NOTE TO THE READER: Authorization is given to translate this blog into German, Spanish, and any other language needed. The author requests human translations, rather than computer translations, and a link back to the original English source.
This may seem like a no-brainer to a lot of faithful Catholics, but I think it’s worth mentioning. Women cannot be Catholic priests. This was explained by Pope Saint John Paul II in his 1994 Apostolic Letter entitled Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, wherein he stated in no uncertain terms…
That’s it. The case is closed. The Church has no authority, whatsoever, to ordain women to the priesthood. Jesus did not grant this authority to his apostles, and they could not transfer to the bishops an authority that they themselves did not receive. The bottom line is this. If there was ever a woman worthy of apostolic ordination in the Church, it would have been the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. Yet, Jesus did not ordain her. He didn’t make her an apostle. He didn’t make her a bishop. Nor did he make her a priest. He didn’t even make her a deacon. He left her as part of the laity, non-ordained to any office in the Church. It is absurd to suggest that some other woman would be worthy to be ordained, when not even the Blessed Virgin Mary was ordained. There were plenty of women in the early Church who could be ordained if that’s what Christ wanted. The Blessed Virgin Mary would be the first among them. Yet Christ chose not to call a single woman to his inner circle of apostolic authority. He simply never ordained a woman at all, and he never gave his apostles the authority to do it either. Bishops do not, and cannot, have an authority that the apostles never had.
Any attempted “ordination” of a woman is merely a simulation of Live Action Role Playing (LARPing) that, if to be taken seriously, insinuates the one doing the “ordination” has MORE authority than what Jesus Christ granted to his apostles. In other words, the one doing the “ordination” is claiming to have an authority greater than any bishop or the pope himself. Those women being “ordained” are publicly professing that the one doing their “ordination” has more authority than the pope. Those in attendance of said “ordination” are contributing (whether knowingly or unknowingly) to this profession of superior authority. On the face of it, it’s a schismatic act, which is why it incurs an automatic excommunication under canon law.
Pope Francis, echoing the Saintly letter of John Paul II, is clearly against the ordination of women. In the past, bishops would have to make a solemn decree of excommunication whenever one of these female “ordination” simulations took place. Now, such formalities are no longer necessary under canon law. The excommunication is instantaneous and automatic. I suspect this change in canon law is in anticipation of something very big in the near future. This change to canon law was approved by Pope Francis, quite recently, in response to efforts by the German bishops to push for the ordination of women in their Synod.
The German bishops have announced, on more than one occasion, that they intend to move forward with female ordination with or without Rome’s approval. It is quite possible, even expected, that once the German Synod is complete, the German bishops will begin ordaining women en masse. The change to canon law was needed to dispel confusion in such a situation, as formal statements of excommunication may be too slow, creating more confusion, as orthodox bishops rush to condemn heretical bishops, leaving confusion over who has authority to condemn whom and where. In the face of dozens of German bishops “ordaining” women in a short span of time, the pope himself might have to intervene, but even then it may not be fast enough. This measure in canon law, automatically excommunicating those who participate in female “ordination,” ensures that such matters can be addressed later, in hindsight, pointing out that said bishop automatically excommunicated himself, without Rome having to take this formal action, before moving forward with further action — such as installing a new bishop over a German diocese, or dissolving entire dioceses because no bishop is available to minister to the few orthodox Catholics who remain therein.
There is also the danger of the contagion spreading faster than Rome can keep up with. When the German bishops move forward with female “ordination,” it is possible that German-speaking bishops in Austria and Switzerland may follow suit, and if the contagion happens to spread to some liberal bishops in the English-speaking world, it will almost instantly go global. Again, the new revision to canon law, insuring automatic excommunication of hypothetical rogue bishops, helps to ensure that any of his following episcopal acts are guaranteed to be null and void, thus helping to maintain damage control in the face of a global crisis. In effect, the new canon law sets up the conditions for formal schism with Rome. It’s a red line that Pope Francis has drawn, and even though everyone knows I am highly critical of this particular pope, I must give him credit for this. He’s done the right thing. This red line in canon law makes it clear to every bishop of the world: if you cross it, you’re out! You’re automatically in schism, and you are no longer part of the Catholic Church. This red line will make the coming schism more visible, and easy to demarcate, dispelling confusion in advance. For a pope whose words are often associated with confusion and a lack of clarity, this one act is extremely clear and well understood. Bravo! Pope Francis. Well done!
The German Synod is clearly designed to accomplish one thing, and that is to apply pressure to Rome in its upcoming “Synod on Synodality.” Many Catholics have expressed concern that the Germans will be successful in persuading the Roman Synod to go along with them, or at the very least, issue some vague document that disseminates enough confusion to allow the German bishops to move forward without any serious penalties following. However, what the German bishops, and many concerned Catholics, seem to forget is that the Roman Synod has no authority in an of itself. It can issue whatever kind of document it wants, but that in itself does nothing to change church teaching or canon law. At most, the Synod makes suggestions to the pope, but it is the pope who makes all the final decisions, usually issued weeks to months later in the form of an Apostolic Letter. What these people also forget is that Pope Francis has also made his will known, in advance, that he will not tolerate the “ordination” of women. His concessions on allowing women in every other area of Church governance are not an attempt to soften Catholics to the idea of female “priests,” but rather to say to their proponents: “Look! I’ve done everything for women, right up to the point of ordination, but we must stop there.” It’s to shield himself from the criticism that will most certainly follow the coming schism over this issue. Criticism that will say “the pope is against women!” The pope’s actions allowing women into literally every other aspect of Church governance will make such criticism ridiculous, and I agree, it will be ridiculous when it happens. I say “when it happens” because it will happen, not because I am some sort of prophet, but because the religious Left is just that predictable.
While Pope Francis is not my favorite pope, and I have been highly critical of him in the past, I must say he’s done the right thing in canon law on this issue. I must give credit where credit is due. We all should. He has taken action to protect the Church in what appears to be an unstoppable schism approaching on the horizon. The schism will likely happen, but Pope Francis’ change to canon law will mitigate the damage, and help orthodox clergy to quickly reorganize and know exactly where the real Catholic Church is. When a liberal bishop crosses the red line, conservative priests in that diocese will immediately know they’ve been released of their vows to him, and can pledge their allegiance to Rome and whatever apostolic administrator Rome assigns to that territory. Lay Catholics, who are catechized enough to know the truth, will immediately know they are no longer under the jurisdiction of their excommunicated bishop, and can begin shopping for a new parish that is properly aligned with Rome. The Leftist hacks in the mainstream media will obviously try to obfuscate as much as possible, but they will only be able to fool non-Catholics and Catholics who don’t know their own faith. The pope has literally done everything he can, at this time, to prepare for the inevitable. The only question is this. What can we lay Catholics do on our level to help?
What Can We Do?
Actually, lay Catholics can do quite a bit to mitigate the damage of this coming schism in the Catholic Church, and in fact, our participation in the pope’s plan is absolutely essential. We can make the difference, and as hard as it may be for some to believe, the pope is actually counting on us to do the right thing. His actions speak louder than his words on this matter. Canon Law will be our guide.
- Do not attend any parish where a woman presides at the altar.
- If it is a woman “deaconess,” then the mass is sacrilegious and probably illicit. Do not participate in illicit sacrilege. Avoid all masses where a woman presides as a “deaconess.”
- If it is a woman “priestess,” then the mass is null and void. It is not a mass at all, because she is not a priest. You cannot have a mass without a priest. So do not attend any such fake mass.
- If your bishop participates in the “ordination” of a woman, he is automatically excommunicated. You do not need to wait for confirmation from Rome. Make sure he really did it, and that it’s not just a vicious rumor. This is important. Some bishops may be falsely accused. This means you may need to make a call to the chancery office to get confirmation. I cannot stress this enough. The act must be confirmed. You cannot assume it happened, just because somebody said so, or some story in the press. However, if you confirm that he actually did it, then you can surely know that he is automatically excommunicated, and he is no longer your bishop. It may be unclear who your bishop actually is once this happens. Be assured this is a temporary problem. Rome will sort it out shortly.
- In the mean time, you are not obliged to obey an excommunicated bishop or attend any masses where female “clergy” preside. You should begin searching for a parish priest who remains in full-communion with Rome. You may have to meet your Sunday obligation in parishes that are “questionable” for a time, until Rome has clarified which parishes are still recognized in your former diocese. I say “former” because it is possible that the diocese itself may be dissolved, depending on the circumstances. Be advised that in some places, when things are sorted out by Rome, you may have to commute a longer distance to attend a mass that is still Catholic.
Attending an authentic Catholic mass, celebrated in a parish approved by Rome, under a bishop that has not been excommunicated, is absolutely essential to mitigating the damage of a schism and healing the Church after a major insult to her unity. Yes, you play a vitally important role in this. The decisions you make will determine how quickly the Catholic Church is restored. It is your responsibility to make sure you’re attending mass at one of these parishes. That’s how you can do your part, not only for the sake of your own soul, and the souls of your family members, but also for the restoration of unity to the Catholic Church on both a local and global level.