The headlines crowding around a group women on a boat in the middle of the St. Lawrence River proclaiming themselves Roman Catholic priests, bishops and deacons, are more reminiscent of juvenile rebellion than objective reporting. Even the pretense of objectivity has been abandoned in many cases. Hundreds of news stories appeared within hours of the event, typically sporting headlines such as “Women Defy Church Leadership; Become Ordained Priests and Deacons.” Many appeared without even the token nod to the facts of placing the words, “ordained,”“priests” or “deacons” in quotes.

CTV offered, “Nine Women Hold Unofficial Ordination Ceremony.” The CBC headline read, “Catholic Women Unofficially Ordained” imparting the notion that it is possible to be genuinely ordained to the Catholic priesthood without the Church’s “official” sanction. The Edmonton Sun ran the Canadian Press story with the headline, “Women Defy Vatican with Ordination Ceremony.”

The CBC radio simply announced that “nine women have been ordained Roman Catholic priests” with no disclaimer. The CBC News online story provided a cloak and dagger scenario, portraying a group of clandestine freedom fighters daringly “risking excommunication, after a secret religious ceremony on a boat in the St. Lawrence River.” One television news story from Global said the location was kept secret for “security” reasons, as though the Swiss Guards or the Spanish Inquisition were expected to appear in full Monty Pythonesque regalia.

The Associated Press’ Jamie Gosselin blandly stated in a story appearing in the UK’s Guardian, “Four of Monday’s nine were ordained as priests and five as deacons in the hymn-filled ceremony on a tour boat near Ottawa, Canada.” That these “ordinations” to the Roman Catholic clergy require the approbation of the Roman Catholic Church in order to hold a shred of legitimacy seems to have given the writer not a moment’s pause.

One quote in the Guardian from Regina Nicolosi, one of the women on the boat, provides the perfect summation of their approach. Nicolosi told AP, she did “not fear an excommunication, because I don’t feel excommunicated.” After such a statement, it seems futile to attempt to explain the difference between external, objective reality and delusional wish-fulfillment.

Canada’s National Post, has run no fewer than four fawning pieces on the subject in the last week. Today’s Post headline ran, “Women Challenge Ban on Female Priests,” following with, “In the past, the Vatican has frowned on such ceremonies.”

The eagerness with which it has been announced that the putative oppressors and villains in Rome have been “defied” by a group of deluded women activists reveals the desperation of a news media still in a collective sulk over the election of their favourite Vatican archfiend, Joseph Ratzinger, to the Papacy.

It would seem that Benedict XVI has been a grave disappointment to the mainstream media (MSM). The gentle manner and good humour of the man the MSM had painted in the weeks following the election, with escalating hysteria, as a villain and enemy of freedom and modern progress, has put his journalistic hecklers into a difficult position. Benedict’s lack of extremism, evident good nature, and immense erudition have frustrated the fond desires that he would continue to play the black-hearted villain to the media’s self-appointed role of defender of the oppressed.

Anyone with even the lightest grip on reality, however, knows that these women are no more Catholic priests than a ten-year old child playacting the Mass in his backyard tree house. The fact that in order to be a Roman Catholic priest, one must be made so by the Roman Catholic Church, is apparently more than the MSM can bear to acknowledge.

In any other age, the appearance of a group of women dressed up in home-made costumes pretending to be priests and bishops would have elicited from the less charitable only laughter and ridicule; and from those more disposed to kindness toward the delusional, only a discreet silence. But in our times it is presented, not as a sad display of inanity by people whose adherence to their ideology makes them publicly ridiculous but, as an opportunity to lash out, equally ridiculously, against the favorite target of the day.

It is difficult to tell which came first: the feminist anti-Catholics in the robes playacting their fantasies of adolescent rebellion, or the news media who have gone to such futile lengths to make them not look silly.

In an editorial appearing in yesterday’s National Post, columnist Lorne Gunter pointed out what ought to have been self-evident, that the Catholic Church as an institution has a right to decide who is and who is not a part of its hierarchy. Those who do not like it, he writes, are free to go elsewhere. The Spanish Inquisition having been safely dissolved, those who wish to go elsewhere are unlikely to receive much opposition from faithful Catholics.

Read CBC, BBC and Guardian coverage:
http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2005/07/25/womenpriests0725.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4717277.stm
http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-5166891,00.html

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