Friday, May 3, 2013

Dissident Group Ordains Woman as Priest

From Reuters:

"In an emotional ceremony filled with tears and applause, a 70-year-old Kentucky woman was ordained a priest on Saturday as part of a dissident group operating outside of official Roman Catholic Church authority.
Rosemarie Smead is one of about 150 women around the world who have decided not to wait for the Roman Catholic Church to lift its ban on women priests, but to be ordained and start their own congregations.

In an interview before the ceremony, Smead said she is not worried about being excommunicated from the Church - the fate of other women ordained outside of Vatican law.

'It has no sting for me,' said Smead, a petite, gray-haired former Carmelite nun with a ready hug for strangers. 'It is a Medieval bullying stick the bishops used to keep control over people and to keep the voices of women silent. I am way beyond letting octogenarian men tell us how to live our lives.'"
I actually support the right for private organizations to define their own membership policies and rules, even as I find it unfortunate that some organizations, particularly powerful ones like the Roman Catholic Church, create policies that align with the preservation of unearned male power and privilege.

Thus, I also support women and allies like Smead to continue subverting rules in this manner and putting pressure on the Church to stop promoting the notion, whether explicitly or implicitly, that men are more divine and closer to god than are women. Indeed, that her ordination causes so many people, the Pope and Internet commenters alike, to flip the fuck out is, in my opinion, precisely why it should be done.

Women's ordination in such a sexist, male-dominated institution as the Roman Catholic Church must be truly threatening to male power, male superiority, certainty, and the purported "natural" order of things if it continues to be met with such resistance.

Indeed, I saw many commenters responding to this story by riffing off the Church explanations for why only men get to be priests -  a woman priest is an "impossibility," they say. On that note, it's interesting to observe the parallel point when, say, same-sex marriage is discussed.

Despite the fact that, for instance, legal same-sex marriages actually exist in the real world, some Catholics (and non-Catholics too, but this particular article is about Catholics) claim that same-sex marriage is, like women's ordination, in an "impossibility" because, they circularly argue, marriage can only exist between a man and a woman.

In the same way, only men can be real priests because a buncha men in the Sacred Men's Club have decided that the only real priests are those who are men.

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