Monday, September 08, 2003

Oh, for the Days When Maidens Were Fair and Heresiarchs Bold!

Courtesy of Maureen McHugh at A Religion of Sanity comes this article about another witless Catholic bishop. The article's words are in blue, my replies are in black.


Women should be allowed to hear confessions and absolve sinners, a Roman Catholic bishop has suggested. Bishop Vincent Malone, auxiliary bishop in Liverpool, said that the Church should consider choosing lay women to be confessors because some people might prefer disclosing their sins to a woman rather than a man.

And some people, like Bishop Vincent "Deep Thinker" Malone, prefer disclosing their sins by writing books. Perhaps we could all write books? I'd certainly prefer to write a book about my sins than confess them. Lots of people do it - Madonna, Bill Clinton, the Unibomber . . . .

Bishop Malone said he was merely raising questions rather than "starting a revolution", and stressed that any reforms would have to be agreed by the whole Church before they could be implemented.

. . . . bootlicking suck up . . . .

But his radical views will challenge the traditional image of the male priest hearing confessions and reignite the debate over the role of women in the Church.

Oh gag. Don't these people realize how ridiculous they look, putting on their tattered radical boas and faded inflammatory lipstick to go sashaying around in reform drag? The Bong of Reform is flickering! We must reignite the debate with a shattering, radical book, perhaps titled, The Catholic Church Should Kill Itself Because No One Else Can Get the Job Done.

Bishop Malone's comments will carry particular weight because he is the liaison between the English and Welsh Bishops' Conference and the National Board of Catholic Women.

Yeah, and lemme tell you, those are two world-shattering organizations. Get control of the Welsh Bishops' Conference and you've got theopolitical domination of Christendom. Every morning John Paul II gets up and says, in whispered tones of terror, "do we have any news from Wales?" And Ratzinger can't even bring himself to say the words, he has to scribble it down on paper in a trembling hand, "Are we still safe? Has the NBCW moved against us?" It's why Philip II launched the Armada, and Hitler the Kanalkampf -- they knew they had to gain control of the the Welsh Bishops' Conference and the National Board of Catholic Women or watch their evil empires wither and die. Fortunately the Welsh Bishops met them, wearing rainbow-colored stoles in authentic African designs, while NBCW Valkyries strafed the invader from organically-safe broomsticks . . . . . . never have so many heretics owed so much lunacy to so few . . . .

In his contribution to Healing Priesthood: Women's Voices Worldwide,

Yep, that's how you can tell heresies nowadays -- Satan's addicted to colons. We'll have none of those colon-less titles, thank you, like The Interior Castle, City of God or Lives of the Saints. The only task left for the Holy Office is to determine whether the title is a single-bore heresy (one piece of trendy blather ante-colon, followed by serious-sounding explanatory title) or a double-bore heresy (pieces of trendy blather appended to each side of the colon). A Rejoicing People: Male Castration in the Writings of Hildegard of Bingen is a single-bore heresy. A Church of Love Unbounded: Necrophiliac Priests Tell Their Stories is a double-bore blast of heterodoxy. These bouts of scholarly possession, however, need not be tedious to the layman. Often, playful demons cause theologians to insert oxymorons on one or both sides of the colon. So you get single-barrelled oxymoronic heresies (A Scriptural Garden: Lesbian Exegesis of the Song of Songs), and double-barrelled oxymoronic heresies, like The Church of Peter: Dissenting Catholics Claim their Faith. That's why Bishop Malone's no-doubt self-published autobiography will be titled Vincent Malone: A Shepherd Reflects.

he said the Church's tradition "may sometimes seem only to inhibit the freedom to engage with difficult questions".

Caiaphas prophecies! That a man can rise to Bishop and utter such things as though he's revealing a profound and little-known insight is a perfect one-sentence summary of what's wrong with the Church.

But some practices could be varied. Although the Pope had ruled out women priests, the Church had "not so ruled in other areas which might yield surprising fruit".

Oh, sorry, I can't -- it's too rich, too covered in ironic chocolate syrup, topped with a sarcastic maraschino nestling in its own whipped mound of sardonicism. . . .

He added: "It is not difficult to conceive circumstances in which a female minister could more appropriately than a man be the receiver of the humble confession that opens a soul to hear the glad words of the Lord's forgiveness.

D'ja get that? "Receiver?" -- why, hearing confession is an inherently-feminine act! ‘Boy's got his presuppositional jargon down, give him that. But if womyn are receivers, then who's going to perform the generative act of confessing? Oh, man, I'm onto something here. Where's my colon? Quick, have you seen my colon?

"Common practice in our society today would expect equal access in many professions to either a man or a woman at the client's choice. It would be an unusual medical practice that did not have both male and female practitioners. Similarly with a firm of solicitors or a team of counsellors.

Which isn't any different from Catholicism, er, I mean the firm of Pater, Spiritu & Son. Maureen's right -- the only thing this Bishop knows about the priesthood is that, whatever it is, it shouldn't exist.

"Has the time come to expect a similar availability in even more sacred areas of our lives - without thinking that this is impossible without the ordination of women?"

Well sure! Confessions, last rights, the Mass -- none of that is essential to the priesthood, which is really only about priestly things. Perhaps the time has come to expect laymen to run Dioceses, even without episcopal consecration, which is really only about episcopal things. Sorry, Bishop, was that a grimace I saw? Is there something amiss with the proposal to destroy the last bastion of clerical elitism and run the Church on rational chartered-accountancy principles? Sure there is -- seminaries are already full to the gills with bucket-heads like this fellow, and "visiting lecturer" is too great a fall from "auxiliary heresiarch."

The bishop argued that the Church broadly decreed that only priests could administer the sacraments, and yet lay people were involved in the sacrament of marriage and, in cases of necessity, the sacrament of baptism.

Well, I'd bet an old sock that the Bishop already has plans to involve more than lay people in the sacrament of marriage. As to baptism, yes, on the strength of St. John the Baptist's example and a concern for holy mercy the Church allows not only laymen, but even nonbelievers to administer the sacrament in cases of necessity. Which, when you think about it, is a good thing for all the babies born in this Diocese.

He told The Catholic Herald that he was "not banging a drum" or trying to prompt disobedience among Catholics, but was merely issuing a "gentle invitation to reflect".

On what? On the need to bang a drum and be disobedient, that's what. If there's anything I can't stand more than a clerical weevil it's a coat-holding clerical weevil. Ever notice how these guys don't risk their necks by, say, just going ahead and authorizing womyn to "receive" humble confessions? If their heretical babble isn't good enough for them, why the heck should we bother to reflect on it? Vince, go resign your position and eat hot-plate spam for a few years, then tell me I ought to risk excommunication by gently blunting my mind on your wack-job theology.

Such reforms might "in part answer the complaint that women can't do anything" in the Church.

Except go to Heaven, and who'll accept that outmoded excuse any more? It really astounds me that the careers of Janet Black or Mother Theresa are counted as "doing nothing in the Church." Makes me wonder who the real misogynists are, yessir it does. Reminds me of Ruth Bader Ginsburg publicly dumping crap on her mother at her nomination ceremony. "I want to thank my mother, who lived her life as a subhuman but who still managed, in her illiterate and drooling way, to produce me, the epitome of feminist achievement." It also sounds like a lot of teenaged angst is still sloshing around inside our radicals' old wineskins, "Mom, I'm like, so bored, there's nothing to do!!" I can tell you one thing women can do in the Church, which is bang guys like Vince upside the head with briefcases or hot irons (I'm tolerant of diversity, you see).

But while liberals, including fellow bishops, will welcome his ideas, the newspaper said in an editorial: "The simple answer is that the time has not come for such a thing."

Wrong! The time came on November 11, 1992. It just came in another stockbrokerage, uh, church, is all.

The bishop's comments follow the decision by some churches and cathedrals to introduce glass-fronted confessionals after a series of sex scandals in the Church. The aim is to allow others to see what is happening, protecting children and adults from any risk of abuse by priests and to protect priests from false allegations.

Perfect response by this real estate agen-- , uh, church. Cure the self-induced problem by wrecking the sacrament! Let people see who's sinning, read their lips, watch them cry and be fearful or demoralized! Yeah, baby! That'll get the parishioners flocking to the sacrament -- make it as embarassing and uncomfortable as possible. Require the rite to be done in esperanto in order to prevent the exchange of lewd solicitations! Have witnesses and videocameras! Or install laymyn who don't think the ability to keep the seal of the confessional can be proven by lifelong adherence to silly customs like celibacy or obedience to Church teaching.

Is it just me, or has anybody else noticed a distinct decline in the quality of heresy produced by the Catholic Church? We used to pump out really juicy ones, like Montanism or Jansenism, big wacking gouts of nonsense that had serious and major consequences for human life. Our heresies were Wagnerian affairs, prodigious stupidities punctuated by instances of brilliant manipulation. We had giant fireworky schisms, blood-spangled wars, persecutions and counter-persecutions. Now all we have is a bunch of comfy, overstuffed yupsters mouthing to the muzak of pop culture and acting like bratty, passive-aggresive teenagers. Back in the days of Eusebius we had veritable Dark Towers of theological perversion -- now all we get are theological lawn jockeys like Vinnie's backhanded misogyny -- womyn need to be empowered to confess in the only way they know how, chatting over coffee with "the girls." Doggone it, Vince, why don't you drum up a couple of the NBCW gals and make them prophetesses. Let ‘em follow you around, speaking in tongues about how the "whole church" is just you, Vince Malone, and those perfecti who reject the Evil God of the Old Testament, and the Even More Evil God of the New Testament, in favor of the Good God of the Vince Testament! Consecrate chicklets! Build a compound! But for crying out loud, get a sense of style! So that when your fellow tormented beings ask, "What did you do topside?" You won't have to say, "Well, I shoveled zeitgeist in Liverpool . . . Alright now. That's all . . . . .."

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