Cleansing Fire

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There’s Something in the Well Water

February 5th, 2011, Promulgated by Dr. K

Women of the Well” is a group of local women who perform at a number of Rochester Catholic parishes and Protestant houses of worship various stories of female figures from the Bible and the early Church. Given that this group will be performing at a number of area churches in the coming months, perhaps it is time we stop and take a look at the orthodoxy of this troupe, and try to determine whether it is advisable for one to attend one of these performances.

A simple Google search reveals that seven of the thirteen performers (see  here and here for the performer lists) publicly support the ordination of women to the priesthood, despite the definitive teaching of the Catholic Church that men alone are ordained priests. Two of the performers (Ulterino and Mack) are listed on the Women’s Ordination Conference website, while five others (Stellpflug, Catherine, Bardques, Rice, and McAndrew) signed the infamous “Are we willing to sacrifice the Eucharist” petition. The fact that approximately half of the performers in the troupe have publicly affixed their names to the heretical women’s ordination movement should provide enough concern about the orthodoxy of these performances, and perhaps also call into question the motivation behind them (meaning: are they attempting to make the case that women should be priests through exaggerated and/or dishonest portrayals of women and their roles in the early Church).

Given this information, I would advise extreme caution before deciding to attend one of these performances, or promoting these events at your parish.

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11 Responses to “There’s Something in the Well Water”

  1. avatar anonymous says:

    What I don’t get is why are any performances allowed in church? Does someone have to post the Webster’s definition of ALTAR right next to the word STAGE and mail it to the the parishes who treat their church altars like a stage to promote themselves.

  2. avatar Matt says:

    yea. But when you remove the altar, statuary, tabernacle, communion rail, and anything that remotely looks Catholic, you’ve just got yourself a free-to-use performance hall complete with a dining room table. If it doesn’t LOOK sacred, nobody treats it as sacred!

  3. avatar Monk says:

    Wolves in sheep’s clothes.

  4. avatar Maureen says:

    Wolves in sheep’s clothing, perhaps, but definitely wanting to be women in men’s clothing…

  5. avatar Anonymous says:

    I think this was their first website: http://www.witchswell.com/ I am only half kidding.

  6. avatar Gordon Barnes says:

    It is not a definitive teaching of the Church that only men can be priests. That is simply false. In order for a teaching of the Church (that is not contained in Holy Scripture) to be part of the “Deposit of Faith,” it must fall into one of two categories: (1) it is taught by the Pope “ex cathedra,” and as such it is declared to be an infallible teaching, or (2) it is part of the so-called “ordinary magisterium,” which requires that it is taught by all the bishops, in concert with the Bishop of Rome. John Paul II wanted to define the restriction of the priesthood to men ex cathedra, but he ultimately refrained from doing that. (In order for that to be done, it has to be crystal clear that it has been done, so that there can be no doubt about it, and it wasn’t crystal clear.) As for the ordinary magisterium, it requires that ALL the Bishops agree, and on this issue, what do you think? Is it likely that all the Bishops share the opinion that only men can be priests? That is extremely doubtful. Even Cardinal Martini, once considered a candidate to be Pope, told Umberto Eco that we would have to wait and see whether women would ever be priests. How many other Bishops probably hold similar views? The man who was formerly known as Cardinal Ratzinger tried to argue that the fact that Jesus only chose men to be his disciples somehow indicates that only men can be priests, but of course Jesus only chose Jewish fishermen to be his disciples, so does that mean that only Jewish fisherman can be priests? Ratzinger’s argument here is fraught with difficulties. Suffice it to say that you have a lot of logical work to do to make the case that the male-only priesthood is a definitive teaching of the Church. Of course, since that work has to be “logical work,” I will not hold my breath.

  7. avatar Dr. K says:

    From the link: http://www.ewtn.com/library/curia/cdfrespo.htm

    “Dubium: Whether the teaching that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women, which is presented in the Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis to be held definitively, is to be understood as belonging to the deposit of faith.

    Responsum: In the affirmative.

    This teaching requires definitive assent, since, founded on the written Word of God, and from the beginning constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium (cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium 25, 2). Thus, in the present circumstances, the Roman Pontiff, exercising his proper office of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32), has handed on this same teaching by a formal declaration, explicitly stating what is to be held always, everywhere, and by all, as belonging to the deposit of the faith.”

    You said:

    As for the ordinary magisterium, it requires that ALL the Bishops agree

    You’re never going to get everyone to agree everything. During the first Vatican Council, Rochester’s Bishop McQuaid did not agree with Papal infallibility. But you know what, it passed, and he accepted it. If bishops choose not to assent to the teachings of the Church, then they are dissenters.

  8. avatar Abaccio says:

    Gord,

    My comments in {CAPS}: It is not a definitive teaching of the Church that only men can be priests {YES IT IS}. That is simply false{WRONG}.

    In order for a teaching of the Church (that is not contained in Holy Scripture) to be part of the “Deposit of Faith,” it must fall into one of two categories: (1) it is taught by the Pope “ex cathedra,” and as such it is declared to be an infallible teaching, or (2) it is part of the so-called “ordinary magisterium,” which requires that it is taught by all the bishops, in concert with the Bishop of Rome{A CLEVER TWISTING OF THE IDEA OF THE ORDINARY MAGISTERIUM, BUT INCORRECT. THE EXTRAORDINARY MAGISTERIUM REFERS TO BOTH EX CATHEDRA STATEMENTS, AND SOLEMN DEFINITIONS GIVEN BY COUNCILS. THE ORDINARY MAGISTERIUM REFERS TO THE EXERCISE OF THE TEACHING AUTHORITY OF THE CHURCH WITHOUT AN INFALLIBLE DEFINITION BEING MADE. THIS IS NOT NECESSARILY INFALLIBLE…CORRECT…BUT YOU’RE CONFLATING THIS WITH THE ORDINARY, UNIVERSAL MAGISTERIUM. THIS IS A TEACHING AGREED UPON BY MOST IF NOT ALL THE BISHOPS, BUT WITHOUT A SOLEMN DEFINITION. TEACHINGS OF THE ORDINARY, UNIVERSAL MAGISTERIUM *ARE* IN FACT INFALLIBLE.}

    John Paul II wanted to define the restriction of the priesthood to men ex cathedra, but he ultimately refrained from doing that. (In order for that to be done, it has to be crystal clear that it has been done, so that there can be no doubt about it, and it wasn’t crystal clear.){YOU MADE THAT UP, GORD. IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN A TEACHING OF THE ORDINARY, UNIVERSAL MAGISTERIUM. Bl. JOHN PAUL II DEFINITIVELY DECLARED IT IN ORDINATIO SACERDOTALIS}

    As for the ordinary magisterium, it requires that ALL the Bishops agree, and on this issue, what do you think? {AGAIN, FALSE. IT DOES NOT REQUIRE THE ASSENT OF ALL BISHOPS.}

    Is it likely that all the Bishops share the opinion that only men can be priests? That is extremely doubtful. Even Cardinal Martini, once considered a candidate to be Pope,{BEING CONSIDERED PAPABILE MEANS NOTHING} told Umberto Eco that we would have to wait and see whether women would ever be priests. How many other Bishops probably hold similar views? The man who was formerly known as Cardinal Ratzinger tried to argue that the fact that Jesus only chose men to be his disciples somehow indicates that only men can be priests, but of course Jesus only chose Jewish fishermen to be his disciples, so does that mean that only Jewish fisherman can be priests? {FALSE AGAIN, MATTHEW WAS A TAX COLLECTOR. FURTHERM0RE, SCRIPTURE DOESN’T TELL US THE OCCUPATIONS OF ALL OF THE APOSTLES.}

    Ratzinger’s argument here is fraught with difficulties. Suffice it to say that you have a lot of logical work to do to make the case that the male-only priesthood is a definitive teaching of the Church. Of course, since that work has to be “logical work,” I will not hold my breath.{ONCE AGAIN, THROWING FECES, SEEING IF IT WILL STICK.}

  9. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    Gordon,
    Have a listen to this lecture by Peter Kreeft.

  10. avatar Jim R says:

    Gord,

    You must be a seminary student at a very poor seminary. 🙂

    “In order for a teaching of the Church (that is not contained in Holy Scripture) to be part of the “Deposit of Faith,” it must fall into one of two categories: (1) it is taught by the Pope “ex cathedra,” and as such it is declared to be an infallible teaching, or (2) it is part of the so-called “ordinary magisterium,” which requires that it is taught by all the bishops, in concert with the Bishop of Rome.”

    You got things a bit backwards here. The “Deposit of Faith” consists of Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition including those matters of faith and morals necessary to Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition.. In order for the Pope to declare a matter dogma “ex cathedra” that matter must already be part of the Deposit of Faith. If it’s not already part of the Deposit of Faith the Pope (nor the Church) has any charism of infallibility. Thus, e.g., the dogma of the Immaculate Conception was already part of the Deposit of Faith when Pius IX declared it dogma, “ex cathedra.” Ditto, the Assumption. The ex cathedra declaration did not insert those matters into the Deposit of Faith, they simply raised those matters which were part of the Deposit of Faith to dogma. Dogma is divinely revealed truth the denial of which constitutes heresy. Believe it or not there are other levels of the Deposit of Faith which are not dogma. “Theologoumen” is a big word you can trot out next time, once you’ve looked it up. Whoever taught you did a poor job – or you weren’t paying attention closely.

    The next time you sally forth to instruct, please be sure you actually know what you’re talking about, please.

  11. avatar anonymous says:

    Even at St. Bernard’s, Gordon’s errors would have been exposed.


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