26 October 2012


I. As is starkly evident at this blog, yours truly oftentimes gets fired up and all involved with the monkey business going on in the Church these days. I submit to the court my Magic Circle article a few posts back. Though it should be confessed that, when it comes to the public face of the women's priest movement, TH2 gets all jiggly like jell-o on the inside. Certainly not because of sympathy or agreement to so-called women's ordination. Rather, it's because of pity for the futile situation of these latter day cupcakes. Rome has spoken and no grey shading is involved. Canon  1024: "A baptized male alone receives sacred ordination validly". Catechism No. 1577: "Only a baptized man (vir) validly receives sacred ordination". Catholic Encyclopedia: "For the valid reception of the Sacrament of Orders, it is necessary that the minister be a bishop and the recipient a baptized person of the male sex... women are definitively barred from the service of the altar".[1] In an Apostolic Letter by Pope John Paul II: "the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and [sic] that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful".[2] Pretty straightforward stuff. Moreover, the CDF decrees: "the one who attempts to confer a sacred order on a woman, and the woman who attempts to receive a sacred order, incur an excommunication latae sententiae".[3] It is an extremely serious matter, a delictum gravius.

II. Nevertheless, the ladies and their supporters trudge along, protesting, fulminating, rebelling, manoeuvring, in the public square and (deviously) behind the scenes, presuming that, if they persist in their struggle for an emancipation of ordination, the Church will submit to their priestessifying demands in the near future... Not going to happen. Alas, the girl's defiance continues unabated, hence my commiseration. You know, sometimes I have this strange desire to give each and every one of them a hug, then whisper into their ears: "Don't worry, everything is going to okay". Such acts of condescending endearment, however, probably wouldn't be effective at lessening the muffins' egalitarian aspirations. More likely, a slap across the face would be received after such an attempt, followed by the exhortation: "All hail Ellen DeGeneres!"

III. Just last April the Holy Father posed two questions, directed to those unyielding proponents of women's ordination:

Is disobedience really a way to do this? Do we sense here anything of that configuration to Christ which is the precondition for all true renewal, or do we merely sense a desperate push to do something to change the Church in accordance with one's own preferences and ideas?[4]
Check, it's all about ME, i.e. non servium. Not here going to elaborate on the reasons for an exclusively male priesthood as the subject already has been authoritatively explicated a kazillion times.[5] Nor are we to delve into feminist-derived counterclaims of "oppressive patriarchy", "male power structures", sexism, misogyny and so forth. More often than not such argumentation, nowadays coming from predominantly senior ladies, are covers to rationalize gender neutralization and big time lesbian action within the Church, let alone the melding of pagan rituals from antiquity into the liturgy. It's not like the Church hasn't dealt with such controversies in its 2000 year old history. If you still disagree and get your jollies over this kind of stuff, then pop on over to the Novalis Publishers' website and purchase a book. Lots of goodies over there to satiate your faux priestess predilections. Instead, the remainder of this article will concentrate on the women's priest movement in Canada, briefly looking at a few of its publicly prominent members, latterly on its hushed enablers inside Church structures.

IV. The Mother Hen umbrella organization here is "an international movement within the Roman Catholic Church", called Roman Catholic Womenpriests. RCWP in no way exists "within", nor is formally associated to, the Catholic Church. But, for our purposes, let the lasses pretend that an Easy Bake Oven is the real thing. Anyhow, RCWP's  "mission... is primarily to spiritually prepare, ordain in Apostolic Succession, and support women who are called by the Holy Spirit and their communities to a renewed priestly ministry rooted in justice and faithfulness to the Gospel". The movement really got going in 2002 when it captured the public eye in Germany. Seven frauen were fraudulently "ordained" in a boat on the Danube River. The Vatican was quick to excommunicate "the Danube Seven" about a month after the event. One frau was an ex-nun from the Sisters of the Holy Names, Michele Birch-Conery, then "ordained" a "deacon". Currently, she is a member of the RCWP Canadian contingent (see its Facebook page here), whose stated mission is to promote "a new model of ordained ministry in a renewed Roman Catholic Church". Birch-Conery hit the national news in the summer of 2005 when she, along with eight other women, hopped on another boat to be "ordained" as "priests" on the St. Lawrence River, in the Thousand Islands area.[6] Unconfirmed reports say Captain Stubing was the skipper of that boat. But don't quote me on that one. This event immediately followed the second Women's Ordination Worldwide (WOW) conference, held just a short distance northward on the banks of another branch on the St. Lawrence, at Carleton University in Ottawa. One keynote speaker was noted heretic Rosemary Radford Reuther, notorious for her ecofeminist/Gaia theology. She is also a longstanding board member of the American group Catholics for Choice. Wow!, alright.

V. Birch-Conery, this nation's so-called "first female Catholic priest", is the contact for the Canada-West sector of RCWP Canada. She taught Women's Studies at North Island College on Vancouver Island, is a feminist literary critic, member of the Green Party and, presently, is pursuing "Master's degree in Gender Awareness" at the evidently gender-confused, feminist-driven Catherine of Siena Virtual College. No surprises in that biography, although she's made a couple of interesting statements: "In Canada we have two progressive groups that support us and have given much to us: The Catholic Network for Women's Equality and Corpus Canada".[7] Corpus Canada is an Ottawa-based group promoting/affirming women's ordination, married priests and homosexualism. CNWE is dealt with later. More interestingly, she claims that, regarding the July 25, 2005 bogus ordination event on the St. Lawrence, "those women have been ordained by bishops in good standing with the hierarchy".[8] Identities of these bishops will not be revealed until their deaths, she added. How that happened, and what weight this claim holds, remains open to question. Time will tell.

VI. Also out West there is RCWP member and priest wannabe Monica Kilburn-Smith...

Good evening, I am your hostess priestess with the mostest. 

Please, come, worship Me with me.


She hails from Calgary and is famous for being the only female "Catholic priest" in the Stampede City, since 2008.[9] Though, judging by that glass decanter and earthenware chalice, Ms. Monica seems not well-versed in the theology of sacred vessels. Like the bread basket, however. Maybe she bakes goodies for the worshippers at St. Brigid of Kildare Catholic Faith Community, where this priestess is "celebrant", at a United Church in actuality. See the website here, wherein the following are supported/advocated/practiced: "a discipleship of equals", "non-hierarchical model of priesthood and of church", "affirmation of the capacity for prophetic witness by all the people of the church", "creative worship and ritual", "participation of all community members in liturgy". To me, seems a litany of what Protestantism has undertaken for the last five centuries. But, then again, the CCCB has been supporting/advocating these for the last five decades. So there ya go. Recommended reading at the site includes books by Sr. Joan Chittister (no introduction required), John Shelby Spong (darling of antinomian liberals), Joanna Manning (author of Is the Pope Catholic?, ex-nun, now Anglican "deacon") and other dim lights spanning across the neo-Arian landscape (incidentally, Manning held a workshop entitled "Erotic Justice" at the aforementioned WOW conference). Kilburn-Smith is a self-proclaimed "Reiki Master" and "Healing Touch Practitioner", so we got the standard New Age daftness going on here. Appears competent at self-promotion too, considering that within the last two years she's made the news on Global TV and was profiled (more at aggrandized) in the Calgary Herald just last May, wherefrom the above-embedded photograph was extracted, obviously posed with a premeditated set design.[10]

VII. Travelling eastward to Sudbury, Ontario, we have womynpriest Danielle Whissell, contact person for RCWP Canada-East. Ms. Whissell, let it be known, enjoys signing anti-Catholic petitions. Unsurprisingly, she was a signatory on the "Petition to the Roman Catholic Bishops of the World" in 2005, calling for women's ordination: "We, the undersigned, faithful People of God in the Roman Catholic Tradition, urge the Roman Catholic bishops of the world to open discussion on the possibility of ordaining all to the priesthood who are called by God and gifted, women as well as men".[11] You can also find her name here at the Catholics for Choice website, included with other signatories on a letter to Pope Benedict, calling him to lift the Church's proscription on condoms. As should be evident at this point in the post, so-called Catholic "women priests" are commonly pro-aborts, if not by outspokenness, then by disinterestedness and/or silence on the issue. Akin to the omissive modus operandi wielded by "social justice"/professional Catholics.

VIII. There are eight female Catholic "priests" in Canada and, believe it not, one "bishop", namely Marie Bouchlin, also based in the Nickel City. It's remarkable that RCWP and its backers, at once inspirited by egalitarian, democratic, gender-neutralized notions of the Church, where everything and everyone is flattened-out and equal, nonetheless appoint bishops, which infers hierarchy and authority - the very things of orthodoxy to which they rebel against. Not only this, they outfit in albs, chasubles, clerical collars and mitres so as to distinguish themselves from congregants. They use chalices, vessels and other liturgical accoutrements, emulating tradition to whatever degree. It's illogical, if not comical. They're so ridiculous, yet so cute. Indeed, how can you not love the muffins? Anyway, "Bishop" Bouchlin, like Birch-Conery, alleges clandestine episcopal involvement: "It is important for people to know that some bishops in communion with Rome ordained married men and women to ensure the survival of the church in communist countries".[12] In Communist countries too! Given his entrenchment in affairs Ostpolitik, one wonders what Cardinal Casaroli would have made of this claim. But that's another post. Worldwide, there are approximately 100 "women priests", 80 in the U.S. and, again, 8 of the remaining 20 are from Canada.[13] The rest being from western European countries.
IX. So the movement, in its public manifestation, seems mainly a North American phenomenon. Still, when considered beyond the continental scale, a number of 100 is beneath negligible in terms of influence and persuasion. Accordingly, this is merely a miniscule, fringe group of excommunicated women. After reviewing their biographies and reading an assortment articles they've penned, a certain naiveté about them becomes discernible. For example, save to their small circle of friends, they're oblivious to how preposterous they appear to others. Without being flippant, we are here probably dealing some wounded souls experiencing psychological/emotional problems. There is much rage and feelings of misconstrued derogation with a source residing elsewhere, from inside the Church. The women's ordination movement in general is not some extraneous thing, originating exclusively from a feminism without. Rather, it's the enemies within, those subversives inside the Church in Canada, quietly facilitating groups like RCWP. They enter through the backdoor, gradually mixing and grinding the wheat and chaff so as to make them indistinguishable. The thing always to remember when heresy hunting is that what you are tuning into is not necessarily the obvious, those direct, frontal attacks against the Faith. More crucially, you want to make the imperceptible perceptible. To go below the surface as it were. Your target is the blurrer, the subtilizer of ideas and principles, the one who blends into the backdrop, appearing only at the corner of your eye, but swiftly disappears as you turn to look. He is just out of range. That is the sneaky rascal you want. And it is to such rascals we shall return in the sequel.


1. From J. Pohle, "Priesthood", The Catholic Encyclopedia (New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911), vol. 12. Available online.

2. Pope John Paul II, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, May 22, 1994.

3. CDF, General Decree regarding the delict of attempted sacred ordination of a woman, December 19, 2007. Published in L'Osservatore Romano, May 29, 2008.

Pope Benedict XVI, "Chrism Mass: Priests Configured to Christ", Vatican Information Service. Taken from homily given on Holy Thursday, April 5, 2012.

5. Cf. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Inter Insigniores, Declaration on the Admission of Women to the Ministerial Priesthood, October 15, 1976.

6. See D.D. Nicassio, "Canadian archbishop says women's ordination ritual will not be valid", Catholic News Service, June 8, 2005; D. Struck, "Nine Defy Vatican's Ban On Ordination of Women", The Washington Post, July 26, 2005.

7. M. Birch-Conery, "RCWP Canada: Where Have We Been? Where Are We Now", The Journal, January-March 2012, pp. 5-9. Periodical published by Corpus Canada.

8. Quoted in M. Wood, "Women claim Catholic ordination", Canadian Christianity, August 2, 2005.

9. G. Morton, "Calgary woman becoming priest", The Calgary Herald, May 4, 2008.

10. C. Salvo, "Crime against faith", Global Calgary, March 23, 2011; M. Gudowska, "In the Name of the Father and of the Mother", The Calgary Herald, May 31, 2012.

11. See "Are we willing to sacrifice Eucharist for the sake of a male celibate priesthood?", National Catholic Reporter, October 7, 2005, vol. 41, no. 43, p. 12.

12. Quoted in C. Pilon, "Pushing for Catholic reform", Sudbury Star, October 24, 2011.

13. Cf. "Woman is ordained as Catholic priest in Canada", Agence France-Presse, October 9, 2010.


01 October 2012


The video is a segment from the silent film Christus (1916), directed by Giulio Antamoro. The person who uploaded the video added the music, a composition entitled Apparition de l'église éternelle by Olivier Messiaen. I was educated on this musical masterpiece by a brilliant organist friend south of the border.