We participated in a polite act of revolution this morning. Mary and I attended the “illegal” ordination of a woman as a Catholic priest. She’s our neighbor so we would be disposed to be nice about it, but more importantly, we wholeheartedly believe in the rightness of the act. God blessed it and approves, even if the church can’t get there yet.
In one way I’m not Catholic, but in the truer sense I am. The word “catholic” has a more welcoming meaning than just members of a specific sect. The original definition is:
That’s me all over. That’s the church I call myself a member of.
There were wonderful affirmations of many kinds. We learned how she had felt the calling to priesthood as a child more than 50 years ago, how she had prepared through degrees in divinity, sacred office in another church which has long ordained lesbians, and decades of ministry and mission work.
The proclaimed mission of Roman Catholic Womenpriests North America is to spiritually prepare, ordain, and support women and men from all states of life, who are theologically qualified, who are committed to an inclusive model of Church, and who are called by the Holy Spirit and their communities to minister within the Roman Catholic Church.
Of course the Vatican isn’t having any of it – SO FAR. Anyone involved gets automatic excommunication, and they’ve put out a bunch of statements saying even though bishops in good standing have performed these rituals, it doesn’t count. The women are doing it anyway. Independent congregations accept their authority as legitimate. So do I. So does my wife. So does our current service dog trainee, who was also in attendance.
God calls people to service in ministry. People receive the call, not only men, not only the celibate, not only heterosexuals. If God granted the power of speech to our dog and made him willing and able to preach, I would accept his calling as true and valid.
May love and acceptance wash over the world, giving as new a start in life as the flood of Noah did before. May every wall separating us come crashing down. Hear my prayer!