Thursday, April 04, 2013

Media coverage of vagante women priests

From Chris Johnson. The headline and first paragraph’s info if these reporters were honest: ‘Small sect ordains ex-Catholic women.’

I’ve called them on this continually repeating ‘news’ story as has Terry Mattingly at GetReligion. These stories really mean ‘the secularist powers that be who control the media hate the Catholic Church’, the way this country’s Protestant majority always has. They think they’re being funny and smart by manufacturing a fight about this issue in the church, where there really isn’t one. Only a minority of Catholics, older, assimilated folks in Protestant countries, are even interested in this. (These women have taken all the bad religious instruction they’ve been fed since the council, by troublemakers in the official church, to a logical dead end.) The church can’t change the matter of the sacraments.

These aren’t Catholics anymore but tiny ‘churches’ sometimes called vagantes (from the Latin for ‘wandering bishops’, censured medieval clerics who made trouble by moving from place to place ordaining without the church’s permission*), around for about 150 years, priest wannabes with no congregations/real ministry. They’re clericalists; they want the power and respect.

Mattingly touched on this biased coverage in one of his posts, on why the media pay attention to the Episcopal Church when neither they nor mainstream society takes it seriously (it does what mainstream society wants but mainstream society doesn’t need it anymore): it’s about spiting the church with something superficially similar (thanks, ironically, to the Anglo-Catholic movement, which wanted to be really Catholic but turned Episcopalianism into New Age Catholic lite).

Most Bad Catholics just drop out. (‘I left the true church. Why should I bother with yours?’) Modernists are more likely to stay and cause trouble or, rarer, do this and lie to themselves that they’re still in the church than go mainline. A reason Catholic liberals don’t turn Episcopal (besides ethnic ties and the Thomas Day anti-high church factor) is when they’re not fighting the church anymore, they don’t get nearly the attention. Heard anything from Matthew Fox or Alberto Cutié lately? Exactly.

So on a slow news day, this old religious sideshow gets some attention.

Because as a State Farm commercial says, you can’t put anything on the Internet that isn’t true; #Bonjour.

*Which is sort of how the official church sees the SSPX but the SSPX has a reason: state of emergency in the church.


  1. "...the Anglo-Catholic movement, which wanted to be really Catholic but turned Episcopalianism into New Age Catholic lite.."
    No, that's pushing it a bit too much. It was the 'liberals' (wolves in sheep's clothing) who did that by appropriating the catholic 'ritual' whilst rejecting the orthodox theology which lay behind it.

    1. Right. That's what I meant. The movement's effect wasn't what it intended.

    2. Yes. These things have a way of turning out like that. The aftermath of Vatican II is a case in point, the liturgical reforms (whatever one thinks of them on their merits) being hi-jacked by the "spirit of Vatican II" crowd.
      You're right, of course, on the question of authority: High Anglicanism's claims are inevitably parasitic, or to put it more kindly, dependent either upon the authority of the Western Church and its patriarchal see or, at the very least, on a perceived consensus between East and West. On the other hand can we - should we - expect any more than that from what began as two brutally detached provinces of the Latin Church? Where you and I differ is that your argument seems to be that, as a separate(d) ecclesial body, Anglicans can now do what they like; my argument - and I'm aware of its (not necessarily fatal) inconsistencies - would run more along the lines of: the Church or any part of it is Christ's alone, and that 'developments' can only be legitimate if they reflect the consensus both of the present and that of the ages. But isn't the greatest scandal that of disunity and the continued rejection of the Lord's command to be perfectly one?

    3. Regarding the council, I dunno. Depends. I think what you say is true of John XXIII: this good-hearted old man in 1959 never intended the outcome around 1970. And of the legitimate liturgical renewal, which the council betrayed, turning it inside out so instead of the congregationally chanted High Mass the old renewal wanted, you still have Low Mass junked up with sappy hymns, only it's now lower-church. But the Rhine flows into the Tiber. The Modernists were still around, so they resurfaced and grabbed control. They got much of what they intended.

      Parasitic/dependent: exactly. The consensus of East and West as one's basis is appealing and not without merit: you more or less get Catholic teaching and practice. The trouble with that well-meant branch theory is the true church can't be divided, so none of the big branches accepts the theory, and in fact Anglicanism has done whatever it likes; it changes the faith by vote. In other words, Anglicanism isn't what you and other high churchmen thought it was; it doesn't believe in that Catholic consensus as the basis for its doctrine. And you're right; for all their ecumenism, the Anglicans don't want unity. Otherwise they wouldn't vote to keep moving farther from the church. A contradiction that played out last century: Anglo-Catholicism nudged the Anglicans higher, then after Vatican II the Catholic Church opened up to official dialogue about reunion, getting high churchmen's hopes up; the Pope gave the Archbishop of Canterbury one of his rings; the Anglicans even modernized their services ('and also with you') partly to imitate what the church was wrongly doing then (I don't think they're changing to go along with Pope Benedict's reforms)... then at the same time the Anglicans ordained women, reminding everybody they're still Protestants and intend to remain so. Now they're moving towards gay marriage.

  2. Any form identification which uses a liberal, progressive, leftist adjective preceding the word(s) (Roman) Catholic, is an oxymoron. You are either a Catholic who abides by all the teachings of the Magisterium or you are no longer a Catholic full stop. Cafeteria Catholicism by definition means self exclusion from Catholicism.

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  4. I just gotta say this!

    1.“Be nice if I could do start calling myself a woman, though. Get me that much closer to my lifelong dream of becoming a lesbian.”--->>Gee! I wonder what part of Beirut he's from? LOL

    2. The fact that they staged the ersatz-ordinations in an Ecopalian Church says it all! *big smirk*

  5. This is a little late but I came across this comment of yours "A reason Catholic liberals don’t turn Episcopal (besides ethnic ties and the Thomas Day anti-high church factor)" and thought you might be interested in this blog entry of mine:

    1. You well described what I call liberal high church, unknown to American Catholics and still fairly standard among Episcopalians: credally orthodox, more or less the same views as us on the sacraments, and they love our Mass; Catholic liberals don't.

      Because of a marriage conversion a generation back, I was born on the wrong side, which ironically had the good effect of teaching me pre-Vatican II Catholic practice when American Catholics wanted nothing to do with it anymore. All that confused me as a young man. Thanks to Pope Benedict, it has started to be clearer that high churchmanship's true home is in the church that created it, in spite of the low-church liberals.

      High churchmanship exists in Episcopalianism now partly because of its semi-congregationalism. Like what I think St. Thomas, Fifth Avenue is like: being a rich full parish, not a mission, as long as Fr. Mead keeps quiet about women priests and gay marriage, he can be his own Pope.


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