Thursday, October 10, 2013

Welcomed by the Diocese of Worcester, Dr. Thomas Groome, a heretic, wants to reduce gender-based pronouns for Jesus

Although Pope John Paul II proclaimed the definitive nature of the Church's doctrine on the male-only ministerial priesthood in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis (1994) and said that the issue was not to be discussed any longer, Dr. Thomas Groome, in his 1995 book Language for a Catholic Church (revised edition)  that, "..the continued exclusion of women from ordained ministry in the Catholic Church is seen by fair-minded scholars as without theological or biblical warrant" (p. 31).

In this same work, Groome posited that it would be "helpful to reduce reliance on gender-based pronouns" when referring to Jesus in order "to emphasise his humanity rather than his maleness" (pp. 26-27). In this passage, Dr. Groome is opposing what he views (from his myopic standpoint) as a flaw in the Church's teaching that the ordained priest must be a man in order to sacramentally represent Christ in terms of his spousal relationship to the Church, which is that of Bridegroom to Bride.

And as I noted here, Dr. Groome is being welcomed by the Diocese of Worcester as a speaker on the subject of evangelization.  Meanwhile, I cannot even apply for the Diocesan priesthood (my requests are ignored) and Mr. Robert Spencer was prohibited from speaking at the Catholic Men's Conference.  See here.  Apparently one is only really welcome in the Worcester Diocese if they are willing to prostitute their faith.

Why is it that a woman cannot symbolically represent Christ the Bridegroom?

The reason is that "God became man" and took on human nature in the masculine mode. The Word reveals itself in the flesh of Christ Jesus as the "only Son of the Father" (John 1:14, 18, 41, 49), who by virtue of giving His flesh for the life of the world (John 6:51) is the Bridegroom of the Bride (John 3:29), namely, the Church.

In John's Gospel, the line of communication is clearly set up as follows: Jesus Christ (1:18), being the incarnate Word (1:1, 14) is the only-begotten Son of the Father (1:14) and the Bridegroom of the Church (3:29; Rev. 19:7; 21:2; - see also: Mt. 9:15; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:21-32).

The masculinity of Jesus is part of the Logos' self-expression in the flesh and forms the basis for the original relation of Christ to the Church and for His sacramental union with her as His Body and His Bride.
Through the natural symbolism of the sexes, God communicates the reality of His free, historical, and corporeal presence in the world. By assuming humanity in the mode of masculinity, the Logos communicates Himself in His dealings with the new People of God in that fundamental personal relationship that has its foundation in masculinity. Thus, the Dogmatic Constitution the Church of Vatican II can say: "Christ loves the Church as his bride, having been established as the model of a man loving his wife as his own body (Eph. 5:25-28); the Church, in her turn, is subject to her head (Eph. 5: 23-24), 'Because in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily' (Col. 3:29)." (Lumen Gentium, No. 7).

Now, the priest takes the part of Christ, lending Him his voice and gestures. St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church, expresses this concept with precision: "The priest enacts the image of Christ, in whose person and by whose power he pronounces the words of consecration" (Summa Theologica, III, q. 83, a.1, ad 3-um).

Therefore, the priest is truly a "sign" in the sacramental sense of the word. This is why St. Bonaventure says: "The person ordained is a sign of Christ the mediator" - "persona quae ordinatur significat Christum mediatorem." It is a principle of sacramental theology that "sacramental signs represent what they signify by a natural resemblance" (In IV Sent., Dist. 25, q. 2, a.2, q.1, ad 4-um: signa sacramentalia ex naturali similitudine repraesentent.).

In other words, there is a need for that "natural resemblance" between Christ and the person who is His sign. In the words of St. Thomas Aquinas, "Since a sacrament is a sign, what is done in the sacrament requires not only the reality but also a sign of the reality" (Ibid. In corp. quaestiunculae: Quia cum sacramentum sit signum, in eis quae in sacramento aguntur requiritur non solum res, sed significatio rei.).
And as the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith states quite clearly in its document "On the Question of the Admission of Women to the Ministerial Priesthood": "It would not accord with 'natural resemblance,' with that obvious 'meaningfulness,' if the memorial of the Supper were to be carried out by a woman; for it is not just the recitation involving the gestures and words of Christ, but an action, and the sign is efficacious because Christ is present in the minister who consecrates the Eucharist, as is taught by the Second Vatican Council, following the Encyclical Mediator Dei."

Because of a secularized understanding of reality, not to mention a reductive and functionalist view of man, there are some who still think that it is their job to demand the application of societal standards and values within the Church such as democratic procedures, equal opportunities for advancement in all capacities and offices etc. For such people, the Sacrament of Holy Orders, which has been instituted by Christ Jesus Himself - Who is incapable of error or of deceiving or being deceived - is little more than a Baroque, or antiquarian form of appointment to a position of leadership, like that of a bank president, party chief or television station manager. These people view the priesthood in terms of self-fulfillment and "power" rather than from the sacramental point of view.

1 comment:

Jonathan said...

The status quo in Worcester does not like to be challenged. Who do you think you are to ask questions and to challenge their supreme authority? LOL.

Seriously, keep up the great work here at La Salette Journey Paul....the fact that those in power CANNOT answer your posts - and won't even try - is a tacit admission of their own intellectual bankruptcy.

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