VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican on Thursday declared the attempted ordination of women a "grave crime" subject to the same set of procedures and punishments meted out for sex abuse.Please, read it all here.
That drew immediate criticism from women's ordination groups, who said making a moral equivalent between women priests and child rapists was offensive.
"The idea that women seeking to spread the message of God somehow defiles the Eucharist reveals an antiquated, backwards church that still views women as unclean and unholy," said Erin Saiz Hanna, executive director of the Women's Ordination Conference, a U.S.-based organization that works to ordain women as priests, deacons and bishops.
Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have said the question of ordaining women priests -- often raised as an antidote to the priest shortage and to bring about more gender equality in the church -- is not up for discussion.
Commentary. I have to hand it to the folks at the Holy See. They do have a sense of humor. We all know that sex abuse by clergy is a dastardly crime, and can't be compared with simulating a sacrament, but choosing the same document to further chastise the priestesses and their enablers was a stroke of genius. Of course, the, bishopesses, priestesses, priestesses-wanna-bes, and their enablers are incensed. Which is sad, but understandable, as they see another door slammed on their faces and another rejection of their misguided aspirations. Nevertheless, we're still obliged to show them compassion - something that doesn't come easy to me, I admit - and to pray for their conversion, healing, and salvation, as we pray for our own.