Tuesday, May 24, 2005

More zeal than knowledge

In his own day, the great philosopher Socrates warned seekers of truth to beware of those who possess "more zeal than knowledge." In our own time, an age which is marked by irrational pride and a tendency to reject anything which has the character of coming from above, there are individuals and groups who simply refuse to embrace episteme (knowledge) and who consequently fall into the idolatry of doxa (opinion).

For example, some years ago, certain women groups gave warning that they would not be argued out of becoming priests: "We reject out of hand any arguments or efforts on theological or historical grounds" (Sexuality, Theology, Priesthood, A Scholarly symposium on the ordination of women to the priesthood. Published by Concerned Fellow Episcopalians. San Gabriel, California, p.3).

This statement was the result of a Task Force chosen to study the status of women in a diocese in Pennsylvania. And one can find this same attitude at the Holy Cross Cardinal Newman Society website. There, several individuals have challenged the Church's clear and constant teaching for some 2,000 years that women are not called to the ministerial priesthood.

Now, agitating or screaming for change is not a Christian lifestyle. And the intelligent Catholic will answer the specious "theological" arguments which are founded on propaganda and slogans and which are appealing to those who find it too much of a mental effort to engage in any real thought. It is necessary that the intelligent Catholic should respond to the arguments of the uncritical and intellectually impoverished mind of the confused person who believes himself or herself to be wiser than the Holy Spirit who guides Holy Mother Church. It was St. Peter who exhorted Christians "to be always ready to give a reason for the faith that is in you."

Thankfully, there are serious and intelligent Catholics who are responding to this challenge. These defenders of the Faith understand that St. Peter's challenge imposes a duty, a responsibility, to correct the flawed thinking of mental and moral midgets who believe that polls, vote-taking, and lazy propaganda emanating from the mass-media or various other sources, can change salvation facts already decided by Almighty God. Polls may be interesting to look at, but such statistics have absolutely no theological decisional value whatsoever. The only real benefit such polls have for Catholics is to demonstrate the extent of the profound disorder in faith among Catholics (or other Christians) in a certain geographical area.

To date, not one of the agitators for women's ordination at the Holy Cross Cardinal Newman Society website has accepted my challenge to provide a sound theological argument from sacramental theology as to why women should be ordained to the ministerial priesthood. Again, as Socrates reminded us so long ago, beware of those who have "more zeal than knowledge."


Until next time,
God love you
Paul Anthony Melanson

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