Women priests! How outrageous. What’s an all-men’s club going to do about women who want to join their exclusive XY-chromosonal cartel? Excommunicate! The rack! Burning at the stake! How dare she!
Toledo’s bishop awoke this morning to the news that women in his diocese want the keys to the church door. The Toledo Blade ran a front page story this Sunday morning on the women priest movement and focused on a local woman who came out into the open to declare her desire to join the priesthood. Beverly Bingle is the courageous woman who shared her story to the religion editor of The Blade. No doubt she is feeling the pins being stuck in voodo dolls all across the diocese by righteous Catholics who believe that she is violating church laws.
Blade reporter David Yonke cites one quite humorous and idiotic defense of an all-male priesthood: that the Catholic Church has traditionally been referred to as Holy Mother Church and that priests become the bridegrooms of the Church. Toledo Bishop Blair is quoted, “Catholic faith from earliest times has referred to ‘Holy Mother Church’ and to the fatherhood of the clergy. Men are ordained as priests to act ‘in the very person’ of Christ the bridegroom, the head of his body and bride, the church.” How sexually perverted is that!
Ms. Bingle said that there are other women in the program, but they may not go public with their process. She said, “Two are likely to be “catacomb priests” who never go public, and a third now works for the Toledo Diocese and fears she could lose her job and retirement benefits if the church finds out.” Lose her job? Retirement benefits? Because she has two Y-chromosomes. Can you imagine that here in the first decade of the 21st century?
There will be quite a buzz in the pews this Sunday morning as Catholics head off to church and whisper to each other about this story. I wonder if any of the priests celebrating mass will have the guts to discuss it in their homilies? Or will they hope that Ms. Bingle will kidnapped by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith- the 21st century edition of the Inquisition.
I saw the documentary, Pink Smoke Over the Vatican, twice with Ms. Bingle. It is a touching yet powerful expose’ of the deep desire of Catholic women drawn to the priesthood and their struggle to be heard by a defiant, all-male clergy. The film will be shown twice this month, April 15 and April 29 at 2 p.m. at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 1702 Upton Ave in Toledo. It will be interesting to see who attends and if there will be any protests of its showing by fundamentalist Catholics. I’ll be reporting on that situation on the 15th.