another isn't worthy of life) has indeed become the leading error of the post-Chrstian west and it's new dogma of population control and religious 'freedom'. 

    37. paulinem March 30, 2014 at 11:28 pm

      To Teresina John Whyte etc who have panic attacks at the very thought of married priests  something to ponder on its going to happen possibly very soon as the vatican is now looking at changing this rule !!

      1)The magisterium as I was told by a priest is simply  a name for the rules of the church …there was an old saying I learnt years ago as a teenager in the workforce some cases rules are meant to be broken!

      2 Dogma .. a saying of yonks ago and only applies today to two truths 1)  the assumption of Mary and sorry forgotten the other one BUT it is not  rule for the celibacy of priests t …if you really must know what the other  dogma is  and you have time  ( which I dont )  surf the internet I am sure you will find it ..better still ask a priest he should be easy  to get the answer from !!

      3) Fact the celibacy rule came in the middle ages for very very earthy reasons you see Teresina believe it or not our priests etc can be humans  that fail and they did  back then heck we have even had rouge popes on occasions … remember there is only one perfect human born  ie Jesus Christ   The very earthy reason  for the celibacy rule for  the church was becasue the church was losing out on money assets etc due to the inheritance laws of various countries the priests kids were getting assets the church had their eyes on !!!

      Fact  Up to the middle ages pope etc including Peter were married men !

      A priest have no time to be married …yeah what planet are you guys on the reality most priests these days do very little (  Yes I do admit   some do  a lot etc such as  visiting etc on occasions) ..But I assure you they are very small in number today in 2013 unlike many many years ago most of our priests do very little and NO Teresina they do not do night calls to administer the last rites any more ..they wait until morning and then if the patient is still alive give them the last rites …  Today one priest is appointed to do hospital sick work etc most priests in a area have very little to do with sick people and the last rites

      I assure you most priest would not work any where near as hard as the  some of the  vocations  Ruby mentioned etc.. Being celibrate means the dont have to answer to anyone …and no they dont report daily to the Bishop etc so depending on the individual priest they can and do make their own rules up ..  for example a priest in a parish nearby where I live never makes visits to any of his parishioners …. I think many of his parisioners would be  interested  to know what he does during the day I suspect he disappears into  country to his farm his father left him !!

      If a priest CHOOSE to be married ( ie they dont have to marry just should be allowed to if they want too )  the wife could be good value at keeping him disciplined on the job we know behind every good man is a good woman :)

      Why don't we have married priests today simple as a priest told me he said Pauline if we did we would have to pay the priest a married stipend … the reality is our schools are draining the church of all spare cash ….. we simply cannot afford to pay for both ! My answer ditch the catholic schools as reality most of the kids going to these schools are there for social advantage reasons only …we need more happy focused  priests etc than we need the catholic schools as the output from the schools that go on to be of  service to the church following the finish of their education is dismal  very dismal !


    38. Teresina March 31, 2014 at 1:16 am

      Actually, Paulinem, I have only so far referred to the dogma of the Church not having authority to ordain women to the priesthood.  Yes, celibacy is only a rule that could be changed, but I don't expect it to change at all.  As regards dogma – in your mind it may be a term of yonks ago but it certainly isn't as far as the Church is concerned.  The whole creed itself is a dogma or article of faith which people are required to believe in order to be Catholic.  That's the bottom line.  You are quite free to reject all or any dogma but then you cease to be Catholic if you reject them.

      As regards a married priesthood.  The tradition is that the apostles left their wives and families to follow Christ and Christ said that celibacy was the better path for those who could follow it.

       There are many practical difficulties with having married clergy.  Many Catholics have said, for example, that they would not go to confession to a priest who was married because of the fear of pillow talk.  There would always be conflict for a priest between his call to look after his wife and family and the call to look after his flock.  Then you have the problem of marriage breakdown if a priest and his wife didn't get along – what happens then?   A married priest would have to choose between his wife and Christ.  Where would his first duty lie?  Married clergy of other faiths aren't called upon to minister last rites, etc or to make night calls to the sick, to hear confessions when a person knocks at the door in the middle of dinner.  Very few wives would have the patience for that.


      Withhope that explains why Russia is never publicly mentioned.


    39. John Jensen March 31, 2014 at 8:03 am

      I must say I rarely have time for BF, skimming through the headings but not reading much.

      Until I see certain bylines.  I have come to enjoy Pauline's posts immensely.  I assume, Pauline, they are satire?  Keep it up!

      Only two dogmas – and I forget what the other one was!  Wonderful!!!!


    40. paulinem March 31, 2014 at 11:27 am

      Terseina to suggest the apostles  left their wives is total BS invented by YOU … as YOU have shown in the past YOU have a problems with married priests  where as many others  dont ..

      Pillow talk oh really!!!!  get a life girl really is that all you can come up with against married priests  …. Ordained Ministers of other christian faiths  are married are looked upon with respect etc one panics with them that they will tell their wives hidden secrets that are revealed to them in confidence  !!!

      Do you not remember being told the priests cannot remember after reconciliation what you said as God deliberatly protects the confessional from pillow talk !!

      Try again girl  this time with a believable good excuse why no married priests OR deal with the reality it is and will happen possibly we need these many vocations back  who have walked away from thier vocation to marry the girl they love  !!

      Dogma there is only two ..Ahh dogma means it comes as direction via the vatican  which means yes we must believe ..I wrote that post late at night and yeah I am human  got a mind blank I am  more focused now its from memery both dogma's coming via the vatican  to do with Blessed Mother the virgin birth  and her  assumption into heaven…

      All other "directions" of the church  ( note not dogma  a word which you are fond off !! ) comes via the conference of bishops in various countries around the globe in  NZ  of course its our conference of Bishops ..

      The trouble here is YOU wont face the reality that the church has moved on from the tradiional one of pre vat 2 where dogma was regulary quoted and obeying magesterium was more important than the Gospels ( teachings of Christ) Today

      Teresina if you still want to choose to be  a Catholic  and a christian ( follower of Christ ) you need to put the teachings of Christ ahead of any direction of the church etc you  beleive is important to follow ..and also treat other christians with the respect of being your brother and sisters of Christ who simply follow their beliefs differnt to you !!

      AS Christ said at the Assension " Go out ( around the globe )and bless  my people in my name and TEACH them the TEACHINGS I have given you …. that Teresina is the mission objective of the Church today …  re behaving in a Christ like manner among his people  and  telling them about Christ words in the Gospels ..its why Blessed Mother said at Medjugore to be saved you must develop a relationship with my son ..when she was asked how ….Read my sons message ( gospels ) daily .. 

      You can do this by going to this website click on daily readings for the date you want ….if you want a easy reflection on the scripture of the day click on this if you want a longer reflection of the scripture click on this….

      NO Christ didnt mention it was important also to obey  with words rules dogma etc  etc .. He wanted his people to be attracted to his church not scared away by human interventions etc



    41. John Jensen March 31, 2014 at 11:33 am

      Well, I suppose there are one or two other dogmas – minor things like the Trinity, the two natures of Christ – oh, yeah, and the infallibility of the Church when in union with the Pope.  Doncha think?


    42. John Whyte March 31, 2014 at 11:50 am


      My understanding is that with all Holy Orders within the Catholic church whilst a married man can recieve them, one who recieves them has always been bound against marriage.  

      Are you saying that this is not the case, that priests/deacons/bishops have become such and then married?  Could you provide some examples.  

      (I know of many historical examples of married priests, even simon Peter, but I would be very interested of examples of priests becoming married after ordination)

    43. John Whyte March 31, 2014 at 11:53 am


      I think there are a couple of verses Christ gave about his commandments "If you love me you will keep my commandments" 

    44. John Jensen March 31, 2014 at 1:21 pm

      In the Eastern rites within the Catholic Church, married men may be ordained, but may not then be made bishops; and an unmarried priest may not get married.  The few married priests in the Latin rite are in the same situation.  They may not become bishops (in most cases may not be made the pastor of a parish), and unmarried priests may not get married (and remain with priestly faculties, I mean; of course unmarried priests have left the active priesthood and got married, and will, no doubt, do so again in future).


    45. John Jensen March 31, 2014 at 1:27 pm

      BTW, Latin rite canon law as currently written appears to require continence of married priests and married deacons:


    46. Benedicta March 31, 2014 at 1:47 pm


      Yes, lovely to have you back…

      I am fairly sure that pre Vatican II and post Vatican II haven't changed as regards obeying the magisterium.

      On this point you seem to be saying that the Gospels are more important that the direction of the Church. Are you saying they are opposed to each other in some way?

      I don't think this can be…

      For one reason we have accepted the authority of the Church to actually give us the Gospels.

      We followed the Church prior to the Biblical Canon being set in this regard.

      If we trusted the Church then, then we are of course still trusting the Church as the living voice who teaches us in harmony with the scriptures?

    47. Benedicta March 31, 2014 at 1:51 pm

      As regards married priests.

      Yes, not a doctrine but a discipline.

      I think we would trade one set of 'problems', the difficulty of celibacy, for another set of problems hard to overcome…..the falling apart of priestly marriages and their request for second or even third marriages.

      Regards celibacy….I am not sure 'one woman only' (what Christian chastity means) is an improvement on 'no woman at all'. There are plenty of men who would find one woman a severe limitation they can't stick too?

      In the end one has to commit to something and every commitment has limitations.


    48. John Jensen March 31, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      The heart of the spirituality of priestly celibacy is I Corinthians 7.


    49. withhope March 31, 2014 at 2:19 pm

      I guess it's not surprising that most Catholics applaude doing less for Our Lord, than more. Priestly Celibacy is a great grace – the more the minds of Catholics don't really care the less priests we have. Weird to co-relation.


      Here's a good Priest who understands who he is as a priest:


    50. Dominican March 31, 2014 at 2:28 pm

      Since  Christ gave the keys to the Kingdom to Peter and also said "what you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven ………… and promised to be with us until the end of time,  how  then can the bible be separated from church since it was the church that put the bible as we know it  together.

      Not all that Jesus said and did is recorded in the bible – the bible actually says this – sorry can't remember chapter and verse.

      Perhaps Pauline is referring to the Anglican vicars who have "come over to Rome" and they have to be already married and the ones I have listened to being interviewed on EWTN for example all say a celibate clergy is to be preferred.

      Celibacy can only be maintained by devotion to prayer and faithfulness to God's grace.

      I know a parish priest very well –  I know exactly how his days pan out – he could NOT serve his priesthood faithfully and generously if he had a wife and children.

    51. Dominican March 31, 2014 at 2:32 pm

      Mother Teresa said "Priestly celibacy is that gift which prepares for life in heaven.  Jesus calls his priests to be his co-worker in the church to fill heaven with God's children."

    52. paulinem March 31, 2014 at 4:13 pm

      Pauline, I think there are a couple of verses Christ gave about his commandments "If you love me you will keep my commandments"

      John you have lost me on this quote  what you are suggeting  Do you want me to repeat them like 1) I am the lord thy God etc …. and so on and on  ..Or do you want me to quote "

      I give you this commandment that replaces all other commandments you must love your neighbour as I have loved you …"

      I would then say John who is God refering to as your neighbour ? And what does God mean by Love what and how does Giod expect of your behaviour in the word love he  refers to .. (hint wisdom understand  tolerance ……maybe etc etc )

      Re problems with priest CHOOSING to marry ..I am sure our brother and sisters in Christ from the Anglican/ Presbyterrians Methodist etc  church could give us some  good suggestions as to how they avoid etc problems such as some of  you are refering too …after all they have had some hundreds of  years of expereince of acceapting a  spouse as part of a ministry. Just as I am sure we can give guidance to other churchs on how to deal with sex abuse of minors by our priests etc to other faiths

      I also know  if God was asked for help to guide the church he would  gladly give guidance on this issue ..

      Humans are imperfect bengs so yes from time to time problems will occur far as priests not wanting a wife ..most crutchy old batchelors would say the same ..My cousin got married at 50yrs after living a time independent then went on to have four children ..He is still married to the same women today and he now is 90yrs old …I am sure he would be able to give good advice and tips on  how he  was able to change his batchelor ways for a wife.

      I am not saying priests SHOULD be married I am saying they SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO CHOOSE marriage if they desire it…… I imagine the seminarians would be more palable to marriage choice as they havnt yet gone out and lived solo and independent as a priest and thus have not yet  put barriers up to this lifestyle.

       Yes Dominican Christ does ask his priests (as he asks ALL of his brethern yes thats us also !!) to fill heaven with Gods children etc. A priest being married could help a great deal in this as it would help to remove  the barriers of missconception and perception by non beleivers  in regards perceptions of Priest and ttheir chosen vocation. Non beleivers would thus  be able to identify themselves with a priest as he would have a  similar lifestyle  to theirs.     


    53. paulinem March 31, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      Dominican …Pope Peter the first our first pope and as all the apostles were married men as there  were for generations following for possibly a hundreds of years  were married ..I am sure they dealt with many many challenges back then to their family life as  would be today !

       Celibacy should be a choice not a compulsion  in order to serve in a ministry of the church.

    54. Don the Kiwi March 31, 2014 at 4:21 pm


      You seem to be suggesting that most priests want to get married. Is this what you're saying?

      Priests do make the decision whether or not to marry – they choose either the celibate priesthood, or marriage. I know several priests who had good jobs in law or finance, had girlfriends – but then decided that they wished to be a priest, and chose that vocation.

      You mention how "the Catholic Church could give advice to other churches on sex abuse by priests."

      The problem there  is, that sex abuse in other churches is worse than it is in the Catholic Church – and that's with many of the protestant married clergy. Check out the Jay Report.

    55. beyblade March 31, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      popped in – skimmed through; Paulinem have you been on holiday because you are surely back.

      Your little stereotypical statement about Priests not going out to administer the last rites – actually only about 4 -5 years ago we had an elderly Priest supplying in our parish and one of our parishioners who was terminal with cancer was getting very low, so I gave Fr a ride out to administer the rites at 10 pm to him at his home. 

    56. bamac March 31, 2014 at 6:03 pm


      Like Bayblades I have just dropped in … you do make some sweeping statements  … for examplele a couple of paragraphs from an early comment …

      ~~A priest have no time to be married …yeah what planet are you guys on the reality most priests these days do very little (  Yes I do admit   some do  a lot etc such as  visiting etc on occasions) ..But I assure you they are very small in number today in 2013 unlike many many years ago most of our priests do very little and NO Teresina they do not do night calls to administer the last rites any more ..they wait until morning and then if the patient is still alive give them the last rites …  Today one priest is appointed to do hospital sick work etc most priests in a area have very little to do with sick people and the last rites

      I assure you most priest would not work any where near as hard as the  some of the  vocations  Ruby mentioned etc.. Being celibrate means the dont have to answer to anyone …and no they dont report daily to the Bishop etc so depending on the individual priest they can and do make their own rules up ..  for example a priest in a parish nearby where I live never makes visits to any of his parishioners …. I think many of his parisioners would be  interested  to know what he does during the day I suspect he disappears into  country to his farm his father left him !!.


      Would very much like to see your proof for such statements or are they just your thoughts off the top of youhead as it were .?

      Your comments remind me of those of someone else who used to comment in much the same vein …. I think, from memory though,  Helens Bay seemed to have stopped shortly before you started to do so .


      Mrs Mac

    57. Rubyshine March 31, 2014 at 6:18 pm

      I'd be interested to know what the priests think. We're here bickering back and forth about how things could or should be done, but what do priests think, does anyone know?

      Do many priests wish they were free to marry, or like some of the commentators here, do they think it would be impossible to do both well? (If it is impossible to do both well, then how do the married men who become priests manage it?)

      Do we have any statistics on how many men have left the priesthood for reasons of wanting to pursue a relationship? 

      I've no idea what happens at the seminaries, but surely the men are made to put a fair bit of thought into what life as a priest means, or perhaps they are made to consider that before they attend the seminary? It would be interesting to know how many men are attracted to the idea of priesthood, but do not pursue it purely because of the celibacy requirement.

      I also just wanted to say, Teresina, that my husband has interrupted dinner for far less important things than the last rites and confession.

    58. Dominican March 31, 2014 at 6:25 pm

      Pauline, don't even try to compare the "work" our priests do with vicars ministers or pastors.  I have said before our young priests and seminarians have truly lived in the world.  They know pretty well what celibacy entails.

      A priest I know well had not slept for 36 hrs as he was at the hospital.  How many wives could cope with that


    59. bamac March 31, 2014 at 6:54 pm


       here is one priest's ideas and understanding of celabacy in the Catholic priesthood   ..

    60. paulinem March 31, 2014 at 7:02 pm

      A priest I know well had not slept for 36 hrs as he was at the hospital. How many wives could cope with that..

      Domican a very generalised  reply to me  ..why what is different to ministers of other christian denomination ..they are so similar that our priests etc have regular get together  with ministers etc  to share their  troubles together  and help each other in their work !! Its not 1950 anymore we actually like each other now and share the load of similar concerns AS CHRIST would  WANT US TO !! ie our mission  as followers of Christ is to live our lives in a Christ like manner !!

      The comment above I imagine many many wives do the above in other ministries ie doctors for example etc …

      I repeat like in life it should be a choice some men choose marriage some don't … its natural for a man to look at a women of interest ..if they had a choice they could follow the natural instincts that God has given us and if they WANTED too … we are losing priests seminarians etc which we  really need becasue of the celibacy rule ..this ridiculous as Christ never suggested in his teaching for his disciples etc to be celebrant

    61. Dominican March 31, 2014 at 7:23 pm

      The sacrament of Reconciliation for example, the last rites of Holy Mother Church.  The formation,  and years of study entered into by our young men. Whether priests and pastors like each other is totally irelevant Pauline. A good read for you Pauline would be "The Priest is Not His Own" by  Rev Fulton Sheen or anthing by Fr J Hardon SJ  about the Catholic Priesthood.  Our priests by their ordination have the power to change the bread and wine offered at Mass into the very body of Jesus himself.

    62. John Whyte March 31, 2014 at 7:28 pm


      I was refering to John 14:15, where Jesus says "If you love me you will keep my commandments".  In addition to his many hard teachings that were recorded (Jn 6:6 and even Mat 19:9) Jesus said many other things (Jn 21:23) and his disciples were instructed to teach us to obey everything he taught (Mat 28:20) there might be a lot more commandments than the 'big two' which might encompass the whole law and the prophets, offer very little advice about onanism, or other moral issues.  

      P.S. Still waiting on some examples of priests who got married without 'giving up' the priesthood.  

    63. Don the Kiwi March 31, 2014 at 8:12 pm

      :"…we are losing priests seminarians etc which we really need because of the celibacy rule…this ridiculous as Christ never suggested in his teaching for his disciples etc to be celibate."


      Paulinem    –    that is absolute rubbish.

      Seminarians study for seven years before ordination – this includes pastoral placement in parishes before they are ordained, so that they can be sure that is what they want. They are constantly counselled with regard to the life they are choosing. No priest is ordained wothout a thorough knowledge of what is involved and what they are sacrificing.

      Tell me, hoe many priests or seminarians do you know who have left because of the celibacy rule ?

      Christ never married, but He could have if that was what He wanted His priests to do. St Paul explainsunder the guidance of the Hoy Spirit why celibacy for a priest is a desireable thing. I'm sure you are entitled to your opinion, but sadly, it is misguided.

    64. Werahiko March 31, 2014 at 8:47 pm

      Don, can you direct me please to St Paul's comments about priests? I do not recall him restricting his remarks to the ordained. Also, if St Paul was so clear on this, why did it take he Church so many years to formally institute it as a requirement? Incidentally, what is your authority or saying that Christ did not marry? 

    65. banter March 31, 2014 at 8:53 pm

      I had a very interesting conversation with a very frank and honest Anglican one day.  We were speaking about the ordination of women in the Anglican Church and whether this example was something the Catholic Church should follow.  She said to me that in all honesty it had done nothing to increase the numbers of vocations to the ordained ministerry in the Anglican Church overall.  They still struggled to find enough ministers for their parishes.  In addition she said that ordaining women had rather impacted upon the numbers of young men presenting for ordination.  It would seem that as the number of women increased the number of men decreased.  Obviously this was an anecdotal observation but it gives some food for thought.  Despite married clergy and no gender bias are these Protestant churches really doing that well.  So well that we should follow suit?


    66. Rubyshine March 31, 2014 at 9:08 pm

      Who are these women who can't handle their husband working long, unpredictable hours? Have they never been alone with their children for periods of time, never had their husband ring to say he doesn't know what time he'll be home, never had their husband's work commitments come above home commitments? Really? 

      I'm thinking I need to start putting my foot down :)

    67. Rubyshine March 31, 2014 at 9:15 pm

      In looking for statistics on priests I've found some interesting reading.

      This has some interesting statistics on priests leaving

      This written by priests who have left the priesthood, makes for quite sad reading. It's a very biased point of view, but I think interesting none the less.

    68. banter March 31, 2014 at 9:23 pm

      I have to confess.  I'm one of those women who complains, who can't handle unpredictable working commitments.  The time I complain the loudest is when he does volunteer work for st Vincent de Paul.  Because that takes up a whole half day of the weekend when I am at home.  Time we could be together.  I would make a useless minister's wife…

    69. Dominican March 31, 2014 at 9:33 pm

      If Jesus had a wife Werahiko why do you think from the cross he commend his mother to the care of John.  What was his widow to do?

    70. Rubyshine March 31, 2014 at 9:35 pm

      Hmmm perhaps volunteer work feels different?

      My husband has had to travel a fair bit. He left me at home for two weeks with a 5 week old baby and a two year old, but it just was what it was. You get on with it.

      I figure it's the life we've built together, and know that each of us is working hard in our own way.

      I think I'd feel way too guilty to moan at a husband doing God's work. I mean, who am I to get in the way of that kind of thing?

    71. banter March 31, 2014 at 9:42 pm

      Good point Dominican.  Clearly there was no widow.

    72. Don the Kiwi March 31, 2014 at 10:11 pm



      Go to this website, the section is  "Celibacy of the Clergy".

      It gives the scriptural passages form St. Paul, Matthew etc.

      The question of clerical celibacy was assumed from the earliest days of the Church but was not made a rule, as explained by St.Paul.

      The first time celibacy was impose as a rule was the Council of Elvira in Spain around the year 295 AD.

      What is my authority saying Jesus did not marry? The gospels would have mentioned such a momentous event, but there is not even a suggestion that He had a wife. Mother, sisters and women who were close friends – Mary and Martha, Mary Magdalene, but no mention of a wife. And Benedicta gives a very good reason. Three women at the cross, but not a wife amongst them.    Maybe He had been divorced  ;-)

    73. Dominican March 31, 2014 at 10:12 pm

      The catholic priest in the modern world – a living martyr for his faith in the priesthood. There are two types of martyrdom – the red martyrdom of blood and the white martyrdom of professing ones faith with heroic courage in the face of virulent opposition from hostile forces in a society that militates against tne catholic priesthood. Fr John Hardon SJ

      So lets stop debating whether our priests would better if married or if there would be more if they could be married and pray for them – that they be holy, prayerful imitators of our Lord and Saviour

    74. Don the Kiwi March 31, 2014 at 10:21 pm


      They are interesting statistics in that first link -taken in the worldwide context though, not many priests as a percentage leave their priestly ministry.

      That second website you refer to is actually a seriously heretical site – some of the things they say are in direct conflict with what the Church teaches.

    75. banter March 31, 2014 at 10:29 pm

      Don the Kiwi,

      Ah, glad you pointed that out about the 2nd website.  I started reading it but stopped because some of things I was reading were sounding seriously rum to my ears.  I find heresy always starts to confuse me.

    76. Rubyshine April 1, 2014 at 7:11 am

      Yes Don I understand that. I just found it interesting that it was from the perspective of men who have been priests (assuming that what was written was true, because I tend to look at most things on the net sideways)

      Although there is heresy, there is also their truth based on their experiences.

    77. Dominican April 1, 2014 at 11:29 am

      Priestly celibacy in the Catholic Church began as a voluntary, spontaneous desire on the part of the Church's priests to follow in the footsteps of Christ.  So  came about  the practice in the Latin Church.  We see the sanction of ecclesiastical law. – law followed spontenous choice, not the other way around.  There were first celibate priests, and then wisely and understandably, the church made laws building on what then had already become part of the  Church's Tradition.

      Fr John Hardon SJ

      Visit his website.  Fr Hardon is now deceased but his legacy lives on – we are richly blessed

    78. Don the Kiwi April 1, 2014 at 5:13 pm


      I understand there are moves afoot to introduce a cause for sainthood for Fr. Hardon.

    79. Teresina April 1, 2014 at 7:57 pm

      Mrs Mac, in Hamilton the priest came out three times in the middle of the night to my mother – I know because I called him and I was there – and he gave her the last rites on each occasion.  I know the current hospital chaplain is often called out in the middle of the night, as have other priests who were looking after the hospital  I am sorry to hear that doesn't happen in Auckland.   

    80. Teresina April 1, 2014 at 8:12 pm

      Mrs Mac, apologies to you – I misread the point about priests not coming out to be from you and accordingly thought that that was not happening in Auckland.  Re-reading your post I see the comment is actually from Paulinem.  So what she has experienced is certainly different from what I and others have experienced about the priests administering last rites – Paulinem seems pretty progressive and of course may attend a progressive parish where the priest doesn't go out to the sick but that is not the norm as she tries to paint it.

    81. Teresina April 1, 2014 at 8:14 pm

      Don, I am sure Fr Hardon would be a prime candidate for sainthood going by his writings alone – Deo gratias.

    82. Teresina April 1, 2014 at 8:16 pm

      Dominican, "If Jesus had a wife Werahiko why do you think from the cross he commend his mother to the care of John.  What was his widow to do?"  Fantastic – right on the button!

    83. Teresina April 1, 2014 at 8:19 pm

      Rubyshine, I suggest you search out a few comments from the wives of Orthodox priests and you will find there are plenty of complaints.  Here is an example:

    84. Teresina April 3, 2014 at 11:20 pm

      "Alex Begin of Extraordinary Faith sends us the news of this special new series dedicated to the Traditional Mass and Traditional Catholic life – it is being broadcast by EWTN, but it is an independent production.

      The first of (so far) eight episodes will be broadcast on April 14.

      Extraordinary Faith is pleased to announce the debut of a new, self-titled, 30-minute television series for the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) that showcases the beauty of classic Catholic sacred art, architecture, liturgy, and music. Special emphasis is given to the Traditional Latin Mass, also known as the Extraordinary Form or Tridentine Mass. This historic form of Catholic worship has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in recent years, especially among the young, and is a rich source of vocations to the priesthood and religious life.


      Extraordinary Faith is an independently-produced and funded effort to introduce the world of Sacred Tradition to Catholics and non-Catholics who have little or no experience of it. It combines a rich visual travelogue format with human interest stories taken from burgeoning traditional Catholic communities around the world. Each episode of Extraordinary Faith will visit a different locale, to tour historic churches and interview clergy and laypeople behind the restoration of classic Catholicism. The program avoids heavy theology and seeks to show how Catholic tradition is relevant to modern life.


      Over two years in the making, Extraordinary Faith was co-founded by two veteran promoters of traditional liturgy: Executive Producer, Writer, and Host Alex Begin, a long-time organizer of Latin Masses in the Archdiocese of Detroit, Michigan and the Diocese of London, Ontario, Canada; and London, England-based journalist Mary O’Regan, who served as Writer, Producer, and Co-Host on the first two episodes.


      To ensure that the message reverberates with contemporary audiences, the founders committed to the highest possible production standards. A team of experienced Los Angeles-based television professionals has been assembled to oversee the technical aspects of the production. Key personnel include veteran film and television producer James Brooke, Emmy-nominated cinematographer Jim Whitney, editor Andy Charlton, who worked on Hawaii Five-O and Pushing Daisies, and Edd Kalehoff, composer of the theme music for The Price Is Right and ABC World News Tonight. Volunteers from the St. Benedict Tridentine Community at Assumption Church in Windsor, Ontario, Canada ( are assisting with numerous background details on the project.


      At 5:00 PM U.S. Eastern time on Monday, April 7, a web site supporting the program will go live at A preview video for the series and for each episode will be posted there. A Facebook page will offer a discussion forum for subjects pertinent to the program and for those who have questions about Catholic tradition in general, at


      The web site will include a list of resources for those interested in learning more about traditional liturgy. Each episode will have its own page, with links to provide more information about the people and places visited.


      To further help promote Sacred Tradition, members of the Extraordinary Faith team will also offer on-site training for priests, servers, and musicians who wish to learn the Tridentine Mass. No fee will be charged for the instruction or travel costs involved, but parishes who take advantage of this service will be required to commit to offering the Extraordinary Form at least once per month. Details about this service will be posted on the web site."

    85. Teresina April 3, 2014 at 11:47 pm

      Thankfully this was posted on April Fools Day:

      (Vatican Radio, April 1st, 2014) The Holy Father also said that he is ordering his gang of eight cardinals to study the issue of ordination of women as deacons, priests and bishops in light of his new rubric for Maundy Thursday and in light of religious and secular trends concerning the gender neutrality of Holy Orders and that brides and grooms can be of any sex or gender or none at all. He is especially interested in the transgendered priesthood.

      Asked about how sanitary it would be to wash the feet of everyone at the Maundy Thursday Mass, the Holy Father said that the smell of feet is like the smell of sheep and if everyone smelled like feet what a better Church we would be.

      The Holy Father also recommended that everyone walk to the Maundy Thursday Mass in flip flops or wide open sandals trying explicitly to get their feet as dirty as possible on the way so that an actual washing takes place.


      Posted by Fr. Allan J. McDonald at Tuesday, April 01, 2014

    86. Teresina April 4, 2014 at 9:37 am

      For those who have EWTN or can access EWTN on their computer the first episode of Extraordinary Faith is on 14 April and will also be available on the website later.  The first episode features the Mission San Juan Capistrano the oldest still functioning church in California:

      "Extraordinary Faith Episode 1:

      Mission San Juan Capistrano

      To Debut on EWTN on April 14

      EWTN has announced the debut of

      Extraordinary Faith

      , our

      locally-produced television series showcasing the b

      eauties of

      Sacred Tradition and the Tridentine Mass. Episode 1

      was filmed

      at the historic Mission San Juan Capistrano in Cali

      fornia, located

      about one hour south of Los


      The oldest still-functioning

      Catholic church in California

      is the Mission’s Serra Chapel.

      The Serra Chapel also happens

      to be the site of one of the first

      Tridentine Masses to be

      established in North America

      after Vatican II in the wake of

      the 1984 Vatican indult,

      Quattuor Abhinc Annos

      , which

      re-permitted the celebration of

      the Traditional Latin Mass

      worldwide if the local bishop


      As a point of interest, the

      Mission was made available

      for our use by its gracious

      pastor, Msgr. Art Holquin,

      who struck up a conversation

      with this author during a visit

      when he realized I was a

      member of the Windsor

      Tridentine Mass Community.

      Msgr. Holquin just happened

      to be an enthusiastic user of

      Michel Ozorak’s Chant Sheets

      and was interested in receiving

      some one-on-one training on

      how to celebrate a High Mass.

      A small world, indeed.

      This episode also includes some background informat

      ion about

      the series, as well as an interview with George Sar

      ah, a

      Hollywood composer who was asked to become presiden

      t of Una

      Voce Los Angeles after he organized a number of spe

      cial high-

      profile Tridentine Masses in historic churches. Joy

      Lanfranchi of

      Una Voce Orange County discusses the annual Lenten


      from St. Michael’s [Norbertine] Abbey to the Missio


      culminating, not surprisingly, with a Latin Mass.

      Episode 1 of

      Extraordinary Faith

      – Mission San Juan Capistrano

      – will be televised on EWTN beginning Monday, April

      14, 2014

      at 4:30 AM Eastern time. The episode will be re-run

      on Good

      Friday, April 18, 2014 at 2:00 AM Eastern time.

    87. Teresina April 4, 2014 at 9:44 am

      For those who have EWTN or can access EWTN on their computer the first episode of Extraordinary Faith is on 14 April and will also be available on the website later.  The first episode features the Mission San Juan Capistrano the oldest still functioning church in California:

      "Extraordinary Faith Episode 1:

      Mission San Juan Capistrano To Debut on EWTN on April 14.

      EWTN has announced the debut of Extraordinary Faith, our locally-produced television series showcasing the beauties of Sacred Tradition and the Tridentine Mass.  Episode 1 was filmed at the historic Mission San Juan Capistrano in California, located about one hour south of Los Angeles. The oldest still-functioning Catholic church in California is the Mission’s Serra Chapel.

      The Serra Chapel also happens to be the site of one of the first Tridentine Masses to be established in North America after Vatican II in the wake of the 1984 Vatican indult, Quattuor Abhinc Annos, which re-permitted the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass worldwide if the local bishop approved.

      As a point of interest, the Mission was made available for our use by its gracious pastor, Msgr. Art Holquin, who struck up a conversation with this author during a visit when he realized I was a member of the Windsor Tridentine Mass Community.  Msgr. Holquin just happened to be an enthusiastic user of Michel Ozorak’s Chant Sheets and was interested in receiving some one-on-one training on how to celebrate a High Mass.  A small world, indeed.

      This episode also includes some background informat ion about the series, as well as an interview with George Sarah, a Hollywood composer who was asked to become president of Una Voce Los Angeles after he organized a number of special high-profile Tridentine Masses in historic churches. Joy Lanfranchi of Una Voce Orange County discusses the annual Lenten Pilgrimage from St. Michael’s [Norbertine] Abbey to the Missio n, culminating, not surprisingly, with a Latin Mass. Episode 1 of Extraordinary Faith – Mission San Juan Capistrano – will be televised on EWTN beginning Monday, April 14, 2014 at 4:30 AM Eastern time. The episode will be re-run on Good Friday, April 18, 2014 at 2:00 AM Eastern time.”

      The New Zealand affiliate of Una Voce (which has been promoting the Latin Mass since Vatican II) is the Ecclesia Dei Society NZ –   You can find Mass times and locations for NZ and also the timetable in Auckland for Easter.

    88. Teresina April 4, 2014 at 9:54 am

      For those who are interested in the Latin Mass we can be grateful for the work of Una Voce in promoting the Latin Mass worldwide:

      The International Una Voce Federation

      A Brief History.

      in pdf-format





      Formation: In 1964, Dr. Borghild Krane, an eminent psychologist in Norway, sent out an appeal to concerned Catholics to group together in defence of the Church's liturgical heritage. As a result of that appeal a number of national associations came into being in 1964/65. Delegates from six European associations met in Rome early in 1965 and the International Federation was formally erected in Zurich on January 8th, 1967 when delegates from 20 associations approved the draft statutes and elected the first Council.s

      A Lay Movement: The International Una Voce Federation is a lay movement, and its principal aims are to ensure that the Missale Romanum of Pope John XXIII (1962 edition) is maintained in the Church as one of the forms of liturgical celebration, and to safeguard and promote the use of Latin, Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony. A General Assembly is convened every two years in Rome and elections are held for the Council and Presidency. The current President is Mr Leo Darroch from The Latin Mass Society of England and Wales. The Federation is recognized by the Holy See, its views are received with courtesy and respect by the relevant Roman Congregations, and its representatives are received by them in the same manner. Over the years it has made successful interventions with Rome on numerous occasions to safeguard the traditional Mass and ancient liturgical practice. Its first President, Dr. Eric de Saventhem was instrumental in convincing Pope John Paul II in 1986 to convoke a special Commission of Cardinals to investigate to situation concerning the celebration of the traditional Mass.

      The Federation is not an organization run from above by a central committee. Each national association is an autonomous body that is encouraged to do all that it can to achieve the objectives of the Federation at the local level, but the leadership of the International Federation is better placed to represent the common concerns of traditional Catholics world-wide at the highest level of Church government. Negotiations with Rome tend to be carried out discreetly behind the scenes and are not normally made public.


      Membership: The International Federation represents 40 member associations in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, Chile, England and Wales, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, and the USA. Since 2007 the International Federation has made remarkable progress. Requests for information and assistance have come from Belarus, Brazil, Croatia, Cuba, Denmark, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Panama, Puerto Rico, Sarawak (Borneo), Slovenia, and Ukraine.

    89. Werahiko April 4, 2014 at 7:41 pm

      Teresina and Domincan: you conclude that because Jesus entrusted his mother to the care of John, he could not therefore have been married. Not logical, as it assumes that a man and a woman could equAlly have performed this role, whatever in fact was intended by Jesus. We simply don't know. Secondly, there are innumerable other possibilities. His wife was sick. She had stayed home in Nazareth. She had a disability which prevented her travelling. She was kept from the crucifixion by others. She was by that stage dead. She had left Jesus. The main point though is that if Jesus remained celibate and intended this to be a role model for others, why does scripture not mention this when it does in relation to others, such as Paul. 

    90. Dominican April 4, 2014 at 8:01 pm

      There are many things Jesus said and did that are not recorded in scripture. 

      Seems a big omission to forget his bamitzvah for example or his marriage  or the death of his foster father though.

       Remember the church is big on tradition.

    91. Teresina April 4, 2014 at 10:55 pm

      Werahiko, just a simple question: do you believe that Jesus Christ is the second person of the Blessed Trinity?

      There is no marriage in heaven, Werahiko, as Christ pointed out.  Therefore, there was no need for Him to marry.  The tradition handed down by the Church is that Christ was never married and that is evidence enough for anyone who is a Catholic.

    92. Teresina April 5, 2014 at 12:08 am

      If we think there are problems in the local church, Cardinal Brandmuller is pointing tthe finger at ignorance of Catholic doctrine among bishops and theologians:

      " Cardinal Brandmüller Complains of "Chaos" in the Catholic Church


      Ignorance of Catholic doctrine among bishops and theologians is in the opinion of Cardinal Walter Brandmüller the main reason for the current "chaos" in the Church.


      Rome ( / KNA) Ignorance of Catholic doctrine among bishops and theologians is in the opinion of Cardinal Walter Brandmüller (photo), the main reason for the current "chaos" in the Church. Given the internal Church debate on marriage and family the "unadulterated Catholic doctrine" is in danger, said the German cardinal and ecclesiastical historian of the Italian newspaper "Il Foglio" (Thursday).


      Under bishops, preachers, catechists and "especially among moral theology professors", there is  often prevails an absence or lack of  clarity about the doctrine, complained Brandmüller. Adding to the resulting confusion are bishops who claim that the Catholic moral teaching is not up to date.


       Brandmüller also identified statements by Bishop Stephan Ackermann of Trier to a renewal of moral and sexual education. Ackermann might be right if he meant that believers are more motivated to live a life according to Catholic doctrine, and this needed to be better explained. He could, however, be wrong, if he wanted to have said that the Catholic doctrine no longer fits the times, says the cardinal. Ackermann told "Mainzer Allgemeine" early February declaring in an editorial interview with the that he saw the need for a change of morality and sexual ethics of the Church. It is no longer appropriate, to refuse divorced and remarried   admission to the sacraments permanently and consider premarital sex in general as a grave sin. At the same time Ackermann stressed he  is not about making fundamental changes in teaching. 


       The Augsburg Church Historian Brandmüller had been President of the Pontifical Committee of Historical Sciences from 1998 to 2009. He has belonged to the College of Cardinals since September of 2010. "


    93. Werahiko April 5, 2014 at 7:40 am

      Teresina, logic is also a part of tradition. You say there is no marriage in heaven and therefore Jesus did not need to marry. Well, there is also no: death, birth, wine drinking, fish eating, or leper curing in heaven therefore…

    94. Benedicta April 5, 2014 at 9:22 am


      Yes logic is part of the tradition……Thomas Aquinas was taught in this way prior to entering more deeply into theology.

      BUT the essential difference is that logic is Aristotelian logic and whatever else deemed likely to serve the Holy Tinity by making its glory more present to the human mind….includes things likes metaphysics, non-contradition.

      Logic in the sense you are using it is more like post enlightenment fact/value ideas. Which are reductive concepts.

    95. Benedicta April 5, 2014 at 9:35 am

      Also Teresina is right in the eschatological view she takes….the blessed end where there is no marriage.

      BUT the essential reason why Jesus is not married is because He already was.

      The deep Tradition of Judaism from the Mosiac Covenant right through till John the Baptist acknowledged Jesus as 'the Bridegroom' was that God was the Bridegroom who is married to His People.

      If one sees Jesus in a Bultmann post enlightenment fact/value reductive concept of 'just a poor wandering Jewish Rabbi' then yes it is logical to then ask 'why then was he not married like other Jewish Rabbis?"

      But if you know Him as who He truly is, as the Tradition has taught us and bowed the knee to He is not married to one Jewish woman….but is God Himself.. who long ago on Sinai married His people and Has now come amongst us to seal that Marriage once and for all as the faithful fulfilled covenent on behalf of the faithless Bride His people. In other words He came amongst us as one of us so that we could fulfill our part of the covenenant. The Bride is made spotless and whole and the true wedding feast can now take place all that is needed is time to call all the guests in so that the final escahatological banquet can take place for all eternity when time has served its purpose which is to call into Covenant those whom God has called through time to be His own.

      But then you have to see logic and Truth in a whole new way?

      But its perfectly reasonable in this day and age to ask the question you do.

      We then are married because God marries His people. We are icons in marriage of God marrying His people. So marriage wasn't just something we did then Christians (and Judaism) came along and said…hey that's cool lets make it sort of religious. When God creates His relationship with His people was the end to which He created so that marriage as covenant made this present to us through God's Revelation on Sinai…and so marriage is a sacramental sign of this God/people and Bridegroom/Bride to Jesus the Bridegroom/Church as Bride.

      So no need and in fact an aberration to Jesus amongst us…..unless you prefer just a Jewish Rabbi.

    96. Teresina April 5, 2014 at 1:35 pm

      Werahiko, I go along with Benedicta's comments that Christ is married to the Church.

      However, I note you haven't answered the fundamental, simple question I posed to you: do you believe that Jesus Christ is the second person of the Blessed Trinity?



    97. Werahiko April 5, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      Sorry guys, but facts are facts. If you assert, as a fact, that Jesus was not married, you have to be willing to say why you assert that.nifnthenreason for your assertion is that it is an assumption based on your beliefs about Jesus and His relationship to his Church, I get it. That, in itself, makes sense. But there is no actual physical or historical evidence for this. That does not make it untrue, but it does make it a matter of belief, not ultimately born out by evidence of the senses. I expect religious people to have such beliefs. I do not think it wise to pretend they are facts. 

    98. Benedicta April 5, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      What this essential relationship of God and His people….Christ and the Church manifests most deeply through the Cross is the immense love God has for us.

      For this reason, the enemy, the devil, seeks to attack God through confusing Truth and obscuring that love and so dividing God's people from truth and so from the love of God. Salvation is not given to us in the first instance as forgivenness of sin; but rather forgiveness of sin follows from the union of God and His people. Union with God for the Church is through Christ and the sacraments; primarily Baptism and the Eucharist which confirms again and again our fidelity to the Covenant union won for us by Christ on the Cross.

      The devil then attacks where confusion can reign especially now when our 'sight' is reduced to fact/value concepts which are reckoned as 'true for us'. So marriage is attacked….the essentially complementarity of man and woman in marital union is sold to us by the devil as an oppression in too waves of attack; in the first attack from women attacking the male as patriarchally oppression which burdens woman in marriage, and secondly by homosexual persons and sympathisers that marriage is too exclusive and therefore oppressive to those outside its apparently inherent meaning.

      But essentially marriage doesn't proceed from us but whether by nature, or by nature enobled by Grace through Revelation marriage is something which comes with us as a bonding which generates us through history and so at the most primitive level is recognised, even if in some incomplete form, as essential. Marriage has come with us in our creating because God loved His people in creating and so marriage is in a way prior to us. God's marrying His people in the final eschatological banquet is in a way 'the reason for the season' for our living out our human lives as marrying people. The less we image that in our bonding; as in polygamy, adultery, homosexual sexual relations be step further back from the fulfillment of our own humanity and our ultimate relationship with God, who is our blessed end, and like it or not has for our own fulfillment, perfection and enoblement has called us into a complementary union with Himself. It is the purpose of our creating and we eternally stand in relation to it and refuse ultimate union with God and His Divine Plan is the likely cause of our eternal loss.

      It is no small matter how we stand in orientation to God and others.

      Marriage counts and the Church will defend it, though many Catholics won't, including clergy. It can't admit contradictions without striking at the heart of what God has given us through the Cross and from the beginning of salvation history. It is the primordial sign by which God loves us into existence each moment we have breath in the body and confirms our union or otherwise with Him and His people in holding eternally our free choice for or against Him in the eternal existence of our soul which will never come to an end.


    99. Benedicta April 5, 2014 at 4:42 pm


      Yes…it depends from a fact/value position on a fact/value term of engagement.

      What you are saying is that 'the fact that Jesus wasn't married depends on the fact of a belief system which claims he wasn't married which is not a fact but a belief'….so it goes.

      I disagree…

      There are two things…first…whether there is a Divine Plan or not? If you say that there is not then that depends on your belief that there is not because you can't prove it…in fact some might say the 'order of things in the world and the cosmos' do probably favour an intelligence.

      So it is reasonable to say (rational to say but not proveable on a fact/value dynamic) that there is a Divine Plan. Which one? This is the second thing…The salvation history of Judaism to Christianity is the only reasonable Divine Creator…because the Creator is not the Universe nor a mere inhabitant iof its environs. Only Judaism/Christianity hold to the Creator both transcendent and immanent that concurs to a rational understanding of the universe as rightly ordered. Yes, the sun comes up every morning and goes down every night the wonder of creation. Repetition in creation is God enjoying what He is creating (GK Chesterton).  Islam does but is essentially irrational in its relationship of the divine and the world. (but I won't go there).

      Therefore taking Judaism's reasonable claim on Creator….what denotes the historical expression of Judaism's hopes, customs and rituals and relationship to the Divine gives us sufficient reason to accept Jesus as fulfilling those aspirations and covenant hopes as revealed to them. So Jesus as Jewish and as Messiah Risen is the eschatological Bridegroom and is married as fulfilling prior coherency as Jewish. Jesus is unintelligible without Judaism.

      The problem is…and I can't help on this one…is that if one takes an entirely immanent or entirely rational view of the world…one might come to something like deism or something like a creator…but you will never be able to Name Him.

      That is primarily because in Christianity in the fulfillment of Judaism through Christ is like living on Mt Sinai in the time of Moses….it is an encounter with a Person and not an idea.

      For that you will have to go beyond yourself and beg God to help you and to seek Him faithfully. If one does that the Psalms say that God looks down on those who seek Him….and to those He will reveal Himself.


    100. Teresina April 5, 2014 at 5:41 pm

      Werahiko, there is no proof that Christ was married.  If you believe He was then it is up to you to prove it to us.  Where is your evidence?

      "The assertion that Jesus was married puts the burden of proof on those making the claim. Those who argue for a married Jesus simply haven’t met that burden. What evidence we have—even when considered apart from the Church’s Tradition—all points in the other direction."

      As you are not able to answer the question I put to you I wonder if you are lacking in faith.  



    101. Werahiko April 5, 2014 at 9:40 pm

      Teresina I do not say Jesus was married. I question those who say he was not  as to why they think that. 

    102. Teresina April 5, 2014 at 9:56 pm

      Werahiko, it has already been explained to you that there is no evidence to suggest that Christ was married but if you have got something then that will indeed be news to us and to the world … still no answer to my question: do you believe that Christ is the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity?  I am interested in your reply to that question. 

    103. Benedicta April 5, 2014 at 11:40 pm


      That's okay…questions are good. A number of years ago I wondered why did Jesus have to die on the Cross? I believed it but I needed to know and didn't understand. It started with that question and led to another and another….the best questions I ever asked. There is mystery and we can't except to know the boundaries and borders, limits and extents of how something might be..but we can get traction enough to know its solid ground.

      Regarding fact/value in the way we ordinarily come to think of things as being 'real' or 'true'. There are true facts of course but the sort of thinking which comes with concept and constructed ideas is great…in regards what we call the artefacts of the world. Those things we can know through and through…design and redesign them…make plans…hand them to another…improve…all that sort of thing.

      However when applied to the existing (living) things of the world it doesn't work. That's because of mystery. We can't know living things through and through…design them and redesign them…make plans…hand them to another…etc With modern biotechnology these things get blurred. With living plants of course we can change molecular structure and so on and get a better crop. With animals we can selectively breed and improve quality. But the higher up the realm of living things the more mystery kicks in…and the problems start if we start applying facts only to what these living things are. Even with plants and trees we now recognise that they are more than they seem…that they keep the air clean, protect animal species etc so we try to give them what they need and some protection.

      Also if we read some of the thinkers who gave us strong ideas about fact/value thinking you really don't want to go where they take you. (Well I don't). Hume, for example. He said there is no 'ought' from 'is'. Well that might be okay with artefacts if we can still make the pieces work but when applied to moral thinking and humans getting alongside there are limitations to what not 'ought' to be done to you because you are an 'is' (you exist). Hume really came to this idea because he didn't think anything existed at all in out there reality that everything was just in the mind.

      So heady stuff….

      Being Catholic is in the first instance about thinking right. I'm not being smart (or triumphalist). I'm being realistic. I can't tell all about it (I'm still learning). But a Catholic mind is a sort of mind and a sort of way of seeing. Its worth exploring for the reason that no sane person wants to think like Hume….and everyone influenced by him and others. Hume et al are all what you call nominalist thinkers….there is another prior way of thinking (nominalism was a sort of heresy actually) called realism. Realism and Catholicism are what gives unity to Faith and Reason. Nominalism has to stand alone and always has a difficult relationship and tends to Rationalism and the objectors tend to Fideism. The Church only accepts Faith and Reason in harmonious unity.

      James V Schall SJ has some good books on things like the Catholic Mind and comes to the religious question from another angle. Another is a priest (no deceased), a harder read, but his thesis (which I agree with) is that without the Incarnation of Christ there would be no science as we know it today…Stanley L Jaki.

      Just ideas….I know the 'burn' when you have an 'issue'.

      Talk to Christ…He's listening and loving you. St Teresa of Avila insists that we always come to the Holy Trinity through the humanity of Christ….if you want to stimulate that encounter learn lectio divina…prayer for those who don't know how to pray who want to hear NOW from God. And….If's Hume's right you are just talking to yourself and well that's his thesis anyway. Its better to do as Pope Benedict says 'act as if God exists'.

      Prayers for you…..

    104. bamac April 6, 2014 at 11:17 am


      Many thanks for mentioning Fr Schall S.J.   I Googled him and found this site which gives some of his writings … I scrolled down to Liturgy and found it very good … Teresina, i am sure you would like it too…:-

      Shalom ,

      Mrs Mac

    105. Benedicta April 6, 2014 at 1:32 pm

      Mrs Mac

      Thanks for that. Yes, Fr Schall is an excellent priest who's specialty is political philosophy.

      It is good to find writers who are faithful to the Tradition who have broad and deep knowledge.

      It seems to me, that the life journey today for Catholics, is to swim against the tide of the culture they were born into. The culture is nominalist…which is why we vacillate and struggle with Church teaching, especially moral (but sacramental is also obscured)….unless it 'feels right to me'. Of course unless one agrees it does not 'feel right to me'….and the nominalist mind then sets about rearranging the oppressive imposition which is simply that, an oppressive imposition because 'it doesn't feel right to me'. The arguments to support the feeling then follow rather than shaping the feeling in the first place.

      Fr Schall would agree with Alasdair MacIntyre (who is not an easy read…but Schall will pose it in an easier way)…that Tradition means entering into a trusting relationship with an authority who teaches us based on their testimony. That we then (the humility to learn) submit ourselves to receive that Tradition rather like being an apprentice in a craft tradition.

      It isn't about picking and choosing to the tune of our own opinions but rather setting out to change in order to be able to receive the Tradition. Strangely, the more we take this trusting attitude and appropriate the Tradition in trust on the basis of testimony (the Church witnesses to Christ…the testimony of Christ) the more we change. We receive and it changes us and then we receive and we change and so on….

      I think this is rather Dominican? In so far that it is a contemplative and mystical realisation that in the end all knowledge and faith is subsumed into Holy Wisdom…and it rather concurs with Dante's desire for Beatrice who he followed to absolute Blessedness.

      In the Hebrew scriptures God's desire for His people it true worship and true knowledge.

      But it is worthwhile to realise the difficulty of mind that people have in receiving Catholicism…the conversion is extremely deep and life changing…not only in the realisation of who Christ is….everything for us but how we need to change in order to truly receive Him. Belief is extremely important but I do think today getting that deep resonance of coherency in one who believes in the whole order of their lives requires true humility to apprentice oneself….and so stop struggling and live.