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Eminence, the emeritis cardinal archbishop of HGN

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Some Thoughts On the Ordination of Women, Sr. Louise Akers, Dr. Carol Egner, and Cincinnati

I am one of those people who support women like Sr. Louise Akers and Dr. Carol Egner. I also think there are solid reasons historically, scripturally, and theologically to support the ordination of women. An emerging field for recognizing the role of women and ordination of women are the studies being done into the non canonical gospels.

I do not know what Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk is doing getting mixed up in all this since he is about to leave the scene as archbishop. Not too long ago he was thumping his chest saying that folks were considering him a liberal bishop. This may have been because he was not an advocate of no wafers for Obama supporters.

I grew up in the shadow of Our Lady of Lourdes parish belonging to one the neighboring parishes. From time to time I get back there and have noticed the drift back to pre Vatican II thinking in some of those big Catholic parishes on the west side. That is sad and disappointing. The parish I sometimes attend has gone from a place where we used to have dynamic preaching to sermons that are pitched to about eighth grade level. And, yes, the new pastor is a JPII priest. As I shop around for a parish with a good liturgy and preaching, I do not think I will need to go to Our Lady of Lourdes.

The women's issue and the ordination of women are not going to go away. For me the strongest arguments against those who favor an all male priesthood are that Christianity had its roots in the patriarchy of Judaism and that the canon of scripture was established by men. So you might get away with calling some of the non canonical gospels "gnostic" and not including them in the canon of scriptures. All male societies do things like that.

I think scholars are going to begin to find ways to challenge that kind of thinking. More and more we are going to discover religious meaning and value in those non canonical writings as research continues. As that movement grows it will wash over and silence once and for all those who would block the full equality of women in the church.


  1. Thanks for writing this. It was heartening to read. I understand what you mean about West Side parishes. My guess is that the Archbishop is dealing with it on his watch so he takes the heat, not the new guy. That would be the way he operates, which is a stand up position, on one hand, even if he is wrong.

  2. Joe,
    Thanks for the comment.