I received a mailer from a group called the Quixote Center asking for my signature on an ad to be placed in the National Catholic Reporter. This group wants to see women ordained. Below is a copy of the letter I am sending it.
Here is its website: quixote.org
11 August 2005
Feast of St. Clare
Reverend Bill Callahan,
Rea Howarth, Co-directors
PO Box 5206
Hyattsville, MD 20782
Dear Reverend Callahan and Ms. Howarth,
I received your mailer requesting my signature for the ad you plan to publish in the late September issue of the National Catholic Reporter.
I am writing to inform you that I cannot add my signature to your advertisement because to do so would be to betray my faith in my Lord and King, Jesus Christ. I ask that you would humbly consider my reasons.
Your proposed ad states that Jesus welcomed women as disciples and friends. This is certainly true, however nowhere in Scripture or Tradition are women welcomed as Apostles. Surely you know that certain authority was given to the Twelve only, and not to others. In fact, not all men were given the same authority as the Twelve. Even as a man, I do not have the same authority as my bishop or parish priest. Although I have been welcomed, I have not been called as an Apostle.
Later your ad quotes *Pastoral Constitution on The Church in the Modern World: “*With respect to the fundamental rights of the person, every type of discrimination, whether social or cultural, whether based on sex, race, color, social condition, language, or religion is to be overcome and eradicated as contrary to God’s intent.” You seem to think that by denying ordination to women that the Church is discriminating women. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact that we are called to various roles in the Church is not a matter of discrimination. The *Pastoral Constitution *calls the Church to eradicate discrimination based on religion. Does this then mean that in order to avoid discrimination we should allow Muslim Imams to become ordained priests as well? Certainly not. You misunderstand discrimination.
Your ad goes on to state that “Pope Benedict XVI announced his ‘determination to continue to put the Second Vatican Council into practice.’” Nowhere do any of the documents of the Second Vatican Council call for the ordination of women.
The bulleted section of the add states that “the time has come to share decision-making with women and men equally.” However, very few men are even now making decisions for the Church, let alone women. I am neither on my parish council nor have I been called to the latest gathering of US Bishops. This is neither unfair nor discriminatory.
And finally your ad states that “The time has come to acknowledge that the Spirit calls women as well as men to ordained ministry.” I would like to know when and where the Spirit has made that call. Jesus told his disciples “He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.” Indeed Jesus gave both the keys and the power to bind and loose to Peter, His Vicar on Earth. We must listen to him.
In his Apostolic letter, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, John Paul II said “Priestly ordination, which hands on the office entrusted by Christ to his Apostles of teaching, sanctifying, and governing the faithful, has in the Catholic Church from the beginning always been reserved to men alone.” The Holy Father continues by appealing to scripture when he notes that “… the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles attest that this call was made in accordance with God’s eternal plan: Christ chose those whom he willed (cf. Mk 3:13-14; Jn 6:70), and he did so in union with the Father, “through the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:2), after having spent the night in prayer (cf. Lk 6:12). Therefore, in granting admission to the ministerial priesthood, the Church has always acknowledged as a perennial norm her Lord’s way of acting in choosing twelve men whom he made the foundation of his Church (cf. Rev 21:14).
Pope Benedict XVI, in his *Decree on Attempted Ordination of Some Catholic Women, *continues the ancient teaching of the Church and that of John Paul II when he states “In addition there is the doctrinal aspect, namely, that they formally and obstinately reject a doctrine which the Church has always taught and lived, and which was definitively proposed by Pope John Paul II, namely, “that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women.”
In light of the clear teaching of the Church and of the Will of God I request that you please not place this advertisement and that you turn again through prayer to humble obedience to our Lord Jesus Christ.
I will keep you in my prayers. Please pray for me.