Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Posts Tagged ‘Women’s Ordination Conference’

Reflections on Leprosy and the LCWR

May 1st, 2013, Promulgated by Diane Harris
The St. Joseph Foundation in San Antonio, Texas, is a not-for-profit organization which represents both the ordained and laity in vindicating their rights within the Catholic Church.   They do not charge for their services, because they believe we all should have access to pursue our Canon Law rights. That is why the Church codifies our rights, although it is often too expensive for individuals to pursue on their own. Hence, I believe the St. Joseph Foundation performs a valuable service, is faithful in its work, and worthy of support. 
ScreenShot298Their Newsletter is widely received not only by laity and the ordained in the US, but also in the Vatican, especially among Canon Lawyers and significant members of the hierarchy.  Recently, I sought advice from the Foundation on where it would be best to publish a paper I had written regarding Reflections on the LCWR — the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.  Their very quick response was that the St. Joseph Foundation would like to publish it in their own Newsletter, Christifidelis.  I was delighted to have them do so, and pleased that I would be able to publish through such a well-respected organization, both in their regular mailed Newsletter, as well as on line.
Note that the rest of this particular paragraph is not currently true, as their website is under repair.  Therefore, I am uploading below the 4 pages on LCWR Reflections from the Newsletter for those who want to access it.  [Their May 1, 2013 newsletter is now available on line, and can be foumd as the most recent entry under the Newsletters tab.  However, to read more than the opening paragraph, it will be necessary to register.  That is easy to do, and at no cost, and I can guarantee you won’t be spammed.  However, registering will give access to much of interest on their website.]
I believe the LCWR article is timely, since Pope Francis, in his first 30 days in office, reaffirmed the needed reformation of women’s religious orders in the U.S. and, just this past weekend, a 70 year old nun in Kentucky got “ordained.”  Many people are so poorly informed, and the popular press is so distorting, that there are those who now believe she is a priest.  The reason I wrote this article on the LCWR and its disobedient push for women’s ordination is because I believe the Holy Spirit has put it on my heart to speak out on that destructive influence.


McQuaid Scandal



April 15th, 2013, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Catholic News Service has just reported here  that Pope Francis has backed the reform of the LCWR (Leadership Conference of Women Religous).

CNS reports that he has “reaffirmed the Vatican’s assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which found it had “serious doctrinal problems” and needed to be reformed.”

Archbishop Gerhard L. Müller, the prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, met TODAY in Rome with LCWR president Sister Florence Deacon on April 15, along with Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle, who was to implement the reform.  He said that Pope Francis…reaffirmed the findings of the Assessment and the program of reform ….”  The LCWR is to remain under the direction of the Vatican.

It will be a year this week since the Congregation  found “serious doctrinal problems” and the need for reform due to  “radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith” and dissent from Church teaching on topics including the sacramental male priesthood and homosexuality.  The LCWR had responded in denial.  It is astounding that Pope Francis has been able to respond so quickly to this festering sore in the Holy Church.  Archbishop Sartain remains in charge of implementing the reform, including responsibility to approve future speakers and presentations at the organization’s assemblies.  Sounds like we can forward much input to him!

I cannot begin to say how absolutely delighted I am that His Holiness has paid attention to such a grave matter in just over one month since his election.  Those who thought his praiseworthy social justice concerns would mean ignoring strict doctrinal matters obviously do not know him.

“It must be in the water.” (The DOR and WOC connection)

March 31st, 2013, Promulgated by benanderson

A reader recently emailed me about a lecture he attended at SJFC. I asked if he was interested in writing up his experience. What follows is his response.  I must say I was inspired by his willingness to defend the faith in this way.

“It must be in the water”. Those were the words from Sr Mary Jeremy Daigler as she presented her lecture on the history of the women’s ordination movement at St John Fisher College on 3/21. The point that Sr. Daigler was making was that Rochester, NY and this diocese stands out in the crowd as one that produced a large number of proponents of the women’s ordination movement within the Catholic Church. Sr. Daigler was referring to Rosalie Reinhardt (more here) and Deni Mack and as she mentioned their names, everyone’s attention was directed to the first couple rows of the auditorium where Rosalie and Deni were sitting. Not to be outdone, someone in the audience piped up to also let Sr. Daigler know that Sr. Joan Sobala was present. Sr. Joan waved her arms in the air and took her rightful place amongst the “local mothers of the movement”, Rosalie Reinhardt and Deni Mack. The remaining fifty or so people in the audience included Dr. Linda M. MacCammon, Director of the Ethics Minor Program and host for the evening, as well as about 20-25 students and another 20-25 middle to senior aged people.

Before the lecture began, I sat toward the back of the auditorium, just about three seats from two young female SJFC students. After I settled in, an older women sat in the row in front of me and between me and the two SJFC students. At that point, I recognized her as Sr. Joan Sobala, but I was not 100% sure. That was until Sr. Joan turned around and engaged the reluctant girls in conversation. At the end of the brief conversation in which Sr. Joan offered her credentials in the women’s ordination movement and her many years fighting for it, Sr. Joan gave a double thumbs up to the girls and said “we’re doing this for you girls”. It was no coincidence that I ended up sitting next to these two girls and behind Sr. Joan. After she engaged in conversation with the girls, I engaged Sr. Joan and challenged her on her comments. Caught off guard that some Catholics actually defend the Catholic faith, Sr. Joan grumbled and turned around.

So why was this movement so alive in the diocese of Rochester? Sr. Daigler gave all of the credit to the support of the last two bishops, Bishop Clark and Bishop Hogan. This should not come as any surprise to us. The rest of the lecture consisted of the old and tired arguments being made by this movement. At the end of the lecture, a short Q&A session occurred, which was less Q&A and more comments. Many of the older people in the audience applauded the lecture, expressed their support of the women’s ordination movement, railed against the Catholic Church, and even invited the audience to join the movement and join in on the protest at the cathedral during the Chrism mass. The poor students who were forced to attend just sat there quietly. Toward the end of the Q&A session, I asked Sr. Daigler why she was not including Jesus’ choosing of twelve men as Apostles in any of her lecture. Not knowing how to respond, Deni Mack asked for the microphone so that she could help Sr. Daigler put me in my place. I was not bothered by that as much as I was bothered by the fact that Catholic laypeople and religious in the DOR actively pursue and spread teaching that is against the Catholic faith, yet are given prominent roles in the diocese. What Sr. Daigler needs to know is that the rampant Catholic dissent in our diocese is not from something “in the water”, but from a deeper culture within the diocese that wants to change the Truth of our faith to their own perverted view of what they would like it to be and it was all done and supported by our Bishop Emeritus, Matthew Clark.

I am thankful that I came to this event spiritually prepared and not only challenged the lecturer and the local “mothers of the movement”, but that I also engaged the students when the event ended. Noticing that the students started to leave as soon as the opportunity arose, I excused myself and handed them prepared literature that I brought. Many were receptive and took the literature and some actually engaged in good dialogue. One young girl refused because she disagreed with the Catholic Church’s ‘practice of discrimination’, but I think I reached most of the students. I was even charitable and left a dozen or so extra copies on the table outside the auditorium for Sr. Daigler and her fan base to take at the end of the evening. Please pray that our Holy Father, Pope Francis I, will bestow upon our diocese a shepherd who will restore the true teachings of our faith in its entirety.

Margot Van Etten believes the Church Disdains Women

February 18th, 2012, Promulgated by Abaccio

Have you ever noticed how tiresome the arguments put forth by the pseudo-Catholic left become over time?  If not, grab yourself a coffee and read these remarks from one of Bishop Clark’s beloved army of “Lay Ecclesial Ministers,” Margot VanEtten, Campus Minister/Director of the Newman Community at SUNY Brockport.  Isn’t it nice to realize that Bishop Clark’s reign of heterodoxy has but 148 days until he submits his retirement papers?  After that, this craziness will be on borrowed time.  Mrs. VanEtten, commenting on this article in America Magazine, (a notoriously heterodox catholyc weekly loved, adored, and glorified by those who worship the “Spirit of Vatican II,”) says the following, emphasis and (commentary) mine:

Of course young women are not attracted to the Church.  Why would anyone be drawn to an institution that seems to have such little respect for them? Here’s the evidence:
-before you even begin to discuss the priesthood, the Church has not made the steps it would if women were truly valued, such as opening the diaconate to them.(see later in this post, when we cite Margot’s semi-official bio.)
-Women are not being listened to adequately.  Women’s experience too often appears to be ignored or disdained.  Like most women, I am not interested in a form of “feminism” which has been developed by men and imposed on me as “authentic”. (Clear rejection of Theology of the Body, and essentially of a great multitude of Catholic teachings.  I would suggest she, or any other woman blinded by this misconception, read this book.  The Church has repeatedly failed to seek out, value or listen to the experience of women. Rather, leaders still continue to write of us as the “Other”.
-Most of the activities which in an earlier day required women to be members of a religious order if they wished to undertake them can now be engaged with in the secular world.  You don’t have to be a sister to teach, to be a nurse, to be a missionary-or even to get and advanced education. Moreover, the opportunities women have in the secular world are far more determined by their skills rather than their gender. Why should it be surprising that women focus there? (The same can be said of men…so this is not gender-specific in the least…)

If the Church truly values women, it will address their experience of these issues rather than ignore, stifle or spin them. (Read: Let me be a priest)
I say this as a minister who is loyal and loves the faith despite these grave deficiencies, and I continue to encourage young women to see the Church as a spiritual home. Unfortunately, all too often the voice that discourages them comes from the Church’s leaders-(might I note that perhaps the voice that discourages true femininity are the wannabewomymnpreestz who are all too often the “Church’s leaders” in Rochester.  Why would a young woman wish to join a religious order filled to the brim with bitter, embattled old women who despise the very Church they claim to serve? What intelligent, self-respecting young woman would choose to surround herself with post-menopausal women who wish nothing more than to diminish their femininity, in favor of masculinity and call it “feminism” and consider themselves young, hip, social change agents? Note that vocations to orthodox women’s religious orders where femininity is embraced are booming!) not from the secular world.

By Margot VanEtten on February 14, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Now, let us examine Mrs. VanEtten’s bio:

Margot is the Full-time Campus Minister for the Newman Community.  She has been involved in teaching, campus life, and ministry for more than thirty years.

Margot has a Masters’ Degree in Theology and is an ABD (“all but dissertation”) in English. Along with her husband Larry, she completed the Diocese of Rochester’s Permanent Deacon Training Program. (I wanna be a priest! I wanna be a deacon! I have the same training, so why can’t I do it?  You must hate women, Pope Benedict!) She taught English at Finger Lakes Community College and (many years ago) at Penn State.  At St. Bernard’s Institute she taught “Introduction to Spirituality” and developed a course in Sacred Ecology. (Sacred what now?  I will note that Mrs. VanEtten is somewhat obsessed with “animal rights,” so I should not be surprised.  Something tells me that her courses at St. Barnyard’s are…much like most of the courses at the French Road Heresy Factory.) She also developed a course in Self Defense for Women which she has taught at FLCC, Nazareth College and at Harp Karate in Rochester, where she is an instructor. (Margot holds Black Belts in four Martial Arts, which she has been practicing and teaching for more than fifteen years).  

In addition, Margot is a Certified Sign Language Interpreter.  She has been an Interpreter for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology, as well as Coordinator of Interpreters for the RIT Campus Ministry, and was Pastoral Assistant for St. Mary’s Church of the Deaf (now Emmanuel Church of the Deaf).  She has published two articles about religious interpreting and has designed programs for Sexual Harassment Awareness for a local consulting company as well as the Self-defense program offered at Harp Karate and various area colleges.  She has wide experience in interfaith ministries and worship,(Oh joy!) and brings a lot of enthusiasm to her work and ministry on campus.

Well, that doesn’t exactly sound like a Catholic bio, but rather that of an earth-obsessed, liberal feminist.  Well, let’s see what sort of mission statement Mrs. VanEtten’s SUNY Brockport Newman Community espouses:

In recognition of the importance of spiritual growth in the development of the whole person, the mission of the Newman Catholic Community at SUNY Brockport is to:

  • Promote and encourage the spiritual growth of all members of the College through opportunities for prayer, growth and study. (not necessarily, it appears, Catholic growth…)
  • Reach out to all members of the student community and support their growth in body, mind and spirit. (Apparently it’s the YMCA now)
  • Nurture a sense of community that respects and honors diversity. (Read: all religions are equal.)
  • Support the development of a strong interfaith ministry and community on campus. (Why?)
  • Encourage generous service to those in need.
  • Be present and available to listen, console, and challenge with love.

Now, far be it from me to judge an organizational leader by his or her supposed mission, but…well…actually…that’s exactly what I’m going to do.  Does anything in that mission statement even suggest Catholicism specifically? Any mention of the Sacraments, of Holy Mass, of growing in knowledge of the faith?  Note the phrase “spiritual growth through…prayer, growth, and study.” First of all, how can one encourage spiritual growth through opportunities for growth?  That, my friends, is meaningless drivel!  Respect diversity and develop a strong interfaith community?  That sure doesn’t sound like someone who believes that “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.”  Perhaps the lack of an authentically Catholic presence on college campuses plays some part in the lack of twenty-somethings who attend Mass regularly, hm?

It’s amazing what rotten fruit has arisen in the thirty years since Bishop Clark published “Fire in the Thornbush,” his infamous pastoral letter on “Women in the Church.” You can find Cleansing Fire’s review of his 2010 book on essentially the same subject, Forward in Hope: Saying Amen to Lay Ecclesial Ministry” here.  Finally, I will note (again) Ecclesiae de mysterio 4, which essentially explains that what happens here in Rochester is quite illicit:

Article 4

The Parish Priest and the Parish
The non-ordained faithful, as happens in many worthy cases, may collaborate effectively in the pastoral ministry of clerics in parishes, health care centers, charitable and educational institutions, prisons, Military Ordinariates etc. Provisions regulating such extraordinary form of collaboration are provided by Canon 517, 2.

1. The right understanding and application of this canon, according to which “If the diocesan bishop should decide that due to a dearth of priests a participation in the exercise of the pastoral care of a parish is to be entrusted to a deacon or to some other person who is not a priest or to a community of persons, he is to appoint some priest endowed with the powers and faculties of a pastor to supervise the pastoral care”, requires that this exceptional provision be used only with strict adherence to conditions contained in it. These are:

a) ob sacerdotum penuriam and not for reasons of convenience or ambiguous “advancement of the laity“, etc.;

b) this is participatio in exercitio curae pastoralis and not directing, coordinating, moderating or governing the Parish; these competencies, according to the canon, are the competencies of a priest alone.

Because these are exceptional cases, before employing them, other possibilities should be availed of, such as using of the services of retired priests still capable of such service, or entrusting several parishes to one priest or to a coetus sacerdotum [group of priests].(75)

In any event, the preference which this canon gives to deacons cannot be overlooked.

The same canon, however, reaffirms that these forms of participation in the pastoral care of parishes cannot, in any way, replace the office of Parish Priest. The same canon decrees that “The diocesan bishop … is to appoint some priest endowed with the powers and faculties of a pastor to supervise the pastoral care”. Indeed, the office of Parish Priest can be assigned validly only to a priest (cf. Canon 521, 1) even in cases where there is a shortage of clergy.(76)

2. In the same regard, it must be noted that the Parish Priest is the Pastor proper to the parish entrusted to him(77) and remains such until his pastoral office shall have ceased.(78)

The presentation of resignation at the age of 75 (Clark mandates retirement at 70.) by a Parish Priest does not of itself (ipso iure) terminate his pastoral office. Such takes effect only when the diocesan Bishop, following prudent consideration of all the circumstances, shall have definitively accepted his resignation in accordance with Canon 538, 3 and communicated such to him in writing.(79) In the light of those situations where scarcity of priests exists, the use of special prudence in this matter would be judicious.

In view of the right of every cleric to exercise the ministry proper to him, and in the absence of any grave health or disciplinary reasons, it should be noted that having reached the age of 75 does not constitute a binding reason or the diocesan Bishop to accept a Parish Priest’s resignation. This also serves to avoid a functional concept of the Sacred Ministry.(80)

Sr. Joan Sobala – The early years

September 22nd, 2011, Promulgated by Mike

Gen’s recent post on the upcoming retirement of Sr. Joan Sobala drew some interesting comments, one of which mentioned her participation in a teach-in at St. Bernard’s protesting the promulgation of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis.

It should be noted that Sr. Joan’s “problems” with Church teaching predated that 1994 St. Bernard’s event by at least 14 years and have not been limited to the ordination of women to the priesthood.

In his 1982 book, The Homosexual Network – Private Lives and Public Policy, Fr. Enrique Rueda detailed some of the collaboration then occurring between Catholic groups and elements of the homosexual movement. One of these Catholic groups was the Women’s Ordination Conference, represented by Sr. Joan Sobala.

Fr. Rueda writes …

Another indication of the pattern of collaboration between significant elements within the Catholic Church and the homosexual movement is the availability of prohomosexual materials at Catholic meetings. This is not a matter of individuals standing in doorways or on sidewalks handing out leaflets, but the fully accepted presence of representatives of the homosexual movement by Catholic agencies and national organizations. For example, during the March 1982 East Coast Conference on Religious Education in Washington, D.C. prohomosexual material was available at an official New Ways Ministry Booth.127 Homosexual booths were also installed at the National Catholic Charities 66th Annual Convention and at the 10th biennial meeting of the Association of Ladies of Charity of the United States. Dignity could boast that some “1600 Bishops, priests, nuns and laity from the U.S.” had been reached at these events.128 The value of being officially admitted to these functions comes not only from the resultant ability to influence the leadership of the Catholic Church, but from the fact that from a political point of view, this is equated with acceptance of the principle “gay is good,” in practice if not in theory.

At times, even the bishops’ conferences become the occasion for networking. As noted, the homosexual movement is closely related — ideologically and organizationally — with feminism. This relationship is then carried over to the Catholic Church. During the 1980 meeting of bishops in Washington, D.C., this relationship was cemented at a meeting which included Father Robert Nugent, SDS, and Sister Jeannine Gramick, SSND, for the homosexual movement and the leadership the Women’s Ordination Conference (WOC, a radical Catholic feminist organization). WOC was represented by, among others, Sister Joan Sobala, SSJ,. a “chaplain” at the University of Rochester. The purpose of the meeting was “to explore ways of collaboration and to obtain support from WOC for the Catholic Coalition for Gay Civil Rights. “129 At this meeting, the homosexual movement was able to gain specific commitments from the WOC: “WOC will publish articles on homosexuality and will also offer New Ways printed resources to their readers.”130 There is evidence that WOC has indeed lived up to its commitment to the homosexuals: the January 1982 issue of New Women New Church, the publication of WOC, included an article by a female homosexual on the “Feminist Theological Perspectives of Lesbian and Gay Male Experience.”131 The same issue also published a very favorable report about the homosexual symposium sponsored by New Ways Ministry.132 This should not be surprising, since the WOC sent a homosexual as a representative to the symposium who was also one of the speakers.

The evidence that there is a strong relationship between the movement to ordain women to the Catholic priesthood and the homosexual movement is obvious from the overlap between the Catholic homosexual network (the Catholic Coalition for Gay Civil Rights, of which more will be said later) and WOC. A comparison between the membership in WOC as of September 1977 and the current membership in the Catholic homosexual network reveals that fifteen percent of the members of WOC are also members of the homosexual organization. (Our analysis included a sample of members of WOC in eight States and the District of Columbia.)

Twenty-seven percent of the individuals whose names appeared in the Proceedings of the Second Conference on the Ordination of Roman Catholic Women which took place on November 1978 are also members of the Catholic homosexual network.

The leadership of the Women’s ordination movement is closely connected with the homosexual movement. Thirty-three percent of the membership of the task force charged with organizing the 1978 conference of WOC are members of the Catholic homosexual network. The proportions for the WOC Advisory Board and the WOC Core Commission for 1979-1980 are even higher (fifty-seven and sixty-seven percent respectively.)133 It is obvious that in terms of number of participants, increasing involvement in WOC correlates strongly with increasing involvement in the Catholic homosexual network.

It is difficult to imagine a logical relationship between the desire to engage in sexual intercourse with persons of one’s own sex—for either males or females—and the question of the acceptance of females as part of the Roman Catholic clergy, unless all should be linked under the umbrella of “social justice.” This could hardly be the case, however, since consistency would demand that practically every other issue be included as a suitable subject for adoption by both WOC and the Catholic homosexual movement acting in unison. Of course, as a matter of fact, this is not the case.

The relations between WOC and New Ways Ministry are obviously not a matter of a one-shot deal. This is clear from the following item, which appeared in a New Ways Ministry publication: “New Ways sent letters of congratulations to the new WOC Core Commission members and had a short visit at the New Ways house from Sr. Barbara Ferraro, a member of WOC Core Commission.”134

What we have presented is merely a sampling of the many instances of cooperation between Roman Catholic institutions and leaders and the homosexual movement. Obviously, neither most Catholics nor most Catholic institutions would dream of becoming tools of the homosexual movement. However, the emergence of a pattern of collaboration between certain circles within the Church and the homosexual movement is unquestionable. The question, from the point of view of traditional Catholicism, is whether the Catholic Church will be strong enough to resist the attempts of a movement alien to its ideology and interests to utilize this ancient and venerable institution for its own political purposes.

Footnotes Cited Above:

127Bondings, Spring-Summer 1981, p. 1.
128Dignity 12 (Washington, D.C.: Dignity, Inc., January 1981): 1.
129Bondings, Winter 1980-81, p. 3.
Barbara Zanotti, “Feminist Theological Perspectives on Lesbian and Gay Male Experience,” New Women/New Church 5 (Rochester: Women’s Ordination Conference, January 1982): 6.
132 Barbara Zanotti, “Traversing New Ground,” New Women/New Church 5 (Rochester N. Y.: Women’s Ordination Conference, January 1982): 6.
Base data taken from Maureen Dwyer, New Women/New Church/New Priestly Ministry, Proceedings of the Second Conference on the Ordination of Roman Catholic Women, Rochester, especially pp. 173, 174, and 175.
134Bondings, Winter 1980-81, p. 3.
135America, June 25, 1977, p. 558.


Bondings is the newsletter of New Ways Ministry

New Women, New Church is the newsletter of the Women’s Ordination Conference

[Text from pages 330-332 of Fr. Rueda’s book, with the footnotes appearing on page 379.]

Sr. Joan was not just some rank-and-file WOC member who happened to show up at that 1980 meeting of the Bishops’ Conference. She is, rather, one of “the very women who first envsioned … the first Women’s Ordination Conference” and “served on the WOC staff from 1979-1982.” It therefore seems more than likely that she played a role in deciding that the WOC would participate, along with representatives of 15 other mainline churches, in the 3-day, May 1979 Strategy Conference on Homophobia in the Church.  Concerning this conference Fr Rueda writes,

It is important to realize that this meeting was not an intellectual exercise, but that it had three clearly political and action-oriented objectives: 1) to raise the consciousness of the participants and those represented by the participants in various aspects of the homosexual ideology; 2) to form and cement the homosexual religious network; and 3) to develop and begin implementing an action plan to use the churches for the advancement of the movement’s objectives.

[Text from pages 277-278 of Fr. Rueda’s book.]

Given this history of dissent, the departure of Sr. Joan from active ministry in the Catholic Church is long overdue.

Apostatizing in Place: A Book Review

August 19th, 2011, Promulgated by Bernie

Catholic and Feminist: The Surprising History of the American Catholic Feminist Movement. By Mary J. Henold. University of North Carolina Press. 291 pages. $32.

The following is from a book review by Anne Barbeau Gardiner, a Contributing Editor of the New Oxford Review, is Professor Emerita of English at John Jay College of the City University of New York. She has published on Dryden, Milton, and Swift, as well as on Catholics of the seventeenth century.


… When Catholic feminists speak of their commitment to the Church, they equivocate; it turns out they mean the “people,” not the “institution.” Indeed, Catholic feminists constantly reduce the Magisterium to an “institution.” They have their own understanding of Catholicism and see themselves as free to choose what to “believe” and what to “abandon.” This is not cafeteria Catholicism, but something different, for they are guided in their choices by a primary loyalty to feminism. Donna Quinn, one of the leading feminist nuns in the 1970s, represents many of them when she declares, “This is my church, this is my tradition. I love this church. I want to change it.” Then she adds, “I have never rejected anything in the feminist movement…. I love the word ‘feminism,’ I have put that first.” Yes, first. This is the idol to which Catholic feminists have been willing to sacrifice the Church.

At the 1975 Detroit Women’s Ordination Conference (WOC), the “pivotal event” of the Catholic feminist movement in the 1970s, theologian Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza spoke of our Church needing “a radical conversion.” Feminists like her choose to remain Catholic as a means to an end. Their strategy is called defecting in place, but it may more fittingly be called apostatizing in place.

Throughout Catholic and Feminist: The Surprising History of the American Catholic Feminist Movement, Henold reveals how Catholic feminists have taken a utilitarian approach to religion, using the Church’s sacred language, symbols, and traditions as a “means of understanding and structuring their feminism.” Yes, a means to an end. To begin with, they wanted women priests, Henold says, because they needed …


To read more: This is from an article in the current issue of the New Oxford Review. You will probably need to subscribe in order to read the rest of the column. Do subscribe. The NOR has excellent articles every month. In addition you will get terrific news feeds every morning with excellent links to featured articles from its past issues.