Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Pope Ratzo Hypocricizes Again 

Thanks to work behind the scenes when he was just a cardinal, Pope Ratzo has now allowed a married man with children to become a Catholic priest. Gregory Elder, previously an Episocapl minister (that church allows priests to marry) converted to Catholicism after his wife did. Now, he'll be an officially sanctioned, married priest with kids.

It sounds like a heartwarming story. But then there's this:
A group of Roman Catholic women risk excommunication with their plan to be unofficially ordained as priests Monday in a secret ceremony on a boat in the St. Lawrence River.

The women, including two Canadians, say the ordination will follow Vatican procedures.

But church officials have strongly objected to such ceremonies in the past. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, excommunicated seven women in 2002 after they were ordained.
Now, what's the difference? Or will Father Elder be forever prohibited from actually schtupping his wife once he becomes a priest?

You'd think, in this era when the number of people going into religious orders is at the ass-end of a long decline, the church would be happy to accept anyone who wanted to be a priest. And god knows, some of their officially sanctioned choices have been real winners when it comes to not being able to keep their hands off children. But barring someone from the priesthood because they're a woman makes no sense. For that matter, neither does barring a married priest. Think about it. What's one of the big things that parish priests do for their flock? Counsel them on marriage. How the hell can someone do that if, in theory, they've never even gotten laid?

Historically, of course, priests were not always required to be single, nor celibate. The church only made that ruling because they realized that priests with children, legitimate or otherwise, would be leaving their lands and money to the kids instead of to the church. It was an economic purse-snatch, nothing more nor less.

Barring women makes less sense, unless you want to consider two thousand years of misogynism by the church. I asked a Catholic priest about this once (and the layman who was having lunch with us just about shit a Rosary when I did), but he politely explained that, since the priest was a stand-in for Jesus in the Mass, he had to be a man. I then asked him, "But how can you tie down a metaphysical concept with a physical constraint?" Before I could add something crass like "Why do you need a dick you're not supposed to use to be a priest?" our mutual friend changed the subject.

But, honestly, that really is the question, isn't it? And, as all religions tend to do, their own human rules contradict everything they claim about their imaginary gods. Even more surprising that Catholicism would not have female priests, given their utter devotion to Mary. (Look up goddess-based religions and church history in the early dark ages to figure out how she got in there.)

Personally, I think allowing Father Elder to be a priest was a good decision, just as I think the threat of excommunicating women who dare to be ordained is a bad one. But that fact that Pope Ratzo is able to make both decisions at the same time just points out another example of his -- and the institution's -- blithering hypocrisy.

To the Catholic church, women are nothing but unwilling baby-factories. They truly only want you barefoot and pregnant, a walking Catholic factory from the moment you're married until your uterus falls out. Otherwise, they have no use for you, and this latest stupidity from the Vatican just proves it beyond all doubt.

How any woman can remain a follower of that religion is beyond me. And if every woman did leave the church, it would do what five hundred years of rationalism hasn't quite done yet -- leave them as irrelevant as they should be in the 21st century.

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