Monday, March 21, 2011

Will the Catholic Church Ever Ordain Women?

The bureaucracy of the Catholic Church has had quite a few hard knocks in the last few years. It's reputation has been damaged, and rightfully so. The systematic cover-ups of sexual abuse of kids by priests are appalling. Whether pedophilia was a widely acceptable practice in the ordained clergy has still not been determined. However it is certain that a culture of allowing law breaking priests be moved to new congregations without ever facing punishment was, and probably is still active.

Evidently getting the Church to ordain you was sort of like joining in the mob. You could break the most serious of laws and police would look the other way. If you indeed were a foul degenerate and perpetrated crimes so villainous that raging gangs of local citizens wanted to string you up by the neck, you would be secretly whisked elsewhere to some far off other land and out of harm's way. Once these ordained criminals would be loose to start up new rein of terror once again. Cases precisely akin to this have been well substantiated plenty times in plenty various lands and legal jurisdictions. Sadly the statute of limitations appears to have expired on nearly all of these crimes. At best it seems that the patterns of abuse seem to have ended several years back.

Still all of this criminal activity and cover ups has besmirched the public image of priests among the laity. Not only have Catholics in developed countries been leaving the church in droves, yet no men in those countries want to the Vatican to ordain them. The deficit of clergy has the Church redistributing clergy from the developing world within congregations and parishes in first world countries. Still this is not sufficient to fill the shortfall in ordinations.

The evident solution would be for the Church to ordain women. For many years the campaign to approve women clergy has been gathering momentum. There have been a few splinter group cardinals dismissed by the Catholic church for their unorthodox ordinations. Some have even faced excommunication for their actions. The Vatican has no interest in appeasing this group of reformers. Regardless of many years of lobbying, painstakingly worded arguments, and explicit demonstrations of the error of the papal belief, it seems like each subsequent Pontiff digs his heels in farther in resistance to the ordination of women.The revered right to freedom of religious belief as put forth in the US Constitution has always left a extensive understanding of what is proper, and correct religious doctrine and practice. Altogether this is good thing but it has also on occasion lead to a hands off approach to sanctioning crazy, dangerous, and immoral religions and religiously justified activities.

From polygamy with below legal age girls, to refusing of correct medical care for children of deluded parents that believe God will correct their child's illness, religious protections often go too far. By means of this lack of ethical supervision, and sometimes acumen in the realm of spiritual belief it may well be a many more decades before the Vatican finally gets around to appreciating the requirement to ordain fair sex into the ministry.

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