July 16, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – There has been much concern among faithful Catholics about the upcoming Amazon Synod. Progressive Cadinals from Germany and the Vatican have already held a private meeting strategizing about how to get the Synod to approve a female diaconate. Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, one of the two remaining dubia cardinals, issued a strong critique of the working document of the synod saying its real intent is “the abolition of priestly celibacy and the introduction of a female priesthood – beginning with female deacons.”
Today, on Episode 17 of The John-Henry Westen Show, I’m discussing the troubling nature of the Amazon Synod and the ten signs Pope Francis is moving towards women's ordination. I'll also show you why the true Church could never accept women's ordination.
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Transcript: 10 signs Pope Francis is moving towards women's ordination
The stakes in the war for the soul of the Church have been raised to an ‘all-in’ level as the October Amazon Synod’s working document has been released. It’s caused one Cardinal to call the document out for heresy and warning of apostasy.
That’s what we’re discussing on today’s episode of the John-Henry Westen Show… stay tuned.
Let’s begin as we always do with the Sign of the Cross. And let’s ask the intercession of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on this Her Feast Day.
Before we get to the list we have to understand that Jesus came as a man born of a woman. He was the new Adam and Our Lady the New Eve. Jesus came as a man and established His priesthood ‘in persona Christi’ or ‘in the person of Christ’ therefore all ministers ordained to His ministry must also be men – not women. If any woman who ever lived was to be given Holy Orders it would have been the Mother of God Herself yet She would never want anything contrary to the Will of God.
And let’s quickly address the popular saying that Jesus couldn’t ordain women because it was culturally inappropriate at the time – that is ridiculous. Jesus broke with all kinds of cultural taboos – he spoke of a triune God scandalizing the Jews, he talked about eating his flesh and drinking his blood horrifying the Jews who were even forbidden to drink animal blood. So it’s nonsense to suggest Jesus didn’t ordain women for cultural reasons. He established different roles for men and women and the ordination to Holy Orders is only for men just as much as motherhood is only for women.
While the bishop has the fullness of priestly power from Christ – ruling the diocesan church and being the direct descendent of the apostles for the particular area or diocese over which he rules, priests were appointed to fulfill the ministries of offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and hearing confessions. Deacons were devoted to preaching and ministering to the public on a more personal level.
In the early Church you will hear of ‘deaconnesses’ which were women who assisted especially with baptism at a time when full immersion baptism was used and due to concerns over modesty women administered the sacrament. Remember baptism is a sacrament anyone, even a non-Catholic can administer, with water and the words I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. These deaconesses of the early church were never given Holy Orders but a commission to undertake a particular service for the Church. Nothing at all to do with officiating at Mass in any way.
The Church in following Divine Law laid down by Christ has always forbidden Holy Orders for those other than for baptized men. Canon law says about how to “lawfully” “confer the orders of priesthood or diaconate,” “Only a baptised man can validly receive sacred ordination.” (canon 1024)
There is evidence of this constant teaching throughout the entire history of the Church. In the Scriptures themselves, from Pope Gelasius in the 5th century, from Pope Innocent IV in the 13th century and Pope Benedict XIV in the 18th century.
Recall the admonition of St. Paul in the Scriptures -(1 Cor. 14:34) “Women should remain silent in Churches” – a law which was followed in the Church until various interpretations of the second Vatican Council saw women reading the Scriptures at Mass but not the Gospel.
In addition to St. Paul’s admonition in the Holy Bible. Let me quote from Pope Benedict XVI’s 1755 encyclical Allatae Sunt where he summarizes the teaching of the Church on this point.
“Pope Gelasius in his ninth letter (chap. 26) to the bishops of Lucania condemned the evil practice which had been introduced of women serving the priest at the celebration of Mass. Since this abuse had spread to the Greeks, Innocent IV strictly forbade it in his letter to the bishop of Tusculum: “Women should not dare to serve at the altar; they should be altogether refused this ministry.” We too have forbidden this practice in the same words in Our oft-repeated constitution Etsi Pastoralis, sect. 6, no. 21.” (Pope Benedict XIV, Encyclical Allatae Sunt, July 26, 1755, n. 29)
Demonstrating the severity with which the proposals of the October Synod are being viewed by those in the know, Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, one of the two remaining dubia cardinals, issued a strong critique of the Instrumentum Laboris calling it “heretical” and an “apostasy” from Divine Revelation. He called upon Church leaders to “reject” it with “all decisiveness.” In his essay excoriating the document Cardinal Brandmuller wrote: “It is impossible to conceal that the “synod” intends, above all, to help implement two most cherished projects that heretofore have never been implemented: namely, the abolition of priestly celibacy and the introduction of a female priesthood – beginning with female deacons.”
Of course women’s ordination to Holy Orders is impossible in the Catholic Church and any change in this regard would be false, in fact until recently a priest advocating for women’s ordination would be excommunicated as was Fr. Roy Bourgouis in 2012.. However, the same can be said about other issues such as communion for divorced and remarried Catholics, communion for Protestants, and the teaching on the death penalty. Yet, in all these cases a false change has been allowed to fester.
As with most of these seeming changes, Pope Francis has opined both ways on the matter of women’s ordination. Early in his pontificate in 2013 he issued the exhortation Evangeli Gaudium, wherein he seemed to indicate, in line with all the popes before him, that there was no possibility of women being ordained. He said, “The reservation of the priesthood to males, as a sign of Christ the Spouse who gives himself in the Eucharist, is not a question open to discussion.” He reiterated this position in 2016.
Nonetheless he and his closest collaborators have been hinting at initiating an ordained ministry at Mass for women, specifically focused on the possibility of allowing women deacons.
Here are 10 examples of that:
In the October Synod working document, the Instrumentum Laboris, women’s ordination is suggested. It calls on the church to “promote vocations among indigenous men and women in order to respond to the need for pastoral and sacramental care.” And it also calls on the Church to “identify the type of official ministry that can be conferred on women, considering the central role they play today in the Amazon Church.”
In August 2016, Pope Francis set up a 12-member commission to study the issue of women deacons, even though a previous commission on the subject in 2002 had concluded that women’s ordination is not possible. Moreover Pope Francis appointed as a member of that commission the world’s leading advocate of ordaining women deacons – Phyllis Zagano.
Early in his pontificate Pope Francis shocked Catholics by washing women’s feet at the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper. The symbolic washing of the feet by the celebrant of the Mass is to commemorate Christ’s washing the feet of His Apostles at the establishment of the priesthood. In January 2016 he officially altered the Church’s practice to allow for washing women’s feet at the Holy Thursday. He lessened the scandal of this move by suggesting that the meaning of the rite was more about charity and service however.
In a March 2016 interview with Die Zeit, the Pope was asked about the devastating lack of priests in Germany and Switzerland. “Yes that is a great problem,” he replied. “Many parishes have well-behaved women: they keep up Sunday and celebrate liturgies of the word (Wortgottesdienste), that is without the Eucharist.” Celebrating “liturgies of the word,” and such ceremonies, is something that the Church has always reserved to ordained clergy.
In the Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris laetitia, two paragraphs address the issue of women’s rights. Pope Francis deplores women’s “lack of equal access to dignified work and roles of decision-making.” He uses feminist language to denounce “the excesses of patriarchal cultures that considered women inferior,” even quoting himself when he says the argument that “many of today’s problems have arisen from women’s emancipation” is “a false, untrue, a form of male chauvinism.” “If certain forms of feminism have arisen which we must consider inadequate, we must nonetheless see in the women’s movement the working of the Spirit for a clearer recognition of the dignity and rights of women,” he continues in paragraph 54.
In April 2016 the Vatican’s newspaper L’Osservatore Romano ran a series of articles calling for women to be able to preach at Mass.
Pope Francis has met in official capacities with female clergy and ‘bishops’ from other denominations.
In February 2017, arguments for the ordination of women to the priesthood were presented in the oldest Jesuit Journal of Italy; a journal which is reviewed by the Vatican prior to publication, and run by Jesuit Fr. Antonio Spadaro one of Pope Francis’ closest advisors. “Civiltà Cattolica” published an article by Fr. Giancarlo Pani SJ suggesting that the admission to the priesthood of women should undergo re-examination.
Bishop Erwin Kräutler, was made primary author of the June 17, 2019 instrumentum laboris for the upcoming Amazon Synod. Krautler is a strong supporter of the ordination women to the priesthood. In June of 2018, LifeSiteNews reported on a 2016 book written by Bishop Kräutler, in which he argues in favor of female priests.
In July 2019 a secret prep synod of Cardinals and Bishops was held with a Vatican representative in attendance and it pushed for women’s ordination.
But given the weaponized ambiguity used in the Vatican these days which seeks to push the envelope as much as possible without forcing a split in the Church, my bet would be that the Synod will stop short of allowing for women’s ordination. My guess would be the Pope’s hint about women in Germany will be made into a new ‘ministry’ for women without proclaiming it an ‘ordained’ ministry since that would cause too many prelates to object. What will most likely occur is an official normalization of what already takes place in exceptional circumstances.
For instance, since women already serve at the altar in liturgical garb; since women are already permitted as readers at mass; and since women already act as extraordinary eucharistic ministers a move to give women a named ministry and a liturgical garb for Mass with perhaps also the possibility of preaching seems not so far-fetched. But once we’re there, there will be no holding back women’s ordination, since it will already be there visually and symbolically. In the absence of a priest, a woman in liturgical garb could lead the prayers, readings, Gospel, give a homily and just use the already-consecrated Hosts from the Tabernacle as Pope Francis mentioned already happens in some places in Germany. By that point the look and feel of the all-male priesthood will be all but destroyed leading quickly and inevitably to false women’s ordination.
But women’s ordination will never happen in the True Catholic Church even if a majority of Catholics were to break with the Truth and pursue that direction.
Pope John Paul II stressed the impossibility of female ordination and the teaching was reiterated definitively and irrevocably.
In 1994 John Paul II In Ordinatio Sacerdotalis wrote:
Although the teaching that priestly ordination is to be reserved to men alone has been preserved by the constant and universal Tradition of the Church and firmly taught by the Magisterium in its more recent documents, at the present time in some places it is nonetheless considered still open to debate, or the Church’s judgment that women are not to be admitted to ordination is considered to have a merely disciplinary force.
Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.
Pope John Paul II also pointed to Our Lady as the definitive proof that women were not meant to be in ordained ministry for, as he suggested were Christ to have chosen any woman in history for ordination it would have been His Mother. He said
The fact that the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and Mother of the Church, received neither the mission proper to the Apostles nor the ministerial priesthood clearly shows that the non-admission of women to priestly ordination cannot mean that women are of lesser dignity, nor can it be construed as discrimination against them. Rather, it is to be seen as the faithful observance of a plan to be ascribed to the wisdom of the Lord of the universe.