Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Same Old Same Old

I was listening to George Weigel's interview on the Pat Kenny show this morning, on RTE radio.  While Pat often interviews various figures alone, including controversial ones, it seems George was not to be accorded the same style of interview: he was to be marked by liberal theologian Gina Menzies.  So the interview was not an interview at all, but a debate.  

If I had hoped for balance and openness in this debate, well I was deluding myself.  The debate soon boiled down to an attack on the Catholic Church's position on the ordination of women - again the same old same old.   Before long Pat and Gina teamed up and formed a two against one in good RTE fashion and grilled George on the Church's position.  It is a credit to George's basic decency that he did not turn on them. 

As usual Menzies was peddling misinformation with regard to scholarship - that the Catholic Church had investigated the ordination of women in the Church's history and could not find evidence that proved or disproved the ordination of women.  George put her right by pointing out that the Church had investigated the nature of the diaconate to see if women were ordained deacons, and found that at no point in history had the Church ordained women deacons.  When this fact came out Pat and Gina changed tactics. The "interview" was supposed to be about renewal in the Church, in the end it was a teenage rebellion against Church teaching. 

To be honest, is it worth even posting on this?  Given the anti-Catholic bias that is in RTE (sorry Patsy McGarry I do not accept your argument that there is no bias - there is and it is obvious).   When it comes to Catholic issues and Catholic figures RTE is not interested in understanding, they just what to create controversy and get a bit of bashing in too.  They do not allow the Church to speak on her own terms, but rather must always have someone to criticise and contradict (they call this "being balanced"), and often these are dissident Catholics who no longer hold the orthodox faith and are, for all intents and purposes, no longer in communion with the Church - and yet they are passed off as Catholics.  Until very recently Gina Menzies was trading under the title of "Catholic theologian" until a real Catholic theologian exposed her and forced her to admit that she wasn't. 

Let it be noted: the Catholic Church will not ordain women as priests - ever - not because she won't, but because she CAN'T.  Whether the liberals like it or not, Jesus did not ordain women, and all the arguments in the world will not change that fact.  The Church, then, has no authority to do so.

If people do not like that, if they want to be members of a church that has women clergy then the Catholic Church is not for them: it is time to leave and look somewhere else.  And, taking the cue from Archbishop Martin, I would urge them to leave.  Those ecclesial communities that have ordained women are losing members at a rapid pace, their churches are emptying - I am sure they would be glad of ex-Catholics to fill their pews. 

The Catholic Church is not forcing anyone to stay: she will not force anyone to believe what she teaches, but she does expect people to be true to what they believe, and if people in the Church reject her moral, doctrinal and social teachings, her position on women priests, married priests, gay marriage, contraception and abortion, then the door is open: please go and leave the rest of us in peace!  

But then again, I believe, that is exactly what they do not want to do: they would rather stay and make trouble than actually go and enter full communion with people of similiar beliefs.  There is another force at work here, and it is not human. 


  1. Well said, Father John. People such as Ms Menzies, Olivia O'Leary (to name but two that RTE facilitated in attacking George Weigel today) seek only to destroy, not to build. Their aim is to inflict as much harm as possible on the Catholic Church, whose consistency, truth and reason they despise for holding a light to the lie of relativism and destructive licence which they promote (with full endorsement of the Media). I doubt Mr Weigel's talk this evening will be truthfully represented (if at all) by the secular Media, so those of us who can't make it, will be relying on you and others to report on it. I wish I could make it - I've read several of his books, including all on JP II, and he's a great historian, biographer and social and political analyst, as well as theologian.

  2. ''A new intolerance is spreading, that is quite obvious. There are well-established standards of thinking that are supposed to be imposed on everyone. These are then announced in terms of so-called "negative tolerance". For instance, when people say that for the sake of negative tolerance [i.e. "not offending anyone"] there must be no crucifix in public buildings. With that we are basically experiencing the abolition of tolerance, for it means, after all, that religion, that the Christian faith is no longer allowed to express itself visibly.

    When, for example, in the name of non-discrimination, people try to force the Catholic Church to change her position on homosexuality or the ordination of women, then that means that she is no longer allowed to live out her own identity and that, instead, an abstract, negative religion is being made into a tyrannical standard that everyone must follow. That is then seemingly freedom – for the sole reason that it is liberation from the previous situation.

    In reality, however, this development increasingly leads to an intolerant claim of a new religion, which pretends to be generally valid because it is reasonable, indeed, because it is reason itself, which knows all and, therefore, defines the frame of reference that is now supposed to apply to everyone.

    In the name of tolerance, tolerance is being abolished; this is a real threat we face.''

    -- Pope Benedict, Light of the World

  3. I saw that Gina Menzies at Benedict XVI's resignation debates and she makes me shiver. Why she gets so much air-time and gets to be called a 'theologian' is beyond me. She has no interest in nor understanding of faith and has none. Her credentials do not stand up and she is another example of 'groupthink' RTE in action.

  4. Dear Fr. John Hogan,

    First of all with regard to Gina Menzies, I looked up her credentials and see that her academic qualifications include an H. Dip in Education from Trinity College Dublin, a Bachelor of Divinity from Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy and an M.Sc in Medical Ethics and Law. I think that her second qualification makes her a theologian but correct me if I'm wrong. So please state who the 'real' Catholic theologian was that 'exposed' her and forced her to admit that she wasn't and his qualification that makes him a real theologian as opposed to Gina. Please also include where he exposed her and when she admitted that she wasn't one. I can't find that bit of information but maybe I'm not searching correctly.

    Secondly, you state that 'Jesus did not ordain women' which is true but moreover, he did not ordain men either. (Please reread all 4 Gospels just in case I missed anything there). Ordination of men to the priesthood did not begin until a few hundred years after Jesus lived. So this idea was MAN-made and not what Jesus told us to do. He had both men and women as followers but if you know your history like I do, you will know that women were property at that time and were owned by men. For a woman to follow Jesus and travel with him like the 12 men did, she would have been stoned to death for hanging around with them.

    However, Jesus included women as much as he could, given the circumstances, and gave other men good example on how to treat women. For example, when he preached, he did so on hillsides, in a boat on the lakes or just in the open. So who were listening to his sermons?? Men, women and children!! In case you are not aware, women were not allowed into the synagogues around this time (as we can see from St. Paul's remark that if a women wants to know anything that is said there, 'she can ask her husband'!!) Furthermore, when Jesus preached at Lazarus' house, he specifically told Mary to leave the house work and come and listen like Martha, to his sermon. Where did they sit? They sat the closest to him in the room - at his feet! By his actions, he was showing the other men that women were just as important as men.

    Therefore, the Catholic Church's teachings do not fall in line fully with Jesus' teachings but are more like St. Paul's teachings. The only follower I can think of who did follow Jesus' teaching was St. Francis who, like Jesus, believed that it was 'easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter heaven'. As such, he instructed his followers that under no circumstances should they have any property or wealth but rely on the kindness of people. This is exactly what Jesus said: Go, with the clothes on your back and spread the Good News. Yet, the Catholic Church has so much property, wealth; is situated in a City State and has its own BANK!! My, my, Jesus must look down with such sorrow and regret to see that 'you have turned the house of God into a den of thieves'.

    Thirdly, Jesus was inclusive and went out of his way to include every category of human being there was whereas the Church is exclusive - homosexuals are a no-no and women are allowed to help out but not be equal to men (which goes against the example set by Jesus himself!)

    I could go on and on but I know all my examples are already falling on deaf ears. However, should you reread the Gospels and not the Church's Magisterium (which is only MAN-made and not the teachings of Jesus) you will find all these examples of what Jesus wanted us to do but which the Church does not follow.

    So, there I rest my case on the side of Jesus and not on the Church you think follows Jesus but which (in reality) goes against so many things he tried to inculcate into us humans.

    Thank you.