Woman priestSome years ago a Dutch newspaper used to feature a controversial op-ed column entitled ‘May I say this?’  Generally, the answer was no, not in public!  This post may elicit the same response.

In principle, I have no problem with ordaining women, provided the relevant Protestant denomination officially approves it.  In practice, some of the worst priests I’ve run across have been women.

Don’t get me wrong, yes, they seem devout. Yes, they preside over the services beautifully.  Yes, they know their theology.

It’s just that … one begins to wonder about what they learn at seminary.  You know, ‘women’s’ stuff.  They all seem to have this therapeutic need or obligation to bond.  Hugs all over the place — each other, church members, people they barely know.  Guy priests don’t do that.  Well, if they did, there’d probably be some sort of sex allegation!

Still, one has to wonder why.  They seem to have no semblance of humility, modesty or restraint. 

Why do they need to wear ostentatious or chunky adornments?  They seem particularly fond of huge crosses, ginormous rings and other ornamentation best left understated. Or there’s the chronically too-short hair.  It never grows out.  I wonder if they go for a short back and sides every fortnight.  There’s no modesty there.  But there does seem to be an insider’s message of sorts and an external message to outsiders. (Sorry, I’m not po-mo enough to understand.) It’s similar to thumb rings.  A certain type of person wears them.  Watch people with thumb rings, because within five minutes they’ll exhibit some irritating or distasteful behaviour — eating in public, loud conversation or raucous laughter.   

Then, we get to restraint, or self control, another of the timeless seven virtues.  Here’s a local example, one of the former curates.  Fortunately, she accepted a post in another part of England a few years ago.  One either loved her or loathed her.  (And, yes, she was huggy, too!)  The parish church used to have a 1662 Book of Common Prayer (BCP) service on Sundays at 12:00 twice a month.  She couldn’t stand presiding over it because she hated — yes, hated — the liturgy.  It only took a half-hour to say and there weren’t that many people there.  I used to go now and then but could see its days were numbered.  One Sunday I saw her running down a side street from the church still in her robes, straight from the 11:00 service.  She did a little dance in the middle of the street.  Then she saw someone she knew from church, ran over to them and — what else? — hugged them, saying: ‘Isn’t it wonderful?  We finally got rid of that stupid service — the notice is up on the church door!’   

In fact, her distaste for traditional liturgy was such that, when planning a funeral with my family, she ever so subtly knocked our BCP off the arm of the sofa.  The book lay there until I picked it up some minutes later.  So, it was all about her and the modified liturgy she suggested after informing us: ‘I don’t do the Book of Common Prayer’.  I gave her the hairy eyeball, especially since I had retrieved the prayer book from the carpet just a short time before. But more importantly, it was a funeral for a close family member;  surely, funerals are for the bereaved. ‘I suppose I could read a few prayers from it’. Humility? Forget it. It’s all ‘me, me, me!’  

Well, hey, who am I to criticise these ordained postmodern Earth Mamas?  No, I don’t want to hear about their children or grandchildren in a Midnight Mass sermon, as I did one year. I’m surprised they don’t talk about their menopausal experiences.  They probably do when they’re together.  There’s something of the ‘wise woman’ about them.  Fumare has a comment about ‘wise women’.  Let’s hope this isn’t true of our Anglican lady priests:

The meaning of the phrase ‘wise woman’ as code for neo-pagan feminist witch is well established. Just Google ‘wise woman’, 10:1 the returns are about neo-paganism, herbalism, moon circles, and aligned products and services …

In the late 80’s PBS began to popularize the ideas of mythologist Joseph Campbell and with him, Carl Jung through the Bill Moyers series The Power of Myth. The ideas of these men, and others, really paved the way for the mainstreaming of neo-paganism in America as an intellectually sophisticated practice about depth psychology and self-actualisation. Organizations such as Woman Within International offer women ‘training’ (code for ritual initiation) for ’empowerment’ (code for witchcraft power rituals) and a network of women who ‘gather’ for mutual support (code for monthly communal lunar rituals). Someone who has been initiated into this is a ‘wise woman’. The intellectual foundations for this coincide with feminist and post-colonial critical theory.

Critical theoryGramsci again!  The guy who wanted to destroy the Catholic Church because he resented the power it had over people and their beliefs.  Devout Catholics don’t fall for Marxism or Communism. Gramsci loved leftism, so he devised a way of making people accept it through ‘silent coup d’etats‘ in the media, churches, schools and universities. It started happening decades ago. ‘Relax — you’re soaking in it‘.

You’ll see another wise woman in the next post.  She’s Catholic. 

Unrelated but, according to Fumare, ‘the most intense feminist neo-pagans have Catholic backgrounds’.  I know a Catholic laywoman who fits the bill perfectly.

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