In previous posts I have looked at the Worcester [Massachusetts] Commission for Women and their promotion of New Age spirituality and relativism. See here and here for example. I have also examined some of the past speakers of the Commision's "Gather Us In" conference. See here.
The Commission for Women has invited feminist theologian Elizabeth Dreyer to speak at their 2011 conference. Ms. Dreyer is one of 16 dissident theologians who signed what is known as The Madeleva Manifesto. This manifesto states:
"In the tradition of Sister Madeleva Wolff, CSC, we sixteen Madeleva lecturers have been invited to speak a message of hope and courage to women in the church. Reflecting the diversity of gifts bestowed on us by the Spirit, we speak from our particular experiences and vocations, yet share in a universal vision that is faithful to our catholic tradition.
• To women in ministry and theological studies we say: re-imagine what it means to be the whole body of Christ. The way things are now is not the design of God.
• To young women looking for models of prophetic leadership, we say: walk with us as we seek to follow the way of Jesus Christ, who inspires our hope and guides our concerns. The Spirit calls us to a gospel feminism that respects the human dignity of all, and who inspires us to be faithful disciples, to stay in the struggle to overcome oppression of all kinds whether based on gender, sexual orientation, race, or class.
• To women who are tempted by the demons of despair and indifference, we say: re-imagine what it means to be a full human being made in the image of God, and to live and speak this truth in our daily lives.
• To women who suffer the cost of discipleship we say: you are not alone. We remember those who have gone before us, who first held up for us the pearl of great price, the richness of Catholic thought and spirituality. We give thanks to those who continue to mentor us.
• To the young women of the church we say: carry forward the cause of gospel feminism. We will be with you along the way, sharing what we have learned about the freedom, joy and power of contemplative intimacy with God. We ask you to join us in a commitment to far-reaching transformation of church and society in non-violent ways. We deplore, and hold ourselves morally bound, to protest and resist, in church and society, all actions, customs, laws and structures that treat women or men as less than fully human. We pledge ourselves to carry forth the heritage of biblical justice which mandates that all persons share in right relationship with each other, with the cosmos, and with the Creator.
We hold ourselves responsible to look for the holy in unexpected places and persons, and pledge ourselves to continued energetic dialogue about issues of freedom and responsibility for women. We invite others of all traditions to join us in imagining the great shalom of God."
April 29, 2000
Feast of St. Catherine of Siena, lay woman, Doctor of the Church
St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind.
Now, in his Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, No. 4, Pope John Paul II said 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.”
Canon Law, specifically Canon 750, states that: “each and everything set forth definitively by the Magisterium of the Church regarding teaching on faith and morals must be firmly accepted and held; namely, those things required for the holy keeping and faithful exposition of the deposit of faith; therefore, anyone who rejects propositions which are to be held definitively sets himself against the teaching of the Catholic Church.”
The Madeleva Sixteen therefore are setting themselves against the teaching of the Church by treating the ordination of women as “an open question.” Deliberate nonassent is a grave matter. This situation is all the more serious since the judgment of Pope John Paul II (and he invoked his supreme authority in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis) is to be “definitively held by all.”
I've said this before at this Blog: Because nonassent is serious in and of itself, and because deliberate nonassent interferes with communion in the Church and serves to polarize people, it is a grave matter. Pope Pius XII, in Humani generis, explains that once a pope makes a point of settling a matter which is disputed among theologians, it can no longer be treated as an open question.
But for Ms. Dreyer, who believes she is wiser than the Lord Jesus Christ who teaches us through His Church's Magisterium, the ordination of women is more than an open question. She has demanded it, signing a petition which reads, "Break the Silence on Women's Ordination. Shatter the Stained Glass Ceiling."
And Bishop Robert J. McManus has no problem with any of this? God help the troubled Diocese of Worcester, a diocese which has been crippled with the leaven of infidelity. The same diocese which welomes practicing homosexuals and dissidents who reject the Church's authoritative and definitive teaching has no place for me. And yet, I do live a chaste life while adhereing to everything the Church teaches.
Is this the work of the Holy Spirit or of some other spirit?
Photo shows Bishop McManus (who couldn't even bother to respond to my letter expressing interest in pursuing a priestly vocation) at a "Gather Us In" conference.