The National Catholic Reporter editors write that: “Catholic women who have discerned a call to the priesthood and have had that call affirmed by the community should be ordained in the Roman Catholic church.” I find the editorial distressing because it is yet another indication of how very fragmented our Church has become. We each live in our respective bubbles, utterly incapable of hearing each other.
The editorial includes the assertion that “the sensus fidelium is that the exclusion of women from the priesthood has no strong basis in Scripture or any other compelling rationale.” I do not believe the editors are deliberately twisting the concept of sensus fidelium and so I must conclude that they are instead unable to see beyond the limits of their particular segment of the faithful.
They seek the ordination of women whose call to the priesthood has been affirmed by the community. What community? The community of their readers, no doubt. But our Church is much, much larger than any one particular group, no matter how intelligent or caring.
It is heartbreaking that the editors of the National Catholic Reporter are so isolated that they see it as their job to represent the faithful rather than to build consensus.
Regardless of one’s thoughts after studying Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, we should all be in communion with enough of our Church to see that our views are not shared by everyone.
If you are either shocked that anyone could write this editorial, or else horrified that anyone might even disagree with it, I challenge you to explore our great Catholic world. Volunteer with different people. Visit a parish that does everything in all the ways you can’t stand. Read all the popular Catholic books you’d normally avoid. I don’t care how you do it, but please consider participating just a little in the fullest Catholic community possible.
Yes, we are confused. Yes we are broken and inclined to break others. But we are the Church, and there isn’t much point in trying to fight about things such as ordination if we can’t even realize that Catholics with other views exist.